She Totally Confused All the Passing Piranhas*

December 10, 2016

You know what’s annoying? Every time we make some sort of laminated card thing for class, where every table gets X number of cards in a bag and then they have to do stuff with them…every single damn time, we end up with cards getting lost. We laminate them because we want to reuse them every year, but middle-schoolers basically guarantee that we will have to first of all, count every damn bag out (this is what a TA is for), then figure out what card or cards are missing from each bag, and then make X number of extra sets to fill in the blanks. I hate that shit. It’s an organizing nightmare, and we don’t have time for it. At all.

Yes, there are only five days of school until Winter Break. I thought I was getting this huge copyediting job this Tuesday, and I knew break was going to be difficult. Hard to find time for art, because I would have to work. And both kids are coming home. But then that job got pushed out…again…I think that’s the third time. And now break is free (well as free as it ever is…still gotta grade). So that’s a bit of a relief. I’m trying not to think about how I’m going to do that copyediting job without any vacation time to focus on it, but whatever. I’ll deal with that when it actually shows up.

Meanwhile, our students are going bonkers because it’s almost break and Christmas and all that. I did remind them that not everyone does Christmas. What?! Their shock was evident. The bonkers kid behavior is not pleasant. Teachers do not enjoy that. I guess the fact that they will have to take home progress reports next week might help, but not based on what I’ve seen in the last week.

My patience is worn thin. I know it, at least, and try to make myself relax as much as I can, both during school and after school. I feel like all I do at school is hug kids and wipe tears some days, and I’m not really the mama bear on campus. So you know they’re desperate. I’m the one you come to for sex ed or weird science questions…

Anyway, so I was motivated last night to get through grades (I still have about 100 emails to deal with), so that took a few hours. I also wanted to get a tree, but last year, I got zero help from the kids in decorating it, and I also knew I didn’t want another big tree, because between having my (not elderly…they’re not…but knee surgeries etc means they shouldn’t be down on the floor trying to make the tree stand straight) parents help and doing it myself, plus the puppy…I’m pretty sure he will just want to take all the ball-shaped ornaments and destroy them…so I knew it needed to be up off the ground and smaller. I can’t put it on my light table, dammit, because I need that. So I have this desk that I’ve wanted to clear off for a while. It has a pile of crap (they always do) and the third computer in the house, one that’s never used. So I unhooked everything and moved it around, clearing the surface.

And like all trees, within about 5 minutes of getting it up there, one cat appeared.

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The next one was not far behind.

It was still not easy to get everything out of the garage…I start thinking about what needs to happen before I get really old (I barely got the Xmas decoration box down without braining myself). My SIL said I should separate out all the kids’ ornaments this year into one box for each kid (she’s already done this, and her kids are 5+ years younger than mine) so that when they do move out, it’s not a pain to figure out what’s what. That would help. Smaller containers too…and not on the top shelf. But all that means trying to clear out the garage, which just terrifies me. It does need help.

Now did I get lights on the tree? Hell no. Too tired. Ate dinner, finished some section of the grading (probably 4 or 5 more hours to go, unfortunately)…and then sat down. Within seconds, I had Simba and Midnight competing for lap space. He used to bite her, but then I started praising his boisterous ear cleaning, which Midnight actually seems to like. So now he does it all the time. Her ears are very clean. Sparkling even.

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But none of this behavior is conducive to my getting anything done. She eventually settled on one side…

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With him on the other. Room for the sketchbook. Awesome.

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At some point, I realized I was too tired to draw, though, so another early night. Trying to stay well and get what I need. It’s a difficult balance. Today especially…going to an educator meeting to prepare for the next four years of attacks. Mind-boggling looking at the people being chosen to lead us, people with no experience in reality. One of my high-school classmates posted some idiotic statement about the new Secretary of Education, that she must be good because the teacher unions were going nuts. Sigh. So yes, I refrained from bitch-slapping him, because I reminded myself that he was ignorant. Many people are. And if you think deVos is a good choice, come spend a week in my classroom and see what it’s really like. I have to deal with enough clueless people at my job (OK, most of them are 12, but not ALL of them). You should educate yourself before you spout nonsense. And the attacks on science annoy me too. No one on any governmental science committee should NOT be a scientist. Fire their asses. They’re incompetent and ignorant. Should be a good meeting.

