Saturday, February 18, 2006

A Very Useful Gift

I was reading Melody Johnson's blog, Fibermania, back in January (her 27 January post to be precise) in which she remarks:

The digital camera really has made such a difference in the way I work these days, with opportunities to change the way I view something or by printing out the image and making changes on the paper before I do it on the final piece.

It got me thinking about how much the digital camera has become integral to my own quiltmaking activities. Not only is it great for taking photos of quilts-in-progress and finished quilts so that I can share them with others by e-mail or by posting them on the web, but other handy uses include:

  • auditioning fabrics from my stash for potential projects - both colour and grey scale photos are great ways of checking whether you have a good mix of values or if a particular fabric is going to leap out at you;
  • when required, taking photographs of fabrics to send to the recipientof the proposed quilt to check that it will fit in with their decor (not that I often give people this choice!);
  • auditioning block/colour placement in the course of quilt construction - you can photo all the different combinations; choose the one you like the best and refer back to that photo as you put the quilt/blocks together;
  • checking block/colour placement as you go along . You don't even need to take a photo for this - just looking through the lens can be enough to show you something is not quite right;
  • making a reference shot of block/colour placement so that I can freeup the design wall for other projects (I'm not a one-quilt-at-a-time kind of quiltmaker!);
  • auditioning borders - I take photos of my completed quilt centres,and import them into my EQ5 software. By using the appropriate scale, I can then mock up different size/multiple/colour/ style borders. This how I came up with the border in my Banana Flower Paradise quilt - I love how the border echoes the fringe of a banana leaf;
  • incorporating a photo of some or all of the quilt for the quilt label which I print up on fabric sheets in my inkjet printer;
  • incorporating photos into my quilts; and
  • last, but not least, my digital photo albums represent my own little inspiration bank overflowing with design, palette, subject and composition ideas.

My digital camera was given to me as a farewell gift when I resigned as a partner in a law firm in 2003. It's not a fancy model but it gets constant use. The law firm is holding an inaugural alumni event next week (I'll be the one not wearing a suit although I promise not to wear my usual swimsuit/shorts attire) so I'll be sure to tell them what a useful gift it has been.


Blogger Lynette said...

I auditioned my "Skewed Perspective" quilt the same way! It's great to see how a border is going to look with the piece without having to make a sample or spend time drawing it out... I love EQ and my digicam!!!

March 05, 2006 8:20 am  
Blogger Rayna said...

I do this auditioning all the time and wonder how I ever made art without it! Along with my copy machine, it is the best thing I ever bought.

March 09, 2006 11:46 am  

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