Posts Tagged ‘surprise’

Surprise and the Lesson of Letting Go

November 8, 2017

Two words – origami frogs.

I didn’t make them, but I do treasure them

These little darlings were the surprise in the bottom of a container I cleaned out this week. They were under an old flip-phone that I never got around to recycling. My husband discovered the manuals for the phone and decided it was time I had another lesson in letting things go. My reward was finding these cute frogs.

The universe gave me another surprise reward when I decided to let go of my desire to make the perfect piece of art. I wanted to combine a batik and a wool square, but couldn’t come up with an ideal design. Tired of the frustration, I basted the batik to the square and started embroidering lines. Then I cut the fabric away from some of the lines. Here is the result.

I added more embroidery and some beads.

Always let your materials tell you where they want to go

Now I have to decide on a finishing technique. One of the candidates is to add a beaded fringe that has been sitting in my lace and trims box.

Learning how to let go is a lesson I’ll probably need to study again and again. As long as I get the occasional surprise at the end, I guess it’s okay.

Luck and wisdom!


March 19, 2014

I expected to have the Easter Challenge Project finished this week – surprise! It isn’t done, but I made enough progress to solve a problem on the Calendar Project.


Eggs and diamonds

Eggs and diamonds


I fused the marbled eggs, and discovered there is a thin gold line around each. It is such an elegant touch, I decided I didn’t want to do my usual blanket stitch around the motifs. The blanket stitch is wonderful and versatile, but mine always looks a little folksy. My first plan was to secure the fused pieces with quilting, then add beads. None of the quilting designs I considered made any impact – no announcing, “I’m the one.” After a few days of silence from my quilt top, I decided the blanket stitch would have to do.


Lani Longshore Easter project detail


Doesn’t look all that folksy, does it? I made smaller stitches than normal, used two strands of floss instead of three, and chose a turquoise that often fades into the marbling. I used the same technique for my calendar block, a May basket.


Here's the detail

Here’s the detail


Here's the block

Here’s the block

The other great surprise of the week was finding the notes I made for the star block that I will contribute to the quilt NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg is organizing later this year for the fortieth anniversary of the International Quilt Festival in Houston (go to for the announcement or for information on the block requirements). The deadline is August 1, which is so far away I’ve forgotten about it twice. This time, I’m making the block then clearing off my work space.

Someday, this will be a star

Someday, this will be a star



Luck and Wisdom!