Monday, April 13, 2009

What is a journal quilt?

There are many answers to this question.
None are wrong.
All are right.

For me making a journal quilt is a way to make a quilt on a regular basis with certain guidelines. Generally those guidelines include a consistent size. It is a chance for me to experiment.
When I made journal quilts for 9 months I used them as a way to make me do the work. It was also as a way to create something that was related to either something I was doing in my other quilts, classes I attended or taught or to try something new.
This Tutti Fruitti journal quilt used every little scrap of the fabrics I had left from the big quilt. I had to bind it with a fabric not in the quilt.
I used it to test a quilting design I was considering using. I didn't use it but used a similar quillting design on the larger quilt.


The quilting style I created on this shibori quilt shows up on many later shibori quilts. The fringed dot also shows up on other quilts.

This quilt started with the piece of giraffe fabric. My goal was to use good proportion in the piecing of the quilt top and have it come out the size it had to be. I also used this quilt to try out some new quilting designs. These quilting designs have also shown up in later quilts.

Please click on each one of these quilts to see the quilting designs more clearly.

What do YOU use as a definition of a journal quilt? I'd appreciate any of you with thoughts about this to post them in the comment section. By doing that others can also benefit from what you contribute to this discussion.


When I made this journal quilt I started with the piece of black and white shibori fabric. I selected two other fabrics that would be the supporting cast. The quilting echoes the shibori design as it spills over to the other fabrics. To add a little spice to this quilt I reversed the colors on the binding so they would not match the edge of the quilt. This quilt is tonight's puzzle.

Click to Mix and Solve

9 comments:

JYA said...

What is a Journal Quilt? A slice of inspiration; a managable piece of art; an experiment; an idea that goes from your mind out through your hands and lodges in the mind of the person who views the art and interprets the piece, so that it has meaning to you and to them. The sharing of an idea that inspires you both.

Judy Anderson

Antonija said...

I agree that jouranl quilts can be used as a means to try new techniques and experiment with different media, but I always thought they were to represent a personal thought/emotion/happening, much like a page in a written journal. That it expresses whatever is going on in your life and in your head at the moment. Or at least be inspired by such.
Thats what a journal quilt means to me...
--Toni Mitt

marion said...

How strange, someone asked me what a journal quilt was yesterday on my facebook page. I said then that usually they are the size of a piece of printer paper, and that you make one per month, often 'about' a theme or 'about' daily life. I think myself that the term 'journal quilt' has come to mean a small quilt of a specific size, and doesn't necessarily have any bounds on content.

Diane said...

The journal quilts at festival that excited me to start quilting were the ones that were about the artists' lives, thoughts, or memories. A page from their dairy. The techniques are incidental. I was not as inspired by the explanations of how something was done if there was no "why." An experiment in technique doesn't need to be completed with a binding to function as a sample. The journal quilts that combine both "journal" and "sample" are the ones that stand out from the black drape.

Leslie said...

A journal quilt to me is a commitment to do a piece of work a month. It is also a great way to try a process I am not sure I want to invest a lot of time, effort or funds in if I am not going to like it. It is also a great record of progress as an artiste. I have 7 years worth of JQs and I love looking back at them as a reminder of where I was and what was on my mind at that particular time.

Johnni Schell said...

"A record of experiences, ideas or reflections kept for private use" - that is how Webster (in 1965) defined the word journal. Happily, journal quilts are not being kept private. Testing ideas on techniques certainly fit the definition along with using them as a diary. I have found that most people do respond to art with a story or symbolism behind it. My question for journal quilts is this - when you have committed to making one each month or each week - what do you do with them all?

Carole said...

Thank you for asking...to me a Journal Quilt is about size AND content... size first, then I like to document thoughts, statements, even some trial and error, in various media. I have learned big is not necessary to be beautiful. Your own pieces prove that!
What I have appreciated is the looking back... I go to some of my early ones that I thought were not so great and see things I hadn't noticed before. I view them as a documentary of my growth and development.

Elizabeth said...

Re Johnni's comment about what do you do with them all. I have framed some of mine and exhibited them in a textile exhibition I had with a friend, an open exhibition of an Art Club I belong to and, best of all, had three selected for a mixed media art exhibition, i.e. they moved outside the 'quilt' world. I would like to sell some but have still to do my marketing for this.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your journal quilts. To me, they represent an expression of what is going on in my life and mind today. I am struggling with a change within me in how I wish to express myself through my quilts and creating journal quilts for a while will help me work through this issue. It is a very personal one, not so much related to materials and technique as it is to the content of my self expression. I plan a series of journal quilts, each of which will reveal something about me.