I've been quiet here lately because so much of what I've done lately has been secret. Finally I can share one thing that took up a lot of my life back in April. I belong to a group that does a challenge every year. This year, the challenge was to make something with these fabrics, a pack of 40, 7in squares of 20 Hoffman 1895 Bali Watercolors, blue-green color roll.
I was away for some of the challenge period so I wanted to make a small project, that I had a good chance of finishing in the time frame. I thought about making a bag, or using the square to embellish a garment. But when I looked at the fabrics, they reminded me of phases of the moon, so I decided to make a book that referenced the moon phases over one month. The moon in astrology relates to emotions, and receptiveness to change, since the phases of the moon mean it is in constant change. In the past, I've made diary-style year quilts, which were about what was happening in my life during that year, but I wanted to make something that focused on my inner life, what I was thinking and learning, rather than what I was doing. So I made April Moon. (I worked through lots of possible fancy titles, but in the end, simple seemed best!)
I decided I needed to keep the pages separate until after I had done whatever I was going to do, so I was free to stitch them if I wanted. Then, as I went, I could assemble flat sheets into signatures, and stitch the signatures to the spine tape, so final assembly wouldn't be too time-consuming. (I'm never really motivated by those final fiddly bits!) The Bali fabrics would be used to edge each page, so the colours would show the moon phase. I also wanted the book to be able to stand up, but each page to lie flat when it was opened, which influenced me towards a more standard book binding, with a spine tape attached to a cover, with end papers.
First I made the cover and the base pages. I didn't want to be daunted by cream quilters' muslin pages, so I painted all the pages in shades of blue. I used the same paints to make monotypes for the end papers and the cover. The end papers were printed from a glass plate with rubber bands scattered on it. The cover monotype was pulled from paint on the glass plate. (The overlay shows where the spine was going to be) Then I began to sketch in paint details of my imagined moon garden. It was utterly absorbing, as the more I added, the more areas I could see needed more work. Eventually I stopped, and this was my moon garden cover: