Posts Tagged ‘applique’

Figs In Space

September 11, 2019

I unearthed an experiment of space fabric layered on batting and quilted, and decided it would be an ideal foundation for my fig applique. Don’t ask why, just go with it. I attached the applique with some running stitches, and added beads and embroidered leaves.

The binding is narrow sheer ribbon. The planet patch covers the spot where the ribbon ends meet. Technically, this is a single fig in space, but the plural sounds better to me so that’s what the piece is called – Figs In Space. Consider this your whimsy for the day.

Luck and wisdom!

Display Block Doggie

April 3, 2019

I took a workshop from Nancy Brown last month. She does beautiful hand applique, and teaches her students how to get the same results. Here is the dog I made from her Labrador Retriever pattern.

I knew I would never get a full quilt out of this one block, and didn’t feel like keeping it around until I get through my other projects and can make brothers and sisters for old Blackie here. Instead, it will become a Display Block for my guild’s collection. These blocks go up at our guild outreach events, at local libraries, wherever we are offered a chance to talk about quilting. It’s much better for someone else to enjoy the block than for it to languish at the bottom of one of my piles, yes?

Luck and wisdom!

Filters Wide Open

August 15, 2018

I was listening to an NPR show explaining how we evolved from the primates who tended to be jumpier when hearing rustling in the leaves. This is important to understand, that we are the offspring of the ones who wondered if that was a predator rather than the ones who thought it was just the wind. Our genetic heritage to evaluate sensory input on many levels, including through the “how could this possibly end” filter, promotes survival but can also lead to a form of paralysis if one’s filters are running at full throttle. I started thinking about wide open filters in relation to my art, and wondered if I couldn’t use this information to help overcome the fear of starting something new.

Two years ago, I bought this kit in Maryland. It is part of the 2016 Row By Row promotion. I also bought a couple of Row By Row kits from my local quilt shops, because I thought they would go together well. Then I put the kits in a bag, and let them marinate because I was nervous about making the heron from the Maryland kit. Until I heard the story on NPR, I thought I was just a fraidy-cat. Now I know my “what could possibly go wrong” filters were in overdrive. I could imagine all the ways I could destroy that heron, ruin the quilt, bring about the collapse of the entire quilting industry, and end Western civilization as we know it. “Self,” I said, “it is time to ignore those potential futures and see what actually happens.”

The heron came out okay after all. So did the rest of the row.

Luck and wisdom!

Progress and the Pixies Against Pride

March 28, 2018

At the risk of angering the Pixies Against Pride, I am celebrating progress again by almost completing something from my list of unfinished projects for the guild challenge.

It looks slaunchygoggle here, but it is straight and flat

Yes, this quilt looks horribly off-kilter. Trust me, the blocks are straight, but my camera angle wasn’t, and I suspected the pixies were trying to knock me down a peg so I let it go. I quilted most of the piece on my home machine, then decided to add a few beads with hand quilting.

White beads on white fabric = texture

My art quilt group is exploring texture, and I briefly thought about using this quilt because of the beads. It doesn’t really fit the parameters of the assignment, however, so I took another look at my list of unfinished projects and pulled out a collection of embroidered and appliqued blocks.

I’m not sure these blocks fit the assignment either, but I’ll try to get double-duty from the project. Just don’t tell the pixies.

Luck and wisdom!

In Praise of Busy Fabric

July 20, 2016

For the Challenge Project this time we were given crayon colors and instructions to let the name of the color inspire us. I got Carnation Pink. My first thought was of Carnation Instant Breakfast (which I’ve never actually eaten, but I still remember the ads). Then I thought about other dairy drinks, specifically milkshakes, and I thought maybe a classic 50’s milkshake would make a cool image. Then I found a really busy print and my ideas went in a different direction.

Lani Longshore challenge project

The print inspired me to applique an image of a martini rather than a milkshake. I used a pink fabric that is sorta kinda maybe a carnation pink. There are pink squiggles in the print that are closer to the right color. Add some heavy quilting, and my challenge project is done. That is the joy of a busy print.

