How to take quilt photos on ANY wall

Sunday, February 24, 2019

So you made a beautiful quilt and want to share it with the quilty world, but how do you take a photo of it??


How to take quilt photos on any wall

Maybe the quilt is too large for a friend to hold. Or maybe you don't have a friend that can help you. Or maybe you don't have any place in your home to photograph it.

Well, look no further! Here's what to do!

In my quest to take fun quilty photos for my pattern covers and for photos to use for my blog (you might need photos for entering a quilt show), I've tried out a lot of methods for getting flat shots of my quilts (just ask my husband!). I've tried many different hangers and rods, and I've tried nearly every type of tape invented. But out of everything I've used, there's just one tape that works better than anything else. I use it for small quilts and large quilts. I use it for indoor photos and outdoor photos. I use it on any type of wall and surface. Basically, if I need any quilt photos, I use this tape!


You just need two things for taking a great flat shot of your quilt:


1. 3M Scotch brand green masking tape for hard-to-stick surfaces. This is NOT the same as that blue or green painter's tape. Those will not work the same (yes, I've tried them).

2. A large blank wall. This can be inside or outside. It can be large enough vertically or horizontally. It can be made of sheetrock, wood, brick, metal, or cinder blocks. It can be painted or stained (or not!). It can be a building, garage door, fence, trash dumpster... Your imagination is the limit!

(Of course the sunshine, cloud cover, and time of day will all affect the way your quilt looks too. Experiment! See what works best for your quilt and camera!)

I purchase my 3M Scotch green masking tape at Home Depot, but it's also available on Amazon.


Home Depot

I've looked for it at several different Home Depot locations. It is always with the other tapes near the paint department. (Remember though, it is NOT blue or green painter's tape or Frog tape.)


Different tapes at Home Depot

At this location, it was on a shelf behind the paint mixing area.


Scotch masking tape for hard-to-stick surfaces

The tape is about $5 per roll.

There a few different widths available on  Amazon. I have only found the 1.41" wide version at Home Depot.


3M Scotch masking tape for concrete, brick, and grout

Next, find a wall. I am constantly on the lookout for fun and interesting walls to use for quilt photo shoots! You might be surprised by what you find once you start looking! I like to look for walls and backgrounds that accent the colors in my quilt.

The garage doors of storage facilities are often fun colors, alleyways behind businesses sometimes have great brick walls, schools usually have large exterior walls, and even playgrounds, park gazebos, and bridges can work! Please be sure to ask permission before visiting and taking photographs on any private property.

Also note that the tape is meant to be temporary. Do not leave the tape on any surface (your quilt or a wall) for more than a day. The tape can create a permanent bond that might not be easily removed. The packaging on the tape says to remove within three days, but I've never let it sit for that long. I put the tape on just before going to take pictures, and remove it when I'm done. I've never tested it for longer than a few hours. When removing the tape after a few hours, it is very easy to remove and doesn't leave any residue at all. Very similar to the usual painter's tape.

Once you find the wall you want to use, you need to prep your quilt for photographing. I can usually do this at home before visiting the location.

First, apply strips of tape to the back of the quilt. I like to use pieces that are about 6" long, and I space the strips every 12" or so across the top.


Scotch masking tape for hard-to-stick surfaces

(This quilt is 40" wide, so I just used a strip in each corner and one in the middle.)


Scotch masking tape for hard-to-stick surfaces

If it is windy, then also apply strips on the bottom two corners and down the sides.

Using Scotch masking tape for hard-to-stick surfaces on quilts

Next, make a loop of tape for each strip that you put on the quilt. In the example here, I put a total of seven strips of tape on the back of the quilt, so I made seven tape loops too.

Scotch masking tape for hard-to-stick surfaces

I make the loops from about 6"-8" of tape.

Using Scotch masking tape for quilt photos

Place one loop of tape on each strip.

Using tape to take quilt photos

Now you're ready to hang the quilt!

Once on location, tape the quilt to the wall. Press the tape firmly to the wall. (If you have a particularly stubborn wall, you can put strips of the tape on the wall first just like you did to the back of the quilt. I have not had to do that yet.)