But here’s where I got last night. I think I’m ready to enlarge this part and add to the top and bottom…well, and sides. Yeah. Which means not sitting on the couch, unfortunately…but whatever. Puppy will miss me.

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Midnight will just try to sit on the drawing. She vomited on the last one. That was nice. Yeah. And I think I have three social things tonight, although one is with total strangers, crashing another company party (actually I think I’m allowed to crash this one). I’m going to take my stitching to the educator meeting to keep me calm and focused.

As far as finishing the drawing, I think it’s going to be a few days at least. I might get time this afternoon, but I doubt it. And I draw better at night for some reason…so if I finish grades, Sunday night? Anyway, maybe I’ll be tracing sometime this week? I hope so. I want this one done by the end of Winter Break. Seriously. That’s crazy, of course, but it’s what I want. Maybe I’ll be uber-efficient on vacation for once. You never know. It could happen.

*The Presidents of the United States of America, Lump


Or So I’ve Been Told*

December 9, 2016

So I’m trying to avoid all the illnesses that are flowing through my school. I can’t afford to be sick. Well, no one can, it’s true…but with grades due and having to plan lessons out into late January right now, I’m feeling some pressure to be on top of my game every single day. And I’m tired. I went to bed early last night…I graded all night basically and I didn’t have any energy to try and art after all that. (Plus I just sneezed. Massively. Not good.)

I did get good news yesterday though. I was sitting there, trying to write a quiz for next week that didn’t involve asking a question about unicorn farts (although there is a unicorn question in there), and a ton of my quilt art friends were posting about getting into the big 50 years of art quilts retrospective book. And I’m scrolling through my email, going, dammit, I didn’t get in. No email. Well that sucks. Because that would be a cool thing to get into, right? I checked again at lunch…no email…and then I Google it, because who knows, maybe the email is lost or in my spam and I can’t see that on my phone. I think I scared the crap out of my coworkers because I yelled pretty loud when I found the list. So I’m in. Which is cool.

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I actually entered 3 decades, because I made my first art quilt in the 90s. I’ve been quilting since I was 23 years old. Art quilts. Yeah. Long time. So it’s starting to feel like I have a place in the art quilt world. Sort of. Because I still upset people without even trying to do so. But whatever. That part is sometimes hurtful, but since I pretty much make art in my head and live up there without interacting with humans, except at school…and here…online…it probably doesn’t really matter if Joan in Virginia hates me for my vulvas (except she calls them vaginas, because she doesn’t have a science background) or Milly in Michigan is still trying to find a penis in my quilt. If I knew who that woman was, I’d make her a little penis quilt that she could carry in her purse, so she could hold it up to the other quilts she sees, just so she’d know what they really look like. Yeah. I’m not really wasting time on that.

My school is doing an art contest, and one of the staff (who is very well-meaning) was trying to get me to come on the broadcast and show an appropriate piece of my art (there aren’t a lot, but there are a few), and I had to explain the ramifications of that. Because if the students Google me (and maybe they do already and just don’t tell me), I could have parent complaints threaten my job…because of the work itself, because of the nasty things some people have written about me. And I can’t afford to have an issue with my job. Funny that it didn’t even cross her mind…and it’s always on mine.

Yesterday was photosynthesis. We did this lab I’ve never done before (I’ve never really taught photosynthesis) and it was very cool, but I realized this morning that I didn’t really understand why we had added one reactant.

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See the bubbles? YAASSSS.

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So this morning, I’m looking that shit up. And I made a little post-it of the stuff I just learned (it was kind of oh yeah, duh, I remember that…it’s often like that. Unless it’s like holy crap, I didn’t know that, oh yeah, because they discovered it after I got out of school). And I’m posting a photo on Google Classroom for the kids. And making sure I go over this part today (because my co-teacher probably did that yesterday…which makes me laugh! I get there eventually, I swear). And next year, I will do a better job of teaching it because I will know more than I do this year. It’s made this school year really difficult, because there are only so many hours in the day, and I try to make sure I know what’s going on all the time and what I’m teaching, but I have to know it as such a higher level than the kids do…and if I haven’t had it since high school, then it’s not like it’s in an easily accessible part of my brain. The next unit is energy and I printed the materials so I can read them over break. I know it’s not in my head.

