Posts Tagged ‘fabric stash’

Chiura Obata and My Fabric Stash

July 18, 2018

I have no problem choosing a book by its cover, such as Chiura Obata: An American Modern by ShiPu Wang. The cover is a watercolor of the Grand Canyon. It spoke to me because I have fabric in my stash that matches those colors and textures.

Art doesn’t have to match my fabric collection to intrigue me, but it certainly helps. Here is another watercolor that I adore.

This piece cries out to be translated into beads and embroidery.

Obata was born in Japan in 1885 and moved to California as a young man. He died in Berkeley in 1975, having lived through two world wars and the Japanese internment in this country. Neither his fame as a graphic artist nor his teaching position in Berkeley spared Obata from three years imprisonment in a camp in Utah. He set up art classes while in the camp, continuing to produce drawings and paintings despite the injustice of his circumstances. His art is poignant, soothing, and – when you know his story – incredibly optimistic. He is just the role model I could use when life becomes overwhelming.

Luck and wisdom!

In Praise of Busy Fabric

July 20, 2016

For the Challenge Project this time we were given crayon colors and instructions to let the name of the color inspire us. I got Carnation Pink. My first thought was of Carnation Instant Breakfast (which I’ve never actually eaten, but I still remember the ads). Then I thought about other dairy drinks, specifically milkshakes, and I thought maybe a classic 50’s milkshake would make a cool image. Then I found a really busy print and my ideas went in a different direction.

Lani Longshore challenge project

The print inspired me to applique an image of a martini rather than a milkshake. I used a pink fabric that is sorta kinda maybe a carnation pink. There are pink squiggles in the print that are closer to the right color. Add some heavy quilting, and my challenge project is done. That is the joy of a busy print.

Lani Longshore challenge project detail

Here is another busy print that I received as a gift.

Lani Longshore fat quarter

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it, but it goes so well with my growing gray collection that I might include it in the pile.

Busy prints can be gorgeous, or ghastly. I tend to like ugly fabrics, so often as not my busy prints are ghastly. That’s okay, because with enough beading almost anything looks good. Given that I have tons of beads, it is time to rifle through my stash and pull out all those busy prints. Who knows what treasure I have hidden in the piles?

Luck and wisdom!

Sacrificed For The Greater Good

July 15, 2015

When I first started quilting, I was too frugal to waste fabric. That included putting a throw-away border around projects to hand quilt. I’m wiser now (older, too, but we won’t mention that), and I have a lot of fabric in my stash. Some of it was never great to begin with, and time hasn’t made it better. There are two projects I intend to hand quilt, and I am ready to sacrifice some of my scraps for the greater good.

The brown stripe on the edge is the throw-away border

The brown stripe on the edge is the throw-away border

The frugal part of me still balks at not saving all my scraps, but the realistic part is getting the upper hand. There is only so much one can do with bits and pieces that don’t match one’s current artistic vision. To help quiet that shrill voice, I am using my scraps of embroidery floss to finish some marked squares I inherited from my grandmother.

Using what I have

Using what I have

I’ve used several different shades of yellow. They blend just fine, and I used a variegated floss for the flowers (also a scrap left from another project), so it looks like I intended to have variety in the piece.

My citrusy flower ring

My citrusy flower ring

I realized early enough that I didn’t have enough leftover floss for all the flowers, but I had enough orange for half of the center flowers. As it turns out, I found another few strands of the red, which I used on the points. The piece is balanced, which is all that counts. I’m not entering it in any contests, so I don’t have to justify my decisions to anyone but my own inner critic.

Luck and wisdom!

Small Quilts, Large(ish) Stash

October 1, 2014

The Challenge project for this month commemorates the 200th anniversary of The Star-Spangled Banner, and includes a size requirement – at least 42″ on a side. “Self,” I said, “if you make the project a little larger you can turn it into a Quilt of Valor donation. You have too large a stash to make only small quilts.” Turns out, there’s a reason I make small quilts.

One more border, then backing and quilting

One more border, then backing and quilting

Large quilts are a pain in the patoot. And the shoulders, and the arms and hands. Slinging around long strips, cleaning off the ironing board to press the thing properly – yowza! I much prefer the elegantly tiny postcard quilt my friend Thea McCurry sent me.

Thea McCurry's creation

Thea McCurry’s creation

However, thanks to the excellent taste of the quilt store owners in my area, I have a lot of fabric to go through.

The purple drawer

The purple drawer

So, do I make myself a dozen more tote bags, blanket the country with postcard quilts, or stop my whining and make a few more large quilts to give away?

Luck and wisdom!