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Adventures in Northern San Diego County
Last month, I spent a couple of days with the El Camino Quilters.  They are a large guilt guild with over 200 members.  I was there to give a lecture, "My Design Process -- From Concept to Quilt,"  and then teach a workshop on how to make my "Whimsical Garden" quilt. The group was wonderful and given its large size, the show & tell portion of their meeting delightfully went on and on.  It was a treat to get to see the many fabulous quilts that these members made.
Suzanne Zizzi Photography
Another treat associated with visiting this guild is that they hold their workshops at Quilt in A Day.  This is the quilt shop and headquarters of Eleanor Burns, a much revered figure in the quilting world (seen here with me in front of one of my quilts).  Not only was I introduced to Eleanor, but she took me on a
personal tour of her 4,000 square feet facility.  Roughly a third of the space is designated as the quilt shop, classroom and TV studio space, where content for quilting TV shows and online tutorials is videotaped.  The rest is the warehouse -- a wonderland of fabric, quilt books, quilt patterns, rulers and sewing notions -- with offices and workspaces wedged in for Eleanor and her 35 employees.  As a one-man-band operation myself, it was very impressive to see the quilting empire she has built in her nearly 40 years in this business.  
Part of the Celebration
Recently, a fan of my work contacted me to say that she had just regained her health and wanted to celebrate by buying a couple of my quilts.  I congratulated her on her return to health and told her I'd be honored to have my work be part of her celebration.  She opted for one of my larger quilts -- "Fabric Soup" made in 2015, on the right -- which measures 60'" x 60". 
She also selected one of my newer and smaller quilts, "100 Houses," which measures just 24" x 24".  Seen below, this quilt won a blue ribbon in the show theme category at my guild's -- the Glendale (CA) Quilt Guild's -- 2015 quilt show, 
"Home is Where the Quilt Is."

As this is both a pattern I sell and a workshop I teach, I need to make it again in time for the teacher forum I will be attending this month. A link to this pattern on Etsy.com can be found here and a link to this pattern on Craftsy.com can be found here.
My Patchwork Floor
My townhouse recently suffered a minor flood, ruining the carpet that the builder had installed in my basement that connects to the parking garage.  Left with a bare concrete floor and no interest in reinstalling carpet, I looked for a more resilient flooring product for this 9' x 20' area, in case a flood ever happened again.  My idea was to put in a classic black and white checkerboard floor, with the squares on the diagonal.  My journey took me from linoleum to vinyl to laminate to plastic.  Yes, plastic.  I found a flooring product that is popular for use in garages -- 12"-square hard plastic tiles that click together and are tough enough to withstand the weight of parked cars.  For me, the square tiles offered an opportunity to put a patchwork quilt of sorts on my basement floor.  

Though there were a number of colors to choose from, I stuck with my vision of the classic black and white checkerboard.   My wonderful nephew, Tom, who proved to be quite skillful with a compound miter saw, helped me install the flooring in just a few hours.
As you may have noticed in the "after" photo, the tiles are not on the diagonal. Instead, they run parallel with the walls.  This was my one concession to my original vision. We could have put the tiles "on point," as quilters call it, but that would have required a far greater amount of tile cutting and time.  And as my dear pal and fellow quilter Sara pointed out, whenever I want to see the pattern on the diagonal, I just simply have to stand in the corner of the room and look at it.  I don't know if that comment was more genius or smart aleck, but I like it.  If you want to check out these tiles, use this link.
Another country heard from
I sell both paper and digital copies of my quilt patterns online (via my shops on Etsy.com and Craftsy.com) and it's always fun to see where the people who buy them live.  Last month, I added another nation to my list of foreign countries where my digital patterns have sold to date -- Italy!  That brings my list to 13, with the other twelve being Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, Germany, India, The Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand,
Saudi Arabia, Spain, Switzerland and the U.K..  I have also recently added two more states -- Arkansas and Hawaii -- to my domestic list, so now can claim sales in 47 of the 50 U.S. states. The hold-out states?  Maine, New Mexico and Vermont.  What gives Mainers, New Mexicans and Vermonters?  Oh well.  Undaunted, my plans for world domination continue to slowly, but steadily roll forward!  
What I'm Working On
Last month, the members of the Glendale Quilt Guild continued their great work on the quilts we are making for military kids attending a local camp this summer.  Below
is a purple version of our "hashtag" quilt.  To date we have completed five of these quilts and a couple more were completed using different patterns. The rest of the quilts we are making are in various stages of production and we are well on our way to completing the 25 we promised to deliver to the camp in June.

If you want to learn more about the foundation that provides this camp experience, check out this link.
On the left is the quilt that inspired all the hashtag quilts we're making for the campers.  I made this quilt to commemorate the official adoption of a wonderful little girl by a loving couple -- my cousin Alicia and her husband Ed.  For the colorful stripes, I used fabrics with images any little girl would love -- ladybugs, horses, flowers and ice cream cones, to name a few.  On the quilt's label, I wrote, "Welcome to our family -- a collection of colorful personalties woven together with love."
As mentioned earlier, I will be attending a conference for quilt lecturers & teachers and the quilt guilds who wish to hire them this month, so I am preparing materials for that event.  And I'll be visiting two quilt guilds later in the month.  I'll be with the Simi Valley Quilt Guild, giving my design lecture, and then will be heading to Quilters By The Sea in Long Beach to give that same lecture and teach my "Whimsical Garden" workshop.
Have a great April!  If you want to check out past issues of this newsletter, use this link.  And before next month's newsletter, let this season of renewal inspire you do something creative. 
Copyright © 2017 Art Quilts by Tina Curran, All rights reserved.


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