Thanks to Drew Steinbrecher’s free online class I have a growing collection of sketch books made from children’s board books. In the past I started sketch books, but didn’t keep up with them. If you ever started a daily exercise program on January 1, found it became weekly by January 20, and maybe every three weeks by February 5, you know the process.
Drew uses his gel prints, gluing them directly on the book pages, but almost any material, paint, or drawing tool can be used as long as you gesso the pages first. Why board books? Because they’re thick cardboard the pages don’t buckle and warp with glue, and they are cheap second hand finds. Library book sales, online auctions, and yard sales are potential sources of inexpensive used ones.
I won’t linger on the technical details as Drew covers them thoroughly, but so far I’ve finished two books and am almost done with a third. My leaf gel prints filled up one book by themselves.
I start a fresh page or add to an existing one whenever I get stuck on my current quilting struggle, and find creating something in 30 minutes or less with paper and a glue stick boosts my mood. Then I’m able to return to the slog in a better frame of mind.
The day I bought a sketchbook for my quilting ideas marked my transformation from dilettante to determined quilter. Before then I guess I hadn’t felt I deserved an actual, special purpose place to record my ideas and trial color schemes and layouts. Yes, I covered the backs of envelopes and scratch paper with stuff, but it was all very off the cuff.
While I don’t use my sketchbook as much as I should, I like looking through it to see the transmutation of ideas and the clippings of pictures, ads, and even fabric swatches I’ve collected. I have quite a collection of ripped out ads that have caught my eye, plus glossy photos from old calendars.
And I do like using colored pencils. Which reminds me I really should buy some Derwent Inktense watercolor pencils. I might as well enjoy coloring fabric too.
On reflection, I think I should call it my idea book because sketchbook is too narrow a term.