Saturday, 12 February 2011

Week 6 journal - absent friends

This is the first week that I've struggled to pull off my journal quilt. I think it's because I didn't have a clear idea of what I wanted to make from the outset other than to use the photo, and everything I did seemed to be wrong. I had all these loose ideas about family and the fact that this is a picture of my grandfather with his adoptive parents. I wanted to contrast their serious expressions was cute words about love but what I was doing with it wasn't coming together. I had painted the background, over painted it, covered it with organza to hide the paint, but the organza was too shiny so I stitched on some fabric strips and they were too bright. Nothing was working.

I had lunch mid-week with two lovely local bloggers - Carole and Lynette - and they gave me some great advice, which included "keep going" and "keep adding". So I persevered with it, rethought a couple ideas, added gesso (lovely gesso, covers a multitude of sins). A hunt through my paper treasures box produced the image of the lady in the hat and it reminded me of a photo I have, which is supposedly my grandad's birth mother. I already had the pieces of champagne bottle foil stitched on so the Robert Burns poem "Toasting Absent Friends" tied it altogether nicely.

I'm certainly happy with the way the emotional loose ends are tied up, and am more happy with it visually than I was with the mid-week version, but I'd really like constuctive feedback on it because it was such a challenging process.

A Toast to Absent Friends

"to absent friends
to those we have met
to those we have yet to meet
to those who have left us for a while
and to those who have left us forever

let us lift our glasses
and drink a toast
that they may abide in our hearts forever

to absent friends"


  1. what a lovely journal entry.
    Well done for sticking at it till it got to where you wanted it to be.

  2. Looks great - much more 'together'. Love the vintagey feel.

  3. Perhaps the challenge lay in the use of a photo that had so much meaning to you - I think I would really struggle with that too and would find it much more straight forward to use an image without the connections. I know when I made the quilt with my grandfather's stitching in it I took an enormous amount of time to even get started as I worried that what I was doing wouldn't be good enough for the significance of the piece I was using. So maybe you unintionally made it harder for yourself. I try to remind myself that not everything has to be the perfect piece but using significant textiles or images seems to work against that for me. Well done on finishing it - I'm sure it felt much easier to quit. You are doing great.


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