Thursday, August 28, 2014

Colourplay Exhibition: Alsace, France 18-21 September 2014

Come along to the Twelve by Twelve Colourplay exhibition at Carrefour Européen du Patchwork, Espace des Tisserands, Sainte Marie aux Mines, Alsace, France:18-21 September 2014.  Brenda will be there Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.  Françoise will be there Friday and other times.  We look forward to seeing you!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Kristin in Portland

Hi Twelves and friends. Terry here. Guess who is sleeping in my studio? It's Kristin!

Tonight we had a great night on the town. First Thursday is gallery night in downtown Portland. It's a festive atmosphere with galleries open late and serving wine and goodies. It was the opening for the Columbia Fiber Arts Guild show at the Art Reach gallery, then we rode the trolley up to the Hap Gallery where one of Kristin's "Army Wife" apron pieces is part of their new show that opened tonight.  

There was Kristin's apron, right in the front window!  I think this is kind of a cool photo because you get  Kristin, her piece, the name of the gallery and, if you look carefully, me reflected in the window, taking the photo. Really intriguing little exhibit about comforting/discomforting objects. 

Dinner after, at Henry's Tavern in Portland's Pearl District. 

Wish you all could have been here!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Visit Terry Grant's Studio!

Alex Anderson and The Quilt Show made a surprise visit to Terry Grant in her Portland studio. You can view the show at Episode 1502: Small Pieces, Big Impact (it's free until 3 August 2014 with a basic membership).  The slideshow below also gives you a peek into Terry's studio and some of her recent work.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

Monday, July 21, 2014

Colourplay at the European Patchwork Meeting 2014

In just two months, the Twelve by Twelve Colourplay exhibition opens at Carrefour Européen du Patchwork, Alsace, France:18-21 September 2014 (sponsored by Aurifil).  This is your opportunity to view all 144 works in this series and to meet Françoise Jamart and Brenda Gael Smith.

European Patchwork Meeting 2014

Brenda is also teaching two workshops: Stacks of Improvisation is full but there are still some spaces in  .  :Serendipity Circles on Saturday, 20 September.   Come along and we can improvise together!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

SAQA Benefit Auction 2014: Dream Collection

The annual benefit auction is the signature fundraising event for Studio Art Quilt Associates. Your purchases help increase the recognition for art quilts and the artists who make them while supporting SAQA’s exhibitions, publications, and education outreach. The 2014 SAQA Benefit Auction is coming up in September and Dream Collections are starting to appear online.  The dream collection set out below is comprised of works donated by six of the Twelves that are up for auction:
Nightfall - Deborah Boschert Sky Blue Pink - Gerrie Congdon 
Nightfall: Deborah Boschert             Sky Blue Pink: Gerrie Congdon 
Undecided - Karen Rips  The Visitor - Terri Stegmiller     
Undecided:  Karen Rips                   The Visitor:  Terri Stegmiller 
    Eye of the Crow - Terry Grant    Neptune's Necklace #1 - Brenda Gael Smith        
Eye of the Crow: Terry Grant                   Neptune's Necklace#1:Brenda Smith

Talking of SAQA, congratulations to Helen! Her work Graffiti 1 was juried into the SAQA exhibition Wide Horizons IV that will premiere at the Carrefour Européen du Patchwork/European Patchwork Meeting  in Alsace, France:18-21 September 2014.  Don't forget, all 144 works from the Colorplay Series will also be on exhibition at this event.
Graffiti 1:  Helen Conway
Many of the Twelves enjoy the educational, networking, mentoring and exhibition opportunities offered by Studio Art Quilt Associates. If you’ve been thinking about joining SAQA, add the discount code “BGS” to the application form and you will receive a 10% discount on the membership fee.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Quilt Symposium Manawatu, New Zealand 2015

Quilt Symposium Manawatu 16-21 January 2015) is the premier quilting event in New Zealand. A wonderful week of quilting organised by quilters (on a voluntary basis) for quilters.  The Twelve by Twelve International Quilt Challenge is participating in this event in three ways:
  • Kirsty and Brenda are part of the teaching faculty, presenting an array of stimulating workshops;
  • Brenda is giving a lunchtime presentation (Saturday, 17 January 12.15-1pm) Adventures & Inspiration from the Twelve by Twelve International Art Quilt Challenge and there will be an opportunity to view some of Kirsty and Brenda's quilts "in the cloth"; and
  • Deborah's distinctive work Indigo Garden is part of the Living Colour! travelling textile art exhibition, curated by Brenda, that will be on display at the Symposium.

