Gallery 3 Small Quilts
A Page From My Book: Journal Quilts
The Journal Quilt Project is organized by the International Quilting Association and is open to any quilt artists that want to stretch themselves artistically by tackling a new work for every month of the year. The small quilts can be an experimental exercise of any subject or technique but must conform to the size of a sheet of paper - 8 1/2 x 11 inches. It is like keeping a yearly Journal of ideas in a small format, one per month. I chose to be involved in the Journal Quilt Project for several reasons. I had been studying and experimenting with many new (to me) and untraditional materials and techniques but had not felt confident enough to incorporate them into my work yet. I decided to use the Journal Quilts project to not only experiment but master each idea well enough that I would be showing them to others. This provided the impetus I needed. Instead of tackling a large masterpiece, which may or may not successfully incorporate new ideas, I was only committed to a project the size of a sheet of paper – large enough to master but small enough to finish. Many of these techniques have ended up in my larger Art Quilts and have sold as a result.
Five of these were accepted by the Journal Quilt Project to be exhibited at the International Quilt Festival in Houston and then travelled for a year to different venues around the country. Since I had made two each of the following Journal Quilts I decided to donate one set to the "Art Doing Good" project - which was organized by Laura Cater-Woods to raise funds for the Katrina Disaster Relief. Each quiltlet raised $100 for a total of $500 for the project in the fall of 2005, while the other 5 copies were still traveling with the exhibit.
January – January Sunrise Sold
This quilt was an experiment using Perle cotton embroidery yarn and metallic thread painting on water soluble stabilizer. I used a wide machine embroidery decorative stitch and then free-motion stitched the metallic thread to simulate snow and frost on the branches after an ice storm. I am very pleased with the result and will use this combination in future work.
February – Kessler Highlands Sold
I used a photograph of the Yorkshire Dales, U.K. as a guideline for the background landscape, with its hedgerows and sheep fields. I used actual lambs wool on the bodies of the sheep as I thread painted them. I discovered that thread painting faces is challenging and delicate work. It took 4 experiments with the sheep to finally get them embroidered realistically with their Mona Lisa smiles This quilt was published in the book entitled," Creative Quilting: The Journal Quilt Project" by Karey Patterson Bresenhan, Ed. and Quilting Arts LLC, in 2006.
March – Painted Ponies Sold
I experimented with satin stitch and couched black yarn for a more 3D effect to make the piece look like a real stained glass window. The horses were cut out of printed fabric and fused on to the background before the satin stitching was applied. I used Madeira black core metallic thread and am pleased with the stained glass look this time. It gave me the courage to try a real Tiffany window pattern in the future. This quilt was published in the book entitled," Creative Quilting: The Journal Quilt Project" by Karey Patterson Bresenhan, Ed. and Quilting Arts LLC, in 2006.
April – Saguaro Sunset Sold
After visiting the Southwest for several summers, the saguaro cactus and sunset inspired me. I have also been collecting all types of yarn for embellishing realistic natural vegetation. These cacti are made out of sock yarn using a glue stick and wide zigzag stitch. I added couched thread details for the foreground bushes and beadwork to simulate the sparsely pebbled ground.
January - Dakota
This was a thread painting over a Xerox photo transfer of my dog. I wanted to try to achieve a realistic “face” with thread and yarn. I knew my dog would forgive me if he looked a bit different from his photo. The stiffness of the photo transfer made a hoop or stabilizer unnecessary when free-motion sewing, so I learned that I could thread paint any image this way.
February – Agave
This was an experiment using two different colored threads in the needle to free-motion thread paint the Century Plant. I used an ultra suede background as the night sky and a shimmering sheer over batik for the moon. The stems are made from a couched sock yarn.
March – Coral Reef
I was working on a large project of the same name and wanted to do some small experiments before I commit them to the larger 6’ x 8’ piece. I used fused beads to give the fish some scales and I thread painted the coral. The prickly anemone is made from chenille needlepoint yarn couched on the surface.
April – Jellyfish
The second in the Coral Reef series, this was my trial run of creating a jelly fish out of fabric, beads, yarn and thread. The bell is made from accordion folded crinoline inserted into a white sheer to keep its shape for travel.
May – Confection
After twirling together several different kinds of yarns, threads and ribbons, I twisted them into a circle and sewed them down with invisible thread. I garnet stitched the background and added a few beads to finish it off. It reminded me of a collection of desserts on a tray – hence the name.
June – Fiber Fusion
Using a silk paper recipe, I created “paper” with several different kinds of dyed and unspun fibers, including Silk, mohair, wool and nylon fibers. I painted each with Liquitex Gloss Medium and let dry into a papery form. Some fibers responded better than others but I was able to see which ones I could use this way in the future.
July – Anemones
I learned how to knit in order to be able to produce more realistic animals, landforms and vegetation ( I don't knit anything else either useful or practical!). Inspired by a trip to Monterey, CA, I knitted the tops to these Powder Puff Anemones, and made several more for my larger Coral Reef project.
August - Beach Crab Sold
This was my first project using Sculpy clay to form the crab. The seaweed was cut from various sheers cut on the bias and distressed and sewn down using sulky Solvy on top and then machine stitching with invisible thread.
September – Chinese Lanterns
After machine needle lace lanterns were worked on a heavy water soluble stabilizer in an embroidery hoop, I sewed them on to a fabric background of leaves I have been saving for a special project for about 10 years.