Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Journal Quilts 2009

Creativity is its own driving force. Have you ever pursued one direction only to veer off your intended path? I love it when that happens! I'm not forcing the process. These 'bunny trails' often lead to the best artistic destinations. Happy accidents of discovery, ideas, techniques and materials flow when I deliberately let go of a mind set and ask myself "what if...?" and then start playing. For some time now I've been considering Journal Quilting to set myself up for just such occasions.
In pursuit of lofty 2009 art quilt goals, I replaced my morning espresso & emails with espresso & art quilt reading. This mornings book The Uncommon Quilter by Jeanne Williamson really set me on fire and all I had read was the Foreword by Karey Bresenhan (Author of Creative Quilting: The Journal Quilt Project and Jeanne's Introduction. Jeanne confirms what I have experienced firsthand in the following statement:
"Whether you're an experienced quilter, a beginning sewer, or a creative artist looking for a new medium, its always important to experiment with new ideas, techniques, and materials.
The more artwork you create, the more you grow and the stronger your work will become."
The Uncommon Quilter marries traditional quilting techniques with unusual materials such as plastic, paper, surface design and fibers. YES! this perks the mixed-media artist in me to full attention. So tonight after an evening of playing with my felting/embellisher I made a commitment to begin Journal Quilting and the book I am going to jump start with is one called Pillows: Designer Techniques by Christopher Nejman. I chose this book because of its 15 different and very attractive projects using felting, cording, beading, etc.etc.etc... I'm not making the pillows, just learning techniques.

Jeanne Williamson's Guidelines (in case you want to try this yourself)
1) Create one small quilt per week.
2) Size 8" x 10"
(she kept hers vertical but I will be flexible with mine)
3) No discarding original piece to start over if you don't like it.
4) No obsessing over aesthetics of the piece. (the goal is to create)
5) No limits on what techniques I choose.
(limit the number of choices so designs remain focused while mastery of method is achieved.
6) Each quilt's recorded information is on the back:
(dated, numbered, and annotated with what was happening in my life or what the quilt is about)

Jeanne's book is based on 365 quilts she made in 7 consecutive years. I'll do well to tackle one year! But if I continue Journal Quilting, I'll set new rules or sizes to stretch myself artistically. Any Journal Quilter's reading this? I'd love to hear about your experiences.

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