Registrations are now open for classes including Kirsty's workshops:
and Brenda's workshops:
Join us if you can!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A little Twelve by Twelve at AQC

Congratulations to the Australasian Quilt Convention as it celebrates its 10th anniversary in Melbourne this week.  The Twelves have many special memories from AQC.   The world premiere of the Theme Series was at AQC 2010.  Remember this?!

And works by Terry (Cacao y Canela), Diane (Blowin' in the Wind) and Brenda (Dreamlines #3) made cameo appearances on the program cover:

Colourplay was on exhibition at AQC 2013 with works by Helen, Kirsty, Terri and Nikki on the program cover: 

At AQC 2014, you can purchase our book Twelve by Twelve: The International Art Quilt Challenge from Can Do books:
View Brenda's work The X Factor, a finalist in the AQC 2014 Challenge - Ten:
And see Deborah's work Indigo Garden in the Living Colour! exhibition curated by Brenda:

Brenda is presenting a curator floor talk, daily at 1.30pm at AQC 2014.  All welcome! (And, if you can't make it in person, check out the Living Colour! gallery and Living Colour! Catalogue .)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Buy a Plank Auction Website Now live

I am excited to announce my latest project, the Buy a Plank Quilt Auction which is an auction of art quilts to benefit a clinic in The Gambia.

It began when I made this huge quilt called No 1 African Fabric Shop to amuse my friend Magie Relph the wonder of the real African Fabric Shop. Long story short it was far too big to keep so we took a rotary cutter to it and chopped it up into planks.
Over twenty artists paid for a piece of my quilt and have turned it into their own piece of art. those works are now all for sale on the Buy a Plank Website. It is a sealed bid auction and will end on April 27th at 5pm UK time which coincides with the end of the British Quilts and Stitch Village show at which all the quilts will be displayed.

This is my piece for the auction.
Hunter's Shirt

and a couple of my personal favourites:

The Price of Help by Judi Mendelsohn

One Plank Makes Many Huts by Alison Livesley

So, please, come over and have a look at the art and put a bid in!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Living Colour Exhibition

Thank you to everyone that entered the Living Colour!  travelling textile art exhibition.  I (Brenda) received over 170 entries from all around the world - amazing!  The exhibition will premiere at the Australasian Quilt Convention (10-13 April 2014) and continue on tour until October 2015.  In the meantime, every other day, I will be posting a detail shot on the Living Colour blog at A Glimpse of Living Colour.  The detail shots can also be viewed in the Preview Gallery that will be updated weekly. Today's glimpse is a collage work by a Twelve - Deborah Boschert.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Life after 20/12

Leave My Land Alone
my last 20/12 series quilt
After the 20/12 series finished and my fellow Twelves decided not to do another group challenge right away, I confess I felt a little bereft. The great thing about the Twelves is that we were a cohesive group and all of us were there right to the end. So embarking on a 'solo' career was a little daunting and I wandered a little trying to find an identity as an artist that was not so inextricably bound up with being a Twelve.

I think I am getting there and part of that has been dusting the cobwebs off my Helen Conway Design website and moving my rejuvenated blog over there. If you want to update your links and follow my blog at I'd love to see you over there.

Looking forward, Diane Perin Hock and I are starting a duo project  with a reveal at the end of this month (watch this space for details). Personally I have been working on two series. One  of maps of a township in South Africa Called Joe Slovo and one about Brick Lane in London which is part of a body of work on the theme of Transition with a newly formed group called Etcetera (Web site under construction - watch this space again!) It has been good to build relationships in the flesh with quilters I can actually meet and eat cake with.
Brick Lane
I have a bad tendency to make a quilt and move on and not to recognise that the art is lasting, as is its effects on people. Today I had a lovely reminder of that when a UK quilter commented on a SAQA UK Yahoo group about the quilt she had made for the SAQA Trunk Show. She said that I had given her the motivation to make her current quilts because of the way I highlighted social issues in my Twelve by Twelve quilts. I certainly didn't make them with a view of influencing anyone else but I am delighted that the Twelve by Twelve project continues to inspire in a way none of us thought possible when we started out.

