Saturday, October 31, 2009

Tickled pink...

... that I have finished my pink quilt as I had images of me toting it around world with me. Of course I cannot show it you but I will assure you that I have not abandoned my penchance for stitching odd things on to my quilts. Nor am I ashamed to embarrass myself in the name of art. Which is how come I went to the local pharmacy.
"I need some over the counter medication please."
"Of course, what is it for?"
"It doesn't matter as long as it is pink. Its for sewing onto a quilt."

She did not, to give her credit, bat an eylid. She searched and opened packets and found me pink pills. She sold them to me, she smiled and, as I was walking out of the shop with my back turned I heard her say,

"Well, that's the oddest one yet."

I took it as a compliment :)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

Into the Pink

When I snapped these photos on my morning walk towards the end of our Twelve challenge, little did I know that "pink" would be our first colourplay palette:

I have an idea (and it doesn't involve flowers) but need a break in my calendar to explore it more.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Postcards to South Australia

Thank you to all our readers who left a comment on our Celebration Awards. It's been a heart warming and eye-opening experience to revisit the significant body of work that has been created over the past two years. I collated the comments, allocated a number to each and then applied a random generator to draw Jennifer Loveder from South Australia as the winner of some freshly minted Twelve by Twelve postcards. Jennifer is a longstanding follower of the Twelve by Twelve blog and is keen to see if she can attend the WORLD PREMIERE of our exhibition at the Australasian Quilt Convention in Melbourne, 29 April to 2 May 2010.

Kirsty and I will both be accompanying the 144 art quilts from our first Theme series to the AQC exhibition and will be giving floor talks. In additon, I will be teaching four, one day workshops ranging from Scrap Queen Odyssey to Stacks of Improvisation. The full tutor list and workshop program for the Australasian Quilt Convention 2010 can now be viewed at online and bookings open at 9am on Monday, 26 October 2009.
Australasian Quilt Convention 2010

Friday, October 23, 2009

Most Surprising

Honestly, the first thing that comes to my mind is how surprising this whole experience has been. When Diane invited me to participate more than two years ago, I just thought it sounded fun. Sure, it's been fun. But, it's been much much more.

I have grown to know, respect, appreciate and completely enjoy every moment with the eleven other artists. A delightful surprise.

Also, I've created a body of work with my 12 pieces that I am very proud of and is a great representation of me as an artist. Who knew I was essentially creating a portfolio for myself? I would guess several of the other 12s would say the same thing. A delightful surprise.

As far as surprising quilts, where to begin?

Surprisingly similar: Chocolate quilts by me, Brenda and Nikki.
Surprisingly realistic:
Diane's Shelter quilt
There are other quilts with lots of realism, but several of them include image transfer of photographs (which is wonderful!). I love this image that Diane created exclusively with fabric and thread!

Surprisingly candid: Terry's Chair quilt
Terry shared a lovely story about spending time with her granddaughter and her cousin. This quilt is so evocative of those experiences.

Surprisingly moving: Kristin's Twelve quilt
Surprisingly educational: Helen's Illumination quilt
I was totally unaware of Blackpool or Blackpool rock candy. Helen's original blog post was so interesting and I did quite a bit of internet surfing, "research" and reading about it after seeing this quilt.

I can't wait to see what surprises will come with the next round of "colorplay" quilts!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Most Bling

The Most Bling. This one was a hard one for me, not because I couldn't think of any quilts with bling, but because they were all mine. I seem to be the one who doesn't quite know when to stop when it comes to embellishment. The other members of the group are much more sophisticated and reserved. Their designs rely upon other strengths. The challenge of finding the most bling did lead me through another wonderful walk through all 144 quilts. And guess what I found, Bling!, and a beautiful, elegant example of it.

Karen's "Enlightenment" from August 2008.

Karen used beautiful sequined Indian fabrics and beads to illustrate the eastern religious idea of illumination signifying enlightenment. The sequins and beads make the piece sparkle!

