Friday, 13 March 2015

Journal quilts: January and February

Hello all. It's finally the end of the week and my car passed it's MOT today - hurrah! Thank you so much for all the comments on my last post: it was interesting how many of you had also been bit by the colouring bug. I mentioned in the post that I'd been doing some quilting so that's what I have for you today.

For the last couple of years, my quilt group has set a challenge or project for all members to get involved in. Last year it was a mystery quilt and I failed miserably. I managed to do the first part of cutting up my fabrics into long strips but got no further. Actually, I'm glad I was slow off the mark as everyone else said it was a complete pain to put together and advised me to make up my own mystery!

This year I'm hoping to do better. The challenge is to make a journal quilt each month depicting what that month means to you. Any technique can be used, with the only rule being that it can't be more than A4 size.

As I missed the January meeting, I have two quilts to show you this time.

January: Well, for those of you who've been reading my blog a while, you'll know it had to be Burns Night. as I've celebrated with my friends for the last 3 years (here, here and here). Haggis immediately came to mind and I had a very clear picture in my head that the little creatures are oval-shaped and tartan.

The face came about by accident rather than design. I wanted him to wear a sporran and, when I added the eyes, it looked very mouth-like. The Scottish thistle moved all around the quilt until I realised it made a perfect nose. The finishing touch was, of course, a few words from Robbie Burns himself.

February: Dark, grey and miserable came to mind but they weren't exactly inspirational for a design! No, funnily enough, to me February means Scarecrow Festival as we've been to one at Tatton Park for the last two years (here and here). We intended to go again this year but, for one reason and another, didn't make it.

The second element is a reminder of 2 surprise encounters with owls I had last month. The first was on my way to yoga class. The venue is the function room of a golf club which you reach along a single track road through fields. As I turned down the dark lane, an owl took off from a fence post and flew right past my windscreen into the trees - it was amazing!

Then, a week later, as I walked home one evening, I heard the hooting of a tawny owl on some spare land: the first time I've ever heard one in our village. Weirdly enough, I woke in the middle of the night on Monday and heard it hooting again!

The owl shape came from an illustration I found on the internet and I used it to create an outline. As I drew the face, I realised it was becoming a heart shape, so that's my nod to Valentine's Day.

I loved making these 2 little quilts and am really looking forward to seeing what the rest of the year brings for me to capture in fabric and thread. For now, I just need to figure out what to do for March. I've got lots of ideas but most of them don't quite match my skill level.

These are some of the January entries from my quilt group which met last week (the 2 on the right and the lilac one are from a different challenge). At one point, we were discussing our charity evening in May and the idea of having different demonstrations in each corner of the room. Before I knew what I was doing, I heard myself offering to do mug hugs again! Why didn't I keep quiet???? At least I already have the pattern and samples. It was also really lovely to see that some of the group brought their versions of my pattern to show me.

This evening I'm going to have a go at making a shamrock brooch. The friends who come to Burns Night are having an Irish night to celebrate St Patrick's Day (which is 17th March). We're all wearing green and I picked up an Irish drinking songs CD in a charity shop! I'm also making some Irish biscuits and will share the recipe next time if they work out ok.

Have a great weekend! xx


  1. A journal quilt is such a wonderful idea and your section for February is just beautiful! I love the owl.

  2. How lovely, the scarecrow and owl are beautiful, you're so talented xx

  3. Lovely idea, the owl dose look good and I can see the one with the trees and the fox, I like that too.
    Amanda xx

  4. What a clever way the face came to be! I love it!
    Love the owl and scarecrow also. Wish my Grandmother could see your work, she died at the age of 96 but she made so many quilts and loved seeing other quilts made by talented quilters!

  5. Wonderful idea for the quilt and so beautifully done. Whenever I see an owl while out and about I have to stop completely, either driving or walking as they are such sedate and gentle creatures (unless you are food!). The colours of the quilts are so comforting and a feast for the eyes. I do hope you enjoyed the haggis. I love the stuff! Have a great weekend.

  6. What lovely quilts - I particularly like the February quilt with the owl and scarecrow - so beautiful. Look forward to seeing more!
    Caz xx