I dropped my quilt at the photographer yesterday, and there were multiple murders of crows just hanging out on his phone lines and cawing away. It was more than I’d seen (there were two other large groups flying around when I took this picture).

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Crows (or ravens) show up in my quilts pretty often. Harbingers of death and all.

So yeah, no art yesterday. Once I finally got home (had to venture into Home Depot twice…to get stuff to hook up rain barrels, but then got to the car and realized I’d forgotten a timer for the Xmas lights, so I ventured back in. Crazy really. Still didn’t get a timer…ordered it online), I graded, ate, let the girlchild FaceTime the dogs (she didn’t really want to talk to me, which was funny) and then graded until my brain stopped. Slept. But here…the Golden had her head in my lap and the puppy was too scared to come up on my other side for some reason, so he curled up over there.

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OK, it’s Pajama Day AND Ugly Sweater Day at school today, so I officially can’t go anywhere after school without coming home to change. Seriously. Or. Well. Maybe it doesn’t matter. You know. I’m not really a fashion maven.

I want to do art tonight, but I also need to grade stuff and wrap presents…so we’ll just have to see. Some days, what we want is just not on the table.

*Flight Facilities, Crave You


Sometimes It’s About Massages and Brain Size

December 8, 2016

It’s not in my nature to waste fabric. Well, yes, I take big pieces of fabric and cut them into smaller pieces and then iron and sew them back together. It’s already a strange concept. But I don’t like wasting what I’ve got. It’s my palette. I don’t even like throwing out the tiny scraps left over after I trim the ironed pieces. But I do. Because it would be crazy to keep that stuff (I do keep it until the quilt is done, in case I need a tiny piece of something…because if I’m gonna lose a piece, it’s usually a little one).

So although I finished the newest quilt on Tuesday night, I hadn’t thrown out the scraps yet or put all the other fabric away, because I knew I had the leftover pieces from when I cut the head out backwards. Now I also cut out the bird and the sun/cloud conglomerate backwards, but I ended up using them in the quilt anyway. I couldn’t do that with the head because of the shoulder orientation. It wouldn’t fit right. But I saved those pieces. I had spent time cutting out the Wonder Under, ironing them to fabric, and trimming them. Dammit if I wasn’t gonna use them. (Yes. I am currently channeling my Depression-era grandmother.)

So I did. Here’s the bin. It’s even labeled Backwards. The question was which pieces did I pull from here to finish the other one (answer: cat ears, cat top of head, cat eyes, cat eyeballs, and human eyelid…plus two smaller pieces that seemingly just disappeared)?

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The real problem was ironing on the back of the pattern. I couldn’t see it. So I had to redraw it on the back. Now when I look at this, it’s obvious to me that there’s another problem…flipped letters. I didn’t actually realize that until later though, when I was on the phone with the girlchild and she said I should just leave them backwards (I didn’t…but I do have one quilt where everything is backwards because I traced it all wrong and couldn’t bear to retrace).

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So here it is backwards…in process…you can see the box of scraps there. I had to fill in a few things…small pieces. And I decided to make the words right way round. I didn’t cut new ones. I used what I had.

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Backwards head…

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Regular head…

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Creepy, huh? And honestly, I’m only doing this because I hate to waste stuff. It only took about an hour to iron it together. Not bad.

So yeah, I’ll quilt it etc. and stick it up on Etsy. It’s not tiny, actually, because of the hair. And it’s weird. Then again, everything I do is weird.

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As evidenced by this drawing done during a teacher training yesterday that I was a bit irritated by having to sit through. I hate when the voice in my head is yelling “No DUH!” the entire time.

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So first of all, the statement at the top is not what I think…but what some kids might think (funny, I’m always careful to explain I don’t believe that…that smart people do some really stupid stuff. I could insert names here if I wanted to.). Then the stuff about brain size/weight…I actually wanted to check that out, because I remembered that Einstein’s brain wasn’t particularly large, and I always thought that it was the connections that were more important than size, although even those can be regrown to some extent. And this morning, I found this…confirming that (as we all know) size isn’t everything. And yes, if you haven’t figured it out by now, drawing is my safe space. The Affect not Effect was because the damn program needs an editor. I hate it when apparently educated people can’t edit their stuff. It’s one thing to get it wrong. It’s another to not realize you get stuff wrong and have someone who is better at it check your stuff. We’re teachers, dammit.

