Nothing too personal

Nothing too personal

I was asked to post images of some of the page spreads of my visual journals. “Nothing too personal” but something. I hate to shatter illusions, but personal stuff does not go in my visual journals. I don’t spend a lot of time looking inward as there is too much interesting stuff going on outside of me. Probably that is why I love the net and I love blogs.

Here is a series of page spreads that I had been looking for when I took the photos of my workroom. To set it in context on that day I was starting work on a block for the diamond block quilt inspired by Martha Bingley

As I pointed out when I first spoke about this quilt I saw the Martha Bingly quilt 5 years ago and at the time I noted it and explored the idea of quilt in my visual journal.

I knew at some stage I had worked up a few designs for fans and since I plan to work quite a few fans on this quilt I was have a good rummage.

These pages do illustrate my process however. The first two pages are images of fans found online. They are both an illustration of what happens when I am in the collecting ideas phase. I collect and sift visual imagery before I start to work out a few ideas.

Next I start working out ideas and I put them down. They are just ideas at this stage yet to be distilled into anything else.

I don’t worry if something is not worked through immediately I just get it down in the journal as I can always return to it later in this case years later.

Here is a boring page spread to everyone but myself. Recently we had a swap between Australian crazy quilters on the Aussie discussion list and the American crazy quilters on the big international lists. This is my way of documenting the swap. With each swap received I cut a square inch of fabric from the corner and take a note of who sent it to me. Alongside the swatch I paste into my visual journal any letters or notes. It’s a quirk of mine. When I use it in a project I just like to be able to know who sent me what stuff. I have found that if I do not keep some sort of record I don’t know. So this is what I do it is quick easy and does the job in other words nothing fancy!

I have said it before I see visual journals as tool. I sometimes envy people who manage to fully illustrate their lives but for me a visual journal is a record of ideas and possible directions as well as documenting what I do make. I am afraid they are very work a day documents rather than being art objects in their own right.


  1. Sharonb: I was the one who asked if you would post a few pages from your journals. Thank you so much. After a career in the banking world, I am now devoting my remaining years to the creative side of my brain– if there is still any left. I have so many ideas and I wish I had put them down in journals over the years.
    I admire your work, and I love your blog. Thanks. Ronit

    Ronit Monzon
  2. Sharon, thanks so much for sharing your process. As always, lots to learn. I especially like your idea of tracking swap fabrics, and I was interested to see how you let your mind/pencil play.

  3. Hi Sharon, thank you for posting your journal – its very interesting I love to look at someone else’s design processes. I am with you on the ‘naval gazing’. I had a lot of trouble with this point of view when I was doing my City & Guilds Part II, and even more when I did a CertED where I was expected to ‘plumb the depths of my own life experiences’ when all I wanted to do was get on with what was left!!??*

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