Diamonds in Progress

The quilt supervisor thinks it is far too early to be working on quilts.

I’m enjoying working on my Bordered Diamond quilt.  The blocks are easy to put together and I love the fabrics. I use electric quilt to help me draft diamond quiltdesign quilts and play with fabrics but for for this quilt, for some reason I was not seeing how to set up the quilt so I could play with fabric choices.  I turned to Al Navas, who is an enthusiastic EQ user and has a blog where he talks both about his experience learning to quilt on a long arm machine and his use of EQ7.  It turned out the solution was pretty simple — just make a block with a border around the outside and use a Variable Point layout.  With that guidance, I have a file I can use to play with color in the blocks.  If I were very organized, I could actually use the fabrics I have at home in the layout, but for now I will content myself with using those already available in the program and just using it as a tool to think about how I want the tone and hue to change in the quilt and what kinds of fabric combinations I should make.

Individual blocksAfter reading some blogs of participants in Kaffe Fassett’s workshops, it seems that most of the quilts alternate between blocks with dark fabrics in the center and light ones in the border, and blocks with light centers and dark borders, throwing in some brights here and there to give the quilt sparkle.  They all seem to audition fabric choices on design boards before finally stitching together the blocks.  Another approach that Karen K. Stone recommends in her book, Karen K. Stone Quilts, is to identify sets of fabrics (in my case probably dark purples, light purples, dark blues, bright blues, maybe bright purples?) and then to keep track of the combinations you use so you can make sure you are not making a lot of one favorite combination and overlooking other possibilities.  Neither of those approaches seems to be working for me on this quilt, so what I have been doing is trying to make sure for each central fabric (most of which I have at least 2 cuts of), I use different borders and different levels of contrast.  Hopefully I will end up with a variety of blocks/from high contrast to mid contrast and in different hue combinations.

Periodically I have seen people posting photos of quilts and bemoaning the difficulty of getting the color to approach the true color of the quilt.  I had a lot of difficulty with today’s pictures as well, and want to share a little trick that seems to help in many cases (of course, my photography standards are still pretty low!). I take a white piece of paper and put it in the corner of the picture I am taking, upload the photo for  editing, and choose the white paper as a neutral in my photo editing software.  The software uses the point you choose (in my case the white paper) to adjust the colors in the rest of the photo.  I use Pic Monkey, where you choose Colors, then Neutral Picker.  After adjusting the photo with a neutral, choosing Auto- Adjust for the photo as a whole, or doing more detailed editing myself gives me a color that is much closer to true.  Just remember to put the paper somewhere you can crop it out later.  Here’s a before and after photo:

The photo were I used the neutral picker is much more true to life. Here are some close ups of blocks I particularly like, after editing using white paper to adjust colors.  I love the framing created by the wavy lines in the 2nd block.  I am also pleased to find the blocks are quite large and there should be room for some interesting quilting in the center of each block at least.

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Linking this up to Linky Tuesday and Let’s Bee Social.



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  1. I really love that pattern, and find your color choices to be very comforting. Can’t wait to see it finished!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have seen lots of variations on the quilt pattern but this is the first time I’ve seen batiks used. It is very, very nice. Looking forward to seeing your progress on this quilt.

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  3. I’ve found that getting blues and purples to register correctly in photos is a bugger. Thanks for the tip. And your quilt should turn out exuberantly great.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love those colours and the quilt deign.
    Thanks also for your comment on my blog. You have got a beautiful blog here, so colourful and inspiring.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s a really good tip! Thanks for sharing that. I love the fabric colors you’ve chosen here and I do believe you’ll end up with a gorgeous quilt!

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  6. I had to hop over here and check out your Diamond blocks, wowzer they are beautiful-those are my favorite colors!! But also wanted to say thanks for your comment on my blog. Since you are a noreply blogger I couldn’t email you back 😦 thanks to the link for EQ7 at Al’s. will check it out, I need all the help I can get, haha.

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  7. I’ve gotten stuck in the groove of pairing favorites too much. Sometimes I catch it before I sew. I abandoned EQ a few editions back when I was limiting my design to what I could do with it. Maybe it is time to try again. You have good colors to work with. Here’s to your being satisfied with the final arrangement.

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    • Thanks! I really like EQ for getting initial ideas and comparing different layouts, though I rarely end up doing exactly what I plan on EQ. I am sure it can do a lot more than I use it for, but even so, like any tool, it can be limiting as well as freeing.


  8. Nice to see you’re back at work – smile – this one looks like its going to be great!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is going to be the most beautiful quilt! Love your fabric and color choices.
    Thank you for that photography tip with Pic Monkey. I noticed something similar with my own camera – that it sometimes needs a reference point of white in the photo in order to adjust the photo colors to something closer to reality.

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  10. I love your diamonds – batiks seem a bit out of fashion these days but nothing beats them for really saturated colour, and this is a perfect example of how great they look. And good photo tip – I’ll definitely give it a go. Thanks too for your comment on my blog – much appreciated :).

    Liked by 1 person

  11. fascinating facts! Thank you for that info. LeeAnna at not afraid of color

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This is a really pretty color palette – love the diamond play going on! Batiks really can be so fantastic.

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  13. I really love these diamonds, Lori. Beautiful!


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