Something Manageable

I need to start the next quilt. I apparently thought I had until March. I do not. I have until January. Uh huh. OK. Oh yeah. It needs to be SMALLER, Nida. Seriously. No freaking big monsters of a quilt right now. Something MANAGEABLE (unlike maybe my day job). I have it half drawn in my head. Can I do it without intense detail? I mean, I can make things smaller and STILL put 3000 pieces in them unfortunately. It’s OK. I got this. I might lose my mind while doing it, but I got this.

So it’s been a remarkably shitty week for making art. I still haven’t put the binding on the current quilt. I keep track of my daily hours on specific art tasks, although I don’t count sewing on labels or other prep to send stuff to shows, and that’s all I’ve done this week. In the last 7 days, I’ve spent barely an hour on art stuff and that just fucking sucks. I know I’ve done some fun stuff this week too that has taken up my available time (the cat just deleted that whole sentence by laying her head on the keyboard, and then was offended when I pulled it out from under her), but it still feels shitty. Grades are due Tuesday and I was hoping to keep this weekend free…excuse me while I hysterically laugh myself under the desk because I have so much grading to do and I haven’t even really lesson planned next week for 8th grade, and we’re camping next weekend, so I need to be able to plan out the following week as well, OMG, I can’t breathe. This weekend is fucked. All the weekends are fucked. So are the random holidays, even the week off, it’s fucked.

In good news, I did manage to get that label on the quilt I need to ship…

Took me almost all damn week just to label it, clean the cat hair off of it, cut slats, roll it, and box it up. Sad but true. The bindings for the other two quilts are still sitting over here, waiting to be sewn on. Hopefully tonight and tomorrow. Handsewing is easier to do in little chunks. I have to commit a big chunk of time to sew bindings on. I don’t want to stop halfway to go to bed. I guess I could, but it seems silly.

Wednesday night…I graded stuff and then dehaired the quilt. Thursday night I went to the Jurassic World Exhibition…free educator night (they want us to bring field trips)…

You know me, I’m finding typos…check out the Data Chanel…

It was cool. I had a really shitty day with the kids, really hard, walk away and try not to cry, quit your job, and go work somewhere that you don’t have to bring home with you every day kinda day. But the dinos made it better…

Also might have been hanging out with coworkers in a less stressful environment. Yes, dinosaur attacks are way less stressful than middle school classrooms right now. So that helped last night. Then spent a couple hours talking to stitching friends…and actually doing some stitching! WTF. I know. All I did was the curtains…

They’re fancy. Buttonhole stitch needle lace thingies. Luna was impressed.

Then I speed graded after that. And then came in and packed the quilt into a box, got a UPS label, and went to bed.

Today repeat. Well. No dinosaurs, but art opening tonight in Liberty Station. Then dinner out. Then hopefully some quick grading and some bindings to sew. I AM going to my quilt guild meeting tomorrow. I will bring the iPad and speed grade on that. Brainless effort stuff. Super fast. I want to hike tomorrow too. It’s been a while. Driving me crazy not getting out into nature and exerting myself. Then start drawing the next quilt. Make it fit on one page for once. I used to know how to do that.

I appreciate the colorful mornings right now. I realize I will lose them again after Sunday’s time change, but I will appreciate the fuck out of that extra hour.

And next week…hopefully there will be more art (sketchbook while camping!) and fewer stressful days at school. It’s been easier in the last few weeks, but the last two days were shit. Wish me luck today. I don’t have a lot of hope for it, unfortunately, but that’s because we’re making kids do hard things, and this group I have has a hard time with hard things. Sigh.

Some Deadlines..

Ah yes. The middle of the week. Hello. Panic time? Maybe. The gradebook looms not-so-gently over me, breathing down my neck. As always. Maybe more so this week, because I really don’t want to grade all weekend. I might have to, but I don’t want to. I need to get a little ahead in planning 8th grade too, because I’ll be camping next weekend with no cell service, so that just needs to be ready to go. Ha! I don’t know how that will magically happen, because I either have time to plan or time to grade, and rarely time enough for both. Hence the problem this year.

I still haven’t gotten bindings on either quilt. Two nights ago, after grading a bunch, I managed to START the label for my Quilt National quilt…

Did not finish it. Did not get it packed up yet. Need to ship it, but need time to get it ready. Tonight! IDK how I will ship Thursday, though. I’m booked. We’ll see. Maybe I can persuade someone here to drive it to the UPS Store. Ugh.

