Saturday, May 30, 2009


I was at Cal State Channel Islands today looking at 3 different fiber art shows and this is the first piece I came across.
I announced to everyone standing nearby that this is my fellow 12 x 12'er Terri, and doesn't she do wonderful faces.The exhibit is really nice Terri, and I'm happy to see you in it.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Fingerprints Gallery

Hey Twelves, this post is not intended to induce any performance anxiety but just look at this wonderful gallery of fingerprint quilts by Barbara Watler. Thanks to simply robin for the link.

I'm looking forward to our identity quilts being revealed on Monday, 1 June (US time). Remember you can subscribe to the RSS feeds of our posts and comments or you can sign up to receive our blog updates by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the form below and following the prompts (no special account or login required):

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Considering this is my theme I feel I have been unacceptably quiet on the topic. So, firstly, let me show you a peek view of my quilt.

And secondly let me tell you a bit about what it is not going to be about! I am betting that a good number of us thought about, and may have used, fingerprints when considering identity. But how many have actually had their fingerprints taken in a Police Station? Not only have I had it done but I was a young child. What heinous crime did I commit to deserve this? Well, nothing actually.

There was an openday at the local Police station where families could go and look at what the Police did. I remember it was pretty cool getting near a Police motorcycle and there may even have been horses. Or I might be making that bit up, I don't really remember. What I do remember though is getting my prints taken and having black inky fingertips. I remember it becuase I felt very proud and special, better than any other kid in the room because, you see, it was my Dad (My Dad!) who was the Scenes of Crime Police Officer taking the prints.

So fingerprints seemed like a good theme for my quilt because not only to they relate to the theme generally but a part of my identity is tied up with being my Dad's daughter. Being my Dad's daughter explains why I have red hair, arthritic knees, wrinkly knuckles, have actually rung Crimewatch with information and have twice broken up a domestic violence assault in a street.

But then I got another idea so I am not doing fingerprints after all. But I am still proud of my Dad.


I posted some in-progress pictures on my blog today. Here is a tiny detail.I've created two pieces for the upcoming theme. They are very similar -- really just variations on the same composition and ideas. If you don't mind being spoiled before the reveal, you can check out my blog and offer your thoughts and suggestions.

Monday, May 25, 2009


Sorry, I'm drafting my Identity post and keep accidentally publishing it instead of scheduling it. Please pay no attention to anything from me that has shown up on your feeds until our official reveal date. Apologetically, Kristin.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


For the first time since the Shelter theme, I have only made one piece for this challenge. This is due to lack of time rather than lack of ideas. One idea that I would have liked to explore further was redheads.

We may only account for 1-2% of the population and, according to some rumours, be heading for extinction but redheads are well-represented here at Twelve by Twelve with me, Helen, Kristin and Gerrie bearing locks in various shades of red. Since my mother (who was adopted as a baby) traced her birth parents twenty or so years ago, I know that my red hair comes from my maternal grandmother although there are a few gingers on my father's side of the family too. My mother was an avid reader of Anne of Green Gables and wished for a daughter with red hair. In fact, she got two - me and my youngest sister Delia, who was a redhead from birth. One of my brothers is a redhead too although this puzzled him as child and he used to declare that his hair was not red, but orange.

I like that my name, Brenda, means firebrand or flaming sword although this linkage was not intentional (my hair colour wasn't obvious when I was named). When I was younger, I sometimes used the moniker "La Rousse" and I've always admired Kristin's last name - La Flamme. So there is plenty of inspiration for a quilt but, unlike Terri, I have no aptitude for faces or portraits. This is as close as I get!

In Australia, the Redheads Matches company has a long tradition of decorating their matchboxes with redhead imagery. I especially like the Art Box series from the year 2000. Look under the Collector Series tab of their website.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Thoughts on finishing

I've almost finished my identity piece. This time I've been experimenting with painting fusible webbing and securing it with free motion stitching. Here's a peek of a sample I prepared to check my tension:

The piece also incorporates some embellishments so I've opted for a pillowcase finish to cover up some of my knots and stitching.

The Twelve by Twelve project has been an ideal opportunity for me to experiment with a variety of quilt finishing techniques and to simplify the steps involved. I am delighted to report that my quilts (and me!) feature in an article and instructional DVD covering the following finishing techniques:

  • continuous mitred binding;

  • facing finish;

  • pillow case with "escape hatch"; and

  • satin stitch/zig zag edging.

Look out for Quilters Companion #37 and the DVD cover which shows an ATC that Terri made.

