Slowly but surely ideas for the quilts are coming together, I always find it easiest to play out in a sketchbook first, trying out ideas and colour schemes….it’s never the same as working with fabric but it gives me a chance to jot down first thoughts…random ideas that may or may not come to anything…..
Working in this way isn’t for everyone but I find it quite relaxing, and can zone out somewhat, half listening to something soft and mellow in the background and just spread out paints and colouring pencils around me on my work table, a pot of tea at my elbow……something I’m very aware of though is that I much prefer to work with fabrics with prints rather than with plain colours.
It’s quite hard to get a sense of what a pattern will work like when it’s just painted with one colour, but then I remembered seeing pictures on Phoebe Wahl’s instagram of her printing up and painting pages of texture and colour all ready to cut out to use in her beautiful collages….I love her work so much and she is easily my favourite illustrator of quilts…they always look so soft and handmade, whether they are hanging out for an air on a washing line or keeping children on sledges warm, or being sewn ….one of my favourite pictures of hers is this one…(actually this is probably one of my favourite pictures in the whole world ever)…who wouldn’t want a cosy bed like that…..
So being totally and utterly inspired by Phoebe I’ve been painting up papers (nothing fancy, just cheap cartridge paper from a local art supplies shop) with watercolour and gouache, then once it’s dry I’ve been working on top drawing out little motifs and patterns pretty randomly……if I’d had more sense then I’d have tried to illustrate pictures of fabrics I’ve noted I have liked, but then I’ve quite liked just drawing freely….
I’ve painted up a selection of papers, maybe 15 or so in a variety of patterns and colours, and plan to start cutting them up to make little quilt collages as soon as they’re all dry.
I’m sure if you are all technical then you could just scan fabric in to your computer and do something all future science-y and whizz kiddy, cutting and pasting and whatever it is you’d need to do…..I’m not sure if it would be as much fun but I bet it’s do-able. I’m just not very good with computer things and find working with paper and paint and a sketchbook a whole lot easier……
If you’re at all interested, you can in fact buy a whole range of fabrics from Spoonflower which is printed using some of Phoebe’s beautiful designs. Her fairy fabric is just adorable and I’d love to buy some in every colour for a whole series of fairy tale dresses…..