Colorized Photo Quilt

Today, I have one last photo quilt for you – a rather unusual idea, but one that worked out very well as you will see from the photos in just a moment.

The quilt designer, Carol, wanted to make a quilt for her husband that could be hung on the wall of their cabin/retreat. She wanted it to be in colors that would coordinate well with the design of the room, and didn’t want the photos to detract from the quilt’s colors.

So, she took several black and white pictures of landscapes and images around the cabin, and took them to a printer to have the photos professionally recolored. If you have access to a good photo editor and are familiar with it’s operation, you can do the same thing at home using your computer (more on this later).

The photos were recolored to coordinate with her fabrics, a subtle green for one set of images, and an orange that is almost a pumpkin color for the other set. She then bordered each picture with two different frames (in their coordinating colors), as you can see below.

Here is an orange/pumpkin block – picture is of a barn.


And a sage green block – the cabin itself.

As you can see, the colorization of the photos adds a nice subtlety to the images. Since this quilt was made not with several small photos, but with nine large blocks – it makes the pictures the focus without making them stand out too harshly.

And here is the finished quilt!

Okay, I promised more about the idea of colorizing blocks. This is for those of you who are willing to experiment a little bit. If you want to colorize photos like this, you will probably need an editing program other than the one that came with your digital camera.

For this blog, the images are all cropped, brightened, and so-forth by my secretary/assistant using a program called Gimp (she tells me it is very versatile, and best of all it is a free program).

Here are the steps she took to colorize the image of a stuffed bear she had on hand when I asked about pictures.
Original Image
Changed to Black and White photo, using the “Colorify” command (no color was chosen so it defaulted to black & white)
A purple hue applied to the black & white image, using the “Colorize” command (the Gimp program uses sliders in this section, simply adjust until you like the color – if colorizing multiple images, make a note of the color values to repeat the exact color).
In this image, the “Colorize” command was used, adjusting both the hue and lightness sliders – to show more of the background the bear is sitting against.
If “Colorize” doesn’t provide the result you like, you can also try the “Hue Saturation” command – which is how this image came about.
Or perhaps red is more the color you are looking for? The choices are truly endless!

If you want to manipulate photos this way, then I suggest trying out the Gimp editor before investing in a more expensive program. The free download can be found here: GIMP – The GNU Image Manipulation Program.

Or, if you prefer to leave such things to the professionals, just about any location where you can make copies or get photo prints can assist you with this.
Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing

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