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.

So Off…

I’m so off. On days. On writing. On sleep. I guess that’s a good thing. Losing track of time is a positive part of summer. Mostly. Until you realize there was something you were supposed to do. Whoops! I’m doing my best, y’all. It doesn’t help that I’m having to check in every night about jury duty and then replan my day based on being free. Or not. So far…free is good. Trying to take advantage of it and not get so irritated by all the school stuff that intrudes. I realize I could ignore all that work email, but I think that ramps my anxiety even more…wondering what might be there or not. I know the other night, I lay there, hot, meditated, ready to sleep but brain definitely not, wrote an entire agenda in my head, considered texting my co-teacher (totally not doing that…she’s way better at the boundary between work and home than I am and I’m not fucking up HER summer for MY brain), then worried about other shit. Then made a goal to do art things the next day, which I followed through on, which is why there’s no Wednesday blogpost this week. Ah well. The earth continues to turn on its axis. I wish I understood how and why that happens, though, because I’m gonna have to teach that shit or something related to it this coming year. Occasionally I read a page or two about energy because I started the force and motion book and realized I needed to do energy before that. Still don’t have a good space science book. I think I need a comic book for it. That might be the only way it gets into my head in time. VISUAL LEARNER HERE.

Anyway. So I’m trying. That’s all I ever do.

The bed quilt is in progress. The borders are on and now the backing is pieced.

Oh my, that’s bright. But I didn’t have to buy anything because I bought it in 2008. Yay me! Thinking ahead. I’m waiting for the batting (which I did have to buy) and then I’ll learn the short-arm stuff at mom’s house.

Meanwhile, because sometimes I loan my computer out to people (well, just one person), I needed to have a project for the living room as well as one for my office. NO DOWN TIME ON ARTMAKING. Or something. When I’m in the mood. Which I am. So I had this drawing from November 2021 that I did on a semi-retreat with one of my art groups in 29 Palms. And I started trying to draw where my head is at with the Supreme Court and Roe and all the other stuff, realizing that many people already deal more head on with discrimination than I ever have to, plus climate change and that damn shooting in Highland Park. The 8-year-old who is now paralyzed. The 2-year-old who lost both parents. The dad of the shooter saying he’s not responsible. OMFG. I started to tear up, so away from the news and back in here. ANYWAY. The drawing isn’t right for all this, but it’s a start. Really this is an anxiety/world situation quilt because that’s what I need right now. I made the Roe v Wade quilt earlier this year. I didn’t want to make another. I couldn’t make another. So I started with that November drawing and blew it up 250% and started cutting and taping it together last night. Well, first I let Luna play with it a bit…

She’s not helpful at all. Then I cut and taped…

It’s a really busy drawing, though, and not all of it is relevant to what I want this quilt to do/be, so I decided to trace what worked onto a new paper…

And then change as I go. Or add, because I made it taller. A little wider, but mostly taller.

So you can see where I’m changing some stuff and not other stuff. Leaving some out. I’ll add more stuff too. Expect it to take a while. But that’s OK, because in the other room, I’m finally ironing the other quilt together!

I don’t usually work on more than one at a time, but desperate times call for desperate measures? OK, it’s not like I’m desperate to make quilts. I just want things to work on in two different rooms and this solves that problem. I feel like I might finally be on an art roll for summer. Except for jury duty. I’ve been lucky the last three days…may it continue for six more. The whole process of not knowing just makes me anxious. I’m a mess. I hate the not knowing. I’ve probably said that before, but it’s supremely true. About all of it.

Anyway, I’m also doing bits and pieces of work stuff, mostly just finding all the homework possibilities and getting them in our shared drives so they are easy to find. It’s all I can handle really. Occasionally reading a bit about science-related stuff that I might need to know. Having random panic attacks about things I can’t control like 2 days of professional development about stuff I already know. Ah yes. Stupid that.

OK, so it’s late Thursday and I finally wrote something. It’s a miracle! Now I can iron or draw for a while. I should check the to-do list first, just in case. Or read a chapter of my book…now there’s something that sounds reasonable. Reading is something I do a LOT of over breaks…and I’m glad to keep doing more of that.

Our Revised Existence…

Congratulations America…you’ve just hopped viciously backward fifty years or more. You’ve just confirmed that it’s OK to buy guns to kill a bunch of kids in an elementary school, but women can’t have bodily autonomy. It makes me sick to my stomach. Don’t tell me to go live somewhere else. I was born here. In a military hospital no less. This is my country as much as it is yours.

If you voted for these people who believe this is their right, to take away the rights of half the population, then I cannot talk to you right now. I can’t talk about this without angry crying. In fact, I just walked away from the computer for a while there to let it settle a bit.

I have typed about 17 things here and deleted them. They don’t help except to push some of the anger out of me onto you. I did not ever think that at 55 years old, I would be hoping that sometime in the future, women might get rights back over their own bodies. And to those who told me it would never happen (rich white males, as it happens)? Fuck you. Even if you voted for our rights, you gaslit me and others who saw this coming. This has been 10 years coming, maybe more.

Fuck fuck fuck. My daughter. My friends’ daughters. My students. My students’ daughters. Abortions will still happen…they will just be unsafe. Trans rights. Gay rights. Damn them for interfering where they know nothing. Women who need abortions for health reasons or due to rape or incest? Fuck the Republican Party for this.

Moment of silence. Trying to reorder my thoughts. Trying to figure out what I can do. Besides make art about it. It seems like that’s all I can ever do. It doesn’t seem like enough.

Moment of silence.


I have a science prep meeting today. I’m so not in the mood.

Reorder thoughts.

I’ve been ironing. I literally just ironed this down the other night…

And started cutting it out last night. I cut the robe fabrics out…I remember those shapes. I cut his head out…you can see the robe pieces there, all black, on the top left.

SIGH. Reorder thoughts. I spent a lot of time artmaking yesterday, possibly too much when I look at the to-do list. I did ship a quilt. I finished three pieces that will go on Etsy in the next few days. I set up a sale page for my blog to put a few older pieces on sale. It’s not up yet. I’ll tell you when it is. I ironed more flesh yesterday just to clear the ironing board so I could iron the quilt that needed to be shipped.

I only had long strips of this fabric…not sure where it came from…maybe Kris? It’s not the normal half yards I buy.

This is where I had gotten the night before.

I finally hit the halfway mark…I’m in the 600s. It feels hard to be making art right now. Like it won’t matter. Today I start copyediting, so I can pay the summer bills. Because I’m a white teacher who has access to good healthcare and was given a good education so I could have a decent job (don’t get me wrong…teachers are not paid enough for the hours we put in) and not everyone has that privilege. So I have the ability to spend time drawing and cutting up fabric so I can sew it back together.


Kitten surveying the outdoors. Hanging out with me.

I hear petting animals is good for the brain…

The Man is doing a good job of that. Boychild is back from the fire. Pretty dirty. I need to go to school and work right now. Then come back and copyedit, then more art. Get my head around our revised existence.