Journals 2005

Last year, and this year, I participated in the Journal Quilts project. Last week my 2005 Journals came home. The photos of those aren't posted yet so while I'm waiting to be able to post the 2006 Journals I thought I'd post the 2005 journals.
January: The first one was a "whole cloth" journal. The sketch was doodled over a series of daily meetings until I found what I liked. Then I started to quilt. I didn’t actually transfer the drawing to the fabric. Just kept the paper near the machine and used it as a reference. Variegated purple rayon thread was used to stitch the outline of the vase and the flowers – I accidentally started to quilt a leaf but then the thread broke. Probably the first time I’ve been happy the thread broke as I hadn’t really meant to quilt the leaves. Next was the brown silk thread to do the scribbles at the bottom to represent the table top. Then white silk thread to do all the tiny, tiny stippling around the vase – The fingers hardly moved at all – number 70 needle and lingerie thread in the bobbin. It took several days because I only had 15 or 20 minutes a day some times. Finally, I tried Sulky’s new transitions threads to do the tear drop background. Decided to leave the vase un-quilted to keep the slightly puffy look – also gave a good label spot on the back where I could write.
February: The beginning of this year turned out to be a hectic and stressful time. I made the tangle messed of threads after completed the Machine Embellishment class through Quilt University. It is all kinds of threads layered between water-solulable stabilizer and stitched together with purple thread. There are words in the stitching but they disappeared into the mess. After dissolving the stabilizer, the tangled threads are quilted onto the quilt with gold thread – again more words – mostly non-work related things that both placed other demands on time and energy but offered welcome release from the pressures and stress of work – Small groups, reading, quilting, quilt journals, bubble bath – all of which tail of into a gold heart machine quilted towards the bottom of the mess. There’s nothing like love and laughter to get through the stressful times. More words around the outside of the thread in black hologram thread list some of the stresses – must does, should does, needs, rules, schedules. Unfortunately the gold lettering is hard to pick out. It’s a little easier to pick out the black words but they are mostly outside the thread tangle. The binding is beaded every 2 or 3 stitches (courtesy of another Quilt University class) as its applied. If you look carefully at the black part below, you can begin to make out one of the words:
March: Water quilt from Linda Schimdt’s Quilt University Class Elements in Fabric. Started this one at the beginning of March when the class began but then it got left pinned to the design wall when work got hectic. Finally took it apart and got it pinned together properly (it really helps if you read what the instructions say not what you think they say). Worked with things I never even contemplated before – cellophane, Angelina fibers (and other fusible fibers), Organza, ribbon as binding, glitter and acrylic paint. The water fabric is painted with acrylic paint – didn’t use enough of the fabric medium so it’s a little stiff. The cellophane is painted as well and sprinkled with glitter then melted with the iron and forms the wave crests against the backs of the rock. The Angelina forms the sprays in front of rocks and on the organza. The water is quilted with Krenik glitter thread – had half of it done before I realized that the needle thread had broken before I quilted a quarter of it! The edges of the rocks are burnt with a candle to seal them. Had problems with that – tried to do to much at a time and ended up losing a lot of my rocks (good thing I was working beside the kitchen sink full of water!). One of rocks even ended up with a hole in the middle so there’s Angelina fibre to be spray coming through there.
April: This was to be a whole beaded journal after taking a To Bead or Not to bead class through Quilt University. The plan didn’t work though – I couldn’t seem to get from idea to fabric and beads – probably not enough planning and enough equipment or maybe lots of beads just aren’t my thing. I was ready to call it a failed journal when I remembered the stitched trees from another class so decided to see if it could be rescued that way. This is the results – I much happier with it although I think its still missing something.
This is the point where really good notes stop. I made a huge push over labour day last year to get the journals done and in on time.
May: In the fall of 2004 and Spring of 2005 I took a Drawing Level 1 class through the local art centre. During the second class, I drew a picture of a Meerkat from a photo I'd taken several years ago at the zoo. From the pencil sketch, I transfered it to three other pages and completed it in charcol, ink and pencil crayon. Then I transfered the sketch to fabric and used crayons and pigma pens to colour the Meerkat. Later I used water-soluable pastels to do the grass in the background before the stitching. Lesson learned: If you are going to use water-soluable pastels and crayons, make sure you colour even the white parts with the crayon before using the water. The only part of the meerkat where the pastels bled in is his white face and chest. It was white fabric so I didn't bother colouring there.
June: The black and white background are left over corners from another quilt. The cutoffs where stitched into half square triangles and trimmed. The words are from a verse in Philippians 3. Rejoice in the Lord always I will say it again Rejoice... and the peace of God will guard your heart and mind in Christ. I will learn out to quilt legible words.
July: Mr Snowman was an abandoned guild Christmas project. He got finished here. The snowman is fused to the background and we were to blanket stitch around the edges. This was started when fusibles first became popular. We used the wrong fusible -- its the kind that doesn't need stitching down and the hand blanket stitch was difficult. I picked out the little bit I'd done and switched to machine stitching. Then started to embellish a little with the quilting and stitching. Thread painting for the broom to imitate a straw broom and fringe for his scarf and pom-pom. The quilting in his scarf, hat and mitts is close loops to imitate knit stitches roughly. Despite his slow beginning, I'm pleased with how he turned out.
August: This one is based on the story that floats around the internet that chocolate is a veggie. It uses the happy fruit and veggie fabric and some chocolate candies. The words on this one say Chocolate is a VEGGIE!
September: The centre was from a guild workshop in June 2002. The resulting applique piece was pinned to my design wall for the next three years. As a final journal, I added the attic window setting and start to quilt.
One of the hardest things to do in the end was to pick my favorites to put on the sleeve and send off to Houston. In the end, these were the ones I chose. They came home last week looking as good as the day I sent them. I think the ladies did a better job packing them up to return than I did to send.

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