Last night, I went to the opera with a friend…an opera about Frida Kahlo…

They had a big party set up out front before it, but we mostly missed that…

It was a school night…

We ended up magically sitting next to one of our coworkers from school. She has a season pass. Surprising coincidence!

I’m hoping for more art tonight…my own stuff…it was cool to see actors dressed up as Kahlo’s paintings, and the one of Diego’s paintings that they reproduced with humans…also cool.

My work bag. And Nova.

There’s been a lot of cat activity: playing, sitting in things, all that stuff. With the other dog gone, they seem to be out and about, ready for fun.

The Man and I on Halloween, matching (not really) skellies…

Mine glows in the dark. Realized that when I went to bed. Fun stuff.

Halloween night sky…

Of course, today, it’s all clouds. Rain coming. It’s good; we need it.

Ugh. Tired. Lab today in 8th grade…I managed to tie strings through straws and attach them to chairs and handles yesterday afternoon. I’ll have to deconstruct it all before 7th grade comes in after lunch. AND eat. And pee. Plus hopefully fetch more lab stuff from the 8th-grade classroom across the quad, plus deliver back all the stuff I have in my room. And grade. Lots of that. I’m really looking forward to having a week off, although I’ll be taking home units to grade and other stuff. So yeah, it’s never quick and easy. At least I know what I’m doing in 7th grade, even though it’s hard, sometimes almost impossible. Ugh.

OK. Parent meeting this morning, other parent has been sorted. Labs and activity all day. Pilates. I am cooking dinner tonight. I’m also getting this quilt packed up. If there’s time after all that (and probably a little grading), I will happily sew bindings on…because this machine is going in to get cleaned on Monday, so I need the bindings on before then. It’s good to have some deadlines I might be able to meet.

At the End…

Good morning, ye who have probably slept. Well done you! The crazy brain shenanigans plus coyotes and puppies who think they need to vanquish them, plus the remaining phlegmy cough of my bedmate…sigh. That said, things are progressing here. I finished quilting finally! A miracle, to be sure.

Over 16 hours in there. That’s a lot. Then I cleaned the floor and trimmed the quilt…

One of the reasons I would clean a floor…to deal with a quilt.

Then I wore it for #quiltyghost…

Originally, I was like, oh let’s do an art quilt for this challenge, and then the Man realized that the body fit right where I was (she’s a little taller)…

Even has my glasses on. Then last night, I cut the binding and sleeve fabrics…more donated fabric for the sleeves. I’m trying really hard not to buy fabric unless I have to. Hard when that’s my go-to for when I have a shitty week. Luckily the fabric store is rarely open when I can go…still…it’s better that way.

Hopefully I’ll get the binding sewn on tonight, although I need to prep my Quilt National quilt to ship too, so we’ll see.

I also trimmed the bed quilt from the summer…

‘Tis huge. And then I cut the binding for it as well, which I had bought back in 2006 or whenever I started this beast. Probably I need to make some pillowcases too.

I also did a lot of school stuff, mostly grading. I didn’t get enough done. I never do…but grades are due in a week, so I need to be done at some point. Or some version of done.

Saturday night, I had the dogs out to pee, and I just happened to look up into our tree…I’d heard a barn owl the other night, just one screech, unlike the Great Horned owls I’m hearing all the time.

It’s either one of the parents of our three, or one of our three! OK, I know it might not be, but they do return to their hunting grounds. So it’s probably mom or dad. I went back inside, put the dogs in, got my phone, and came back, and they were still there, staring at me, waiting for their picture. I obliged. Beautiful birds. Noisy as fuck when they’re babies, but beautiful.

Someone asked about Nova and Luna…they’ve been hiding while Katie (my parents’ dog) was here. Although Katie is pretty chill in her older age, these two still aren’t fans. So we moved their cage into the bedroom to give them a safe space. I did catch them on Sunday hanging out though…

And the night before, the Man was playing a late show, so it was just me, Luna, and Simba for a while…well, Katie was on the floor, not sure where Nova was, and my cat has been living in my office lately.

I finished a book…not gonna recommend it. It was OK. But I liked this…

It was a horror novel for book club; we read horror every October. Here’s the section a lot of people highlighted…

Which is what I’m teaching right now in 7th grade, so that’s always interesting, the connections.

