Eye of the Beholder

original applique patterns inspired by the world around us

Bright Ideas for a light box


I purchased my light box 18 years ago.  At the time it seemed a helpful, but non-essential item to use for my applique work.  I splurged that year, using birthday money and a 40% coupon from Jo-Ann's Fabric to get it.  It measures 13.5" x 17.5", is very light & transportable. I can move the light, an "under-the-kitchen-cabinet" light, to give me good visibility. 

But before that,  I used Nature's light box- the sun and a window.   As long as it is day time this works very nicely.  I still will use Nature's light box if I'm being lazy or don't have mine with me.

Fleur de Lis   pattern ready to trace using Nature's light box.

Fleur de Lis pattern ready to trace using Nature's light box.

 Lay your fabric atop your pattern and secure.  Then tape the whole thing on a window with scotch tape or painter's tape.  You can see clearly and are ready to trace your design on your fabric.

Other creative quilters have shared this idea with me for a light box. You can create a Table Leaf Light Box If you have a dining room table that can pull apart to put a leaf in.  Pull the table apart and put a piece of glass or plexi-glass in instead of the table leaf.  Then place a lamp on the floor under the glass.  You have just created a light box.  Necessity is the mother of invention.  I love it!

Tracing out   Scroll & Fan  , medallion III using my light box.

Tracing out Scroll & Fan, medallion III using my light box.

Any light box allows you greater visibility, enabling you to see a design clearly and without eye strain through your fabric.  It also opens up creative options as you can more easily see through medium and dark fabrics.

 And as I am a bit of a night owl, particularly when creating, I can work at night, too. I've never regretted this purchase. As I got into applique and reverse applique it proved helpful.  And the older I get, its proved vital for me.