Wandaful Quilts

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Decision made, I'm a zig zag..

There were a lot of layouts that would work with these blocks (see Tuesday's posts) and I was tempted to use a couple of them, but what it boils down to is it would have just been A quilt and I wanted it to be MY quilt. I knew this layout was ME from the minute I got it up on the wall. It is 60" square and it won't have a border, just a binding. I'm thinking red for the binding right now but I will need to audition some choices before I make a final decision. (I think I have it upside down in this picture. I think I had the black square in the upper left corner.)I needed to get this one down off the design walls because it was in the corner I have to clean out so they can remove my gas meter on Thursday. I hope I can make a decision on the other wonky blocks' layout today.

For the photography experts out there: all of my quilt pictures are clear at the top and blurry at the bottom. I am using the Auto setting. I wonder if I use the program setting instead if they will be clear all the way to the bottom. Maybe there is something else I need to know. Anybody?


Maria said...

Black would also be nice for the binding but as you say it is your quilt.
Have been computerless for a few days, have bought a new one.Was pleased to see your flowers nearly all in bloom.

Quilts and Cats said...

You're right...this is truly YOU!! I think your decision to just bind it is a good one. Can't help you on the camera question...I could use help in that area myself!

domesticat said...

I can't tell you how to set up your camera to get what you need, because I don't know what you are shooting with, but I can tell you what's happening.

When you focus the camera, are you focusing on the top of the quilt? If so, your camera's aperture (your F-stop) is wide open to let the largest amount of light in.

It's a neat little camera trick - if you open up your F-stop really wide, then your depth of field narrows. In real life terms, that means only the thing you focused on is in focus, and everything else is gently or greatly blurred depending on the distance from the thing you were actually focused on.

Automatic cameras will sometimes open the F-stop wide open to counteract not having enough light.

Here's what I'd try.

1) Get more ambient light in the room where you're photographing your quilts.

2) Try standing a bit further away, and crop the photo in post-processing.

If those don't help, then your next option is to try changing modes on your camera. If you can figure out how to take down your F-stop one or two stops, I'm betting you'll get a bigger depth of field and have your entire subject in focus.

(A technical note: F-stop numbers run backwards from what you might expect. An F-stop of 2 is wide open with an itty bitty depth of field, like what you'd photograph a single flower with. An F-stop of 14 is very closed, with a huge depth of field, like what you'd photograph an entire field of flowers with.)

Jackie said...

This layout is perfect! The looks is just wonderful. I agree with Maria, black would be a nice option for the binding or even a bright yellow. As far as the camera setting goes, I frequently use the program setting on mine. I switch from that to Auto and which ever pictures turn out the best is what I will use. So I say, since you have a digital camera, try the program setting to see what results you might have. It can't hurt and if it doesn't work the way you would like you can always delete them.

Jackie said...

Okay, so I just read Maria's comment and that totally makes sense. One of the things that I also frequently do is take the picture at a distance, what she mentioned, and then crop it down. So it could be how close you are standing. But I like the f-stop idea and that also might do the trick if you can't get far enough away to crop the picture down.

Gene Black said...

My camera has an EBAY setting that I usually use for pictures for blogging. I don't know if that will help you or not.

I agree about the black binding. I am sure you have some black with dots on it...maybe a muticolor dot pattern?

Melody Johnson said...

Photo stuff: I think more light at the bottom will help too. Or place the quilt in a more horizontal layout and all will be in the viewfinder in the same light.
You can always reorient it for the blog.

karenfae said...

love the design you have chosen. On the camera I will read what they all say and maybe I can use the information too :)

Beth said...

I like the zig zag setting better than centers together.... and I would also bind in a very dark color.

As for the camera, is it just the quilts or do all the pictures have a blurry bottom/side? (it could be the lens dirty).

Beth-Near Chicago

SpinningStar said...

Domesticat has great suggestions.

I have a Canon Powershot A630. In addition to the Auto setting, there are additional preset options (portrait, landscape, night scene, kids and sports) as well as options to adjust shutter speed, aperture (F stop) or both. It is almost too much to play with.

But, playing with the camera is necessary. If you have a tripod, use it and take pictures of the quilt using the different preset options. Use one lighting situation and then redo with different lights on or off.

You may find that a particular preset option works better than the auto option. If not, then repeat the process playing with the manual options. Don't forget to write down what you are doing!

Eventually, you will determine that standing at a spot with certain lighting and camera setup will consistently produce the picture that you want.

A lot of times, I will use the auto and several of the other presets to take pictures of a particular scene. I am amazed at the varied results.


Needled Mom said...

