How to take high-quality photographs of your quilt

April 30, 2024

Photographing a quilt is an essential skill for quilters who want to showcase their work, share it online or even enter contests. Whether you’re using a smartphone or a traditional camera, here are some tips to help you capture stunning images of your quilts.

Find the right lighting

Natural light is your best friend when photographing a quilt.

Find a well-lit room near a window. This will allow you to capture great shadows and dimension. You may have to adjust and angle your quilt top depending on the time of day and how much shadow definition you’re looking for. Overcast days can provide soft, even lighting that works well for photographing outside. And best of all, the sun is free, which means you don’t have to buy any additional equipment!

The photos below were taken on a mostly sunny day near the windows in our old store and from the windows in a living room.


How to take high-quality photographs of your quilt - image of colorful quilt on display

How to take high-quality photographs of your quilt - image of floral quilt on display with natural lighting

When natural light isn’t an option, you can also use lighting equipment, such as a ring light. Ring lights are relatively easy to find and affordable and provide a great option to add some additional lighting for your photos.

Positioning the artificial light source on the side of your quilt lets you highlight the quilting design you’ve used, by adding harder shadows and contrast.

If you want to capture the piecing and overall quilt top design, face the ring light or other light source directly in front of the quilt. This will create a “flatter image” allowing you to showcase the quilt top piecing

In these photos we’ve used a ring light positioned on the side of the quilt to show how you can get great shadows for extra details.

How to take high-quality photographs of your quilt - quilt on display with proper lighting

How to take high-quality photographs of your quilt - quilt on display with ring light shining on it

And then we placed the light directly in front of the quilt to get a photo that highlights more of the piecing of the quilt top.

How to take high-quality photographs of your quilt - example of quilt with proper lighting for a picture

Display your quilt

When framing your quilt in your photograph, ensure that it fills the frame without cutting off any edges. Consider the angle at which you’re shooting – straight on or slightly from above are both good options.

Also, remember to pay attention to the background. Choose a clean, simple backdrop that won’t distract from the quilt itself. A solid-colored wall or a piece of fabric can serve as a great backdrop.

Keep your camera stable

To prevent blurry images, use a tripod if you have one. If you don’t have a tripod, stabilize your camera or phone on a flat surface to ensure sharp photos. You can also use a timer to reduce camera shake caused by pressing the shutter button.

Capture the quilt’s details

Capture close-up shots of the intricate details in your quilt. Focus on the stitching, patterns, and fabric textures to highlight the craftsmanship that went into creating the quilt.

Edit your pictures

After taking your photos, you may want to edit them to enhance colors, brightness or contrast. There are several free or paid photo editing apps available that can help you make your quilt photos look their best. Just remember not to overdo it – aim for natural-looking edits that accurately represent your quilt.

Experiment with different angles

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different angles, lighting setups and compositions. Take multiple shots from various perspectives and distances to see what works best for showcasing your quilt. Over time, you’ll develop an eye for what looks good and what doesn’t.

Practice photography skills

Like any skill, photographing quilts takes practice. Take the time to regularly photograph your quilts, even if you’re not planning to share them immediately. The more you practice, the better you’ll become at capturing the essence of your quilts in photos.

Photographing a quilt is a valuable skill that can help you document your work, share it with others and showcase your quilting talents.

By paying attention to lighting, composition, stability, details, editing, experimentation and practice, anyone can learn master photographing their quilts in a way that does justice to the time and effort put into creating them.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to taking beautiful photos of your quilts that you’ll be proud to share with the world!