Instructables

Photographic Quilt and auto-generation program

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My wife has had it in her head to make a flower quilt for several months.  At first, she didn't want my help, but I finally convinced her that I could be of some use generating the pattern.  So, I showed her how to use CorelDraw to reduce the resolution and posterize, then I wrote her a little Python program for generating the pattern and color swatches.

This instructable will take you from a photograph to a sophisticated, collated quilt pattern. In this instructable, we'll just go as far as creating the pattern. We'll photograph the progress of the quilt and post another instructable when it's complete.  Errica [sic] has already done a few squares and you can really see how well it's going to come together!

Software needed:
  • CoelPhotoPaint or another bitmap manipulation program.  (I didn't have much luck with Paint.net, but you can give it a try!)
  • The Python script included in this instructable. 
BTW, we used the Corel programs available at the TechShop!

 
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Step 1: Select an Image

The first step in making a photographic style quilt is to find an image.  This can be tricky!  You will have to zoom in very close and find an image without a lot of detail if you want to have any hope of conveying your idea on a quilt.  You should iterate on a *lot* of images before settling on your final one.   We took several trips around the neighborhood taking photos of all the flowers we could find.  Then we finally had the brilliant idea to visit the local nursery for flowers :-)

Take lots of photos.  Make the close up, and make sure your background looks good.  Here is a quick sample of the photos we took! 



Absolutely amazing! I hope you'll update when the quilt is finished, I know it will be gorgeous - that is the perfect flower to make a quilt out of.

I'm saving this to my favorites - I've always wanted to make a photo quilt. :D
KimTymes4 months ago

I have a quick question if you're still checking this out from time to time. I am having a problem with the palette.jpg because I have it down to 30 colors but the palette is only showing 25 of them. I attached the image here so that you could see, just in case I'm missing something obvious.

Also, thanks so much for doing this, it's a huge help!

palette.jpg
ccrome (author)  KimTymes4 months ago

Oops! You are absolutely correct! The palette.jpg.xxx.jpg files for each separate palette color are generated correctly, but the palette.jpg does not contain all of the squares.

The fix is a 2 line change in the create_quilt.py file:

Change the line
from math import sqrt, pow
to
from math import sqrt, pow, ceil

and
rows = int(sqrt(num_colors))
to
rows = int(ceil(sqrt(num_colors)))

KimTymes ccrome4 months ago

Thanks so much! Now to just get started collecting the fabrics for this FF VII quilt.

gwlaw20091 year ago
can someone send me a step by step method on what to do and what to download , and where. duh . would really like to do a wedding quilt but can not figure this photographic quilt program
ccrome (author)  gwlaw20091 year ago
Okay, on step 4 or so, now there is a 'create_quilt.zip' file that contains a stand alone executable file that will run the program. No need to install python or PIL. It's windows only for now. If you need to run on a mac, let me know, and I can do the same thing for the mac.

-Caleb
ccrome (author)  gwlaw20091 year ago
Hi there,
The program is not a 'point-and-click' simple program. You do have to go through the steps detailed in the instructable up to step 3 yourself, which includes choosing the image, reducing the resolution, and reducing the colors down to something manageable, like 30 colors.

I assume that you have done that. The next step is running the program. Oopsie! Looks like the 'create_quilt.py' file is broken. I need to re-upload it. Unfortunately, it's at home, so I'll have to do it tonight.

If you already have an image ready for 'quiltifying', you can send me a message and I'll run the program for you.

-Caleb
jwgwlaw2009@gmail.com
I cant wait to see more of this quilt! and make my own:)
ccrome (author)  brittniepearl1 year ago
It's coming along! About 30% done :-)
fufugirl1 year ago
Hey Caleb and Errica,

It's pretty amazing that you've figured out how to program & do the process. Errica your quilt is going to be show-worthy. It's really starting to take shape. More! Show us another ujpdate.

Caleb. I want my own program!! Can you get it to me via your dad?
ccrome (author)  fufugirl1 year ago
Hi FufuMa,
Thank you!! I just went to the fabric store with the photo swatches that mostly match my big print out of the whole flower. You can see what I'm working off of to the left of the quilt blocks. I made sure that they fit what the computer was aiming for by looking at both the "map" and the real photo. I also picked what I liked together and changed the background that was mostly black to dark greens and blues. I also went with all batiks because they flow nicely together and each one has more than one color. The big block of mustardy yellow is going to be ripped out and replaced with a batik.
ccrome (author)  fufugirl1 year ago
Hi fufu,
Programming is kinda my thang. :-) Anyway, here's another sneak preview. Also, I'll see if I can package the program in an easy way that you could use.

preview2.jpg
fufugirl1 year ago
Wowie Kazowie!! Errica, it's gorgeous!! Were you able to select exactly 30 colors, or did you have to select several of a color to allow for fudge factor ... or does Caleb;s program give a result that's true to color? Fabric stores don't print RGB values on fabrics,so how do you gauge a fabric color to the RGB values?? Color wheel? Use colors as the printer sees them? Would love to know the answer to that.

Errica what is the finished size? And Caleb, does your program allow the user to plug in finished size &the work backwards from there to choose size of individual blocks? How do you control block size if you want a specific sized quilt? So many questions ...

The result is veryvery implressive!
ccrome (author) 1 year ago
Ya, looks to be shaping up really well so far. I think she's something like 1/20th done already :-)