28 December 2016

Thinking ahead to 2017 JQs

The 2016 journal quilts are finished, and I'm thinking ahead to next year.
Kettle Express - graphite, fused plastic, fabric, on paper; machine stitch, couching, running stitch
Windstorm - fabric, stamped colour catcher on monoprint; running stitch
Card O'Buttons - graphite (frottage), fabric, stamped colour catcher; machine stitch, running stitch
Steamin' Kettles - french knots and fabric on monoprint 
And their backs
(The first four 2016 JQs are here, the second lot here.)

Committing and colluding
First of all, will I commit to doing them again? As part of downsizing, I'm moving away from fabric, apart from the fabric "chimney pots" that will be dipped in porcelain slip and the fluid fabric transformed into rigid ceramic. But it will be impossible to discard my entire stash, so there will be "bits" for JQs (and other odd bits of "fabric collage"). And backings, There may even be a year or two's wadding available.

I'm sporadic about doing this monthly project - sometimes three in a month, sometimes nothing till the deadline. Over the years they've been made ever more quickly, and I fear with less thought - sometimes to the point where it takes a lot of thought to rescue the piece. Fortunately, not every JQ needs to be a masterpiece - the "dogs" are instructive, more so than the ones that slip together effortlessly.

One of the fun things about JQs is setting yourself additional challenges. Faced with the need to use a bit of a certain colour or an added element (button, text, etc) for the first four, a different colour/element for the second lot, and different again for the rest, I find myself going a bit over the top
and using each of the requirements in all the pieces... Or if that "hmmph, I'll show them" option isn't available, you have to add the challenge yourself. The important thing is to stick to the size; going beyond the minimum requirements is optional,

Looking ahead
I find it helpful to have a theme of some sort - eg in 2016 it was to use paper. Instantly you are "developing a series". Next year I'd like to tie in with a theme I want to develop in non-textile work, and have been thinking about my photos of feet on tiled floors. While on a train I mused on the word "Underfoot" and wrote a list of possibilities on a scrap of paper:
"Walking through shadows ... layers of history ... pathways ... footprints ...
animal feet ... trip hazards ... change of surface ... tyre tracks ... shoe soles ..."
It's an unfinished list ... another possibility is geology ... and here's one I was preparing earlier, about 10 years ago  -
A landscape about 24" high from a workshop with Ineke Berlyn, which I enjoyed very much at the time, and had great plans to finish by adding quilting ... but that never happened. Now, sections would be good for an "underfoot" theme, the unseen geology. (Much of my fascination with feet-on-floors is due to the invisibility, or the unregarded nature, of the surface being walked on.)

More WIPs are sure to turn up as I continue sorting through boxes and bags. It'll be interesting to see how they can be "bent" to fit in with "Underfoot".

(The first four 2016 JQs are here, the second lot here.)

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