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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Penick

Paper Quilts & The 100 Day Project

My new year's resolutions included "watch more movies" (which I've been doing a pretty good job with) and "keep up website news/blog" (which I have not). So here goes working on that second resolution.

Yet another goal has been to get organized for the annual "100 Day Project", a sort of personal challenge in which artists commit to making something creative for 100 days. Last year I didn't think it through well, and just sort of did SOMEthing (anything) for 100 days. It starts on February 13th.

This year, thanks to the good folks at and some other artists who encourage really thinking through what you would like to do, including asking yourself why you want to do it, I have a plan.

I have always loved quilts and collage, and I recently assigned, in two of my classes, "paper quilts" as a creative prompt. I thoroughly enjoyed making simple quilt patterns, along with my students, using a combination of collage and watercolor. And the more that I made them, the more I wanted to make. And the more that I thought about doing this for 100 days, the more ideas I got.

I have thought of trying paper Kawandi quilts, traditional American "crazy quilts", trying my hand at the color-rich and compositionally marvelous improvisational designs of the quilters of Gee's Bend. I have started following other artists, gathering ideas for patterns -- both from those who make paper quilts, those who make cloth quilts, and those whose simple abstract forms make me think of quilts.. I like the idea of incorporating hand-painted and hand-patterned paper, of including drawings, paper and photos from an upcoming cross-country road trip that will coincide, in part, with the 100 Day Project.

And so I feel that I have ideas to keep me going for the duration of the project. One of the great things about this months-long creative endeavor is how it allows artists to connect and share ideas. I will follow ideas and patterns that I find and I would love suggestions from you, links to others whose work I may not know about, and to have you as part of my squad, cheering me on. On Instagram you can find me as @jenniferwilkinpenick and for the 100 Day Project I will be using the hashtag #100daysofpaperquilts.

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