Lani Longshore challenge project detail

Here is another busy print that I received as a gift.

Lani Longshore fat quarter

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it, but it goes so well with my growing gray collection that I might include it in the pile.

Busy prints can be gorgeous, or ghastly. I tend to like ugly fabrics, so often as not my busy prints are ghastly. That’s okay, because with enough beading almost anything looks good. Given that I have tons of beads, it is time to rifle through my stash and pull out all those busy prints. Who knows what treasure I have hidden in the piles?

Luck and wisdom!

The Bird Workshop

July 13, 2016

Kevin Kosbab came to Amador Valley Quilters and gave a machine applique workshop. Now, I’ve never had much luck with machine applique. Also, I’ll do anything to avoid packing up my sewing machine and lugging it to workshops. The flyer said hand appliquers would be welcome, however, so I went. “Self,” I said, “perhaps if you watch other people do machine applique you’ll find the courage to defy your anti-technology fears and fiddle with the dials on your machine.” Besides, the pattern he was teaching was of cute birds.

Lani Longshore cute birds

Since I was going to be the non-compliant student anyway, I decided to applique my birds on a background the Progressive Party made for me rather than a set of individual blocks like the pattern requested. Luckily for me, Kevin is a generous and flexible teacher. He was just fine with my non-compliance, gave me some great tips for hand applique, and liked the project I did.

Even better, he had some cool stuff to sell (aside from his cute patterns), so now I have more thread and another lovely piece of fabric for embroidery and beading.

Lani Longshore threads

There was another Progressive Party background on my design wall (with fabric I’m auditioning for a border or two). I put the bird project up there to photograph, and realized I am now in my gray period.

Works in progress, always more works in progress

Works in progress, always more works in progress

I have no idea why I’m collecting gray when I used to collect pink. To be honest, if the work comes out well, I’m not going to complain. Something in the universe is telling me to explore new avenues, so that’s what I’ll do. Who knows, I might even try some machine applique.

Luck and wisdom!

An Abundance of Bins

December 9, 2015

I have reached a point in consolidating my stuff that I’m accumulating empty bins, boxes and crates.

Free agent bins, waiting for a better offer

Free agent bins, waiting for a better offer

The good news is organizing is getting easier. I’m seeing how I work in a different light, and how to store things so I will remember where I put them (even the things that don’t get used often). The bad news is I’ve collected a boatload of bins over the years.

One advantage to having empty bins is cleaning the table for the holidays this year will be a snap. My husband made me a beautiful desk, which is filled with stuff, which is why I collect the mail on the kitchen table, and other items that need to find someplace else to live. As you can imagine, it takes longer for me to clear off my end of the table than it does to cook a holiday dinner. After Thanksgiving, I decided to get a head start on a New Year resolution to keep up with the mail. “Self,” I said, “You already keep up with the bills, so why can’t you keep up with the rest?” So far, I’ve put almost everything in this one little bin.

Lani Longshore kitchen bin

A lovely consequence of my resolution to keep on top of things was deciding to get my Progressive project done now. I already knew the quilt only needed a simple border on the top, bottom and right because the last person did the fabulous applique of monkeys and bananas in the jungle. Now if only I can keep this momentum going throughout the holidays.

Lani Longshore Progressive quilt

Luck and wisdom!

Self-help and the Studio

July 23, 2014

My daughter is moving across the country this week. It’s exciting for her – graduate school, a road trip with one of her dearest friends, all that stuff. Me – not so much. As happy as I am for her, I will miss having her and her dog at home. My usual response to these situations is ice cream and retail therapy (aka buying stuff I don’t need). This time, I’m doing a little self-help therapy in the studio.

