At the beginning of the first world war, my Lincolnshire grandmother was at art school in Reading, Berkshire. Her paintings, drawings and prints are scattered around the family. There’s a country diary somewhere, a bound book carried on long walks, I remember a watercolour landscape showing enormous elm trees on a sunny summer day. Figure drawings, flower paintings.
In the 1930s, mother of three teenage children, she studied design: textiles, wallpaper. I have some of that work, mostly squares of flowers, cleverly calculated so that they can be tiled into a never-ending pattern. They’re too big to scan at home; instead I’ve posted a print of some kind on very soft paper – one of two I have of this image. We used to call these flowers Chinese lanterns. Very pretty in England, and the seed cases are moon-like, flat and white, but apparently they go crazy in Australian gardens.
At the sewing group, Barb pointed out that there are ways of getting fabric designs printed up – Spoonflower in the USA will print your design on a range of fabric in smallish quantities, for example. My grandmother’s designs may see the light at last: roses or snowdrops or daffodils, on dress fabric or cushion covers.