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Hello!  With Halloween in the rearview mirror, it truly now is fall, even here in Los Angeles. 

Among the highlights of my October was attending the Quiltfest Oasis quilt show in Palm Springs with my aunt, Cicely O'Donovan Gargaro.  It was fun to see which quilts caught her eye versus those which caught mine.  Not surprisingly, our tastes were pretty similar, as seen when we both fell in love with the quilt shown below, "Mont St. Michel Memories" by Linda S. Schmidt of Dublin, CA.  
Suzanne Zizzi Photography
It was an amazing piece with incredible detail.  On the left is a close-up shot of the quilt, where you can see how every element on the island is reflected in the water below.  If you'd like to see more of Linda's work, check out this link.

Another quilt we both loved was "Moonshadows" by Anne Joule of New Zealand.  The quilt (below on the left) was very colorful and absolutely shimmered in the light.  We learned that the shimmer was due to the fact that the quilt was made from silk men's ties (as seen in the close-up below on the right).
Luke Haynes
The speaker at my guild (the Glendale Quilt Guild) this month was Luke Haynes, a quilter with formal training in art and architecture.  He sees quilts as sculpture and gave a very entertaining presentation on his work.  One of my favorite pieces from his lecture was the quilt shown below, which features a background of traditional tumbling blocks and with what seems to be a warped figure on the surface.  At least
that's how it looks when hanging.  But then, in a trompe l'oeil effect, once this quilt is placed on a bed and you look at it from one particular corner (as seen in the photo below), you see that the figure is Ben Franklin and it looks like he is perched on the corner of the bed in 3D.  How cool is that?!?   If you'd like to see more of Luke's work, check out his website at lukehaynes.com.
2017 Opportunity Quilt
In September of 2017, my quilt guild will hold its next quilt show.  We want the show to embrace traditional quilting as well as what is called the "Modern" quilt movement and everything in between.  For every one of our quilt shows, my guild jointly works on a quilt that will be the centerpiece of the show and for which we will sell raffle tickets.  It's called an opportunity quilt instead of a raffle quilt so as not to run afoul of California state laws.  Since I volunteered to oversee the construction of the quilt, I was on the lookout for a compelling design that tied into the theme of our show.  I found the photo below on Pinterest, a pattern called Jack's Chain by Marcia Hohn of Quilterscache.com.   I really liked how it was constructed from one of the most basic 
blocks in quilting -- the checkerboard, or what we call a nine patch block -- yet the blocks were arranged in a way to make a sophisticated pattern of overlapping rings.  But I thought there was another opportunity here.  Instead of using a different fabric to make each nine patch, I thought it would be fun to use a different fabric to make each large ring.  So I reworked the design.
As shown below, now each ring is a different fabric.  And our idea is to place darker fabrics in the center and have the color of the rings fade to lighter shades the closer they are to the edges.  As it turned out, this design inspired the name of our quilt
show, "Ripple Effect," which we think captures the idea that the quilt traditions of the past still impact even the most modern quilts of today. Our committee voted to make the quilt in cool colors on a grey background.

Of course once designed, now it has to be made. Below is our construction plan of attack to make this 72" square quilt.  As
outlined below in red, we'll be making dodecagons -- or 12-sided shapes.  Each dodecagon will have a hexagon in the middle, nine patches on each of the six sides and triangles in between the nine patches.  There are a total of 84 nine patches in the quilt, each with a different combination of fabrics -- of course!  We selected 23 luscious cool colored fabrics and a wonderful grey background fabric from

Candy's Quiltworks in Northridge, CA.  And because our quilt is a fundraiser, Candy graciously donated all the fabric!

We spent a morning cutting all the fabric pieces for nine patches and put 84 kits together, which we are currently distributing to our members.  I'll keep you posted on the construction.

What I'm Working On
Also for my guild, I currently oversee the production and distribution of the quilts we make for charity, so I have become intimately aware of the fabric we have in storage.  I noted that we had a good amount of flannel that we weren't using for quilts, so that gave me an idea.  A pal of mine oversees a non-profit that operates birthing clinics in Kenya.  She tells me that most women in rural Kenya still give birth at home, as is the tradition.  But it would be much safer -- for both these mothers and their babies -- if these women chose to give birth at one of these clinics.  To try to change centuries of tradition, the clinics offer incentives of baby clothes, receiving blankets and other baby items as gifts to any woman who opts to give birth there.
So on October 21st, a small band of dedicated volunteers cut -- and sometimes pieced together -- large squares of flannel fabric to prepare for a flannel receiving blanket making event (see photo on left).  And on Saturday, November 12th, we will have a sew-in to convert the flannel fabric into receiving blankets for this very worthy cause. 
As for my own projects, every holiday season, I make an original quilt to use as the artwork on my Christmas card.  The block below will be used in my 2016 Christmas card quilt.  It's an aerial view of a palm tree decorated for the holidays.  I used a
green fabric with multi-colored dots to simulate ornaments on the tree. And since it's a holiday quilt, I like how the shape is also suggestive of a snowflake, even though it's green.  Each frond is made using 15 pieces of fabric, including the background fabric.  So with eight fronds, that's 120 pieces of fabric in this 7" square block!  There'll be more news on this quilt next month.
Toward the end of October, I visited the Inland Empire Quilters Guild to give a trunk show where I showed 38 of my quilts.  It was a great group and I have to give a special shout out to Sue Russell.  Not only is she the president of the guild and was the contact in setting up my visit, but she was even one of the holders & folders of my quilts during my presentation.  What a dedicated quilt guild member!
Have a delightful November.  If you want to check out past issues of this newsletter, use this link.  And before next month's newsletter, since we're at the start of the holiday season, consider using this time of year as a fine excuse to express your creativity. 
Copyright © 2016 Art Quilts by Tina Curran, All rights reserved.


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