Posts Tagged ‘quilts’

Filling Holes

January 13, 2016

I spent a lot of time filling holes this week. There was the hole in the blog line-up for Tri-Valley Writers, there was a hole in the flavor profile of my persimmon sauce, and there were holes on the contest quilt for Quilting Arts magazine readers’ challenge.

holes-C-1-13-16

The theme is your superpower. I decided my superpower is the ability to ignore the reality of finite space if I have more stuff to cram into any given spot. To translate that into an art quilt, I picked a limited palette of beads and started stitching.

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I also did some hand quilting

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There is every possibility I will miss the deadline for this challenge because I will keep trying to cram more beads on the surface. That is my superpower, after all. Not to worry. The Challenge Group project is about holes. I can easily rewrite my artist statement to say this quilt represents the absence of holes.

Luck and wisdom!

There’s Always One More – Quote Challenge

September 9, 2015

Julaina Kleist-Corwin invited me to join a quote challenge – three posts, three quotes. She publishes great quotes all the time, so do check out her blog for some lovely reading. I can remember snarky quotes from movies, but those aren’t always useful. For my challenge, I’m going to offer advice I’ve found valuable. The first is one of my father’s favorite sayings: “There’s always one more SOB than you counted on.”

Even simple blocks can be troublesome

Even simple blocks can be troublesome

This is especially true in art. For me, the SOB is often a Surprisingly Obstreperous Block. I have re-sewn many a seam, only to find I have to nail that sucker down by hand to make the points match. In my writing, I’ve faced the subplots that wander so far off the path they must be abandoned, the characters that insist on hijacking the story, the red herrings that become dead herrings only to resurrect themselves at the most inconvenient moment.

The take-away for me is to plan as best I can, then step out in faith with a smile. Life will be what it will be. If I expect a setback and it doesn’t come, that counts as a win.

There will always be many more projects than I counted on

There will always be many more projects than I counted on

One last thing – I’m supposed to nominate others to play. Here are three, but any of you are welcome to share words of wisdom. The rules are simple:

  • Thank the blogger who invites you (that’s me)
  • Share a different quote in three separate posts. The quotes can be from your favorite book, author, or yourself, but if you quote someone else acknowledge the source with a link
  • Nominate three bloggers to join the game

I nominate:

Violet Carr Moore – Violet’s Vibes

Marlene Dotterer – Marlene Dotterer, Science Fiction and Fantasy Author

Neva Hodges – Words by Neva

Luck and wisdom!

My Shattered Schedule

August 5, 2015

I was planning to whimper about not getting things done because my schedule was shattered. It was hot, I had too many ideas and not enough time, there are still weeks to go before Doctor Who starts. There isn’t enough cheese in the world for all that whine.

This is what steady pressure gets you - a chance to run if you have feet

This is what steady pressure gets you – a chance to run if you have feet

Then I saw this plant in the front yard. Its home is shattered, but is it complaining? Well, maybe it is, but it’s still growing. “Self,” I said, “get yourself into the sewing room and do something.”

Translating "shattered" into fabric

Translating “shattered” into fabric

So I did, and I found a project for a favorite fabric collection. This will be a gift, and there’s a better than average chance it will finished on time.

Isn't this a great kangaroo?

Isn’t this a great kangaroo?

Luck and wisdom!

Why I Collect

July 17, 2013

I quilt, therefore I collect. That’s what I tell myself when I run across something that I can’t recall buying but must have because it’s in my studio.

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I probably won’t wear the penguin pin, but I want to keep it. It was given to me, after all, and gifts should be honored.

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I already have a frog quilt collection. One more for the frog pin won’t be much of a stretch. Well, make it two – I still have plenty of frog fabric.

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I have plenty of tree and Celtic-inspired fabric for these pendants. Yes, the pentagram is just as heavy as it looks, but with a little luck and some good stiffener I’ll come up with something.

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The dragons, like the penguin, will take more thought. I made one dragon quilt a long time ago, and one quilt with penguin fabric. I know there’s a design out there, somewhere, waiting for me to discover it. In the meantime, I will continue to quilt, and to collect.

