Posts Tagged ‘projects’

The Shiny New Year Will Have To Wait

January 3, 2018

I can still see carpet in my sewing room. To be honest, I haven’t put back all the stuff I squirreled in other places, and I just barely started a new project when my iron died. I took that as a sign from the universe that the shiny New Year will have to wait for a bit. Having no wish to revisit all of 2017, I decided to enjoy an extended Christmas. A bit of carpet still showing is one of the holiday happy things. This moose is another.

Karate Moose and Raku Moose

My daughter sent me a collection of karate forest animals. The moose, of course, will have premier status.

I know this period of limbo won’t last forever. The new iron will arrive tomorrow and I’ll be forced to review my list of project deadlines. The first is a collection of blocks for Community Quilts.

After I finish the blocks I’ll need to make some blocks for a friendship group, then start a new project for that same group. I’ve promised to make some baby quilts, and there’s the guild challenge to finish a project a month. In the midst of all that, I hope I remember my own personal, private challenge to restore some order to the sewing room. Perhaps this book will help.

My guide for 2018

Luck and wisdom!

Projects For Fidgety Fingers

February 8, 2017

Last month I attended an all-day writing workshop with some friends. I filled my tote bag with notebooks and pens. Then, for reasons I barely understand myself, I threw in a beading project.

So far, this is untitled with pearls

So far, this is untitled with pearls

My friends asked what the project was for. I said I wasn’t sure, but the truth is I knew my fingers would get fidgety. The workshop included a lot of time for discussion, and we all know that quilters/beaders/knitters/needleworkers can run both the mouth and the fingers at the same time. Sure enough, by the afternoon I was desperate for something to do with my hands when we weren’t actually writing.

When I got home, I noticed once again all the little boxes and bags I’ve collected over the years for portable projects. I opened a few and discovered that while I had indeed used all of them at one time or another, I had never cleaned out a single one.

A darning box for socks I no longer own

A darning box for socks I no longer own

Some of the boxes are big enough to hold several projects. This plastic stacking bin is a good example.

Lani Longshore small tote

I have no idea why I didn’t put another project in the bin. Heaven knows I have enough work in various stages of completion.

A cupcake container makes a wonderful sorting tool

A cupcake container makes a wonderful sorting tool

I’ve collected fabrics that I think would work well together so that when the need arises for a quick gift I can grab a bag and get started. This year, one of my goals will be to clean out the bring-along boxes, and have projects ready to pick and go when I suspect I’ll get a case of fidgety fingers.

Lani Longshore fabric collections

Luck and wisdom!

The Year For Design

January 11, 2017

I prefer to make New Year’s projects rather than New Year’s resolutions, and this year’s big project just made itself known. My art quilt critique group started the exercises in Art Quilt Collage by Deborah Boschert. The latest assignment was in design basics. I had a few minutes and very little brainpower, so I knew I wouldn’t overthink things. I grabbed some scraps of fabric and batting. A long strip of batting and a piece of watery fabric became the beginning of a high horizon seascape.Lani Longshore seascape

I decided to continue with the water theme, mainly because I unearthed a strip of trout fabric and a batting strip of the appropriate size. The next step was to experiment with grids, so I quilted the trout to the batting, cut out nine squares, and zig-zagged them together again. This is the back, showing the basic grid.

Lani Longshore grid back

I didn’t mind the back seams showing, but I wanted to cover the ones in front. Narrow strips zig-zagged in place did the trick, and I added some extra strips to enhance the grid.

Lani Longshore grid design

The best part about these exercises is that I really like using commercial print fabrics in my art quilts, but a lot of fiber art today is made from hand-dyes and solids. If I cut into my stash, I feel as if I must have a brilliant idea to complete. Since I’m only using leftovers, my ego investment is limited. If the project works, great; if not, at least I’ve reduced the size of the scrap pile. As it happens, I like what I’ve done so far, and have some ideas for embellishment that will turn these exercises into art. Someday.

Luck and wisdom!

Start With One Cut

July 8, 2015

I’ve been avoiding the sewing room. The combination of no immediate deadlines and too many potential projects to choose from sapped all my creative energy. I felt as if I had stumbled into a candy shop just after finishing a wonderful meal – I wasn’t hungry enough to choose anything. The longer I wait to start a new project, however, the harder it is to do. “Self,” I said, “grab the fabric at hand and start with one cut.”

Scraps  and stuff

Scraps and stuff

These scraps sat on my design wall for months. I thought they might look nice together, but didn’t know what format to use. Art quilt? Craft project? Book cover? Tote bag? I decided to start sewing and hope a purpose presented itself.

I cut the class sample and bordered the cross-stitch

I cut the class sample and bordered the cross-stitch

Purpose did not appear, but the need for more fabric did. Situations like this are why I have the scrap bin under the design wall.

A good ending waiting for another beginning

A good ending waiting for another beginning

This is where I am now. It is finished enough to move off the design wall. I might embellish it. I might submit it to the Progressive Party for them to work some magic. I might put it in a very safe place and forget all it about.

