Posts Tagged ‘Margaret Misegades’

Gifts of the Sun (sort of)

August 30, 2017

The Great American Eclipse didn’t go over my house. We had 75% coverage, which was enough for the sky to darken a little and beautiful crescent suns to appear on the patio under the leaf-covered pergola. I wanted to make an art quilt to commemorate this gift from the sun (and moon), and used the American Quilter’s Society free pattern “Luna” as a starting point. The pattern represents a lunar eclipse. I turned my version into a solar eclipse with embroidery and a well-placed button.

The eclipse in felt and thread

The base is a piece of hand-dyed wool felt that fiber artist Gail Sims made. She used leaves she collected from her yard. I liked the idea of showing the progress of the eclipse on the ground, which is the way I watched it.

The well-placed button

The next gifts come from a land of midnight sun. My friend and sister quilter Margaret Misegades was on a cruise to Norway. Knowing my fondness for antlered animals, she found something reindeer at each port of call.

This is adorable

I plan to use my little pitcher for cream once the temperature drops enough that I can drink hot tea again.

Such a grand addition to my fridge magnet collection

The reindeer magnet is remarkably strong as well as just so darn cute. Even my grocery coupons look cool underneath it.

These pencils are wonderful, and I still use pencils a lot, but to be honest I’m thinking about using them as part of a table display for Christmas with flowers – fresh or silk – and maybe one of my birds.

Luck and wisdom!

Forward, Backward, Sideways

August 20, 2014

I made some progress, had a set-back, and slid to the side in my on-going battle of the piles. The step forward is we rearranged some of the furniture we are minding for our daughter while she is in graduate school (or at least until she moves to a larger space).

My purple plate collection

My purple plate collection

This collection of dishes began with a purple plate that Margaret Misegades gave me. The top bowl is from a Progressive Party outing to the local paint-your-own ceramics place to celebrate Maya Madhavan’s birthday. The collection used to live on my ironing board. Now it can be admired.

Unknown bags - maybe mine, maybe not

Unknown bags – maybe mine, maybe not

The step backward was discovering another collection of bags in our daughter’s room. Two of them are mine, I think. It’s been so long since I’ve seen them that I can’t remember acquiring them.

Something more to sort

Something more to sort

The sideways step is this new pile of my stuff that had been road-hogging our daughter’s closet. Now it is in a corner of her former room. My husband has rearranged that room to suit himself, which is only fair as I have colonized almost every other room in the house. The new pile is at least tidy, and I don’t have a deadline to sort it.

Of course, given that I’m pathetic without deadlines, he might regret telling me I can deal with the pile at my leisure.

Luck and wisdom!

Style = Story + Strata

August 14, 2013

I’ve said before that I wait for the fabric to speak to me before I start a project. I’ve also admitted that very often my color choices depend on what I can reach. This week I accepted the truth – my style is determined by the story behind the materials and where those materials are in the layers of stuff around my studio. Rather than fight the reality of my cluttered creative space, I will embrace it and turn that bug into a feature.


Another reality I have embraced is that I have no space for another quilt anywhere – not the walls, not the chairs or couches, not the beds – but I can always use another tote bag. I made two.


Lani Longshore flamingo tote


I had an eighth of a yard of bright pink fabric with either flying birds or flying bats (I think they’re birds), some hot pink purse handles, hot pink chenille on a spool, and a yard of flamingo fabric.


Lani Longshore flamingo fabric


The is tote is big enough to carry my sharing to quilt guild meetings, which is why I attached my name tag to it.


Lani Longshore celtic box tote


I finished the small, square tote from the fabric that Margaret Misegades gave me. The celtic fabric really is from Ireland.


Lani Longshore dove


The dove is not from Ireland, but I thought it went well with the celtic pieces.


Lani Longshore button


I bought the button embellishments in Santa Fe at the SAQA conference. They are made by Robin Pascal of Perfect Buttons. When I bought them, I had no idea how appropriate that name is, as I think they really are perfect for this project.


And so it is with my new-found label for my style. It doesn’t really describe what comes out of my studio, but it certainly describes my process. For the moment, that is as good as I’m going to get.




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.




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.



From Cathy and Vera


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



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.





Crap I Kept That Came In Handy

January 25, 2012

I heard someone define a weed as any plant that is growing where it isn’t supposed to be. That is an accurate description of a lot of the stuff in my sewing room. It isn’t supposed to be where it is, but at the moment there isn’t another place for it. This week, some of that stuff found a new place.

The first thing that found a new place was a Chinese New Year card. I used it for a decoration on the table.

I’m not certain my husband even knew the card was on the table, as I still have the mini-pumpkins from Halloween and the centerpiece from Christmas. Still, the card was there. Now here’s the secret – the card wasn’t left over from last year. It was left over from the last year of the dragon. Yes, I’ve kept it for twelve years. Don’t tell my husband.

Then I finished making aprons for my kids. Margaret Misegades generously gave me a panel for a skeleton apron.

I unearthed some pizza fabric in a collection I had been keeping for karate quilts. We always celebrated passing a test with pizza, so I bought a boatload of pizza fabric for backs. Given that I’m the only one still taking class, I don’t think there will be a need for any more karate quilts.

The last item that came in handy is actually from Ann Anastasio. She gave me a bag of surprises, which I finally had a chance to go through over the weekend. I found a book with a pattern for a quilt carry-all.

I’ve been thinking about making a quilt carry-all specifically to use the extra zipper that I bought for the stadium bag (it turned out that velcro was the better choice for the stadium bag). Now I have a pattern, so all I have to do is choose the fabric.

While I am thrilled out of all proportion that I used these items, I do have to admit it only feeds my hoarding tendencies. How can I fight back the voice in my head that says, “Save this – you’re going to need it someday” when it turns out I actually do need the stuff? I can’t be saving everything with the hope that ten months or ten years from now it will be exactly what’s wanted – that’s what put my sewing room into such a state in the first place. If any of you have the perfect come-back for the little hoarder voice, please, share!


A View of A Room

March 23, 2011

Someday, if I am a very good girl, I may have a sewing room like Margaret Misegades. She invited me to see her studio, saying it would make me feel better about the mess in mine. Although the room is indeed full of projects-in-progress, it looked perfect to me.

I fell in love with the closets first. They cover the entire length of the wall.

Then there is the size. The former owners used it as a media room, but the savvy agent who found it for Margaret knew how she would use it.

I’m not sure I caught the whole story of how she found the house because I was still in shock and awe and – let’s be honest – envy. Massive envy. Then I noticed the furniture. My husband is a weekend woodworker, so a beautiful piece will always catch my eye. Margaret’s late husband was also a woodworker.

He put an ankh – a symbol of life – on everything he made.

Margaret shares her space with her cats, or they share it with her, depending on your point of view.

There was also a nearly finished quilt that caused me more envy – first because it is beautiful, second because it is nearly finished. Margaret hangs her strip piecing and quilt tops on a wooden clothes dryer – keeping things organized and wrinkle free.

If you live anywhere in the San Francisco Bay Area and wouldn’t mind having me poke around your sewing room, camera in hand, let me know. Next week we’ll be back to my little world.