Sunday, August 12, 2012

Twelve reasons

So, after driving all those miles and seeing all those glorious California things, we arrived in Southern California for the purpose of attending the International Quilt Festival in Long Beach and viewing the 288 little quilts made by the twelve of us who comprise Twelve by Twelve: The International Art Quilt Challenge. Why would we do that? After all, it was essentially the same exhibit I went all the way to Houston to see just 8 months ago, and, in fact, it will be here in Portland in another month.

Twelve Reasons:

1. Because being part of the Twelve by Twelve group is one of the best things I've ever done. It is not on the same level as marrying Ray or having kids or things like that, but it is a pretty great thing and I feel extremely lucky and I like to keep that feeling going. I feel lucky when I see my photo with the other Twelves, introducing the exhibit:

2.  Because maybe seeing these quilts all together once isn't enough. I will never forget seeing them all together for the first time in Houston.  It took my breath away—literally. We all agreed that the grouping was greater than the sum of all its parts. All twelve of each of the themes grouped into their "mosaics" is stunning in ways I never anticipated.

3.  Because Ray didn't go to Houston. I wanted him to see them all together in this big, big show. That's him, above, looking at them. He loved them.

4.  Because it is thrilling to see how much the people enjoy seeing what we did and hearing our story.

5.  Because it was a chance to spend time with friends. With the exception of Gerrie, who I already knew, the other Twelves are now friends I would never have had were it not for the project. We stayed with Karen and Ted Rips who live in So. California. It was like being with lifelong friends. One evening we had a lively discussion about our upcoming "Maverick" theme, with our husbands adding a lot of ideas and more than a little humor to the conversation. I wish more of the Twelves had been able to be there. Here are Karen, Gerrie and me.

6.  Because Del Thomas has been our biggest supporter and generous sponsor. She lives in the area and would be viewing the quilts in person for the first time. I didn't want to miss that! Here she is with us.

7.  Because one thing sometimes leads to another, and it happened that Gerrie, Karen and I all had work accepted for another exhibit, called "Rituals" that was showing for the first time in Long Beach. Two other Twelves also have work in this show, Deborah Boschert and Diane Perin Hock. I do think that our experience with our project is leading all of us to other exciting opportunities and challenges. Close up photography was not permitted for the Rituals exhibit, and my long shot isn't great, but you can see better photos on the Dinner at Eight Artists web site.

8. Because I love a Road Trip.

9. Because it was an opportunity to see more of California.

10. Because I love to travel with Ray.

11. Because I may never have work in an IQF show again!

12.  But mostly because the time was right. It was time for one last celebration of this Twelve by Twelve experience. We have written our book, shown our quilts in the biggest venues around the world that exist. We have done something no other group has done and we have grown and flourished and remained friends and we will always be a part of each others' lives. We have done, so, SO much more than we ever dreamed of. Can I feel a little bit proud? I do. Lucky me. Lucky all of us.


  1. What a fabulous group to be a part of! I admit: I'm jealous. :D

  2. Congratulations to all 12 of you, and especially you!! I so much hope I can see your exhibit when it comes to the NW Quilting Expo in September.

  3. Those are fantastic reasons!

  4. Fabulous! I can't wait to see them in Portland.

  5. It truly was a fabulous exhibit. I saw it in Houston last year and was blown away, even though I had been following on line, seeing them all together was incredible.

  6. Anonymous4:20 PM

    Fabulous, just fabulous. I enjoy reading your blog. I connect with your use of words. Rhonda M.

  7. I agree with Brenda, you said it all