Monday, November 19, 2007
Journal Quilt Project: Week 1
A while back, I decided that it would be fun (or possibly, insane) to do a weekly journal quilt project for a year, and chose to do the year starting with my 39th birthday (which is today) and finishing a year later (duh) on my 40th birthday. Each week I will do a small journal type piece, which will relate in some vague way to something going on in my life or in my artistic work, or inspired by the season or the weather or an exhibit I saw or a holiday or anything else I can think of to allow me to do pretty much whatever I want and have it still fit into the scope of the project. I will plan to finish a piece each week (during the actual week, which will run from Monday to Sunday), with the possible exceptions of weeks we are physically away from home on holiday, etc. I may try to do a hand piece for those weeks, or I may just catch up when I get back. At any rate, I will end up with 52 little works, which should say something about my life for that year. I am not going to plan for them necessarily to all be the same size, but they will none of them be bigger than about 10x12 and none smaller than 6x6. It will depend on what I feel like doing. (Success of project=broad range of criteria!)
This week, I got my piece (nearly) done at the start of the week, as I knew just what I wanted to do for it. I think coming up with an idea I want to express may well be the hardest part of many weeks' work. Anyway, this week, I have Hawaiian shirts on my mind. This won't surprise you! So I decided to use a little fabric from my dad's shirts (have I mentioned there is TONS of this fabric?) and make a Hawaiian shirt (on a Hawaiian shirt background). The background is quilted with large, hibiscus-esque flowers and palm trees (in a free form sort of way) and then there is a folded shirt stitched on to the piece. I do have to add a backing and edge it, but it's essentially done. I should say, it's 8x8 and I'm not totally happy with the background, but the point of this piece is not to be perfect, just to be a journal, so it doesn't get changed. I do think it might be fun to do a couple of pictures this way, with a colourful shirt on a solid background. Might do one for my stepmom while the big quilts are in progress or something.
Because I know some of you will ask, I have also put together a little tutorial in my flickr album about how to fold these shirts. Some of the motions are a little hard to describe in words, but I think you can probably muddle through if you really want to - you might find it easier to try with paper first, as the folds stay folded a bit more easily. If you make a folded shirt, let us know so we can see it!