New Blogger Blog Hop

I am so excited to be participating in this year’s New Blogger Blog Hop hosted by the fabulous Beth over at Plum and June. It’s a yearly showcase of new quilt bloggers and is such a good way to meet new people and get tips on blogging & quilting. I remember reading posts over and over last year when I had just started my blog and they were such a big influence on me.

I haven’t taken a lot of time to introduce myself on my blog, so I’m going to take this opportunity! Grab a cup of your favorite bevie and let’s get started! I’m Michelle, a photographer & technical writer, turned obsessed quilter. I live in a tiny house in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest with my husband, our fur monster/dog Rugbie, and our first baby is on the way. We find out if we’re having a boy or girl later this week!

about me

Here are a few random facts about me:
-I use exclamation points a lot, but am trying to get that under control! But I’m excited a lot!
-I love cheese and wine, although currently I don’t drink wine πŸ™
-My favorite place I’ve traveled to is the Galapagos Islands
-I dance awkwardly and with great enthusiasm
-I played soccer in college and consequently have a hard time finding pants that go over my thighs
-Half of my fabric stash is prewashed and half isn’t. I can’t decide which way to go on that
-If you ask me to lunch, I will strongly suggest we get sushi

I have been sewing & quilting for a year and am self taught via the good ol’ internet. I’m drawn to simple, geometric quilt designs and solid fabrics, but have a hard time saying no to florals as well πŸ™‚ This little collage is a good representation of some of the past projects featured on the blog.

about the blog collage
chevron quilt | happy-go-lucky quilt | epp project | photography

My blog currently focuses on the progress of my many projects, but I’m going to start posting my latest adventures in exploring quilt design, naturally dying fabrics, and designing fabric. I also have a quilt photography tutorial series in the works that will debut at the end of the month!

I’d love to briefly share with you a couple of my favorite quilts I’ve made as well as my current work in progress. First is the “almost scrumptious” baby quilt I made for my cousin. It is a relatively simple design but it was the first quilt I made where I really felt like all the steps came naturally to me… I felt like a *real* quilter when I completed it! πŸ™‚

almost scrumptious mosaic

Next is my latest finish, the barn door quilt. This is my favorite quilt I’ve made to date and the first one where I had no limiting factors on the color scheme/fabric selection. I can’t wait to do more projects like this one.

barn door mosaic

My last project is my current one, my picnic quilt. It’s one of the first projects I started last year and I came up with the layout myself. However I was a bit ambitious with my skill level (or lack thereof) at the time, so it was put on hold for a bit. I am back at it now and am currently piecing the used denim I’ve been collecting for the backing. I’m hoping to get it done in time for summer picnics by the lake!

picnic quilt mosaic

Thanks so much for taking some time out to meet me and get a little tour of my online quilting home. I thought it would be fun to end this post with a little “thanks for reading” blog photography tip.

Photography Tip: Using Natural Light

When photographing your projects, use natural light whenever possible, even indoors. This will make a huge difference no matter what kind of camera you use! Don’t use your flash or have overhead lights on. I try to take my photos near a window. If light is too harsh coming through the window, you can diffuse it with some sheer white fabric or white tissue paper. Check out the difference with just a change in the light source:

lighting example

photos are unedited and were taken with an iphone

In the image above, you might notice that the artificial light doesn’t look too terrible, but if you look closely you’ll notice a distinct color shift that makes the fabric colors look more red than they really are. Depending on what type of lights you have in your house, this shift could be even more pronounced.

Here is a look at how this photo was set up:

lighting setup

The fabric backdrop (which I should have ironed :)) is draped over my computer screen. As you can see, it’s nothing fancy, but it gives a nice result.

To really make the image pop, I cropped it & gave it a minor edit. Because I had soft, natural light to begin with, it didn’t need a lot of changes! Now it’s ready for my next Sunday Stash post!

lighting with editing

Stay tuned for more tips in my photography tutorial series coming later this month! I would love to hear what you’d be interested in learning more about in terms of photography or using your camera.

Want to meet a bunch of other new fun bloggers? Check out these folks who are also participating in the blog hop this week!

