Happy September!  With this issue, I start the second year of chronicling my quilting adventures in this monthly newsletter.  So after twelve issues in Year #1, that means this issue is lucky #13.

I want to thank the readers who started down this path with me, salute those who joined along the way and welcome all new readers.  And please know that I have appreciated the wonderful feedback I've received from quilters and non-quilters alike.  Here's to Year #2!
Suzanne Zizzi Photography
Another Quilt Show!
In August, I attended the Los Angeles Quilt Show and Fiber Art Festival with a couple of fellow quilters.  The quilts were great and the setting for the show was very
cool.  It was held at Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles, a restored 1940s-era warehouse.  The quilts were suspended on long wires anchored to huge wooden beams high overhead.  It allowed visitors to walk around the quilts and see the backs of the quilts (where the actual quilting stitches are usually more visible) as easily as their fronts.

This vibrant quilt on the left, made by Gay K. Morris, shouted Mardi Gras to me when I saw it from across the room. And in fact it is entitled "Mardi Gras Bliss."
"Sunset on the Beach," by Grace J. Errea, is indeed a quilt and not a painting, though it sure looks like one. It's her interpretation of a sunset view on San Onofre Beach in San Diego.  If you want to see more of Grace's work, the link to her website is here.

"Kimono Quilt #2" is a quilt made by Mike McNamara.  Mac is a San Francisco-based quilter who recently visited my quilt guild.  His enthusiasm as well as his free-spirited and non-traditional approach to quilting were infectious.   He encouraged everyone to break out of their well-honed quilting habits and play more.  If you want to see more of Mac's work, the link to his website is here.

The quilt shown below may have been 
my favorite in the show -- Laura Stone's "Sampler Quilt -- Remembering MEH and Friends."  The MEH refers to Mary Ellen Hopkins, a renowned and much admired quilt maker and author.  It's a very contemporary take on a traditional sampler, and that's what I like about it.
It Takes a Village 
Many things in life are better with collaboration and quilting is no exception.  Here's a recent example of how many different people positively impacted my work.

Thanks to Glendale Quilt Guild members Cindy Abrams and An Burgess, "Panelmania" is sweeping through the guild.  In a special effort to make quilts for various worthy organizations, the many pictorial fabric panels that have been donated to our guild over the years were offered for adoption by our members, who were then challenged to turn them into finished quilts.  

Though I'm not usually a fan of clowns, I did think the clowns on the panel I selected (below on the left) were sweet.  This panel was originally designed to make a double-sided stuffed clown doll, but I thought it also would make a cute quilt -- or two.  Since I owned rainbow-striped fabric (below on the right), my first idea was to simply sew the red clown on to the fabric and call it a day.
But when I tested that idea, it didn't look special enough (below on the left). Fortunately, fellow guild member Tim Spinn mentioned a relatively simple technique he had recently come across to cut up a striped fabric, rearrange the pieces and sew them back together to make a more interesting quilt top.  The tutorial was by the Missouri Star Quilt Company and Tim was right.  I used the technique and the plain rainbow-striped fabric became a far more attractive background (below on the right).  If you're interested in this free tutorial, it can be found here.
The next dilemma came when I laid the red clown on the new background and he seemed to be overwhelmed by -- and somewhat lost in -- it (below on the left).  This time, wise counsel came from another fellow quilter, Sara Silver, who suggested adding a "halo" of white fabric around the clown to better set him off from the now busy background and she was right.  That did just the trick (below on the right).
With those creative challenges behind me, it was time to finish the project by adding a couple borders -- using a yellow & orange checkerboard fabric for the inner border and a yellow-on-yellow striped fabric for the outer border.  I then quilted it and added a binding around the perimeter using an orange-with-yellow-polka-dots fabric.  And voilà, I had a completed quilt (see below on the left).  Similarly, I placed the blue clown on his own blender-ized background -- and with his own halo -- and finished that quilt (see below right).  I'm very happy with the end results and believe the recipients will be as well.  And the great end results are thanks to the wonderful input I had along the way.
Sew Pro
In mid-September, I'll be heading to Chicago for the first-ever Sew Pro convention. Organized by a sewing blogger and a fabric shop owner, this confab was created to address the needs of people either working in the sewing industry or aspiring to do so.  At the event's core are two days of lectures given by industry insiders who work
in one of four business tracks -- fabric designer, pattern designer, author or blogger.  And what's great is that any attendee can float between the tracks and sit in on any lecture in which they are interested.  Personally, I am planning to "major " in pattern design and "minor" in fabric design.  If you'd like more information on Sew Pro, you can find it here.
What I'm Working On
In my continuing effort to add to the quilt patterns available in my online shops, I recently wrote up the pattern to the quilt below that I call "Seeing Stars."  This quilt
features very colorful stars set against black and white background fabrics. The contrast really makes the stars pop. This quilt is a blend of a traditional quilt motif (the sawtooth star) and contemporary fabrics.  It measures 48" square and was featured in the Summer 2013 special newsstand publication "Quilters Newsletter Presents Best Weekend Quilts". 
I have recently added the pattern for my Seeing Stars quilt to my online shops.  A physical paper version of the pattern can be found in my shop on at this link. And a digital (i.e., pdf) version can be found either in my shop on at this link or in my shop on at this link.

I also offer a workshop on how to make this quilt.  If your group or guild is interested in making this quilt, you can see my workshop offerings at this link.  
A Special Note
On this first anniversary of my monthly newsletter, I want to give a heart-felt shout out to my primary editor, my sister, Sheila Curran Lane.  As someone who does not sew, she has been especially helpful in identifying when a topic needed more explanation.  And as a fine writer, she could easily point out whenever I had gone on for too long.  Thanks for all your time and efforts, Sheil!  
Have a great September!   Since it's a time of new beginnings -- with the new school year and all -- perhaps this month is an opportunity to start something new that you have been thinking about tackling.  And all best wishes with that!

If you want to check out past issues of this newsletter, use this link.
Copyright © 2016 Art Quilts by Tina Curran, All rights reserved.

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