Thursday, August 9, 2012

Thursday Tidbit - Using Your Phone as a Design Tool

I hope this is not a "Captain Obvious" post, but did you know that you might be carrying an important design tool in your pocket every day?  I'm talking about your cell phone if it has a camera!

I use the camera on my phone ALL THE TIME when it comes to laying out blocks or entire quilts.  I arrange things like I want them, snap a picture, and then refer to the photo when it comes time to sew things together.

For example, here's my Grandmother's Double Diamond quilt laid out on my living room floor.
As you can see, the photo doesn't have to be pretty - I just used it as a reference for color and block placement.

When laying out a quilt, sometimes you can get better perspective from a photo than you can from looking at the actual blocks.  The smaller scale allows you to see if you have a block turned wrong or if you have a certain color bunched up in one area.

I was at a retreat in May and there was one main design wall.  I was putting a quilt together and used the design wall to arrange my blocks.  Since there were many of us sharing the same space, after I got the arrangement I wanted, I snapped a photo with my phone.  I then took down all my blocks and let someone else use the space.  But I had no fears of getting blocks out of order - I just used my photo for reference at my sewing station!

A photo on your phone is also great for putting blocks or small quilts together, especially if you are travelling.  I worked on the Go and Sew Mini Quilt while travelling to Quilt Market in May.  Here's my hexagons laid out on my lap desk at home.

After I took my picture, I threw all the hexagons in a bag and hit the road.

Here's the finished quilt.  Every hexagon ended up right where I wanted it.
I did the same thing a few weeks ago while on vacation.  The layout:
And the finished mini quilt:
As you can see, I didn't lay out the white pieces.  I knew those would be all the same.  But I wanted to make sure that I got the placement of the colored pieces right.

Isn't it great when you can transform your cell phone into a Pocket Design Wall?

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