This is my Black Magic Quilt from my book, Improv Paper Piecing: A Modern Approach to Quilt Design. One of my goals for both of my books was to make them feel like New England, the place where I live and work; the place that is home to me. Lucky Spool was accommodating and allowed me to photograph both books. This quilt is black and white and I thought it would contrast so nicely with a red barn backdrop. Always in search of that perfect quilt backdrop, I came across this spot at John Greenleaf Whittier’s birthplace. My mom and I took the quilt over one day to take photos. The caretaker of the property came out and asked us what we were doing. I explained and he was very kind not to laugh at the crazy quilt lady but did warn me that cows would eat anything that they could get their mouths on. That was something I did not know. But I wanted the cow in the picture too, of course! So my mom is hiding behind the quilt here so that I could scream if the cow got too close. She was also peeking to try to help determine that crisis moment. Note that there was also a planter there in her way, just to complicate matters. She grabbed the quilts and stood up the second I took this shot. But I love it! It made me think that I needed to dedicate a post to all the silly things I have done to get the perfect quilt shot…and to invite you to share your stories with me! But first, let’s talk about the quilt for one moment.
Black Magic is an improv take on the traditional Mill and Stars paper pieced block. It’s just a simple grid layout using only that block but by twisting and turning the blocks, it creates some unique and varied negative space. I added a pickle colored binding as a touch of the unexpected! I collected a bunch of black prints and took care to place them properly so that they remained directional in all the blocks.
I think I will work on a post next about all the silly situations I have been in while taking quilt photos. Look for that tomorrow or the next day and please, chime in!