My Twelve by Twelve Colorplay quilts arrived home this week, after a long period of traveling the world without me. Most of you will remember that the Colorplay quilts were made as the second phase of the Twelve by Twelve art quilt challenge which started back in late 2007, when I and 11 other quilt artists decided to challenge each other with bi-monthly assigned topics, for which we'd each make a 12x12 inch art quilt. After two years of the first round, we embarked on a second series of challenges where the themes were colors or color palettes. The resulting 144 quilts have been off touring at various international quilt exhibits, and do they have stories to tell!
Gemma, the "Labikeet" quilt made for the "lorikeet color" challenge chosen by Brenda Smith, loved being on display in Belgium this past October. Apparently the quilters in Belgium are not used to seeing such vividly colored dogs and were highly amused.
My "Wistful Wisteria" quilt (made when Gerrie Congdon chose chartreuse as her color challenge) had tales of the oohs and ahs it overheard while on display in Alsace, France this past September. I also got a long, involved story Kiluea overheard about a scandal involving a french quilter, her new sewing machine, and the rabidly jealous old machine who was intent on sabotaging things in the studio. Those French sewing machines are hot-blooded, I guess.
The "Kiluea" quilt (made for the Kiluea-inspired challenge that Kristin LaFlamme chose when she was living in Hawaii) enjoyed seeing Michigan, Portland, Oregon, and Iowa back in the summer and fall of 2013. Kiluea claims that she didn't find many volcanic friends in those areas but was surprised that Michigan in August was hotter than she expected.
The "Birds Flying High" (made in response to Francoise Jamart's blue and white challenge) quilt loved seeing Australia and New Zealand in early 2013 and truly felt that they'd flown far, far from home. Those birds continue to chatter among themselves in their newly-adopted Australian accents. You'd think they'd have brought me a souvenir or two, wouldn't you? But no.
My #2 Pencils (made in response to the "purple and yellow" challenge chosen by Karen Rips) are still blushing and swooning about meeting Chris Howell of Midsomer Quilting in Chilcompton, England. Chris is quite the charmer and his enthusiastic love of the 12x12 quilts has made him a favorite among my quilts. I think a few of them wanted to stay there with him and his many quilting fans. I expect they'll be sending off pining love letters now.
The "John Lennon's Spectacles" quilt (made for the "orange" challenge selected by Terry Grant), is most sentimental about its time touring the International Quilt Festival shows in Houston, TX, Cincinnati, OH, and Long Beach, CA. It reports that it felt like a real star with the flocks of admiring quilters touring the full 12x12 exhibit of all 288 quilts, and was glad to have sunglasses with all of the paparazzi taking photos. I think returning to my quiet house is going to be quite the let-down for this spoiled celebrity quilt.
And the others? They're not talking.
Maybe they're tired and jetlagged.
Or they're sulking about having to leave their Colorplay friends.
The "Spices" quilt seems to be in a particularly dark mood.
Perhaps it's depression, given that the bright lights of their glory days have come to an end.
You never know, I tell them. And besides, I remind them of what amazing doors they opened for me and my dear 12x12 compatriots. What a wonderful, wonderful life they've had. Now, I think I need to find a place in my home where we can get reacquainted, just me and them.