I probably scare some people in trainings. Generally I try to sit with people who won’t be scared. In the old days, when we got a paper agenda for staff meetings, people used to try to sit next to me (because it was more fun to watch me draw than listen to the principal). Seriously, though, it entertains the part of my brain that otherwise gets me in trouble. Plus it keeps me awake. And any angry or pissed off or bored parts will have something else on which to focus.

There is a cat currently sitting on my computer mouse. OK. Moved her. Lab day today. Too tired for that. Oh well. It’s not like I get to ignore the tired stuff. I did get my first ever massage yesterday, in an attempt to move the joints in my neck and back that have been semi-frozen about a month. We got all but one of them. But more importantly, holy crap, massages are wondrous. I can’t afford how wondrous they are (seriously, I could get addicted to that). But it was a positive thing. So there we are. You learn something new every day. Sometimes it’s stupid stuff, like how much vomit a Golden Retriever can gack up. But sometimes it’s about massages and brain size.


Finishing with Dogs

December 6, 2016

First of all, hello to all those new to my website who are wandering over here to wonder why I would get busted for a penis that isn’t even in my quilt (I do have quilts with penises in them…just not that one). Funny, because in my mind, that issue is a million years ago (OK, it was August…and September…and into October), and I’ve mostly moved on, except when I’m drawing and feel like adding a bunch of secret penises (penii?) into a landscape or a pretty earth woman covered with flowers. But that’s just the vengeful part of my brain talking. I let her out occasionally, but honestly, the state of the US government is way more pressing on my mind at the moment than some woman in Michigan who imagines penises where there are none. Or a quilt organization that calls itself supportive of creativity in quilts, but apparently only if they are pretty. And nonconfrontational (shut up, WordPress…that IS spelled right. What do you know.). You know, not art.

And dammit, I make art. I don’t sit there trying to figure out how to shock the easily shockable. What a waste of my time. If they don’t like it (like I don’t like some of their traditional stuff with 80 million jewels attached to it), then they can walk on by…like I do.

So with that in mind, here I am finishing another quilt. Actually, here are the dogs sleeping next to me while I finish another quilt.

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OK, so I made it all the way around the binding…just the sleeves are left to go. And now I’m starting to panic about the next one, because the drawing is only started. But it’s OK. I’ll draw tonight or Wednesday…and hopefully I can get at least one of the three (four?) I want done. I think I need to sit down and visualize how this is going to go. I mean, I have a wish list in my head (who doesn’t?) for the solo show next summer, but I’m not sure I can pull it off with the time available. Especially after seeing how little I got done the week I had off. And knowing I have a big copyediting job ahead of me.

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I wish I were a little less stressed about this. It’s the time of year, though. At school, we’re trying to finish a unit and make sure we’re ready to come back in January. Then there’s all the holiday stuff, lots of food for potlucks etc., and parties and family stuff. And then I’m trying to get art stuff done at the same time. My students all wanted to know if I did grades over the weekend. I told them no, I was working one of my two other jobs. Because I did 14+ hours of quilting stuff over the weekend. I did do grades last night, for a little while…but I still spent most of my evening handsewing a binding on with dogs and cats right next to me…not a bad way to spend an evening. I didn’t even poke any major holes in my fingers. Yet.

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And while I was writing this, the internet on my computer disappeared (it’s still working on my phone), so I’m giving up on the deep philosophical consideration of my artistic future and getting my butt to my day job.


Same As It Ever Was*

December 3, 2016

Finally a lie in. No raccoons. No coyotes. No howling. No barking. Just sleep, blessed sleep. I want to go on a vacation and sleep all night, get up and eat breakfast, and then take a nap. Lunch. Nap. Dinner and do some fun and crazy stuff. Not really. I’m not a very good sleeper…never have been. Even as a kid, I was hiding under the covers with a flashlight and a book instead of sleeping. I’d rather be doing or experiencing shit than sleeping. But occasionally a good night’s sleep is a blessing. Even when you feel drugged the next morning because your body is confused by what you just let it do. The alarm didn’t go off? We slept? Wait…what? We slept the normal amount? That can’t be right.

Accept it, body. It was a gift you probably won’t see again for a few weeks at least.

