Posts Tagged ‘trees’

Autumn Prompt

October 22, 2018

My ankle is recovering, but I still like to keep it elevated as much as possible, which makes sitting at the computer or sewing machine a bit dicey. I am keeping up – sorta, kinda, maybe – with my novel and my quilting, but haven’t achieved any ground-breaking results. That’s why, for today’s writing blog, I present a prompt. This is a picture of my region’s autumn color. California really does have a fall leaf season, which usually lasts at least a couple of days between the last triple-digit heat wave and the onset of cold rain and sleet.

You can see a palm and pine through the branches of the tree in the foreground. I took this picture as inspiration for a quilt, but it can work a little harder as a prompt for a short story. Give it your best shot, and if it turns out to be poetry or very short fiction, feel free to post it in the comments section.

Luck and wisdom!

Fun With Glue

November 9, 2016

The latest Challenge project is to find something unique about our area, and translate that into a quilt. There are a lot of things unique to this part of California, but what strikes me is that in any given neighborhood you can find a deciduous tree, a pine tree, and a palm tree. I’ve wanted to do a quilt about those trees for a long time, but I have yet to come up with the ideal design. So, I’m breaking the Challenge rules and having fun with glue.

Lani Longshore tree canvases

The little canvases are 4 inch squares. The fabric is from my extensive collection of tree prints. I whacked off a small piece and made random cuts until I liked the way the motifs looked against the black canvas, then stuck them on with glue stick. The jewels have no symbolic significance, I just like them. For those, I used an all-purpose white glue. I’ll attach the squares with some screw eyes.

Lani Longshore hardware

As you can see, I have S-hooks as well as screw eyes. I may attach some lines of beading to the edges of the canvases. I pulled out this box from my collection, but I will let the piece tell me what sort of beads it wants.

Lani Longshore bead box

While I was assembling the tree canvases, I remembered that I have a collection of appliques. I found one that I thought would be useful to keep me creating art when the ideal design eludes me.

Lani Longshore No Whining

Luck and wisdom!

I’m In It For The Trees

January 27, 2016

You know you’ve been a quilter too long when you stop paying attention to the movie because something on the screen sparked an idea for a new quilt. I was watching “War and Peace” and stopped paying attention to James Norton‘s splendid portrayal of Prince Andrei because he was standing by a way cool tree that I thought would make a great focal point for an art quilt.

Not the tree in the movie, but a fine tree all the same

Not the tree in the movie, but a fine tree all the same

This isn’t the first time I’ve been sidetracked by quilt ideas. I attended a concert and forgot all about the music because the light show sparked an idea for a wonderful way to use some of my batiks. I look at the ocean and see how I could strip-piece a wave breaking on the rocks. Don’t even get me started on how a night sky makes me itch to bring out my beads.

The black and white batik uses a frog motif

The black and white batik uses a frog motif

At the moment, I’m particularly struck by trees. I’ve also done frogs, roses, space scenes and maps. I can never tell when the mood will strike for a new series, or why something takes me by the throat and demands I explore it. All I know is that it’s great fun to be inspired, even if I do miss part of the movie.

Luck and wisdom!

Again With The Trees

April 15, 2015

I’m guessing I was a druid in a past life. Or an oak. I could have been an oak. At any rate, my connection to trees is powerful. Like the Doctor and a fez, I can’t just walk past a tree.

Beautiful tree!

Beautiful tree!

I bought this necklace at the Livermore Art Association Spring Show. Not only is it stunning, it gives me some great ideas for using my larger beads.

Leaves for an autumn tree?

Leaves for an autumn tree?

My wire skills are minimal, but I can make tree trunks for art quilts with ribbons, or maybe smaller beads.

I have more inspiration for tree work than time to create. The necklace is just the latest addition to a growing collection of jewelry, art, and photos about trees. If all else fails, I can always take a walk and admire the many lovely trees in my neighborhood. If you are looking for inspiration from trees for your work, check out Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time by Beth Moon.

Lani Longshore Ancient Trees

Beth Moon has an amazing eye, and Abbeville Press created a worthy volume for her talent.

Luck and wisdom!

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!

My Kind of Forest

September 10, 2014

I was able to see forests and trees this week by turning dog bed forms into daybed pillows.

A tidy forest close at hand

A tidy forest close at hand

I brought my husband to the fabric store to show him the kinds of pillows I could make. As we strolled through the display, I noticed a clearance sale on small dog bed forms. My husband pronounced them the perfect size and squishiness.

When we got home, I showed him my collection of tree fabric. For once, reason prevailed – I held nothing back because in my heart I know I will never finish all the quilts my collected fabrics could make. Better to get them out as pillows than have them hiding in a pile. He chose some and I got to work.

