Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What is a journal quilt? Part 3

My first introduction to journal quilts was a series Nancy Halpern did many years ago. I haven't been able to put my fingers on any on line photos of her project and all my books and magazines are in Wisconsin. I know of several others who did similar projects through the years.

This quilt solved a lot of design and quilting decisions for me when I made a quilt with these fabrics in my June series. It is so much easier to experiment when you are doing a small piece.

One reason there is a difference of opinion between peoples idea of what a journal qult is is because of the extremely popular exhibitions of Journal Quilts at the IQA shows in Houston and Chicago. The shows were a good thing for journal quilts as they have drawn attention to this way of working. There were rules and guidelines to follow when people made journal quilts for the show. There was also a lot of freedom as most anything was allowed for all but the last show. Without those rules and guidelines there would not have been a cohesive show. We all owe a debt of gratitude to Karey Bresenhan who originated the journal quilt exhibitions in Houston.

I recently had the pleasure of seeing all the quilts from the grand finale journal quilt exhibition which was juried. The quilts were fantastic and they made an impressive show.

I hope people realize that people can still make their own journal quilts following their own guidelines even though the IQA Journal project is over. You can make your own rules!

This was another journal quilt that helped me decide how to quilt one of my June series.

One interesting and important question that was asked in the comments on the previous journal blogs was "What do you do with them after you have made a lot of them?"

There are several valid options: Join several together to make a larger work, display them in your home or office, share them in shows, sell them, blog them, make a book with several of them as the pages, use one for the pocket on a tote, make one into a cutch purse, attach to a piece of clothing, give one or a group as a gift, sell them, or _______________________. (You fill in the blank.)

I had intended to offer mine for sale in the gift shop at Quilts: Another Dimension.
I didn't get to Florida to retrieve them before the show so I wasn't able to do that.

As I have written these journal quilts posts and revisited the 9 quilts I am so glad I didn't part with any of them. I really appreciate them so much more as the intimate little works of art they are. When I was making one a month I was mainly concerned with fitting the work in between other things I was doing and what I was experiencing in my life.

You have now seen all of my journal quilts I completed. I intend this to be the final post on the subject, but I'll leave it open if I have more to say. I'd appreciate any other comments you'd like to leave on the topic.

I also would like to encourage any of you who are quilters (or who would like to become a quilter) to try making journal quilts. When you do I'd love it if you will share your experiences and photos with me.

Tonight's puzzle is the same journal quilt you just looked at a moment ago.
Click to Mix and Solve


carrie said...

'When I was making one a month I was mainly concerned with fitting the work in between other things I was doing and what I was experiencing in my life.'

I did some JQs with the Contemporary Quilt section of the Quilters Guild of Great Britain. They do a series every year. Your comment above was exactly what I did with my JQs.I used Sharon Boggon's Take it Further challenge as a jumping off point. Those little pieces were almost the only sensible things I did during that very busy year. I will put them together sometime but for now they are in a box and every so often I take them out and remember what I was thinking.

I also kept a couple of small sketchbooks as scrappy journals recording the progress of these and how I arrived at what I ended up with (notes are required with this project, which does focus the mind)My pieces are experimental (new to me that is) and I found them very satisfying and in a couple of cases (death) quite cathartic.

I'll do this project again, definitely (but not this year!)

Carole said...

Hi Kay, I have enjoyed this.. a lot.
I Love doing Journal Quilts, and I have mine posted on my blog. I have 6 under a 'Moon' series. Not all in order because of other postings. It is my favorite way of working. I had one set in IQF, then the one when Karey changed the size and my last one entitled 'Rebirth' did not get juried in, but has been accepted into Sacred Threads.
I think I will sell mine, but I really like them, so... we'll see.
Thank you for turning the wheels on this type of art.

margaret said...

Filling in that blank for what to do with them:
Send them to the Little Gem Quilts fundraiser at the Festival of Quilts, Birmingham, England, in August -- the website has all the info (and pix of hundreds of JQs):

Jean said...

This is very interesting to me. I am enjoying your little works of art and the talk about how they came about. I would love to try this!