Friday, November 02, 2007

Journal Quilt Reveal

Now that the Houston International Quilt Festival is up and running, we can finally post pictures of our journal quilts, so here is mine. (Click pictures for larger image). This is the final year of journal quilts at festival, and I'm happy to say that I participated in each year, except for one, but neglected to submit images for the book (oops), so I'm glad I made one for the final big show. It was fun working in the larger size, and I can't wait to see pictures of what the exhibit actually looks like on the floor on the big show.
I remember when the very first year of journal quilts in 2003, the premiere was at the very first Chicago Quilt Festival, which I attended. We were given a ribbon to wear with our name tags, and it was really fun to be walking around the show having women stop me in the aisle and ask me all about journal quilts. I felt like I was evangelizing or something, about this new-fangled thing.
I had a lot of fun with embellishment on this quilt as you can see. And there were a lot of beads that I finally got to use on this quilt.
I really liked the fringe-i-ness of the green silk, very raveliscious. Free form satin stitch swirls were fun to do also, they broke up the space really well.
The green and orange check is an ikat that I picked up at New Pieces in Berkeley after the Pamela Allen class. It was on major sale, especially for a Japanese import like that, I suppose because the colors are shall we say a bit, um, challenging to use?!
Oh, and the central image is a handcarved lineoleum stamp block that I made ages ago, stamped on some of my hand-dyed cotton with fabric ink.

Here's the verbiage I whipped up for the display sign:

Interim Destination

Creative Quilting techniques used: beading, (p. 218); stamping/printing on fabric, (p. 60); raw-edge appliqué, (p. 147)

This year of journal quilts has occurred mostly in my head, as my studio was mostly packed in boxes due to a home remodel. I sketched a lot, did paper collage and mainly pined away for the tactile sensations of working with my fabrics. As I come back full circle to having an almost functional studio once more, I find myself still using the sketching gesture, perfunctory, unfinished, just suggesting or hinting at form. And I also find myself incorporating the collage techniques of layering or building up imagery. This has been a natural progression in my artwork in general, but it is still striking to me to look back at my journal quilts from the very first year of the Journal Quilt Project.

My quilt was begun with the central stamped image, from a stamp I carved and printed with ink on some of my favorite fabric I’ve dyed recently, it turns out that orange is good medicine for my soul. I then began layering the framework to support this central image. Stripes have been calling to me lately and I incorporated those into this quilt. The most surprising thing to me was how good the lime green silk looks with the orange, green Japanese ikat. Adding the beads as the final touch, just enough, not too many, not over the top, or over done, just emphasizing the preciousness of the interim destination, the resting spot , a place to stop for a while in this journey through Journal Quilting.

I predict that I won’t ever stop working with Journal Quilts, they are too much of a success for me, getting something done, working small, and saying something with nothing are all the lessons I’ve taken away from learning how to work in this medium.


Nikki said...

I love looking at the detail photos. Your quilt has so many fun things to explore and discover. I love the beads and free motion quilting -- such wonderful texture.

Anonymous said...


The overall quiting is wonderful and makes a beginner like me long to get to that point. The block print is also an inspiration because you've done the carving and inked the block and used it. I am still staring at a perfectly smooth linoleum block. Maybe I should set a timer for 20 minutes and just shout 'go' and start carving.

It is very effective the way you began with the block print and have the rest of the design spiraling around it in a way that reminds me of the log cabin pattern. The overall balance is great.