Friday, April 13, 2007

Another Take on Journal Quilting

I've been meaning to share with you my partner-in-crime's journal quilts but kept forgetting to ask her permission. Bear in mind we are separated by 1400 miles & two time zones so we don't talk as often as we'd like. Even the e-mails aren't as frequent as they should be, but once a month we have this journal quilt date to connect us. We e-mail each other pictures and explanations of our work, and within a few days, we're on the phone asking for more details.

While I've been working my way through a 2004 calendar of themed quotations, my friend, Judi, thought she'd like to experiment with interpreting her photographs into cloth. She received a digital camera for Christmas and started taking photos near her home. This is the one she chose for January.

And here is her textile version.

I no longer have the e-mail detailing her process, but as I recall, she traced the major lines onto interfacing and proceeded to audition various fabrics and cut them to the proper shape before fusing to the interfacing. This was a technique she didn't care for much, not really seeing its advantage over the more conventional fusible web method. She stopped here before adding any batting or stitching. She thought she might like to just stretch and frame this as is.

In February, she planned to use a photo taken at Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison, WI. But instead, she dreamed a quilt design she's sure was brought on by a recent conversation with a gal she works with. Like so many of us, Judi has always thought her perfect life would be one in which she'd quit her job and spend all her time making quilt art. However, during this conversation, she realized that she has always enjoyed her jobs in office work and would not be totally happy if she wasn't working with paper and numbers and computers and files. She needs both office stuff and quilting stuff in her life to feel balanced. In her dream, she saw a quilt that joined those two parts of her life into one "fabric" as it were - strips of fabric interwoven with strips of paper. Here is her interpretation of that dream.

In March, she diverged from her original plan again to work with a watercolor painting by her mother, Julia Zweerts Brownsfoot of Hood River, Oregon. The painting was done some time ago, and all Judi had to work with was her memory and a very faded photograph. On the left is the photograph and on the right is the color restoration provided by one of my software programs.

And here is Judi's rendition.

Again, this is applique, but in yet another method new to her. In this method, each pattern piece is drawn onto fusible interfacing and cut out. Then it is fused to the wrong side of the appropriate fabric and a seam allowance added as each piece is cut out. Finally, the seam allowance is turned to the wrong side, using the edge of the interfacing as a guide, and glued to the back. Then the pieces can be arranged on the background and stitched in place with a zigzag.

Judi found it difficult to get a smooth curve with this technique, and also to properly line up the various pattern pieces because there were no registration marks to follow. In the lower part of the design, she just cut out the pieces of interfacing-backed fabric on the pattern line for a raw edge look, but she doesn't really like a raw edge look when it ravels, and the interfacing allowed for raveling. All in all, she decided she'd rather use regular fusible, or Sharon Malec's freezer paper method.

But isn't it a gorgeous quilt?


Vicky and Bruce said...

Wow Judy. I love the quilts. I do landscapes and scenic wall hangings myself so can appreciate the process.

margaret said...

The "fabric of office life" quilt really resonates with me. It can make for a good balance to have some enforced quilting downtime - like an office job!