Posts Tagged ‘Linda Ballou’

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.

 

Catch Up

June 5, 2013

Some days the little catch-up jobs take all my attention. Despite my best efforts to ignore them, comes a time when they block my path like a herd of linebackers. That’s what happened this week. One of those tasks concerned photos of quilts made in my prison class, and I thought I would share them.

catch-up-jewel-box-6-5-13

 

 

Margaret Misegades and I teach the class, but we also get help from other members of Amador Valley Quilters who donate fabric to the program, cut kits for the inmates to sew, quilt and bind the tops and backs, and get those quilts to Community Quilts for distribution to local organizations. These photos were taken by Cathy Lacer.

 

Lori Vogel's house blocks

Lori Vogel’s house blocks

 

This quilt began with orphan blocks donated by Lori Vogel. The inmates completed the top in one class and the back in another.

 

catch-up-vera-6-5-13

From Cathy and Vera

 

This is a quilt made from kits that Cathy and Vera Pierce cut.

 

catch-up-twisty-6-5-13

From Linda’s pattern

 

This quilt started with a pattern that Linda Ballou wrote up for me. Both she and Rose Seay have made many kits for the class, and have been a source of great ideas for easy patterns.

 

Like all the really worthwhile activities in my life, the prison class would be impossible without the help of my friends at Amador Valley Quilters. I don’t know that I thank them enough for all they do for me, so I’m glad my catch-up job gave me another opportunity to say how grateful I am.

 

 

 

 

Cleaning for mom

October 13, 2010

My mom is coming to visit. She keeps a very tidy home. She knows how to organize and keep up with the organizational scheme. She has a house chock-a-block with clean flat surfaces.

Luckily, Mom loves me despite my not having a cleared off counter top to my name.

Still, before I ask her to help me in the sewing room (and believe me, I will) I wanted to make one more push on my own. With the help of my good friend, Linda Ballou, the scrap box under the window is empty. Well, it was empty – it’s full now, but full of project bags. Linda cut all the scraps into usable squares for my class kits. I took project bags that had been stuffed in corners and stacked them neatly in the box. This is progress.

You might notice those two bins under the box. They are filled with bits and pieces of things that might be useful someday. For the time being they’re going under the box. No, it isn’t quite organizing – call it a tactical retreat – but they are out of the way and that’s good enough for now.

I did attack a pile of pre-quilted samples. They were left over from another project. I decided I would use them to practice making woven fabric bowls.

What I learned is that Basket Weaving 101 is harder than you might think.

Finally, I pulled out my collection of Australian-themed fabrics and started on my next Challenge project. The assignment is Dream; I’m going to experiment with some 3-dimensional embellishments, such as the patches sticking out from the center. Those aren’t markers for another row – those are going to be panels that open and close.

I had hoped to show my mom a tidy, organized space when she came for her annual visit, but at least the room is in better shape than last year. Also, every mother loves knowing her children still need her, so I’m going to ask Mom for her advice. She may throw up her hands, she may laugh, but she’s going to be here for two weeks – and I think she’ll take the challenge.