Posts Tagged ‘sashiko’

Spring Serendipity

March 29, 2017

My friend and co-author Ann Anastasio and I went to the Monet exhibit at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. On the way there, I noticed a house in the distance that had a striking orange paint scheme. “There’s a quilt in there,” I said. Spring Serendipity event #1, I saw this painting at the exhibit:

Regatta at Argenteuil, 1872 – postcard of painting

Here’s a closer look at the house. Although the one I saw was on a city street, not next to the water, I can still use this as a model for the quilt I would like to make.

The museum kindly sold me postcards of all the paintings that had elements I can use in projects I want to do. They would have sold me a book, too, but postcards are a lot easier to pin up on the design wall when one is auditioning fabric.

On the way back to the train station, Ann suggested we go to Britex Fabrics. Never one to pass up a fabric store, I promised myself I would only buy what I absolutely needed. Spring Serendipity event #2, I found the sashiko needles and thread I need for my lobster-beetle project.

Of course, now I have to decide whether I’ll use the red thread or the white thread, but that’s a decision for another day.

Luck and wisdom!

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My Secret Weapon

March 22, 2017

I made a little progress with my lobster-beetle quilt. I’m definitely going to use embroidery, but it will only be sashiko-ish – I don’t have the right thread, and the motif is definitely not Japanese. To be honest, I’m not sure what shape the motif will ultimately take. That made me hesitate to do any marking at all until I remembered my secret weapon, soap.

I learned to use soap slivers to mark cottons from Maria Sakiyama, a good friend and fabulous seamstress. It lasts long enough for hand-work, but washes out easily. It’s readily available, easy to store, and easy to use.

That is, it is easy to mark a line. That doesn’t mean my needle will follow the line that my hand has drawn. Let me explain. This is the top with borders.

I drew a long, swooping line from the totem square down to the lower beetle strips.

Then I started embroidering. Lo and behold, my hand strayed from the line.

I have no idea why I couldn’t follow the line, but there it is. Now I have to decide if I’m going to keep the lines I’ve sewn or take them out and begin again. Since the soap line will wash away, I actually have a choice. If only all my mistakes were as accommodating.

Luck and wisdom!

The Joy of the Back-up Plan

August 26, 2015

Three – count them, three! – projects presented a back-up plan for my consideration this week. Joy abounds.

Now this is the way to cut corners!

Now this is the way to cut corners!

The embroidery project that was marked in ink came first. Alert reader Violet Carr Moore suggested using hair spray to get rid of the ink. I thought about it, but I quilted the project before I soaked it. I’m pretty sure the ink would seep into the batting, and there isn’t enough hair spray in the world to deal with it. So, I trimmed the piece and put triangles on over the marked corners.

The block is finished, I'm still serene, all is well

The block is finished, I’m still serene, all is well

Next came my serenity story block. My art quilt critique group pointed out a section of a strip of hand-painted raw silk that would work. I beaded three spirals and found some hand-dyed solid strips that went well with a piece of Asian-inspired fabric.

Lani Longshore sashiko sample

Finally, although I am disappointed that I won’t be able to take the sashiko workshop at Amador Valley Quilters I found another piece of Asian-inspired fabric that has a section I can use for a do-it-myself class sample. It won’t be the same as sharing a day of stitching with friends and a good teacher, but it will use up stuff I already have. If I really enjoy it, I can always buy more supplies. If not, well, one less piece of fabric in the pile.

Luck and wisdom!

Background Material

January 22, 2014

The nurse who drew my blood at my last donation gave me a gift. She made a different mark for the insertion site.

 

Let me explain. I have teeny-tiny veins, and they’re hidden deep in my arm. When I donate blood, the nurse first has to pump up the pressure cuff to find a vein, then mark it carefully before swabbing down that patch of skin. All the other people have drawn four arrows pointing in one spot. This time, the nurse drew a rectangle with lines on opposite ends marking the line of insertion for the needle. It was so cool, I knew it would make a great block.

 

Looks like chain links, right?

Looks like chain links, right?

 

As I considered the block, I remembered an article I read about medical tattoos – temporary patches made from nanotubes to deliver medication. That brought to mind a scene in a medical bay I had written in The Chenille Ultimatum (part of the series with Ann AnastasioDeath By Chenille and When Chenille Is Not Enough). Although the heroine in that scene was being treated for minor bumps and bruises, I know there will be a bigger battle scene later in the book, and I could use medical tattoos that look like quilt blocks for the wounded.

 

That brought to mind a project I have put aside temporarily about space Vikings. I could have permanent tattoos for those soldiers.

 

Places for soldiers' medical tattoos

Places for soldiers’ medical tattoos

 

When my soldiers are picked up after a battle, I could have the medics wrap them in quilts with matching patches that quickly diagnose the injuries and start repair work while the transport pods bring them to the medical ships.

 

That brought me to my scrap bin to experiment with leftovers for a background for this quilt.

 

A background for embroidery, applique, LEDs

A background for embroidery, applique, LEDs

 

Once I figure out what I want the patch to look like, I can embroider and quilt it sashiko style on the background, then insert some LED lights to make it really fancy. If there’s a chance to add some glitz to my life, I’m there.

 

A glitzy flower makes me smile

A glitzy flower makes me smile

 

All of this background material for various projects, just because a clever nurse drew a different box on my skin.