Quilting and Stuff by Knitnoid

Photographing Quilts




Photographing my finished quilts is always something of a challenge.  I don’t really have a good spot in the house to photograph large quilts. Lighting has to be right. Camera angles have to be right.  I know these things – but doing them is sometimes a challenge.

For Eye Fooler we got close. I promise the quilt is square — but the camera angles were off. Orca Bay on the other hand, I think I pretty much nailed it.

A few years ago my husband built me a quilt rack from some PVC pipe to fit on my fabric shelves.  The supports are permanently attached to the shelves, but the long rail stands in a corner somewhere.  Last night it was in the corner of the garage.


It’s two 8-foot pieces of 1 1/4″ PVC pipe (that’s the interior dimension) joined together in the middle.  To try to keep it from sagging we slide a 5 foot piece of PVC in the center. On both ends he drilled a hole for an S-hook.  Then another S-hook is hooked to it and the gutter. That gives me some place to hang the quilt.  But now I need a sleeve.

I don’t always want a permanent sleeve on my quilt — and I read something several years ago on Bonnie Hunter’s blog.  She was having to un-sew the bottom edge of the sleeve.  The KC Star photographer said they would crop out the sleeve above the quilt. So, with both of these things in mind, I made a temporary sleeve.

I took a 9 inch long piece of 108″ wide fabric (it was left over from Eye Fooler) I folded it in half and took a 1/2″ seam.  108″ is wide–it’s what I had on hand, and it allows me to hang a king size quilt if needed.



I lined up the cut edge along the top of the quilt and used my quilt basting pins to pin along the seam.  Sure the pins show from the front up close, but do you see them in the pictures up above?

Once outside, with help from my husband, we slid the pipe into the sleeve and hung the quilt on the gutter. The excess sleeve simply bunched up on either side of the quilt.


What’s great about this is there is no tell-tale lump at the top of the quilt.

This picture was taken around 7:15 PM.  The sun was far enough over the roof line I still had light, but no glare.   The camera was put on a tripod and I pulled out a level to make sure the camera was square to the world – horizontally & vertically.  Also it must be square to the quilt.

As it turns out the gutter is not square to the world.  So, once I uploaded the pictures to my computer, I used my photo editing software to make the top binding horizontal to the top of the picture.  Then I cropped the photograph from there.

As for the sleeve?  It, the pins I used and the s-hooks are all together waiting for the next quilt to be photographed.

Smaller quilts may still get photographed in the house — but I’ll use my new sleeve to hang it on the shelves instead of pinning the quilt to the shelf.

4 Thoughts on “Photographing Quilts

  1. Brilliant!

  2. Barb B. on May 19, 2015 at 9:01 am said:

    Both quilts are gorgeous. Thanks so much for your description on how to photograph the quilts. Great technique!

  3. Cathy on May 19, 2015 at 9:40 am said:

    Thank you. I too put big quilts on the gutter, but I’d been using pant hangers and disliking that they showed in the photo and it could be difficult to get them and the quilt straight and even. But with your clear and simple directions, I can do this!

  4. I like my clips but the sleeves looks like a great idea. Thanks for sharing.

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