Sunday, October 21, 2012

Staging Quilt Photos

Have you ever noticed that some bloggers have absolutely gorgeous photos? 
I have noticed this mostly with food bloggers, even the amateur cooks. 
They make the food look so yummy that you can't wait to try the recipe. 
Some quilters have that same talent.  The lighting, the angle all make the quilt or the fabric look drop dead gorgeous.  It makes you want to come back, over and over again just for the eye candy. 
Is it a talent or a special eye or do they take classes? 
 How much time do they actually spend staging that shot.
 Is it intuitive or does it take a lot of work?
During our quilting retreat, I had a conversation with my friend Sujata, who has that special talent for making her quilts look beautiful in the photos on her blog:
So after the gang left, I decided to put some effort into making beautiful eye candy photos.  After they read this, they will be laughing their a$$e$ off, because sometimes you just can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear (that would be me!)
I took the projects I had made during our retreat outside.  It was an overcast beautiful Fall afternoon.  I thought the light would be perfect.
I took my scrappy quilt I started during Bonnie Hunter's workshop and finished during our retreat and draped it between some trees. It looked great and very stylized.  But you cannot see the quilt pattern.
So then I draped it over the picnic table where you could see the pattern, but it did look a bit static, but more fun than just pinning it to my design wall.

 I decided to move onto the other things I actually finished.  In my quest to use up  my Chanukah fabric I also made  a bunch of pillowcases for ConKerrCancer 
 and I made 4 sets of polar fleece hats and scarves.  The later was for my quilt guild's monthly community outreach project, to be given to the homeless.
I thought it would be appealing to stage the photo of the scarves and hats draped over our rowboat.  The rowboat was on our dock, upside down.
It looked so beautiful with the scarves flapping gently in the breeze. 
(I placed a pillowcase that was in a plastic baggie, inside of each hat to keep it from blowing away.)
I was having a lot of fun trying different "layouts" when a big gust of wind blew one of the hats with the pillowcase inside into the lake.  Arghhhhh!
The two quickly separated.

 I don't know what happened to the hat, but the pillowcase bobbed along, heading closer and closer to shore.  I grabbed a long stick and hoped for the best.
I walked along the shore hoping I could reach it from one of the docks.  I was so disappointed as it floated by.  It then started coming closer to the shore.  I didn't want to leave anything to chance so I decided to really reach for it to try and snag it before it got away.  I was just thinking about the child with cancer that could really use that pillowcase.
Before I was to make that final reach, I thought that maybe I should take my camera out of my pocket and leave it on the shore.  That was the best decision I made that day.  I stepped onto a partially submerged rock to reach for the pillowcase and it must have been covered with algae.  It was really slippery and there I slid, into the lake!
The good news was that I was able to grab the baggie.  The water was not too cold, I had left my camera on shore and there was no one there to see a grown woman dripping in lake water, laughing her you know what off!!!!
The moral of the story for me - use the design wall.  No hazard involved.


  1. Frankly, I'd rather just see the whole quilt. Some of the stylized photos look great but I read blogs more for ideas and inspiration and I like to see the layout, borders etc. :-)

  2. Staging photos is a challenge, but can really help to show off a quilt. I'd love to take a class by professional quilt photographers! But, I do think you did a great job!


  3. Cheryl,
    These pictures are gorgeous specially when I click to enlarge them. I disagree with your moral of the story. I say, let whatever falls into the lake float for a lucky person to find. You should stay on the shore so you can take some more of those pictures.
    Glad you are okay. This story did make me laugh. I can just picture you out there with your stick.

  4. Good for you to share your story with us! I'm glad that nothing was hurt but your dignity and that you found the situation amusing enough to laugh at it. Sometimes that's all you can do ... laugh. :-)

    Very nice projects, too!

  5. Thanks for sharing your funny story! Sounds like a day in my life!! The quilt blogger that impresses me the most with her photos is Stephanie from Loft Creations. As a matter of fact, I was musing just this morning at how beautiful each and every one of her pictures is. Must be some kind of magic!! Your pictures are always just fine. Stay safe and don't take any more chances:)!

  6. Great story. The design wall is just too boring. Staging is more adventurous, as you found out. It gave you a great blog story.

  7. Cheryl, I eagerly read your post because, like you, I struggle with my photos. I'm sorry you had such a hard time of it. I would encourage you not to give up. I think your attempts look wonderful. I'm going to keep trying. It is just like quilting, we need to keep stretching ourselves.


  8. No serious comment here: I'm too busy laughing and picturing you. Hope you got warm quickly!! Glad you had no cell phone either in your pocket!

  9. Haha! You made me laugh. Oh the things we do for our blogs. :)

  10. That is too funny! Wish I had seen that!


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