Try these 10 fun photo ideas for quilt blocks to celebrate your progress. If you’re like me, any progress feels amazing because creating is amazing.
Do you feel like celebrating when a quilt block is done? Taking photos along the way is a #bigdeal. We celebrate our members’ progress piece by piece in Make Modern Triangles club every day. We’re all in it together!
My quilt photos capture the big and little moments of the journey. And then the triumph of finishing!
Including some fun and quirky elements in my block photos reflects the reasons why I do this: fun, enjoyment, relaxation and creativity (and a little wine, Netflix and me-time!)
I’ve also found that taking block photos keeps me motivated as I move closer to the big finish. Don’t wait until the last stitch lands in the binding!
Here are my 10 fun photo ideas for quilt blocks to keep the mojo flowing!
10 Fun Photo Ideas for Quilt Blocks
Kids and Pets
1. Here, Sparky!
Our pets love everything about sewing, right?! Lounging on quilt tops, purring under the sewing machine light, napping at our feet. So supportive. They did their part so give them credit for their cuteness and company. I couldn’t do it without him or so he thinks.
Wherever I go, so does Bruce Wayne, the super dog. He might as well be in the photo.
He’s practically the chief “quilt tester”. Shoot. Anytime I put a new quilt on the floor? There he is. Pronto!
2. Kids make everything cuter, especially if you can capture the moment when you GIFT them a new quilt they’ve waited “oh so patiently” for.
You gotta be quick on this one though! That joy is genuine… until you ask them to recreate the moment.
Tip: Wash their hands first. Shut the caps on their markers. Screw the lids on their paint cans... I know this for a reason.
FUN Photos IDEAS Outside Your Home
3. Landscape and Yard
Landscaping offers fantastic textures to contrast and complement your quilt block, such as pavers, railings, rock beds and stone walls.
Tip: Double-sided tape is the hero here and a piece of muslin cut to this size of the block (use basting spray to attach it).
While you can use double sided tape or equipment… a reluctant partner can do just fine holding up his hands just so until you snap the perfect pic (on the 37th try!). I mean, he was talking about “arm day” at the gym… ha!
Every time I wander through a garden shop I bring home something my *yard* needs. Yeah.
No. I kid. I used to buy flowers like I buy fabric. But it turns out plants die if you treat them like your fabric stash. Plants must be tended to right away. Which is why I prefer fabric. I can neglect it and it’s always there for me!
But! Garden and backyard stuff make awesome props. Attach your block to a trellis, topiary cage or window box. Lay it on a carpet of leaves, the greenest grass or a garden bench.
Or do like me and just hold a block just so and then quick, snap a pic! The above picture shows Equilateral Block 54 from the Triangle Expansion Pack, set against one of the things I can grow, my favorite, pink peonies!
Tip: Take your photo at eye level with the center of the block – this minimizes distortion.
5. House as prop
Clothesline, mailboxes, window sills, flag poles, siding, brick walls, front doors and swing sets are all fair game.
Tip: Use double-sided tape, goose clips or clothespins.
Or throw in some peachy props!
quilt Block Photos in Outdoor Places
Always remember, a sense of humor and laughter is allowed!
6. Big nature
My professional quilt photographer friend Kitty Wilkin is known for her photos taken on beaches, boulders and snowy hills. One of my faves is the photo that shows her husband ON a limb OVER a river while gripping a quilt.
Anything for you, honey.
I’m not super outdoorsy or take daredevil risks in the wilderness – pumpkin patches, lavender farms and local parks do just fine. Here’s a shot of Twilight from Modern Triangle Quilts shot on a beach!
Tip: Choose an overcast day because you won’t have to deal with shadows or or washed out shots.
7. Vacationing quilts in far flung places
Packing some blocks on a trip is fun times ten, because scouting out spots is a mini-adventure for me and my kids. And those photos stoke memories like nothing else. “Look! There’s my quilt in line at the entrance to Le Louvre!”
These photos are a bit trickier to take because pesky tourists wander into the frame. I don’t have any tips for that except patience and a ‘C’est la vie’ attitude.
Props and backdrops
8. Backdrops around town
Finding spots around town for quilt photos feels like sleuthing because I personally feel super nerdy taking photos of my quilts around town. DON’T LOOK AT MY BEAUTIFUL QUILT EVERYONE.
I know. I’m weird. Here’s a picture of “Rainbow Triangles” in front of a really cool mural in Houston.
What a great backdrop for that colorful quilt!
Tip: It’s so tempting to focus on the the quirky part instead of the quilt. Equal billing at least!
9. “I’m ready for my close-up” backdrops
While I get creative with photos of my finished projects, I find that small backdrops for your quilt blocks are handy. Keep it simple. Focus on your progress and your little “ta da” moment and keep going!
My go-to is a rough wood backdrop – keep’s it simple and doable. And the wood typically grounds my bright colors while letting them shine!
These blocks are from a Solstice quilt in progress.
A backdrop surface, whether horizontal or vertical, frames your block nicely and can be moved to any location with natural light. The flatter the better because we all know how fabric loves to make shadows! Backdrops can be made out of laminate flooring, Con-tac paper, pre-cut wood, and pretty neutral paper glued to cardboard. Backdrops are perfect in a pinch.
Tip: Light and white backdrops reflect light so pay attention to glare when you’re clicking.
PHOTO IDEAS AT HOME
10. Home Sweet Home
My home is the most convenient space for photo shoots (when the kids are at school!). Quilt blocks shown in their natural habitat make sense. Vignettes work really well in a small area or on furniture. Staging a scene is creative because I’m using props I love from my home – and the colors usually work well with my quilt palettes.
What you just read? Is what I would say if my house was clean and picture worthy, ha!
Full disclosure, the below photo is from the good people at American Patchwork & Quilting, when my “Star Bright” pattern was the cover girl (*blush*).
I find myself more comfortable taking pictures outside, or at an airBnB…but sometimes I do take photos at home. With the below photo of Rainbow Remix, I made my bed and made sure the surroundings were clutter-free. Though I didn’t shut the drawer all the way (what the…?) and I could have put some books on that bedside table. Oh well. Keep it simple, right?
For smaller projects or blocks, use a block as a placemat with utensils or style it like a napkin. Lay it in a breadbasket or “popping up” from a toaster. Hang them in windows frames in groupings or “blooming” from a vase.
Have some fun and get creative. Turn your scrap trash into photo gold by using the scraps to frame the block, like the below photo. It really shows the work that went into making that block!
Lastly, here’s my quickie but goodie: set up a scene with the thread spools used on the quilt. We love our notions, too! This vignette is so satisfying – a little quilty celebration of my progress and fun. The block is front and center because the thread spools sparkle like gems with the color palette.
it’s a wrap: 10 fun photo ideas for quilt blocks
So now, it’s your turn. As you make progress, how will you celebrate with block photos? I hope I’ve sparked your curiosity and sense of adventure, even in your own backyard!