Twelve Theme Postcards

We hope our readers are enjoying our Celebration Awards. Don't forget, if you leave a comment on one of our Celebration Awards posts, your name will go into a draw to win some Twelve theme postcards:
12 Theme Postcard

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Most Humorous

The Most Humorous

I found it very difficult to choose the most humorous quilt out of all 144 (actually 132, because I wasn’t counting mine). Mainly because all of the quilts were created by such talented artists and each quilt exudes the artist’s creativity, thought processes, and inspiration.

I’ve chosen two for this award. One of those is Helen’s Blackpool Rocks quilt. Just looking at this quilt in action puts a smile on your face. Who would have thought to put a swirling, twirling, illuminated light wand onto a quilt? Why Helen, of course! But once you read Helen’s thoughts and history on her quilt, you soon find that humor replaced with reality.

The other quilt I’ve given this award to is Gerrie’s Passion quilt, Satin Sheets. With Gerrie’s quilt, you actually have to get the story behind the quilt to understand the humor. On first glimpse of the quilt you may not realize exactly what she is trying to say, therefore, the description and quilt must work together.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I Would Never Have Guessed

Since I was allocated the task of selecting the recipient of the I Would Never Have Guessed (Biggest Departure of Style) Award, I've been reviewing the individual Artist Gallery pages on the Twelve by Twelve website and playing a version of that Sesame Street favourite - one of these things is not like the others.

If you had asked me to play this game two years ago, pretty much all of the 144 works in the first series would have been eligible for this award. Not because any Twelve has necessarily departed from her trademark style but because back in 2007 (doesn't that sound a long time ago!) I didn't know some of my fellow Twelves and, even if I'd admired their work on their blogs, I wasn't at all familiar with their personal motifs and preferred media and techniques.

Fast forward two years and I think we all know a lot more about each other and our art. In the case of Nikki, I associate her creations with mixed-media exuberance - colourful yarns; a sprinkling of bling; beads, buttons and embellishments; layers of paint and colour; often enhanced by intensely machine-quilted texture. And just when I thought I had my new friend all figured out, she presented us with "something new" - Mom's Hideout, a gentle, restrained, contemplative piece with the image created entirely by hand stitching. I would never have guessed but I'm very glad Nikki shared this with us.

Which Twelve by Twelve quilt do you think is the Biggest Departure from Style?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Most Colorful

This should be easy, just look at the mosaic of all 144 quilts and pick out the one that stands out as using the most color, right? Not so easy.

I set about circling all the ones I thought used a lot of different colors, and came up with 34! OK, maybe I'm looking at this from the wrong direction. I thought about it for a while and came up with 2 new "subcategories" within most colorful.

The first award is "The Twelve that uses the most color in her quilts", and that award goes to Diane. Although everyone of us had at least one piece with a rainbow of colors, Diane had several, including "All Togehter Now" in the Community theme, and the wonderful "All Hands" in our "Twelve" theme.

The second category is "Most Colorful Theme", and that award goes to "Twelve". This was really a judgement call on my part, as several themes used a lot of color, but on this theme the variety of colors really stood out, including Gerrie's "The Twelves", Kirsten's "Midway", Terri's "12x12 The Board Game", Deborah's "Seven Houses, 5 Trees", Terry's "Twelfth of Twelve", and Nikki's "The Kissing Number".
I had fun reviewing all of our themes once more, and it made me so proud to be a part of this group.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

How DID She Do That?

I'm pretty good at "backwards engineering" things that I see. I can look at rather complex traditional quilts and find the repeating blocks. I can spot Photoshop jobs from a mile away. I can figure out how most art quilts I see have been constructed -- even if I have no clue what was going on in their maker's head when they were conceived.

But I can't separate the layers on Karen's shelter quilt, and I definitely couldn't have visualized what she did.

Karen's subtle layers of hand dyed cotton, painted sheers, and screen printing all blend masterfully to create a believable atmosphere. If only I could step into my computer screen I know I could walk up those steps and feel the misty air. This is one quilt that I long to see in person so it may unlock it's secrets to me.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Biggest Stretch of the Theme

The award goes to... Kristin's water quilt - Sustainer & Destroyer!
Not only did Kristin choose to make a quilt about the destroying power of water, but she actually did use materials that can be destroyed by water. Soluble thread and interfacing, basting glue, watercolours...
And, can you imagine that she's planning to, one day, pour water on her quilt to ruin it? Such a lovely piece of work!
Kristin, if you really do this, I want to be present that day. And I guess all the other twelves will want to be there too... (Hawaii would be the perfect place, after our exhibitions of course.)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Most Likely to Get Pulled Over by the Quilt Police

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury:

You have now seen all 144 examples of the art created by the 12x12 quilt artists. I submit to you: they are a rowdy bunch, undisciplined and even messy in their studios, unpredictable and unrestrained in their choices of colors and materials. They are not an orderly group. (To be fair, they do meet their deadlines.)

