Monday, July 16, 2012

More Adventures in Quilt Photography

I tried to show these pictures last week in one of the posts eaten by BlogPress.  I am home now with my laptop, so I can finally post about the last two weeks' fun.  I hope you aren't sick of seeing this quilt by now, but I need to show it one last time, completely finished and photographed at one of my favorite hiking spots.

Peace, Love and Happiness resting at the rocks.
Almost two weeks ago, I celebrated a really big birthday.  I started this quilt at last year's Gruber's retreat (tomorrow I will share pictures from this year's retreat).  The name says it all: is a peace sign after all, Love.....Amy Butler Love fabric used exclusively in the pinwheels, Happiness....happy to sew with friends.  Wouldn't it be nice to also photograph Peace, Love and Happiness in my happy place?!

Can you see my happy place waaaayyyy up there in the distance?
I thought this was a brilliant idea.  Let's just say only on my birthday (and probably just because it was my 50th) could I get away with such a thing!  The group except for my daughter who would rather do anything than hike wasn't opposed to hiking Beehive Basin, and my husband and daughter are used to me stopping to take pictures of wildflowers along the way, but the challenges of hiking and photographing a quilt are another matter entirely.  The experience ended up being similar to this adventure in quilt photography rather than the ease of photographing my recently finished Liberated quilt.

Quilt wrapped in plastic to protect against the dirtiness that is the inside of my backpack.
Do you know how much a quilt weighs?  This one weighs 3.8 pounds.  That's not much, but it is rather bulky and took up my entire backpack.  Luckily, since it was my birthday, others carried what they considered the essentials:  food, water, bear spray.  Did I mention this hike is an all day hike?  Unless you are younger, in better shape, not walking with two kids and two unwilling teenagers, and not taking photographs, you can probably do this hike in two-three hours.

That's me in the middle with the messy hair.....not the young blonde on the end ;-)
So we are hiking along fine on a very hot and sunny day and stop at "the rocks" to eat lunch, take our obligatory group photo and rest before starting the second and hardest part of the hike to the top.

New camera with wide angle lens for turning 50!
Did you know that quilts come in handy as a tripod for taking photos with the self-timer feature?  The kids (and adults) roll their eyes at me when I suggest the group photo, set the timer and run into the picture, but I think they secretly enjoy this part.

Look at those angry skies.
While resting at the rocks I notice really dark clouds hovering over my happy place, so I suggest we take quilt photos at the rocks just in case we don't make it to the top.  I direct my husband to hold up the quilt so I can take a photo.  I wasn't counting on the windy conditions and the fact that four people would be needed to hold the quilt down.  It's a good thing the cousins were visiting!

The cousins realizing the quilt is a peace sign....."cool"....

How many people does it take to photograph a quilt?!
 I have to thank my family for being such good sports about this.  The wind was blowing all over the place, hats were flying off, and I was a little bossy.  I didn't hear any complaints about how many pictures I took (don't worry, I won't show them all), and no one rushed me to finish.  Again....only on my birthday.....

Yeah, it work's better when the kids are holding the bottom and the tall people are holding the top.
"OK, can we go now?"
 By the time we reached the top of Beehive Basin (and we did make it to the top), the rain was coming down hard and then we got hailed on.  That plastic bag protecting the quilt came in handy for holding my camera too.  I pulled out my cell phone and snapped a quick pic of the two teenagers at the top, but there would be no quilt photography going on here today.

Beehive Basin on a sunny day
Celebrating my 45th birthday
Learning photoshop is on my list of things to do....maybe I'll photoshop the quilt into the pictures I took on my 45th birthday.....

Of course, the sun was shining and the wind had disappeared by the time we reached the rocks on the way down.  I took advantage of the situation and had my husband take a few photos of me holding the quilt.  I AM smiling!

So, even though I didn't get any pictures of Peace, Love and Happiness at the top of Beehive Basin, at least I have some of Lone Mountain in the background.  It's all good!

Quilt Stats:  Peace, Love and Happiness; 73ish" square; started July 2011, finished July 2012; fabric is Amy Butler Love prints for the pinwheels, Kona Snow for background, Kona Teal and Ash for the backing, scrappy binding; quilted with a walking foot using Connecting Threads; pattern design, quilt made and quilted by yours truly.
Give yourself a pat on the back if you made it all the way to the bottom of this post!  Stay tuned...tomorrow is retreating at Gruber's.....


  1. Welcome home! Great to see your quilt again, especially in your happy place. Such beautiful scenery.

  2. We have those same adventures in quilt photography around here. My last attempt was as a storm was rolling through, and all the horses thought they needed to "help"! Can't wait to see your retreat pictures! And I don't think I'll be hiking anywhere on my 50th. Haven't yet decided what to do. Trying to just ignore that it's almost here!

  3. Happy belated birthday, Rene'! I have never taken a quilt hiking but it looks like an entertaining experience:)

  4. Love your quilt in the mountains. So pretty. Bear spray? Oh my! I gotta quit whining about harmless snakes.

  5. Great story, I'm so glad you persevered to repost this despite the frustrations of last week with Blogpress! And, I'm really liking your blog stats info--I may have to "borrow" that idea from you. ;-) The last pic is awesome and needs to be a postcard I think!

  6. I never get tired of seeing your Peace, Love, and Happiness's one of my favorites!! I love your photo shoot and story...y'all were such troopers ;-)I can't think of a more beautiful place to showcase your quilts!!

  7. Now, that was an entertaining read about photographing a quilt! Congrats on the new camera and lens and on finishing another gorgeous quilt.

  8. I didn't realize your happy place was such a hike! But it is an amazing place - glad you had some willing hike buddies for your quilty birthday.

  9. I never get tired of seeing your Peace, Love, and Happiness's one of my favorites!! I love your photo shoot and story...y'all were such troopers ;-)I can't think of a more beautiful place to showcase your quilts!!

  10. The things we'll do for a photo shoot!! :D
    The quilt looks great, and hiking is a great way to celebrate your birthday! Happy belated Birthday!

  11. Glad you had a special birthday. Your quilt is beautiful and what a wonderful setting for taking lots of photos. I would have to stop and take lots of photos too.

  12. Awesome post! And quilt! Love it. It's beautiful :)

  13. I love this post and your quilt. These are some really fabulous photos and will be great for your cards, too! LOVE!

  14. By chance is the peace sign pattern for sale?
    I love it!

    1. Thank you! I'm hoping soon to write out the pattern. Email me with your contact info if you are interested.