This bug was tiny…took me about 5 minutes just to get my phone camera to decide it existed and it could focus on it.

On Sunday, I also did a Zoom artists talk for Quilt Visions with Libby Williamson and Wen Redmond. If you pay for the series, you get to see all of them. They are all recorded, which is probably how I will be able to see most of them.

There are 8 total. You can purchase the pass here…I figure that’s one of the ways I can support the museum, since they don’t have entry fees any more. Plus then I get to watch all the videos.

OK. Well work calls. Like a rusty barn door about to fall off its hinges. I did not grade all the things. I’m not even sure I posted all the things I need for today. And there’s a parent phone call I might have to make that is not how I want to spend even one minute of my day. Parents who harass. Fun stuff. But quilt stuff at the end, so that’s good, and I have my skeleton t-shirt on (that’s as dressed up as I can handle today). There’s only a few kids who come to our door, so we have a small stash of candy for later. Hopefully someone will sweep the steps before the littles show up.

Unfolding

Kitten bit my arm this morning. Left a mark. Why? I was grabbing her food bowl…her empty food bowl. To fill it. I don’t understand why that’s a biteable offense, but there you are. She is a calico cat. They have their own rules.

I’m supposed to be on the Quilt Visions Zoom on Sunday, if you’re interested. It’s not free, unfortunately, but I get it…they need to stay up and running and they don’t charge to get in anymore. You can find info here. I pay for the season pass so I can watch all the other ones, since most of them are during the school day. I like listening to artists talk about their work.

I had an opening last night of Allied Craftsmen: Unfolding, an exhibit at the Rose Gallery at Francis Parker School. It’s a funky show…Allied Craftsmen always has a great mix of different media and materials that makes it super interesting. I will post more later (I have to leave early today; getting a ride to school), but here are mine with others…

I absolutely sucked at getting names of things. That’s my Eyeball Tree with Judith Christenson’s piece (with a poet…like I said, I sucked at getting names).

This one I can do: Nakedman (mine), then a piece by Cheryl Tall, A Year in the Leaf, an artist’s book by Charlotte Bird, and Kathleen Mitchell’s glass Revealed in the front.

I talked for a while with three art teachers, all male, who had so many questions about quilt art and fabrics. One compared it to music and talked about how they are paintings. It was cool.

Also my BirdFoot through the fronts of Linda Litteral’s piece.

Which I again forgot to get the name of. In my excuse, I came directly from teaching all day and was only slightly functional. Functional enough to remember another pair of pants, because it was Pajama Day at school.

Here are the backs of some of Linda’s inscrutable faces though…kid drawings.

A truly beautiful piece. I’ll post more of this show when I can. It’s up through mid-December, I think.

OK. Exhausted. Must be a Friday. Must be a day, actually. I do sleep better as the week goes on…my body is like You. Will. Sleep. And then I do. All my classes are getting assessments today (quiz for 8th grade, written academic for 7th). I don’t expect excellence today. I hope for it, but it’ll probably be a little rough. I only finished planning and posting stuff for today at 9 PM last night. Done with this year. Totally.

I’m busy this weekend: dentist, grading, lesson planning, artist talk, parents are home! So dog will be gone. She’ll be happy to have them back. She’s not a bad dog…it’s just an adjustment for everyone. OK. Oh yeah…I did quilt a bit last night. Not enough. So much for being done in two days. Ha! Welcome to life.

Someday I will probably sew this cat into a quilt because she’s messing around back there. Hasn’t happened yet. Lucky cat.

Achievement Unlocked…

It’s weird. On the one hand, I seem to have missed most of the month of October. Busy as hell, not chill, no relaxation, very little down time. Pro: Time in this hellacious school year seems to be moving quite fast. Con: Time seems to be moving quite fast. I can’t get everything done. There’s probably a movie about this. Or a song. I don’t have time to look it up though. I get to the end of the day, and I realize, oh shit, I still haven’t called the vet for the cat’s retest or the sewing machine shop to get my machine cleaned, and now they are closed. Fuck. OK. Write it down for tomorrow. Do over! Except tomorrow is just as nuts. I realized yesterday that the end-of-trimester grades are due in less than 2 weeks. FUUUCK. I’m so behind. So I forced myself to grade one class of the harder assignments last night. I can do it in chunks. But either I lesson plan and kids have work to do or I grade and kids have grades. I’m having a hard time finding a place in the middle where they have both those things AND I get to exercise, eat, sleep, and (most importantly) make art. I stood at a school-board meeting last night for over an hour, listening to them bitch at each other, so we could explain to them that not offering us cost-of-living at the very least is a pay cut. They started at 2.5%. Inflation is 8.2%. We all have to pay our bills, pay for gas, food, school supplies (that’s kicking MY butt) out of our salaries. The district next door to us would pay me $12K more a year. Can’t afford to move to it, because I would lose most of my years. Such a stupid system. Of course, they do it to make us stay. So I spend valuable grading time staring at the school board and wondering why teachers have to fight so hard for a fair wage. Then I come home and grade. Unpaid. Yeah. Stupid system.

