Friday, 17 March 2017

Journal quilts 2017, January to March, completed

I did not take part in last year’s journal challenge organised by the Contemporary Quilt Group, mostly down to problems with my Yahoo account. These problems’ to be partially resolved, so I signed up for this year’s challenge.  This year, the size is 11” square, with a theme to be decided by each participant.  On the last date of signing up, there were 170 participants for 2017.

My theme is “Microscopic” and I will be attempting to work in 4 series with 3 quilts on each theme.

The first is “Plankton” as I already had some shapes in mind from previous work and from current sketchbook activities. The plan is to start with a shoal of plankton ( is that the correct term?), then focus on an individual plankton (I think plankton is both a singular and a plural noun) and then show a close-up detail of the single plankton. the additional challenge I have set myself is to buy no new materials, and to use my hand-dyed cloth wherever possible.



Deconstruction-printed cloth, then masks and stencils applied and overlaid with oil paint sticks.






Overlapping stencil and mask

Finished. I really enjoy random textile processes, and interpreting these when I use them in a final piece. In this one, I like how the circular blobs suggest the plastic waste polluting our oceans, affecting even the smallest life forms.



Appliqué cut with scissors and scalpel


Experimenting with foiling ( the foil a generous gift from Helen Howes)


Choosing the orientation of the appliqué - first time using Steam-a-Seam 2- I’m impressed - the temporary surface stickieness, makes this very easy to use.


Quilting before stitching the applique


Machine applique


Finished. I like how the foil dots can suggest either the light on the water or the dots of micro plastic pollution - depending on how optimistic one feels!

Plankton single


A magnified detail of the single plankton, machine appliqué again

More foiling

Finished, but pondering  whether I should go back and quilt the lower edge.  I’ll live with it for a few days then decide.

Plankton detail

On top of all of that, I went to see the exhibition by LondonQuilters on until 15th April. Very generously, there are photos of all of the quilts on their website, here. I was drawn to the works by Jane Steward, Rachel Tyndall, Vivien Kernath and Martha Crouch.  Well worth a visit.


  1. Nicely put.... 'how the circular blobs suggest the plastic waste polluting our oceans'. Love the juxtaposition of quilting and eco-activism

  2. I really like these - great results!


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