We had a day out at the seaside recently, revisiting the East Yorkshire coastal town where I grew up. I’ve always liked the seaside colour palette – aqua blues, sandy browns, sky blues and whites – and I set about assembling some patchwork to cover a spare pillow in my workroom.

patchwork in progress

I generally use the freezer paper method for English paper piecing (google it if you’re not familiar with this, there are lots of tutorials and instructions out there). This design is based on a little paint sketch I did a couple of months ago:

watercolour sketch

It all came together fairly quickly. I didn’t want to stitch on it much because the fabrics are really beautiful in themselves – scraps of textured silks, vintage linens, and vintage/handwoven cottons.

hand pieced patchwork

I found a bit of old black soutache braid, which I used to emphasise some of the seams. I quite like the Mondrian-esque effect.

Mondrian went to the seaside

And after a couple of days, a new pillow cover. The back is just tea-dyed calico, simple envelope style, so there are no zips or fastenings.

patchwork pillow

It’s made a the spare bed look extra cosy.

Author: Karen

Textile and mixed media artist

19 thoughts on “Patchwork”

  1. I love the way you went from watercolor to fiber. Just saw a sensational watercolor show and this same idea had been knocking around in my head. May I ask, what kind of paper are you using in your watercolor book?

    1. thank you, it’s very soft cotton rag paper. Much softer than standard watercolour paper but ok for sketching. It’s the same paper that I used to make the sketchbooks in my shop here: handmade-cotton-rag-paper-sketchbook-with-collage-papers

  2. I love the patchwork on your pillow and your witty title – Mondrian went to the seaside! Your room looks charming!

    1. ha, I think I’m funny 😎 Thank you, it is a nice room to work in. Very hot in the summer though.

    1. thank you 😊 Just happened to have fabrics in these colours. One of those lovely rare events where the thing almost makes itself.

  3. Very nice. t looks like it plays well with the other pillows.

    1. they are quite old and a bit faded now, which probably helps them blend in

  4. Just love the colours and your layout. Did you paint it with the fabrics in mind, or was it happenstance your material matches so well.

    1. complete coincidence really – but I like that colour palette so it makes sense that I would already have fabrics in those colours

      1. For gifts, I often sew outside my colour palette, but you are right – for the most part, the fabrics I have are in my colour palette. Yours just match so beautifully like the one with the dots.

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