:: Kristin LaFlamme ::
The Twelve by Twelve experience has taken me places I never dreamed of. Originally, I joined for two reasons: first, I was flattered to have been asked to be a part of a group that included artists whom I admired; and second, I knew it would be a good kick in the pants to expand my art quilting repertoire. What I didn’t guess was that it would grow into opportunities to share our work with a wider audience than just each other and a few blog readers, or that we would create such a meaningful circle of friends. I certainly could not have predicted that our mutual encouragement would result in international exhibitions and a book. Who knew others would be so interested in how we approached our theme challenges, or what we created?
Friends & Mentors Found
Yet, what’s been most wonderful, has been the connections I’ve made. Twelve women I hardly knew a little over three years ago, now count as my friends. Moving often, I find it difficult to search out like-minded friends or other artists to bounce ideas off of and share experiences. However, through the magic of the internet, and the chemistry of Twelve by Twelve, it doesn’t matter where I am geographically. Over the years we’ve worked together as a group, we’ve forged some close ties. I have found a fellow forty-something mom/emerging artist in Deborah, and wise women mentors in Gerrie and Terry. And just because I feel completely at ease e-mailing images of my artwork (especially work outside of the Twelve by Twelve project) to them, asking for feedback, generally venting, and soliciting professional advice, doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t also feel equally comfortable with the rest of the Twelves. It was great fun being in a compatible time zone when Brenda received the first copy of “Twelve by Twelve: The International Art Quilt Challenge” and was able to Skype me so we could share in the excitement of our REAL book!
We are excited to show our work at the International Quilt Festival in Houston this year -- not only because of the renown event, but because nearly all of us will finally get to meet each other in person. And we know already, it’s going to be amazing! As I wrote when announcing my chosen theme, “We are forming a nice little community here.” And I couldn’t have hoped for more when I joined.
The 12x12 International Art Quilt Challenge can be viewed at www.twelveby12.org
See more of Kristin's work at www.kristinlaflamme.com.