I think that’s the level of excitement I’m supposed to have for finishing the ironing part of this big quilt. That Fake It till You Make It crap. You know. Smile until it’s natural. I actually smile all the time, when things make me smile, like goofy dogs and goofy kids and even Grumpy Cat in the Honey Nut Cheerios commercial, which is significantly dumb. So my smile is working…it just doesn’t stick. I can laugh at jokes and stupid puns too…I actually had someone tell me I couldn’t be depressed because I laughed at her jokes. They were still funny. It just didn’t stick. Depression means you can’t hold on to that feeling.
So. In my head since about 1:07 AM last night, I’ve been thinking OMG I’m FINISHED! See. Not really. I tried that last night and it didn’t work and then I had distinctly troubled and fucked-up dreams all night and I totally blame the OMG. That fake-it crap.
Not really. That’s just what my brain does.
So I finished the ironing yesterday (did you get that part?). I didn’t have much left anyway, about 100 pieces or so. I kept telling myself this thing had 1800 pieces, but it was only 1700 and something (ha ha ha…now see, THAT was funny).
This is Ivy. She’s dead two years now, so that’s why she gets wings. She’s the familiar, the protector animal in this quilt. Whenever the phone rang, she would jump up from wherever she was lying and race around the house, like it was an alarm for her to protect me.
She ends up ironed in front of the giant weeping eyeball.
I got those done before we went to dinner at my parents, and then came back to the tentacles…
Those crazy-ass tentacles. These were a bit of a challenge just because the pieces were tiny. I’m a bit confused though. I knew I had lost two of the larger sucker parts, and I looked for at least 20 minutes through all my fabrics trying to find the fabric I used for that and I just couldn’t find it. This is why I usually try NOT to put everything away until the quilt is ironed down, but they were just taking up too much room.
So I adjusted things so you can’t tell that two suckers are missing…
But if I was missing two of the larger pieces, why the fuck do I have four of the smaller darker pieces left over?
Seriously, you cannot explain that away. I tried. I gave up. It was not worth it.
In the end, I found all the missing pieces (and more! seriously, I found two pieces that must belong to another quilt, because they don’t belong to this one) except one, an elbow shadow, which I recut. I almost didn’t, but its absence bugged me.
And then I ironed the tentacles down where they belong.
At that point, a smart person would have looked at the clock and gone to bed. The total ironing of all the pieces was 21 hours and 15 minutes, but I still needed to iron everything down to the background. I don’t actually know what time that was, because I am NOT smart, and I did NOT look at the clock, and I was still wide awake. So you can’t give me shit about that.
I had two fabrics for the background and I laid both of them out and put some of the big ironed-together pieces on them and picked the one I liked better, which happened to be the darker one. Honestly, the lighter one probably was the better choice, but whatever. My brain kept yelling darkER! darkER! darkER!, so I caved.
The biggest problem was that normally I would iron this on my entryway floor, but that floor is Hoarder Central at the moment. So that wasn’t happening. I mean, if I’d been patient enough to wait on the ironing until today, which also would have meant going to bed at a semi-reasonable hour, then we were planning on clearing that floor anyway as part of the pre-carpet prep work. But NOOOO. I must iron immediately. So I started on the ironing board, which was probably a mistake…I tried to get the bottom section straight…
An hour and a half later, I had laid it out (sort of) on the floor of the studio, realized I was crooked, but had already ironed major bits down and couldn’t be bothered to fix it. It will be OK.
Total ironing time: 22 hours and 45 minutes.
What have you done lately that took that much time? Here’s the top section.
No pictures of the whole thing. First of all, there’s nowhere big enough to hang or lay it out where I could photograph it all…it’s about 43″ w x 80″ h. I actually have no clue what the vertical measurement is…that was a total guess.
I’m not stitching it right away. I’m going to pick fabrics for the bird quilts and then I’m going to stitch down the Mammogram quilt, and then this one. Stitching down doesn’t take as long as ironing, though, so hopefully I’ll have a chunk of all that done this week. I did add up all the hours on this thing so far and I’m at a little over 109 hours. Wowza. It ain’t small. It ain’t simple.
Yup. This is my crazy. I do this because I have to. I don’t do it to make me happy or to change the world. I do it because I have a drive inside me that is completely out of whack (instead of the mostly out of whack that is my current existence) if I don’t do it. I know a lot of people don’t understand…they think that being able to make art should make me happy, but it doesn’t. It just decreases the unhappy. It’s like the people who think my losing weight should magically cure my diabetes. Nope. It’s deeper than that. I know what I need to be happy; I also know I can’t get there until I can get more of the unhappy to wander off. So I will laugh at your stupid jokes and smile at the dorky cat lying upside down on my pillow and think good thoughts when the bad dark cloud sinks down over my face. And at some point, my brain will respond the way it’s supposed to.