My quilting adventures merrily continued in October.  I took in a quilt show while I was in Chicago for my high school reunion. And back in L.A., I attended a lecture given by one of my favorite quilt artists.  I also had the opportunity to have lunch and spend the afternoon with a fabric designer. It was cool to see how and where she works and see the stash of the bolts and bolts of fabric she has that she herself designed.  I'll have more information to share regarding her newest work when it can be made public.
Suzanne Zizzi Photography
Quilt Show
I went to the show put on by the Village Quilters of Lake Bluff/Lake Forest (IL) the first weekend in October.  It was great and I'm sharing pictures of some of my favorite quilts from that show. This first one is called "Stained Glass Diamonds", sewn by Linda Spring and quilted by Maureen O'Connor.  It features colorful, floral fabrics designed by one of my favorite fabric designers, Kaffe Fassett.  With the black edging around the diamond shapes and the bright fabrics, it really does give the impression of a stained glass window.
The quilt entitled "Fire Island Hasta - Queen" was made by Jane Reents, quilted by Karrie Youngblood and is massive -- maybe 100" x 100".  And it is a masterpiece example of the technique used to make it -- paper piecing.  As the name implies, paper is used in this process.  Pieces of fabric are stitched onto paper and the paper is later removed, leaving only a patchwork of fabric.  The process can be very labor intensive due to the 
additional step of having to remove the paper, but it helps a quilter make very sharp points and as this quilt proves, it can be well worth the extra effort.

"Stripes Squared" was sewn and quilted by Linda Warren.  This is a wonderful example of the fun of geometry.  The quilt is made up of triangle-shaped pieces of striped fabrics.  And by combining four triangles into squares, not only do squares emerge but diamond shapes as well.  It is also a great example of using light and dark fabrics to add interest to a piece.
From Photo to Fabric
In October, I also had the opportunity to attend a guild meeting where one of my favorite quilters was speaking.  Marcia Stein is a quilt artist who specializes
in turning the photos from her world travels into art quilts.  Among my favorites is her piece entitled "Sidewalk Cafe". This quilt measures 43" x 67" and was based on the photo Marcia took below. With the striped umbrellas the obvious star of her
photo, Marcia simplified the background in her quilt to allow them to stand out all the more.  A special thanks to Marcia for sharing her original photo with me.  You can see more of Marcia's wonderful work on her website using the link here.
A few years ago, I did a photo-based quilt myself.  It was for my sister Val's new condo in Chicago's South Loop area and her idea was to replicate the view to the north from her balcony. After swallowing hard, I accepted the challenge and ended 
up with "My Kind of Town" which measures 40" x 60".  With the buildings the stars of my piece, I opted to simplify the foreground and replaced all the modes of transportation with an expansion of Grant Park.  I used only striped and plaid fabrics for the buildings because 
in "my kind of town" that's what I would want. And If you look closely, you'll see the Jay Pritzker Pavillion and Buckingham Fountain in the quilt.  There are some treasured family photographs that I would love to recreate with this process.  To see more of the commissioned quilts I've made, use this link.
What I'm Working On
As Fall has finally fallen, thinking about Christmas is a bit easier, temperature-wise. The work on my annual Christmas card quilt -- that is the quilt that will be featured on my holiday card -- goes on.  Continuing my idea of turning Christmas motifs into wreathes, for the third block I took on the time-honored holiday tradition of a tangle of Christmas tree lights. I designed and pieced all the bulbs and sockets in a somewhat haphazard layout and then connected them by laying a green satin
cord over the surface of the block to serve as the wire and couched it -- i.e., zig-zag stitched over the cord with invisible thread to hold it in place.  To complete the block, I designed yet another variation of an eight-pointed star to use in the center of the wreath of lights. So that's three blocks down, six more to go.  And thinking about the work that remains on this project inspires yet another holiday tradition -- anxiety!
Lectures and Workshops
A week or so ago I was contracted to give a lecture and teach a workshop in February at my own guild, the Glendale (CA) Quilt Guild. I will be debuting my lecture on "My Design Process -- From Concept to Quilt".  The purpose of this
talk is to share my process, step by step, and the sometimes linear, sometimes circuitous method I go through to end up with my quilt designs, highlighting the inspirations and obstacles that pop up along the way.  And I'll be teaching my "Color Blocks" workshop as we have a lot of beginner quilters in our guild and want to help them develop their skills in this art form that we love.  For information on my lectures & workshops, click here.
Thanks for reading and have a wonderful November!  And with the upcoming holidays, take the opportunity to do something creative, even if you've never done it before. Remember that every artist was once a beginner.
Copyright © 2015 Art Quilts by Tina Curran, All rights reserved.

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