Quilt photography


I don’t want to confess how many hours I’ve spent trying to take some decent photos of my new quilt. It seems improbably difficult. The colors in this quilt are so pretty in person–not really a bright tomato red but a more subtle coral. I know most people take pictures of their quilts outdoors (hooray for natural light!), but I was so taken with the photography in Denyse Schmidt’s new book Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration that I wanted to try some interior photos. I just opened my Etsy shop (Brigit Gail), which except for the photography, is incredibly easy. Etsy recommends five photos per listing–compounding my difficulties. Here is the essential close-up….


I think these photos turned out pretty well, but I have a bright pink quilt that is harder to capture than a unicorn. I’m off to try hanging it on a wall to see if I have any better results.

Quilting backing how-to

This quilt top started with some dainty floral fabric (Olympus Soleil) that went on sale, and the idea to make a picnic quilt. I used an easy stacked coin pattern and worked the florals in with mostly green solids. For the backing, I decided to use the same solid olive fabric that I plan to use for the binding. As often happens, I got around to making the quilt months after I bought the fabric. Since then, I’ve borrowed little bits and pieces from the yards of olive that I bought, so now I don’t have quite enough for the binding and backing. In come the scraps.

A quilt backing needs to be 3 inches bigger on all sides than the quilt top. My quilt will be 80 x 85″. Somehow I need to make an 86 x 91″ rectangle from 150 x 42″ of fabric for the backing. Backing should be made from large pieces of fabric so it isn’t too bulky with seams and doesn’t compete with the front. I will make four rectangles that are 37 x 42, and then make an 86 x 18 ” strip from the largest scraps to fill the gap in the length, I can put this strip at the top or in the middle (keeping in mind that three inches of the backing edges will be cut away when the quilt sandwich is complete). I’ll also need to add two inches to the width, and I think I’ll use one of the other solid greens from the front.

If you do have enough of one piece of fabric, then you just piece it together to make the size rectangle you need. Which, of course, is simpler and looks very elegant. Denyse Schmidt’s quilts often have nicely contrasting solids (and sometimes bold prints) for quilt backs that remind me of a pretty coat lining.

Denyse Schmidt’s new book


Denyse Schmidt’s new book Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration doesn’t come out until April (which happens to be the month of my birthday, fancy that) but I’ve already looked through the picture gallery on Melanie Falick‘s site (um) several times.

Denyse’s first book is really wonderful, and first got me interested in quilting. This next installment looks to be just as inspiring, so–in case you need something to look forward to after the holidays–take a sneak peak and mark your calendar for April.

Liesl Gibson Crafternoon!

The New York Public Library (42nd Street) hosts a crafternoon one Saturday each month. The program draws some luminaries of the crafting world, and fills the room with interesting crafty people. I went to one last year with Denyse Schmidt, Heather Ross, and Liesl Gibson. Liesl taught us how to make little sail boat ornaments out of walnut shells, provided the supplies, and set us loose. On April 2nd from 2 to 4, Liesl Gibson will be hosting again and talking about her new book Little Things to Sew. I would have already bought this book if my daughter did not have a “secret” plan to buy it for my birthday.  I think she really wants the paper doll accessories from the dust jacket (pictured above), but she is genuinely pleased as punch with her birthday surprise (as am I).

There will be supplies on hand for participants to make something. The event is free, but be sure to arrive early as the events are really popular. I bet there might just be a raffle, too. (As a side note, I enter more giveaways and online contests than I care to mention. Ask me to comment for a chance to win some buttons and I do it. My compulsion has a sort of scary sweepstakes, coupon cutting, green stamps aspect to it. Does anyone else suffer from giveaway-itis?)