Gypsy Wife Adopted

The Gypsy Wife quilt is quilted, and bound, and ready to go to its “forever home”, as our daughter calls it when one of the animals she fosters is adopted.Gypsy Wife quilt

I recently read a post listing pictures we supposedly should take of every quilt, and thought “not”. I think Rita, at Red Pepper Quilts, does one of the best jobs anywhere on her photos and posts about her quilts. She includes enough pictures for me to get a good idea of the quilt. Even better, she lists “statistics” about each quilt at the end of the post. So here’s my attempt:

First, a picture showing the back and giving a closer view of the binding:Binding gypsy wife quilt

Then, a picture of my favorite block. OK, that wasn’t Rita’s idea, but I like it ūüôā

A picture showing the quilting:

Gypsy Wife Quilt

Pattern:  Gypsy Wife by Jen Kingwell, with several modifications by me

Fabric: Just A Speck collection by Jen Kingwell,

Moda Grunge in various colors

And a few others

Finished Size:¬† 61‚ÄĚ x 66‚ÄĚ

OK, did any of those pictures or details add to your experience of the quilt?

Your Inner Designer 5: A Program to Make Your Own Palette!

I mentioned in my last post as a good color resource, but there are SO MANY others! ¬†Today I’m going to tell you about just one, and I hope you’ll check it out and enjoy it. ¬†Others to come in the future!

—Today’s Feature: Palette Builder—

screen shot from Palette Builder

Here’s a palette from a picture I took

It’s free! ¬†It’s easy to use! ¬†Anne Sullivan and friends have a fun app accessible from their blog at¬† Just go to the blog, choose PaletteBuilder from the menu along the top, and you’re IN.¬† You can upload a picture of your choice and the app gives you a palette that looks a lot like the ones on Design Seeds with two fun differences:¬† PaletteBuilder uses YOUR photo, and it gives you colors in Kona Cotton that closely match your palette!

screen shot from PaletteBuilder

Palette made from my quilt

But let’s say you love the palette in my “Study for New Mexico” quilt and want to use it for a quilt of your own. ¬†Just find the quilt on my blog, load the picture into PaletteBuilder, and there you go. ¬†The Kona cottons are chosen for you!

screen shot from PaletteBuilder

PaletteBuilder may “see” individual colors better than your mind does

This program may be especially helpful with a picture like the one above. ¬†First, I wouldn’t have thought to put those shades of lavender in there, but I’m pretty sure they would show up well as shadows if I were converting this picture to a landscape quilt. Second, if you’re working on a desktop computer instead of an iPad you can move some of those little circles to sample parts of the picture that might have been left out (like the purple crocus in the top picture.)

So if you have a photo with lovely colors that you would like to see in a quilt, you can start here for your palette.  Now, go have some fun!

Here are the previous posts in this series (click on the title to go to the post):

Quilt Design 4: Choosing Your Color Scheme

Your Inner Designer 3: New Blocks From Old

Your Inner Designer 2: Many Block Arrangements

Find Your Inner Designer, Part 1

Three Reasons to Love Pinterest

modern quilt

Delightful quilt from

I started using Pinterest a while back at the urging of my daughter, and have found it invaluable.  It replaces at least 3 scrapbooks/notebooks that have been floating around my house for years.

First, of course, Pinterest is¬†great for quilting ideas! ¬†When I find something I love, I don’t have to bookmark it or add it to favorites to be able to find it again. ¬†I just pin it to one of my Pinterest boards–maybe Quilt Ideas, or Good Quilt Photos, or Design. ¬†Then when I wonder, “Now where did I see that great quilt?” I can flip through my Pinterest boards and find the picture, which in turn has the link to where it was found. ¬†This saves a LOT of fooling around looking for things on the internet and replaces the lists I had to keep previously. ¬†It’s even partially replaced the notebooks full of clippings I’ve kept for years.

pieced modern quilt

T-Perspective by Linda Rotz Miller

Second, Pinterest is great for finding other quilters, their blogs, etc. ¬†For example, I found the Cut To Pieces blog shown above because I admired one of the quilts from the blog I found on Pinterest. ¬†But there’s more! ¬†When you find someone whose taste is similar to yours (based on the pins you find¬†from him/her), you can “follow” that person or just some of that person’s boards on Pinterest and get lots of great new pictures that he/she found. ¬†For example, I found the picture here on the Pinterest page of Tricia Royal, a quilt artist from Chicago, so now I follow several of her boards. ¬†You can also follow your friends’ boards to see what they’re pinning. ¬†In fact, if you see something they’re pinning it may give you an idea of what they’d like to have for the next birthday!

modern quilt

Terrific design from Melody Johnson Quilts

Finally, you can simply search Pinterest when you need inspiration. ¬†By putting “modern quilts”, “colors”, “art quilts”, or whatever into Pinterest’s search box, I’ve found many, many fun ideas. ¬†It’s a great amusement in waiting rooms,¬†while enjoying a second cup of coffee, or when in need of new ideas. ¬†As a commercial for a product I’ve long forgotten used to say: ¬†“Try it–you’ll like it!”

Improving My Quilt Pix


Another version of “Turning Twenty Again”, this time with my improvisational border

So, this is what a typical picture of one of my quilts has looked like in the past: ¬†Yes, that’s my husband’s head, and the edge of the rug in the TV room…well, you get the idea. ¬†And in fairness, most of these pictures were taken years before I ever thought of having a blog and publishing them. ¬†Let’s just say they’re less than perfect!

Since I started the blog, I’ve tried to improve the old pictures with editing software. ¬†Most of the quilts are long gone to friends, customers, or both, so I don’t have the originals to make new photographs. ¬†After photo editing, the quilts were a bit easier to see, but the photos still weren’t exactly professional looking! ¬†See below.

This is a slight variation on Birthday Presents, by Atkinson Designs; it made a great baby quilt

This is a slight variation on Birthday Presents, by Atkinson Designs; it made a great baby quilt

I looked at a LOT of quilt pics on Flickr; most weren’t any better than mine. ¬†I looked at books and catalogs. ¬†The best quilt portraits I found were in the Keepsake Quilting catalog. ¬†They showed the quilts in nice settings, not just a straight-on picture of the quilt. ¬†I like this approach because it shows the mood of the quilt, not just the design.

Concentric Squares Batik

I love batiks and love making variations on concentric squares, so I enjoyed making this quilt

I started trying to make better “quilt portraits”, showing more than just a straight-on shot of the quilt. ¬†I’ve found that a picture taken with the recipient is very nice. ¬†This next picture was sent to me by a friend who bought one of my quilts as a gift. ¬†Although it is clearly a snapshot rather than a professional photo, I think it does a nice job of being a portrait of the quilt (and the recipient). ¬†It has personality, which is lacking in the straight-on shots even if they show the whole quilt better.

I’m off to make some quilt portraits of my own, having learned a thing or two that I hope will improve the shots for my blog. ¬†Check back next week and see what you think of my “quilt portraits”.