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.