Posts Tagged ‘cats’

Reality Is In The Foot Of A Cat

April 23, 2018

One day in an antique shop, I noticed a simple but elegant bookcase filled with beautiful linens. On top of the stack on the highest shelf I saw a very realistic toy cat. I had to stretch to reach it. I tugged on its foot to determine if it was stuffed with kapok or buckwheat.

The foot was warm.

The cat’s expression was not.



Donovan the cat (not the one in the antique shop)


I considered myself lucky that a killer stare was the only thing the cat threw my way. It settled back to resume its nap and I retreated to a curio cabinet. Since everything was behind glass, I wouldn’t have to worry about mistaking a live critter for the work of a genius artist.

I was reminded of that experience when I told a writer that her character wouldn’t have reacted the way she wrote the scene. “The good news is I think of him as a real person. So real, that I’m ready to argue with you, his creator, about what he would or would not do,” I said.

We all laughed, but it’s worth remembering that the reader brings as much to our work as we do. The reader wants to see a fully fleshed character, wants to imagine having lunch with our heroine, or going fishing with our hero. If the reader tells you we’ve made the character act in a way she would not, could not, act – listen! Like beauty, reality is in the eye of the beholder.

Just don’t tug on its foot.


Strips and Stripes for Halloween

October 15, 2014

The best part about uncovering my Halloween fabric stash is that most of the collection are scraps. Knowing I will never get a full-size quilt out of this stuff, I felt liberated. Not inspired, mind you. It took a whole lot of staring before I decided to use my go-to technique and assembled strips and stripes for the Halloween projects.

If you really see four moons outside your window, lay off the whiskey

If you really see four moons outside your window, lay off the whiskey

This is the easy solution for a landscape fabric – turn it into a scene from a window, complete with window case treatment and wallpaper.

Yes, those are eyes in the dark

Yes, those are eyes in the dark

I used a modified collage technique for this very small quilt. Some of the top is pieced, but most is layered and zig-zagged around the edges. I may put a string of silver sequins around the gray moon-lit square after I quilt the piece.

Lani Longshore spider card

Once I made the backings for the first two quilts, I had such small pieces left that I indulged myself with postcard quilts and embellishments meant for scrap-booking.

Cats A

Cats and Bat A

I’m more a dog person, but you can’t beat black cat batiks at Halloween, so I made two.

Cats and Bat B

Cats and Bat B

The embellishment started with a wreath for a handmade Christmas card. I glued on a bat button, and now it’s a spiderweb-covered cave entrance.

An October-December marriage

An October-December marriage

I also found the bat applique I bought years ago from B. CooleDesigns. This postcard quilt is for me.

Lani Longshore bat postcard

Last but not least, the traditional witches hat –

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

Luck and wisdom!

A View of A Room

March 23, 2011

Someday, if I am a very good girl, I may have a sewing room like Margaret Misegades. She invited me to see her studio, saying it would make me feel better about the mess in mine. Although the room is indeed full of projects-in-progress, it looked perfect to me.

I fell in love with the closets first. They cover the entire length of the wall.

Then there is the size. The former owners used it as a media room, but the savvy agent who found it for Margaret knew how she would use it.

I’m not sure I caught the whole story of how she found the house because I was still in shock and awe and – let’s be honest – envy. Massive envy. Then I noticed the furniture. My husband is a weekend woodworker, so a beautiful piece will always catch my eye. Margaret’s late husband was also a woodworker.

He put an ankh – a symbol of life – on everything he made.

Margaret shares her space with her cats, or they share it with her, depending on your point of view.

There was also a nearly finished quilt that caused me more envy – first because it is beautiful, second because it is nearly finished. Margaret hangs her strip piecing and quilt tops on a wooden clothes dryer – keeping things organized and wrinkle free.

If you live anywhere in the San Francisco Bay Area and wouldn’t mind having me poke around your sewing room, camera in hand, let me know. Next week we’ll be back to my little world.