Wednesday, January 30, 2008

December Bead Journal Project - Finally!

DS#1 has been back in Arizona for a couple of days now. No sooner did we get him off than this area was hit with cold and snow. That messed up the roads, kept DH home, and consequently messed with my personal schedule. Not that my schedule is that intense or anything, but I can't work with a lot of interruptions. There were lots of interruptions as well as the normal let-down after having all of the family together over the weekend. So yesterday was the first day that I was really able to do any creative work. At some point I pieced the base for my January journal quilt but I will show that to you in another post.

I've been experiencing some frustration with my journal quilts for October/November and December. Both have been pieced for some time but for one reason or another I hadn't been able to move the embellishment stage forward. Yesterday I finally broke through the barrier on the December quilt. This is how it has been looking since about the end of December:

I pieced this near the end of December, inspired by the winter solstice and the accompanying lack of daylight at that time of the year (in this hemisphere). It is pieced entirely out of recycled silk neckties. This was also the time when southwest Washington State was was experiencing flooding. The wavy lines at the bottom read like a river to me. (We live about that close to a river too.) What occurred to me as I put the piece together and listened to the news was the old saying that, "This, too, shall pass." The days will get longer again, the floods will recede, homes and lives will be rebuilt (what choice do we have afterall?). The letter beads spelling out the quote filled the space over the river nicely. I wanted to make cloud cover by tacking down a sheer material with beads. That's where I got stuck. The first material I tried just ravelled out too much. Yesterday I went out to JoAnn's and bought a really simple lace. It's sort of a cross between netting and lace and doesn't ravel when cut. I didn't get quite the effect I was shooting for but it works. I didn't want the stars in the print to show through as much as they do but by that time it would have been too much work to do it over. This way I have both heavy cloud cover on the left side of the quilt and then lighter clouds and rain on the right. Very appropriate for this particular spot on the planet.

(This quilt is very hard to photograph because of the reflective qualities of the silks, the beads, and the sequins.)

I haven't bound the quilt yet but that's about all that's left to do. I had quite the quandry when it came to choosing a backing. I hadn't complied with my personal challenge to use lime green somewhere, somehow, on the quilt but I couldn't bring myself to use a green binding like I did on a previous journal quilt. So I went through my stash to see if I could find a lime green print for the back. Nope. Nothing felt right. Eventually I came across my pile of Hawaiian and tropical prints. Ah ha! Where would I rather be at the winter solstice? In the tropics of course! This morning I have pieced this for the back of my December journal quilt:

There's no lime green in it either, but this may have to be the quilt that is the exception that proves the rule. Maybe I'll be able to use lime green for the quick triangle pockets I'll use in place of a sleeve for hanging. Now I need to get off the computer and put this all together!


  1. wow...beautiful piece (and back!) and what a wonderful story to go with it...thanks, sue!

  2. When you say "journal quilt" is this your Bead Journal Project piece? I'm assuming it is, but just want to check, since I think there is a Quilt Journal Project as well.

    I love your December piece! It's exactly the direction I want to take with my pieces, only you're doing it more... the combination of fabric collage and beads is thrilling to me. Also, I agree with BeadBabe... you've done such an excellent job of capturing the difficulties of the season. I've followed the flooding stories with great admiration for the spunk and spirit of those affected by it.

  3. This page is awesome, Sue! Love everything about it . . .

    Kathy V in NM

  4. Isn't there a saying about there being no rule that can't be broken? Sounds like it fits here and perfectly so since you have the positive and negative aspects of water, one on each side of your quilt. Kind of like kicking the cliched rainbow in the behind! LOL


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