April Showers bring May Flowers .. and photo tips!

by | May 16, 2020 | Adult Blankets, Baby Blankets, Home Decor Projects, Kits, Posts by Sheila | 0 comments

In the Northwest – we have lots of rain – and luckily it brings LOTS of flowers.  Just walking around the neighborhood is a delight – there are flowers everywhere – my April favorites are Azaleas and Rhododendrons

In May – we get Iris and Rose.  They were the inspiration for two of our patterns. These Iris grow in the median of our nearby street.

We live across the river from Portland, Oregon – also known as the City of Roses. Just outside of the downtown area you will find the International Rose Test Garden – this one is called the Peace Rose.

They also have a Rose Parade – where all the floats must be decorated using all natural materials … and LOTS of flowers. Our girl scout troops use to volunteer each year to help decorate the floats.

Kayla and Erica hard at work
One year Pat’s mom and dad were in town and they came to help too.

Kira designed the My Fair Rose pattern as the quilt she would use in the crib for her new baby girl.  The crib size one is 40” by 50”.  She designed it to look like stained glass.  She used cuddle fabrics as the pieces for the rose – and then used a really soft cuddle fabric as the background.  You trace all the pieces on a fusible web like steam-a-seam and then iron them onto the back of the appropriate fabric and cut them out and stitch them down on your background fabric.  It works best to start at the center of the design and place the pieces where they belong and work your way out to the edge of the design.    

We put together a kit to make it easier for you to make one for yourself – It has all ten of the cuddle pieces you will need for the appliques for the rose and the professionally printed pattern – One sheet is the size of a blueprint – and the design is pretty large. We originally sold the kit for $45 but we just reduced the price to $35.

She created the pattern in two additional sizes.  8” x 10” and 11”x17”.  I created a version from batiks and my husband made me a cedar from so I could display it.

If you would like to purchase the pattern – the professionally printed version that we mail to you is $15 and it includes the blueprint sized pattern for the 40″ x 50″ design. Click here for that version.

The downloadable pattern is just $7 and you will be sent files with the directions and the 8.5″ x 10″ applique and the 11″ x 17″ applique that can be printed at home. You will also have a file for the 40″ x 50″ applique but that will need to be printed at a local print service that can print blueprint size – in our area, our local FedEx Kinkos and Staples can print those files. If you would like the downloadable version of the pattern, click here.

I love Iris so I decided to make a stained glass pattern for it. Iris come in so many different colors – blues, yellows, purples – you can change the colors to be your favorites. To keep it calming yet fun – I put a warm furry light blue on the back of the quilt and used a navy blue piping between the layers … and no batting.

Now for the photo tip – I LOVE being out in nature – the mountains, the rivers, the woods, and especially the flowers. I used to take my big camera and my telephoto lens so I could get back away from the flower and set the depth of field so the flower would be in focus and the background would be out of focus. That what I did for the Peace rose picture earlier in the blog – notice how the background is blurred – but I was a LONG way back and the camera was on my tripod to keep it steady. I just figured out a cool way to do the same thing with my iPhone. Here are the subjects – the iris that are just growing in the median near my house.

I have the iPhone 11 Pro – which I LOVE – it has three cameras built in – and it has different shooting ‘modes’ – one of them is called portrait – typically used to photograph people because it keeps the subject in focus and blurs the background – I wondered if it would work for flowers as well – and the answer is YES!

Yes – that is just the street in the background – but it works because the Iris is in focus and the background is blurred.

When you are using the portrait mode – it might tell you to move farther back – that allows it to blur the background – I back up until it says natural light in my case because I am outside – and then tap on the subject on my screen to make sure it is focusing on the right area – and then snap the picture.

I found that I had to back up quite a bit to get this shot of the wild iris on my hike this morning – so I had more background than I wanted in the picture – no problem – I just cropped it to the size that I wanted.

The iPhone 11 Pro also takes amazing close up pictures – I always loved loved the paintings of flowers by Georgia O’Keeffee and tried to mimic her work when I took photos – but once again – I needed my macro lens or the telephoto lens and a tripod and the ability to zoom in really close – but once again – the iPhone does a pretty amazing job.

This is just by zooming in close and touching the screen so it focuses where you want it to focus.

Hope you find the photo tip useful – Happy Sewing … and Happy Snapping!



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