Unless This Music’s Thumping*

First of all, I have a friend whose husband was in an accident and is currently in a coma. She’s young, three kids, the youngest is still a nursing babe in arms. If you are so inclined, she’s going to need financial help no matter what happens…just to keep her head above water for a bit. The GoFundMe is linked here. She was my partner in teaching science a few years back…I know how amazingly strong and creative she is, but I also know how devastating this is for her. Please help if you can. If you’re one of my quilting friends…a chunk of fabric came from her before she moved to Morocco for a while a couple years ago…in fact, this piece, By All Means, is entirely made from her fabrics and some of her rejected blocks for a show about recycling materials.

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Because I don’t piece stuff. And I get a lot of pieces of fabric from people who are getting rid of stuff. Anyway, it’s hard to know how to help in this situation, and I’m not a prayer person…I’m just sending telepathic bolts of Get Better Dammit toward Paul…but know that what she really needs is money right now. And a miracle, if you believe in those.

Anyway. Sigh. Bad things happening to good people.

Friday night, I went to my stitching meeting, but drove back through a lightning storm, arriving home to a bunch of frantic dogs…well, really only one who was truly frantic. This was around 11 PM, when most everyone was sleeping (one cat, three dogs), except for Calli, who was still trying to dig through the floor to get to a non-thunder place.

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She kept going until around 1:30 AM…ugh. This one just barked at it, but was unperturbed. He barks at everything.

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I didn’t get much done on this at the meeting…just butterfly bullion knots. First I did the sleeves on the quilt that needed to go to the photographer.

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I tried one of her mom’s shirts on Calli…I don’t know if it helped…but this was a calmer moment than the ones before.

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I had a ton to get done Friday night, but mostly I held the dog.

Oh yeah, I’m fascinated by these moons. I keep buying them. I don’t know what I want to do with them. You can find them here. I figure I will make a fabric home for them at some point…

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Anyway, so I got nothing done Friday night. At some point, I remembered that I had planned on some hand embroidery on this one…the one that was due to the photographer at noon. Now could I have emailed him and asked for more time? Of course…but I didn’t. Because I need to get going on the other one. I got up and started stitching.

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I had about an hour and a bit…and I used every minute of it…

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Nothing fancy…just added texture and color.

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I like doing this. I should do more.

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That requires me to finish quilts earlier than deadlines though so I can spend time doing that.

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Anyway, it’s at the photographer. I ran some errands, and was home for about 25 minutes, long enough to eat lunch…then off to the first opening of the day…

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This is at the Boehm Gallery at Palomar College. You can see my two quilts hanging on the back wall.

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It’s a very cool show with lots of interesting work. Below is Kathleen Mitchell’s glass piece Rough Childhood. Mammogram is the quilt on the left; Part-Time Oasis is on the right.

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These two bird women by Maria de Castro are beautiful. Hoopooe on the right, Hawaiian Neme Goose on the left.

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Then Cheryl Tall’s piece O Happy Days in front of my quilts…

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There were many more pieces in the show…it’s up until November 8, I believe.

Meanwhile, the girlchild is still playing soccer, in case you were wondering…but I only see bits and pieces of it online.


I was grading stuff at that point, finishing that heinous assignment that’s been plaguing me for weeks. It’s done! Then I got an email about parking that reminded me that I had signed up to see an exhibit at Sparks Gallery Saturday night, since I knew the man was playing in yet another show that I couldn’t crash (guest list only)…so I drove downtown to this beautiful sunset.

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The show was a fundraiser for Space4Art, which has a new property and is trying to get money to build an affordable space for artists to show and live where gentrification won’t kick us out. What a concept, San Diego…instead of closing them all down or turning them into million-dollar condos.

I really liked this piece, Untitled (Anti-Analogy) by Tml Dunn.

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And of course, my friend Linda Litteral’s huge long work from her Meditations series displayed in the window…

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Now if I’d had more energy or drive, I would have driven down to Bread and Salt for the Latin American festival of art…it looked awesome. But I knew I needed to draw. So I came back and inked the stuff I’d penciled in on Thursday night…

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Still working on this section…added some more stuff in here…

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Took some brain breaks to hang out with Kitten, who ventured out because the dogs are at me ex’s house with the boychild…

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She helped me draw (not)…

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Still more work up here…although I headed down to the legs first.

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Not done with those…and so I have more nature stuff to go in the bottom and to the left, and then to decide what to do with the upper right. We’ll see. I put in about 2 hours of drawing with a lot of sitting around being tired. Two nights running I’ve gone to sleep horrendously late…not by choice, but that’s just the way it was. This week will be interesting. I’m taking one day off to help with something…so maybe I’ll get caught up on some work in between that. But I also need to finish the drawing and get going on this quilt.

