Cameras are a blogger's best friend for documenting the various steps and the finished projects of our quilting endeavors.
But, aside from the standard uses of taking pictures to share with friends, I have found many other times where having a camera in the quilt room has helped me with the quilting itself.
One of the handiest uses of my camera is to take a picture of my blocks when they are arranged the way I want them in the final quilt. The photo(s) serve as a placement diagram while I sew them together. Here are 20 Monkey Wrench blocks in the order I wanted to sew them together. Having a photo to refer to as I sewed the rows and columns together helped to keep me from mixing them up.
For another example, this "Ring Around" quilt did not have a simple row-by-row assembly. Marking it with row numbers and column numbers would have been impossible.
I took a photo of the blocks as they were arranged on my living room floor. Then I drew lines on the photo to show how the quilt could be broken up into quadrants that were easier to sew.
I sewed each quadrant at a time, using the photo as a guide, and then referred to it again to sew the quadrants together.
I also use my camera to audition fabrics. In this example, I was trying to choose a border design. I took a picture of each possiblity, and then could look at them all together.
On larger quilts especially, it can be hard to see the overall effect until seen through the eyes of a camera lens. I wanted to add appliqued flowers to the border of this Pineapple Blossom quilt, but wasn't sure where they should go. I placed some fabric squares in different areas of the border and took photos of each to decide where I liked them best:
There are also other ways that taking photos of works in progress has helped. When making a quilt using Granny Square blocks, for example, I took one photo of the back of a block to remind me which direction I wanted to press the seams.
Since I like to make scrappy quilts, my first decisions are which combination of fabrics will go together in each block. I take a photo of the groups of fabrics after I have chosen them. At the cutting table, I can rearrange the fabrics to make the cutting easy, knowing that I can refer to my photo put them back into their groups. For example, these four sets of fabrics
became these four completed blocks:
One last idea I would like to mention is using the camera to take a photo of a quilting technique, such as proper ruler placement of a ruler.
I was always the girl who took pictures, even before the digital age of cameras when you had to factor in the price of the film and the developing costs. With digital cameras, it is so easy, (and cheap!) to record anything and everything, so I thought I would share these ideas about how I use the camera in the quilt room.