2007 Journal Quilt

Four Seasons

This year the Journal quilt challenge was a bit different than it has been in previous years. For 2007, the last year of the Journal Quilt Project, instead of making 9 separate smaller quilts, one for each month, we were to make a single quilt. In addition, it was stipulated that the quilt must contain 3 techniques from the book Creative Quilting: The Journal Quilt Project.

Although my main focus has never been about using techniques for their own sake, the journal quilt project has always been about experimentation.


  • Angelina fibers: a thin layer for the sparkle of the snow
  • Couching yarn: on the tree trunk including the fallen tree
  • Free motion embroidery on Solvy: the tiny flowers and patches of snow
  • Tulle: shadows around the trees on the mountain
  • Needle felting: on the fallen tree trunk using roving, wool fabric and yarns and finally, machine applique

I began this quilt in winter soon after the Journal Quilt rules for 2007 were announced. I wanted to make a piece that would carry me through the year, showing the progress of the seasons in a single small quilt.

In the winter sometimes the snow will cover the world like a blanket then slowly melt away revealing whatever is underneath. I worked with needle felting and a variety of fibers to create a fallen tree sticking through the snow. Angelina fibers give the snow covered areas that subtle shine of crystal that sometimes happens when the snow melts, refreezes and gets touched once again by the weak winter sun.


Spring comes, first heralded by the crocus poking out of the bare ground, or sometimes sticking their heads out through the snow. The crocus are followed by daffodils. Ferns in the spring are tightly curled. As the weather warms, they uncurl. The tiny flowers and ferns were made by thread painting on Solvy.


Early summer brings lush green fields. When I look at distant mountains, I can see lone trees standing and casting their shadows on the ground.


Throughout each season the evergreens tower over a panorama of change. A large tree grows on the left side of the quilt with needle lace boughs hanging above. I anticipate with pleasure the fall foliage to come when the mountains are ablaze with bright colors of orange, red and gold, each day different until the leaves drop off and are gone. As autumn turns to winter, the cycle of the seasons begins again.


There are things I really like about this quilt and some that I do not. I like the concept of showing four seasons in a single piece of art and that is an idea I may return to sometime. I like the foreground, the snow and the fallen tree. I like the thread work and in general I like the composition. I think the part of the piece that failed was the large tree, which is too narrow at the top and needs more branches. I do like the binding, which changes colors as it moves around the quilt, especially the upper left corner which becomes part of the tree.

I do confess that although my plan was to work on this throughout the year, in truth, I started it in February, completing the entire background and the snowy foreground and fallen tree. I left it alone from at least April through July and got back to it and worked in earnest again only in August when I knew it could not wait any longer.


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This page was created on November 16, 2006
Last update: 04/19/12