Monday, January 30, 2012


I am finished with my 2012 piece, and, in fact, since I decided to work in a series I have finished five of them. I found myself wanting to continue on after starting the first one, and for reasons that will become apparent with the reveal, five was a good number.  I'm not sharing what I did with the theme yet, but I will share some close up pictures.

I wonder if any of the other Twelves are working in a series?

Monday, January 23, 2012

2012 Year of the Dragon

23 January marks the start of the lunar new year and millions of people around the world are welcoming in the Year of the Dragon. Ever alert to tales of metamorphosis, I was fascinated to learn about the Japanese legend of a koi who manages to swim upstream, climbing a waterfall and is transformed into a dragon; thus overcoming adversity to fufill its own destiny.

As you can see in this image gallery, the koi dragon is a popular tattoo motif.  I wonder if a certain Twelve, who is celebrating 2012 with a tattoo soon, will choose a dragon design.  Either way,  happy Chinese New Year!
Detail from Overflowing by Deborah Boschert

From dandelion to lotus

I took a few pictures before cutting up my dandelion quilt.

I made a very quick sketch inspired by lotus pictures taken in Japan in summer 2010. As you know, the lotus flower is an important symbol in Buddhism.

With this little sketch, I just wanted to get a rough idea of the colour distribution on the new quilt.
I've posted more pictures, and more words, on my blog, here.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Twelve by Twelve in Patchwork- und Quiltjournal

Patchwork- und Quiltjournal (Patchwork & Quilt Journal) is a german language quilting magazine, published 6 times a year. In the current issue # 120, the magazine is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a special edition and look what's on the cover. Yes! it's a detail from Francoise's quilt  Passion & Colours from the Theme series.

Inside there is an article, with lots of photos!, about our exhibition at Festival of Quilt of Quilting in Birmingham in 2011:
In Birmingham habe ich Mitglieder der Gruppe "twelve by twelve" getroffen. Die Mitglieder der Gruppe haben zu verschiedenen Themen jeweils einen Quilt genäht: 12 Personen und 12 Themen. Das ergibt 12 x 12 Quilts, einer interessanter und kreativer als der andere. Wir freuen uns, dass wir Ihnen diese Quilts vorstellen dürfen.
Happy 20th birthday Patchwork- und Quiltjournal and thank you for sharing our project with your German readers.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Well, yeah, this is exciting!

Honestly, folks, I know we probably seem pretty full of ourselves at this point. So many extraordinary things have happened to our little band of hardworking stitchers, it is hard not to get excited when something more comes along. So, here we are—excited again. This arrived in today's mail.

It's the February/March issue of everyone's favorite art quilting magazine, Quilting Arts, with a 6-page spread all about the Twelve by Twelve project. As usual, Quilting Arts has shown our best sides and made us look far better than we ever dreamed.

The whole issue is about collaborative projects. We are so delighted to be included! We've answered a bunch of questions about what this project has meant and how it has impacted our lives and our art. I hope it inspires more collaboration out there. It is such a rewarding experience!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Check out another fun reveal...

Our friends the Tangled Textiles just revealed their fourth set of challenge quilts on the theme "Looking Up."  It's fun to see what each of them did with the theme -- go take a look!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Metamorphosis in My Yard

I made a start at my metamorphosis piece, and it didn't really match was I was hoping for in my head. The computer wouldn't save my work either, so I took that as a sign I was on the wrong track. Sigh.

However, as I was looking through my photos I ran across a metamorphosis softie project from a few years ago. I blogged about the project here. I guess some themes are rather timeless.

First, the caterpillar looks like bird poop. Then it changes to instar stage, which is fat and green. My ruched softie zips into a larger "instar" bag.

The instar is my favorite stage.

From the instar stage the caterpillar becomes a chrysalis. Our chrysalis is a patchwork bag that holds all the smaller components.

Out of the chrysalis emerges a beautiful butterfly. Ours has a little pouch on it's belly that holds a pompom egg so that the process can start all over again.

Enjoy a small slideshow of our backyard metamorphosis as well:


Today is the day I made my start on my Metamorphosis quilt.  
I had been thinking about a couple of different ideas going into this challenge and one of them I felt much more passionate about. 
I envisioned what I wanted my quilt to look like and dove right sketches....just images in my head. 
I'm trying some new things with this quilt. I hope it turns out like I want it to but I'll keep an open attitude and roll with the process. I am finding that I am enjoying this round where we don't have to work in just one color scheme.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Deborah Out Loud

I just spent a lovely bit of time listening to Deborah talking with Rice Freeman-Zachary on Rice's podcast, Notes from the Voodoo Lounge.  Deborah talked about our 12x 12 project and the fun of collaborating with others, as well as how the project has affected her individual work. 

It's a wonderful interview -- grab a cup of tea and go listen! 

Productive day

Today has been a day off working in the studio with Best Quilting Buddy Lesley and one of the achievements has been to finish the metamorphosis quilt. I know. Now what am I going to do for five weeks? :)

I will save the actual quilt for reveal but let me give you some teasers

This is the left overs

and this is one of the U-Tube videos I watched to be in the right mood whilst making it

and this was a highly influential book during the process.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Art & Magic: First you see it, now you don't?

Houdini: Art & Magic is an exhibit at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco until 16 January. While I didn't make get to see the exhibit during my recent sojourn in the US, I was intrigued to see the publicity poster highlighting Houdini's famous Metamorphosis illusion in which the magician, bound in handcuffs and ropes, and assistant seemingly swap places.
Houdini: Metamorphosis
Interestingly, the definition of metamorphosis given by Gerrie when announcing this challenge also refers to magic - a complete change of form, structure, or substance, as transformation by magic.

The thing about magic is that it is illusory.  First you see it, now you don't.  No doubt the Houdini stage act was preceded by countless hours of experimentation and practice make it look so breath taking and effortless.  The same can be said for artistic metamorphosis - start with basic materials of fabric and threads and you can transform them into something that is more than the sum of its parts but only with time and practice comes mastery (often complemented by an element of serendipity!).

I have been travelling for the best part of two months and there have been many moments when I have wished for a Houdini-esque moment to put me back in the studio in seconds.   Instead I have contented myself with gathering inspiration and doodling some compositions in our new 20x12in format.  If, like me, you find it impossible to draw a decent rectangle to scale on graph paper, let alone a blank page, you might like to download this 2012 grid sheet (69KB PDF) which looks something like this:
 Now it's time to work your magic!