A Faint Light at the End of a Long Tunnel

Lined with fabric. And batting. With spray baste fumes. And a back that needs a chiropractor. That’s where I’m at. I really really want to be done with this project. I just hope that when I get it all done and transported to the space that it does what I want it to. Because there’s no guarantee that it will. You have a picture in your head, an image. I don’t know if I can get that. With my other quilts, I’ve been doing them long enough that I’m usually pretty sure I’ll get to the picture in my head, maybe even better, but this…this is different. I know that it’s a good thing…this challenging of what I do and how I do it, but it’s still hard…harder yet during the start of the school year AND losing both kids to college. And yes, the house is still a mess. I pick up one thing and put it away while I’m waiting for my tea water to boil. I put two things in the recycle bin when I’m cooking dinner and waiting for the microwave to defrost or the oven to finish preheating. It’s slow, but it’s progress. I can see it. Suspect no one else can. (Not that there are many people coming here, so I guess that’s a good thing.)

Anyway, so I came home from work last night semi-invigorated. I don’t know how or why. I know all that energy ran out early, well before midnight (OK, well, 30 minutes), but I used it while I could. I had a snack when I got home and read a bit of my book (disappointing read…will talk about it when I finish it…maybe it will improve). Then made my tea and came in here and finished a leg.

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It did not take long, maybe 30 minutes. I had been texting the boychild about a walk they always took Calli on; I’d been on it once, but couldn’t remember where the turn-off was. He sent me a map. Nice kid. So I took her on a walk, about 2 miles and a bit. She was tired. You’d think I would be tired too, but apparently not. I finished the other leg. Strangely, it took longer.

Then I put away all the blues and purples, got them out of my way. Well, most of them. There was a cat in a blue drawer, so I couldn’t clean up all of it. Then I started quick drawings of the parts I wanted to add…traced them on Wonder Under (really old shitty WU that I should just throw out, it’s so annoying, I might add)…

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Ironed them to fabric, cut those out, and ironed them on. Yeah. I just wanted one eye.

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The heart in process…I still had all the fabrics piled up from the other big quilt, so I used those. Easy access. No more digging in drawers.

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Ironed them on…

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And a couple of Fallopian tubes and ovaries off of the hole.

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Not complicated. Took less than an hour.

Then I had decided not to stitch around the edge again, but to just trim the piece to about the right size plus a 1/2″ seam. It takes a really long time to stitch around the whole thing and it wouldn’t gain me that much…I’m not too worried about perfection obviously.

This is preparing to trim. You can see the seams on the back.

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And the torso, which gets a bit more complicated…

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It took about 40 minutes to trim the whole thing.

Then for precaution’s sake (WU doesn’t always do a permanent stick on commercial fabrics), I stitched down my parts…really quick.

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Then I was going to hold off and do the next part tomorrow. My original plan anyway. Mom gave me her 505 spray baste and there was no way I was pinbasting this fucker. I’d gone over how I was going to do this in my head about 100 times, because this thing is BIG, even considering washing down the pool deck and laying the whole thing out there on Saturday morning (hard to do it in the dark, but trust me, I considered it)…but when I thought about it, I decided doing bits at a time would be easier. I was trying to use up all my smaller pieces of batting, the long skinny ones that never get used because I make these freakishly huge quilts. And it wasn’t even 10:30. I couldn’t stop then.

So I sprayed the batting and laid the head on top.

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Wow. That was easy. (I should admit I’ve never spray basted before.) Then I trimmed that section, and moved the batting up on the board, and sprayed the next bit.

It worked pretty well. I even got the hole cut out.

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And then I ran out of spray baste at about 11:30. Good thing, because I was exhausted by then. Physically about to fall over. I was piecing batting in by then…the legs and torso were wider than that piece, and I still have to go back and finish both arms, but the body is ironed except for part of one leg. And there’s a bit on one side that needs to be pieced in. And my parents are out of town, but mom has three more partial cans (really?!) hiding about her house and she emailed me their locations, so I’m going to break in, steal all their (non-chocolate) cookies and her spray cans and race back here (OK, first I’m going to finish the cup of tea that is helping me function right now and then shower and probably even put a bra on, I know, TMI, but I’m really tired of those things, and I should probably eat something besides cookies).

Did I mention I cooked dinner in there somewhere too? From scratch? OK, it wasn’t complicated, but I did it, and I should get points for that. Before I trimmed, I cooked. Four plus hours of artmaking plus dinner from scratch plus walking the dog. Yeah. I rock. Some days. Some days I roll and some days I barely function, but yesterday was a rock day.

Hopefully today will be too, until later, when I can relax with zombies and maybe dinner and a glass of wine. Or something.

I can see the damn light at the end of the tunnel finally. Barely, and it’s flickering like a bitch, but I can see it if I squint.

One thought on “A Faint Light at the End of a Long Tunnel

  1. I bought my first yard of Wonder Under yesterday and thought of you the whole time. You’ve inspired me to reach outside of my creative box. Even my hubby is in on this new adventure! Thanks for sharing your art and challenging me to get off my ass and try something new!


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