Monday, 28 March 2011

The Mystery of Sin Journal Quilt

As promised I'm returning to the Journal Quilts on the theme of Fantasy, one pair of which won the 1st prize in the competition. You had to enter a pair and I did go a bit mad and produced 2 pairs for no other reason than that I had such a great time making them! The winning pair encompassed the first and the last JQ I made on the Fantasy theme. They were put together as they sort of matched because I used the same green fabric in both.
All the Fantasy Journal Quilts were a direct result of taking the Vintage Gluebook class with Mary Green early in 2010. I have long had a love affair with vintage images and vintage books but that class woke me up to the fact that owning these treasures also meant that I could use them. So I had a wonderful time during the classes using sometimes the original vintage images and occasionally copies of them. You can find my pages by clicking on the Vintage Gluebook label in the sidebar. The resulting gluebook has become a firm favourite in my studio. One day I was casually leafing through it and that was when the thought struck me: "Why not translate some of my favourite pages into fabric?". Yes, indeed, why not, I am a quilter after all, and fabric will always be my first and deepest love.

This JQ was in fact the last one I finished and it was entirely inspired by a wonderful engraving I bought on Ebay, for no other reason than that I was overcome with that "must have" feeling as soon as I spotted it while aimlessly (well no, in fact I'm always hunting for vintage treasure!) browsing through a site dedicated to old engravings. It arrived (see picture above) and was entitled: Musidora Sorrows Lady Lake Christian c. 1795. I haven't had the time to do my own research on it yet but the site I bought it from has so far been very trustworthy in their descriptions. The lady will re-appear in future work as she was quite expensive so will have to work hard to make up for that! By the way the place I bought her from turned out to be located up north here in Scotland and one of these days I'll get in the car, drive for about 4 hours, spend a fortune, drive back 4 hours, and return home as pleased as punch!

As you can see I've mirror-imaged the original lay-out in the Journal Quilt. This was necessary not for any design reasons but because I had a piece of fabric with roses that were oh so suitable but were facing the wrong way. As the lady was a digital file by this time (I scanned her in!) it was easier to mirror-image her than to look for another fabric. I had made up my mind that rose fabric had to be part of the JQ! And once that happens I'm as stubborn as a mule.

The JQ is entitled The Mystery of Sin, and that text comes from an astonishing book I picked up for 50 pence. It has the title Proverbial Philosophy and was published in 1867 by an author with the letters F.R.S after his name which should have been a warning to me about the contents. To describe this as a religious book is a gross under-representation of its contents. And then the penny finally dropped in my dippy brain: the proverbial in the title stands for Proverbs! I know it's now almost 1.1/5 centuries since its publication but this book made my mouth fall open in total amazement at the garbage within! However, I'm not complaining, there are true gems of sentences in there of which The Mystery of Sin is only a small example!

The JQs are still travelling with Grosvenor Show Spring Fairs and will also be on display at the Malvern Quilt Show, 19th - 22nd May so if you're in the U.K. you might have a chance to see them in person.


Karen Owen said...

Just beautiful, Frieda. Wish I could see them in person.

Lenna Young Andrews said...

thanks so much, Frieda for sharing these beautiful journal quilts and the history that goes with them! Wow. I was truly fascinated reading all about how you made them. I, like karen, wish I could see them in person. I love the image that inspired them and the fact that mary's GlueBook classes got you further into using your vintage materials. Why NOT translate your paper gluebook work to fabric? So beautiful & inspirational!

Terri said...

Fabulous post! I am intrigued by the book...and I would likely feel the same way about it. "The Mystery Of Sin" is a fab title for your work. I love the journal totally blow me away with your creative designs, and the feeling you give to your work.


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