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!

16 comments:

Peggy (playa@sympatico.ca) said...

Oh! Kate, Happy Birthday! And I absolutely LOVE your Journal Quilt Project! If only I didn't have to teach...well,no...I do like my job, but it is so time consuming at certain times of the year...like right now, corrections, corrections, corrections :(....back to your blog. I love the hawaiian (sp) shirt....love it, love it,love it. I will certainly check out your tutorial. So...is the postcard swap going to happen? Or did I totally miss it?

Later
Peggy (playa@sympatico.ca)

atet said...

What a great idea and a wonderful start for the week. You could also include a little bit of the thought process on the backing -- might make for interesting reading at the end of your journey!

Ruth said...

Happy Birthday!! I love the idea of a journal quilt project, can't wait to see what you come up with...

Julie said...

Hey! Great tutorial Kate. I will definitely have a go. Just hope I can remember where I saw the tute when I come to do it! LOL Good luck with the journal quilt project. It's a great idea.

Karol-Ann said...

Happy Birthday Kate!
Love the shirt - wondered how you did it. I learned shirt origami while in Germany and still use it to turn money into 'shirts', I think it's very cool! What a great start!!!

Sew Create It - Jane said...

Happy Birthday! Hope you have a fab day doing something you love.
The origami shirt is very clever!

mom said...

What an interesting idea! Something to look at years later.

I second atet's idea about putting something down in writing about what each block means. Perhaps you could even fasten a note onto each one (on the back?) I think it would be much more meaningful in the future when you might not remember what the block represented.

Helen Conway said...

Hi! I found you via your comment on my Twelveby12 post and will now be following your year in journal quilting. I'd lve to do the same but somehow I just know I'd never get one a week done!

Angelcat said...

Many Happy returns Kate, hope you have a great day!

joyce said...

Great project. Have you heard of Jeanne Williamson? She did one a week for 7!! years. Her blog is at:
http://jeannewilliamson.blogspot.com/
I have blogged about her book. You have a wonderful start on you project.

blackbearcabin said...

how fun...cant wait to see what you come up with each week! at first i thought you meant you were going to make a quilt square each week...not an actual finished quilt. WOW! What a fun idea...something for you and your family to treasure!
good luck!
lisajo

Verry Sherry said...

Happy Birthday to You!
Love your idea for the journal... maybe I can muster a Jan-Dec calendar year journaling...hmmmm...
Your hawaiian shirt block is too clever and too cute!

Hedgehog said...

Happy Birthday! Love the journal idea.

Sequana said...

Have a great birthday! Good luck with the journaling. I'd love to do it, but I know myself better than that....*S*

Sequana said...

Oh, heck. I forgot to say that I did a shirt like that for my dad's bday card last March. It looked just like one of HIS shirts, so it made him laugh.

I used the "destructions" from Martha Stewart. Took me forever, and just about when I was gonna give up, I shoved the paper under the collars and there was the shirt! I'm not sure I could ever do it again.

carole b said...

Happy birthday Kate!! Your journal idea is very inspiring, even to complete one each month! How great would that be to give to a child or grandchild in years to come? You go girl!
Carole (caroleb@ihug.co.nz)