I do have some cool stuff coming up…there’s an art opening at Francis Parker School on Thursday from 5-7 PM. I’m coming straight from school, so I will need to bring extra pants to school, because it’s pajama day. It’s also bargaining, so I have to wear red. I decided to splurge ($20) on a pair of red pajamas to solve that problem. They have pockets. That’s a plus.

Meanwhile, I’m getting so close (but still not done) on the quilt. I forget that on a big quilt, the trip around the borders is LONG. It was about 10:15 last night, and I’m like, shit, I’m not even going to make it down one side. So I stayed up a little later and made it down one side. Achievement Unlocked! The night before, I did a bunch of the little bits in the center, filling spaces, and then started on the right side…

Not totally sold on the variegated thread. It will be fine from a distance. But damn, this thread is linty as shit. I feel like I need to up my thread game, but I don’t know where to start. Ah well. The rayons shred like crazy, but less lint. My local quilt stores focus more on embroidery threads than quilting threads. And everybody has their favorites. I may just go back to rayon when this is done.

So I finished half of the right side, then the bottom to there. Almost to the edge. Then around that corner, across the top, and down the rest of the right side. Feels like two nights. Then trim and bind. Got a crown that needs replacing (that’s not cheap) that will take up time on Saturday, the Man has a show (still don’t know if I can/want to crash it), plus lesson planning and grading. Neverending. Plus those two damn phone calls. I didn’t even finish my calendar bullet journal thing for this week, Sunday was that bad. Sigh.

But I got to cuddle with this guy last night…

It’s been chilly at night and in the morning. He’s warm and nice.

And the old lady is usually around somewhere…

Sometimes she’s just a little too much in my space. Funny, because this morning, I don’t know where she is. Gonna have to chase her down to give her meds.

OK, running a lab in 8th grade, cars on ramps, speed calculations. In 7th grade, plate tectonics stations. I had no aide yesterday in two high-needs classes, and I teach one station while the other two APPARENTLY work independently. Only if I glare at them. I have to get through two groups today, even if it kills me (and it might). I hate the sub shortage. They pull my SECA to help kids who need more help (I get it) and they don’t tell me, so I can’t even shift the class into a less needy situation (we have a lesson for this week that is whole group), because I don’t even know she’s not showing up until like 10 minutes into class and she’s not there. So frustrating. Odds are I will have to cover someone’s class during my prep tomorrow or Friday…lots of teachers out, few subs. I’m next on the list. So when do I grade/prep? At home. At night. On the weekends. Starting to think about the next quilt though. My brain is all over the place, mostly tired thoughts honestly. Quilts of women sleeping while chaos abounds around them. Wishful thinking.

Mostly a Blur…

Seems like last week was mostly a blur. I don’t expect much more of this week. I’ve got meetings and art openings and a shit-ton of work (that never seems to go away). I graded literally nothing this weekend, because I was planning for about 10 hours instead. TEN HOURS. Not kidding. Both days. Making labs make sense…I still have one I dreamed about and need to fix again. I had to review an entire engineering design project and backwards plan it into the calendar to realize I don’t have time to get it done before Thanksgiving Break. I should probably be panicking about grades as well. Again. Still. I just can’t get caught up. At all. Pretty sure I’ll have to sub on my prep period one day this week…too many people out, not enough subs.

I try to finish working by 8:30 PM…9:30 if it’s really bad. I’d like to go to the gym tonight, but grading. Fuuuuck. And the stuff I’ve ordered for labs is taking months to get to me. So frustrated right now. So overwhelmed. So the gym is a necessity really.

