Quilted Diary

Since last fall I have been working on a quilted diary. Originally it wasn’t my own idea. I was approached by my friend Lolita Braza, who is an artist herself, and works at Book Graphic Centre of Šiauliai County Povilas Višinskis Public Library

Lolita asked me if there was any chance I could make a book, that would be not a traditional book made out of paper and filled with text, but instead made of fabric and filled with stitches. I agreed to challenge myself and today I would like to tell you about my journey on this unexplored (by me) path.

Quilting is not a traditional Lithuanian craft. From my own experience I know that Lithuanians still associate quilting with traditional quilts made of geometric blocks. In my Quilted Diary I want to show that it has much wider meaning and many techniques may be used to work with fabrics as well as involving nontraditional and non-woven materials. Also I was able to use many of my left over scraps and leftover blocks that never made into my quilts.

I started making pages and chose the size of A4 format. I decided that pages are going to be one-sided, this way I can show how the back looks like. I thought that nine patch block would be one of the easiest to make:

That was not enough for me, so I made one more nine patch page:

I continued to make a page that would represent my personal style using irregular log cabin:

Then suddenly my attention switched to slow stitching:

I always wanted to try stitching through paper and for this page I used tea bags as a background:

I also used crayons to give color to few details on this page. My cat Albinas is represented on it as well. I used his portrait drawn by my granddaughter Vita, that I transferred on a tea bag and stitched:

And last but not least was a page made of plastic bags. This is my favorite so far:

Now came the time to make book cover. I knew I wanted my monogram to be on front cover, also I had this big button given to me by my friend, because it had letter M on it. There are also three irregular log cabins representing colors of Lithuanian flag, and a doily made by my Estonian friend Helga. For back cover I used four traditional log cabin blocks that I had left from some other quilt. That’s what I got:

The book looked perfect:

Then I realized that I can’t add anymore new pages in case I get ideas of making more, and I already had few ideas! So I ripped apart the front cover and added an extension. I really liked that I was able to add one more classical block- Flying Geese:

I decided not to bind pages together. If I use this book as a teaching material, I can take pages out and spread them on a table or give them to different people to study closer. This new cover wraps pages together and I can add more new ones with no problem:

Few close ups from the front cover:

I will keep making more pages and first I must make one representing fused applique.

As the project at the library goes, I will be teaching class next spring. I would like my future students to learn more about quilting and quiltmaking techniques, also discover the joy of sewing and meditative nature of slow stitching.


  1. Shari L Dancer-Thomas says

    Beautiful! How unique!

    • Penny Globe says

      A fun project Maryte. It can fill many purposes..relaxing lap projects as you create your artistic stitches page by page, a great teaching aid, recall beautiful memories of the past and ideas yet to be achieved. Fun-derful.

    • What a beautiful book you made Maryte. I can see you adding more and more pages. if will be a great tool for teaching. Awesome!

  2. Yurena Holma says

    The quilt with all the crosses hit me with emotions stronger than I have felt in many years. My mother had that same scene in an old photo that she brought here when she came to Canada in 1938. Your work is lovely. I am a quilter as well. I was an embroidery teacher , but some of my friends dragged me to the dark side. Visits to quilt shops and then a baby quilt for my first great grandchild and I was hooked. I do mostly art quilts at this point in time. Have entered the odd show and have pieces hanging here and there. I did a small one that was given to a war veteran. He loved it and it is buried with him.

  3. Linda Sanders says

    Maryte, I love how this turned out!
    I especially like that nearly every page is bound with the same fabric so that the finished book resembles a paper book. Your creativity always inspires me!

  4. Kris Arlauskas-Hartley says


    I can’t wait to visit you this summer in person. Perhaps you can give me a few lessons on quilting. It is wonderful how you share your love for quilting with everyone. I really enjoyed your book. It’s nice to be able to see the work on front and back of each page. Hopefully you will get more Lithuanians hooked on guilting and open them up to the endless possibilities of quilting. Thank you!

  5. Beautiful and a wide range of possibilities you used, great work Maryte!

  6. Joan Brailsford says

    Lovely idea and what a beautiful book you have created. I can see that it would be really useful as a reference and something that would be great to add to. you have inspired me to try something like this.

  7. will e hazel says

    So unique Maryte and so beautiful. I love it!!!

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