With what infractions can they charged? Imperfect points? Haphazard stitching? Uneven edging? No! Such petty rules do not apply to these artistic conspirators. Instead, I offer for your consideration the following indictments:

Identity Theft: Terri
For using faces so beautifully in her quilts

Inflaming the Emotions of the Jury: Helen
For capturing our attention with moving stories behind her quilts

Embellishing her testimony: Nikki
For including wonderful beadwork, stitching and other marvelous detail work in her quilts

Speeding: Gerrie
For making the most amazing quilts at the last minute

Repeat Offender: Francoise
For creating a set of work with a consistency of style and color resulting in elegant cohesion

Walking the line: Terry
For using line so wonderfully as a strong design element in her pieces

Conspiracy: Kristin
For incorporating such thoughtful and complex layers of meaning in her quilts

Carrying concealed weapons: Deborah
For consistent and inspirational use of a personal symbology and color palette in her pieces

Trafficking: Kirsten
... in COLOR that is, for her delightful use of a multitude of color in her pieces

Caught red handed: Karen
That's paint and ink, I hope... For using such impressive surface design techniques in her pieces (Gerrie qualifies as an accessory to this, as well)

Double Jeopdardy and Murder: Brenda
For producing so many alternative entries in the challenge rounds AND for causing so much fabric to DYE (undoubtedly qualifying for the Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity defense)

Jury, what say you?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Creative Use of Materials

When I learned that my assignment was awarding "The Most Creative Use of Materials" award, I had to think for—oh—about a half a second! Helen, of course. No contest.

Helen sewed and quilted real maps. Helen used real coins. Helen used rolled paper documents. But I think Helen really blew us away when she revealed her "Illumination" piece and it was really illuminated. With real light—that moved—and changed.

Here is what it looks like in daylight. That's a party wand gizmo attached to the front of the piece.

Now, turn out the lights, turn on the wand, and this is what you see.

Pure magic!

Go to her original post here to see more, including a short video of this piece in action, and read what it all means. It is not all sweetness and light.

Helen never fails to surprise, delight, inform and make us think. I am so happy that the 12 x 12 project has brought her into my life!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

And the "Separated at Birth Award"...

...goes to...

*dah dah da da daaaah*

"I Am More" by Terry and "Latent Colour" by Diane.




It's hard to imagine two more similar quilts being made in these circumstances. Whilst a large view shows just how very different each quilt is from the other, at thumbnail size they are most definitely twins. Amusingly, they also have a younger set of quad siblings - "Pop Art Identity" by Gerrie.

It was a close run competition, this one, but Terry and Diane were clearly the winners because they actually did it twice. Look at their Illumination quilts (Terry's Japanese Lanterns on the left, Diane's Happy Lanterns on the right)...





I have to add another award here (and then very tastelessly award it to myself) because it has been mentioned by more than one Twelve that the following two quilts are also rather closely related. So the Before and After Award goes to Nikki's Twelve quilt "The Kissing Number" and my Passion quilt "Oh". I leave it to you to draw the parallels...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New Blog Button & Celebratory Giveaway

With the completion of our first series of challenges and 144 wonderful art quilts, it's time for a new blog button that features the work of the challenge host for each theme:
Twelve by Twelve group blog
You are welcome to add the button to your website or blog sidebar. Here is the code that you can cut and paste:

<a href="">
<img src="" alt="Twelve by Twelve group blog" title="Twelve by Twelve group blog" border="0"/></a>

And, in case you are just joining the party, we are celebrating the completion of our first series of Theme works by sharing some light-hearted awards. Starting on October 12th, we will each post highlighting some of our favorite surprising and silly quilts. We invite our readers to think about what quilts you'd give these awards to and come back to let us know in the comments on those days. Everyone that leaves a comment on these posts goes into a draw to win some freshly minted postcards featuring the theme mosaic shown on our new blog button.

