Posts Tagged ‘black and white’


21.0 Small progress made post TDay

November 27, 2011

I had a great T Day, same as always, great food, cooking it overnight in a smoker (I wasn’t part of it, but was around at the time), games, family, planning black Friday (family was not me) finding out Christmas presents ideas, listening to endless complaints about how T Day is not T Day anymore, but “pre-christmas” – you know, the normal things.

Getting home, having to work & then getting the house back in order has been a little bit of the weekend. I personally prefer to work during black friday, which is okay, but makes the drive to work a little more busy.

Then I got sucked into a new present, which was given to me wednesday morning.¬† So I went back to tradition. sat down in front of the TV and didn’t surface for much of 2 days.

So I didn’t participate in Sandy’s AntiBlackFridaySewIn either, although I thought it was a cute idea.

I did have a hard deadline on a quilt block, so I did squeak this out.¬† I was intending to make this pattern for ME, but because of circumstances beyond my control, I haven’t done it yet, and this pattern was all cut out (three times) and so, it became a block for the person who is my partner on swap bot.

It’s called Utah Sparkler and I found it on Quilter’s Cache.

I replaced my seam ripper with a new one of the same (thanks Diane for your comment)

And then today in between laundry loads and food cleaning & prep I got out my book of quilting designs and made the design for the table runner for the giveaway from October.

Here’s my drawings.

And since you can’t see very detailed, here’s a picture of each of the sides, one plain:

And one with a start of a little more detail that I may try to put in the quilt.

I still have to consider the borders, and then I have to practice & transfer this to the fabric (or just iron on and sew through – this is on freezer paper).

Then after the borders are quilted I have to bind it. Then send it on it’s merry way. ūüôā

Hopefully I’ll be able to make the quilting look as smooth as this drawing!

Love my book 501 quilting designs, that’s where these ideas come from.

A great starting point, I can’t recommend it enough for a quilting reference book!

Now to be settled on the borders for this quilt.  Something to contemplate before bedtime!  Good night everyone!


16.7 Black and White Scrappy Squishy

July 2, 2011

Why does everything make me want to turn my head away from my goal??

Yesterday, I received a black and white squishy in the mail, and it was perfect!

My only problem with this is that I only did 3 sets instead of 4.  Now that I have the squares, I may have to enhance the design for my newest vision of the design, which is actually a problem that is solved after thinking about it for 3 months.

I want to add applique on this, and had a dream about putting it over the top of some of these squares, but the squares are only 4 inches finished, and placing a slightly large applique on top wouldn’t seem fair to the poor squares that were behind.

Here’s some designing thought process.

The balloon is wonderful, something I drew from EQ7.  I blew up this size because it fits onto a piece of paper.

I really should go bigger with this.


Bigger little tiny pieces of applique are much easier to do and fold and layer than tiny ones.  Ask me how I know.

(how I know)

The little red applique above the blue is like an eighth to a quarter inch.

I had to hide the mistakes on the curved pieces with embroidered chain stitch.

So, since I have this dilemma of wanting to put applique on top of black and white wonderful square in a square pieces, and I want to make the applique bigger, I am going to need a ‘substitute’ fabric to place in the quilt behind the applique piece.

Good news #1

I have 2 fabrics that I like for this job (actually more than that), so if I made a square hole here, I could theoretically make a large square in a square block to fit the opening.

This would keep with the theme of the piece, just play with scale a little bit.  And if I made one very large square in a square piece, I could also potentially make another one or two.

Good news #2

Adding more larger pieces easily makes this quilt larger in a hurry without being all ‘persnickety’ about all the seams being perfect.¬† And it adds interest.¬† And I don’t have to make a ton of other square in a square blocks to get a bigger quilt, and make an even bigger piece than I was originally imagining without a ton of effort.

Here’s where I am headed with this piece.

I will potentially frame the inset with the colors going into the applique.  I want the applique to stay in the middle to the right in the picture.

If I make a second larger square in a square, I want it on the opposite corner (for now).

I may make 3-4 larger square in a square blocks and place the applique on top of them.¬† It’s easy to figure the larger square in a square pictures because these blocks are 4 inch finished.

So I’ll need an 8 inch finished block to do a double sized square in a square, or a 12 inch finished to one large triple sized block.

In typing this out, it really helps the creative process.  As one idea pops up long enough to concentrate on it to type it out, two more ideas pop up beside.

Oooh!¬† That’s what’s fun about this whole process!


8.1 Evolution of a Camera Bag

September 21, 2010

Welcome back to the home sewing front!

This weekend, after the podcast, I was so tempted to playing a video game – not related to the mario project. I started to, but then didn’t enjoy it, so I got out some of my sewing stuff. I had my personal September Sunday Sew-In in my office, which was fantastic!

Sunday¬†my nagging “product quilting mind” started getting after me, prodding me to lunge after my UFOs.

