Posts Tagged ‘leaves’

Golden California

December 14, 2016

California is called the Golden State for the 1849 Gold Rush, the golden hills, the gold in Hollywood and Silicon Valley . . . and now for gingko gold. Our one tree puts out enough leaves to turn our front yard into a natural Klimt painting (and you know there’s a quilt in that!).

Lani Longshore gingko variegated

We live in an area that gets white, frozen water snow maybe once a decade. The golden snow comes every year.

Lani Longshore gingko leaves on rock

By happy coincidence, the tree lost its leaves just as an iris bloomed, so we got a double gold effect.

Lani Longshore gingko leaves and iris

Nature being what it is, there’s no way of knowing how the yard will look next year. I remember once our back yard looked as if it had been festooned with white lace, but the next year the blooming schedules didn’t work out as well. Time to be in the moment for the moment and enjoy my golden state.

Lani Longshore gingko leaves and orange

Luck and wisdom!

The Joys of UFOs

October 9, 2013

I have an embarrassingly rich collection of UFOs – unfinished objects. We all do, of course we do. Usually our reward for such a collection runs along the lines of dust caches, spider colonies, and discovering you already have three fat quarters of that perfect rose print you just bought piled up in other places.


Yesterday, the universe was kind.


Soon to be an ex-UFO

Soon to be an ex-UFO


The leaf project from Laura Wasilowski‘s workshop has been whispering to me. I used some of her hand-dyed threads for small embroidered motifs.


Lani Longshore embroidery hand-dyed thread


Since there was no immediate place for this project to go, I figured it would be another UFO for some time to come. The next Challenge project, however, is on the theme of . . . LEAVES! Thank you, thank you, Linda Ballou and Kathy Levesque!


The best part of this theme is that they encouraged us to think of more than tree leaves. They even gave some examples – leaves in a book, tea leaves, Leif Ericsson. It just so happens I am writing a story about space Vikings, so I could make a quilt about that. I also drink a tremendous amount of tea, so I could aways tea dye some fabric and make a quilt from that. But I already have a UFO for leaves of a book.


Lani Longshore handmade booklets


The open booklet in front is from Doria Goocher, a quilt artist I met at the Studio Art Quilt Associates conference in Santa Fe. The covers behind are for the version I want to make for myself.


There are two other book leaf UFOs that are calling to me. One could use the badge I earned at Laura Wasilowski’s workshop as a book cover.

My Chicago School of Fusing badge

My Chicago School of Fusing badge

I also have a collection of hardware that I thought might make an interesting binding for a fabric book.


Lani Longshore hinges


The plan at the moment is to make a mixed-media travel book with fabrics from or referencing other countries, photos, mementos, and embroidery. Whatever comes from these experiments, I will at least experience the joy of finishing UFOs.


The Fallacy of Spring Cleaning, Or No, I Won’t Give This Up

March 6, 2013

The hyacinths are blooming:


The pink hyacinth

The pink hyacinth



The yellow hyacinth

The yellow hyacinth

These flowers tell me spring really is coming soon. Their fresh scent and delicate petals inspire me to clear away the dusty bits of winter projects and prepare the way for a new start. At least, they did until we planted a red oak with a crafter’s heart. Here is what most trees look like about now:


My naked oak

My naked oak

This is what my red oak looks like:


The leaves of winter

The leaves of winter


I can almost hear it growling, “No, I’m not going to get rid of my leaves. I may need them!” I feel its pain. Here are a couple of bags of trim I have yet to discard:

ribbon bits

In my head, I know that these fragments aren’t enough to do anything with. In my heart, they are treasures. In my head, I know more trims are waiting for me, just like new leaves are waiting for the oak. In my heart, these old trims are real and the new ones aren’t quite (and won’t be until I go to the store).

So, I’m compromising. No, I’m not throwing out my collection of ribbon snippets, but I am making more fabric containers, this time a keycatcher for the nightstand (for keys and rings and other things a traveler might have) :


A place to put things

A place to put things

Who knows – one of those ribbon snippets might be perfect for these little things.