Below are my Journal Quilts for 2006 - one for every month of the year, even December, which hasn't yet arrived, I realize that. This is the second year I have participated in this project and I enjoyed the process immensely. My JQ for February, entitled MARDI GRAS, is one of thousands of journal quilts included in Karey Bresenhan's new book CREATIVE QUILTING: THE JOURNAL QUILT PROJECT. (see explanation at the end of this post)
January - Serendipity
An experiment in textural effects – combining hand crochet and crewel work with various threads/yarns and some machine quilting on my hand-painted chiffon.
February – Mardi Gras
An experiment with Shiva Paintstiks® over stamps and found objects on my Seta-Color® painted chiffon. It is embellished with Self-Hardening Makin’s Clay® and Sculpey II® heads made using Maureen Carlson’s AMACO Designer Plus Mold® heads. The heads were brushed with Jacquard Pearl-Ex® for color and bits of yarn/string were added for hair. This time of my life marks the ending of “Mardi Gras” and masks, roles, and illusions on my way to personal authenticity.
March – Depression
An experiment with a bleach pen on black fabric. I love the rust color that is produced but the design is weak. Simple machine quilting. I was very depressed during the month of March and beyond. The darkness of my mood strongly affected my work in every possible way. (Note: see November's journal quilt)
April – Birds in the Night
Another experiment with Shiva Paintstiks® over a metal batik bird stamp and a foam fern stamp. I further experimented by cutting away the fabric where there was no Paintstiks color thereby exposing the black batting. Machine quilting with rayon threads.
May – Spring Bubbles
This experiment involved the use of my own marbled fabric which I placed on a firm piece of fusible interfacing for support prior to machine quilting.
June – Light!
An experiment with stamping on fabric using various purchased stamps on hand-painted cotton. Several of the shapes were selected to highlight with more satin stitching with rayon thread, as I still am weak in that area. The piece was then machine quilted.
July – Hot Summer Day
I learned to machine embroider gauze so I promptly painted some gauze and machine embroidered a circular design within the hoop, leaving the edges of the cheesecloth free of stitching. I then placed the gauze on some of my hand-painted silk in a complementary color. After placing it where I liked it, I appliquéd the cheese cloth to the silk with its batting and backing attached. I machine quilted down the central circle and went on to machine quilt the rest of the piece, carefully laying the loose cheesecloth in pleasing shapes. This experiment was lots of fun and turned out very successfully.
August - Stones
An experiment in 3-D – I attempted to put small pebbles on this quilt top with relative success. I used white nylon netting and made small bags into which I place 5-6 small stones. I sewed the bags closed and then appliquéd them to the muslin background. Simple straight machine quilting adds contrast to the curves in the stones.
September – Change Happens
An experiment of layering different types of fabric together by fusing and machine quilting the fabrics on the base hand-painted fabric. Since I have little experience (and little luck) with the satin stitch, I chose to practice the satin stitch to appliqué the pieces to the background. Then I cut out a circle from a small piece of shimmery dressmaker fabric, fused it in place and straight stitched around it. Placing a layer of pale lavender chiffon over the entire piece, I satin stitched the edges. To complete the project, on top of the chiffon, I used the same shimmery fabric to create narrow strips which were placed in an uneven cross design.
October – Reaching Out
My hand-painted silk forms the background for this journal quilt. Using commercial fabrics with appealing shapes and forms, I combined them to form a flame-like design and machine quilted it. The entire piece seemed as though it was reaching for something, so with Self-Hardening Makin’s Clay® and Sculpey II® hand shapes (Maureen Carlson’s AMACO Designer Plus Mold® hands/feet), I created reaching hands, which were then glued to the surface of the quilt.
November – Darkness Descends
This quilt was an experiment with inks, watered down and randomly placed on the muslin. I was both confused and depressed at the time I made the quilt (last March) so the grays matched my mood. I had little or no energy, thus the machine quilting is minimal. It represents the gray days of late autumn and early winter rather well.
December – White Weddings & Such
(My husband and I were married in December!)
Playing with white satin and sheer fabrics - folding, fanning, stitching, adding embellishments. The main purpose of this exercise was to work with a very limited color palette and some rather diverse materials. Opposites abound: hard/soft, smooth/rough, round/square, fabric/metal, lace/feathers, etc.
What are Journal Quilts?
The original idea for Journal Quilts began with Karey Bresenhan of Houston Quilt Market & Show fame. She wanted to find a way to inspire quilters to trying different techniques, to step outside their comfort zone, to get really daring and creative. So she challenged the Quiltart mailing list folks to doing one small, innovative-for-them, quilt, the size of a standard piece of computer paper. Each little quilt also required a short statement as to the intention, the process, and/or the results. Each quilter would then be able to submit her/his best 5 of the 9 quilts created to be hung with all the Journal Quilts in a special exhibition at the Houston Quilt Show each fall. (The Journal Quilts were not to be shown anywhere until after the Houston show.) Thousands of these 8 ½” x 11” Journal Quilts have been created in the 6 years since her first challenge, and most of them have gone on to Houston and home again. Many have sold over the years, too. Best of all, quilter’s learned the fun of experimenting – and it helped that the size was so small that even a BAD experiment didn’t cost much by way of fabric, threads, or even time. And so quilters expanded their bag of tricks (aka techniques) and the world of quilting has been richly enhanced. This fall, Karey, with the help of Pokey Bolton + Quilting Arts LLC, published a book entitled CREATIVE QUILTING: THE JOURNAL QUILT PROJECT which went on sale at last week's International Quilt Festival in Houston. The book is available on-line at the Quilting Arts Magazine website.