Thursday, October 04, 2007

Twelve by Twelve

There's a lot to be said for deadlines. Although I'd like to think I have the discipline to accomplish the various things I want to do on my own, I tend to get distracted easily. There's work, and family, and other fun things, not to mention starting new projects and exploring new ideas when I haven't even finished the eleventy-six projects I have going already. External motivators, such as a group to which I'm accountable and a deadline, can really help me.

And a while ago, at a local quilt show, I was taken with an exhibit of journal quilts made by a group of 5 talented quilters I know. I was charmed by what they'd done, but even more envious of seeing how their working together had pushed each of them to be better.

With that in mind, I decided to find my own group. We've banded together as the Twelve by Twelve artists, as there are 12 of us and we've agreed to work in a 12x12 format. (Brilliant name invented by Brenda Smith, eh?) I especially like that we're all over the world ... we're not limited by geography and can share our thoughts and work with each other online! We've formed a blog where we can talk about our progress, and we're having fun getting to know each other and sharing ideas. Our first challenge is Dandelion (my pick) and we'll reveal our pieces to each other on the blog around Nov. 1.

I'm very inspired by joining up with these talented artists, and I throw this idea out here because I don't think I'm alone in feeling that having a group can be a great thing: Try it yourself! If you're interested in this sort of project, email some people you know (or whose work you like, even if you don't know them) and invite them to join you. You can cruise through the Artful Quilters blog ring to find people whose work and communication styles appeal to you, and tell them what you're thinking about. You'd probably be surprised at how eager people are to find like-minded artists and to try a new venture. Blogger and other blog hosts make it easy to set up group blogs, too.

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