Posts Tagged ‘chenille’

Of Reindeer and Chenille

December 28, 2016

Despite the approach of 2017, or perhaps because of it, I’m starting this post off with something cheerful and cute:

Lani Longshore reindeer

This is a Christmas present from my son. The kids sometimes tease me about my odd collections, but they know how to make me smile. Having something to smile about will be important in the coming weeks, because my Christmas present to myself was permission to ignore the projects in the sewing room.

I did manage to start one project, turning chenille into products that might be marketed with The Chenille Ultimatum. My co-author Ann Anastasio saw a tote bag with raw seams that we thought would work well for chenille.

Lani Longshore chenille tote bag

The bag is made from one long strip of fabric and two small rectangles for side panels. I added the pocket. The raw edges are ideal for chenille, since managing those thick seams isn’t fun at all. Here is the reason I know that:

Lani Longshore chenille pillow

Turning the pillow corners took nearly as long as sewing the entire envelope. I’m not sure if it would be easier to make a round pillow or to try inserting tassels in the corners to hide any irregularities.

Those are questions for another day, however. Today, I’m going to admire my new reindeer, and ignore my projects as my New Year’s gift to myself.

Luck and wisdom!

The Turquoise Trail

May 11, 2016

I received a wonderful collection of beads at the first Art Quilt Santa Fe. I’ve been saving them for just the right project, something to commemorate the Turquoise Trail (yes, it’s a real thing).

Lani Longshore embellishments

You know what happens once you reserve something for “the right project.” First, you put the item up against every piece of fabric in your stash, but nothing inspires you. Then it gets lost because another project comes up and you’ve got a deadline. Then you rediscover the item and put it in a safe place, which you immediately forget because you have at least half a dozen safe places in your studio (don’t lie, I know you do).

Eventually, the item resurfaces once again. If you are very lucky, you have a project that is just right enough. That’s what happened to me this week.

Lani Longshore turquoise trail top

I used some of my chenille tape for the horizontal turquoise lines, and some of the raw silk I had painted. I’m not sure how to quilt this top, but at least it is pieced. I even have a back for it.

While I was thinking about all things turquoise, I opened the bag with my next Progressive Party project. Inside was a wonderful collection of African-themed fabrics. I used a print of huts and a batik that could have been part of my Southwest collection for this block, as well as a solid turquoise for the separator strips.

Lani Longshore framed huts block

My next big push will be to clear off the sewing table for a marathon quilting session. I have a stack of tops that I must attack before it attacks me. After that, it’s beading time.

Luck and wisdom!

Chenille, Dragons and Licorice Herring

May 14, 2014

 

My friend Jordan Bernal (1dragonwriter.wordpress.com) asked me to be part of a blog tour. I’m supposed to talk about my writing process, but since I found these cool licorice herrings and won a bid for two yards of green chenille I’ll write about that, too.

Jordan writes about dragons. She loves dragons, always has. She also loves all things Celtic, so her first book is set in Ireland and her second in Scotland.

 

Jordan Bernal - photo by Patrick Coyle

Jordan Bernal – photo by Patrick Coyle

 

You can find The Keepers of Eire on Amazon, but you’ll have to wait for The Keepers of Caledonia.

I write about what I love, like science fiction and candy and odd connections. My fiber art incorporates things I love, too – like science fiction and candy and odd connections.

cover Death By Chenille

cover When Chenille Is Not Enough

The books that Ann Anastasio and I wrote, are writing, and plan to write are about quilters who save the world from alien invasion. We like to think we invented the genre of quilting science fiction. We also claim to have invented quilting vaudeville since we sing and dance about quilts as Broken Dishes Repertory Theatre. Shameless self-promotion – you can find Death By Chenille as an e-book on Smashwords.com (click here). When Chenille Is Not Enough is also an e-book on Smashwords.com (click here) or a paperback at Amazon (click here).

I think most of us create what we do because it seems like a good idea at the time. The concept of quilters saving the world from alien invasion by smacking them with chenille pillows wriggled into our brains like an ear worm, so we ran with it. It’s lasted through two books, one more in progress and a title for a fourth. Ideas are out there, floating on the breeze, waiting for someone to reel them in for fun and profit.

So I’ll be making something out of the chenille I bought to inspire me while writing the third book in our series, The Chenille Ultimatum. I don’t know what I’ll make – perhaps my own chenille pillow.

green chenille

Two yards of green chenille

 

I probably won’t include dragons in my stories, but I’ve got one on my shelf.

blue soft toy dragon

My dragon

 

Heaven knows where the licorice herrings will take me, but they’re very tasty.

licorice herring

Licorice herring – who knew?

 

If you want to be part of this blog tour and write about your creative impulses, send me a link to your blog and a photo (of you would be nice, of your quilt would work, too). I’ll list those in future posts.

Luck and wisdom!

 

Style = Story + Strata

August 14, 2013

I’ve said before that I wait for the fabric to speak to me before I start a project. I’ve also admitted that very often my color choices depend on what I can reach. This week I accepted the truth – my style is determined by the story behind the materials and where those materials are in the layers of stuff around my studio. Rather than fight the reality of my cluttered creative space, I will embrace it and turn that bug into a feature.

 

Another reality I have embraced is that I have no space for another quilt anywhere – not the walls, not the chairs or couches, not the beds – but I can always use another tote bag. I made two.

 

Lani Longshore flamingo tote

 

I had an eighth of a yard of bright pink fabric with either flying birds or flying bats (I think they’re birds), some hot pink purse handles, hot pink chenille on a spool, and a yard of flamingo fabric.

 

Lani Longshore flamingo fabric

 

The is tote is big enough to carry my sharing to quilt guild meetings, which is why I attached my name tag to it.

 

Lani Longshore celtic box tote

 

I finished the small, square tote from the fabric that Margaret Misegades gave me. The celtic fabric really is from Ireland.

 

Lani Longshore dove

 

The dove is not from Ireland, but I thought it went well with the celtic pieces.

 

Lani Longshore button

 

I bought the button embellishments in Santa Fe at the SAQA conference. They are made by Robin Pascal of Perfect Buttons. When I bought them, I had no idea how appropriate that name is, as I think they really are perfect for this project.

 

And so it is with my new-found label for my style. It doesn’t really describe what comes out of my studio, but it certainly describes my process. For the moment, that is as good as I’m going to get.

 

 

 

Countdown to Something

December 5, 2012

My kids may be grown, but I still buy them Advent calendars every year (chocolate-filled, of course). There’s something about opening little boxes and getting a surprise that everyone loves – or at least everyone I know. The promise of a reward is a great motivator, in work and in art.

Since it is the season of giving, I’ve incorporated the promise of reward and delight in boxes with my need to make presents. Here is the first of what I hope will be a series of treasure boxes:

chenille treasure box

I’m experimenting with chenille because the sequel to Death By Chenille should be available in April 2013. That book will be called When Chenille Is Not Enough.

The promise of reward in art is to find something delightful from every angle. The Challenge projects I showed earlier needed to reward the viewer for a close examination, so I added some embellishments. This is one of the pieces as viewed on a wall:

Alaska quilt

This is the reward for taking a second look:

Alaska quilt detail

Here are a few of the others I made:

This is how I secured the peacock feather

This is how I secured the peacock feather

Fish, moose and puffin - what more could you want

Fish, moose and puffin – what more could you want

My idea of reindeer games

My idea of reindeer games

Getting these small pieces embellished for the meeting was the first of my countdowns. There are still a few other projects with their own countdowns on my to-do list. Here’s hoping all our year-end countdowns go smoothly!