Painting patchwork papers …..

colourway planning


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…..


blue and yellow pattern


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.


grey and blue floral pattern


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…..


turqoiuse and rose print


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….


blue floral motif


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…..

2 thoughts on “Painting patchwork papers …..

  1. I think these are so beautiful… you could probably frame them and put them in your sewing room. I love to draw & watercolor designs of dresses I’ve made for my daughter, and I’m planning on framing a few of them to decorate the walls in my sewing/photography room.

    1. Thank you, they’re a bit rough close up to be honest. Your dress pictures sound lovely….I’ve made little frocks in the past for one of my tiny nieces out of an Ikea duvet cover, it caused some confusion as one of her friends mums misheard and then to Ikea thinking that they sold children’s clothes! The best little dress was a pinafore with a matching teeny version for a toy bunny I’d made her…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s