The Best I Can Do

June 26, 2013

Three quilts waited for me this week, layered and basted. The sewing table was cleared (well, cleared enough), but my calendar was not. This was one of those weeks when I had to accept what I accomplished as the best I could do, because life got in the way of quilting.

 

The good news is, I finished a gift quilt.

 

Lani Longshore Landon Leveille quilt

 

This will go to one of my brother’s grandsons. Here is the back.

 

Lani Longshore Landon Leveille fish

 

The quilt for my brother’s second grandson is next on the stack to be quilted. Here is the back for it.

 

Lani Longshore Avery Longshore elephant

 

The third quilt is the Challenge project. It is much smaller, but will require some embellishment. Lucky for me, I found a new bead shop.

 

Lani Longshore Challenge

 

Yes, I know, I probably have beads just like this somewhere in the sewing room, but I think finding the new bead store was my reward for not grumbling when I had to spend a day in an unfamiliar city for family matters. Sometimes, the best you can do is to take the bead in the hand and ignore the bead in the bin.

 

 

The Surface of Infinity, Wired

May 29, 2013

The most amazing thing happened to my Challenge Project – it told me it didn’t want beads. I’ve never had a project that refused beads before. Perhaps it was tired of being fussed over. First I had to wire its tail to make a Mobius strip.

Beading wire works well

Beading wire works well

 

I had considered satin stitching the edges in lieu of binding, but that didn’t seem enough when I finished the wiring, so I bound the quilt with a sheer ribbon.

Gauze ribbon is a great binding for small projects

Gauze ribbon is a great binding for small projects

 

 

The result was exactly what I wanted. You really can travel both sides of the loop without crossing the edges.

The finished project

The finished project

 

 

Since I was in the mood for handwork, I finished my cross-stitch kit. Well, I say finished but what I really mean is I adapted the pattern (because I can never quite count right) and kept adding embroidery and beads until it seemed like a good place to end.

Spider and bat button

Spider and bat button

 

I managed to get one more project off the pile, which was a pillow made from elephant fabric for my daughter.

Lani Longshore elephant pillow

It seems an appropriate comment on my life in the studio – never forgetting that my goal is to reduce the piles before they start creating their own gravity wells.

 

 

Here’s When A Do-over Would Be Nice

August 22, 2012

To give you an idea of how far behind I am, last week’s to-do list is still on top of my piles. I sort of know where the time went, because we had two exterior doors replaced and the kids’ belongings were delivered by the moving people. The door replacement project did not begin on a good note – I spent the morning telling the supplier that we were not going to accept one of the doors (it had a dent) and since it was a stock door he could jolly well find another one and pay for it to be delivered while the contractor was still here. The kids’ belongings arrived in good order but now comes the unpacking.

One of the pleasant surprises of the week was that our daughter’s couch fits nicely in the living room. We knew it would fit the space because we measured, but there’s fitting and and then there’s fitting. We had never had a couch in the living room before because we wanted it to be a music/reading room. After all those years of having just two comfy chairs, bookshelves and a grand piano I convinced myself there wasn’t space for a couch. Now that I know I am wrong, I guess I’m going to have to look at couches when she gets her own apartment.

In the  meantime, a week has passed and I got in the sewing room only long enough to repair the pillow my husband uses for back support. Since I have nothing new to show you, I thought I would post an old picture of a past project:

This is a quilt I made for Sacred Threads, a biennial exhibition for quilts with a spiritual connection – healing, grief, peace, the spiritual journey. If you are interested, you can get more information at www.sacredthreadsquilts.com. The next show is in 2013, with entry deadlines between January 9 and March 9, 2013. I had one quilt accepted for showing long ago, and have entered at odd times since then. The quilt above – City of God – didn’t make it, but I’m thinking this might be the year I enter again.

Of course, that assumes that the weeks between then and now will be a whole lot more productive than this past week. At the rate unexpected time sinks are appearing in my path, that may not be a reasonable assumption to make!

