by Ruth Stanton
During this Covid 19 season, I have used my time to paint two mats for my kitchen. The first one, featuring the official provincial and territorial flowers, is actually a repainting of the mat that lies in front of our kitchen sink. It received so much wear that I had to scrape and sand away the old design so that I could repaint the mat.
With the second mat, I turned to the quilt block motif. I chose the colours, but the designs are generally old traditional quilt blocks, used by housewives in making quilts for the home. Several years ago I found these patterns in McCall’s Quilt Block Patterns. You can still locate the blocks here: https://www.quiltingdaily.com/free-quilt-block-patterns-library-from-mccalls-quilting/
The site has many patterns, but I chose 16 and then used the flying geese motif to separate the rows. As with the first mat, I painted on the back of a piece of scrap linoleum, purchased at Ranger Carpets in Alexandria. I paint the back rather than the front because I find, when lain right side up, the edges tend to turn up and trip me.
I used white wall paint for the base coats, sketched in the designs with a graphite pencil and painted them with acrylic paints. For my colours, I use the inexpensive acrylic paints that I find at the dollar store. These give me a fairly wide choice of colours at a reasonable price. They work well enough for a floor mat, but I’d want better quality acrylics if I were painting something to hang on the wall. Once the mat is painted, I varnish it with a water-based varnish. My mats are not indestructible but they do last from ten to fifteen years depending on how much wear they suffer.
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