I wrapped up my year-long journal quilting project in 2012, two weeks after my daughter was born. It was a terrific project for me and one that I am tempted to repeat. If nothing else, I had something on my to do list every week that encouraged me to get into the studio for some play time, to try something new and to stretch myself a bit. I have found myself using a lot of the techniques over the last four years that I first experimented with during the project, including some of the design practice that was required to complete a new piece of work each week.
As I wrap up my #TBT posts here, I’d like to share some lessons learned from the project:
- A weekly project that prompted me to create something new was a terrific exercise for creativity. Some weeks were less creative than others, but I pushed myself to try new things and some of the results were wonderful.
- I learned how to design. I learned that I needed to set aside some time for quiet reflection and sketching and how to keep pushing on a topic until the spark came. I also learned that sometimes, it just doesn’t work and that it’s okay to pitch something in the trash and start over.
- Practically, I tried a wide variety of techniques that I might not have tried otherwise, explored many of those stitches on my machine, and improved my binding skills.
- The final lesson learned – you never know what’s going to happen. If you’d asked me at the beginning of the year to predict some of my subjects, I would have named 100 things and never mentioned “pregnancy.”
I can’t believe that I have now been posting these Turn Back Thursday journal quilt posts for an entire year. But, here we are, at the end of my journal quilting project. Like last week’s quilt, this one was made a little late because we were home with a newborn in Week 52. Actually, in Week 52, we had movers pack up half of our belongings into the living room and we moved out for the summer so that our condo (which was fine for the two of us, but not so great for three) could get a new kitchen, new bathroom, laundry room (so that we no longer had to go down 4 flights to the basement), and have two closets put together to make a nursery. Our daughter’s bassinet went into the car and we drove west.
The journal quilt for week 51 did not get made that week (or the next). As Week 51 of my project began, I was in the hospital having just delivered a baby. The timing had been perfect – our child was due the week after my journal quilt project was scheduled to end. But, as has been true of her personality since then, our daughter had different ideas and she arrived early.
For the journal quilt, I took a photo of her at 3 weeks old, sleeping on a quilt that I made and covered by knitted blanket my mother made, and used that photo as the center of the quilt. I appliqued her name and birth date on the top and bottom of borders the quilt. Since it has both her image and the very Personally Identifiable Information of her birthday (I do data governance consulting for financial services companies on the side. Can you tell?), I won’t post a picture online.
Ah, the Tin Anniversary. This week in 2012, my DH and I celebrated our 10th anniversary, the tin anniversary, which is what inspired the periodic table journal quilt. My DH jokes though that it is actually the baby anniversary. We didn’t know it at the time because our daughter arrived early, but we were only one week away from being parents when we celebrated our anniversary with a romantic candlelit dinner. (That was the last one of those we’d have for a while!)
This week in 2012, it was fiddle head fern season. It is now too, actually; I have some in my fridge right now, but I think that 2012 might have been the first time I encountered them. I immortalized both their shape and the recipe for cooking these strange vegetables in my journal quilt for that week.
More baseball in Week 48 of my journal quilt project in 2012. This week in 2012, Boston celebrated the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park in a moving ceremony that included former players walking out from center field to the positions that they played during their time in a Sox uniform. My journal quilt, constructed crazy quilt style in the shape of Fenway Park, includes the names of the players in attendance. Happy Birthday, Fenway Park.
Well, this journal quilt from 2012 is appropriate this week. The quilt represents Opening Day 2012 and It was Opening Day at Fenway Park on Monday this week. As usual, my DH (Dear Husband, not Designated Hitter) and I were there. I don’t remember what the day in 2012 was like, but Monday was the perfect day for Opening Day: sunny with game-time temperatures in the upper 50s. Spring doesn’t really begin in Boston until baseball season begins.
Easter fell a little later in the calendar in 2012 than it did this year.
The basket was woven with strips of brown batik fabric; the grass is Superior Threads Glitter thread; and the eggs allowed me to pull out all of my variegated threads and give the fancy stitches on my Bernina a try. This one was one of my favorites and it might be made into a bigger version to be an Easter wall hanging some day (maybe).
The last week of March 2012 brought the second of our two baby showers. This one was held in the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts for our friends and neighbors there. The party had a Red Sox theme, which drove the color choice for the umbrella.
At this time in 2012, baby preparations were in full swing. We had the first of two baby showers, this one at our apartment in the Boston area.