I did get quilting in every night…but man, gone are the days when I’d quilt all Saturday afternoon. It was even cold and cloudy…perfect weather for that. Instead, I redesigned labs and made sure I had all the materials and that everything made sense.

Friday night’s quilting.

More words. Then Saturday night, onto the body below…

Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Dickhead.

Then last night, I finished up the outline quilting…

Which always takes the longest…

NOT a small piece. And started the background quilting…

I usually quilt with a rayon thread. I don’t know why…I’ve been doing it long enough that I’ve forgotten why. It has a bit of shine which makes it stand out better than a cotton? But I didn’t feel like driving all the way to JoAnns on Saturday (I hate Joanns…or JoAnn, as it is now), and my local quilt store only had cotton, so I got one solid and one variegated. I don’t usually use a variegated thread in the art quilts. Too much distraction from the image, but I think it’ll be fine. Just a little bit of light in some areas. Totally unpredictable areas. I got a chunk of the center part quilted, in between body parts.

Need to do all around the edges. Maybe done tonight? Probably tomorrow night. Then trim and bind. I did buy the binding on Saturday, because all the quilt stores close too freakin’ early during the work week. Such a pain. But it’s pretty close to done. Finally. Seriously. Two months later than I had hoped. This job is kicking my ass this year. Worse than last year. Makes me wanna cry sometimes. OK, more than sometimes. A lot. Science co-teacher is back the 7th of November. IDK what he’s gonna start with, though…probably won’t be on the same page as me, because his sub has been working with the other 8th-grade teacher. Oh well. It’s someone. A warm body (BRAIN!) who might be able and willing to help.

This is what I taught Friday…

OK, not really, and certainly the density explanation is a little weak, but I they were writing and I was trying to get them to see the difference between the two words. The destiny of the blocks is to be dumped over and over into the water. Their density was something totally different.

Simba gets it.

He’s so cute for a middle-aged man.

I updated my Current Shows tab up there for all the crazy stuff that’s happening right now. Shows here and there, shows everywhere! I think there are 9 pieces out? Maybe more. Two openings this week, another next week. Then three maybe four more pieces going out for next year. Need to make more. Need to go to work first. Dammit.

All Through It and Beyond

Oh my. Hello Friday. Bless you for your existence. Although school has been OK this week. Busy as shit and still buried in lesson planning, but the kids have been (knock on fucking wood) OK. It’s been a decent week. Engaged in labs, doing things. It’s exhausting on my end, but they learn, so that’s good. My 15,000-step days aside…and I have no clue what I’m teaching in 8th grade next week. MINOR ISSUE.

I’ve gotten a lot of quilting done this week, mostly last night, when I had a stitching Zoom and stitched all through it and beyond. I’ve seen video of one exhibit going up where I have work…

Allied Craftsmen’s show Unfolding opens at the Rose Gallery at Francis Parker School on Thursday October 27 from 5-7 PM. I have three pieces in the show.

Then WE Gallery has a show, Portraits from the Anthropocene, opening at Dance Place in Liberty Station on Friday, November 4, starting at 5:30 PM. I have two in that show.

There’s one of mine on the left. So lots of chances to see my work locally at the moment.

Meanwhile, I’m still quilting…although almost done with the outlining (by almost, I mean I have another 2 hours probably)…

Up the body…

To the little head and the big head…

Looking good…and on to the other big head…

Need to buy thread for the background today; I have nothing that will work. Also need to get a shit ton of work done this weekend, but hopefully also finish quilting this and get a binding on it. Shit. Probably need to buy binding fabric. Pretty sure I don’t have anything big enough. Hmmm. Maybe that fabric I used for the lettering? I probably don’t have enough of it. OK. Plans.

Yesterday morning was nice. This morning is foggy/cloudy. Or something.

OK. To school. Manage the stuff and things. Try not to react to the stupid stuff. Get through the other stuff. Get it done. Get thread. Water the parents’ house and get their mail. Still haven’t heard from them. Ah well. I feel like the tour operator would tell me if something happened, yeah? Maybe not. And start thinking about the next quilt! It’s gonna be smaller, I swear. I have one small piece that I keep putting together in my head as I fall asleep, totally different style. Maybe should do that.

