Twelve by Twelve Art Quilter :: Diane Perin Hock
:: Diane Perin Hock ::
No matter what our media of choice is, as artists much of our creative time is spent alone. We work in our creative corners, quietly contemplating and experimenting: What color here? How does this composition flow? It’s an invigorating and satisfying process, but most of the time, it comes down to just being alone and doing it.
So maybe that explains why many of us crave connection to others who do what we do. Through magazines, blogs, guilds, and minigroups, we connect with others who share our obsession. That’s the impetus that led me to invite these amazing women to join me in an experiment that became “Twelve by Twelve.” I was excited to connect and play with eleven other artists. I would never have imagined that it would lead to international exhibit opportunities and the publication of a book. It just goes to show that when a bunch of energetic and inspired women get together, there’s no telling how far we can go!
In the fall of 2009, I had the opportunity to meet one of the far-away Twelves, Helen Conway from the UK. Helen and her husband were planning a trip with a stop near me in the San Francisco area, so I invited them to stay with us. Helen had bemoaned the lack of art quilting companions in her local area, and she’d commented that she envied my having local friends with whom to share my fiber art explorations. I offered to introduce Helen to some of my friends when she visited, and she responded with enthusiasm.
As far as Helen was concerned, I was planning a luncheon for her and several quilting friends. But unbeknownst to Helen, I also invited the west coast “Twelves” to see if they could attend and surprise Helen. To my delight, Gerrie Congdon from Oregon and Karen Rips from Southern California arranged to come.
Conversation and Quilts
By the time the day rolled around, Helen and I were happily meshing in our in-person friendship. Despite never meeting any the guests before, Helen seemed to instantly “click” with them in the way that quilters and artists do. There was much happy chatter. Then the doorbell rang, and in came Karen Rips. Helen – recognizing her from her blog photos – was speechless with surprise. Astonished hugs were exchanged, but before things settled down the doorbell rang again, and Gerrie Congdon made her entrance. By this time Helen was teary-eyed with surprise and pleasure.
The afternoon flew by in whirl of conversation and quilts. We had show-and-tell that involved much oohing-and-ahhing. As I think back to that day, though, the most memorable part was how wonderful that feeling of connection felt. I may work alone in my studio, but I know I’m supported by the bond I share with the Twelves and other wonderful friends.
The 12x12 International Art Quilt Challenge can be viewed at www.twelveby12.org .
See more of Diane's work at http://goingtopieces.blogspot.com.