Shapes from Victorian roof replicated in paper and repeated to create pattern

Shapes from Victorian roof replicated in paper and repeated to create pattern

From design to table cloth by Jeanne Carlin

Last year I attended the one day Art and Design course run by Jane, and billed for those of us who ‘can’t draw and can’t design’.  I was surprised when I came away with an idea and then more amazed when the idea became an actual item.

I definitely class myself as a person who is ‘not artistic’ and have always worked either in the ‘care’ profession or ‘with my intellect’. I started sewing as I approached retirement – initially doing patchwork and more recently started dressmaking.

So to return to the course – we started off working with colour – I could get that! However, I thought Jane had lost the plot when she invited us into the corridor at the Ropery to sketch the Victorian tiles – but I went along with that and as you can see from my sketches – they are rather tentative in size.  Jane then had us using these shapes to cut up coloured paper and glue them onto card (there is always glue involved with

Paper cut designs from antique roof tile

Paper cut designs from antique roof tile

Jane’s teaching). She then suggested that we should look at our shapes and try and see a design – really beyond my ability – so I thought.  But with a bit of encouragement I rejected Jane’s idea of a skirt with large pockets and said I could see a circular table cloth.

Although I had no thought of making a cloth to go under a Christmas tree – the more I looked at my shapes the more that idea appealed to me. I bought some Christmas fabric and ‘freehand’ cut the shapes – played around with the colours and found the space between the main colours was just as important as the main shapes. So moved the colours so the space between became important.

I learnt an important lesson – if you blindly follow what Jane is saying it will all become clear in the end and I can no longer claim “I have no artistic skills”!

Jeanne Carlin blogs on the issues faced by carers at http://sandwichcarer.blogspot.co.uk. Follow Jeanne on Twitter @JeanneCarlin