The following photos of my calculator quilt were taken on the side of our house on a very windy day. The wall is painted cement.


Calculator quilt made by Slice of Pi Quilts

The photo below is WITHOUT the tape along the bottom corners and sides.


Calculator quilt made by Slice of Pi Quilts

The photo below is WITH the tape on the bottom corners and sides.


Calculator quilt made by Slice of Pi Quilts

Note that even with the wind blowing the quilt in the first two photos above, the tape is holding the quilt to the painted cement wall perfectly fine.

The calculator quilt pictured above has flannel on the back. I have also used dot minky, regular quilting cotton, and batiks, and all have worked with the tape perfectly as well.

For another example, I used this same 3M Scotch green masking tape for the photos of my Moonrise quilt on this fun turquoise painted cinder block wall.


Moonrise quilt pattern by Slice of Pi Quilts

To give you perspective, the decorative part of the wall is about two feet off the ground, and this quilt is 48" x 60". So the top of the quilt in the photo below is as high as I could reach. It was also a very windy day when I took these photos.


Quilt photos on windy days

In order to get the pattern cover shot, I added tape along all sides of the quilt, then turned the quilt to hang sideways on the wall.


Taking quilt photos sideways

The tape held the quilt perfectly while I took photos.

Moonrise quilt by Slice of Pi Quilts


Then I just rotated the photo when I made the pattern cover! (You can read more about the Moonrise quilt and find links to the pattern here.)

 Moonrise quilt pattern by Slice of Pi Quilts


Another example of a fun wall is this blue wall that I photographed my Sliced watermelon quilt on! This is blue vinyl siding on the exterior of a local business. (Read more about the Sliced quilt and find links to the pattern here.)


Sliced watermelon quilt pattern by Slice of Pi Quilts

Have you tried the green Scotch tape for taking your quilty photos? What other quilt photography tricks have you used?


Be sure to pin this tutorial on Pinterest so you can remember what tape to use for your next quilt photo shoot!

How to take quilt photos on any wall


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19 comments:

  1. Thanks for the tutorial! I'm really excited to try this. I already have a few places in mind.

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  2. Thank you for sharing your secret! I really enjoyed the photos of your great quilts taken in awesome places!

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  3. OMG! Brilliant! Thanks so much, Laura!

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  4. This is great info! Thank you!!

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  5. WOW, that will up my photo game a lot. Thank you for sharing the results of your trial and error.

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  6. Thanks for the tip,I'm to excited to try this 😊

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  7. I absolutely love this! This is going to be a game changer for my photo taking. :D

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  8. I am definiely going to try this!

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  9. Thanks for the tip. Definitely going to buy some of this tape.

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  10. Thank you sew much for sharing this tip!

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  11. uhhh great tip! I was looking for a backdrop for my home for pictures and wondered how to stick a quilt on there, this tape trick is the solution! well first I need good lighting (on order from amazon) now I can start drooling over backdrops. Of course outside natural light is fun and the best but not always possible.

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  12. Great information...thanks very much for sharing this tip!!!

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  13. Great idea! I use this magical green tape for taping quilt sandwiches to the floor for pinning. It really grips the fabric better than any other tape I've tried!

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  14. Gah, what a great idea! Thank you so much for sharing with us!

    Brandy

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  15. Wow, this is enormously helpful. I can't wait to start looking around town for fun walls! One question--since you prep the tape on your quilt before you go to the location, do you have problems with the quilt then sticking to other things during transport? Or am I just clumsier than most?

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  16. Nice tutorial. Thanks for posting and I hope it’s okay to share this to my FB page so I can find it again when I need it!

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  17. Fantastic instructions, thank you. This is similar to what I learned from Quilting JetGirl, but I never got on well with the tapes I tried. I will certainly try to track down some of that green tape.

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  18. Thanks for this technique! Maybe I won’t need DH to put up a clothesline after all! Win-win!!

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Thank you for visiting and for your comments! I try to reply to comments via email, so if you're expecting a response and don't hear from me, check if you're a no-reply blogger. Happy sewing!

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