Saturday, January 31, 2009

Chairs and chairs and chairs

So, before we reveal our chairs, here is a nifty exhibit of chair paintings I just ran across.

Friday, January 30, 2009

On the edge of my seat!

I am really looking forward to seeing all our chair-themed quilts as they appear online from 1 February (US time). Meanwhile, here is one of my experimental interpretations of the theme - Twelve Chairs:
Twelve Chairs by Brenda Gael Smith
To whet your appetite, you might also like to visit the Today's Title group blog where they explored the theme of "Blue Chair".The momentum behind this blog is to capture that first image in your minds eye that the title sparks off and to show us in what ever way you can. The aim is not to finish a beautiful piece of work but to convey the initial image. It is more important to capture the main points of your image than create a finished piece.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Chairs All Around Me

This just arrived in my mailbox. Made me laugh as I am chair challenged right now!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Continuing Illumination

Remember our illumination quilts? Of course you do! I loved that theme so much that I made several more quilts inspired by illuminated manuscripts. I wrote about my process and techniques in the new issue of Quilting Arts magazine.

Here is a close up of my quilt "Vibrant Layers." I loved the process of creating that foiled word.

Here is a detail from "Attitude."
(Actually, neither of those quilts was actually chosen to be included in the article. You can see more pictures on my blog.)

And here is a detail from "Daily Ritual."

I want to thank all the twelves for being such an inspiration and supportive artist community. Our blog is mentioned in the resource section of my article. I hope lots of other art quilt lovers will find their way to our blog to see all your amazing work!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Hard Rubbish

Some neighbours down the road are waiting for their "hard rubbish" collection so I couldn't resist taking this snap:

And yes, in a way, it's kind of a hint of things to come...

Friday, January 16, 2009

Too Many Chairs

When Deborah announced our theme, I had just bought four new dining room chairs. We also had the eight that have graced our desks and dining room table for many years. In all, it was TOO MANY CHAIRS in my house! After sketching a little, I asked Gerrie if she could make a thermofax screen for me to realize my idea. Here's what I made:

I'm showing it now because I enjoyed making it, but don't like the final outcome. It's busy like I wanted, but I should have made the strips a bit wonkier and cut off more chair parts to achieve the crowded look I had in my head. While I was waiting for the screens though, I came up with two more ideas which I actually think I like better than re-doing this. But you'll have to wait until reveal day to see them. In the mean time, I'm kinda liking my post-screening work surface:

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Chairs and More Chairs

I found this and lots more chair inspiration here and here. I hope to get back in the studio soon. I have a nasty virus that wants to linger and make my life miserable. I feel my age and you know I am not happy about that.

What to do, what to do . . .

I'm really having a hard time coming up with just the right idea for this chair challenge. I have plenty of ideas, but just not the one that is singing to me. I wrote about the chair challenge on my blog today ( ) and showed a photo of this chair.

It is my sewing chair. It was in my Dad's office for years and years and yet it seems like new as far as its condition. They don't make 'em like this anymore.

This is the problem with this challenge. Everytime I focus on a special chair I am off on a nostalgia trip instead of figuring out what to do. It just occurred to me that I feel so emotionally attached to my chairs because we have such an intimate relationship. I don't allow just anyone to fondle my butt, you know.


I'm coming along on my chair piece. I am telling myself that if I'm not pleased with the results, I'll still have time to try something different. As I'm plodding along, I'm thinking about things I struggle with...
  • I love muddy, tight color schemes, but I need enough contrast to make the images stand out.
  • I'd like to be able to work from a sketch, but I'm more successful just moving the fabric around.
  • I usually incorporate lots of elements in a piece, but I have trouble planning ahead for what goes where and in what order.
  • I'm drawn to whimsical, crafty art, but I can't seem to let go enough to embrace that style in my own work.
  • I'm easily distracted, even though I know I do my best work when I stay focused and just put in the time.
  • I like to mix commercial prints with pieces that I've altered with some kind of surface design, but it's hard to find the right mix.
So, it's a good struggle. Part of the process.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Call me Goldilocks

One of the things I enjoy about this Twelve by Twelve project is the opportunity to explore the theme in more than one piece either during, or even after, the particular challenge period.

Sometimes the pieces are too big, too small, too cluttered, too busy, too wobbly, underquilted, overquilted and so on. But usually I find something that is just right. You can call me Goldilocks.

Here's a detail image of one of my supplementary pieces for the current challenge.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


If I said my chair quilt is done but I can't show you, would I qualify for the naughty chair?

(Lightening may have fatally zapped my computer but my sewing machine still works ;-)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Wishing you a happy and creative 2009

We Twelves would like to wish you a happy and creative New Year. We are looking forward to sharing our continuing exploration of new themes and the collaborative quilt mosaics that result from these challenges.

As a special thank you to all our readers, friends and followers (see sidebar) for your kind encouragement, comments and support, we have put together a 2009 calendar featuring the art quilts from the Mathematics theme challenge that you are welcome to download and pass on. (The red boxes highlight the reveal dates of our next five challenges and we couldn't let 12/12 pass without a little fanfare.)

Download 2009 12 x 12 Calendar (157KB pdf) or click on the image below.

Also, as a new initiative for 2009, you can now subscribe to receive Twelve by Twelve blog updates by e-mail. Just click on this e-mail subscription link and follow the prompts.