Artist’s Journal

September 18, 2006

A writer can practice her art in a journal with pen and paper. A painter can practice her art in a journal with paper and paints. How does a quilter practice her art? In a journal with fabric and needle and thread? I’ve been puzzling over this for a while now. Would a journal in which I write benefit my quilting? Would a journal in which I draw with pencil and paint benefit my quilting? I can see how, in the long run both could benefit my quilting in indirect ways. But if I am going to devote a block of time daily to this journal I’d like to see direct benefits immediately…OK, short term.


A little voice in the back of my head keeps telling me that my journal needs to be in fabrics, not pencils and paints. The monthly exercises that I have done for the Journal Quilts Challenge have shown me that kind journaling yields great benefits. These small projects have pushed me to experiment and to try new techniques. I have tried new compositions and color combinations. And while some have been more successful that others, they have all been beneficial (and fun!).


I’d really like to be able to do my journaling on location, though. Can’t you just see me setting up my sewing machine on one of the cafe tables at the River Walk? With scissors, threads and a large pile of fabrics at my feet I could just ask the waiter for a “Soda, please.”

That’s not going to work. But the brain is working on it. We’ll see what it comes up with.



  1. I guess you could do it on site if you were willing to go the hand work route. That’s not my way but a lot of people seem to enjoy it.

  2. There’s always fabric, scissors, and glue stick for your plein aire fabric painting.

  3. I don’t see why you couldn’t do a little Riverwalk sewing! I used to cut out all my college clothes on the tables in the library. It was a big space and it had AC!

    I love your piece this month. I still hope you are planning to print these are blank notecards for all of your buddies to buy.

  4. I like this month’s piece. I have found all of your houses a delight.
    The River Walk sounds wonderful. I first heard about it through my sister when she visited there a few years ago.

  5. Thanks for the picture of the River Walk, I’d love to sit there and watch you Journal Quilt. I’ll bet you would draw a crowd. You could put a hat beside you for tips.

    After the horrendous 21 flood in Pueblo, they rerouted and cemented in the Arkansas River. In the last few years they have let some water run through the old channel and have created a River Walk. It’s quite attractive and this year they are celebrating the 200th anniversary of Zebulon Pike’s Expedition. He built a stockade next to the river for a short stay.

  6. Deb – I have loved all your houses done for this journal challenge – this is another great one. I have an idea journal that I keep w me most of the time when I am out of the house – simple artist sketch pad that I doodle and make notes and tape cuttings of various things in… I gives me a starting place when ideas hit and then I can transform them to journals later. PP

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