Hold My Own and Drive*

The new year is creeping up on us. I like to look back at what I made in the year past and think about what I might make in the year future. I already have one quilt in progress that will be done in January (knock on wood), plus two in line behind it that don’t exist even in my head yet…well, the second one does, but only by the seat of its pants. I finished 11 quilts in 2018…one of which was a commission and two of which are tiny, so they don’t really count. Five of the 11 have been in exhibits, which isn’t bad, and I hope the rest will make it out into the world this year. Seven of them were made for specific exhibits in mind, and three of those got into the show they were supposed to be for, which is fine…I’m counting the one or two a year I make for Quilt National and Visions, and I never worry about their not getting in…they will get in somewhere. It’s really just about making a deadline to create a large and meaningful piece.

The one I’m working on now is meant for an exhibit, but can show anywhere. It wanders away from the large and political issues I’ve been working with this last year and goes into my head. Not necessarily a pretty place to be, but that’s what this piece is about and it’s why it had to be made.

The good news on that is that I’ve finished ironing all the pieces to fabric as of about 11:30 PM last night.

There’s a lot of cutting in my future. I’m going to guess about 17 hours of cutting. Realistically, could I be done before I go to Arrowhead next week? Probably not. I have a hike shoved in there and other stuff I need to work on as well. But I’ll get a good chunk of it done, finish it at the cabin, and come back January 3, ready to iron it together. Because then I go back to school and all hell breaks loose and I don’t have as much time to make art again. Ugh. So not ready. One week left. I saved up some of my work to do at the cabin, so no, I haven’t graded anything at all for two days, and barely touched an assignment the two days prior. Oh well. It happens to the best, most motivated of us.

I worked really hard to use as many different fabrics in this quilt as I could. Each head deserved their own vein and heart fabrics. Plus I got to go rooting through bins looking for different stuff. That was fun. Time-consuming, but fun. So this is the most I’ve ever used in a quilt, I think, because normally I try to reuse fabrics throughout the piece to unify it. I don’t need that for this quilt though. No unification needed.

Here’s what 230 fabrics looks like…

The box on the bottom right has all five runs of flesh, one for each figure. They’re all me. I range from pale to pink to purple. Legit. I left out the red I burn in the summer.

I binge-watched the tail end of Fearless and then Seven Seconds, which was troubling and hard to watch, but good. I think I’m going back to The Shield for the cutting stage. Different access to channels in the living room than in my office. I briefly toyed with Derry Girls last night too, which made me laugh. Might be a good plan to watch more of that.

Before I got to do any artmaking last night, I had about 17 errands. I keep saying 17, but of course it was fewer than that. It took 5 hours though, maybe more. This was JoAnns hell. I hate coming here, but there were sales on Wonder Under and batting, and I needed a lot of both. So I waited. And waited.

On all the people who can’t figure out what they need before they get up to the cutting tables, even though they’ve had at least 30 minutes to calculate their shit, plus that one woman who hung out there the whole time, even though her number was well after mine (not in the way or anything). And then the checkout line, with the two old ladies behind me bitching because I wouldn’t let them butt in front of me, because they only had two items (I only had four, and two of them were on the same ticket, so suck me folks.).

That was one of the places I forced myself to go yesterday, and probably the worst, followed by Michaels. Not surprising. But I managed to cross a huge chunk of to-do stuff off the list yesterday (and get nothing else done during the day).

I also washed the quilt that sold over a year ago but was traveling…the future owner is allergic to cats, so I wash at my parents’ house (cat-free) to get rid of the dander (or most of it anyway) and then dry it there, iron it, dehair it as needed, and pack it up there. Seems to work.

I’ll go back in a few days and do all that other stuff so I can ship it off to her. I came back to a sleepy puppy…

He can be a real sweetheart…

When he’s not barking at the zombie apocalypse.

Yesterday’s drawing…more of the spirit animal stuff.

Got my head in that spot, apparently.

Back to the couch around midnight after ironing…communing with three out of the four furry beasts (the other one rarely comes out of my office)…

I didn’t start cutting. I was tired. I went to bed. I feel good that I got all those errands out of the way. There are more of them, I’m sure; there always are, but it was a cathartic moment of crossing things off the list. I finished a bunch of online stuff too, paying for this or that, finding this thing online that I needed. All good. Clearing the way for the new year. May it be full of time for artmaking. Whatever that means.

*Incubus, Drive

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