So far Gerrie has presented the "Also Ran" award and Helen has shared "The One I Wish I Had Made...". Coming up are:
  • October 14th: Kirsten: Separated at Birth
  • October 15th: Terry: Most Creative Use of Materials
  • October 16th: Diane: Most Likely to Get Pulled Over By The Quilt Police
  • October 17th: Françoise: Biggest Stretch of the Theme
  • October 18th: Kristin: How DID She Do That?
  • October 19th: Karen: Most Colorful
  • October 20th: Brenda: I Would Never Have Guessed (Biggest Departure of Style)
  • October 21st: Terri: Most Humorous
  • October 22nd: Nikki: Most Bling
  • October 23rd: Deborah: Most Unexpected
Welcome to the festivities - do leave a comment!

The one I wish I had made...

As soon as I was allocated this award to write about, two quilts popped into my head, one quickly after the other. Of course I have gone back to look at all our galleries again to refresh my memory but the same ones made my short list and I am voting for the one which I recalled first. However, by co-incidence when my husband Dennis was asked his view of the one he thought I wished I made ( yes, we do tend to over complicate things in our house!) he picked the second one.

So, the winner is... Chairs by Gerrie Congdon.
Salvage Chairs

For me it is a wonderfully evocative piece which conjours up all kinds of untold stories which is maybe why it sticks in my mind. Plus, it is made with all kinds of techniques I don't yet know how to do but which clearly are capable of creating the kinds of quilts I often have in my mind. Last week I visited Camden Stables Markets in London and was berating myself for forgetting my camera. The place was full of quirky signs and items that would have made a wonderful quilt, and, as I was trying hard to memorise it all, it was the style of this quilt I was thinking about - even before I was allocated this award. So it wins for being both memorable and inspiring.

The Marquise de Coëtlogon

The close runner up is Marquise de Coëtlogon by Kristen La Flamme. This was made for one of our earlier challenges and when I saw it I realised the game had just been upped. I was amazed that one small quilt could have such detail, that the back story was in itself so ornate and that so much effort had been put into the beaded borders.
Of course, like any quilt show you are free to disagree with the Judge and we suggest you comment below with your vote. All the quilts can easily be viewed either by theme or by artist at our website.

Monday, October 12, 2009

For Some, One is Never Enough

Some of the Twelves often made more than one piece for each theme. To Brenda goes the award for producing the most work in search of the perfect interpretation of each theme. I think that she made more than one piece for at least 7 of the themes. And sometimes, Brenda made more than one extra for a theme. Kristin comes in second, making more than one piece for about 5 of the challenges.

Diane, Terry and I made an extra piece for only one of the themes — Diane and I for chocolate and Terry for Shelter.

The others may have had other great ideas, but only completed the pieces that were shown on the blog.

I have been asked to select my favorite Also Ran. That was easy and probably because I had seen it in person. That would be one of the pieces that Terry made for Shelter. You see it at the beginning of this post. It was a pictorial representation of her, then, new home. The colors make the home look warm and welcoming. I also like the way Terry stylized the tree, shrubs and plants. She ended up doing a piece with strong, simple graphic elements, a quite different interpretation of shelter. And because Terry is so talented, they are both terrific.

Twelve by Gerrie

In Portland today, Gerrie is waking up to her birthday so, on this 12th day of the month, we present Twelve by Gerrie:
Twelve by Gerrie
Despite a long affiliation with clothing and textiles, Gerrie has been quilting less than 10 years and demonstrates an endless facsination with surface design techniques. Visit her website galleries to see (and buy!) a selection of her dynamic work. And don't miss her blog with tales of Mr C, her talented family and hyperactive poodle Scooter. Happy birthday Gerrie!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Twelve by Deborah

Deborah lives in Lewisville, Texas and celebrates the creative spirit on her blog and website. She loves making art and encouraging others to create. You will find lots of crafty goodness in Deborah's Etsy store and she offers workshops where you can explore the creative spirit too. Here is Deborah's collection of Twelve by Twelve art quilts:
Twelve by Deborah

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Pondering Pink

As I have often stated, I am not a pink person. Ugh. Yuck. Pink. But when we decided on color as a general theme for our next round of twelve, I just knew I was going to have to confront pink at some point, though I didn't expect it to be the first thing! So I have been looking for pink that I like and trying to analyze it.

