about the artist

You Gotta Have Friends


Today is the Twelfth reveal for the 12 X 12 group. Terry Grant selected the number 12 as our theme. I knew right away that I wanted to interpret the 12 of us in some way. My first idea was very grandiose. I was going to make little fiber portraits of each one of us, perhaps in a Picasso manner. Well, you know what my last two months have been like and that idea was soon discarded.

I didn’t want to give up. I collected photos of every one from their online postings. I hope I don’t get in trouble for not getting permission to use them, but how could I do that without letting the cat out of the bag! At first, I started using my light box to make drawings from each photo. I was going to try to do some simple machine quilted portraits, highlighting our hair. I didn’t have time for that either!!

Then, the thermofax screen idea hit me. I knew I could accomplish that in time. I played with each photo in Photoshop. I used up a lot of paper and ink getting them just right.


After I made the first set of screens, I did some test prints on muslin.


I had to redo some of the screens. Each one is so small, it did not require a lot of materials to redo.

I then selected a rainbow of colors for the quilt. My rainbow is not perfect, but as close as I could come with my stash. I did not think too hard about which color to use, except that I got lime green, Deborah got purple and Francoise got blue!! I did not make bindings for the screens since they are so small and won’t be used again. I just taped them to the fabric for screening.


Here they are drying. I did two prints for each person, just to be safe.


Here are all of my little screens, drying, after I washed them.


I cut each into a 3 1/2 inch b4 41/2 inch square and did some pretty good piecing.


I decided to do some hand stitching instead of machine quilting. Took me longer, but I like the effect. I did seed stitching around each image and then tacked each image with very tiny stitches. I wanted to add some bling with a few beads on each one, but as you can see, reality set in and I stopped and added the back binding. Here is a detail showing the stitching.


I love this group of women. I have met Kristin, Diane, Terry and Nikki in person. I want to meet the others and dream of a week-end retreat spent with this group of women. I admire them in so many ways, not just for their art, but for the inspiring ways that they live their individual lives.

Good friends are like shooting stars….You don’t always see them, but you know they are always there. Anon.

17 Responses to “You Gotta Have Friends”

  1. Judy says:

    fun piece………..looks like you had fun creating it.


  2. Connie Akers says:

    Thanks for sharing the process. The result is a great culmination to the year + project.

  3. Such a darling little quilt. What great friends you have. I liked the whole explanation of how you did it.

  4. Connie Rose says:

    Very cool, Gerrie…way to go!

  5. Rhonda says:

    This is a wonderful idea. I enjoy your blog.

  6. dee says:

    Such a wonderful idea and a special way to end this leg of your adventure with these incredible women. Love it!

  7. terry grant says:

    And you gave me red! These little portraits are very special. It is a wonderful piece.

  8. Deborah says:

    Oh, I noticed you gave me purple right away! Thank you so much… it’s such a compliment when someone really knows you by the things (or colors) that truly move you. I just love this quilt. I think it turned out exactly as it was meant to be. All the other ideas were set aside not only because time didn’t allow, but to make way for this amazing piece!

  9. Jan says:

    Twelve Stars! Good work.

  10. Sue Reno says:

    Very appropriate, as you are one of the friendliest people I know!

  11. Kristin L says:

    I didn’t notice it before, but I love that you gave a few of us our trademark colors!!

  12. kathy says:

    This is great Gerrie!

  13. Jamie Fingal says:

    Love this. It is quite wondering honoring your friends. Smiles all around. The colors are alive and vibrant. Wow.

  14. Francoise says:

    It’s great to see how you did it!
    Of course, we are going to have a quilt retreat together one day.

  15. KathieB says:

    Wow Gerrie–this is really cool. Outstanding piece! Someday I really want to explore what a thermofax might be able to do for me.

  16. What a wonderful, colorful tribute to a group of friends/women/fellow artists who have so obviously touched your heart! Will you send the “left-over” print to each member?