My first daily art project was a quilt that has a block for every day in a year. The year was 2001, and I was inspired by a really dumb thing: the title of the old movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. I thought it would be really original to hijack that title and call my piece 2001: A Quilt Odyssey. Of course, it wasn’t original at all – in five minutes on Google I just came up with at least five shows with that title or theme – but it did start me on a wonderful piece of work.
The key to a daily art project, of course, is to set rules for yourself, and to write the rules in your own favor. You want to set the bar high enough so you will be challenged but low enough so you will actually keep on jumping. I did some serious thinking about this quilt in the last days of December, and decided that I would make a five-inch square block for every day. It didn’t have to be made on that day, but it had to document something that happened that day. Eventually I planned to sew the blocks together into a quilt.
On days when I worked in the studio, it was easy to make the block. At night, just before I turned out the light and went upstairs, I would gather up scraps from whatever I had been working on and sew them together till they were five inches square. So the quilt became a diary of the quilts I made that year (I was amazed to count up at the end of the year and realize that I worked on 42 different quilts).