Luck and wisdom!

The Year To Come – Holes To Fill

December 31, 2014

Rather than make resolutions, since I often break them, I plan projects for the new year. In the year to come, my project will be filling holes.

The space was empty for about three minutes

The space was empty for about three minutes

I already started by stacking batting and pillow forms in the space formerly taken up with fabric I bought to recreate the light show from a Crosby, Stills and Nash concert.

Bring on the tie-dye

Bring on the tie-dye

FYI, you know you’re a quilter when you spend more time analyzing the light patterns and figuring out how to piece them than you do listening to the music. You also know you’re a quilter when you collect the fabric for the quilt and then it sits so long you forget when it was you went to that concert. Perhaps I’ll remember in the coming year. The next Challenge Group project is about the color of music, so out came the tote. The empty space was perfect for the batting and pillow forms, and thus my new year project came into focus.

I did make one little resolution – to dream more, and dream bigger. Here’s the tiny piece of art I made to remind me.

Take time to dream

Take time to dream

Here’s hoping 2015 is a wonderful year for us all.

Luck and wisdom!

Scraps and How to Make Them

November 20, 2014

The first step in making scraps is to have a plan. I had a plan for the last two days, then stuff happened and I ended up with scraps of days. The people who created the kit I just finished also had a plan, a reasonably good plan, but I ended up with scraps anyway.

A lovely pear waiting for a project

A lovely pear waiting for a project

The kit for this lovely pear was included in one of the many embroidery grab bags I bought at a silent auction. I’ve been working on it while watching TV at night, and finally finished it. That’s the good news. The not-so-good news for a craft supply hoarder is that the kit designers made sure there would be enough floss to finish the project no matter how incompetent the stitcher.

Too pretty to toss

Too pretty to toss

This is beautiful floss, and I’m not about to toss it. I am, however, exceptionally lazy and I’m not about to wind it on spools and file it neatly. Instead, I’ve been trying to come up with odd projects (and the key word here really is odd) that will use up the floss.

Plants for alien planets

Plants for alien planets

This will end up in my science fiction quilt series – just don’t ask me how or when. If I’m very lucky, I’ll be able to combine some of my quilting scraps with the cross-stitch, but I’m not holding my breath.

The never empty scrap box

The never empty scrap box

I guess what I really need is the inspiration for a blog post titled Scraps and How to Get Rid of Them Without Actually Making Another Quilt.

Luck and wisdom!

Chipping Away For Art

October 2, 2013

This was my week for listening to the inner artist rather than the inner art critic as I chipped away at the to-do list. I had ideas for the Progressive Party Calendar Project that won’t go with any other vision but my own. My inner art critic said I should come up with different ideas. I ignored her.

 

Lani Longshore November Progressive Calendar block

 

The November block is dark and impressionistic. I’ve added subtle embroidery and beading to show there is life in this seemingly lifeless month.

 

Lani Longshore November calendar block beading

 

It is a far cry from the Thanksgiving images one expects to represent November. Can I use the excuse that I’m a vegetarian?

 

Lani Longshore December solstice block

 

The December block celebrates the winter solstice, with night crowding into my waking hours. The sun knows it will return, and is willing to give the night a brief chance to revel.

 

While I was pawing in my piles for embellishments, I ran across some iron-on shisha mirrors. Heaven only knows how old they are, but the glue was still good so I scattered them across one of my Challenge Rainbow quilts.

 

Lani Longshore shisha mirrors

 

Of course, the universe would be remiss to let me finish even one project without reminding me that there is always something more to make. While searching for binding fabric, I ran across some prints and an orphan block that suggested I put them next to my leaf block.

 

There's a party on the design wall

There’s a party on the design wall

 

I’m not certain how many of them will be included in whatever project emerges from this collection, but they’re enjoying each other’s company for the moment. Eventually, they’ll tell me what they want me to do.

 

 

 

Gifts, Expected and Not

October 25, 2012

Mom’s visit is nearing the end. She and I made a box together.

She is taking some Christmas fabric home with her to make more boxes. This makes me happy on so many levels – we finished a project that isn’t staying here, some of my stash is going to go into a project that I don’t have to make, and Mom and I had fun together.

Mom also finished the purple hat for my daughter. I mention the color because you might not be able to tell:

My camera insists on turning the hat blue. Trust me, the hat is royal purple – not even a hint of blue!

I always considered that one of the gifts of being a fiber artist is a chance to play with color. I know that the value of any given fabric depends on what is next to it, that different light can make some colors shape-shift into an entirely different color, and that greens never come out well on film. However, I have never had a true purple disguise itself so completely as this purple hat did with my digital camera. Perhaps in my next life I will take up photography in a more disciplined fashion and play with color in new ways. For now, I’ll take the gift of the purple that wanted to be blue and keep it for future projects. I bet there’s a quilt in there somewhere.