Twelve Days of Twelves: Part Twelve

March 01, 2011, 08:51 am  Posted by needlearts

It’s the final day of our celebration of Twelve by Twelve: The International Art Quilt Challenge. And of course that means today’s post is another one that includes a giveaway of a copy of the book! Wordygirl is the winner! To enter for a chance to win a copy of Twelve by Twelve, leave a comment on this post by 11 p.m. EST on March 8, 2011. Any comment will do, but we’d love to hear your favorite parts from this interview series: whether it was something that made you smile or an unexpected source of inspiration! We’ll randomly select a winner and announce the results on March 9. Click here for the official rules.

For anyone that missed this series before today: Each day for twelve (business) days, we interviewed one of the talented quilt artists who contributed to the book. Take a look back through the last couple weeks of Needlearts team posts to see the other interviews. For more information on the book, click here. For more information on the Twelves, or to join them on their current group challenge, visit their website.

Today’s Guest: Nikki Wheeler

Location: Poulsbo, Washington

How do you describe your own quilting? Has being part of the Twelves group changed your perspective on your own work?

My work is very mixed media. Although most of my pieces use a quilt sandwich, many wouldn’t be considered quilts by a lot of traditionalists. I love including a wide variety of embellishments and non-traditional materials. I was very new to art quilting when Twelve by Twelve began. I felt completely inexperience among all these wonderful artists. After three and a half years, the support and encouragement of this group, my confidence has grown immeasurably. I can now say that I’m an artist without feeling like a fraud, or at least most of the time.

You’re in the middle of the second group challenge, with a Colorplay theme. How did the first challenge affect the work you’ve done for the second one?

During the theme series I tried a lot of different techniques. Although I love them each by themselves and within the context of the Theme mosaics, they aren’t a united group by themselves. I was inspired by other members’ cohesive bodies of work and decided to use my quilted, then painted fabric for all the Colorplay quilts.

All my experimenting during the Theme series wasn’t lost though. Various quilts have inspired different bodies of work. I am currently working on a series call “I felt” for art-o-mat inspired by my Window quilt, “Day Dreaming.”

Were you inspired to try a new technique that one of the Twelves used in their work? If so, which one?

I long admired many of the Twelve’s use of hand stitching before I made an attempt myself. My Chair piece is entirely hand stitched with thick embroidery floss and big stitches. After many hours of work, I gained a new respect for the technique.

If you could have changed one of your quilts from Twelve by Twelve, which one would it have been, and why?

Generally, I am happy with all my Twelve by Twelve quilts. Each of them was a learning experience as I pushed myself into new territory. If I could change one of them, it probably would be the colors of my Mathematics quilt. Originally I made the quilt with a cool multicolor piece of hand painted fabric. I thought I was finished when disaster struck. The plastic film I used to mark the precise quilting lines messed up the thread tension and wouldn’t come out from under the thread. I thought it would perforate and I could easily remove it. After several hours trying to pick out plastic, I gave up and started again. I didn’t have time to paint another piece of fabric, so I went with what I had on hand.

We heard there were “awards” given out to you all after the completion of the Theme series…what was your award?

I was given several awards. I received “Embellishing Her Testimony” for including bead work, stitching and other details. Deborah, Brenda and I received “Surprisingly Similar” for our Chocolate quilts. My Chair quilt, Mom’s Hideout, was given “I Never Would Have Guessed”– I fooled them with my jump into hand stitching. As for my favorite award, my Twelve quilt, “The Kissing Number,” and “Oh,” by Kirsten received “Separated at Birth,” which still makes me laugh every time I think about it. Make sure to check out the quilts for yourselves to see why.

How was writing your portion of the book similar and different to blogging about the quilts as you made them?

I relied heavily on the blog to remember the detail of the Chocolate challenge while writing the book. Reading back through the posts reminded me of the fun we had with each challenge and the various things, both art and life related, introduced by the other Twelves that I wanted to try. I am happy to say that just a few weeks ago I found Tim Tam, Australia’s favorite cookie, at the local Target and they are now a family favorite. I never would have known about them if wasn’t for Twelve by Twelve. Writing the book did give me a chance to really reflect on my work and being part of the group. The longer format allowed me to bring together different aspects of my life as an artist, quilting and being a part of an online community that were only touched on in various different places on the blog and website.


12 Responses

    Gillwatson says:

    I have really enjoyed this series of interviews and I have signed up to the twelve by twelve site!
    I particularly enjoyed Diane Perin Hock’s ‘ Wings’
    Thank you

    Asheridan says:

    Thank you so much for presenting each of these wonderful artists in this interview series. I have followed the Twelve by Twelve blog for quite a while now, so it was interesting to hear each artist answer the questions.

    Colleen says:

    I loved reading about all the artists. Especially enjoyed reading the post on Francoise Jamart about all the thinking and planning that is involved in the quilt making process. I think we have a tendency to forgot about that part of the process. thanks.

    Mommapudding says:

    I love to read how each artist has been inspired by another, and their surroundings, and as a community they feel themselves stretched and encouraged to try new things. These pieces have been fantastic to follow and I look forward to owning this book.

    cori says:

    Like your use of buttons and the colors of your fabric are great, bright and cheerful

    Sharlyngp says:

    I’m a beadmaker and I love the idea of a group challenge. What fun and what a great way to get your creative juices flowing!

    [...] you live in the United States, it’s not too late for you to leave a comment on Day 8 or Day 12 of the Twelve Days of Twelves over on the Lark Crafts blog to go into a draw to win a copy of the [...]

    JB says:

    I have enjoyed hearing how each artist’s work has changed as a result of being part of the twelves.

    oregonjudy says:

    It was enlightening to see how each quilter reacted to the same questions. Thanks for the article.

    Wordygirl says:

    I’m sad to see you’ve reached the end of these interviews. I’ve really enjoyed them, and been inspired by the talented quilters.

    I’m learning more about quilting everyday, and I really enjoy non-traditional quilting styles, so thank you for sharing

    I just finished the Twelve by Twelve book and I”m going to post on my blog about it. WONDERFUL book !

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