Posts Tagged ‘Art Quilt Santa Fe’

Good Times at Art Quilt Santa Fe

May 29, 2019

For the last ten years, I have gone to Santa Fe every spring to help out with Art Quilt Santa Fe. This year was the last session, and what a wonderful time it was. Although I was there as a classroom assistant, not a student, I still got to experiment when there was a lull in class.

Metallic blue and eggplant, using a faux-mori folding technique

Betty Busby has been the teacher almost every year. Her silk painting techniques are fabulous. Although Art Quilt Santa Fe may be no more, Betty teaches all over the world, so check out her schedule and see where she’ll be next. You’ll thank me later.

Soft greens – perhaps for an embroidered forest?

The hidden treasure about taking workshops is the chance to meet other students who can inspire you. Two of the other students noticed some embroidery I was doing when the students and Betty didn’t need my help, and brought out their own hand stitching projects to show me. Since both of them are far more advanced than I could ever hope to be, it was a gift from the thread goddess to see their work. I was so inspired, I actually finished a piece I had been working on for several years.

Inspired by a Montana pine forest

I will miss my annual trip to the Southwest, but will treasure what I learned there – especially about taking advantage of every opportunity I possibly can to gain new skills.

Luck and wisdom!

The Felt-Melt Project: Before and After

August 16, 2017

The Progressive Party decided to play with felt melting after I showed them what I learned at Art Quilt Santa Fe. We all came with pieces ready to melt. Here are before shots of mine:

For these pieces, I sewed the patches on the felt with my quilting foot. That helped keep square patches square and round patches round. It also helped me with curved quilting grids.

The Dahlek patch on this piece comes from B. Coole Designs. She comes to the Caledonian Club of San Francisco Scottish Games every year, and every year I buy a handful of patches. Many of them are still in my “I’m going to use you someday, I promise” box. It seemed appropriate to use a Dahlek on a project that was going to be tormented.

This is the first piece where the felt to be melted was first attached to a small whole-cloth underquilt.

Now for the after photos:

You can see the lace-like effect of melting the felt when you hold this piece up to the light. I might hang it in a window, or attach it to a light fabric.

Just like a Dahlek, this piece was bound and determined to dominate me. I may leave it curled and crinkled, or I may try to include it in a different, non-quilted piece of art.

The felt took longer to melt, but the underquilt escaped without a single scorch mark. I attached eye-stems on the bottom for beading. I haven’t decided which beads I’ll use, so for the moment I’m enjoying being psuedo-steampunk with my metal fringe.

Luck and wisdom!

Return to Reality

April 27, 2016

I returned from Art Quilt Santa Fe with new ideas. That’s only to be expected – Betty Busby is a fabulous teacher, and Ann Anastasio and Gale Oppenheim-Pietrzak do everything in their power to create the ideal space for experimentation. The reality, given that I am the queen of messy studios, is that once I returned home I had no place to work on these new ideas.

I didn't make time to put things away before I left

I didn’t make time to put things away before I left

Ah, well, there’s always the floor.

Working on the floor keeps one flexible, right?

Working on the floor keeps one flexible, right?

The good news is, the little pieces I used for an experiment will work with the fabric I have on the cutting table. This will give me one more opportunity to put things away, not put things down.

These will become flower patches

These will become flower patches

I made these pieces with silk, Sharpies and rubbing alcohol. Yes, it’s an old technique but I never used it so it’s new to me. Later, I added some black for definition with a Pigma pen.

Could be star paths, could be map lines, could be coffee cup rings

Could be star paths, could be map lines, could be coffee cup rings

This piece might become part of a space quilt, or I might use it in a map quilt, or even in a Route 66 quilt. I don’t know how it would fit in a Route 66 quilt, but that’s the whole idea of trying something different, yes?

Raw silk and spreading paint circles

Raw silk and spreading paint circles

This raw silk patch is probably going to become a floral scene. Even the high desert has flowers once or twice a year (although these don’t look anything like those flowers).

The best news about this experiment is I thought I had lost my raw silk, but it was where it was supposed to be all the time. Part of me wants to blame the stash pixies for hiding it the last time I wanted it, but more likely I just overlooked it. Either way, I’ve got it now.

