Fear and Laughter

There are a lot of things I’m afraid of – bugs crawling out of the newspaper (happened yesterday), the bathroom scale, suddenly finding myself with no chocolate in the house – but as an artist nothing is scarier than The Blank Page.

A beautiful blank notebook - scary!

A beautiful blank notebook – scary!

Whether I’m writing, sketching, or doing fiber art, starting a new project is a multi-stage process. First, I have to skulk around the house avoiding starting a new project. Next, I have to gather materials that may or may not end up in the new project, just to satisfy the nagging little voice that says “Do something!” Finally, I have to speak sternly to myself about my lack of moral fiber, and sit down at the computer or the sewing machine.

Complicating this process is new equipment.

Lani Longshore sewing machine

I have been getting used to free-motion quilting on my new sewing machine (did I mention new is scary?). Under ordinary circumstances, that would mean practicing on scraps. As it happens, I have to finish a quilt for the upcoming Amador Valley quilt show (which I will not be able to attend, but that’s a story for another blog – click here for details about the show if you are free April 18-19). Luckily, the quilt is a hoot, and nothing shoos away fear like laughter.

Lani Longshore Party Til the Cows Come Home

This is a Progressive Project. We all brought enough of one piece of fabric to share with the group, and we had to use a significant amount of each and every gift. I saw the party fabric, remembered that I had some cow fabric, and a title came to mind – Party Til the Cows Come Home. The other women reveled in the theme, and the top grew.

Lani Longshore quilt detail

The group decided to put this collection of quilts in the show, so I had to finish it. I giggled the entire time – well, almost the entire time. There were naughty words and gnashing of teeth when the thread broke, but the point is I stared The Blank Page down. For once.

Luck and wisdom!


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