Monday, September 10, 2018

Border Quilt Interview with Kelly

For the weeks leading up to the Quilt Along, which now starts September 12, there will be a quilty interview with bloggers participating in the quilt along. The fabric designer, quilter and the photographer of the Enchanted Forest version will be interviewed as well. You can look for a new interview every Monday and Thursday now until September 10th. Find all the information for the quilt along HERE.

So grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine depending on the time of day in your area and lets get to know Kelly, photographer of all the PBJ quilts.

PBJ: Name and business name: Kelly Simonsen, Simonsen Photography/Handmade Boy
PBJ: What inspired you to become a photographer?
Kelly: I started taking pictures when my daughter would always cry when I took her to the portrait studio. I had a camera and decided I would just take my own of her. From there, I started learning about exposure and posing to increase the quality of photos I was taking of my children. And the rest, as they say, is history!
PBJ: What is your favorite part of photography? Your least favorite part?
Kelly: I love composing the image in my head. Taking the subject and finding the perfect location and creating that image to share with people. I really dislike editing. I am not built to sit at a computer for hours at a time. I don’t have heavily photoshopped images for this reason.

PBJ: When choosing your locations for shooting quilts what do you look for? Have
you ever changed your mind about a spot when you received the quilt and had it in hand?
Kelly: Lighting is the first thing I look for. Good lighting makes the picture. But, in the case of photographing quilts, I look for a place to hang the quilt. I prefer to have the quilt part of the setting, instead of somebody just holding it up in the setting. Once I find a place to hang the quilt, with a background I like, I will wait till the right time of day to shoot, so the light is ideal. This can vary with each location. Usually, I have a place in mind before the quilts arrive since I ask to see a picture before they are shipped. There have been a couple times though, that the quilt just didn’t fit the location and I changed it up. Or, I received a quilt and it was too big to hang where I had planned, so location needed to change.
PBJ: There was some difficulty in getting the colors of the Enchanted Forest fabrics to show well. Can you share a bit about what caused the difficulty and how you fixed it?

Kelly: The low tones of the quilt didn’t allow for enough contrast for the blocks to really show up from a distance. Add in some bright sunlight, and the creams and whites got over exposed easily compared to the blues and browns. This was a case where I did have to change locations to get the colors to accurately photograph. Moving the quilt to the shade and shooting later in the day did the trick.
PBJ: Did you take any photography classes?
Kelly: No formal schooling. I did take a digital photography class in college, but didn't learn anything I didn't already now. I have taken lots of art classes and the skills of composition do carry over into photography.

PBJ: What camera do you shoot with?
Kelly: I shoot with a Canon 6D MarkII and edit mainly in Lghtroom, but will sometimes do some touch ups in photoshop if I feel the need. I shoot in RAW, always and manual mode.

PBJ: Tell me a little bit more about your experience as a photographer.

Kelly: I have been shooting photography for 15 years. Photographing quilts is very different than photographing people. It's not as easy as you would think. You have to find a great location to showcase the quilt and figure out a way to display it. It took a lot of trial and error to come up with a way to hang quilts so they show as much of the front as possible. Lugging them to locations, especially if I am taking into a trail and setting up can be quite the work out!!

PBJ: Is there one "thing" you would recommend perfecting first when shooting photographs?

Kelly: Learning to find good light. You don' tneed a fancy camera to do it. You can use a phone even! If you don't have good light, you don't have a good photograph. Poor lighting is not something you cna "fix in post.
PBJ: Who taught you/ or inspired you to learn to quilt?
Kelly: I am pretty much self taught, with questions getting answered as I go by Jen, or by chatting with my mother in law. I don’t know if anybody inspired me to quilt, I am always picking up new creative processes, and since I sew (mostly clothes), quilting seemed pretty natural.
PBJ: What is your favorite part of the quilting process:
Kelly: Picking the fabric, of course!
PBJ: What is your least favorite part?
Kelly: Sewing the same block a hundred times. Samplers are my favorite!

PBJ: What is your favorite quilty tool?
Kelly: Rotary cutter, mat and my 6x24” ruler.
PBJ: What is your favorite color? Do you use it in your quilts? If not, what color do you
find yourself using a lot? Why do you use that color the most?
Kelly: I don’t really have a favorite color, maybe peacock. I love all colors! And I do use them all!
PBJ: When sewing, do you watch T.V. / movies, listen to music, have it quiet?
Kelly: Quiet. Love the quiet!
PBJ: How much time do you spend quilting a day?
Kelly: Quilting? It really just depends on what is going on. I probably quilt a few times a month. I sew clothes almost daily though!
PBJ: If you had to choose between quilting cotton, batiks or flannels to sew with *for
the rest of your life* which would you choose? Why?
Kelly: Quilting cotton. It’s perfect for any season! Flannel is a close second though. It’s so cozy!
PBJ: You are taking a quilting cruise, who’s your teacher?
Kelly: Jen, of course!!
PBJ: Does your sewing machine have a name?
Kelly: Nope. Well, maybe “Beast” when I have to lug it around. It’s heavy!!
PBJ: Does your seam ripper have a name?
Kelly: No. But my 8 year old son calls it the “unstitcher”. LOL
PBJ: When was the last time you changed your needle?
Kelly: This morning. Removed a ball point needle and changed to a universal for a cotton woven shirt.
PBJ: We have a big quilt along coming up. What is your advice to any quilter new to
the quilt along world?
Kelly: Just jump in and have fun!! Don’t stress out if you fall behind, the internet will still be there with the quilt along waiting, when you are ready.
PBJ: Just a quick note from me. Kelly is an amazing seamstress and she is currently part of Project Run and Play Season 17. They've just announced the week 2 challenge and I can't wait to see what Kelly puts together, but we have to wait until Tuesday. Head over and cheer her on this week!

Facebook: Facebook
Instagram: handmade_boy

Interview Schedule

July 27 - Nancy - Masterpiece Quilting
July 30 - Vicki - My Creative Corner3
Aug 2 - Becca - Pretty Piney
Aug 6 - Kate - Seams Like A Dream
Aug 9 - Terri - Lizard Creek Quilting
Aug 13 - Joanne - Quilts By Joanne
Aug 16 - Marija - Mara Quilt Designs
Aug 20 - Alison - Little Bunny Quilts
Aug 23 - Stephanie - Quilt'n' Party
Aug 27 - Daphne - Daphne Greig
Aug 30 - Tara - The Quilt District
Sept 3 - Hilltop Designs
Sept 6 - Tracy (quilter) - Fabrics Plus
Sept 10 - Kelly (photographer) - Handmade Boy
Sept 12 - Quilt along begins!

I hope you enjoyed getting to know a little bit about Kelly. If you have any questions for her, please put them in the comments, with an email address if your settings are set for no reply, and I will make sure she sees them. I hope you follow her and give her some quilty love!

The Quilt Along starts in TWO days!! Are you ready?!
Paper Pattern: Etsy Shop
Digital Pattern: Etsy Shop
Digital Pattern: Craftsy
Digital Pattern: Payhip

Happy Stitching!

New to Patterns By Jen?

Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.

The Border Quilt Quilt Along is coming September 2018

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for daily sneak peeks and updates.

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