Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Twelve by Twelve at Festival of Quilts, in Pictures

I thought I'd share a bit of my experience at the recent Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, England.  It was so fun to be there, and especially to be there as one of Twelves while all 144 of our first challenge quilts were there on exhibit.  So, let's go inside, shall we?
Helen and I arrived and immediately got excited to see our name on the wall, gallery-style.  We had to pose next to it and couldn't stop grinning.  (Do you think they put that orange carpet down in our honor?)
Helen posted some pictures of how the quilts looked when they were hung, but here's another.  Don't they look lovely?  Several people who'd seen the quilts on exhibit at Midsomer Quilting remarked over how different they looked on a white background than on black.  Not better, not worse, they added, just different -- different quilts came forward, I think.
Here are Dennis, Helen, and Francoise, ready to talk about the quilts and sell books.  It was lovely to have 3 twelves together (so I guess that made us 36!) and I really enjoyed my first in-person meeting with Francoise. (Sorry, but I just can't get the cedilla on the blog drafting page!)  And Dennis was so great at talking about the quilts and selling books that I think he should be made an honorary Twelve.  Perhaps we can call him "Thirteen?"  (and doesn't that sound like a James Bondish sort of nickname?)
Here are Francoise and Helen, chatting while signing books.
I've told all of you how fun it was to sit at the table and watch people look at the quilts.  They'd get up close and look at the detail, they'd pull out cameras to take photos (and many expressed appreciation for being able to photograph them), they'd back up to look at them from a distance.
And yes, there were men looking at them, too.
We had two chairs that we placed so visitors could sit and look at the quilts, and many people took advantage of the opportunity to sit and gaze.  One woman pulled out her knitting, and sat and looked at the quilts, knitting all the while.
This woman gazed thoughtfully at them for a long time.  Dennis (oops, I mean Thirteen) went over and offered her the mosaic summary pages so she could read the quilt stories while sitting.  She told him she'd been trying to guess what the challenge themes were for each set, and was right except for shelter, which she'd guessed was "weather."   
This is a picture of Marete Viean from Norway, who came and visited the exhibit several times.  She'd had the book and is a regular follower of our group and personal blogs, and she was so nice to tell us how much the project had inspired her.  I happened to capture here while she was being a helper to Claire Benn in the Virtual Studio, so she got to help place fabric on the print plates and do rinsing.  Look at her intense concentration, watching Claire's every move!
Helen and I happened to be walking by when Claire and Marete were crossing with this freshly printed piece of fabric, which they were taking to be rinsed.  Gorgeous, yes?
By the end of Festival, my head was spinning with so much visual inspiration.  As a result, I was seeing almost everything as inspiration for a fiber creation, including the velcro dots remaining on the wall after we took down the quilts:
I call this "Velcro Dots with Orange Accent."  They look vaguely like braille, don't they?  And rest assured we were not slacking -- we were told to just leave them on the wallboard.
And this is for Gerrie.  Helen and I both spotted these stacked chairs during the tear-down and reached for our cameras:
It was an absolutely exhilarating four days and being one of the "hosts" of the 12x12 exhibit was an experience I'll never forget.  PLUS there was this exciting memory:
I wish all of you could have been there.  But I want to send a big thank you to everyone who stopped by to tell us they liked the exhibit and liked the book.  It was so nice to find friends who knew us and liked our work even when I was so far from home.


Kristin L said...

Great post Diane! I can almost feel the excitement of being there. I definitely second the motion to make Dennis an honorary member: Agent Thirteen. I'm so jealous of all the other wonderful quilters and artists you met while at Festival (I too am a huge fan of Mr. Fasset).

dutchcomfort said...

Thanks for sharing Diane! It’s wonderful to see all the pictures!

Brenda Gael Smith said...

What fun to see all the quilts, the smiling Twelves (and Agent Thirteen) and the engrossed viewers.

I agree that the collection looks different against dark and light backgrounds. We noticed a similar thing with the exhibitions down under - the quilt show venues had black walls whereas Gosford Gallery had light coloured walls. Houston will be a little different again.

Minka said...

Congrats on your exhibit! You could call your 13th member BD (for baker's dozen). Nice shot of Kaffe.

Emma said...

This was such a nice exhibition. I didn't know you before, but will follow you 12 now! Keep inspired!