Tips for Stress-free Design with Digital Imagery

Last week I was in Cleveland to shoot some guest spots on “Quilting Arts TV” and help oversee taping for new Quilting Arts WorkshopTM videos. It was so much fun to see host Pokey Bolton and the other guests!

Diane Doran’s digitally designed notebook covers, taken from photos.

One of the artists who taped “QATV” segments and a Workshop was Diane Rusin Doran. I was especially taken with the techniques she will teach in her Workshop: awesome hand dyed-fabric effects with digital imagery. Diane created gorgeous fabrics you would think were made in a dye studio–but were all done digitally.

I loved her process and it made me resolve, once again, to learn to expand my knowledge of photo-editing software for fiber art.

Watching Diane, I realized it’s not as scary as it seems. Diane is an expert in using photos–even ones taken with her phone–to create beautiful digital collage art quilts. As Diane said in her first Workshop, Digital Collage for Quilt Design, you just have to let yourself have fun and play around with your designs in the software. Don’t take it so seriously!

Here are Diane’s other tips for digital design neophytes:

1. If you like what happens after using a filter or modification, save it for later use. You can always come back and modify it more.

2. Be creative. Look around you at shapes, colors, and lines, and photograph them for use in your collages.

3. Think outside the box. Use photographs in your collages, but also consider scanning in drawings, paintings, old documents or photos, even fabric that you’ve painted, dyed, or screen printed.

On the ‘QATV’ set with Diane and Helen Gregory.

4. If you make a “mistake” just undo it.

5. Think of the computer screen as your virtual design wall. Just as you use a physical design wall to study your composition, your virtual design wall can serve the same purpose.

More and more, I also think of my computer screen (or phone or iPad) as my virtual library. Digital versions of my favorite magazines and other reading material take up less space than the print versions and I can take them with me wherever I go.

Many of our readers now enjoy Quilting Arts in digital form; check out all the ways you can enjoy your favorite quilting magazine your way.

P.S. Have you moved to digital magazines? If not, how do you keep your magazine collection under control? Leave your comments below!

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One thought on “Tips for Stress-free Design with Digital Imagery

  1. Hi, I would like to have compilations of past issues on disk so I can get rid of my paper copies of old issues. I don’t think I am ready to give up my paper copy of the magazine, but I do like the idea of having the issue on the cloud and accessing it at any time. Thanks,

    Clare Gray-Bayne