Posts Tagged ‘quilt design’

Tree Series – Experiment

October 24, 2018

Since one of my art quilt groups is exploring theme – and I had some scraps available – I decided to start that tree quilt series I’ve been talking myself out of doing for who knows how many years. I made small panels using improvisational piecing and quilted a tree on one. I showed the group my panels, and they thought I had a good beginning. They suggested floating the panels on an underquilt. Here’s what I have so far:

Better 1?

Better 2?

The big lesson in this experiment is that I am a lot more courageous when I don’t have a huge emotional investment in the fabric I use for art quilts. Of course, that means the lovely pieces I have collected are still languishing in the drawer, but at least I am using my scraps!

Luck and wisdom!

On To Africa

October 17, 2018

The expedition in my sewing room took another turn. I finished a simple pieced quilt, and now must start pulling random blocks, most with African-themed embroidery, into a coherent piece. This is the finished quilt:

These are the blocks that need organizing:

I appliqued the tree block and made most of the embroidered blocks, although a few were done by someone else. I don’t remember how I managed to acquire the patterns, thread, and partially completed blocks. Perhaps I bought them at a silent auction, perhaps they were given to me by someone who knows I like to embroider, perhaps they were left on the doorstep in the dead of night (no, I would probably remember that).

In any event, this is my next project, and On to Africa is the working title.

Luck and wisdom!

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!

Experiments for Pi Day

March 14, 2018

My husband asked for pecan pie to celebrate 3/14, Pi Day. I have a great recipe, because it’s easy – when you have all the ingredients. When you don’t, well, how else should one celebrate a made-up math holiday than by experimenting?

The pie for Pi Day

First, I had some Trefoil Girl Scout cookies that needed eating and not entirely by me, which is a problem because I’m the only one who really likes those cookies. I decided to make the crust from them, which worked fine except I ended up with more cookie crumbs than required. My experiment was to add a little more butter and use them all. It worked. Then I discovered I didn’t have corn syrup for the filling, so I used molasses. That made the filling a little bitter, so I added chocolate chips – and more butter. Heaven only knows what the calorie count is, but the pie tastes good. That’s all that matters with cooking experiments.

The same is true of quilting experiments. I took Peggy Martin‘s Jelly-roll Jive workshop on Sunday, only instead of a jelly-roll I brought some 2 1/2″ strips from my stash. I chose from the not-quite-scraps drawer, those pieces too large to go in the scrap bag but too small to make an entire quilt. I figured if I got a decent block out of it, great; if not, I hadn’t lost much.

Perhaps I’ll call this Blueberry and Pecan

Turns out I got a great five blocks. I made four blocks from blue and beige fabric. My first thought was to make a traditional 4-block medallion wall-hanging, but turning it on point is more interesting. I’m not sure how I’ll fill it out, but that’s an experiment for another day.

A second experiment for another day is this last block that I made from fat quarters I bought in New Mexico. I have enough fabric of a similar nature to make a small wall-hanging, and a boatload of beads that might find a home on the piece.

I hope all your experiments go well today and every day.

Luck and wisdom!

Circles and Design Choices

February 22, 2017

This week’s design assignment focused on shape and placement of motifs. I couldn’t get a handle on what I was supposed to do until I unearthed some great banana fabric and decided to use that as my design inspiration. A piece of black fabric on the sewing table caught my attention, as did a piece of yellow in the scrap basket and a couple of rectangles of green on the design wall (sometimes I leave interesting squares up just in case I need a little surprise in my quilt). Here’s what happened.

Lani Longshore banana top

I had intended to fussy cut banana bunches and have them cascade down like wisteria clusters. After re-arranging the patches for the fifth time, reality set in. “Self,” I said, “keep a couple of bunches, but find a different shape for the rest. How about circles?”

Once I figured out that circles of bananas were the way to go, I decided to expand the motif. That is why the polka-dot fabric is cut into the shape of a banana (you can see it if you squint).

I learned my go-to technique for applique from The Chicago School of Fusing, but I knew eventually I’d be embroidering or beading all over the top. Yes, there are some lovely light-weight fusibles available, but I didn’t want to deal with even a trace of adhesive gumming up my needle. Nor did I want the extra bulk of a turned edge, no matter how scant the seam allowance. Instead, I choose raw edge applique with a hand-stitched zig zag.

Lani Longshore detail

My stitches on the first circles were less than stellar, but nothing a row of beads can’t hide. I got better with practice.

Lani Longshore another detail

This is another piece that might have to marinate for a bit. The fabric hasn’t told me what embellishments it wants just yet. I can wait.

Luck and wisdom!

Lions and Earworms

February 15, 2017

So, I was starting the next assignment in the design book my art quilt critique group has been using, and I got myself one doozy of an earworm – The Lion Sleeps Tonight. Couldn’t get it out of my head. Here I’m supposed to be exploring a dancing grid, and instead I’m dancing around the sewing room singing “awim away, awim away.” Then I spied a scrap of fabric that tied the two together.

In the jungle . . .

In the jungle . . .

I pulled out one fat quarter with a geometric pattern, and some other scraps that played well with my background and focus fabric.

Lani Longshore fabric collection

The piece ended up being more dancing columns than a dancing grid. It also needed something, so I tried the Laura Wasilowski method of adding embroidery.

Lani Longshore embroidery threads

Of course, there must be beads.

Lani Longshore beading

Here is the piece in it’s current stage.

I still have more room for embellishment

I still have more room for embellishment

So far I’ve kept the embellishments on the subtle side. You have to get pretty close to see the blue embroidery and blue beads on the blue fabric. That may change, but I have a feeling I need to let this piece marinate a bit – at least until I get that silly song out of my head.

Luck and wisdom!

Yellowstone The Quilt

January 25, 2017

Amador Valley Quilters will host Quilted Treasures XVII this April, and one of the quilts I want to show is from my Yellowstone patch series. That means I have to finish it first. Here’s how it started.

The itty-bitty beginning

The itty-bitty beginning

I wanted the patch that features two people looking out a window to appear as if the viewer was looking out a window. However, when you start with a 4″ center patch, you aren’t going to get a king-size quilt. I think this piece is 6″ x 10″. I added a boatload of beads, but it is still only 6″ x 10″.

Lani Longshore yellowstone detail

Since using an underquilt worked well for one of my Colors of the Vineyard quilts, I decided to do that again. After auditioning a bunch of browns and blacks, my eyes fell on this piece.

I let the print do the work

I let the print do the work

I love this fabric, and had just enough to bring the quilt to a respectable 16″ x 20″.

Finished

Finished

All that’s left is the sleeve and filling out the registration forms. See you April 22-23 at the Robert Livermore Community Center in Livermore, California.

Luck and wisdom!