Posts Tagged ‘design choices’

An Inordinate Fondness For Beetles

March 15, 2017

Apparently biologist J.B.S. Haldane said this, and apparently he really was fond of beetles. I’m not fond of the actual critters, but I do like seeing pictures of them, especially the more colorful ones. I’ve even bought some beetle fabric, although in black and white.

While I was pulling out my lobster fabric, I found a small bag with the beetle fabric. Then I found my collection of animal totems.

“Self,” I said, “these are all black, white and red. You’ve got black and red lobster fabric, and black and red space fabric. What does that suggest?”

You’re probably thinking it suggests a little artistic intervention and counseling for me – no such luck. What did happen is I thought of labyrinths. Wouldn’t it be fun to make a labyrinth quilt from this collection?

Not so much, as it happens. I really don’t want to piece all the little sections that the design in my head requires. The work-in-progress is resting on my design wall, and I am considering quilting designs to enhance the labyrinth motif. Perhaps some sashiko would work. Suggestions?

Luck and wisdom!

Circles and Design Choices

February 22, 2017

This week’s design assignment focused on shape and placement of motifs. I couldn’t get a handle on what I was supposed to do until I unearthed some great banana fabric and decided to use that as my design inspiration. A piece of black fabric on the sewing table caught my attention, as did a piece of yellow in the scrap basket and a couple of rectangles of green on the design wall (sometimes I leave interesting squares up just in case I need a little surprise in my quilt). Here’s what happened.

Lani Longshore banana top

I had intended to fussy cut banana bunches and have them cascade down like wisteria clusters. After re-arranging the patches for the fifth time, reality set in. “Self,” I said, “keep a couple of bunches, but find a different shape for the rest. How about circles?”

Once I figured out that circles of bananas were the way to go, I decided to expand the motif. That is why the polka-dot fabric is cut into the shape of a banana (you can see it if you squint).

I learned my go-to technique for applique from The Chicago School of Fusing, but I knew eventually I’d be embroidering or beading all over the top. Yes, there are some lovely light-weight fusibles available, but I didn’t want to deal with even a trace of adhesive gumming up my needle. Nor did I want the extra bulk of a turned edge, no matter how scant the seam allowance. Instead, I choose raw edge applique with a hand-stitched zig zag.

Lani Longshore detail

My stitches on the first circles were less than stellar, but nothing a row of beads can’t hide. I got better with practice.

Lani Longshore another detail

This is another piece that might have to marinate for a bit. The fabric hasn’t told me what embellishments it wants just yet. I can wait.

Luck and wisdom!