This month at Whipup we will be hearing from artists and crafters and finding out a bit more about how they keep records of their ideas and where those ideas come from. Today it is my great pleasure to introduce Heather Jones of Olive and Ollie who I had the great pleasure of meeting while at QuiltCon earlier this year.
Heather is a designer, seamstress, and modern quilter who lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband and two children. She is the founder and former president of the Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild and has designed a line of modern quilting patterns. She is incredibly creative, talented and inspiring and I’m so pleased she was able to join us here today.
Many of my quilt designs are inspired by things that I see in my everyday life, such as this sketch for my Silo quilt. And I never quite know when that inspiration may strike, so I always try to keep a sketchbook on hand, along with a pencil to draw with. I also take a lot of photos with my camera phone and use them as I develop my sketches further, once I get back to my studio.
I use graph paper sketchbooks to draw my designs in, and I especially love these spiral bound books because I can lay them flat as I’m working.
I use the grid pattern of the graph paper to calculate the sizes of all of the components of my design, as well as the fabric yardage needed to complete the pattern.
I start all of my sketches in pencil and once I have the layout of the pattern complete, I bring in color with some india ink markers. I really love these markers because they provide a nice sheer layer of color, so I can see still the grid of the graph paper behind them. They also don’t bleed through the pages, which allows me to use both the front and back of every page in the book.
I really love to work this way. It’s probably more time consuming to draw out my designs with pencil and paper than it would be to design on the computer, but I love this type of slowed creativity. It’s also fun to see my drawings come to life as I’m working on my quilts, and I love going through my sketchbooks and revisiting the finished drawings of my designs.