I didn’t get home until late (for me)…a meeting and a trip to the bank (on a Friday? What was I thinking) plus Home Depot for school stuff…but I hung up my door wreath (a present from my parents every year) and set out my poinsettia (which the dog knocks over with her tail every year, breaking off some major branch so it looks lopsided for the rest of the season). And I ordered pizza, because I was freaking tired. Then I cleaned the entryway floor, because it was dirty as hell and that’s where I pinbaste all the larger quilts.

Puppy was hyper, and I’d thrown the ball for him quite a few times, but he wasn’t done. So I kept throwing for him while pinbasting. He knows (mostly) not to step on the quilt. All the animals know to go around or I throw things at them. So he would bring me the ball and I would throw it and he would chase wildly after it.

Backing taped to the floor…if I ever have the money to remodel and this tile goes, I will still need tile in here, because sometimes on the really big quilts, I have to iron shit in here on the floor.

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I was really efficient the night before…the batting and top were all nicely smoothed out already, so I just dropped them on top. Easy peasy.

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More ball throwing.

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He gets closer and closer, tries to sniff the pins, treads on the edge of the quilt. Why aren’t you paying attention to MEEEE.

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And then gives up and sits on my leg (as I’m sitting on the ground, pinbasting). As I move around, he gets up and then settles on me again.

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Not the most comfortable for me, but apparently I was what he needed. He fell asleep there until I needed to move to the next section…

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It didn’t take long to pinbaste her.

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And then I started quilting. I do the outlining first, usually in a dark blue. I like it better than black. Black is really flat for some reason. Sometimes I use purple or dark green.

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I finished the whole dirt area and up into both legs, and to the uterus…

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And up one side of the torso, plus stomach and liver. Then it was after midnight, well after midnight, and I realized I was getting sloppy. I had quilted for almost 4 hours, which isn’t a huge long time, but after teaching all day and a long week with not enough sleep, it was best to quit. I’m back at it this morning, though, with a real true goal of finishing this weekend, although I think I have to go buy thread for the background quilting. Yeah. I don’t have enough of anything that’s the right color. So probably I should shower and eat and pick up my rain barrels (rebate!) and buy thread…and then hunker down and quilt my eyes out until it’s time to go out tonight.

A plan…I always have a plan.

*Talking Heads, Once in a Lifetime


We Both Go Together if One Falls Down*

November 30, 2016

So I’m going to keep making my daily goals for this quilt and then not meeting them. I think that’s just gonna be how this thing goes until it’s done…if it’s ever done. Part of it is I have to do schoolwork when I come home too, and that’s taking longer than I’d like. But I honestly think this quilt is fucking with me. You will NOT finish me bitch.

OK, that sounds a bit crazy, yes. But usually I’m ahead of the game, not behind by a week.

I don’t think I started until almost 10…that’s part of the problem. Stay at school late to do tutorial, go to grocery store to buy more yeast packets for today’s lab on the way home, get home and read stupid email fucking up the entire schedule for next week, deal with that and dogs and order more yeast (I’m thinking I should buy stock in yeast, vinegar, and baking soda now that I’m teaching chemistry). What’s in my school fridge? Yeast. Eyeballs. A frog or two. I think I tossed the hearts. They went bad. Tapatio. Because. Yeah. Made dinner, hung out, tried to type up a worksheet when I couldn’t remember the damn materials and process. Fuck. OK. Finish that tomorrow.

Sigh. I’m overwhelmed. And irritable as shit. So I’m trying to hold that like a big huge ball of Playdoh and squish it down into something manageable, or even better, something I can throw away from me. I’m a visual person. I need to see all that shit rolled up in my head. Shove it into a cupboard, throw it out a window. In my head.

I had this drawing in my head for a while that I could never get out on paper. I was stuck in one of the old glass phone booths and everything else was banging on the outside, demanding shit. Yeah. Here’s how (and why) I hermit. Hard to do that with a classroom full of kids.

So I had started stitching down the night before, but I didn’t get very far. Honestly, I didn’t get much further last night, even with a couple of hours in…

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This threw me for a bit. I swore a lot (yes, mom, I turned it off and walked away and then came back to it). Nothing made it stop. That message came back up after I turned it back on. And I’m thinking to myself, YOU’RE overloaded? Fucking A. I’ll show you overloaded. I love that my machine takes on my moods. So just before I was about to give up and go meditate (while swearing profusely at the universe), I thought about that Google thing.

