Posts Tagged ‘fusing’

Detour, With Paper Bag

August 17, 2016

I’m still pondering options for a new handbag, so I made a gift bag instead.

Sheep may safely gift

Sheep may safely gift

Last summer I bought a couple of gift bags at a quilt show. They sported 9-Patches fused onto a brown paper bag and embellished with a single button in the center square. The woman who made them said she had seen the idea somewhere else, so I can’t give proper credit for the technique. I thought about fusing a 9-Patch and decided I would be happier starting with simple strips. Heaven knows I have enough scrap strips around the sewing room. There really is nothing else to it – press the strips, fuse the strips, fuse the unit to the bag. The ribbon star is meant for scrap-booking or card-making and has a sticky pad on the back.

Once for fingers and toes, now with ribbons and bows

Once for fingers and toes, now with ribbons and bows

I did make one other change. Instead of drawing a dotted line around the fused unit with a felt-tipped pen, I used nail polish. Since this was my first attempt, I used gold nail polish, which adds a subtle sheen more than a sharp line. The reason I am using nail polish is I have lots of it and don’t wear it any more. Of course, I never threw it out. Why would I throw it out when I could have it take up space for years and years until I discovered another use for it?

Luck and wisdom!


March 19, 2014

I expected to have the Easter Challenge Project finished this week – surprise! It isn’t done, but I made enough progress to solve a problem on the Calendar Project.


Eggs and diamonds

Eggs and diamonds


I fused the marbled eggs, and discovered there is a thin gold line around each. It is such an elegant touch, I decided I didn’t want to do my usual blanket stitch around the motifs. The blanket stitch is wonderful and versatile, but mine always looks a little folksy. My first plan was to secure the fused pieces with quilting, then add beads. None of the quilting designs I considered made any impact – no announcing, “I’m the one.” After a few days of silence from my quilt top, I decided the blanket stitch would have to do.


Lani Longshore Easter project detail


Doesn’t look all that folksy, does it? I made smaller stitches than normal, used two strands of floss instead of three, and chose a turquoise that often fades into the marbling. I used the same technique for my calendar block, a May basket.


Here's the detail

Here’s the detail


Here's the block

Here’s the block

The other great surprise of the week was finding the notes I made for the star block that I will contribute to the quilt NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg is organizing later this year for the fortieth anniversary of the International Quilt Festival in Houston (go to for the announcement or for information on the block requirements). The deadline is August 1, which is so far away I’ve forgotten about it twice. This time, I’m making the block then clearing off my work space.

Someday, this will be a star

Someday, this will be a star



Luck and Wisdom!


All The Steps, In The Right Order

September 18, 2013

I am an Iron Maiden.


My badge of honor

My badge of honor


Laura Wasilowski came to Amador Valley Quilters, and I took her workshop. Yes, I’ve been fusing forever, but learning from the Dean of Corrections at the Chicago School of Fusing was worth it on so many levels.


First, I learned about myself. I’m lazy, and I don’t always follow directions. In Laura’s class, I had to follow all the steps, in the proper order. It shouldn’t be a surprise to discover that one gets better results when one follows directions, but there it is.


Cut-outs waiting for a project

Cut-outs waiting for a project


Second, I learned that I can restrain myself if I listen to my project.


The leaf will tell me what to do - someday

The leaf will tell me what to do – someday


The doodles I made for the class project had many, many curlycues and embellishments. When I cut things out and started assembling the leaf, I heard a faint whisper from the fabric. “Step away from the block now. I will tell you in my own good time what I want you to do next.”


Third, I learned that when you properly learn a technique, ideas present themselves. I’ve been agonizing over two small gifts I wanted to make. As soon as the class was over, I knew exactly what to do.


Gift one

Gift one


Gift one - detail

Gift one – detail


Gift two

Gift two


I can’t wait to find out what I’m going to learn tomorrow.



Silk and Santa Fe

May 2, 2012

Trees and science fiction – must be Art Quilt Santa Fe. Betty Busby was the teacher this year. Her award-winning quilts are fabulous, as was her four-day workshop. She had us painting on silk, which I have done before without much success. This time was different. Betty encouraged us to relax and let the fabric and the paint take us on a journey. Once I let go of my expectations and allowed the end product be a surprise, I had a blast.

As with last year’s workshops, I planned to use my projects for my tree series. We started with our backgrounds. Betty had us painting from light to dark vertically. I painted a sunbeam filtering through a forest.

Next we made patterns. I sketched out a tree trunk with branches, then Betty enlarged it with a computer resizing program. The design is printed out in separate sheets, and taped together.

We cut our designs out of Remay, which we had also painted in a light-to-dark gradation, and fused them to the surface.

I’m not certain what I’ll do for borders, but I left my options open by leaving the tree branches loose over the edge of the silk.

We also worked with paint sticks. Here is a cedar I painted on a scrap of satin. The trunk is a line of copper paint stick.

I promised you sci fi, and here it is:

We painted another piece of silk in a circular gradation from light to dark. The idea was to fuse a single organic image graded from dark to light on top of the silk. By this time, however, my silk was chattering away and made sure I could see it was a galaxy. And it wanted space ships. Pink and blue space ships.

Who am I to argue with the galaxy?