This Feeling of Sinking…

Oh my. Yesterday was lab lab lab lab lab. Three labs with bowling balls and 2-liter bottles of water (bowling for physics)…

The kids did really well and mostly understood the concepts of inertia and force that were part of it. Plus we got to be outside and moving around. And I made it a competition and paid the top 2 teams with food. If you are a middle-school teacher, you bribe. Constantly. And reward. I’m sure there’s a clear line between bribe and reward (or is there…). Here’s what needs to be put away today…

The other two classes were measuring volume, so I made them do math and they did it! Plus measuring things. All good. It was strangely a good (but exhausting) day. There were very few behavior issues. I was kinda floored. Because my co-teacher? Not so much next door. Some crazy going on there. I guess knock on wood and accept that today will not be better. It’s a rough year for behaviors…I feel like it should be better than last year, but I don’t think it is. At all. Then again, I didn’t have the absolutely sucky group last year. My boss thinks we’ve got 5 years of maladjusted behavior coming because of the pandemic. I feel like the littles will probably be OK…and I’m getting pretty close to retirement in 5 years. I probably won’t notice how they suddenly become amazing. My current 8th graders are actually OK…it’s just the curriculum that’s a problem.

By the time I was done for the day and had to head to the dentist, I was exhausted though. Had the teeth cleaned, got the news that yet another crown/filling thing is failing and will need replacing ($300-500 a pop…already got one scheduled for two weeks from now). That’s not fun. It’s just expensive. Came home, watered some plants, then graded an assignment. Including translation from Swahili. Which I think she copied from somewhere. English to Swahili to English. Only got two classes done. Got stopped by the Swahili for a bit, then finished that class (because the kids in there freak the fuck out if I have it half done for any period of time). I’ll get the other class done today. Trying to get caught up. I hate this feeling of sinking that I’m getting. I sort of know what I’m teaching today in 8th grade. But not tomorrow. I should figure that out. And next week is a total disaster. I need head space to consider things and process. I never get it.

I have managed an hour of quilting each night, which has been nice.

It’s not fast, but it’s meditative. I had book club Monday night, so I stitched during that…

Sue Spargo’s Homegrown quilt. I’m not moving very fast on it.

Then last night, more quilting…

I still have a ton left to do…the top part of the torso and her head, the two big heads, and the three figures on the bottom. Then the background. Not gonna be done any time soon. But I think I have time tonight? I don’t even know what day it is. Problematic. Today is independent and dependent variables, then speed and velocity (not a lab yet…that’s Friday) plus triple-beam balances for mass in the 7th grade. That’s gonna be a challenge.

OK, well gotta go to school to find out about the threat someone made to our campus yesterday. Fun stuff. Welcome to teaching! You are never done, no one gives you money to buy materials, the district sits on your orders for over a month instead of delivering them promptly, and people threaten to destroy the school and/or the people on a regular basis. Gotta love it.

Art-Filled Weekend…

It was an art-filled weekend…and somehow I managed to get a healthy chunk of grading done too. I’m only planned for one grade through Wednesday, maybe, though, so something fell through the cracks. Or I just don’t know how much I can get done in the next two days, so I need to play it by ear. Scary when you’re doing labs though. I need those planned ahead of time. But the lab I was going to do Tuesday, I need to be able to prep before school or after the day before, and I can’t do that for Tuesday…staff meetings and parent meeting. So it got pushed to Wednesday and the thing before it takes up an unknown amount of time. So there’s that. Scrambling a bit.

Quilt Visions opened this weekend. I made it to Friday night’s preview, Saturday morning’s opening and my ‘stand-in-front-of-my-quilt’ time (which was really a long, interesting conversation with one of the other artists), and the dinner on Saturday night. The best part of any of these events is talking to other artists; I really enjoyed that.

I especially enjoyed hanging out with Sheila Frampton Cooper; hadn’t seen much of her since she moved to France, but now she’s back.

I tried to take photos of the space more than the quilts…really, seeing them in person is always better.

Niraja Lorenz won Best of Show with this fascinating piece; I enjoyed talking to her about it (although forgot to get a photo of her)…

Visions is not a huge space…

But they managed the show well…here is Dianne Firth’s piece, always cool to see the shadows her work makes…

And Irene Roderick drew on hers! I loved that bit…

The wall with my piece and two other interesting pieces…

Phil Jones’ heart…

Another view…

A closeup of Libby Williamson’s piece…

And look! I actually took a picture of a piece with the artist.

Sometimes my brain works.

I had a cool conversation with Susan Lapham of the second quilt from the left.

There are a couple of sections I just didn’t remember to photograph…

I tried!

