Tuesday, 8 June 2010

2008 Journal Quilts

Despite all the distractions lately such as gorgeous weather (sadly now we're back to the usual rain!), teaching commitments and Vintage Gluebook Classes I have finally managed to put together the 2008 Journal Quilts (all with Venice as their theme) for my upcoming exhibition.

Whereas putting together the 2009 JQs was a struggle (read about it here), the 2008 ones gave me a real fight and at times I felt like throwing in the towel and giving up on the whole idea of making one large quilt out of the 12 small ones (each sized 12 x 12"). The first problem was that no matter how hard I tried I simply could not use all 12 and still make the resulting quilt look good. Finally I caved in and decided that only 9 of them would be used, which then made for a traditional 9-patch layout that sort of gelled together. The 3 that did not make it are shown separately on this blogpost and they did not make it because a) the colour did not fit (the red JQ), b) it did look too much like another JQ (the map one) and c) there is too much fabric/paper collage in it and I was afraid of it cracking (the green one). I'm not sure yet what I'm going to do with them!
After this the next decision concerned the background for the JQs. I choose a heavy green furnishing fabric (as the 2008 JQ also used furnishing fabrics which made them quite heavy). I layered this with wadding (batting) and a patterned green backing fabric. I quilted this sandwich with straight quilting lines. First from the side of the furnishing fabric but this did not work as it had quite a pile and I could not see the line to butt my machine foot up against to stitch the next straight line. A re-think was necessary and I ended up quilting from the back.

The next thing was to lay out the 9 JQs and decide how to arrange them. While getting ready to do this, John ventured into my studio and helpfully said: "Nice background". He is well trained and has a ready stock of such remarks to hand for every occasion. I usually pay little or no attention and proceeded walking to my sewing machine when I suddenly pulled up sharply and realized that the JQs were laying on the backside of the sandwich, not the front. I was just about to shake my head at him when it dawned that yes, indeed, the JQs looked great on the backing fabric. So the back became the front!!

The last thing the JQs threw at me was their weight as hand applique (which I had planned) would not hold them so in the end they were machine stitched onto the quilt and to finish more beads (gold and size 6) were added to add embellishment in keeping with the spirit of Venice! The finished quilt is destined for our bedroom after the exhibition so I can pretend to be in Venice now and again.

For my sins I have started to work on putting together the 2007 JQs!


Doreen said...

You do like to give yourself a challenge! Great result though. I especially love the green 'orphan' you left out!


Georgina said...

I hope it does not sound like schadenfreude when I tell you how heartened I feel to hear that your beautiful work sometimes offers up a trial, as does my own meagre work!

Lenna Young Andrews said...

oh Frieda! These JQs are challenging you, aren't they? The result is great, though! For your sins you are going to work on putting the 2007 JQ's together!!!! you made me laugh right out loud with that comment! oh dear. The map JQ of venice is one of my favorites and must be for you too as I see it in your blog background : ) maybe you could put those 3 together in a long panel ?? i don't know! i do love that one. xo lenna

friedaquilter said...

Thanks for the great comments and yes, Georgina, some of my quilts only happen as the result of quite some upheavals ini the process. Good for the soul, at least I hope so!
Still thinking about what to do with the orphans!


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