Posts Tagged ‘tree quilts’

Treasures At The Bottom Of The Bin

October 8, 2014

The studio is still a shambles, but I am making progress on the to-do piles. This week, I got to the Progressive Party tree project and found a treasure – a surprising border and backing at the bottom of the tree collection bin.

A top for me

A top for me

This quilt will sit on the upstairs day bed – when we get it. In the meantime, it will sit on the cot and be available for me to admire whenever I like.

Lani Longshore palm tree

The tree project had only two requirements – an 8″ finished block with a tree on it. The color choices were totally up to the individual. To my mind, the blocks complemented each other as if they had been planned. I found a package of 5″ squares (I believe Stonehenge Stone Chips) for the interior.

Lani Longshore tree quilt detail

As I was pawing through my tree fabrics, I found the pink tree fabric which I probably bought for a back. While I had thought of using a green for a border, this piece begged me to audition it. There was enough to fussy cut the border and and still have a good chunk for the back. I think it works, and since it’s for me that’s all that counts.

Luck and wisdom!

Hidden Victories

September 19, 2012

The good news about having the kids in the house is that I feel obligated to be busy. You know, make sure I’m being a good example. The bad news is, I can’t always be creatively busy. So I do the next best thing – I putter. What I learned about puttering this week is that momentum can be your friend. After tidying up the obvious stuff in the sewing room, I started tidying up the stuff that I had been ignoring for weeks.

The scrap pile is almost gone. I cut, sorted and put fabric away. While putting fabric away, I noticed some of the bins could be consolidated. When I consolidated some of the bins, I sorted larger pieces of fabric that had been in piles and put that in the now-empty bins. When I got to the bottom of a couple of piles I discovered a bin of fabric that I knew I wouldn’t need soon. That went in the garage, because there was a tiny bit of room from the consolidation project. The empty space in the storage unit was filled with books and patterns for the prison program, and that bought me a foot of floor space:


I can stand in front of the closet again!

No one else in the family will even notice, but I do. They also won’t notice that getting the scraps under control gave me a bit of clearance on the cutting table:


I can see over the stacks!

The piles are still there, but now they are low walls, not the foothills of the Himalayas.

While all this was going on, my eye fell on some leather cording. To be precise, my eye fell on the cording as it fell on my foot. Repeatedly. After the third or fourth time it fell from someplace that I had put it down (as opposed to putting it away), I remembered my tree quilt. It still needed a binding; the fabric bowls and vases I made last week used piping as a binding before zig-zagging the sections together. The technique worked well, and the leather cording was exactly the right color for the quilt, so I used it:

Almost done


I couldn’t have made a better match if I dyed it myself

So, in the end keeping busy resulted in creativity. Who knew.


Fractured Tree, Shrunken Pile

July 4, 2012

Although this isn’t a space quilt, it is one more in a series of using what is closest. It is the latest Progressive Party project. Usually those linger in corners for years (as Fish ‘N Cat did – for nearly two decades). This one enticed me to finish it by promising that it could be completed with items within reach.

The project started as a sketch that I cut apart and distributed to the group. This is what came back to me:

I had one section to finish. There was another Top Gear marathon running, so I sat in my comfy chair with scraps of fabric piled next to me. The applique session passed as quickly as if I had opened a box of chocolates while watching a favorite movie. My little old hand reached out and grabbed fabrics without my giving much thought to the matter. At the end of the marathon, my section was finished.

I made a fractured landscape long ago and used a muddy purple for lattice. The same fabric worked well for this project.

Next came some piping and borders. The final border is made from a collection of squares I was given. They’ve been waiting a long time for a good project.

This project turned out exactly as I wanted it to, which is a rare thing for me (yes, there are a couple of places where the applique doesn’t flow smoothly from one section to the next – that’s what embroidery is for). Not only did the quilters in the Progressive Party run with my request to be absolutely random in their fabric choices, they all used different techniques so each section is unique. Best of all, the lattice, borders, backing and batt were all within reach, so my sneak attacks on the stacks are advancing!