Posts Tagged ‘Betty Busby’

The Army of Mask Makers

April 15, 2020

I joined the army of mask makers last week. My first two batches went to family and friends, then I started on masks for the community. The prototype pictured above is mine. I worked out most of the kinks making this one, although there are always surprises when one starts a project.

Although filter material is in short supply, my sewing room (aka the scary room) came to the rescue once again. I found some nonwoven washable stabilizer that works just fine. Betty Busby recommended using Evolon, which is readily available. Even better, it comes in 22” x 30” sheets, which means it fits in my budget.

Of course these masks are no substitute for an N95, but they have their benefits. Quilters have always told themselves not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Done is beautiful is our mantra. Useful is also beautiful, and may be my new mantra for the duration.

Luck and wisdom!

Painting on Silk – An Experiment

August 7, 2019

Betty Busby teaches how to paint on silk with any kind of acrylic paint. As long as it is liquidy enough, the results are fabulous. The experiments I’ve made with scarf-weight silks have all been great fun. Here is one I did recently. The blue and pinky-purple paints were very watery; the green paint was thick, almost straight from the bottle.

This week I experimented with raw silk. I like the heft, and the effect I get with applique or embroidery. Here is the first piece, my own study in (nearly) scarlet.

My last experiment was both painted and dyed. I spotted the silk with yellow dye first, then scrunched it and poured on the remaining red paint. When that was nearly dry, I add some spots of pink. As with the green in the first piece, I added very little water to the pink paint.

I think all of these experiments will eventually end up as a base for embroidery, probably landscapes. If you have a few squares of silk and some leftover acrylic paint, make your own experiments. Be sure to send pictures – I would love to see the results!

Luck and wisdom!

Deco Done Wright

June 5, 2019

The binding is on one of my Projects in Piles (PIPs), and it is labeled, so I can check it off the list. This is Deco Done Wright, a project that began with a coloring exercise.

Betty Busby had some of these Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired printed squares at an Art Quilt Santa Fe retreat. I used Derwent Inktense pencils to color in parts of my square, then put it away for “the perfect project.” Since that never comes around, no matter how long I wait, I pulled it out for my quilting buddies in the Progressive Party to finish. They did such a great job I put the project away again because I didn’t know how to quilt it. When I started my PIPs challenge, I decided I would combine hand and machine quilting.

Once again, the power of a deadline came to the rescue and I now have a wonderful quilt. Force yourself to finish things. Setting a deadline works for me – find the way that works for you. You’ll feel a foot taller without the weight of unfinished projects on your shoulders.

Luck and wisdom!

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 No-Longer-Loved-Fabric Project

May 3, 2017

The Instagram experiment is showing success, and just when I need it. This month the Progressive Party begins The No Longer Loved Fabric Project, where we pooled our abandoned, no-longer-loved fabric and each chose three pieces. I posted a picture of a panel I colored in Betty Busby’s class at Art Quilt Santa Fe on Instagram, and in so doing realized I could combine this panel:

with this collection.

I made one round of auditions.

The panel inspired me to use black and yellow strips (black for structure, yellow for glow), and scatter the challenge fabrics over the surface. This is what I will give to the Progressives:

By photographing the piece over a period of days – and then looking at those pictures when I posted them on Instagram – I was forced to think about design elements in a deeper way. I also thought about what I was trying to say with these challenge fabrics, as well as what the fabrics were trying to say to me. Some of the fabrics from the first audition are still yammering at me. The cow tried really hard to fit into the start of the project, but didn’t make the cut. However, she and some fabric with other cows will go in the bag. Perhaps she’ll appear in one of the additions to the top.

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!

Creating A New Stack

October 14, 2015

I finished two pillows recently, both with embroidered squares my grandmother marked but never completed.

No one sees the pen marks if you don't mention them

No one sees the pen marks if you don’t mention them

This is the one she marked with a ballpoint pen. Put it on the couch with a bunch of other pillows and no one notices. Big win.

Good enough for the good fabric

Good enough for the good fabric

This is another one from her collection. I loved the way it turned out, so I decided to use the good stuff for the back.

Lani Longshore pink back

I have many pieces of fabric that are too good to cut. This was one of them, but I cut it anyway. Once I had the pillow back pieced, I considered the remaining length. “Self,” I said, “you could combine this with another fabric that is too good to cut.” I found a sample of silk that I dyed in a Betty Busby class and sewed the two together.

Lani Longshore pink top

Just as I was congratulating myself that there was enough left of the pink floral to make a beaded wall-hanging, I realized the awful truth. I reduced my stack of embroidery only to create a new stack of stuff to be beaded. Truly, no good deed goes unpunished.

Luck and wisdom!

Is There Joy In Organizing?

April 29, 2015

The bathroom remodel is finally done. The last trim pieces were installed, and the varnish on the vanity (and isn’t that a great name for a novel?) has cured long enough to organize the drawers and cupboard.

The vanity that Stewart built

The vanity that Stewart built

I should be thrilled, but I’m not. Storage in the old bathroom was minimal, so now that we have more room I’ll be moving items from other cabinets into the new bathroom. That means there will be holes on shelves all around the house. The sensible part of my brain tells me to look at the new-found space with a view to better efficiency. The selfish part of my brain says, “Stuff the shelves with overflow from the sewing room!”

The sewing room is looking pretty bad these days. The projects I left before heading out to Art Quilt Santa Fe did not magically make themselves. Also, I came back with more treasures.

Lani Longshore deer pin

This pin depicts deer in the desert, but I’m seeing reindeer that can go with my Space Viking series (don’t ask about the connection – it makes sense to me).

Thanks, Betty!

Thanks, Betty!

This is a piece of hand-painted silk Betty Busby gave me. I have many ideas, and some new silk batting to use.

Lani Longshore bird toy

This is a toy that Gale Oppenheim-Pietrzak gave me. It flashes different colors when you squeeze it. I had hoped to post a video of the light show, but technology has thwarted me. My ancient phone and camera aren’t compatible with the systems on our Linux-based computers. Perhaps someday I’ll be able to post it. And my sewing room will be tidy. And my projects will finish themselves. And pigs will fly.

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!