Painting the sky with stars……..

painting up background papers


When I was deciding on the patchwork designs for the twin’s quilts I kept coming back to this arrangement of different sized stars…..however I soon realized that it wasn’t going to look quite right at the small scale I’m currently working in (the baby quilts will be about 30 inches by 42) …trying to cram too much in I think will just look a bit messy and somewhat overwhelming…..but I didn’t want to give up on the design completely and thought it would be interesting to play around with it a bit more and use some up some of the painted paper scraps that were still scattered around my work table and studio floor….

I’ve found it easier to draw out a measured grid with a ruler rather than to do it by eye, it’s not so quick but you get a better idea of what the patchwork is going to look like….. then I’ve just blocked the squares in with colour (gouache paint) before working over them with colouring pencils to create a variety of different “fabric” patterns….(I’ve left some bits white on the big squares as I knew that was going to be covered by the painted up paper stars because I’m a bit slap dash at time….)


adding paper stars


I’ve drawn the little paper stars out in two different sizes, 1 1/2 and 3 inches (this was a pretty easy to divide measurement and it allowed me to repeat the pattern a bit in my sketchbook.) …and have cut them out of scraps of painted papers I’d left over from the previous paper quilt designs.


paper stars added


It’s been really interesting for me to play around and try out different combinations of print and colour…and although these paper experiments have taken a bit of time, they’ve still been heaps quicker than if I’d tried sewing them.

I’ve  found the designs were all much easier to visualise in fabric once I’d made these little testers, they’ve been a good way in helping me decide which size to make the blocks for the patchwork…..painting them up and drawing the floral motifs has been a bit time consuming, but I’m sure it wouldn’t be hard to paint up some papers, scan them and then print them off for future use……however that is somewhat beyond my limited computer skills (and to be honest I found it quite nice and relaxing to make them…but I guess it wouldn’t be too tricky to do if you wanted to make some up for yourselves).


glued down paper stars


With the stars being separate I’ve been able to play around with colour combinations, see which worked and which bits needed adjusting before gluing them down on top of the painted up squares……(something I’ve become very aware of from all of this has been how much I still love playing around, trying out new ideas and versions of something before I finally make up my mind on “the one”.)

I’m now quite smitten with this design …and am seriously considering making this patchwork up for real….however I have about 4 other patchwork projects for the home* already on the go so think it would be best to get those finished before starting anything new….but at least working it out already in papers I can see how it fits together and works, which is what has slowed down a couple of the other projects. (Well that is my excuse…in reality I know it is because I pfaff and fuss and fanny about, rather than just getting on with the job in hand.)


added central small squares


I was curious about adding more stars to those big blocks so made some more of the little ones….I think they work best when the central star is similar in colour and tone to the larger square, (I like the purple and blue star and the peachy and pink star.  They seem to work better than the pink and green one, and the mustard and lemon one….)


grey floral border added


I wanted to try out an edging, really more for curiosities sake then anything else, I’ve just used a strip of grey paper with a floral motif along the bottom…..and although I’m quite happy to not add a fancy border along the design, (and by fancy I’m meaning beautifully pieced flying geese) at the same time I find myself being drawn to the simplicity of a strip of just something to allow the main patchwork a little space, a little room to breathe.

*I say “home” but really they’re all pretty much for me…..

2 thoughts on “Painting the sky with stars……..

  1. It’s great to see another of your paper designs. I took a leaf out fo your book and played around with felt tips and paper to try to work out how to place my crochet squares now that I have had to change everything since my blanket disaster last week! My trials are not anywhere near as neat as yousr but it helped me to get my head around the placement. Sharon x

    1. I’m sure it’s because felt tipping or colouring with pencils and paint is something different and it feels like fun…something relaxes in side us and we get to try new combinations and play arounds….that’s my thinking anyway.
      Really glad you’ve found this useful xx

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