But first, groceries and parent email for school and shower and probably not in that order. And I’m hungry.

*Cake, Love You Madly

Alone and Quiet…

Funny title for a post that starts out with an art opening where I was anything but. So yes, the opening was Saturday night and I think it went well…the piece is still hanging, so that’s a plus.

This is Empty Nest, 31″ wide x 200″ long.

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At some point, one of my friends was trying to find my work (it was in the way way back, in the Education building) and someone else described it as the sexless Cyclops. I didn’t ask if the responder was male or female, but in case you didn’t know, we don’t need a uterus to have sex. And if you mean genderless, well there are ovaries and breasts, which implies at least a DNA-rendered gender. But whatever.

I have lots of pictures from the show, but not much time this morning (someone pulled a last-minute meeting AND I have a lab to prep for, which I already spent an hour at school for yesterday, but then left, because the alarm was going to go off and I thought I would have the 20 minutes I needed this morning. Never assume).

It was fun watching people experience the piece, since mine are usually on the wall. They stared, they walked around, they put their head in the hole…

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Seeing it hanging and the forces upon it tells me that it should have been quilted, but I didn’t have the time or sanity left for that I think. OK, maybe the time. Definitely not the sanity.

Anyway, she’s up at Space4Art through October 10, so you should check her out if you like. This place is more about the openings then the rest of the month though. There were performances and there was music. And one piece had a little too much stress on it and might have fallen. But it was cool while it lasted. And a lot of people I knew showed up and that was also cool.

Saturday morning, I managed to pinbaste the new big quilt, which has to be done by the 28th at this point, because the photographer’s agreed to get it done in time. I found two fabrics that totally don’t go together for the backing…but they were the same weight and texture, so I don’t care. I wasn’t going to waste a good background fabric on the back of this one.

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I laid the backing out and taped it to the entryway floor (after mopping it because the dog sleeps on it)…and then Kitten came and had her way with it.

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I should have spent more time on the second taping down, but it was hot and I was tired, so I did it fast, possibly too fast.

I got everything laid out…

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And spent an hour and a bit pinning it all down…it’s being fussy in the middle of course…

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So that will be fun to quilt. And I’m fairly sure the backing wasn’t totally flat.

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Oh well. I don’t deal with the quilt police. The quilting will make it lie flat.

And then I went to the opening and did life for a while…until Sunday.

And after 10 hours of work- and home-related stuff, I finally started quilting at 9 PM. Because Sundays are not mine. They are a planning nightmare. Too much to do, not enough time in which to do it.

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This is slow quilting and quite meditative, which was good, because I think I’d spend too many hours alone and quiet at that point.

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And though it seems that this is still alone and quiet, it’s actually art brain and it works fairly well until I finish and realize how alone and quiet I am. Sigh. The human brain is a pain in the ass.

I quilted for about 2 1/2 hours last night. If I could pull that off every night (and this week is a bitch for that…something almost every night), then I’d be done by Sunday. I don’t know if that’s really possible, but I guess I could toss it up there as a goal…

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And then see if I meet it.

Meanwhile, meeting set for an hour from now and I still have to finish getting ready for the damn lab. So I’m outta here.

Can Do…

I could have sworn I took more than one picture while I was sewing last night. Apparently not. I was incredibly tired. So tired, I quit early and went to bed and zonked out. Same as before, getting into the sewing when it’s hot…ugh. I just can’t do it. Plus I had to enter a show. I’ll probably get rejected from one today, so this is like a karmic balance. Rejection? Enter a new one. So that took some time. I have so much stuff out traveling right now or in shows that I don’t have much available to enter…well, until today, when a few will get rejected, right? Yeah.

So the Ventura California Fibers show is up at the Ventura government buildings, 800 S Victoria Ave, Ventura CA. The opening is tonight from 5:30-7. Being in the buildings means it’s only open during government hours, Mon-Fri 8-5, closed weekends and holidays. You can see my piece Earth Mother for Ventura there…named because it had to be no politics, no nudity, no violence. I won’t be there. Can’t possibly leave school at 3:45 and get to Ventura on a Friday afternoon in time.

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Then tomorrow from 7-10 is the Response opening at Space4Art. If you do come to see the 17-foot-long woman, go through the main gallery into the back yard where the food and stage are. There’s a small building with a funky sculpture in front of it. My piece is in there. I will be there. Although I don’t know that I will always be in the building.

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And in Utah, Celebrating Silver opens tomorrow as well and the St. George Museum of Art. Awakening the Crone will be there. I won’t. Obviously. Because I’ll be here.

