Journal Quilts - First Four for 2019

This year is my first doing the Journal Quilt challenge with the contemporary quilters of the Quilters Guild of the British Isles - the first instalment....

This quilt is inspired by an image I found of an American manor house for sale via Country Life magazine! The style of impressive house was just want I wanted to achieve in another project so I used my journal quilt to practice. This JQ is created using fabrics from my stash, the main technique is applique. The background is sheet painted with fabric paints, the trees and grass are snippets of cloth with organza overlaid and machine stitched into place. The Manor house is a textured upholstery fabric and I used reverse applique to create the windows. The bushes in front are created as Suffolk puffs with hand stitched details. The drive is some rust dyed fabric with one of my machines fancy stitches to create a block paved effect.


red slashing

I wanted to experiment with slashing / chenille this month. I drew inspiration from an old copy of quilting arts magazine. The piece was red, orange and yellow and had lot of texture and was circular – I think Poppies may have been an influence. I created Layers of various fabrics from red through orange to yellow. The top layer was patched and each patch I stitched in either diagonal straight lines or using concentric circles or a spiral. I used scissors to snip through the layers – I didn’t get as much texture as I wanted, I have since been advised to pop the whole piece in a tumble dryer – perhaps I will!


Reverse Applique: This month I wanted to explore reverse applique some more, I had used the technique to create my windows on Januarys manor house. I liked the idea of exploring a naïve image with a folk art feel so found a suitable image on Pinterest. Using layers of different coloured and textured materials I placed them where I felt would work for the resulting image. As I cut away the top black layer I did discover my colour placements could have been more accurate. In future I would try and find a more stable top layer fabric; the one I used had some stretch and so uneven fraying around the ‘windows’ of colour. Unfortunately, the horses legs didn’t work well so I had to add applique replacements. I finished the JQ with a few fancy machine stitches to add detail to the tail and blanket and a hand stitched ear.


A twist on traditional piecing using experimental rust dyed fabrics. I have been experimenting with rust dying, these fabrics were old sheeting and also some new cotton (from a table cloth). I have used vinegar to draw the rust stains out more quickly and also tea to develop darker and blue black tones. I found an old diamond template I had used as a child for paper piecing and decided to try and piece this shape using my machine. I have since learnt that marking a ¼ inch seam on the back would have made my life somewhat easier and also one of my fabrics had more stretch than I would like which made the ‘Y’ seams even more difficult so I was on the whole pleased with the piecing. I quilted with a cotton thread and my free motion quilting could do with work, I didn’t use a think wadding so moving over the seams was quite a challenge. I like the combination of angles in the patchwork and curves in the quilting.

So the next part of the challenge asks us to use non-typical fabrics (not quilting cotton) I have plenty in my stash but what to base the designs on???? Sign up to receive updates when new Blog posts are released and find out what I decide to do for May, June, July and August..... Oh gosh I am running late on this project again, its June and I still haven't begun.

Keep in touch via our newsletter


* indicates required