My online shop is now open!
Soooooooo... What Happened to 12 Quilts 12 Months?!
Project On Full Fund Mode!
Here are the prints! I hand screen printed these myself, and boy, tougher than I thought it would be. A few of them come in a few different color ways.
French 8.5x11 cover weight paper.
They are all hand numbered and signed on the back and varying quantities (listed in parenthesis).
1. Idyllic Mountain Scene (21)
2. Gold Mac-10 on Polka Dots (33)
3. Lemonade Mac-10 (10)
4. Pink Lemonade Mac-10 (15)
5. Purple EAT SHIT AND DIE (13)
6. Pink EAT SHIT AND DIE (7)
7. ////\\\\ (16)
First of all, hello, and sorry it’s taking me so long to put this up. 12 Quilts 12 Months “officially” ended 7 months ago, but it will end as soon as I mail out the final backer rewards, which are ready, so If you’re receiving a print you will be getting an email shortly.
I started 12 Quilts 12 Months 1 ¾ year ago, and a lot has happened in the interim. The Kickstarter was successfully funded, and unsuccessfully realized. I have completed 4 of the planned quilts, constructed the top of another, and made corresponding prints for the respective finished quilts. I moved in with my lovely girlfriend Alice and we adopted a spunky tabby named Louise. I got my own sewing machine (which should have been my first priority!), and set up a screen printing area in the basement. Most importantly, I completed my B.A. in Art History! I have also created a quilt for a commission, made a couple of mini-quilts, and made a wedding gift quilt with my girlfriend. I’m currently working on a collaborative quilt, and have several other open quilt projects. All new and old projects can be seen on my website, drewstefani.com and the Quilts and leftover prints will be for sale on my website very shortly.
The project didn’t succeed as planned but I’ve grown a lot and would like to share with you what and why things happened the way they did. If you find yourself with a question that is not addressed here, please post a comment and I’ll do my best to answer it.
This Kickstarter came out of desire to see if I could create a project to be funded as part of an independent study course. In fact, at first the only thing I could decide on was the that I wanted to do a Kickstarter. This should have been a big red flag, but at the time I was just concerned about getting a project funded. I poured over how-to’s on running a successful campaign, learning how to implement them in to my own project. I was so excited as I built up the plan and the project, thinking about what I will be like when I finish. Here is where I forgot to be patient. I was so amped on what it was that I wanted this project to be, I didn’t gave space to what it would take to achieve it. Within the first month, I was already losing control, and things just compounded month after month. In particular, I struggled with these issues.
- I thought I knew more than I actually did. I had made all of 2 full quilts when I started the project, and had done MINIMAL screen printing. The plan was to learn it as I went, but I didn’t plan on how to do that. Every part of the project needed a plan of action, but I was content to believe that everything would just fall into place, huge mistake.
- I underestimated what I would need. Monetarily I planned for $100 per quilt plus print, with no concern as to the overhead costs. I had the use of a free sewing machine, but did not account for the travel time needed to use it. I literally didn’t know where to begin with screen printing. I had some leads and ideas on where to go, but nothing concrete. The biggest thing was accounting for time. The more time spent doing the project, the less time I had to study or work, and this caused me to stretch the funds and myself too far.
- I was inconsiderate to the history of quilting. There have been a ton of amazing quilts and quilters throughout history, and hundred of years worth of developing block patterns and techniques. Who the hell was I trying to reinvent the wheel? All of this history was there push to quilting forward and by trying to distance myself from it I found myself lost.
- I forgot to plan the rest of my life into the project. During the project I was going to school full-time and working part time. Also, I was sewing at my Mom’s house, and while a great place to sew, involved time to get there. All of this added up to sewing and non-sewing binges, with a majority of them being non-sewing.
