Journal quilts — May’s quilt

Yes, I know it’s September.  Way back at the beginning of the year I committed to doing monthly journal quilts  that were 12 by 12.   I got stuck back in….May.  Good grief.  I decided it was finally time to just finish the stupid thing and move on.

If you want a refresher, you can see the other posts about my journal quilts here.

So, here we go.  My theme is the Alphabet.  That’s a pretty wide open theme and I sort of wish I’d chosen something a little narrower, or stuck with some of my initial ideas that would have wound up tying all of them together better.  Oh well, it’s a learning experience, right?


You are going to think that what I’m about to say is going to sound like I’m being overly critical and hard on myself, and honestly:  I’m not.  I don’t hate this piece or think it’s terrible, but I do think it’s a little boring and could have been a lot better.  Or different.  Or something.

Things I do like

1.  The beads edging the leaves and flower petals.  I used something similar on the journal quilt I just sent to Houston, and I’m really pleased with the look that this gives to the applique.

2.  The beads in general.  I adore beads.  I still have a lot to learn about successful beading, but I know that I want to continue trying to incorporate them in my quilts.

3.  The colors.

Things that I do not like or wish were better or different or something

1.  I liked writing the words with beads, but I think my beads are too inexpensive:  the consistency in size and shape of the seed beads (or lack thereof) made it hard to always have really nice smooth lines.

2.   The size/scale of the flower.  I was using some applique shapes from an abandoned project, and I wish I had either made the flower smaller and had more flowers or made the flower much bigger and cropped some of it out.

3.  The background:  I wish I had quilted it on the longarm to give it some texture.  I also wish I had bound this with a regular binding instead of “birthing” it.

4.  The beaded edging at the bottom:  I like it, but:  I should have marked out where the loops were to stop and start so that they are all consistent, some aren’t the same and you can tell (in person).

The key is that these don’t have to be masterpieces:  they are supposed to be experiments and learning tools.

Honestly, all I had to do yesterday was the beaded edging — the rest of it was done.  And now I’m calling it good and moving on to “June.”  Hopefully it won’t take me  5 months for the next one.

In other news:  I had my first rehearsal with some of the kids that have solos in the upcoming high school production of Grease last night.  Went pretty well, all things considered.  I have a lot of practicing to do — so do they.  5 weeks and counting!  I got copies of the movie and the original Broadway cast recording to watch/listen to — this music is a lot of fun, and I hope our cast can have a good time with it.

Gotta go — my studio is calling me to come back for a short while before bed.




  1. AllenQuilts says:

    Well now, too bad you weren’t here at my house last night as I began working on the satin stitching of the applique I’m working on. I really need a class on that!

  2. Jan says:

    I like the beads on the edges of the flowers, leaves etc. I always think projects like this look so cool yet I am completely intimidated by them.

  3. Tanya Brown says:

    I, too like the beaded edging you used on the petals and leaves.

    Although I personally like this piece, I can relate to the desire to do something that is “more” somehow and not quite getting there. The good news is that there are lots of months to work with.

  4. Ami says:

    I really like the colors in your little piece. I think that it is good that you finally finished it up and are moving on to the next piece. Journal quilts are intriguing and are something I would like to try myself. I think they are a great exercise in working out a composition and learning and growing. It would be a lovely thing to have them all hang in a group at the end.

  5. Angela says:

    I love the colors. You know, honest self criticism (or reflection) is a hard won skill. I don’t think you’re being overly citical — you know what you liked, what worked, and what you would do differently next time. Sounds like the point of the exercise to me!

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