I’ve been practising zips and photography today. The zip came out pretty well:

Zip practice

I used this excellent tutorial at Kelby Sews – and I think my hit and miss relationship with zips might be at an end. This is good news for 2 reasons.. Firstly I am writing a zippy log cabin coin purse project for the new Modern Quilting magazine (want 10% off a subscription? Click here to find out how!), and it would be a bit rubbish if my zip looked wonky.. And secondly because I want my contribution to the Mouthy Stitches Swap to be super-nice. Looking at the Mouthy Stitches Flickr group I am feeling slightly nervy…! I’ve just dumped this pic into the group pool and no doubt giving my swap partner the horrors – this is not her kind of thing at all! Poor dear…

I’m quite pleased with the pics too. I had a little help last week (at a 2 hour photography session with this guy) with my F numbers, ISOs and stuff, and I think I am gradually getting to grips with things. Considering these were taken at about 4.30 this afternoon, I’m quite pleased.

Patchwork pouch (1)

Mostly just to remind myself… these were taken at F5.6, exposure time of 1/30sec and the ISO was 800. I had the White Balance set for cloudy.. They could be brighter, but they are considerably better than what I have been achieving in glum conditions.

Earlier in the day I took a few pictures of some pincushions I’m going to put in the shop. This was the only decent one of a red tweedy one. I find taking pictures of red stuff absolutely impossible – the colour always seems to come out very orange, I wonder why? I wasn’t so sure about this one, but actually, it’s growing on me.

Tweedy granny pincushion

These are my favourites though. Nice and clear and I’ve got everything pretty much in focus – something I was really struggling with.

Sophisticated granny pincushion

Sophisticated granny pincushion

I think they are a bit too shadowy, but I like them a lot, all the same. The settings I have here are F3.5, exposure Β 1/60 and ISO 200. Would love to hear what you think of them… More time and practice required!

Back tomorrow with a lot less science, and a lot more drawing…


26 thoughts on “Practising..

  1. Your photos look great. I’ve been struggling with mine lately and cannot decide between a plain white background or with props. In this dismal UK winter the light has been casting a very blue shade to the white areas so I have looked at the manual to remind myself how to custom set the white balance and it has made a great difference. If your camera can do the same, give it a try!

  2. Hi Ali, I’ve been subscribed to your blog for a while and just love all your work. I’ve only got round to reading my emails as blogged every day in Jan then just didn’t want to look at the computer, am now wishing I’d looked sooner (nearly 200 new emails to look at). This post made me laugh as I am terrified of zips and spent time this afternoon with my dad showing me how to use my camera, I nodded and smiled in all the right places, just need to practice now for it to make more sense, hehe! Just need to keep working at these things!

    1. Hi Catherine, thanks for such a lovely, thoughtful comment, so glad you like what I make. I think I am gradually getting over my fear of zips (although I still have to do a big gulp before I start!) – I guess it really is a matter of practice. Lol at you and your dad and the camera – I used to be like that when my dad was trying to explain all things car to me… I’ve found if I write about photos on the blog I’m getting quite a lot of helpful advice, so you might want to try that.

  3. I made a coulple more zipped pouches recently but haven’t found a neat enough corner method for zips yet so will definitely check out the tutorial.
    Teresa x

  4. Wow Ali, to me your zips always look perfect anyway and don’t understand how you think they are hit and miss. I will be looking at the link myself. I adore the pouch and your photos look just super to me. Brill work as usual xx

  5. I did my first ever zip today, in fact it was my first ever anything! Yours looks amazing, mine on the other hand is very wonky πŸ™‚

  6. Haha – your feeling slightly nervey about the swap….think about us first timers…we’re positively Sh**ing ourselves!!! it’s fun though…and makes me think more about the design process.

  7. Love the pouch, so just send it to me if your partner freaks πŸ˜‰

    For the photos, to avoid the shadows you need more even lighting. Also, use your flash, it’s not evil, and if you take photos in RAW you can get your white balance sorted too :o)

    1. Thanks Katy – I do like a *bit* of shadow, but perhaps a bit less than I have here. Yes, am going to try flash – the photographer who led the session I went to last week suggested covering it with tissue paper to get a more subtle effect.

    1. Thanks Elly! Putting fabrics together is always a huge struggle… And my work space always looks like a fabric bomb has hit it after I have finished! Shame my work space is also a corner of our front room…

  8. I often have a terrible time with zips, so I’ll be checking out that tutorial!

    I think your photos are lovely. Does your camera allow you to save images as RAW files? I always use these as they give a much bigger margin for error on exposure times – you can go up or down a couple of F stops on computer when you’re editing photos.

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