We were recently in Washington D.C. and this Gauguin caught my eye, especially for the way he used pink in it.

Pink, purple, orange. Hmm. This is appealing.

Pink—pale and misty in an earthy palette. This is nice.

Maybe I can get into pink. I tried using pink to recolor a recent airplane window photo I took.

The wheels are turning . . .

Twelve by Nikki

Nikki lives in Washington State and leads a busy life as Mom to four lively children. She revels in art-making when she gets a chance and shares her joy in mixed-media and fiber art through her blog and her Etsy store. This joy is reflected in her contribution to the Twelve by Twelve Collaborative Art Quilt Project:
Twelve by Nikki

Friday, October 9, 2009

Twelve by Terri

Terri is a multi-talented, multi-media textile artist living in North Dakota. Her beloved cats often feature in her work and her Twelve by Twelve art quilts are no exception:
Twelve by Terri

Terri updates her blog regularly (don't miss out on her studio tour) along with her extensive Etsy store. You can also purchase Terri's books from her website and sign up for online classes through Two Creative Studios.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Twelve by Karen

Karen is a native California girl. Karen's website contains a portfolio of fiber art while her blog Fiberart Musings tracks her exploration of different surface design techniques. Many of these techniques are showcased in her contribution to the Twelve by Twelve Collaborative Art Quilt Project:
Twelve by Karen
Karen's work is also featured in the Edges special exhibit at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, October 15 - 18 2009.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The 12 Days of...

It's been a fun-filled two years completing 12 challenges together. We're about half way through viewing each artist's collection of quilts. I don't know about you, but I'm really enjoying seeing how all the pieces work together -- the preferred styles and color palettes, the compositions and themes. To keep the party going, we've got another fun series starting on the 12th.

In true graduate yearbook style, we're celebrating by giving out goofy awards. Starting on October 12th we will each post highlighting some of our favorite surprising and silly quilts. We invite our readers to think about what quilts you'd give these awards to and come back to let us know in the comments on those days.

October 12th: Gerrie: Favorite "Also Ran"

October 13th: Helen: The One I Wished I Had Made

October 14th: Kirsten: Separated at Birth

October 15th: Terry: Most Creative Use of Materials

October 16th: Diane: Most Likely to Get Pulled Over By The Quilt Police

October 17th: Françoise: Biggest Stretch of the Theme

October 18th: Kristin: How DID She Do That?

October 19th: Karen: Most Colorful

October 20th: Brenda: I Would Never Have Guessed (Biggest Departure of Style)

October 21st: Terri: Most Humorous

October 22nd: Nikki: Most Bling

October 23rd: Deborah: Most Unexpected

Twelve by Kristin

In the course of the Twelve by Twelve project, Kristin has relocated from Germany to Hawaii and her experiences as an army wife are reflected in some of her contributions:
Twelve by Kristin
Kristin's eponymous website Kristin La Flamme is home to her blog and a gallery of her textile works including "Rooted VII, Aquifer" which has been juried into IQF's Tactile Architecture 2009 exhibiting at IQF Houston, Oct 15-18 2009, IQF Chicago, April 2010 and IQF Long Beach, July 2010.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Bonjour! Francoise and I and our DH's met up for Japanese food tonight in Paris. Tomorrow we are going to the Musee Du Quai Branly together. We had lots to catch up on with our recent completion of the twelve twelves and what the future brings.

Twelve by Françoise

Françoise lives in Belgium and writes a chocolate-fueled blog Creatilfun. Her hand dyed fabrics and exquisite workmanship are hallmarks of her distinctive works:
Twelve by Francoise

Monday, October 5, 2009

Twelve by Diane

You probably know Diane from her wide-ranging blog Going to Pieces. Diane set the spark for the Twelve by Twelve Collaborative Art Quilt Project and we are indebted to her initiative, insight and contribution:
Twelve by Diane Perin Hock