Tag Archives: journal quilt

The way times goes

This was made during an intense period of caregiving for my sister so for that reason I can place it in time — about eight and a half years ago. I was really angry about it all at the time. It’s a piece of muslin that was written on, ripped into strips, woven and then top stitched with couched threads and other bits of fabric. I gessoed the surface at the end, or applied white paint — that part I can’t remember. It’s been fun to see some old pieces.

It’s a clear day! K is home and rattling around upstairs. I’m making coffee. Finn has his play date. K and I are loading the Subaru with step stool, drill, vacuum, tarps and baking soda and heading to Salem. It’s not The moving day, but we’ll ferry a couple of trunk loads over.

Cloth like glass

Auditioning a new Journal Quilt (called “I Want Snow”) on a bedroom curtain got me thinking (or rather, ‘seeing’)…

about how the light passing through the three to four layers of silk, rayon, or cotton, muslin-backing, and lo-loft batting made the layers take on the quality of glass…

and about what it would be like to design ‘window quilts’ instead of ‘wall quilts’.

All tied up

I  happily work on six, seven pieces at a time and then ALL OF A SUDDEN, the need to finish something becomes urgent.

I am the same way with housework… looking with neutral disregard at piles of clutter everywhere until one day, I CAN’T STAND THEM ANYMORE.

This piece was a dream-sketch quilt and it is taking waaaaaaaaaay too long to complete — as are my three Easter Cross quilts, a poppy piece, and a pillow commission.  So forget about the torture depicted in the piece.  The thing torturing me right now is the unfinished state of things.

(but I have been all tied up — kids on break, garden attention-grabbing — just in the last few days I removed the dead inkberry, attended two track meets,

potted up a bunch of sedum, raked the side beds, planted some basil seeds, used garbage-snagged pieces of glass (– someone’s old fridge components picked up yesterday –) to make a casual cold frame,  swept the side porch and readied it for summer morning reading, swept the bluestone, got the houseplants outdoors, grocery shopped twice, cleared up the south bed, made the garage passable again by moving shit around, started a new compost heap)…

During the construction of this quilt, which I am calling “Witness”, the artist Barron Storey — whose work I really love — started a “women and ropes” series.  My “ropes” look more like threads, and lack the paralyzing tension that I had hoped to depict, but this quilt is, nevertheless of a “woman and ropes”. The cloaked witness is partially shown here:

On a lighter note, I am finding this business of having middle-aged eyes is adding a new dimension to design — the looking with glasses on, the looking with glasses off — something I never knew about because I had never worn glasses until middle age.  Last night I noticed that the batik of the Witness’s face, if you blur your eyes, really looks like a face.  I like it when things like that happen.

Finishing small things

Here is the word added to the small Journal Quilt.  I think of ‘freedom’ as something robust and tawny (who knows why), and yet here it is in a whispery pink. . . freedom as something subtle and fragile.

This is the finished piece.

The moon gave me a few problems.  The chenille vine upholstery fabric was thick, and seamed, even thicker.  Next time, lay flat and don’t seam?  In any case, to cover the bump, I added lace.  And, to balance things out a little, I tore some of the blue netting.

The lower lunar section reveals an inkjet fabric print of an antique map of the constellations.

“Free” has been on my mind in the wake of handling all of my free fabrics.  “Free” is on my mind thinking about what holds me back.  Something about spring sets a little piece of me free.  So grateful.

Beech Trees Journal Quilt

Beech-Quilt

Back when I was taking photos of urban scenes to adapt as decorations for a local after prom party, I also took a number of pictures of beech trees.  They live in Brookline, just a street over from Beacon Street, and they are truly magnificent.

This quilt is small, about 8 1/2 x 11″.  I used the bucket feature in Photoshop Elements 3.0 to change the background colors, which transformed the branch patterns into something resembling stained glass.  I changed threads at least three times quilting the piece, which is a departure from my generally lazy approach to thread.

Beech-arms

I’ve recently been back to visit these trees and have come to the conclusion that they are most beautiful when the branches are bare.  This time of year, leaves are plentiful, obscuring the muscular structure of the trunks which I so love to look at.

beeches-before

Journal Quilt from Summer ’09

9" x 7.5", quilt

9" x 7.5", quilt

This small piece was composed after an unusually grey June.  Here in Eastern Massachusetts, we had one of the least sunny Junes on record — not the wettest, but the greyest.   And, it did rain A LOT.

When the sun finally came out, I made this piece.  I was eager to get gardening, get outdoors, get digging.  The background toile features an antique plow or wheelbarrow.  The waterlily has the feel of a summer sun.

I added the strip of vintage lace and the disk of organza after many weeks of following Jude Hill‘s work online.  I encourage you to take a peek!

Road Trip Quilt

road-trip-i-close

Last week’s journal quilt has not yet been quilted, but here are two shots of it, in progress.

road-trip-i-topos1

All of the really cool narrative fabrics are former shirts — the topo map, the Japanese subway map and the blue and white cafe scenes.

It is the biggest weekly quilt yet, and almost feels too big to be a journal quilt, measuring in at about 17″ square.  But it has spawned a number of smaller ones, which I could ‘count’ instead.  Pictures of those to follow.