Posts Tagged ‘silk’

Return to Reality

April 27, 2016

I returned from Art Quilt Santa Fe with new ideas. That’s only to be expected – Betty Busby is a fabulous teacher, and Ann Anastasio and Gale Oppenheim-Pietrzak do everything in their power to create the ideal space for experimentation. The reality, given that I am the queen of messy studios, is that once I returned home I had no place to work on these new ideas.

I didn't make time to put things away before I left

I didn’t make time to put things away before I left

Ah, well, there’s always the floor.

Working on the floor keeps one flexible, right?

Working on the floor keeps one flexible, right?

The good news is, the little pieces I used for an experiment will work with the fabric I have on the cutting table. This will give me one more opportunity to put things away, not put things down.

These will become flower patches

These will become flower patches

I made these pieces with silk, Sharpies and rubbing alcohol. Yes, it’s an old technique but I never used it so it’s new to me. Later, I added some black for definition with a Pigma pen.

Could be star paths, could be map lines, could be coffee cup rings

Could be star paths, could be map lines, could be coffee cup rings

This piece might become part of a space quilt, or I might use it in a map quilt, or even in a Route 66 quilt. I don’t know how it would fit in a Route 66 quilt, but that’s the whole idea of trying something different, yes?

Raw silk and spreading paint circles

Raw silk and spreading paint circles

This raw silk patch is probably going to become a floral scene. Even the high desert has flowers once or twice a year (although these don’t look anything like those flowers).

The best news about this experiment is I thought I had lost my raw silk, but it was where it was supposed to be all the time. Part of me wants to blame the stash pixies for hiding it the last time I wanted it, but more likely I just overlooked it. Either way, I’ve got it now.

Luck and wisdom!

Is There Joy In Organizing?

April 29, 2015

The bathroom remodel is finally done. The last trim pieces were installed, and the varnish on the vanity (and isn’t that a great name for a novel?) has cured long enough to organize the drawers and cupboard.

The vanity that Stewart built

The vanity that Stewart built

I should be thrilled, but I’m not. Storage in the old bathroom was minimal, so now that we have more room I’ll be moving items from other cabinets into the new bathroom. That means there will be holes on shelves all around the house. The sensible part of my brain tells me to look at the new-found space with a view to better efficiency. The selfish part of my brain says, “Stuff the shelves with overflow from the sewing room!”

The sewing room is looking pretty bad these days. The projects I left before heading out to Art Quilt Santa Fe did not magically make themselves. Also, I came back with more treasures.

Lani Longshore deer pin

This pin depicts deer in the desert, but I’m seeing reindeer that can go with my Space Viking series (don’t ask about the connection – it makes sense to me).

Thanks, Betty!

Thanks, Betty!

This is a piece of hand-painted silk Betty Busby gave me. I have many ideas, and some new silk batting to use.

Lani Longshore bird toy

This is a toy that Gale Oppenheim-Pietrzak gave me. It flashes different colors when you squeeze it. I had hoped to post a video of the light show, but technology has thwarted me. My ancient phone and camera aren’t compatible with the systems on our Linux-based computers. Perhaps someday I’ll be able to post it. And my sewing room will be tidy. And my projects will finish themselves. And pigs will fly.

Luck and wisdom!

Low-Hanging Fruit

June 18, 2014


There are times when you forge ahead, knowing success will follow. This is not one of those times. This is the time to pick the low-hanging fruit and consider yourself lucky if the birds and squirrels left a piece or two.

Lani Longshore green silk

I ripped a couple of pieces of silk to dye. This one begged for beading. I found my collection of green beads, put them in a clear plastic bag, put that bag in a tote bag, and went off to a meeting. At the meeting, I couldn’t find the beads. Maybe they fell out, maybe they’re hiding under a flap or in a pocket.

Lani Longshore pink silk

This piece was intended to go with my collection of pink and brown fabrics, ribbons, buttons and other embellishments. The problem is, I don’t want to cut it, I want to wear it. I haven’t decided if that desire is strong enough for hand rolling the edges to make a scarf.

Before hopping on the pity train, I gave my project stash one last chance to be nice to me. I pulled out the piece from Alex Anderson‘s hand quilting workshop and wrote my mantra with watercolor pencils (at the very least it is what Ann Anastasio and I use when we sign our novels).

Lani Longshore mantra

Low-hanging fruit is always a blessing.

Luck and wisdom!


Art Quilt Santa Fe 2014

April 30, 2014


The fourth Art Quilt Santa Fe was wonderful, as always. I was able to help Ann Anastasio and Gale Oppenhiem-Pietrzak and their fabulous teachers, Betty Busby and Carol Shinn. I also had the chance to learn about a new product (well, new to me), Colorhue Instant Set Silk Dyes.

Experiment with dye

Experiment with dye

Whoever created this product had me in mind. It works on protein-based fabrics (silk or wool), sets immediately, and is reasonably non-toxic. We made a test square first, spritzing the fabric with water then scrunching it to get the pattern. After that, we each made a scarf.

My new treasure

My new treasure

Colorhue is available through Dharma Trading Company. My order of dyes and silk is on its way even as I type. Heaven knows where I’ll put it, but I’ll steal space if I must.

Gale and Ann are working on the details for the next Art Quilt Santa Fe (late April 2015). I’m planning on going out to help again – consider joining the fun!

Luck and wisdom!


Silk and Santa Fe

May 2, 2012

Trees and science fiction – must be Art Quilt Santa Fe. Betty Busby was the teacher this year. Her award-winning quilts are fabulous, as was her four-day workshop. She had us painting on silk, which I have done before without much success. This time was different. Betty encouraged us to relax and let the fabric and the paint take us on a journey. Once I let go of my expectations and allowed the end product be a surprise, I had a blast.

As with last year’s workshops, I planned to use my projects for my tree series. We started with our backgrounds. Betty had us painting from light to dark vertically. I painted a sunbeam filtering through a forest.

Next we made patterns. I sketched out a tree trunk with branches, then Betty enlarged it with a computer resizing program. The design is printed out in separate sheets, and taped together.

We cut our designs out of Remay, which we had also painted in a light-to-dark gradation, and fused them to the surface.

I’m not certain what I’ll do for borders, but I left my options open by leaving the tree branches loose over the edge of the silk.

We also worked with paint sticks. Here is a cedar I painted on a scrap of satin. The trunk is a line of copper paint stick.

I promised you sci fi, and here it is:

We painted another piece of silk in a circular gradation from light to dark. The idea was to fuse a single organic image graded from dark to light on top of the silk. By this time, however, my silk was chattering away and made sure I could see it was a galaxy. And it wanted space ships. Pink and blue space ships.

Who am I to argue with the galaxy?