Posts Tagged ‘SAQA’

The Joys of UFOs

October 9, 2013

I have an embarrassingly rich collection of UFOs – unfinished objects. We all do, of course we do. Usually our reward for such a collection runs along the lines of dust caches, spider colonies, and discovering you already have three fat quarters of that perfect rose print you just bought piled up in other places.

 

Yesterday, the universe was kind.

 

Soon to be an ex-UFO

Soon to be an ex-UFO

 

The leaf project from Laura Wasilowski‘s workshop has been whispering to me. I used some of her hand-dyed threads for small embroidered motifs.

 

Lani Longshore embroidery hand-dyed thread

 

Since there was no immediate place for this project to go, I figured it would be another UFO for some time to come. The next Challenge project, however, is on the theme of . . . LEAVES! Thank you, thank you, Linda Ballou and Kathy Levesque!

 

The best part of this theme is that they encouraged us to think of more than tree leaves. They even gave some examples – leaves in a book, tea leaves, Leif Ericsson. It just so happens I am writing a story about space Vikings, so I could make a quilt about that. I also drink a tremendous amount of tea, so I could aways tea dye some fabric and make a quilt from that. But I already have a UFO for leaves of a book.

 

Lani Longshore handmade booklets

 

The open booklet in front is from Doria Goocher, a quilt artist I met at the Studio Art Quilt Associates conference in Santa Fe. The covers behind are for the version I want to make for myself.

 

There are two other book leaf UFOs that are calling to me. One could use the badge I earned at Laura Wasilowski’s workshop as a book cover.

My Chicago School of Fusing badge

My Chicago School of Fusing badge

I also have a collection of hardware that I thought might make an interesting binding for a fabric book.

 

Lani Longshore hinges

 

The plan at the moment is to make a mixed-media travel book with fabrics from or referencing other countries, photos, mementos, and embroidery. Whatever comes from these experiments, I will at least experience the joy of finishing UFOs.

 

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.

 

 

 

The Idea Warehouse

August 7, 2013

I’m going to my first Studio Art Quilt Associates meeting this weekend. We’re supposed to bring something – one thing – that illustrates our quilting style. That is a more complicated assignment than you might realize.

 

I could bring a work-in-progress, such as this vase I’m making from some fabric my friend Margaret Misegades gave me.

 

Lani Longshore vase pieces

 

I could bring a work-currently-abandoned-but-not-forgotten, such as the quilt book my friend Ann Anastasio and I started to write.

 

Lani Longshore face designs

 

I could also bring one of the many storage units tucked around my studio holding notes and ideas for future projects.

 

Lani Longshore shelf

 

You get the idea. As prolific a quilter as I like to believe I am, there are stacks of books, fabrics, notions and sketches all around my studio. It is a the place ideas go to hide, to party, to have a mid-life crisis and emerge as something entirely new. Define my style? Wait, I’ve got some notes on that –

 

Lani Longshore file

 

 

 

 

After the fun

May 8, 2013

Last week I was in New Mexico, enjoying the Studio Art Quilt Associates conference in Santa Fe, then helping my friends Ann Anastasio and Gale Oppenheim-Pietrzak with Art Quilt Santa Fe. Even being on our best behavior, we had more fun than a barrel of monkeys.

Ann, Gale and me

Ann, Gale and me

Coming home with my treasures was lovely, too. I had a blissfully uneventful flight, pleasant seat companions, and a few moments to dream of all the projects I would make after unpacking.

Oh, stop laughing.

Yes, it has been a week and I’m still scrambling with my to-do lists. My treasures wait patiently. Here are some of them:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This is the project I brought with me. It is a cross-stitch and bead kit that I bought last year in Colorado. I got most of the center cross-stitch done before I remembered that I always get confused by the little symbols and end of up losing my place. The border isn’t anything like the pattern but I can live with that. The spider is very cool, and that’s all that counts.

Lani Longshore gray painted cotton

This is one of the pieces I made at Art Quilt Santa Fe. It is fabric paint on muslin. I had in mind the Challenge theme of “the surface of infinity.” It seems to me infinity would be gray, like a cooling universe.

Lani Longshore red painted silk

This is the other piece I made – fabric paint on silk. This also has a space theme, as I wanted to portray a spiral galaxy. I’m not sure that’s how it will end up, because I’m seeing beading and Chinese embroidery now. If I ever get caught up, I’ll let you know which idea won out.

Empty Boxes

January 30, 2013

For the first time since September, I have empty boxes. No, not here:

sewing room

The empty boxes are on my calendar.

calendar

Of course, that won’t last. Just yesterday I agreed to take the lead on writing a grant proposal. It’s due March 1. Nevertheless, I have no pressing deadlines this week.

The reason I have a few free days is that I am finished with the manuscript for When Chenille Is Not Enough, the sequel to Death By Chenille.

The manuscript is finished!

The manuscript is finished!

I vowed to have it finished by January so we could get it to the printers in time for its unveiling in April at theĀ SAQA conference in Santa Fe, which is the weekend before Art Quilt Santa Fe. Until my co-author Ann Anastasio gets back to me with her edits, I can focus on other things.

Yesterday, I focused on the sewing room. I cut kits, cut scraps, and put fabric away. This morning I consolidated two boxes, freeing up one whole cubby for embroidery projects. I’d sing about how great I feel, but I don’t want the efficiency gods to think I’m getting uppity. They can be so petty. Still, I’m going to relish the joy for as long as I can.

I might even have time to bake some cookies to celebrate Ground Hog Day.

 

Sometimes You’re The Windshield, Sometimes You’re The Bug

November 14, 2012

This was a windshield week for me. Just as I was wondering how I was going to find time to make a crazy quilt for the backdrop of the booth Ann Anastasio and I will have at the SAQA conference in Santa Fe, my friend Rose Seay announced at the Amador Valley Quilters meeting that she had a crazy quilt looking for a good home. She cautioned us that it was worn, and made in the 1940s or 50s, and I know she was thinking no one would want it. But she was wrong!

Isn’t it pretty?

crazy quilt detail

There are many possibilities here!

The quilt will be perfect as a backdrop, and I can add whatever embroidery or embellishments we need to make it correspond to the quilt we have in our new novel, When Chenille Is Not Enough. Rose is happy, I’m happy, joy abounds.

The next serendipitous finding also occurred at the guild meeting. The speaker, Alethea Ballard, was selling itsy-bitsy mitts, perfect for taking hot mugs or bowls from the microwave.

The front . . .

. . . and the back.

She also sold patterns, with the insulated batting. I bought one mitt for me because it is so darned cute, and the pattern because I still have time to make stocking stuffers for a select few good girls and boys.

Finally, I forced myself into the sewing room to tidy up. It doesn’t look all that different, but I re-organized a couple of bins (I even consolidated a few of them, freeing up a little space), dealt with two piles (throwing things away can be liberating!), and addressed the issue of my plastic bag collection.

I teased my mother once about her plastic bag collection – mostly bread bags that she washed out and used to freeze whole tomatoes. Mine is worse. These are bags that were used for quilt kits. When the completed top came back, so did the bag. I thought I was doing a good job of recycling the bags, but I neglected to factor in the bags that other people used for the kits they cut for me. Those bags never made it back to them. At some level I knew this, but chose to ignore it. Ah, well, that’s a task for next week.