Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Journal Quilts for memories

    Except for one tv segment on Boston's The Good Day Show, I don't believe I ever quilted until I saw an enticing sign in the Cambridge Quilt Shop advertising a journal quilt workshop. Geri Barr from Australia had our group layering fabric backing, batting and top to commemorate a memorable or significant event each week in our lives. If you type "journal quilt" in the search area in the top left of this page you can see I have written many times about these. Better still, my website has two very long pages of these journal quilts.

     I missed making these small, 2- hour 8" x 8" quilts that start out as 10" x 10." I hope to get back to them...one a week. This week I am remembering 8-year-old Hannah's asking me fairly recently if I got my ears pierced:
"No, Hannah, but if I ever get up my nerve, I'll have you and Erika go with me."
"Oh never mind," she said. "Don't worry. You only have about ten years left and it would just be a waste!"
"Only ten years?" I asked.
"Oh, or twenty," she recovered, a bit red-faced.

      After layering and adding ideas, I pin the three layers together to quilt them. Next, I place the "sandwich" under a posterboard frame, the center of which is 8" x 8," draw and sew along the markings. I then cut off the edges with pinking shears. Fiskars work very well. After making do in the past, I finally got good markers: Sewline yellow fabric pencil for dark fabrics and The Fine Line blue marker for light fabrics. Both markers rinse out immediately and beautifully with water. Remember to only spend 2 hours on these. They are "sketches" or fodder for something else. If you spend much more time on them, you may cease to create one a week.

        I wanted 3-D flapping ears and the flying clocks. I use multicolored thread for the writing hints. I have two suitcases full of these soft quilted memories and am starting a third.


  1. Out of the mouths of babes! I love the flying ears. You make a 2 hour memory quilt a week, and I will write a 2 hour memory story. You are always an inspiration!

  2. The ears add the perfect touch! Children are so observant. As they gain more perspective on life around them, they ask those questions that will "fill in the blanks."

  3. I can't wait to see this one in person! Most everyone can relate to this!

  4. Oh, yes, out of the mind of babes! Your story about YOUR Hannah is classic! I remember when my just-married great-niece, MY Hannah, asked me plaintively why I now made baby quilts for all the babies born in our family, yet I'd not made her one. I told her that unfortunately, she'd been born before I started quilting in earnest. Then I promised: "Hannah, when you get married, I'll make YOU a quilt." She looked at me wide-eyed and said, "But Aunt Alice, you'll not live that long!" Luckily, I did! Actually I made her a quilt earlier--for her high school graduation gift! This is a super journal quilt, and good luck on your new resolve to make one a week! I think Trilla's vow above is so good, and I ought to join her in that!

  5. I am the "Appreciater" --- will appreciate whatever you, Linda, Alice, and Trilla put out there through your journals, any kind. This one is funny - but a look in the mirror - or on the calendar - can give us all pause. ss

  6. You definitely need to straighten that granddaughter out that you are not dead yet. But what an eye opener that we need to live each day to its fullest because she is right that we do not have many good days left. ES

  7. I love the clocks and I love Hannah's observation. Ten years is just the blink of an eye, and 20 years isn't much longer.