Luck and wisdom!

Surprises

December 16, 2015

This is the season of surprises. Some of the good surprises that have come my way include our Christmas tree.

A tree for the house

A tree for the house

This is how it looked before we smothered it with lights and ornaments. I almost kept it this way, but we’d already brought the decorations out of storage. Given the drought and fires in the region, I was grateful there were Christmas trees available at all. The best surprise is the smell. It is the most fragrant tree we’ve had in years.

Clean enough for now

Clean enough for now

The next surprise is I’ve kept my sewing table clean-ish. Yes, there are still a few stacks to deal with, but the space was cleared enough in time to wrap presents. Then I put the wrapping things back where they belong. That qualifies as a Christmas miracle in my book.

The last surprise came from two artist friends who gave me note cards they’ve made from their own work.

Lani Longshore Ann Anastasio note card

This is Oak Leaves and Acorns by Ann Anastasio. She is a talented fiber artist, and also the co-producer of Art Quilt Santa Fe.

Lani Longshore Kat Mulkey note card

Dot Bees is the creation of Kat Mulkey. She is a fabulous photographer and painter. These cards are going into small frames, then into the sewing room to inspire me.

Luck and wisdom!

Repurposing, the Essence of Mixed Media in My Studio

April 22, 2015

I found a different project for those wood strips my husband gave me.

A tray and ribbons and beads

A tray and ribbons and beads

The tray is from a tea set which was repurposed for a raffle basket. The tray didn’t quite fit. “Self,” I said, “didn’t you plan to weave those strips with something? Well, now you can weave them into something.”

This work is still in the draft stage. I have all sorts of embellishments that I could incorporate into a mixed media piece rather than attach to a quilt.

Lani Longshore embellishements

I also had another idea of using those leather scraps.

Leather and beads

Leather and beads

This scrap looked like one thing when I auditioned the beads on it, but in the the picture it looks like an egret. I may run with that idea, I may not. It will have to sit for now, because this week I am helping Ann Anastasio and Gale Oppenheim-Pietrzak with Art Quilt Santa Fe, featuring the talented Betty Busby. Talk about being in the right place for inspiration! Put Art Quilt Santa Fe on your list of retreats to attend next year.

Luck and wisdom!

Art Quilt Santa Fe 2014

April 30, 2014

 

The fourth Art Quilt Santa Fe was wonderful, as always. I was able to help Ann Anastasio and Gale Oppenhiem-Pietrzak and their fabulous teachers, Betty Busby and Carol Shinn. I also had the chance to learn about a new product (well, new to me), Colorhue Instant Set Silk Dyes.

Experiment with dye

Experiment with dye

Whoever created this product had me in mind. It works on protein-based fabrics (silk or wool), sets immediately, and is reasonably non-toxic. We made a test square first, spritzing the fabric with water then scrunching it to get the pattern. After that, we each made a scarf.

My new treasure

My new treasure

Colorhue is available through Dharma Trading Company. My order of dyes and silk is on its way even as I type. Heaven knows where I’ll put it, but I’ll steal space if I must.

Gale and Ann are working on the details for the next Art Quilt Santa Fe (late April 2015). I’m planning on going out to help again – consider joining the fun!

Luck and wisdom!

 

The Surface of Infinity, Quilted

May 22, 2013

Making progress on my own projects is such a rare event I had to rest after my last session in the sewing room. There are still piles everywhere, but I worked through a few issues with The Surface of Infinity – at least enough to get it quilted.

 

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The fabric I used for the border has a subtle print that begged to be stitched.

 

Lani Longshore The Surface of Infinity quilted detail

 

Other parts of the piece are whining for more attention, but I’m putting that off for the final embellishment. There will be beads, of course, but perhaps some hand-quilting, too.

 

The long tail is a Mobius strip, or will be once I wire the edge. At the moment it is merely a loop.

 

Lani Longshore The Surface of Infinity Mobius strip tail

 

Lucky for me, Holly Altman taught a class on making three-dimensional embellishments – including wiring edges for bendable leaves and vines – at Art Quilt Santa Fe. One more reason to keep taking classes, especially ones that don’t exactly match your current style – you never know when what you don’t know will be just what you need to know.