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You know, where you Google your error message (wait a minute…I’m getting a flash of how to solve ALL my personal problems) and someone else has a fucking answer? Yeah. Found it. Turned the damn hand wheel…all the while thinking, no fucking way this is going to work…and in typical Kathy brain fashion, I have now imagined all the possibilities to how I’m going to get the quilt done (including NOT getting it done or anything else, because I’m tossing everything in the pool and moving to Mongolia).

It worked. Seriously. Stupid machines. Kitten was perturbed by my yelling.

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Now did I get done? Hell no. I stopped at about 12:15 because I remembered I had to be up early for a meeting.

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I draw that face a lot because in my head, my mouth is often yelling like that. This quilt is about time. I don’t ever have enough of it. And apparently I’m old. You know how that goes (sure, many of you are older than me…). Bodies break down. I got the whole bottom dirt area done, plus the legs and torso up to about her waist, and I made it up one arm to the shoulders. So more than halfway, but I probably have a good two more hours to do. Yeah. Schedule shot to hell again. Whatever.

*Coconut Records, West Coast


I Can Paint This Picture Any Way That I See Fit*

November 29, 2016

Efficiency and balance…two things I’m always working towards…and often fighting like a ninja. I am just like you. I stare at a screen (phone, computer, TV) sometimes, unable to move off the couch (more lately…disheartened). I’d rather read my book or scan stupid articles sometimes than stand up (more standing! after a job where I stand all day) and make art. Sometimes I’m just tired. Sometimes I’m not motivated (deadlines help with that…hence, I just emailed the photographer…on a quilt that’s nowhere near done). I still do this though…this making, creating, pulling apart and putting back together based on the shit in my head. I can’t tell you when the drive to make got so strong…I know it’s gotten stronger than it was when I was a kid…every year…more of a push.

Yesterday, after teaching and prepping for crazy lab days this week (we are going to boil and foam and bubble and explode everything), I drove in traffic and rain across town to pick up my nightstand pieces from that show (that was quick)…and over an hour and a half later (ugh), I got home and started dinner. Fed the dogs. Did some school stuff. And then settled down to the artmaking.

It didn’t take long to iron the head to the rest of the body…

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The bottom’s all rolled up there to get it out of the way. Then I laid it out on one of the possible backgrounds. Now it’s true I was tired, but I probably should have cut the piece a little bigger, because it got a little fussy in the end, trying to fit it on there. Not sure what I was thinking. This piece is all about making shit work, even when I fuck it up.

Flipping the locations of the sun/cloud and the bird worked OK…I had to fuss with it a little to get the bird to fit, but it will be OK. And stitching will give it the detail I want…

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And this morning, the name (so far) popped into my head.

Unfortunately, my sewing chair was already populated…Huh. There’s all these other places she sleeps in my office, but today apparently this was the place. She doesn’t like the other chair, either, so I can’t just move her. She used to sit in the other one…but not since I bought this new one. Not sure why.

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Well. I’ve lived with cats for a long time and sometimes I push them off, but I’m much more likely to adjust to sit with the cat wherever it is. I started stitching down with her there. Eventually she left…but she stayed for a good long time. It’s cold here (for Southern California, that is…), so it’s probably pretty warm stuck behind my butt.

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I didn’t get a ton done, so I will probably still be doing stitch down tonight. I was hoping for pinbaste tonight, but I don’t think I’m going to get that far. I did about an hour and 15 minutes of stitch down last night, and I’m still down in the dirt. So it’s gonna be a while. Finish tonight, then pinbaste Wednesday. Hopefully start quilting Wednesday. I’m crazy if I think that’s going to be quick. The outlining won’t be too bad, but there’s a shitload of background in this thing (reasons to make the image cover the background…less quilting needed). I’m going to guess there’s about 25 hours left in making this quilt…and so it’s a good thing the copyediting job got delayed again, because this needs to be at the photographer just before that starts. So 25 hours in a week and a half, on top of teaching full time and trying to plan through January. Uh huh. Yeah. I can do that (yes, I’m crazy…but honestly, I haven’t been sleeping well…so there’s no point in going to bed early.).

Today, though, first I need to go to school and get ready to set fire to things (seriously…and hopefully not myself). I’m glad I got started on the stitching at least…finally progress on this thing. It’s been a frustrating quilt…I’m ready for it to be done.

*Indigo Girls, Collecting You