LOOKING BACK // Pretty Scissors

Sometimes when I’m stuck I find myself scrolling through work that we’ve done in the past. Maybe it’s a way to remind myself of where we’ve been, that work comes and goes and to let myself be okay with taking time to reflect and just enjoy what’s right in front of me.

A few years ago now, I bought this pair of scissors at QuiltCon, they stopped me in my tracks and I had to have them. Confession: I have never actually used them, I just love the way they look.


Never one to say ‘no’ to a fun photo opp, Nissa let me stage a shot of the shiny sheers atop a piece of beautiful found wood beneath the most perfect window light. I could look at this image all day…the smooth metal juxtaposed with the rich, textured wood is, to me, perfection.


I encourage you to take a minute to notice and get lost in the beauty of something around you. It might even be something you made. We can get so caught up on creating the next best thing, it’s okay to take a minute to love something you’ve already done.



Photographing a quilt is one of the more difficult things I’ve encountered in my photography career. It’s also one of the reasons I love my job - the challenge - ensuring the quilt is evenly lit, making sure the colors are true/fabrics are represented, and that we accurately capture what makes the work special - is something I really enjoy.

I shot this quilt for Char Maeda, one of the Milwaukee Sewtopia Michael Miller Challenge winners. Isn’t this quilt fantastic?! The color and pattern combinations, the shapes created from the improv blocks, and absolutely stunning quilting.

PHOTOGRAPHING A WHITE QUILT can be quite daunting; there is less margin for error in a lot of ways. The lighting you use must be carefully placed because with white, anything bouncing (like the color of a wall, a piece of furniture, even a shade of white wall bouncing light from the window first before it hits the quilt) will reflect on to the white fabric. It’s also very easy - especially when you’re trying really hard to control the quality of light - to over or underexpose the white fabric while trying to properly light the colored fabrics alongside it.

Here are a few tips to get you started on photographing your own white quilt!


USE THE BIGGEST, SOFTEST LIGHT SOURCE YOU CAN FIND. The bigger the light, the less chance for falloff and reflection of color. Soft light keeps the shadows along the quilting prominent but understated. Ideally, the light source is as big as the quilt is. That means, if you’re using a window to light it indoors, opt for the biggest window or use a big modifier (like a scrim) placed in front of the window

KEEP YOUR SHOOTING AREA AS WHITE AS POSSIBLE. Flooring, colored walls, anything that isn’t white and is bouncing light in your shot can and will reflect color back on to your white quilt and make it look dingy or weird.

KEEP WHITE FOAMCORE AROUND FOR BOUNCING. You won’t always be able to get the biggest light source, and you won’t always be able to be in a white room with nothing of any color nearby to reflect. This is why I keep lots of 30x20 white foamcore boards from the art supply store around - they’re perfect for putting in front of furniture or on top of flooring that is reflecting color we don’t want. They’re like $3 each and endlessly useful!

SHOOT WITH THE QUILT AT A 45 DEGREE ANGLE FROM THE LIGHT AND USE A BOUNCE TO FILL. Sometimes with quilts that are all colored fabrics, I can get away with a simple 45 degree angled light - what you should be doing for every quilt you photograph - without having to bounce on the opposite side. I don’t recommend this for white - because the amount of light falloff between your light source and the “dark” side of the quilt is enough in most simple home lighting scenarios to cause a pretty significant visual difference. It’s very easy to use something large and white - foam core board or even a white sheet - just to bounce the light slightly and fill in the shadows. This will help you to get beautiful, defined quilting but also to bring in light and reduce the amount of color correcting you’ll have to do on the white fabric.


Finally, enjoy the challenge! I love shooting quilts that give me a little bit of a struggle - because I learn something new every time. Play around, try things, and if you get a little stuck, make sure to ask for help in the Page + Pixel Photo School group on Facebook.

+ Nissa

Quilt Design by: Char Maeda
Photography: Page + Pixel

AUTHENTIC & ACCURATE // A Free Gift for Pattern Designers

Hey there, Pattern Designers! There has been a great conversation happening amongst pattern designers around having patterns tested before selling to consumers. There are some pattern designers out there that write up a pattern and sell it without ever making the quilt! While the rest of you are taking pain-staking measures to ensure that your customers will have success (and enjoyment!) by hiring technical editors to review your instructions, hiring pattern testers to make sample quilts (sometimes multiple times!) and illustrators to make sure your step-by-step images make sense.

That’s a lot of effort, time and money but it's worth it, right? To have your customers associate your brand with quality is important. So how can you differentiate from the pattern designers that AREN'T doing quality-control? How can you assure a potential customer that when they purchase your pattern, that you have done all you can to make sure they will be successful?

In a conversation started by Raymond Steeves, Kim Kight suggested that there be a stamp of approval, indicating that a pattern had been tested. After riffing a bit and having fun with it, Nissa and I decided that we wanted to offer you a graphic that you can use on your patterns (print and PDF)! Visit our shop and download this icon to use on your printed patterns, your PDF downloads or even on your website!


Thank you all for having such wonderful, open conversations. Your willingness to share elevates the industry. We hope you are able to find use for our little gift of gratitude.

+ Kristy

VIDEO TUTORIAL // Placing Text in InDesign

Calling all pattern designers that have patterns to publish and have access to InDesign but are procrastinating because “I just don’t know how to get started and are you kidding me with all of the menus and options and toolbars within this freaking program…how is someone supposed to even get started with something like that?”

Does this sound like you?!

Ugh, I’m sorry, it IS frustrating to start working with something new—HELLO! That’s me attempting mitered corners on my binding for EVERY SINGLE QUILT I make.

Take a look at this 6-minute video where I talk about easy ways to import your text into an InDesign file. Throughout the video I throw out little tips and tricks that will make your work time in InDesign more efficient. And stick with the video until the end, I saved the best import method for last!

If you’re feeling ready to do this thing, visit our shop to download a P+P Pattern Design Template that has pre-designed Style Sheets and Master Pages—all you need to do is update the styles with fonts and colors that are specific to your brand.

I will be posting more tutorials specific to the P+P Pattern Design Template. Are there any specific topics you would like me to cover? I’d love to hear from you!

Happy Designing!
+ Kristy

National Craft Book Week

Here is just a small sampling of some of the #craftbooks we have worked on over the years. Between production work, book design, cover design, photography, art direction...we’ve collaborated and contributed to hundreds of craft-sewing books and have loved working on every one of them.


As a book designer, I’m not sure of a better job out there for me. I get to work with artists every day and am always learning something new and am constantly being inspired. To be able to contribute to the sewing and quilting community in this way is an honor and I do not take it for granted.

Here’s to #nationacraftbookweek and ALL of the publishers, authors, editors, photographers, illustrators and designers that are keeping print alive and thriving.

+ Kristy