Friday, August 31, 2012

Country Days Zig Zag Cheater Quilt Design for Spoonflower

Country Days Zig Zag Cheater Quilt Design
This is the design I entered into this weeks Spoonflower competition a couple of days ago. The challenge was to create a one yard sized repeat for a cheater quilt design - any motifs, any colours - a pretty wide open challenge. A cheater quilt is a textile printed pattern created to look like a quilt so you can make a quilt without all the piecing and just do the "quilt" stitching on the top of the design to make it look like it is actually pieced.

I chose to go in a country, rustic, shabby chic but with a modern clean bright pastels twist.
  I always start with a vague idea in my head and then I begin the layout on tracing paper - ah - tracing paper how I love thee - I create the design by laying out in regular graphite pencil and changing, moving, resizing and then finally filling in the happy line layout with my also greatly loved coloured pencils - Berol Prismacolour being the pencil of choice.
Each colour is a combination of a bunch of layers of different colours and washes

Once I get the design to where I like it I then redraw it out on my beloved Arches watercolour block and then I get to painting - basically filling in the outlines just like I did with my paint by numbers kits when I was a kid - how lucky I am that I get to do this for a living!!
Now I paint and I paint and I paint until I get the colour saturation and depth I like - patience is the key - especially as I wait between each wash for the paint to dry completely.

Yes I paint very neatly but all around me when I work is mayhem and messy pallettes - jar lids filled with colour washes, jars filled with water, mugs of tea and coffee and lots of bits and bobs of visual inspiration - magazine cuttings, other designs of mine, books laid open at interesting pages. My paintings are tidy - my workspace, a happy mess.
Cobalt Turquoise - my absolute favourite watercolour colour by Winsor and Newton and Windsor red which gives me the best red and my favourite of all and ever - a nice pink!!!
Here are the finished design motifs ready to be scanned and rearranged in Photoshop to create the finished repeat. I only have an 8.5 x 11 scanner so usually I have to create my designs in pieces so I can scan them easily - also it helps to have all the motifs created fully and separately for future use in an as yet unthought of way - I've learnt that one the hard way - I used to paint only half of a motif if that was all that was needed for a design but now that I do so many different applications with my designs - allover repeats, placement prints of different sizes and shapes it really helps to paint everything up in complete motifs - for example - this floral motif below I am looking forward to using as a border on another design.
At first "Country Days" was going to be on an all pink ground as below but as I worked through it I preferred the way it looked with the pop of yellow as at the top - 
I also kinda like it with a nice clean white ground - which do you prefer?

Well dearies - do wish me luck with the competition - please vote for me if you have a minute - this is the link: CLICK HERE! The images are shuffled each time so I can't tell you which page my design will be on - many thanks in advance for your kind vote!!

In the next week or so I will be using this design as a surface pattern in all sorts of configurations in my CafePress, Zazzle and Envelop shops - what fun for me!!


Moore or Less Cooking said...

Wonderful! Yo have my vote! Nettie from Moore Or Less Cooking

Sunchowder said...

Just fabulous to see your process!!! Love the fabric too :)

Patricia said...

Thanks so much Nettie! Sunchowder - I just went to your website - your jams and jellies are glorious and thanks for the compliments - Patricia :)