 

Gifts to Self

June 20, 2012

Happy Solstice! My summer gift to myself was letting the vacuuming go while I embellished a couple of quilts. I unearthed a bag of treasures intended for the Fish ‘N Cat quilt. First was a sprig of seaweed:

Next was a pair of fish earrings Alison Anastasio gave me:

Alison is the daughter of Ann Anastasio, who worked on this quilt (and is co-author with me of Death By Chenille). These were one of her favorite pairs of earrings when she was younger. She found them recently and didn’t want to toss them but knew she would never wear them again. I promised her I would find a good home for them on this quilt.

I continued working on the quilt from last week, including adding another braid for the top binding:

Then I scattered buttons on the surface to see what it would look like:

In case you were wondering, yes, those are my toes on the bottom braid/binding.

Here’s a close-up of my space ship buttons:

I also auditioned embellishments for the area intended to be a legend. The quilt is an invasion map, so naturally there would be a section explaining the symbols. I haven’t quite figured out how the dragon will explain any symbols – I just like the looks of it.

I spend a lot of time on the floor when I’m embellishing quilts as the buttons and beads tend to fall between the sofa cushions, so tomorrow my gift to myself may very well be doing the vacuuming.

Permission to Wander

April 25, 2012

A couple of weeks ago I went to a local art gallery to see an exhibit of quilts. The exhibit was smaller than I expected and I had almost an hour before I had to be at a meeting. Not enough time to go home and do something useful, but still too much to squander.

Or was it? I gave myself permission to wander downtown, had a delightful time, and was in a much more receptive state when I finally arrived at my meeting.

That got me thinking about my sewing room, and whether I give myself permission to wander in there often enough. I am constantly collecting materials to inspire ideas –

and supplies –

 

and embellishments –

but when I go in the room I’m there to work. Work implies progress, and progress implies having something to show for my time. Whether it’s a new quilt or a tidied shelf, I want to be able to prove that I haven’t squandered the day.

And yet . . . is flipping through the art books really squandering the day? Is pulling out the drawers and letting my fabric and embellishments inspire me wasting time? If I have the luxury of a day to think, to absorb, to wonder, don’t I owe it to myself as an artist to enjoy it?

 

 

 

Music and other merriments

April 11, 2012

Last year I cleared a space for a small CD player on a shelf. I never got the CD player, and the space was filled with other stuff. This year, my husband suggested I use our daughter’s old music machine, which is something of a tank. I tried to find a place for it, but wasn’t making progress. The light bulb went off over my husband’s head and he bought me an early Mother’s Day present.

My very own machine!

The gift has benefited me in many ways. First, I can easily have music in my work space. Technically, I’ve had the capacity to bring music to the sewing room by (a) singing, (b) remembering the correct order to use the various remotes to get the various little black boxes to switch over to the speakers in my sewing room, or (c) remembering the proper command to get the music on our computer playing. Option (a) works sometimes, when I remember the words. Option (b) never worked well, and it also meant I had to go to the family room to change the cd. Option (c) worked once and then my husband rewrote the code, and it meant that I had to remember the actual name of the piece I wanted to hear rather than the way I usually do, which is by album cover (“it’s on the cd with the red background and the dog in the corner”).

Another benefit is that not only will I keep that little shelf from getting buried under fabric, I will also keep the area in front of it clear so I can kneel down and get the cd in and out of the machine.

As a side note, I have been amused to discover that while I’ve been listening to bagpipes exclusively for the last three weeks when I run errands and play music in the car, in the sewing room I have only put only piano (Ludovico Einaudi, to be precise) and early vocal music (Gregorian chant, French songs from the 1100s). I’m not sure what this says about my state of mind when I’m on the road, although I have noticed that I skip the ballads and go straight to the battle marches.

The last benefit was that the fabric that was piled on the little shelf belonged to a project that I wanted to get done for Challenge group. And I did:

Aunt Sukey's Butterfly

This is also a Progressive Party project. The other ladies made all the Aunt Sukey’s Choice blocks and I did the butterfly. They thought that was cheating and it probably was, so I tried to make up for it with the quilting:

I leave you with a picture of some of my Easter decorations:

My kids may be too big for Easter egg hunts, but I can still put one on for myself. The hunting part comes when I have to put them away – I don’t always remember all the nooks and crannies where I set them on display!