What is a Quilt?

 a warm cover for a bed, made of two layers with soft material between them, often held in place and decorated with lines of stitching. 

This is what I found on Google but I know if you talked to quilters today, you would get a very different answer as many quilters prefer to work on smaller pieces like wall hangings and quiltlings. This leads me nicely onto Journal Quilts which I was introduced to last summer.  It is a great way to try out new ideas, materials and techniques. It is also a great excuse to experiment without having to commit to a large project and you can upcycle materials and garments.  It is also an opportunity to create a piece which doesn’t take many months or metres of material so if it doesn’t go quite the way you were thinking, you can start again.

November by Cathy Alsworth, Patchwork Robin

The image above is Cathy’s November Journal Quilt. I love this journal by Cathy who teaches at Carry on Quilting. We will be running classes on Journal Quilting when we are allowed to meet up again so if you are the sort of person who admires from afar the magnificent quilts people produce but feel you couldn’t do that, this is a way to have a go on a smaller scale and have fun with your quilting, experiment with techniques and materials or trial ideas for large-scale ideas. Journal quilts are small, lightweight and just the right size for your lap so can be produced by hand, on a machine or a combination of both.  

Cathy has produced a Journal Quilt every month last

year with many inspired by her allotment and Cathy often dyes her own fabric to obtain the colours she needs using many different techniques. She has carried this on this year and you can see her work on her own facebook page.

This journal Quilt is from natural dyes, indigo, madder, and buddleia. It was block printed using the free motion technique.

Your pieces can have 2 dimensional and 3 dimension effect using different material types and thickness, stitch length and style, applique, embroidery and you can include embellishments like buttons, beads and sequins but you can make dramatic efforts with just your choice of colour, texture and print.  

If you wanted to really get involved with Journal Quilting, The Quilters Guild  ( runs a Journal Quilts Challenge and has been doing so for 13 years where quilters take up the challenge to produce a journal quilt each month. The great thing about journal quilts is there are no rules, you can make them seasonal, record events from each month or have no theme at all, just let your creative juices flow. It is entirely up to you!

If this has sparked your interest in this Journal Quilting, keep a lookout on our website for when our classes start up again after this lockdown.

Stay Safe everyone and keeping our fingers crossed we can meet up soon.