Posts Tagged ‘Christmas gifts’


October 16, 2013

The prison quilting class began a new phase this week. I conducted my last class as leader and passed the program on to new teachers.


My last load of kits and class projects

My last load of kits and class projects


Whenever I let go of one project – rare times, but they do happen – I imagine all the new projects I’ll tackle with the extra time in my schedule. One would think by now I’d have accepted the reality of transition time. One would think.


This is the notebook I re-purposed for the FCI quilters manual.


Lani Longshore notebook


Since I had been a committee of one, the manual was in my head. Part of my transition time was occupied by writing down the things in my head, which is always a scary business.


Lani Longshore title page


There is also the scary business of transferring all the stuff I still have for the program to the new teachers.


Stuff that must leave my house

Stuff that must leave my house


Admittedly, it will be scarier for them.


More stuff that must leave my house

More stuff that must leave my house


When all that is finished, I need to finish up my Christmas projects. Mom and I bought the fabric for her gifts together. Here is the block for one of the three dresser scarves I’m making for her.


One block, just one little block

One block, just one little block


This is what all three look like on my design wall.


What do the blocks say to you?

What do the blocks say to you?


I think there is some kimono work in my future, when I really do have that extra time I’m imagining.



A Toy Tote for the Newest Santa Claus

December 14, 2011


My brother will be a grandfather next year. I’m not certain how he is dealing with it, but I’m thrilled. For the first time in years, I had an idea for a Christmas present for him. All grandchildren consider their grandfathers to be the next best thing to Santa Claus, so of course he needs his own bag to haul the toys, right?


I wanted the tote to be a little more masculine than my usual bag lady creation, so I showed it to my husband, who suggested a handle would be more appealing to my brother than a shoulder strap alone.

I also decided that my brother needed to have his own collection of spit-up towels for the baby. Trusting in the spirit of the season, I gave cross-stitch another chance. While I love embroidery, I have found that cross-stitch (like crotchet and knitting) taxes my basic math skills. I can’t count. I’m always getting lost in the pattern, or not finding the center no matter how hard I try. Still, I pulled out my patterns and tried a few small, simple things:

This is the first one I tried. I figured a one-color pattern would be a good warm-up, and that I could figure out how to make the letters even if I can’t count.

Next I tried a rocking horse:

Although I managed to follow the pattern, I didn’t center it properly on the towel. Oh, well, at least people will know a real live human made it because there’s a mistake in it.

Next I tried some shells:

These were more challenging than I expected, because the holes are so small. By the time I got around to the last bit of outline stitching, there wasn’t a lot of room for the needle and floss.

Last came a folk design that reminds me of Russian folk art:

My luck ran out with this one, and I did get lost in the pattern. However, after successfully navigating the other designs I decided folk art could accommodate my errors and fudged a few squares here and there. I know the baby won’t notice, and I suspect my brother won’t, either.