Friday, October 18, 2013


A couple of weeks ago I read this article on how to buy lightbulbs in The Washington Post. It made me realize that the problem with photographing things on my design wall wasn't just a problem with my little point and shoot camera but also the lighting. My sewing room is in the basement so my only source of light is artificial.

I learned from the article that the lower the kelvin number (2700-3000) the more yellow the light. The higher the kelvin number (5500-6500) the bluer the light. White light is 3500-4100. Typically, modern decor looks better with whiter light and traditional decor looks better with yellow light.

Last night Dave was going to Home Depot so I asked him to pick me up some light bulbs on the white/blue spectrum.

Here is a before photo of the Sisters Choice blocks I've been working on.

CFL 750 lumens 2700 kelvin

And here is the after photo (with a few additional blocks).

CFL 800 lumens 5000 kelvin

Quite a difference! I'm going to pay more attention to lighting in the rest of my house now.

These blocks are for a quilt for baby Halle, my great niece. What do I need more or less of? Any advice is greatly appreciated. I just started making blocks without much of a plan. I really should take the time to pull fabrics first.


  1. Wow, what a difference! That is really interesting, thank you.
    Your blocks are beautiful! My favorite is the second from the left in the upper row (with the yellow background).

  2. Huge difference! I love now knowing what to ask for at the lighting store.

    As for Halle's quilt, I'd reinforce the trend that you've already set by following through with the pink/red/purple/blue selections. They look marvelous in the blocks you've already amassed, so who wants to argue with success?

  3. Wow, your photos speak volumes! Thanks for the education!
    I love Sister's Choice blocks. These are beautiful and will make a sweet baby quilt. My only thought is making a few more random blocks where the corner colors are darker, like the lower right block.

  4. So interesting! I can't believe the difference. Will have to look into this a bit more.:)

  5. so interesting! what a difference the light makes.
    Most photo programs let you fiddle with the exposure and color - have you ever tried that?

  6. So interesting to see the difference between the two pictures! I think your blocks look great.

  7. Good information Maureen... can't believe the difference! Love the Sisters Choice block... my favorite is in the one in the middle of the second row...

  8. The difference in lighting is quite remarkable - very good info on lightbulbs, as my sewing room doesn't get much natural light either - not that I've spent much time in there lately LOL!!!!
    The quilt for your neice turned out beautifully, I agree that light small flower print you used is very pretty!!!!

  9. What a great example. Not only helpful on the design wall, but pulling fabrics for projects. Love the blocks, it will be a darling quilt.

  10. I'm amazed at how much difference the light makes!!! Does it make a difference when you are sewing too? The blocks look awesome!!! It will be a fabulous quilt - you know me - stars and traditional - can't go wrong!!!

    How is your fall going? We have had another big rain - 5 inches over three days! We have been cooler than norm - but no freeze yet. So we are green like spring. We probably won't turn brown until close to Thanksgiving.

    Always glad to see your projects!!

    Blessings dear friend!

  11. Thanks for the insights about the lighting, it does make a huge difference. I think that your great niece's quilt is growing beautifully. Keep doing what you are doing. Maybe some sashing if you think it needs something.

  12. I am astonished at the huge difference the lighting makes! Thank you for such an Illuminating (had to say that, what a dork I am) lesson on the different light bulbs available. I am definitely going to have a closer look at the lighting I am using when quiltmaking and photographing. Love the Sisters Choice blocks.

  13. WOW! What a difference! I had no idea! Thanks for the info.....and I LOVE those blocks! It's going to be so sweet!

  14. what a difference indeed~!!
    i think that i better pay more attention to lighting too . . .

    this is a beautiful collection of blocks~! i think you are doing just fine with your colors/fabrics. i like the 'pops' of red here and there.


  15. It's almost hard to believe that it is the same image. I sew in the basement as well so me thinks its time to try out new bulbs - thanks.

  16. So lovely! :)
    Greetings from Finland!
    Ulla's Quilt World
    Hugs, Ulla