JenΒ @Β Bower Bird Patch
Afton @Β Quilting Mod
Jessica @Β One English Teacher
Barbara @Β Suzy Homemaker
CynthiaΒ @Β Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework
MaryΒ @Β See Mary Quilt
Laurel @Β Drowning In Fabric
Linda @Β Talking Lunch Box QuiltsΒ 
Rebecca @Β One Wee Bird
Anne @Β Hudson Valley Quilts
Diana @Β Red Delicious Life
Terri @Β Childlike FascinationΒ 

Plum and June

155 thoughts on “New Blogger Blog Hop

  1. Really glad to have visited your blog. I very much like your quilts and am looking forward to seeing more of them. Love your barn door quilt – so striking, and the quilting looks very cool.

    I really appreciate your photography tips as my efforts are mediocre at best. Likewise my editing skills – any tips on cropping and making adjustments to brightness, saturation etc would be most appreciated!

    Best of luck with your pregnancy. Quilting and sewing is surely the best hobby to have when caring for a young baby – no need to leave the house, and it gives the opportunity to be creative, to get that sense of progressing and completing something that doesn’t come from doing washing and housework! The baby bit is so fun, though, and it’s hard to believe (you’ll be thinking ‘You’re perfect, don’t get bigger, just stay like this!’) but they just get more and more and even more adorable.

    Will pop back to your blog soon!
    Kate from Melbourne, Australia

    1. Hi Kate! I’m so glad you visited! Thanks for leaving such a lovely comment! I will definitely have an editing post. I think I will do one using the free editing software and other using photoshop. It should be fun!

      I love your perspective on babies and quilting. As this will be my first, I really don’t know what I’m getting myself into, but I am so excited for all of the adorable-ness πŸ™‚ I’m definitely looking forward to having quilting as a creative outlet. I have a feeling it will be important for me!

  2. I’m so, so excited that you’re going to be doing a photography series. I think what is tricky for me is capturing a full quilt. And, now, I’m seeing more advice to flip pictures to landscape when possible instead of tall portraits that take forever long to scroll through. I’m addicted to portrait shots! I’m going to be trying to work on that, and I can wait to see what other tips you throw out there. For my birthday, I got lights that mimic daylight and diffuser umbrellas on stands; I haven’t played with them yet, but I’m eager to see if they allow me to at least shoot halfway decent process shots in the winter when I wind up doing so much after the sun is down for the day.

    1. I’m so excited that you’re excited about the photography series! πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for the suggestion about best ways to capture a full size quilt. I have been doing the tall portrait pictures as well and I have been brainstorming a few different ways to work around the problems that those bring to the blog. That is so great you got a light set and umbrellas. You are going to get addicted! πŸ™‚ I had been debating doing any posts on lighting setups like that, but it’s such a good solution for dark rooms and long winter days!

    1. Awww, thanks! My fur baby is quite the ham πŸ™‚ Probably because I give him treats after each portrait session, heehee. I am counting down the hours until I find out the gender. So excited!

  3. I cannot wait for your photography series! I’ve heard all of the suggestions before but what really hit home was the photo showing how you set up the shot. Makes a world of difference! I LOVE LOVE LOVE your almost scrumptious baby quilt. Do you have the link to the original pattern? Last but not least, I’m wondering what area of the PNW you reside. I know, lot’s of questions from my end but that’s what this is all about, right? πŸ™‚

  4. I participated in the hop last year anpd learned so much! Love your quilting style and am excited for your photography series:)

  5. Thanks for the photography tips! I need all the help I can get. I have been making the mistake of photographing near the window but with the lights on too. I thought more light was better. Whoops!
    Rugbie is such a cute pooch. Can he play rugby?

    1. I’m so glad you liked the photography tips! I’ll be interested to see if you like your photos better with just natural light. It’s possible that if your artificial light isn’t super close, it might not effect it too much. But it will be a fun experiment! πŸ™‚

      Rugbie would definitely enjoy a game of Rugby. He loves to fetch and really enjoys tackling things πŸ™‚

  6. You’ve accomplished a lot in just a year. I loved the barn door quilt – great design, colors, and precision. How about Sudoku for the last game?

    1. Thanks so much Mary! Suduko is such a great suggestion for a game!!! I recently picked out the third one (nine men’s morris) or I would have totally done that one. Maybe on my next game quilt! πŸ™‚

  7. I’m so glad to have discovered your blog, you’ve got a great sense of style! I also really appreciate how you showed your photography set up – so nice to get a glimpse at how it’s done!

