Monday, April 13, 2009

Quilted Art Journal


Gypsy Woman Journals
Click link to go to Etsy Shop

Through the years I have found that my penmanship leaves much to be desired. Regardless, I love to keep journals, and I’m especially fond of creating covers for them. Sometimes I just pack my journals with pictures, sometimes I fill their pages using rubber stamps, and sometimes I sell them at the Roanoke Farmers’ Market for other souls to fill. The Gypsy Woman Journal series was 'developed' instead of just created. By this I mean that I started with an idea and then experimented with it endlessly ‘til I got it right. Many times, this is how I end up with a series I love. One of my favorite sayings, "Play it till it sings," describes how I feel when I create one of these labors of love. The journals started many long years ago when I began experimenting with batik. I decided to modernize the batik process by making a crayon batik. I transfer my design to cloth and free motion quilt it on my sewing machine using metallic thread.

I then glue fabric and embellishments to a hardbound journal frame such as Canon. Along the spine, I tie on fanciful, gypsy-like ribbons or yarn.

This week I'm experimenting once again with a portrait journal that I will send as a baby gift to a friend.

A few years ago, the magazine Quilting Arts had a contest for quilt-altered book journals. I was excited when they chose to feature my adaption of my book She Who Whispers


To think that it started with an old children's board story book I used as my base! The sky was the limit as I purused my endless supply of embellishments. I even used a jangled bracelet around the spine to add more interest. I usually don't have time to enter my work in magazine contests, but this year I have decided it’s time to share my art again. When I was on the art show circuit, I was worried that others might copy what I do (although this was a silly worry since no one actually can keep up with me; I move on continuously exploring new mediums, which is my passion). I was especially worried about this at the major shows where jurying is so tight. An artist could easily take pictures of my work, go home and duplicate then in their studio, and then use the resulting slides in the next big show. I would be in competition on my slides of my own work! But now, my thinking has changed. I am hoping to actually stimulate my readers’ and viewers’ imaginations to create their own pieces using some of the materials I have used. I want art and crafts to live on in our world of ever changing technology. Homes today are decorated by young people, more often than not, with sterile prints in an effort to achieve sleekness. Doesn't the owner's personality come into play when decorating anymore? Artwork adorning the walls adds so much character to a home. And can't the flat screen TV's be combined with beautiful artwork? I'd like to see more decorating of this nature in magazines.

I'm including a few images from my home, Woodloft (I name everything I own). One of my great passions is 'the grounds' at Woodloft and the Woodloft Garden. I'll expound on this more in the summer when the herb garden is in full bloom and the vineyard is ready for my brother, JIm, to harvest and make his "Blended Legacy" wine. (ask permission) I’m also quite taken with the garden of my neighbor, Jean. It’s a fantasy beyond belief!

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1 comment:

  1. What an incredibly beautiful work of art you have made of your blog! What lovely memories it brings!


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