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Twelve by 12: The International Art Quilt Challenge

Twelve by Twelve: The international art quilt challenge

A while ago an early review of this book summed up their feelings in two words.  Ditto:

Buy it!

Table of contents: twelve chapters for twelve challenges

That said, here’s a few more details about this fascinating, informative book!  The project began with Diane Perin Hock, who invited quilt artists –newbies and experienced– into what became the Twelve by 12 challenge.  (You can see their website here and blog here.)  My friend and fellow Frayed Edges member Deborah Boschert (website here and blog here) is among the twelve, so I am especially thrilled to have followed this group from their beginnings, to thinking about a book and submitting a proposal, to published.  And how well they have done all along the way!

The book is arranged into twelve chapters, one for each of the two-month challenges.  The first chapter is written by Diane Perin Hock who is the featured artist for the first challenge, whose theme “Dandelion” she also selected.  Each chapter opens with all 12 of the 12×12 inch quiltlets on the left hand page and a large photo of the “featured” artist’s quilt on the right hand page.   In this chapter Diane explains how she came up with the idea for the challenge and got things rolling including  My Quilting Life, Choosing the Theme, Exploring the Theme, Creating My Piece, and Starting Your Own Challenge Group, a  how-to sidebar.  At the bottom of each page  the other 11 quiltlets are shown (larger than on the group page) with a  paragraph by each artist about her piece.

The subsequent chapters follow a similar pattern, though the person who selected the theme is not necessarily the featured artists for the theme.  The book ends with succinct artist profiles and links to their websites and/or blogs and—as every good book must have—an index. Of course I had to pick Deborah’s chapter to share:

Chapter 12, Deborah Boschert featured artist; I love Love LOVE the "thread wrap" Deborah has developed for her bindings. You get a clear "end" to a piece yet the picture continues in the thread stitched around the binding. Way cool! (PS--sorry about the salt shaker...needed something to hold the book open and it was nearby!)

As I read through the book, and yes I wanted to read every word, you  can see how the sense of community developed among this group.  It is amazing that each person managed to complete every challenge on time (or pretty much on time), and they share how they needed to make the bi-monthly “reveal” date stretch to accomodate the fact that members live in Belgium, the UK, the US and Australia and the dateline and time zones shift!  Each chapter has a  how-to section, and I think what I liked most was reading how each artist developed here quilt, sometimes rejected false starts, or re-working them, or admitting that “this was my least favorite.”  Not everything “works,” and it is refreshing to see something in print that acknowledges this necessary part of the learning and art experience.

To go back to where I began:  buy this book!  It is a treasure.  You’ll want to sit down and read it through.  Then browse.  Then soak in the art.  Consider inspiration.  Consider technique.  Ask yourself “what would I have done with this theme or problem?”  Then read it again…the book is available many places online including at Amazon.



4 Responses to “Twelve by 12: The International Art Quilt Challenge”

  1. Deborah Says:

    Thank you so much, Sarah! I remember talking about the book project with you in the very very early days of our proposal and it’s a huge thrill to share the finished book with you. Thanks for all your enthusiastic words.

  2. Jacquie in Vermont Says:

    LOL! Amazon should pay you a commission on sales of books you like in your blog. 😉

    However it looks as inspiring as the book about the Journal quilts and tempts me …

  3. Kristin L Says:

    Thank you so much for the glowing review. It’s been inspiring to be part of the group, and even more wonderful to be able to share that inspiration with a wider audience.

  4. Terry Grant Says:

    Sarah–such nice words! Thank you. I am so happy that you are such an enthusiastic supporter of our group and our book. It has been a great experience in many, many ways and we are thrilled to be able to share in a beautiful book.