My understanding is that the DVD is not usually distributed outside of Australia but overseas readers can still purchase a copy via the Australian website by sending an e-mail order.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My Secret Identity Journal

Ever since Helen announced the theme I have had ideas bouncing around in my head. Sadly, that is where they have remained for the last month and a half. I decided I needed a special journal to explore my identity. The last twenty four hours have been dedicated to creating the journal. I painted lots of papers so I wouldn't have blank pages staring at me. The cover is made from a paint rag and letters from various alphabets. It came together really easy and I love the colorful canvas to work on.

The next task is to fill it up. Maybe inside the safety of the pages I will dare to be the person I've always wanted to be. Maybe I will discover an identity I never knew about. Who knows what the possibilities are. I'm excited! Now to get the ideas out of the chaos of my head and into some type of order. Two weeks to translate my identity into fabric.

Monday, May 11, 2009

You Know What Happens When You Assume...

This clip from Britain's Got Talent has probably been making the blog rounds so please excuse me if you've already seen it a million times. But it relates so well to what I had in mind for my 12x12 challenge that I want to reference it. [Thanks Jan for the link.] I love the comment,

" What? Did they think that because she's old and not physically attractive that it's not possible that she can SING? Why was this such a surprise?"

Hear, hear! NEVER assume that you know about a person based only on their appearance or circumstances.

Life is not that simple. And people are not that simple. Assumptions people make, based on their own perceptual bias, are often wrong,

People tend to make a lot of assumptions about me based on my husband's line of work and my physical appearance. (Perhaps that's why I enjoy blogging -- you guys here know me for the me I post about and not necessarily for all the other circumstantial stuff that surrounds me.) So now, I'm working on creating the layers of assumptions and bias to reveal a truer portrait.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Quilting DNA

With a theme of "identity", I'm guessing there will be at least one quilt that refers to DNA in some way. Here are some other textile works with a focus on cells and DNA:
  • Gene Pool by Kay Haerland;
  • Spirogyra #1 by Caryl Bryer Fallert; and
  • Genome Quilts by Beverly St. Clair has developed a way of encoding genetic information in quilt designs.
While looking at the Bryerpatch site, I also found Blueprints by Marcia Karlin who writes "The title of this piece was taken from my poem, which describes the process of making cyanotype prints as a metaphor for memory and the evolution of meaning and identity".

Thursday, May 7, 2009

What's in your button jar?

At last I've settled on a subject for my "identity" quilt and one of my ideas may involve these:

Then again, it might also involve washers and other metal things. What do you use to attach things onto your quilts?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Identity - Check!

Yep, I can check this project off my "to do" list. I am thrilled to say I have completed my identity quilt and after a couple months or more of working at the almost, last minute on Twelve by Twelve quilts, it feels mighty good to be done early. I thought at first this theme would be difficult for me, but I came up with an idea and ran with it. Now I can't wait until June 1 to see all your quilts.

Friday, May 1, 2009

What's in a name?

Our names are inextricably linked to our identities. Books of baby names were some of the most well-thumbed books in the house when I was growing up (I'm the eldest of six). I've always been intrigued with the meaning and origins of names and have researched the names of the Twelves:
  • Brenda (Teutonic/Old Norse) - flaming sword, firebrand;
  • Deborah (Hebrew) - bee. Deborah was the Biblical prophetess who summoned Barak to battle against an army of invaders. After the battle she wrote a victory song which is part of the Book of Judges;
  • Diane (French variant of Diana) Probably derived from an old Indo-european root root meaning "heavenly, divine", related to dyeus/zeus. Diana was a Roman goddess of the moon, hunting, forests, and childbirth;
  • Francoise (French) feminine of Francis meaning "from France" or "free one";
  • Gerrie (English/German - feminine derivative of Gerald) From a Germanic name meaning "rule of the spear", from the elements ger "spear" and wald "rule". This name was brought to Britain by the Norman. Though it died out in England during the Middle Ages, it remained common in Ireland. It was revived in the English-speaking world in 19th century;
  • Helen (English form of the Greek) Light, one who is bright, probably from Greek (helene)
  • Karen (Danish, Norwegian) short form of Katherine (Greek) - pure;
  • Kirsten/Kristin (Scandinavian/German) variant of Christina/Christiana - follower of Christ. This was the name of an early, possibly legendary, saint who was tormented by her pagan father. It was also borne by a 17th-century Swedish queen and patron the arts who gave up her crown in order to become a Roman Catholic;
  • Nikki (English dimunitive) - feminine form of Nicholas - mythological Nike was the goddess of victory;
  • Terry/Terri (English dimunitive) - From the Spanish and Portuguese name Teresa. It was first recorded as Therasia, being borne by the Spanish wife of SaintPaulinus of Nola in the 4th century. The meaning is uncertain, but it could be derived from Greek (theros) "summer", from Greek (therizo) "to harvest", or from the name of the Greek island of Therasia (the western island of Santorini).
Do you know the meaning of your name and does it fit?