Rainy Days…

So it was (still is) a rainy day in San Diego, which is good (we need the water), and it makes me want to stay home and not do anything, so when I got home from school yesterday, after doing afterschool duty standing in the rain (fun stuff…at least I remembered my jacket and the kids cleared out really fast), I decided I needed to clean up the studio. Slash office. Because really this is just a tiny room with a bastardized closet, the former owner being an artist and needing shelves just like a fabric artist would need. And I used to be a freelance book editor and everything ran out of here, piles of book manuscripts on the floor everywhere, files galore. Even then, I had fabric in here though, not as much as I have now, because I started editing in 1996, the year the boychild was born, and my first real art quilt, documented, was made in 1999. I made art quilts before that…I just was learning how and didn’t keep track of dates. I was still screenprinting up until then and for a time after, and I had a studio space downtown until right before the boychild was born, and that was a nice big space compared to this, being a room maybe 8×10′? The studio was more like 600 square feet…something like that. Now I have this tiny room with a sliding glass door that is completely blocked by my sewing table. Nice view though.

Then when I stopped editing, I was going to school online, so there were notebooks full of articles off the web, because I don’t really like reading on a computer, although now I read on the iPad, no problem. And when I started teaching, the file cabinet was now full of teacher materials, an entire bookshelf (there are 4 in here) is just teacher materials, books mostly. Somewhere around 1990 is when I started collecting fabric, when I started making quilts, although not very artistic in the beginning, just learning the process. I’d always been drawn to them and I had been taught to sew fairly young, so it wasn’t much of a jump to start making quilts. I didn’t finish most of the early ones as actual quilts. My first big quilt top is still in the hope chest in my bedroom. I don’t hold out much hope for finishing it. Not sure I care much about finishing it!

My fabric stash definitely has outgrown this room. I have fancy fabrics for crazy quilting in bins under my bed, where they never see the light of day, because I haven’t done any CQ in ages, and the cotton stash is pretty amazing too, although I do try to keep it all in here. When I’m working on a quilt, after I’ve ironed all the Wonder Under to fabric, I keep all those fabrics in separate bins until that quilt is finished, in case I’m missing a piece when I go to iron it together. It makes it easier to find the missing fabric if I don’t have to sort through ALL the bins of that color. So I had all the fabrics from the Earth Mother quilt in three bins, there were two additional bins of fabric from Mariah’s stash, well, and then a third one with all her blues (she had a lot of blues), and then I had a trash bag full of fabric from Sandi’s stash…and all of it needed to be put away.

So that’s what I did…

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Aerial views of piles of fabric by color. I had three piles of blues and three piles of greens and two piles of browns and two piles of purples.

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And then on top of that, I had stuff pulled out of almost every drawer from when I was looking for fabrics, because I had never straightened that up either. So between texting two different people, a phone conversation with my SIL while she was watching one kid play baseball, talking to my car guy and then my dad because I have his car until car guy figures out what’s wrong NOW, a conversation with my ex about school and money and dramachild and the dog being scared of gophers when he came to get the dog because the girlchild didn’t feel like coming back here after watching softball because I am that evil, and heating up leftovers for dinner, I also put all that shit away. Well. Not true. I have 10 blue fabrics I haven’t found a home for yet, mostly because I’m really running out of room in my current storage. And because I gave up. Sigh. OK. Not something to complain about. What’s funny is that the current quilt has some pieces in it that are really huge, and I might need to buy fabric. NOOOOOO. My goal is to not buy any except maybe binding. I have a large piece I can use for the background and I always have stuff I can use for the backing…but the binding is an important part and usually I need more than a half yard, and half yards are all I normally buy.

Anyway, I’m glad I did all that cleaning (and there is a ton more to do…but I have all summer), because last night I also finished cutting out all the Wonder Under for the first of the bathtub quilts…

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It took me a bit over an hour and a half last night to do that last piece…it had a lot of skinny tree pieces in it. Make that two episodes of Orphan Black. I sorted and cleaned the studio to Deep Space Nine. I get tired of all the quiet, although before that, I was being yelled at, so I guess there’s a fine line in the middle where I’d like to exist and can’t. So it took about 4 1/2 hours total to cut all the pieces out. My plan is to sort them tonight into bins and hopefully start ironing to fabric, although if I were a very good girl, I would grade papers. Well, I would grade assignments online. And then papers…which next year, might be all online. And it will be another quiet lonely night, because girlchild is out and about. Boychild is coming home Tuesday though, so I will have company on some of the nights when she is out gallivanting around for the next three months. At least it will give me an excuse to cook something besides leftovers again.

So on to the next stage again, a more exciting stage, and maybe the mess in here was just weighing me down, or maybe state testing is messing with my head, but it’s been a very long week. I’m so tired right now, I’m wondering how to find the energy to get in the car and fight the stupid traffic to school, which is only 2 1/2 miles away, but rain brings out the worst in people here in Southern California. Maybe if I get the rest of this tea into me, that will help. I want to draw. I want to curl up on the couch with a blankie and put the TV on and draw. Listening to the rain drip. And then take a nap.

Sigh. A personal day is not an option today, not with state testing. I bully through, like all good teachers do.

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