 

After the fun

May 8, 2013

Last week I was in New Mexico, enjoying the Studio Art Quilt Associates conference in Santa Fe, then helping my friends Ann Anastasio and Gale Oppenheim-Pietrzak with Art Quilt Santa Fe. Even being on our best behavior, we had more fun than a barrel of monkeys.

Ann, Gale and me

Ann, Gale and me

Coming home with my treasures was lovely, too. I had a blissfully uneventful flight, pleasant seat companions, and a few moments to dream of all the projects I would make after unpacking.

Oh, stop laughing.

Yes, it has been a week and I’m still scrambling with my to-do lists. My treasures wait patiently. Here are some of them:

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This is the project I brought with me. It is a cross-stitch and bead kit that I bought last year in Colorado. I got most of the center cross-stitch done before I remembered that I always get confused by the little symbols and end of up losing my place. The border isn’t anything like the pattern but I can live with that. The spider is very cool, and that’s all that counts.

Lani Longshore gray painted cotton

This is one of the pieces I made at Art Quilt Santa Fe. It is fabric paint on muslin. I had in mind the Challenge theme of “the surface of infinity.” It seems to me infinity would be gray, like a cooling universe.

Lani Longshore red painted silk

This is the other piece I made – fabric paint on silk. This also has a space theme, as I wanted to portray a spiral galaxy. I’m not sure that’s how it will end up, because I’m seeing beading and Chinese embroidery now. If I ever get caught up, I’ll let you know which idea won out.

Empty Boxes

January 30, 2013

For the first time since September, I have empty boxes. No, not here:

sewing room

The empty boxes are on my calendar.

calendar

Of course, that won’t last. Just yesterday I agreed to take the lead on writing a grant proposal. It’s due March 1. Nevertheless, I have no pressing deadlines this week.

The reason I have a few free days is that I am finished with the manuscript for When Chenille Is Not Enough, the sequel to Death By Chenille.

The manuscript is finished!

The manuscript is finished!

I vowed to have it finished by January so we could get it to the printers in time for its unveiling in April at the SAQA conference in Santa Fe, which is the weekend before Art Quilt Santa Fe. Until my co-author Ann Anastasio gets back to me with her edits, I can focus on other things.

Yesterday, I focused on the sewing room. I cut kits, cut scraps, and put fabric away. This morning I consolidated two boxes, freeing up one whole cubby for embroidery projects. I’d sing about how great I feel, but I don’t want the efficiency gods to think I’m getting uppity. They can be so petty. Still, I’m going to relish the joy for as long as I can.

I might even have time to bake some cookies to celebrate Ground Hog Day.

 

Silk and Santa Fe

May 2, 2012

Trees and science fiction – must be Art Quilt Santa Fe. Betty Busby was the teacher this year. Her award-winning quilts are fabulous, as was her four-day workshop. She had us painting on silk, which I have done before without much success. This time was different. Betty encouraged us to relax and let the fabric and the paint take us on a journey. Once I let go of my expectations and allowed the end product be a surprise, I had a blast.

As with last year’s workshops, I planned to use my projects for my tree series. We started with our backgrounds. Betty had us painting from light to dark vertically. I painted a sunbeam filtering through a forest.

Next we made patterns. I sketched out a tree trunk with branches, then Betty enlarged it with a computer resizing program. The design is printed out in separate sheets, and taped together.

We cut our designs out of Remay, which we had also painted in a light-to-dark gradation, and fused them to the surface.

I’m not certain what I’ll do for borders, but I left my options open by leaving the tree branches loose over the edge of the silk.

We also worked with paint sticks. Here is a cedar I painted on a scrap of satin. The trunk is a line of copper paint stick.

I promised you sci fi, and here it is:

We painted another piece of silk in a circular gradation from light to dark. The idea was to fuse a single organic image graded from dark to light on top of the silk. By this time, however, my silk was chattering away and made sure I could see it was a galaxy. And it wanted space ships. Pink and blue space ships.

Who am I to argue with the galaxy?