Last June, of 2009, I created this monstrosity for a camera bag.

I wore it to the local quilt guild show (before I was a member) and I was proud of it, but yet despised it at the same time. 

I sorta showed it off, but I kept trying to get sympathy from others, wishing they were saying “It’s not that bad, really.”

Instead I kept getting suggestions on how to make it better.

Problems with the bag. 

  1. Camera is too loose in the bag. The bag is too big.
  2. Unattractive bare elastic.
  3. Liner showing through on the sides.
  4. The straps are not evenly sewed down.
  5. The strap is too long.
  6. The strap sticks out in between my fabric and my lining.
  7. The strap has unevenly sewed zig zag stitch along the sides in addition to the straight stitch which makes it look just silly.
  8. The fabric, which was meant to be ‘fun & hip’ was described as ‘gross psychedelic flowery junk’.

A few months ago (I think memorial day weekend?), I created this little sharp, modern, clean looking bag.

Which has no straps, but I didn’t have my camera at the time of creating it, and failed to figure about how wide my camera really is.¬† So when you go to close it, you get this following picture (taken w/ the phone camera – low quality)

As you may be able to tell, the lid does not stay closed.¬† I was going to use black velcro on this, but with it being so short, it wasn’t going to work at all.

What I ended up doing most of the time was putting the camera in this black bag and putting both the camera and the camera bag into the larger flower fabric camera bag because it had straps. 

This made no sense.  But I lived with it.

In August our quilt guild had a meeting, where the speaker was a local quilting teacher who helped us create a sewing carryall.  This used a different technique altogether with separate pockets instead of folding over one edge.

This really is a nice idea except you really don’t see the ‘fantastic fabric’ until you open it up.¬† This project was wonderful and if I didn’t have a clear plastic case (with a zipper) as a sewing carryall, I would really be loving and using this more.¬†

A few other issues.

  • You¬†can’t see it, but the top two pockets are¬†divided by three sewing lines.¬† This would be fine for the bottom pocket, but I should have only put the middle¬†sewing line¬†on the¬†middle¬†pocket.
  • The bottom pocket was too¬†tall to handle anything small¬†(needles, seam ripper, washable glue) well
  • ¬†No batting or fleece in the middle and back pockets.

However, it sparked some ideas.  What if I put an accent fabric right on the edge of the pockets?  What if I varied the pocket size and colors a little bit more?  What if I gave my strap ide another chance?  A month ago I wrote down some of my ideas on how to make this carryall better.

And so this weekend, when I was looking wistfully at my original, unsatisfying camera bag, and then staring at my fabrics, I got out my seam ripper and was about to start ripping on the zig zag, but then decided to make something different instead. I started thinking about redoing the camera bag from scratch.

I melded the idea for the straps from the original camera bag, and the idea for taking a different fabric for the pockets from the sewing carryall, and my experience from making my tote bag, in addition to some blog post I saw about making a camera bag with a lens cap pocket, and created this on Sunday.

There is an extra pocket on the back (was intended for the front, but when turning the project inside out it ended up on the back and I am happy with it, so it’s staying on the back.

One more picture showing the lining fabric.

What’s cool and new about my new camera bag?

  • Cool, sleek, thin, good looking strap, with fusible fleece imbedded in the strap for weight.
  • Two pockets, one for the camera, one for 4 batteries.¬† Unfortunately, I need this because the rechargeable batteries I tend to use do¬†lose charge easily.
  • Trim on the pockets of different fabrics.
  • Rings I cut off of a handbag I bought from goodwill last year.
  • The top ring serves no purpose in closing the bag, but it¬†v heft enough to keep the bag closed on its own.
  • Tabs created for the ring tab are sewn into the bag itself.¬† Sleek.
  • Colors go well together.
  • My camera fits in it well!

This time, when I carry my camera bag, I hope to get some great comments about how good the bag looks and works.  Looking forward to showing it off at work too!


7.4 Home Sewing Front – Spectra Quilt

July 18, 2010

So I started playing around with EQ7 this morning.¬† I have successfully read through the entire¬†user’s manual (at Jiffy Lube,¬†during lunch breaks,¬†falling asleep).¬†

I wasn’t at the computer while reading, but I at least have heard of the terms used in the program a little bit at this point.

I thought I had a good handle on how to navigate EQ7, and considering my experience in photoshop, thought that the whole thing would be a piece of cake to navigate.

Well, it’s OK, and I don’t know if it’s just my lack of experience or what, but I have been taking longer than expected to handle the navigation of the program.

