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!!
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