Colouring pencils and patchworking for twins….

red cross patchwork


At the moment I’m in the middle of designing two very special quilts…..Miss Olive (who has her own quilt) is having sisters so I’m working on a pair of quilts for the new arrivals.

The quilt I made Olive the other year was made up of lots of small squares and I thought to try out something different for her sisters.


red star patchwork


I really like the idea of a star quilt and I keep trying out different compositions using a  “variable star” block.  I plan to use reproduction style fabrics and have trawled through lots of fabrics and now have a good idea of the main fabrics I’m going to use…..


variable star pattern


I like placing the blocks on the diagonal as this gives lots of extra movement across the patchwork pattern, I’m still somewhat undecided about sashing though and whether to piece round a border.

Olives quilt was just bound with binding so I’m wondering to do the same again…though I really do like quilts with borders…they always look that little bit extra special.


variable star variations


Generally when I’m plotting and planning a patchwork top I make a lot of sketches, heaps and heaps of tiny thumbnail scribbles and then going through and working the patchwork slightly larger so I’m able to see how it fits together.

Using paint tends to be brighter and more vibrant but colouring pencil means I’m not getting myself covered in paint  (generally being too impatient to allow one colour to dry before trying to work on top or near by)


working on the diagonal


Because these are quilts for twins I want some similarity between the designs (the fabrics for both quilts will be pretty much the same, although I thought it would be nice to have some fabrics unique to just each quilt)…however it’s proving to be quite a challenge.

I’m happiest when working small but at the same time sewing fiddly pieces is somewhat hour intensive, so I’m trying to balance designing quilts that are carefully hand pieced but which won’t take me for ever to sew.

The blocks I made for “dear ethel” are all 6 inches square and that’s a size I’m happy working with so I’m thinking of blocks that size for these but maybe with a 3/4 inch sashing between.  I’m trying to avoid blocks that are made of lots and lots of tiny pieces (though those are the ones that truly own my heart).

Colouring small geometric shapes takes me back to weekend afternoons when me and my youngest sisters would sprawl out on the carpet, pencil cases full of felt tips and colouring pencils spilling out everywhere while we meticulously coloured in fancy isometric books my mum would buy us.  I’ve not seen any for sale for years which is a bit sad as I used to love spending whole afternoons trying out patterns….my sister Rachel always was much neater in her colouring (I always seemed to go over the lines and make a bit of a mess)…however the process and planning is very similar to designing your own patchwork top.


8 thoughts on “Colouring pencils and patchworking for twins….

  1. I remember the colouring books. You can get doodle pattern colouring books still, my two have had them in the past. The quilts sound lovely, I think there is a lot of love going to be in those tiny stitches! Sharon x

    1. Hi Sharon, I’m actually old enough to remember those colouring books that were already painted, so when you added water the colours brightened up…those were painted with us all sitting round our little kitchen table while my mum pottered about in the background….I loved the isometric/geometric ones and think they’d be great if you were designing a quilt to be paper pieced.
      Thank you for the nice quilty comments xx

      1. Oh yes, were they the magic painting ones? Mum would buy us one of those if we were ill ! I think we were satisfied with simple things back then. Oh dear, I’ve just read that back and I sound about 100!!!’ Xx

      2. Oh Sharon I know just how you feel, I know when I tell slightly younger friends or my lovely grown up nieces about things we had growing up which really delighted us, they look at me like I must be bonkers. Saturdays was when my mum woild go into town to do any grocery shopping that couldn’t be bought at the village shops, and out of her housekeeping she’s buy me and my sisters a new felt tip, one each. It was a really big deal for us and over time we had a huge assortment (different brands and colours). Going into WHSmith and seeing like 100 million felt tips for a couple of pound makes me shake my head.
        The magic painting ones were so amazing, though I think I always splashed water everywhere being very liberal in my application.

      3. Yes, the kid look at me as if I’m mad if I suggest putting felt-tips on their Christmas list! We used to get writing paper for our thank you letters, felt-tips and matey bubble bath!!! Haha, they were the good old days! xx

      4. Oh Sharon you’ve made me laugh, but you’re quite right, I never felt we’d gone without or had it hard. We used to get new clothes for birthdays and Christmas as most of what me and my youngest sisters wore were hand me downs (bought a brilliant book the other day which I intend to write about regarding children’s clothes)…..and as for Matey…that is one of the defining smells of my childhood…one good sniff and I’m back wearing soft denim flares, hair in pigtails, playing board games with my sisters or watching Charlie’s Angels.

      5. The smell of matey is definitely full of memories, did you know you can still get it, I put some in the kids stockings this year!! As far as clothes go I had 2 play outfits and one Sunday best and they were hand me downs too, I used to envy my older sister!!. Having said that Josh has quite a few hand me downs and we LOVE charity shops. Abi and I are rather enjoy transforming Charity shop clothes! For her next textiles project Abi is hoping to get a second hand wedding dress to upcycle. (another post there somewhere). Really looking forward to reading your clothes post. Have a great weekend. Sharon xx

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