Saturday, August 30, 2008

Thoughts about Size...

As some of you know, my inspiration for our BJP came from the Quilt Journal Project which has been going on for several years now. For the first few years, the participants all worked their journal quilts the size of a sheet of computer paper... 8.5 x 11. Unlike us, the size was a given.

Quilt Journal Project, 2007 Chicago Quilt Festival
This July, I taught at the International Quilt Festival in Long Beach, CA. Among other fabulous quilt exhibits (miles of them it seemed!), there were two separate exhibits of journal quilts. One was from the earlier years and the second was from 2007, at which time the required size was doubled to 17 x 22 inches.

I spent all of my free time at the Festival examining the journal quilts in both exhibits. Sorry, I didn't take a camera, so no comparison pictures... However, my general impression is this... the smaller-sized quilts seemed more expressive, spontaneous, precious, compelling and journal-like. The larger-sized quilts seemed to be more about planning, techniques and showing off quilting skills; they were somewhat impersonal and more like quilts you might see in any exhibit. I didn't spend as much time with them as I did with the smaller quilts, even though I'd seen the smaller ones in previous exhibits and the book.

I came away with the conclusion that for journaling purposes, small is good! And, by the way, I put a picture of the smallest 07 BJP pieces (buttons) here on my blog yesterday... in their finished form.

Robin A.


abeadlady said...

Ohhh! I like those, Robin. So glad to hear your muse is returning. Mine, too. Busy all summer, but not a lot of beading. Just waiting for BJP to start again, I guess.

Marty S said...

What an interesting observation about the Journal quilts! It's as if when we spend too much time planning and "editing" we get farther away from the raw idea or feeling we are trying to express.

Maybe it's like one of the differences between a written journal entry and a short story--the journal entry is a just get it down on paper thing and the short story goes on to be revised and edited.

A challenge for me with the BJP will be to balance spontaneity with planning and revision. I'm quite likely to start a beaded something with nothing more than a vague idea. But I am not hesitant to revise. And I do believe everyone should have a seam ripper in every room. Or at least everyone who doesn't have small children around.
Marty S
Crackpot Beader