Lani Longshore green pillow detail

My go-to design with home dec is a simple stripe. The best part is there is a decent sized square of this left over, so I’ll get to turn it into a small tree quit after all.

Lani Longshore mountain detail

I could never bring myself to cut up these mountains. I still haven’t cut them up, and I used them in a project. That’s a victory in my book.

Lani Longshore green fabrics

The last pillow will be made from these fabrics. When it is done, I’ll have reduced a fabric pile by one-third, made another corner of the house colorful and comfy, and put myself back on the path of finishing things. Time for the happy dance.

Luck and wisdom!

Bamboo and Roses

August 13, 2014

Before I left for a family reunion, I separated the pink pile. Not all the fabrics went together, but this collection of bamboo and roses works for me.

Lani Longshore pink fabrics

Since I only get to start the project, I decided to do something simple. I find it easier to build on someone else’s work if there is an unfinished corner somewhere, or if the piece begs for a border.

Lani Longshore bamboo and roses center

With any luck, the next person in line for this project will find room for her creative impulses.

As for me, I discovered the little cross-stitch projects I lined up to help me over the back-from-vacation blues weren’t necessary. The Progressive Party did a tree exchange, and this is what I received.

Lani Longshore tree blocks

While I’m not certain where I’m going with these blocks, I know the journey will be fun.

Luck and wisdom!

Spring Cleaning

April 2, 2014


My stash is full of fabric meant for the perfect project. Backs do not count as the perfect project, which is silly, because even art quilts have their backs showing sometime. Still, it’s hard using the good stuff. Then I put fabric away before going on to the next step in my second Challenge project and heard the voices of all the wise quilters I know. It’s all good stuff, I might as well use it, and spring cleaning is a great excuse to make me use it.

Lani Longshore beet fabric

My second Challenge project for the Easter assignment is based on Russian Orthodox symbols – the Orthodox cross and the habit of dying Easter eggs a deep red (Ukrainians dye pysanky, the elaborate wax resist eggs). Since I grew up eating borscht, I know all about the Russian connection to beets. I unearthed my beet print fabric, used it for the back of the quilt, and used the pattern for my quilt design.

The eggs will come later, along with beads and embroidery

The eggs will come later, along with beads and embroidery

The next bit of cleaning was an experiment for my tree series. The Progressive Party is doing a tree block project later this summer, and I thought I would use a variety of scraps for the trunks. The experiment worked fine, but I realized the trees I made would be way too big for the blocks. A writing friend, Shelia Bali, gave me some fabric (I’m not the only one doing spring cleaning) and one piece was perfect for a background. I decided to choose the scraps I would use, not just take what was near the top of the basket.

Lani Longshore trees

Finally, I cleaned out enough of the green drawer to get a collection of good stuff for the Progressive project.

Assorted greens and background

Assorted greens and background

The fabric hasn’t told me how it wants to be used, but it is very happy to be out of that drawer.

Luck and wisdom!



December 4, 2013

When I was a kid, my father took up photography. One of his favorite subjects was trees, especially dead trees. I found out later that his mother also loved trees, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that I love trees. My tree fabric collection takes up an entire bin, and it is time to make some quilts.


While I have a collection of books and photos of trees, I noticed that the specimens in my neighborhood are pretty darn interesting. On Thanksgiving, I went out with my camera and came home with nearly fifty pictures from my six-block walk. My favorite shot is one you will never see in your basic tree identification pamphlet, because it is a grouping that nature never intended.


Lani Longshore palm tree


Yes, the quintessential California grove – evergreen, deciduous and palm growing together.


My tree quilt marathon will start early next year, once the holiday hoopla is cleared away. For the moment, I’m making up my own cross-stitch trees.


Lani Longshore tree cross-stitch


I leave you with a photo of fun with recycled trees – a playing card turkey made with a Skallops junior pack.


Lani Longshore playing card turkey



Why I Collect

July 17, 2013

I quilt, therefore I collect. That’s what I tell myself when I run across something that I can’t recall buying but must have because it’s in my studio.


I probably won’t wear the penguin pin, but I want to keep it. It was given to me, after all, and gifts should be honored.


I already have a frog quilt collection. One more for the frog pin won’t be much of a stretch. Well, make it two – I still have plenty of frog fabric.


I have plenty of tree and Celtic-inspired fabric for these pendants. Yes, the pentagram is just as heavy as it looks, but with a little luck and some good stiffener I’ll come up with something.


The dragons, like the penguin, will take more thought. I made one dragon quilt a long time ago, and one quilt with penguin fabric. I know there’s a design out there, somewhere, waiting for me to discover it. In the meantime, I will continue to quilt, and to collect.