Spoonflower Cheater Quilt – Lesson 4

This week’s lesson for the Spoonflower Cheater Quilt is placing the blocks.  For a look back, here are the links to the previous lessons:
Lesson 1 & 2 – Link
Lesson 3 – Link

In spite of the poll very clearly going to the border I made from last week’s lesson, the design wasn’t sitting right with me.  There was too much room at the top/bottom and it looked funny with the collage blocks added in.  Something about the unused space at the top and bottom was unsettling and I didn’t like it.  I appreciate the feedback, of course, but, I gave it a week to settle in my brain and I’m really liking the polaroid option (below).  Plus, I found a cute camera fabric to work as a backing, so I sampled the blue from the backing fabric image and am using it as my background.  I think this creates a more cohesive quilt – the cameras on the backing fabric, the polaroid frames on the front.

That out of the way, Lesson 4 goes on about how to place the collage blocks and order fabric.  The fabric we designed for in the tutorials is the Organic Cotton Sateen at $27/yard (ouch).  Any other fabric though and the quilt wouldn’t have been long enough, so I get it, but the fabric is pretty expensive.  The custom quilt front I designed came with a designer discount, so that was $24.30.  The quilt label, also printed on Organic Cotton Sateen, I ordered as a test swatch (8″x8″) for $5, containing 6 labels.  The total for the fabric is $59, shipping is another $6, for a grand total of $62.30.  It’s not cheap, but for custom organic cotton fabric, I really can’t compalin.  I decided it would be easier, this being my first time around sewing a quilt, to use regular quilt binding instead of making my own which would involve ordering another whole yard of fabric.  Keep it simple, right?

So, here’s what we have, front and back and the quilt labels (my name is printed on the quilt label, but I’ve removed it here for privacy’s sake)

block-final

Make it Snappy!


Pretty excited to get the fabric!  I’m running a little behind on the tutorials since I wanted to be sure of my quilt topper design decision. No big deal though – once the fabric is here, I can get sewing right away and it should go pretty quickly!

Sources:
Polaroid Frames – Fuzzimo
Label – From my own stock of family photos/postcards
Quilt Back Fabric – Make it Snappy by pennycandy

Spoonflower Cheater Quilt – Lesson 3

This week’s lesson for the Spoonflower Cheater Quilt is Creating the Canvas.  For a look back, the post on Lesson 1 & 2 can be seen here.

I’m no stranger to Photoshop, so this is really the easy part for me.  I feel like this lesson should’ve been combined with adding the collage squares because part of making sure the border works is having the content in the center to fit a border around.  I cheated a little bit and added my collage squares from last week at 12″x12″ just to see how they lined up to make sure my border worked well.

The canvas is set up at 56×36 which is one yard of their sateen fabric, and the border is set up 2.5 inches inside the edge.  I didn’t really like the chain of squares given in the lesson example so I set out to do something completely different.

I started out thinking it would be neat to find a border that mimics a film negative, but ended up not liking all the black from the negative design, and there was no free clipart I could find that fit just right.

Then I moved onto something that would look like a Polaroid photo border,  but those didn’t work either because the porportions looked weird on the canvas.  I may come back to this idea though and put each collage square inside a polaroid border and ditch the quilt border entirely in favor of scattering the polaroidized collage blocks at random angles across the quilt.

Finally, I turned to the old album of family photos from the 1980s-1910s.  It’s an absolute treasure because of the age of the photos and the beautiful backs the photographers had made up.  Every photo acted as a sort of business card, giving the family a treasured photo and the photographer a chance to gather more business.  My first choice was this card back, but it didn’t leave me enough room to put photos in the center.  The border was just too wide.  Moving on, I found this one which was perfectly suited for the layout.  The front of the card holds a photo of two unidentified children who I suspect to be children of a friend of the family.  The photographer’s location was somewhat near where my 2nd great grandfather came from, but he was an orphan, adoped by a family who came to the USA in 1872.  I cleaned up the border with some Photoshop magic and pasted it onto my canvas, having selected a color from the Color Guide.  The instructions pointed to a color guide that you’d have to have printed on fabric and shipped to your home and there was just no time for that, so instead, I checked out this chart which seems to cover most of the basic web color hex codes.  I ended up not using one from that chart, but set Photoshop to show only web colors and used FFCC99 as a sort of peachy neutral to mimic the sepia color of the back of the original photo as close as possible.  Another factor in chosing the color was that we have two dogs who are just about that color, so the hair is less likely to show.  It’s silly, but it’s definitely something to think about since I plan to use this quilt on the couch.

I’m still not entirely set on the border, but who knows, after the next lesson, it may grow on me!

EDIT 10 March 2015: I did futz around and try something different.  I posted a poll here, on Google+, so if you have G+ and want to vote, go ahead!

Background

Spoonflower Cheater Quilt – Lesson 1 & 2

A few weeks ago, Spoonflower announced that they’d be having a Design-A-Long creating a cheater quilt using Instagram photos.  Instagram has become a sort of visual timeline for my life.  I don’t use Facebook at all anymore, but I post a photo to Instagram most days of the week as a sort of, “What I’m Up To,” kind of thing.  It’s fun, and it’s a great way to post a short update, brag about a new knitting project, share something funny you saw, or scope out who else is drinking your favorite whisky (and posting about it).  I’ve got SO many photos in my stream, so the idea of putting a few years of photos into a quilt sounded like a fun thing to me.

Lesson One was pretty simple – sorting photos – so I didn’t cover that here.  Basically, I sorted out for six blocks by color so I had 25 photos of each color.

Lesson Two was this week’s homework – creating collages using PicMonkey.  Typically, this is something I would’ve done in Photoshop, but the PicMonkey interface is really easy to use for this project and made quick work of creating the collage blocks.  Yellow is probably my weakest square (I just don’t take photos of yellow things often enough?), but I like how they all came together!  The Blue and Green are my favorites and happen to be my favorite colors anyway, and the purple one came out pretty well too thanks to my penchant for purple flowers in the garden.  The instructions said that if the colors didn’t work out the way you wanted, you could add effects in PicMonkey to make them fit better, but I really wanted to leave them as they were.  That means it’s not entirely perfect and each block isn’t exactly perfectly representative of the color, but I think it’s still clear enough that it’s not just a jumble of random photos in each square.  What I love most about this is that it’s almost three years worth of stuff – from flowers in the garden, to showshoeing Mt. Washington, a vacation to Scotland, waffles for breakfast, and having beers with friends, there’s so much life in these blocks.  Each tiny square holds a special memory.  It’s really exciting to see this coming together, and I can’t wait to order fabric and get going on the sewing part!

Red Orange
Yellow Green
Blue Purple