Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Journal quilt : April

Today I have my latest journal quilt to show you and thought I'd talk you through my design process again. With the previous 3 journal quilts, I had a very clear picture in my head of what I wanted them to look like. The April one took a little more effort as I had a brain full of images and inspiration.

I wrote a list of all the things which were inspiring me and started to doodle. Some elements were rejected quite quickly as they just didn't seem to work with anything else.

One element I was absolutely sure I wanted to include was the starling which fell down my chimney. I ended up using this photo to create the silhouette which went in the middle. For those of you who asked, we did manage to get it outside before it pooped anywhere!

I was also keen to use the black and white of the Tudor Speke Hall (above) and blue for the river Mersey which runs by it. However, at that point, I just couldn't seem to work them in.

The other strong image which kept coming to me was the painting of Adele Bloch-Bauer by Gustav Klimt. At the beginning of April, Chickpea and I went to see the excellent film Woman in Gold which follows the fight by Maria Altmann to reclaim this painting of her aunt which had been seized by the Nazis. The colours and patterns Klimt used were so inspiring. In particular, the square within a square motif on the left of her head was perfect for patchwork and, with a little artistic licence, the pinks and golds could be the embers of the fire the bird was caught behind!

Even better, the triangular pattern at the top of Adele's dress reminded me of the front of Speke Hall.

At this point, all the design elements finally fell into place and it was time to choose fabrics.

Funnily enough, quite a few of the fabrics in my stash had gold highlights. I think the cream fabric with the gold swirls might even be a Klimt fabric as there was a fabric range inspired by his paintings a few years ago! The sequins were a last minute addition to give a touch of extra sparkle.

Ta-dah! This is Chickpea's favourite of the four I've made so far. I'm really pleased with it too after finding the design more of a challenge.

And here it is with the others.

I took them all to our quilt group meeting last week to display on my demonstration table. It was a charity night and I was showing how to make the mug hugs again.

These are some of the other journal quilts made by members of our group. I really love the ones on the right of the bottom row. They're a talented lot in my group!

Before I go, I also wanted to let you know that I've signed up to take part in 30 Days Wild which I found out about through Amanda and Louise's lovely blogs. It's been organised by the Wildlife Trusts and the challenge is to do something nature-related every day throughout June. I think it was the thought of 'Random Acts of Wildness' which finally persuaded me! I'm already getting really excited and writing down ideas: gardening, crafting and baking will be involved. I think I'm going to make a crop circle on my lawn - well it means a lot less mowing!

Is anyone else going to sign up? Even if you don't live in the UK, you could take part. The idea is to bring a little bit of nature into your life every day. It doesn't have to be onerous, it can be as simple as having your morning brew in the garden and, rather than your mind racing and planning your to-do list for the day, pause to listen to the birds and the breeze through the trees. In fact, I think I might go and do that right now. See you soon. x


  1. It was lovely to learn about your design process. Thank you for sharing.
    Anne xx

  2. I enjoyed the design process too - the story behind the square. It's going to be a fantastic quilt at the end of the year! Thanks for the mention too - I'm looking forward to June and can't wait to receive the ideas pack from the wildlife trust!

  3. Hi Julie, have to say this one is fab, love the colours and the starling. You should be very proud of your work. Thanks for the mention and all looking forward to the pack, busy time for wildlife at the moment just hope I can fit it all in.
    Amanda xx

  4. That is brilliant. It really helps to learn about your thought process as you made it, to see what inspired you and how you interpreted that with fabric.

    Thank you for the info on the 30 Days wild project - I like the look of that, I need to read more and see how realistic it is! xx