Twelve by Twelve Art Quilter :: Nikki Wheeler
:: Nikki Wheeler ::
A Whole New World
I fell into art quilting when my fourth child was a toddler. I'm sure many of you know how crazy that stage of life can be. My time was spent cooking, cleaning and refereeing – endless work that was undone faster than I could do it. I longed for something creative and beautiful and just for me. Teetering on depression, one Sunday afternoon in November, I escaped from the family and headed to Barnes & Noble. I found Quilting Arts, Cloth Paper Scissors and Somerset Studio magazines and my life hasn't been the same. The combination of fabric, stitch, painting and embellishment spoke to my heart and drew me in. I devoured the magazines and ordered back issues. I added books and supplies to my Christmas wish list. I jumped on the Internet and found a whole new world.
What a luscious world it is. One of my favorite things about art quilting and mixed media is the diversity. Style, size, materials and techniques are wide open. There is always room for experimentation and development of something new. The vast choices create endless combinations allowing each person to develop their own voice. Personally, I like to combine as much color and texture as possible. Fondling materials such as silk fabric, wool felt, fuzzy yarns, vintage buttons and glass beads is half the fun. Combining them in unexpected ways creates a feast for the eyes. To make up for the gray days around here, I like to use a rainbow of colors in all tints, tones and shades. And of course, add a little sparkle with metallic threads, paints, pens and embellishments.
Anything is Possible
I really have no idea where I would be artistically without the Twelve by Twelve group. I am so lucky to have been taken under the wings of these wonderful women right at the beginning of my artistic journey. They have inspired me, kept me moving forward when life has tried to throw me off track and made dreams come true. Each theme has challenged me to step out of my comfort zone and try something new, often resulting in a new series of work. Other times, I have used the pieces to push a current line of thinking further. And of course there are the months when I feel beaten down by life, but the commitment to the group has brought me back to the studio where I'm always renewed. Plus, I just need to think about our book, Twelve by Twelve The International Art Quilt Challenge and my spirit soars knowing anything is possible.
The 12x12 International Art Quilt Challenge can be viewed at www.twelveby12.org.
See more of Nikki's work at www.nikkiwheeler.blogspot.com.