I say that not to brag but to encourage you. Whatever stage you think your art is at, put it out there and you will be surprised how the ripples of inspiration spread. By giving me that compliment the SAQA member entirely unknowingly validated some of the conclusions I had come to in my journal recently about where I want my place in the quilting community to be. So, whether you be a newly art quilter or a long established master, please contribute to the online discussions and lets all keep making each other surer and more confident artists.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Fiber 5K to Fight Cancer!

No need to actually lace up your tennis shoes for this virtual race. 

It's as easy as donating directly to the ACS through Fiberart For A Cause
beginning January 15, 2014 at 10 a.m. Central
For each $1 you donate, we will be 1 meter closer to the finish line.
$5000 donated = We all reach the 5K Finish Line

Donate here.
Fantastic prizes 
from our very generous sponsors as we reach 1K ($1000 raised), 2K ($2000 raised), etc. with a Grand Prize Package when we reach our 5K goal.

12x12 artist Deborah Boschert is included in the 4K level of prizes. She's donated a copy of the Twelve by Twelve book and a copy of her dvd Contemporary Fabric Collage.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Twelve by Twelve Wordle

I created a Wordle for our blog. Looks like Karen was prominently featured, followed my Kirsty.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Two Twelves go to Washington

What does an Australian Twelve do when she finds herself in Washington DC?  She contacts her closest Twelve, Kristin in Charlottesville-VA, and plans are made for an art excursion.  We started out at the National Portrait Gallery with an introductory/highlights tour with a docent who also happened to be an artist.  Amongst other things, we learned about Gilbert Stuart's habit of not finishing paintings (although he did manage a handsome portrait of the first President); admired the energy of Elaine de Kooning's portrait of Kennedy; heard the reason why the portrait of George W Bush is cut off at the ankles; and marvelled at the shimmery grid treatment of Bill Clinton by Chuck Close.  
Then it was time to refuel at the Capitol Brewing Company before viewing the "Workt by Hand" exhibition of quilts at the National Museum of Women in the Arts which conveniently opened a day or two earlier.  We emerged with a new appreciation of the potential of satin, taffeta and silk brocades!  
Thank you Kristin for making the long journey to meet up with me, especially at such a busy time of the year.  I hope they saved some holiday tamales for you back home.  My Twelve count for 2013 is officially five (Kirsty, Terry, Gerrie, Karen and Kristin) but we toast all of the Twelves.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Colourplay at Carrefour Européen du Patchwork

Twelve by Twelve is happy to join Carrefour Européen du Patchwork in celebrating their 20th anniversary in 2014. Brenda and Françoise will meet up in Alsace, France and all 144 Colourplay works will be on display in from 18-21 September. In addition, Brenda is curating a special exhibit of Australian quilts and will be teaching two one-day classes - Serendipity Circles and Stacks of Improvisation. We look forward to meeting some of our European readers.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

SAQA Benefit Auction 2013 at the International Quilt Festival

The 2013 SAQA Benefit Auction continues with the final tranche open for in-person bidding at the International Quilt Festival, Houston in Houston from 28 October to 3 November (with online bidding available on 28 and 29 October) . This is a great opportunity to purchase quality textile art and support SAQA’s exhibition programs. You can view the quilts in this tranche at page a and  page b of the SAQA website including these works donated by some of the Twelves in their distinctive styles.

Deborah's work Rocks, Rivers and Rooftops incorporates many of her favorite motifs and techniques: the houses, the hand embroidery, handwriting as surface design, a painted stenciled twig and the arch over the top of the suggested landscape.  You can read the surprising back story  to this piece on Deborah's blog and learn some of these techniques yourself in Deborah's new online workshop called Branches, Buds and Blossoms Fabric Collage.

In her work Awareness, Karen stitched a piece of fabric with wool felt underneath to shrink it up for texture.  After bleaching, she overdyed it a very pale blue, which took away the cream color.  Raised circles, created with buttons, adds extra interest.
Terri's Kitty Rides Back features a portait and two kitties in stencilled fabrics made from her very own stencil designs.
If you happen to be attending the International Quilt Festival, Houston in person, be sure to check out the following exhibits that also features works by some of the Twelves:
  • An Exquisite Moment  features works by Deborah Boschert, Gerrie Congdon, Diane Perin Hock and Karen Rips.  There is also An Exquisite Moment Catalogue available for sale;
  •  Tactile Architecture and What's for Dinner special exhibits feature works by Deborah Boschert..