Posts Tagged ‘piecing’

Is There A Modern Quilter in Me?

May 2, 2018

I ran across some visual aids Ann Anastasio and I used in a workshop a long time ago. We were illustrating how you could adapt traditional blocks with contemporary fabrics to come up with some new design options. If we had only used gray or white backgrounds, we could have founded the Modern Movement. Ah, well.

Imagine this with a neutral background

This is Diamond in a Rectangle, made up of four half-rectangle triangle units. Most of us can piece half-square triangle units in our sleep. It isn’t hard to stretch out that square, and look at the result.

Most of us can also piece Log Cabins in our sleep. This is what happens when you do one round of logs in varying widths. Easy-peasy, and you can highlight a focus fabric.

The slice-and-dice technique was one of my favorites for adding a color pop while still keeping my focus fabric prominent in the block. I must admit I haven’t used it in a long time, but I imagine it will appear in my next project. Whatever your go-to techniques are today, consider resurrecting things you used to do. Sometimes everything old really is new again.

Luck and wisdom!

Rodeo Robots

November 15, 2017

I took a workshop from Alexandra Von Burg. She planned to teach free-form piecing for boats or houses, but mentioned she also has used this technique for robots. That was enough to make me pack up my sewing machine and schlep it down to the class. As she demonstrated making robot legs with feet, I was seized by a compulsion to make boots for my robot.

That was just the beginning. One of the other students said I ought to make a cowboy hat for this robot. Sondra cut the pieces for me and shaped the hat.

I already knew this robot was going to be female, so I gave her a waist, which gave her a bit of attitude, which tickled others in the workshop to no end.

She may be a robot, but she’s also a baseball fan

She needed a companion, so I made another block. Someone suggested I put a bandanna on that robot. She even had some fabric I could use. I made the scarf from a prairie point.

Here’s the finished robot.

I want to make a spaceship for them, and maybe a steer (for the bull riding competition, of course). This doesn’t resemble the quilt I had in mind at the start of class, not one little bit. And that’s fine with me.

Luck and wisdom!

Road Show Quilts

May 18, 2016

It turns out there was one more piecing project before I tackled the quilting stack. This one is the second in a series of road quilts. I didn’t intend to do such a series, but all I need is one more to add to this one and the Turquoise Trail quilt and I’ve got myself a Road Show Quilts series.

Lani Longshore Rte 66 top

I had two pieces of Route 66 fabric in the Southwest collection. Two small pieces. With a really busy pattern. Then Maya Madhavan suggested I make a quilt from my masonry experience, and that gave me an idea for using this busy fabric.

Lani Longshore Rte 66 detail

When I finished the top, another idea popped in my head. I’ve wanted to explore map quilts ever since I read the book Maphead by Ken Jennings. There’s a great chapter about how the Polynesians drew maps showing ocean currents with twigs and islands with rocks. I’m also collecting fabric for a series of space quilts. Why not combine the two? While I’m at it, why not incorporate those quilts into the fourth book Ann Anastasio and I have planned for our Chenille series. Yes, I know, we’re still working on the third book, The Chenille Ultimatum, but we have a title and ideas for the fourth (The Captain and Chenille, quilters exploring space with lovably crazy aliens). It could work, and in my copious free time I’ll get around to it.

In the meantime, here’s the stack of quilt tops begging for attention.

Lani Longshore unquilted tops

Luck and wisdom!

The Turquoise Trail

May 11, 2016

I received a wonderful collection of beads at the first Art Quilt Santa Fe. I’ve been saving them for just the right project, something to commemorate the Turquoise Trail (yes, it’s a real thing).

Lani Longshore embellishments

You know what happens once you reserve something for “the right project.” First, you put the item up against every piece of fabric in your stash, but nothing inspires you. Then it gets lost because another project comes up and you’ve got a deadline. Then you rediscover the item and put it in a safe place, which you immediately forget because you have at least half a dozen safe places in your studio (don’t lie, I know you do).

Eventually, the item resurfaces once again. If you are very lucky, you have a project that is just right enough. That’s what happened to me this week.

Lani Longshore turquoise trail top

I used some of my chenille tape for the horizontal turquoise lines, and some of the raw silk I had painted. I’m not sure how to quilt this top, but at least it is pieced. I even have a back for it.

While I was thinking about all things turquoise, I opened the bag with my next Progressive Party project. Inside was a wonderful collection of African-themed fabrics. I used a print of huts and a batik that could have been part of my Southwest collection for this block, as well as a solid turquoise for the separator strips.

Lani Longshore framed huts block

My next big push will be to clear off the sewing table for a marathon quilting session. I have a stack of tops that I must attack before it attacks me. After that, it’s beading time.

Luck and wisdom!


February 17, 2016

Precision is not as simple as you might think. As the contestants on my new favorite TV guilty pleasure, Team Ninja Warrior, demonstrate each week, your brain tells you one thing but reality tells you another. This month’s Progressive project required me to assemble two long strips of rectangles, which would be sewn next to a 60 1/4″ separator strip. This was my result.

They were supposed to be even, not staggered

They were supposed to be even, not staggered

I’ve been quilting long enough to know what a quarter inch seam allowance looks like – or so I thought. Turns out if you are two threads off on each seam, after twenty seams you’re an inch out of alignment. Fortunately for me, I erred on the skinny side, so I didn’t have to rip out any seams, just make the seam allowance a little bigger. The smaller strip of rectangles measured out perfectly when I pressed the seams again.

The moral of the story is your ruler really is your best friend. The corollary is always remember to reward yourself when you follow all the steps precisely.

Flowers -  no calories, always welcome

Flowers – no calories, always welcome

Luck and wisdom!