  8. Thanks for the photography tip. I try to take photos outside on my balcony, but the colours are often pale and insipid. I think it has something to do with the balcony’s white glass “railing” and the large amount of sky out beyond, but light compensation doesn’t help. Perhaps this is a topic for another tutorial, says she hopefully.

    1. I’m going to add this to my topic list! Having too much light or too much white or reflections will definitely affect things. It will fun to put together ideas on how to deal with those issues. Thanks for the idea!

  9. Nice to meet you, Michelle! I have been following Plum & June since I participated in this blog hop last year – I get to pay it forward this year with lots of bloggy love! I really enjoyed your post and I want to say thank you for the photography tips – I appreciate the time you took to set up the photo and then explain the various elements of it and how you put it all together to get such a lovely shot. I’ll be back to visit, for sure!

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by and saying hi! It’s so nice to meet people who participated last year! I’m glad to hear you enjoyed my post, it’s always a little nerve wracking to put everything out there! πŸ™‚

  10. Thanks for the photography tips. I love your barn door quilt πŸ™‚ Your picnic quilt is also very fun, the board game blocks are a very cool idea. I’m looking forward to seeing the finish!

  11. welcome to the wonderful world of quilt blogging – I have been at it for 8 years and I learn new things all the time. Love the quilts you show and look forward to seeing the photo tips

  12. Thanks for your fabulous photography quilts this is one area I always struggle with. Good luck with the upcoming pregnancy have you started a quilt for your little one? I’m self taught as well – isn’t the internet and quilting community such a fabulous way to learn.

    1. I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the photography tips. I have been putting off starting a quilt for our little one until we found out the gender. We just did (I’ll be posting it soon :)) so I bought a bunch of fabric over the weekend! It’s so nice to hear from other self taught people. It’s so cool to have access to such fabulous resources!

  13. I loved getting to read some more personal details about your life! Definitely liked the photography tips, too. I’d love to learn more about sharpening, noise, ISO settings (I put mine so much higher than most of what I read so I can be sure to have a quicker shutter speed for sharpness but surely it has some negative effect that I could be improving.) I’m considering a super modest light setup – ironically, winter days are so much easier for me because the leaves block my summer light. Any advice on cheap(er) lighting for non-pros would be great! And, MOST IMPORTANTLY, your quilts are gorgeous!!! Your picnic quilt is going to be fantastic – such a clever design!

    1. Thanks so much Daisy! I love your ideas for future posts on photography, especially thinking about lighting setups for dark spaces. The main issue with having ISO set too high is that you can get excess noise/grain in your images. Sometimes this can look ok (kind of like film grain) but other times it will just look like the quality is poor. It’s a fine balance πŸ™‚

  14. I don’t remember if I commented on this post yet, so I’m commenting again. Your list of fun little tidbits about you are hilarious–and so me! The only changes are that I swam in college, so I have trouble finding anything that fits my shoulders, and that I’ve never been to Galapagos but would LOVE to. My favorite place I’ve traveled to is Costa Rica. I love following your blog and I’m looking forward to seeing more!

    1. Haha, is it bad that I can’t remember if this is your first or second comment? This hop has been busy! πŸ™‚ It is so fun to see all that we have in common. Do you still swim? And Costa Rica is at the top of my travel wish list! I’m going to have to get tips from you at some point.

  15. Thanks for the lighting tip! I’m so glad it’s finally summertime around my neck of the woods. Doing without natural light is such a pain… though I supplement with my trusty OttLite! Great idea using repurposed denim for the back of your picnic quilt – it’ll certainly be durable!

    1. Hey Jenn! So glad you enjoyed the photo tip. I am also very thankful that the sun is out more lately. It’s nice not to have to try to time things for the small window that winter sun exists. I haven’t heard of an OttLite, it looks like a very handy device! I hope the denim will be durable because I don’t think I’ll want to be making another one of these in the foreseeable future πŸ™‚

  16. So fun to know more about you! Love your work and am dying to follow your photography series!!! I love that you showed how you actually set up your pics…really gave some behind the scene tips:) Beautiful work and I can’t wait to follow and see more!

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by Paula! I’m really glad to hear you enjoyed my photography behind the scenes. I can’t wait to get started with the photography series. So glad to hear you will be following along!

  17. I’ve just found you’re blog through Plum and Junes blog hop. Your quilts are gorgeous! Yes, I’m three weeks behind in my blog reading haha.

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