You put everything you want to do in your sketchbook before you use it.¬† And then you have to color everything.¬† I haven’t even figured out how to color a block and then put it into a quilt that way – all i’ve used on colors is preset color choices and then changing them to colors I want.¬†¬†But what if I chose to keep some blocks different colors¬†(or the same) than what the¬†presets?¬†

I did a drawing with freedraw (or some name I don’t remember) and used Serendipity to make it kaleidoscope, but then I couldn’t put my new kaleidoscoped block into another block.¬†

I suppose if I export the block I may have the control I want, but the program said that it couldn’t do what I wanted to at the time.

And I didn’t notice that the coin quilt block was there, and I was having a hard time with making my spectra quilt until I just imported each spectra as a photo.¬†


I didn’t know how to make a coin quilt from the start because that option wasn’t a preset (although I have been told there are coin quilt blocks available, I haven’t done that yet).¬† The way I set up my spectrum quilt to get this picture is:

  • Vertical Strip Quilt
  • 1st Block 4.5 inches
  • 2nd Block 1.5 inches
  • 3rd Block 4.5 inches
  • with a 1.5 inch border

This size may make a nice table runner, my overall size is 19.5 X 34 inches which fits the space I have wonderfully.¬† I didn’t have a sashing option by doing a vertical¬†strip quilt¬†style,¬†and since this is based on a photograph this was overcome by making the sashing strips the size of my inner ‘blocks’.

I was hoping for some more help in figuring out exactly how wide each spectra would have to be, but I did the math and a little Dimensional Analysis (yes science, math and chemistry practice has come in handy here!) and played around with my quilt size to make the math easier and I have a lovely start on my spectra quilt РUSING PHOTOSHOP. 

Sorry folks, but I had to go back to my old standby when I kept trying to zoom in farther and farther on my picture within the completed quilt and couldn’t get the thing to do what I wanted it to do.

¬†Having 10 years of playtime on photoshop probably made it easier to figure out how to get the program to behave better than a program I’ve had for a month and a half which I haven’t taken computer time to decipher yet.

To get the size of each bias bar accurately (which I am not doing by the way), I had to do the following photoshop steps:

  1. Set a grid up.  The grid is modified in Edit/Preferences/Guides,Grids&Slices.  I set up grids every 4 subdivisions every 4 pixels.  Using dots.
  2. Zoom in on my original picture far enough. 
  3. Pick some crazy colors 
  4. Set up the paintbrush tool to 1.0 pixel in size
  5. Each ‘dotted box’ I put a colored dot just along the side of the picture.
  6. Each 1 dot was green, every 5 dots was red.  Very tedious steps (5&6)
  7. Then I changed to a different color (blue) and every 2 red dots put a dot to the right (every 10 pixels)
  8. New color, every 20 pixels (two blue dots) put a dot (purple)
  9. New color, every 50 pixels (two and a half purple dots) put a dot (yellow).
  10. This made it easy to count the total number of pixels in each row, and gave me a fairly accurate idea of where in each row the colored lines were. 
  11. I had a total of 310 dots, so I made the length of the quilt 31 inches so that each inch would be 10 dots. 
  12. I really should go metric with the calculations from here, but no one sews a metric seam allowance.  If you feel the urge, I know that 2.54 centimeters = 1 inch, so you can do some more dimensional analysis to figure it out if you so choose.
  13. I put all these dots on a new layer in photoshop so I can move the layer around to each of the strips and ‘count’ where the lines are.¬†
  14. The strips are all about 1/10 or 1/5 of an inch finished, but I don’t have any bias tape makers that go that far, so I’ll have to get out my bias bars and use the thinnest one available.¬†
  15. I’ll approximate on the color values used for each color and perhaps vary the brightness at this point

This makes me happy that at least I am thinking about this project РAND I am using math РAND I am using dimensional analysis Рsomething for which both chemistry and physics heavily prepared me.

But today, a sewing day, I worked more on my black and white quilt.¬† Black and white borders complete, sewed onto the quilt (measured heavily because of how I had to strip the setting trapeziods) and started on my ‘handdrawn celtic border corners’.¬† 12 total.¬† 1 down, 11 to go.

This, in no way, is a negative review of EQ7.¬† I haven’t discovered the possibilities yet on this.¬†

But it is a reflection that I need to use the things I can do with EQ7 and the things I can do with photoshop and put the talents together while I learn and play with the possibilities (and limitations) of both programs. 

I know people would like a podcast/review on EQ7, and I have to wait to know what is going on before doing so, but when I get to it, I’ll see if I can cook up something.¬†

It felt very nice to not only be creative today in the computer programs, but also very comfortable to be doing the math that I’ve been avoiding unnecessarily.¬† Incredible how odd that feels to say, but so very true.


1.6 Podcast 2 Colorful Computer and Camera tools

November 19, 2009

Podcast Feed

My podcast is located on podbean, the show notes are below.

Just by accident I have stumbled upon something that some quilters may find useful.  Great part about it is that many people already own some of these tools, and I guess that you can get downloadable replicas easy enough.  Okay, so what am I talking about?  Computer color filters for your digital pictures of fabrics or quilts.

