top of page
  • Writer's pictureJennifer Penick

Collage inspiration on the road

Here's a bit of insight into how I am working while traveling and how our travels are influencing my work.


I have been asked how I manage to make a collage every day while on our long road trip. The answer is that whenever I have some downtime (which is not every day), I make progress on multiple collage quilts in my sketchbook. Some days I may only have time to sketch a new outline.

Another day I may think about color and fill in some "quilt pieces" with watercolor, and then I try to make time to glue in paper quilt bits, too. I also keep all of the extra triangles and other shapes that I cut out, saving them for "impromptu" quilts, which can use a wider variety of shapes. I work on hotel desks and I tend to spread out. My art supplies all fit in my tote bag, and I have restricted both my mixed media materials and my paper stash (one big envelope!). In some ways, having fewer materials makes it easier for me to work more efficiently. The "paper collage quilt" theme, which I am working on as part of the 100 Day Project, also makes it easy for me to decide what to make!


I have been having fun taking inspiration from what I see around me. I often will sketch simple ideas for quilt collages inspired from very un-quilt-like things. For example, here you see a small 17th-century painting on marble that I saw in the exhibit "Paintings on Stone: Science and the Sacred 1530–1800" at the St Louis Art Museum (Missouri), as well as an idea for a non-traditional quilt square that it gave me.

And then you also see here a photo of the detail of a doorway in Asheville (North Carolina) that I liked. From its motif, I created a quilt square pattern. These quick sketches may later be drawn larger in my travel sketchbook, at which point I'll have fun choosing a color scheme and "filling in the pattern" using paint and paper. If you follow me on Instagram, you may see these worked into collages in the coming days.

If you'd like to explore making paper collage quilts with me, I am offering a one-time workshop. Here's the info:


THURSDAY, MARCH 24 / 1:00-2:30pm ET

ON-LINE / $20

We will explore making quilts using both collage & paint, and I will lead you through 3 quilt projects that introduce you to traditional quilt square patterns, to impromptu quilts, and to quilt circles. I will provide optional printable templates by email before the workshop.

203 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page