These issues were in large part due to the fact that I was more concerned with how I wanted the project to be received when I created it, than on creating and working with a system that I thrived in. I let myself and the project spiral out of control because I wasn’t letting it unfold as it went along. By setting guidelines in the beginning, the structure was supposed to guarantee that the end product was what I wanted, but their rigidness didn’t allow me to adjust, and refigure the project as it grew. Limiting myself to only design one quilt or constructing one quilt each month, left me wasting valuable creative energy. Full-on Self sabotage. My thoughts were constantly plagued by self doubt. The points on this quilt don’t match-up, these don’t look like professional quality screen prints, this is not the size I said they would be originally, ad-nauseum. I became so engrossed in worrying about how the project would be received, that I just completely sidestepped the project, hoping that I could take the incomplete instead of the F. When things come quickly to you, you start to forget that you actually have to work hard to complete them. Time and effort shows a lot more than smarts and intent.
After a while, I loathed having to talk about the project because I had resigned myself to it being a failure. And rather than calling it what it was and moving on, I tried to spin it this or that way, like there was some way to salvage it, but it was a sunk cost. What it wasn’t though was an end. The best way for me to deal with the the project is to look at what went wrong, and take those lessons with me on to the next one. Always focus on making your next project your best project. If you’ve already said all that you want to say, better find something new to talk about.
I also grew tired of watching opportunities present themselves while I fretted about how to approach them, ultimately letting them get away. Perhaps the best decision I have made in this time was to talk to a therapist, something I recommend everyone do. It’s one thing to acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses it’s a whole other to understand them. I began to realize that I was projecting confidence instead of being confident. I was impatiently skipping over the issues I didn’t want to deal with so that I could focus on what I wanted, but I could only suppress those issues for so long without them manifesting in my life all at once.
12Quilts12Months, is done. By it’s own guidelines it was a failure, but it was the failure that I needed to reevaluate what I wanted and how I could accomplish that. The most exciting part of the process for me was, even though I struggled mightily with making quilts during the project, I fucking love quilting. I love looking at them, talking about them, designing them, constructing them, using them. So, I will continue to quilt, but quilting has to be the first part, the most important part. In 12 Quilts 12 Months quilting was secondary to completing the project and gaining admiration, and that’s just wack. Game recognize game, do what you set out to do and the rest will be what it is. Learning to deal with the failure of this project is a lesson that I wish I had already known, but it just doesn’t work that way. What does and will happen is that I will have a constant reminder of methods that don’t work for me, allowing me to search for and focus on the ones that do. I learned a lot, and feel that I’m at peace with the project. I look forward to quilting now and in the future, as well.
A few words of advice that I’m sure you’ve heard a million times before, I know have, but having forgot them along the way, I realized just how important they are.
- Do you - This extends to everything. The ultimate goal should be satisfaction with one’s self. Don’t shift your goal to fall inline with other peoples, it dilutes both. Promote your strengths but pay attention to your weaknesses.
- Enjoy it - There are definitely times when doing something you want is going to suck and you’ll question it but focus on why it is worth doing. If their isn’t enough joy in it, time to evaluate your shit.
- Be patient - My biggest issue was impatience. I wanted the rewards without putting the time in. It’s hard to focus on the value in work when the goal is far away, but that reward is 100% dependent on that work, for better or worse.
- Be flexible - Structure is great, it helps focusing on a goal, but don’t be afraid to bend that structure when need be. Trees, skyscrapers, bridges, survive by being able to move with the wind, athletes stay away from injuries by stretching their muscles, all of this is to increase flexibility. Putting to many exacting parameters on the project (particularly in relation to size) allowed me no room to make adjustments.
- Don’t be too critical of yourself - There are an infinite amount of ways to pick out the problems with something, and while it’s important to be reflective of your process, don’t spend time undermining yourself; fix the issue the next time. Don’t take failure as a knock against you, that shit happens.
I want to send a sincere thank you to everyone that has supported me and the project. I received a lot of great advice, and support from people I’ve known for years and people that I met through the project. It is truly an amazing feeling to see strangers get excited about your work. If you think my kickstarter was misleading and feel let down by the end results, my apologies, but I do want you to know that while the project didn’t pan out, your investment of time/money/interest in me is not lost. I have a whole bunch of exciting things to work on and put out into the world, and I look forward to sharing them with everyone who’s interested. Peace.