Lani Longshore works in progress

We’re headed to a family reunion in a couple of weeks, so I will need some hand-work for the trip. I bought the lime green Aida cloth thinking to cross-stitch space ships and bug-eyed monsters. I have no idea where the project will go from there, but the panels are small enough to include in a larger quilt or as part of a jacket.

Lani Longshore sci fi project

I got this fabric from Carol of Quiltfever, a great quilting blog. The circles looked space-y to her, and I have to agree. I’ve been waiting for the perfect project, but I think using it to help get over being sad about my daughter moving is good. I have an article to inspire space-related fiber art, and an embellishment.

Such a cute face

Such a cute face

I got this necklace from Free Hippie Bohemian Jewelry on Etsy, with matching earrings. The charms glow in the dark.

The last item on my to-do list was to get the supplies for a decompression project.

Lani Longshore hat box wool applique

I always need a few days to remember what I do when I return from vacation. The wool applique was made by my friend Lori Vogel. I thought it would make a great lid for a round box, and I have a gray window scarf to use for the rest of the box. The only thing I didn’t have was the box. Of course, I can’t find the fabric at the moment, but I suspect it will turn up in the next week. I’m keeping some of my daughter’s furniture, including a bookcase that my husband has wanted out of the garage for the entire time she’s been here. If I’m not mistaken, I’ll be spending the weekend shifting enough stuff out of the way so my husband can install the case in the studio. Who knows what lost treasures I’ll find?

Luck and wisdom!

Fractured Tree, Shrunken Pile

July 4, 2012

Although this isn’t a space quilt, it is one more in a series of using what is closest. It is the latest Progressive Party project. Usually those linger in corners for years (as Fish ‘N Cat did – for nearly two decades). This one enticed me to finish it by promising that it could be completed with items within reach.

The project started as a sketch that I cut apart and distributed to the group. This is what came back to me:

I had one section to finish. There was another Top Gear marathon running, so I sat in my comfy chair with scraps of fabric piled next to me. The applique session passed as quickly as if I had opened a box of chocolates while watching a favorite movie. My little old hand reached out and grabbed fabrics without my giving much thought to the matter. At the end of the marathon, my section was finished.

I made a fractured landscape long ago and used a muddy purple for lattice. The same fabric worked well for this project.

Next came some piping and borders. The final border is made from a collection of squares I was given. They’ve been waiting a long time for a good project.

This project turned out exactly as I wanted it to, which is a rare thing for me (yes, there are a couple of places where the applique doesn’t flow smoothly from one section to the next – that’s what embroidery is for). Not only did the quilters in the Progressive Party run with my request to be absolutely random in their fabric choices, they all used different techniques so each section is unique. Best of all, the lattice, borders, backing and batt were all within reach, so my sneak attacks on the stacks are advancing!

From A to V

September 7, 2011

The applique tile quilt is taking over my life. That’s not bad, but it is odd. I’m used to getting psyched about a project, then having something else sneak in and become a time sink. That’s why there are stacks of UFOs all over my studio. Here is the latest block:

Here is the collection so far:

I am at work on the last block, and I have some ideas about the lattice and borders. I also came up with a design for the last of The Computer Ate My Homework series. With a little bit of luck and a whip-crack of discipline, I’ll get those done this coming week.

The 146th Caledonian Club Scottish Games were held over Labor Day weekend. One of their vendors, appropriately named B. Coole Designs, sells way cool patches. This year she had puns:

pi + rat = pirate

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the patch. I’m not really into pirates – haven’t been since the kids started making their own Halloween costumes – but how could I resist?

I am into Vikings, having been the affirmative action student at the last bastion of Norwegian imperialism on the North American continent – aka Saint Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, the town that shot up the James Gang (but that’s another story). One of the other vendors sold Viking-style costumes. I didn’t really want the costumes, but I did want the ribbons used to embellish some of the garments. A few booths down, I found some:

I may make a small quilt and steal the first vendor’s slogan – Vikings: still better than pirates or ninjas.

So there we are, the end of the run from applique to Vikings.