nancy zieman blog audition fabric



Sometimes I wonder how I managed without a digital camera! At my  office, we have three cameras strategically located to take photos of step-by-step sewing techniques, fabric layouts, or design ideas. Later I use these images during the process of writing sewing instructions, TV scripts, or planning photography. Yet, the most valuable use of a digital camera in the sewing studio is to audition fabrics. Similar to an optometrist appointment when you’re asked which view is clearer, you can choose which fabric combinations or border selections are the best by viewing images on your computer. (Can’t you hear your eye doctor saying, “Which is clearer, #1 or #2?”)

This past week I’ve been working on a new landscape quilt in my home sewing studio. My quilting buddy, Natalie Sewell, and I had a quilting date several Saturday’s ago, and I came home inspired to finish the design. The quilt design is far from complete, this is how it looks on my design wall.


nancy zieman blog audition fabrics



The inspiration came from a calendar photo.


nancy zieman blog audition fabric



A couple of nights ago, I decided to audition prospective borders and binding options. I took photos, downloaded them to my computer and made the decision while clicking through the images. Here’s the border auditioning process:

Option #1

My first inclination was to audition a bound edge, not a border/binding combo. I am pleased with the pale purple hand-dyed fabric accent. Do you like this binding only option?


nancy zieman blog quilt borders



Option #2

Then I thought…hmm, why not see what that same pale purple fabric would look like as a border? Since I didn’t want to cut fabric that possibly wouldn’t make the grade, my mind has to envision this fabric added all around the quilt.


nancy zieman blog audition fabric



Option #3

The next audition features a green border. It’s the same fabric used for the leaves.


nancy zieman blog audition fabric



Option #4

Then, I dug deep in my fabric stash to find a deep purple. Thinking that the background has splotches of deep purple, maybe a dark border is the best choice.






Vote for your choice!

So what option would you choose? Please vote by making a post on my blog. Remember, you must envision the border/binding around all four edges! I’ll choose a random winner. That person will receive a copy of Landscape Quilting Workshop DVD. Then, I’ll see if my choice matches yours.


Landscape Quilting Workshop DVD



Auditioning fabrics is not limited to borders

I use the digital camera for almost all fabric selections. It’s easy to see on my computer screen which combo is best when the colorations are side by side. Here are the recent fabric choice images we took for a quilt pattern I designed for McCall’s. (You’ll see the finished project very soon in an upcoming blog.) These color combos would all work. But, when I was able to compare them in one glance, I chose Collection A.

Collection A


nancy zieman blog audition fabric



Collection B


nancy zieman blog audition fabric



Collection C


nancy zieman blog audition fabric



I hope you’ll use your camera in the sewing and quilting process to audition fabrics. I know you’ll enjoy the results!

Bye for now,

Nancy Zieman The Blog

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