Journal Quilt – H is for Heart – Launching a Monthly 12×12 Series

Posted by on May 19, 2012 in Books & Art Journals, Books & Art Journals Portfolio, Featured Flag, Portfolio | 1 comment

Journal Quilt - fiber art

Journal Quilt – ‘H for Heart’, fiber art, 12″X12″, © Diane Duncan

‘H for Heart’ is part of a SAQA traveling exhibition in 2012-2014 – ‘Best of the West’


For a long time now I have been thinking about committing to a monthly 12 x 12 piece of fibre art to journal my art and life – weekly or daily would be too much at this point! It’s a great way to try out new techniques without committing to a major piece. I have had a little prodding – the western Canada SAQA group is assembling a trunk show of 12x12s, ‘The Best of the West’, that will travel for the next two years. The show starts it’s travels in Red Deer at the Central Alberta Quilters Guild 21st Annual Quilt Show, June 8 and 9, 2011 at the Parkland Pavilion. In spite of my husband’s busy round of doctor and hospital visits, I have managed to complete my piece!

The series of journal quilts that I propose is not limited to one particular media and each piece will feature a number or a letter of the alphabet. Each month I will attempt to find a concept that does not repeat a previous focus until the series is complete!
This month I chose the letter ‘H’ for heart and to construct a fiber art piece for the group exhibition. During the last four weeks my husband was identified as needing, and has received, an angioplasty once again avoiding heart damage. I have nothing but praise for the Alberta health care system and the care he has received.


fabric, recycled grocery bags, acrylic paint, thread, yarn and fabric clippings, felt and beads.

For the background I used a piece of ‘constructed fabric’ that I made last fall by fusing a number of layers of grocery bags together with a hot iron and then painting with acrylic paints. I cut the resulting ‘fabric’ into strips which I mixed and matched as I wove them together to create larger pieces. After stitching along the edges of the woven piece, I created a sandwich of a piece of fabric, the woven piece, a layer of thread, novelty yarn and fabric clippings, and a layer of tulle which was then stitched together with free-motion stitching. This could already be considered a ‘quilted piece’ as it has three layers but I wanted to take it further.


constructed fabric, reverse applique, hand and machine stitching, machine quilting, painting, beading.

To develop my H for Heart theme I used the silhouette of a human heart and the heart symbol with the letter H super-imposed on the stylized heart.  I made patterns for reverse appliqué and removed the appropriate sections from the woven fabric. I placed it on a thick sandwich of quilt batting and a knit fabric that I decided to use for the images. By stitching twice very close to the cut image and trimming away the excess batting and knit fabric from the back, the reverse appliqué actually took on the look of trapunto – done the easy way!
For small pieces like this I like to make an envelope to finish the edges so after stitching all four sides and creating a slit which will be located under the hanging pocket, I turned it to the right side and trimmed and pressed the seams to create a sharp edges on the piece. I like to seal the slit at this point by using double sided adhesive and a piece of the backing material which I slip inside the opening before pressing it with an iron to activate the adhesive.

Now fun time! Using a copper metallic thread and a long stitch length I quilted the woven fabric using parallel lines. On the human heart image I used beads to represent major arteries of the heart and the three stents that my husband now wears. The symbolic heart was outlined and enhanced with randomly placed beads.  The H was enhanced with acrylic paint.  I’m pleased with the results. What do you think?

1 Comment

  1. I particularly liked the combination of colours in your 12 by 12 piece. I was also sorry to hear about Don’s heart problems but glad to hear that that the angiplasty was a success. Valerie Dyment

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