Happy Spring!  I attended no quilt shows in March, so there's nothing to report on that beat.  Instead, I spent the month pushing forward several of my quilt projects, including two commissioned quilts.  The fun -- and challenge -- of working on a commissioned quilt project is the collaborative effort with the client.   One of these projects is currently in the planning stage and the other is in the execution phase.
Suzanne Zizzi Photography
What I'm Working On
For the commission in the execution phase, I am making a personalized log cabin quilt.  If you don’t know, the pattern for a traditional log cabin quilt block features a center square surrounded by strips (or “logs”) that are made using dark fabrics on two adjacent sides and light fabrics on the other two sides.  Then, depending upon how the individual blocks are arranged, different overall patterns result. 
What makes this a personalized log cabin quilt is that we are using images on fabric that have special meaning to the client as the centers of the blocks.  And to complement those images, we selected a fabric palette featuring browns, tans, dark greens and light greens with purple and violets as the accent colors.  I hope to show the completed quilt in next month’s newsletter.
I also spent a chunk of this past month doing some reinventing.  As part of my quilt guild's community service team (Loving Hands), I adopted a patchwork wrap skirt that had been donated and challenged myself to turn it into a quilt that could be given to one of the charitable organizations we support.  Though the fabric looked to be from Guatemala, the label in the skirt said it was from Nepal.  Of course as a quilter, I loved the use of a mix of fabrics in this skirt. But I thought the maker missed a design opportunity opting to have all the stripes go in the same  
direction.  My plan was to take the skirt apart and reuse the fabric to make a quilt with the stripes running both horizontally and vertically.

After giving the skirt a trip through my washer & dryer, it took the better part of a day to "unsew" it, as that was the way to preserve as much fabric as possible (versus cutting it apart).  And I came up with
a new design that used striped squares not only going in different directions but also in two different sizes.  

I cut 6-1/2" squares from the salvaged fabric patches that measured roughly 9" x 9" and then cut 1-1/2" squares from what remained.  I then framed each 6-1/2" square with strips of black & white fabrics.  Finally, using strips of multiple 1-1/2" striped squares, I connected the blocks to each other, making five rows of blocks.  These rows were then combined to make the 35" x 45" quilt top. 

I used yet another black & white graphic print fabric for the back of the quilt.  And after quilting the quilt top, batting and back fabric together, I bound the quilt with a black & white striped fabric.  This choice was a union of the two motifs of the project -- stripes (of the squares) and  black & white (of the fabrics I added).  And yes, there was enough fabric from the skirt to make -- and donate -- two quilts.
I faced a less-involved reinvention project with another Loving Hands quilt.  One of our members had pieced a patchwork top with a solid pink border. But when we went to layer the quilt top with the batting and backing fabric, we noticed a small stain on the pink border.  And when we tried to get the stain out, the pink color bled through the batting onto the adorable, old-timey paper dolls themed fabric on
the back.  So I took the project home, treated the tainted backing fabric with Rit dye remover, un-sewed the evil pink border from the top and threw it away so that it could not do any further damage.  I then pieced a new border together, sewed it to the quilt top, basted the three quilt layers together, quilted and bound the quilt.  It should now perform much better for whoever receives it.   Below are pix of the reworked front and no-longer-tainted-pink back of this quilt.
Lectures & Workshops
At my guild's March meeting, students from my "Color Blocks" class in February brought what they made.  Craig Coleman and Kathi Coleman Wilson showed off their finished quilts while Cindy Abrams and Susan Edwards shared their quilt tops, made with larger scale blocks.  
And I received wonderful feedback on the February debut of the lecture I gave, "My Design Process -- From Concept to Quilt."  I was told that I have "a wonderful ability to create," that the lecture was both "inspiring" and "easy to understand," that it was "a special and unique program" and "one of the best we've had in a long time."  For information on my lectures and workshops, click here.
Upcoming Events
And speaking of lectures & workshops, on April 9th I'll be participating in a quilt teacher trade show of sorts. The Southern
California Council of Quilt Guilds (SCCQG, or "Squeegee" as we fondly call it) is holding its annual "Meet the Teacher" event in Carson, CA.  It's an opportunity for quilt guilds to shop for quilt lecturers and teachers to fill their meeting schedules in the coming months.  I hope to see a lot of SoCal quilters there!
And as a final reminder, on Saturday, April 16th, world renowned quilter, author & host of "The Quilt Show," Alex Anderson will be giving two lectures about quilting at the First Congregation Church of Glendale.  It's going to be a great event.  For more information & to order tickets, please see the Glendale Quilt Guild's website at this link.   
Have a spectacular April!   If you want to check out past issues of this newsletter, use this link.  And before next month's newsletter, why not try your hand at creating something new or reinventing something?
Copyright © 2016 Art Quilts by Tina Curran, All rights reserved.
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