All of the camera info has been very interesting. Thanks for asking the question.

I see so much depth in that setting. The simple binding will be perfect.

SpinningStar said...

I just saw the comment concerning an EBay setting - that impacts the detail in the saved file so the file is smaller, transmits faster and uses less space for saving on the internet.

I usually take the picture with the higher pixel setting (bigger file) and then once I have cropped the photo and made other changes, then I use photoshop elements to "save for web". So, I end up with the original photo as well as a smaller file size photo.


Bunny said...

Love it and I also think black binding would just finish it off. Great work.

Jean said...

Very stunning layout. I am also reading up on tips from the photo experts, as i sometimes have lighting problems. I really don't think your pic looks that bad though I can see what you are talking about.

Anonymous said...

You must have read my mind, I kept wondering what it would look like if you zig zagged the quilt. I am loving it this way ! Definitely your style.

Maybe a few classes at Waubonsee on photography should be on your agenda.
A friend of mine has taken their course and now has showings of her photos all over the area. She is good!

Cheryl Arkison said...

I'm glad you went with the one that made your heart sing. I like the idea of a blue binding. Red would be good, but it already reads quite warm. And the black really does pop. A blue binding could be interesting. Good luck with that decision!

KateKwiltz said...

If all your pictures (distance and closeup) are blurry at the bottom, there could actually be something wrong with your camera. Just a thought.

I like the idea of red, but I'd also be tempted to go with bright green.

Char said...

I love the layout. Maybe black and white stripe, dot, zig zag binding.

Duff said...

I am in awe of your talent! I have NO idea what color to make the binding, but you are a color expert so I'm anxious to see what the final decision and result are!
I like the camera ideas and I'll add one more--is your design wall parallel to the floor? if there's any angle to it then one side might be out of focus. This would include if you are taking the photo "up" from where you stand.

Linda said...

One thing I have learned from reading blogs is 'things work because YOU say they do'. If the layout is what you want, then that is the way it should be. (Colors go together because YOU say they do. Width of the binding is what You prefer. Etc...) This process is personal. Of course, it would be nice if others like it too. But that is not necessary. Thanks for reinforcing this whole concept!!

Quiltdivajulie said...


Re Photos - excellent online tutorial/resource if you Google search for "Shoot That Quilt" - here's the link

Wendy said...

Like the layout. I don't know how to help with camera when mine does that I just retake the pic and hope for the best. Does yours have a shake control? That helps on mine sometimes.

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

The layout is perfect Wanda...and it's YOURS!! Beautiful!

elle said...

If I hadn't stalled on layout one then this zig zag layout would have to be IT. Black and white dots leaves the top open to different interpretations. A colour would tip the scales. I'm not sure what I'd pick.

And I definitely need to set aside an explore the camera day.

HollyM said...

I love the energy of this arrangement. I can't help you on the photography front. My pictures are rarely in focus.

wordmama said...

I know I'm just one of the many comments, but I loved the zigzag set from the minute I saw it.

Kristin L said...

I'm so glad it's a zig zag!

Rhonda said...

Great choice....as for the camera thing.....Not a clue....sorry.

Twila Grace said...

It clearly is what it is. I like that--zig zag.

Lazy Gal Tonya said...

love the mix of fabrics (I'd love to see you do a scrap quilt with a MIX of everything you own including the batiks, the Kaffe's the dots the 1980's boring stuff), love the blocks, love the zigzag.

Marilyn said...

Love your zig zag setting. You could go with any color of binding and it would look good. I have been reading the photography comments hope you received some good information and it helps you.

Miss Sews-it-all said...


Laura said...

How fun! It looks great.

belinda said...

OH Wanda...WOW....WOW....You just
GO Girl....Just go GET DOWN with your ole zig zaggy self!! This is
some wild and crazy...and I LOVE IT!!!

Ann Babillis said...

I didn't discover your blog until recently, and just came across your question about focus this morning. domesticat is correct in saying the f-stop you choose determines how much of your quilt will be in focus. The following link explains in laymen's terms the f-stop on your camera and how to use it.


Since you regularly post photos and have such a large audience who love to read what you do, a small investment in a shop light like this one, would be worth the $25 bucks.


This will eliminate the need to use your flash which can wash out the colors, and allow you to use a lower depth of field. I plan to get this for my daughter on her birthday to support her new passion for photography.

BTW, I love your posts. They inspire me.

Joyce said...

Regarding your picture taking. There is a web site https://www.magic-picture.com/ that will take the movement out of your pictures. Works great! Just saw your quilts on Pinterest. I love the zig zag. I would try different colors that are very bright. Like Yellow or bright pink for the border.