Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Tributo alla Serenissima Journal Quilt

All Good Things was the December challenge on the Sketchbook Challenge site. We all know how that saying goes: "must come to an end", and I don't want to imply in any way that Venice is about to go under. Lots of money and advanced technology means that such a catastrophe isn't about to happen. What will however finish is the Challenge itself. This will be the very last one and no more themes will be set in 2015 although the blog site will remain available and if you want to start from scratch you can go back to January 2011 and work on all the themes in your own time.

This also means that I will no longer make these monthly 10" square journal quilts after having followed all the prompts religiously for 4 years. And I did feel a sense of relief. Had they continued with themes then so would I. I'm made that way. Once I start a challenge I carry on even when my heart is no longer completely in it. These challenge JQs have produced some of my best work and although some of them were sold during the 52 Journals exhibition, looking at all of them together as I have just done shows the progression of my art over those 4 years as well as the much wider range of techniques I now use compared to a few years ago.
Because it was the last one I took the liberty of forgetting the ending of that All Good Things saying and took just the words as they stood. Nothing more good, or even best than Venice and when I made my mixed media page for the imagined holiday on The Documented Life Project last week I also made the background for this journal quilt which is another of my Venice inspired art. No idea how many Venice related pieces I have made over the years but a lot! And no doubt more will appear in future.

I made the background using calico (muslin in US), my gelli plate and a variety of stencils from StencilGirl. You saw that piece of fabric on an earlier post. Then I used the Carolyn Dube designed large Venice stencil (also from Stencilgirl) and added the outline of those iconic Venetian buildings. I hand stitched along the outline of them. and then added the inches which were leftovers from a previous project and embellished them.
I felt that necessitated something in the left corner area to balance those inchies and thought about a cloud floating by. A fragment of text came to mind and you can see above that I handstitched it on and covered it with Diamond Glaze to make it a bit more sturdy. Little blue star embellishments were added to the sky.
Larger blue embellishments were glued on as seen above. I never fully trust any sort of glue so stitching was also added to hold them in place. For some reason I couldn't make up my mind about the binding and the white one you see is the third one I tried (yes, I stitched the previous ones on and then undid them!). I'm still not fully happy with it but sometimes you have to accept that the perfect binding can't be found, at least not here in my stash.

I haven't decided yet whether or not to continue with  the other series of  journal quilts I have been making monthly for the Contemporary Quilt Group. It will depend on the size and the guidelines they set which won't be revealed till January so I'm keeping my options open. I will have been making journal quilts since 2004 so for 11 years non-stop. Perhaps it's time to draw a line but they have contributed greatly to the development of my art so maybe just one more year of making just one a month! Will keep you up to date as soon as that decision has been made.

It's very unlike me to make so many decisions for the coming new year. It feels like time to take stock this year and decide what I want to do most with my time considering that there is only so much that can be cramped into any one day. If you have been checking out the side bar you will know I have joined some new classes and projects about which more in future. More and more mixed media work seems to creep in so it seemed a good investment to learn more about the techniques used. I'm probably (in fact, definitely!) biting off more than I can manage to chew but I do love a challenge! Nothing learned is ever a waste, has been a life long motto.


Margaret said...

really like how the color play together in this piece

Linda Kunsman said...

so beautiful Frieda! I love the colors and theme. I feel much the same as you do about completing a challenge or course even if the enthusiasm for it fades a bit. Kudos to you for such a long, huge accomplishment!


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