May 29, 2016 Meeting

Randi Strunk of Bright-Side Photography was our guest speaker at today’s meeting and she gave us a lot of great information about getting better photos of our quilts.


Some of her tips were:

  • Prepare your quilt before taking photos. You’ve put a lot of time and effort into this quilt, so take the best photos of it to remember it by, especially if you’re giving it away. Make sure it looks its best. Press if necessary, trim threads, de-lint.
  • Take hanging apparatus with you to hang your quilt. You can use pant/skirt hangers, pins, clamps, clothespins or whatever else you can thing of.
  • Outdoor natural light is always best no matter the season. Look for a place with “open shade”.
  • Direct sunshine might not give your best overall quilt photo but it will highlight the texture of the quilting design … and any crinkles or wrinkles you would rather not feature.
  • Dappled light (through trees) and shadows might not show up to your eye when taking photos, will definitely show up when you view the finished shots. That’s why it’s good to check the viewer on your camera when you’re taking photos.
  • DO NOT USE FLASH!! Just try it without flash and with flash and you’ll see why.
  • If you have a tripod, us it. The steadier you can be, the better. You can also set your camera somewhere stable and use the timer. Or make yourself a tripod by stabilizing yourself as best as possible. Brace your legs and tuck your elbows into your body.
  • Take lots of photos! That increases your odds of getting a great one or more.
  • Position your quilt in interesting locations and get photos of it crumpled up, rolled up, draped, and with the person who will be getting it … maybe with them wrapped up in it.
  • Make sure something is in the photo with the quilt to provide scale. A pair of shoes, scissors, pins, a chair, a person, anything.
  • Don’t forget to get detail shots. Close-ups of your work will show things in a way a whole quilt photo won’t. You’ll be glad to have close-ups.
  • Get to know some of the options on your camera. Your digital camera and phone will already do a pretty amazing job of colour and light correcting but you can improve of that by using some of the various settings.
  • Use the macro setting for close-ups.
  • To get the type of photo that has a sharp image and a blurry background, try using the “aperture priority mode”, sometimes labeled as “A” or “AV” or “portrait mode”.
  • Experiment with the various options. Take the same photo using the various options so you better know your camera.
  • For editing your photos, Photoshop is great but costly and not easy to use. It’s for the serious photo editor. Photoshop Elements more basic, less expensive, and more user-friendly photo editor. Picasa has been a very good free program and very easy to use but it is no longer being supported and people are being asked to switch over to Google Photos (which has a lot of interesting features by the looks of thins, including editing features). Other good, free programs include Gimp, Irfinview, and PicMonkey.
  • DON’T FORGET TO BACK-UP YOUR PHOTOS!! Just a few of the options are Flickr, Google Photos, Dropbox, the Cloud, and/ or a remote hard drive.

And one of the best suggestions I’ve heard … Randi reminds us to give the camera to someone else or use the self-timer and get some photos of yourself making quilts. While we might not like having our photos taken, photos of us making our quilts will be important to someone. Such a good suggestion.

Thanks, Randi, for such an informative and useful presentation!

And, with all this in mind … all members are invited to participate in our guild’s PHOTO CHALLENGE … a fun summer project! And yes, there will be prizes! Find all the details HERE!

Quilted Bar detail Tarra

Members have been making maple leaf blocks to contribute to #quiltsforfortmac. You can get all the details at the Ottawa Modern Quilt Guild website. Darla will collect any from our guild at the end of June and send them in. You can click on the link above to find out where to send them if you want to send them yourself. They should be mailed by June 3o.

Quilted Bar detail Tarra

Sonya made this cute as a button little paper-pieced rainbow block to contribute to Donna’s “Mining for Rainbows” quilt project. If you’re inspired, Donna would love to have any 6″ (unfinished) blocks you can contribute for her project. The only requirement in addition to the size is that it should be your interpretation of “rainbow”.


Quilted Bar detail Tarra

Bev has kindly and thankfully agreed to be the lead on our QuiltCon 2017 Charity Quilt project. We’re excited to learn what we’re going to make!

Quilted Bar detail Tarra

Don’t forget our Sewcial Day on June 11th at Prairie Chicks in Warman!  If you didn’t get your name on the sign up sheet and you still want to come, send an email to SMQG.

Quilted Bar detail Tarra


Some members shared with us some beautiful fabric!

Sonya brought these! Pretty colours from the Wink line  from Mod Basics 3 by Birch Organics. She also showed us the whole range of the beautiful Whisper line by Lizzy House. It’s been really difficult to get a sense of these from the online photos so to see them IRL is wonderful! Thanks, Sonya! They are so much more than just “whispery” in real life. There are some soft colourings as well as some glitter. The photos just don’t do them justice.


Sherry brought these beautiful linens (or linen-like) fabrics from her trip to India at Christmas. They are lovely!


Quilted Bar detail Tarra


Many bee blocks were made and turned in for Bee Round #1. For Bee #1 (1 block to be made) for Kelly who asked is planning to make a wonky bento box quilt …

For Bee #2 (2 blocks to made) for Sheila, who wants a “plus/cross” block in any size using low volume with a shot of colour …

Next month for Bee #2, Nicole’s inspiration block is a low-volume triangle with hits of red/navy/black with a charity quilt in mind for a teenage boy.  See details here.

For Bee #1, Heather has asked for strips (not blocks) of triangles. Any size, wonky, straight, tall and skinny, short and wide, using low-volume with pops of colour. Here is her inspiration strip. See details here.

SMQG Bee Quilt Triangle Starter Strip

Quilted Bar detail Tarra


Lots of beautiful hand-mades to see!

Darla made this two beautiful bags. She called on some experienced zipper sewers for some suggestions.


Jen made these three sewing kits for some young girls she is close to and who are moving. They are adorable and full of sewing supplies suited to their ages and interests.35-P1050585

Jen is making this soft-toned quilt for her Mom. Jen and her Mom have made quilts for everyone in their families … all the nieces and nephews but nobody has made a quilt for Jen’s Mom. So Jen is on it. She chose fabrics and colours she feels will compliment her Mom’s home and tastes. She will most certainly LOVE it, Jen!


Patti made a sweet little patchwork case for her iPad.


What’s not to love about Sonya’s Tula Pink tuffet?! So cute and colourful!


Several of our guild members are also members of a birthday club. Those in our guild combined their talents to make this pretty quilt for a member from somewhere else.


Kelly has a niece who LOVES Dr. Who, so she is going to go gaga over this computer bag Kelly made for her!


Sherry made a cover for her sewing machine! SWEET!!


She also made this little quilt and then …


… she made this GIANT quilt top that will be for her bed. Now on to the quilting!


Sherry’s been busy! She also made this beach bag just in time for such great weather!


Barbara made this amazing gift for her grandson using his hockey jerseys! She included a Sharks jersey, his favourite team! He will LOVE this!


While Heather gave her finished zigzag baby quilt away before the meeting, here are a couple of photos.

I couldn’t resist this final shot of Sonya’s tuffet and her stack of Whisper fabrics! I want to live at Sonya’s house!


Quilted Bar detail Tarra

** Note: The rainbow divider bars are details from Tara’s rainbow log cabin quilt.

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