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