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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Trial and Error

Sometimes when we see something gorgeous we forget we are seeing the end result of a long process. Beautiful heirloom art is not sprung from a moment of finesse but from many moments of both success, error and skill building. It is trial and error that sparks our creativity, gives us free rein and takes us in directions we might not have immediately chosen.

One of the nicest ways I've seen to encourage this type of anything goes, just create attitude is a Journal Quilt. These are small, usually
8 x 10 quilts which can be done in a variety of mediums. I first heard about these from the Quilting Arts television show run on PBS. Patricia Bolton (Pokey) is the host of this show; a great one for sparking your imagination.

The idea of journal quilts is to encourage you to continually create and try new techniques. Because of its small size, you don't have to feel like you're committing to a large project. It's similar to a sketchbook for your various attempts and reminds me of knitting and crochet samplers. As with journal quilts, there is no reason why this same concept could not translate to other fiber arts as well.

This past Saturday, I caught another of my favorite shows: America Quilts Creativity, episode 913. This episode had Pokey on as a quest and to my great delight, she actually walked us through her method for creating one of her journal quilts. Click here for the pdf file that gives you the steps from that show.

Mistakes often take us into new areas of creativity, opening our eyes to new possibilities. Use that freedom and try some journal quilting!

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