Okay, so I have made one applique quilt top and my guess is that I can use it for a lot of different experiments.¬† Or at least this one.¬† My first experiment started with¬†opening up a picture of my quilt in photoshop.¬† I wasn’t intending on experimenting, but I did.

Small Warning

In the podcast/show notes below when I mention going to image then hue / saturation.  What I failed to mention is that you actually go to the Image menu then the Adjust drop down menu, then go to hue/saturation.

Here is the original picture below.  Baltimore Style Applique Quilt Top

¬†Let’s keep this image in mind as we look through some of the photoshop filters.

The first thing I did was to take my picture and go to the photoshop Image menu and choose Hue/Saturation.¬† There are other ways to do the same thing, but I’m only going to explain the way I did this.¬† If you want to comment about another program or another way you were able to get the same done, please feel free.

I first hit the colorize button, and then took the saturation of the image all the way down to zero.

black white screen shot

What I was left with was a black and white photo.

black and white

With the color removed from the picture, then all you are left with is the value of the fabrics.  I can tell that my blues are light values (the birds and tuilps), my background is dark value, and the greens and reds have a similar dark medium value to it.

Isn’t this great?!¬† A value tool that can help you determine true lights, mediums and darks!

A step further can give you a monochromatic quilt by not taking the saturation as far down, and colorizing the quilt to whatever color you want. 

colorized blue

As you can see, you still get the color values.  However, in my opinion, for this quilt, the little strip border piece kinda loses its impact here.

The following picture I was using the same hue/saturation tool, but highlighted different parts.¬† For example I took the reds and saturated them down, changed the hue of the greens, and modified only the saturation, hue or lightness of the different color groups that were already present in my original quilt.¬† This should give you a different “feeling” or tone¬†for the whole thing.¬† Every red will be affected this way, so watch out.

red saturation for modified colors

The resulting picture with muted reds and changed greens.  Not a ton different, but a little bit.

modified colors

For this one I changed the magenta and went way high on the saturation.  Who knew that the black had magenta tones hidden in it?  This is why you be careful when changing the colors.

And finally if I just didn’t like the red flowers as much, what would happen if I made them purple instead?¬† This one can be complicated depending on how you know how to highlight specific objects in your image editing software.¬† I used magic wand tool, set the tolerance high so it would get all the tone-on-tone of the same flower, and then clicked inside each flower.¬† Pressing Shift while clicking in¬†Photoshop will get you more than one flower at a time.¬† Pressing Alt will ‘unselect’ flowers. ¬†Then I went to the same menu option image hue saturation, and changed the hue of my flowers.¬† Notice the rectangular selection on the top left and the lasso tool just below it.

magic wand tolerance flowers

Here are my purple flowers!  See the tolerance in the picture above is 84.

purple flowers

For this one, I highlighted the background with the magic wand tool – tolerance 45.¬† This was a little trickier due to the fact that the flash isn’t centered on the camera and we’re not looking exactly head on to the quilt and the top of the picture is a little darker in shade than the front.¬† Trying different tolerances and locations to click with the magic wand also makes a difference.¬† Once I had the background¬†highlighted, I clicked on hue/saturation, clicked on the colorize button and chose a dark teal color.¬† Also would be a nice quilt!

This can be useful for many different applications. I would see this could be a way to take your pattern and see if different colors work, or a way to see two fabric values to find out what works value wise.  You could also make variations of the same quilt for several different people with different colors and try it out before you start cutting up fabrics.

… but wait … there’s more!

If you don’t have editing software, but you do have a digital camera, there may be a chance you have a “color value evaluator” right in your camera.¬† I don’t know about cell phone camera options, just my¬†6 year old camera.

In my camera menu there is a color option.  I can do black and white, sepia, negative art, and solarize.  Same song, second verse here.

camera black and white

I always forget I have these settings on my camera because I never use them.  Sepia is nice and rustic.

camera sepia

Negative art is the next picture.¬† Mostly is what NOT to do with colors.¬† Or you could get some interesting combinations this way – I’d find it useful if I was always picking the same types of colors, so instead I could go with a negative result.

camera negative art

Looking at the Quilter’s and Patchworker’s Colour Mixing Bible, you can see the example of how the colorways change what is highlighted on the quilt pattern.

Using my newfound camera black and white skills, this is the same page in black and white.  You can see how each block pieces stand out differently with different color values!

Do you have any other camera / editing tricks you do with your quilts?  What else would you try to change to get some good color results?  Leave me a comment!

Do you want me to research the science behind why your eyes are drawn to contrast?  Let me know.

Some links to the Amazon books referred to in the show (Mimi Dietrich’s pattern is what I used for the applique quilt in all the pictures)

Other podcasts I mentioned

Keep experimenting!