Meanwhile, I did come home on Saturday and pinbasted the current quilt…

After finishing stitchdown on Friday night with Kitten’s interference…

The last time this will be seen…

Before it’s sewn into the quilt…

Pinbasting on my knees is never really fun, but this was quick…

Mostly because I had a deadline to be back at Visions for dinner…

I raided the stash of another quilter who left me a bunch of fabric when she moved…found two full yards of fabric to piece for the backing…

I was playing with all these pieces when I realized I only needed the purple and the green. Good use of them.

The dogs have been playing a bit. Sort of. Mostly Simba trying to play and Katie yelling about it.

Poor Simba…

Last night, I started quilting finally…only about 6 weeks after my original plan.

Still with Kitten in the way…

This week is a little chaotic, so I’m hoping to get an hour done a night, maybe a little more. But we’ll see. I do need to get to school, though, even though I have a few more photos of the show that need resizing, and normally I would add all the names and links. I’ll try to add those later. But for now, need to get to school and do a lab and I don’t remember what else. Yikes. I wish I had a better handle on it. But I don’t.

Aspirational Batting

Quilt Visions opens tonight…looking forward to seeing the whole show. Looking forward to my abortion-rights piece being out in the world. I started it about a year ago in reaction to Texas tightening up abortion laws. I really wasn’t thinking Roe v Wade would be a memory by the time I got it into a show.

My Body. My Choice. Lots of yelling in this quilt. It was a traumatic, stressful quilt to make. So much so that the next piece is all just pretty. That one got into Quilt National. Not bad for two quilts made in a year when I didn’t make much.

I will be at the preview opening tonight, the members’ opening tomorrow, my art time from 10:30-11, and then the show is open through January. Check it out! It’s always an honor to get into these shows…one I didn’t think I could attain 25-30 years ago. So that’s cool.

On average, I finish about 6 good-sized quilts a year. COVID has kicked my ass on that number. Well, COVID was the initial cause, but now it’s just my teaching job that does it. In 2020, I did make 6 pieces, but two were 12″ square or less. So 4 good-sized quilts. There were 8 in 2021, but two were small (12″ square or less) and one was a final finish on a quilt from 2001 or so. Two of the other 5 were relatively small pieces for me. This year? This year is fucked up for some reason. I’m on the 4th quilt of the year, but they have all been big, hefty beasts. That said, I finished the first one in January (it’s the one in Visions), and then the next one took me 6 freaking months to get out (the one in Quilt National)…then one over the summer, finished by the end of July, and this one, which I don’t even think is that big, is taking for-freakin-ever. I started it the end of July, early August, and I’m still not done. It’s the piddly I-can’t-even-work-for-an-hour shit that’s killing me. I did get exactly an hour last night, because I went to bed later. But I’m so frustrated. I so need more art time. I don’t know what is going to give (probably my sanity), because it’s not like I can just wing the day job. There is no useful curriculum that makes sense. So completely frustrated.

Sigh. The plus is that I’m getting closer to done on the stitchdown. Here’s Wednesday night…

I made it to the last head! I basically went in a big circle. And last night, I got one arm and her upper torso half done.

I’m pretty sure the other arm is half done? Maybe? Or not. So finish the torso and the left arm, and then I can sandwich it and start quilting. I bought batting on Monday. Let’s call it aspirational batting, because I thought I would be sandwiching earlier this week. Maybe not. I have a shit ton of work to do this weekend in between all the Visions things (which I’m really excited about!), but next weekend is pretty wide open. I’m hoping to finish stitchdown in the next couple of days, then sandwich is an hour or so, then get quilting this week. Stitchdown is taking longer than I thought it would (all those letters!)…I’m well into the 7th hour and have at least another hour, possibly two to go. So I am getting there…but I’m also evaluating the upcoming shows and seeing what I have that can be in those shows so I don’t have to make new work. I WANT to make new work, but let’s talk reality…I need to (1) make smaller work, (2) stop sleeping, or (3) quit the day job (can’t afford to do that yet). So that. Yes.

OK. School. Be efficient. Be be efficient. Don’t let the 7th graders get you down. Deal with the parents’ stuff this afternoon (was supposed to do it yesterday; didn’t happen). Enjoy the art time with other people this weekend…it doesn’t happen as often as I need or want, so enjoy. Get as caught up as possible this weekend. Keep making art.