Archive for the ‘2015 Daily Journal Practice’ Category

I have completed my first two months of my daily journal practice! In my first post sharing my intention for 2015, I was unsure of how much I wanted to share here. I’ve decided I want to try sharing a few photos every couple months, showcasing themes or ideas that particularly shine for me. Let me disclose there were days with just words or scribbles, but these are just as important as the entries I want to show today. I found that with no judgement, as long as I came back each day, entries became easier and easier, ideas flowed from one day to the next. Sometimes, it was the days when I had no idea what I was going to journal that were the most creative of all.

IMG_9172I have recently been infatuated with the flying geese pattern, as some of my recent projects show. Flying geese became a major theme of my first two months. I enjoyed the zentangle like quality of drawing triangles and playing with color combinations. These are very peaceful and meditative to draw.


Occasionally, I’d also get an idea for more of an art quilt idea. On these days I’d use words and rough sketches to put down what I was imagining in my head. In the past, I’d have these ideas, and since I wasn’t journaling, they would just drift away into my subconscious. Now, that I’ve captured them down in a rough form, they feel more real and tangible. It is like my brain doesn’t need to work to keep the idea, I’ve released it into the world, and it is there waiting for me should I want to make it into a quilt. I can foresee that this journal will become a place of inspiration, to look back through past entries, and pull out an idea to make into a quilt. I get the sense I can hold a lot more quilt ideas in my head, now that I am letting them go instead of keeping them in.

PicMonkey Collage

When Play Crafts announced their 2015 Pantone Quilt Challenge using Marsala, I enjoyed spending several days sketching possible quilts to make using marsala. This was also the first time a design I sketched got me excited enough to where I took time to calculate size and dimensions and how I would turn it into a quilt. The process resurrected a lot of high school geometry I haven’t used in years. Maybe you will see it as a quilt in the future!

IMG_9156Most recently, I wanted to make a baby quilt for a friend, and spent one of my daily entries sketching out what the quilt might look like, as I had fabrics already purchased.  I am fairly humming with excitement at making my first design into a quilt that is all my own!

IMG_9162Recently, one of the quilt blogs I follow, Quilting Jetgirl, posted her notes on lectures attended at QuiltCon. In one, she quotes the lecturer as saying, “Alissa’s advice to those of us considering how we can find our voice was not to analyze what else is out there or how we’re different, it’s simply to do what we do, again and again, and eventually our unique voice will emerge.” This spoke to me in reflection of my daily journal practice. My intent to start on this new experiment was that I’ve traditionally followed patterns and copied other ideas, and wanted to find my own voice. Her advice echos my experience in these first two months, that day by day, going to my journal and doing what I want again and again, eventually my voice will emerge. We’ll see!


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I’ve spent the last month pondering the new year and thinking about potential resolutions. In the past I’ve selected a project or activity to accomplish. While I still have lots of those I want to complete (see below!), I was feeling like I wanted to select a different kind of resolution this year.

I wanted something that would help me grow my skills and be creative every day.

The every day part is important. It creates a habit of doing every day. Each day, what you do gets a little easier.

Also, recently I stumbled across the quilt design a day project. Each day, you take inspiration from a photo and color palette to create a quilt design using your graphic design program of choice. I was immediately intrigued as I enjoy graphic design and love color! But after a couple of evenings of playing along, I realized I liked the creative inspiration it provided, but didn’t enjoy spending more time on the computer after having been there all day at work.

What I liked about the project is the daily practice of encouraging me to take inspiration from the world around me and turn it into a quilt design. Which led me to realize I don’t really design that many of my own quilt patterns. I follow patterns from books and online tutorials much of the time. Which then led me to realizing I want to design more of my own patterns, and encourage the creativity needed to do that.

Which led me to my new year’s intention:

Journal Every Day

PicMonkey Collage

I like intention because resolution implies I need to resolve something, but what I really want to do is start a new habit and way of thinking. I also like intention because it gives me a little flexibility, if I miss a day, that is okay!

My intention is to write, draw, or doodle every day, a pattern or sketch or thoughts or feelings. I want to keep it as open as possible, so that the action of picking up the journal every day is the most important part. If I don’t have an idea that day, maybe I could do a zentangle or copy down a favorite poem, that eventually could turn into an idea, or not. I want to make the journal a place for undefined ideas, so I don’t need to feel the idea is completely thought through, and just put it down, not knowing what might emerge.

I went to our local art supply store, and purchased a small journal (easy to travel!), quality pens (so much nicer to write with), and a pack of color pens (always need color!).

Already, I’ve seen random thoughts turn into ideas. The first day I had writer’s block, it being the first day and all with a whole blank journal. So I thought about what was foremost on my mind, and thought to myself, this is what I’m thinking about so I should journal about it. I have been pondering and thinking and looking and reading about the design to make as my border for my Ocean Waves quilt. So I wrote out my ideas and sketched the pattern. The next day I continued doodling the pattern, then filling in with colors, and then the next day I thought about how I would sew such a pattern together and kabam! I made up a quilt pattern! So.much.fun!

I haven’t decided how much of the journal I’ll share here. On the one hand, new year’s resolutions work well when you have to report or involve others in them, keeps the motivation fresh. On the other hand, I don’t want pressure to make it look nice, or be thinking about an audience as I doodle and write. It needs to be an open place to explore. What do you think? Should I share or keep to myself?  Maybe once a month, I could pick a post or idea that at the end of the month stands out, and share that!


My Projects for 2015

1. Ocean Waves

I’ve said it before, but this year I mean it, my goal to is to complete my Ocean Waves quilt by our county fair in September. I think it is possible, all I have left are the black borders of quilting, and then the binding!

2. Alabama Channin swatch of the month

I subscribed to the 2015 Alabama Chanin Swatch of the Month club. I’ve been intrigued by their patterns and stitching, and am excited to stitch along this year. I want to learn new techniques and expand my skills in beading, embroidery, and embellishment.

3. Out of the Box quilts

I want to continue to make time for and quilt with our Out of the Box group. We’ve started a stain glass quilt and hope to do another project this year as well.

4. Equilateral Triangles

I think it was my friend Penny, when I was wondering how big I wanted to make my equilateral triangle quilt, said you’ll know when it needs to be done. While I can continue to add and add triangles, I think it is time for it to be done. I have a few more to add around the edges to make a square, and then quilt and bind it. It will be a nice lap quilt.

5. Sierra Oak Threadworks

And of course there is my etsy shop to open. I need to take a few pictures of quilts and dyed fabric, write descriptions, and go live!

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