Jane designed the class around nine writing exercises one for each of the nine component squares. Each of the exercises centered around some aspect of our personal spiritual development. We started each one by journaling with a gel pen on plain fabric. I chose to use an assortment of writing styles and plain neutral fabrics during these exercises, thereby adding interesting textures to the handwritten elements.
Next we tore the fabric into small pieces to be collaged on to the squares along with fabrics that we had brought to the class. For each square Jane challenged us by introducing additional techniques including embroidery stitches (ladder stitch, French knots, loop stitch), design problems to solve (landscape layers, pockets, encasements) and items to incorporate such as beads, buttons and milagros.
From the on-set of the project, I decided to limit my palette to golds, greens and blues along with black and white. I also decided upon finishing the squares, that I would add unity to the project by “glazing” the pieces with sheer fabrics.
While I was not able to complete the quilt in the class, I enjoyed having additional time for applying embellishments at home and stitching the squares to the thick felt background provided by Jane. I now have a lovely piece infused with personal memory in the form of writing and other added memorabilia. Just looking at it makes me happy.
This year stitching has become a very enjoyable addition to my creative activities. I especially like it because of its portability – everything I need to work on a little mini-quilt can fit into a quart baggie which I can stuff into my purse and carry with me. And it’s something I can do while half-watching TV with my husband.