So yeah, there’s a lot of stuff going on. I do still think I can finish stitching this big piece down tonight. I just have to be able to focus as soon as I get home, instead of sprawling on the couch for an hour with a book before I do anything. It was easier when the girlchild was here, because SHE would be sprawled on the couch (genetics?) and I couldn’t be in there because I’d get yelled at. Or there wasn’t room. Actually, Friday was often the only day I could be there, because we were both tired, but it would inevitably turn out that I said something totally horrible like “How was your day?” or “Why?” and then I’d be out. And then I’d head for my studio/office. I should just pretend she’s there on the couch and not even sit down. I’ve joked about having this 17-foot-woman hang out on the couch with me at night when I’m feeling alone.

So I did eventually sew, but it was after 10…

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I finished the kneeling figure. So I’m probably halfway done. I feel like 3 or 4 hours tonight would do it. I’m a little less than 5 hours in so far. Then I could sandwich it tomorrow and start quilting on Sunday.

It’s been so hot here lately that the dog has been cooling herself off in the pool. She goes in up to her belly and then wants to come back in the house. She gets mad when I dry her off (I don’t dry her completely), but I do it anyway. Except she apparently went in this morning and I didn’t notice. And then she walked through the whole house. I just noticed that. Sigh. Now she’s laid out in the entryway, damp everywhere. Oh well. This is why my house is not a showcase, right? Yeah. That’s it. Hopefully today is the last day of the heat wave. It did rain yesterday, enough to cool things down slightly, but not enough to make it actually cool.

OK. Survive the day at school. Come home and stitch. Eat leftovers for dinner. I can do all that.

She’s Hung…

So my head is in a new place. The piece is installed. She even has a name. And I have installation photos…photos that I’ll post after the opening. Actually, I think she’s a great photo opportunity…

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One of the Space4Art curators photographing me photographing her.

Many thanks to Linda Litteral for encouraging me to propose for this, to also think off the wall (and onto the ceiling). And for helping me hang this beast on a hot day in a non-air-conditioned space, and for having water, because I left mine at home. It took two ladders, fishing line, nails, and the magical thread and needle she had in her car (I find that amusing…I’m the fiber artist. She’s a painter and ceramicist, but she had needle and thread.). And about an hour and a half later, we were done.

It was a relief to drive away from that. I was worried about how she’d turn out, about how she’d be in the space, and I think she’s fine. She’s awesome even. There are things I would change, fix, but then that’s always the way when we hang them. I wish I’d done this. I wish I’d done that. Here’s one: I wish I’d given her nipples. It bugs me that she doesn’t have any.

Anyway, the exhibit is called Response and it’s at Space4Art in downtown San Diego. The opening is this Saturday from 7-10 PM. There will be performances, soundscapes (some interactive), art, a food truck, and refreshments (whatever that means). And one crazy 17-foot-long woman quilt.


Here’s the official PR blurb: Space 4 Art’s biennial fall show focusing on artist collaborations returns with an emphasis on how art can be displayed in novel ways, viewed from different perspectives, and used to activate unexpected areas. Thanks to a grant from the San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture, Space 4 Art was able to support invited artists to consider new ways to re-contextualize their work, draw inspiration from the building and grounds to create site-specific pieces, and work together to create new and unexpected collaborations for Response. The show features sixteen recognized local artists from a variety of disciplines working around the theme of shifting perspectives and creating responses to the buildings and grounds of Space 4 Art, as well each other’s work. Response includes installations, immersive sonic environments, interactive pieces, dance, and musical performances – both inside and outside, on-stage and in the ground.

So I wish I could say I jumped right into the two projects that need finishing, but what really happened was planning for school and doing grades and inputting grades on the computer, and then some writing that needed to happen, and not a lot else. Plus I walked the dog a lot and it was hot, which kinda sucks my brain out. In fact, what’s strange is I don’t think I slept last night…at least I remember looking at the clock pretty much every hour and feeling like I’d just been lying there, wide awake, the entire time. Like my eyes wouldn’t stay shut. Like I’d had way too much caffeine. It was truly bizarre, and this morning, I kinda feel like I’ve been hit by a truck.

But hopefully tonight I will give up on grading early and start sewing, because if I don’t do that soon, I will be doing that crazy last-minute dance of 4 hours a day after work, trying to get it done, and being stressed beyond belief. I don’t need that. And yes, I do some of that to myself, but I honestly thought this was a cool opportunity, and sometimes when those present themselves you just have to say Fuck It and do them, because you don’t know when you will have the opportunity again.

So I did.

Enough Enough

The load’s not completely off my shoulders, and surely 5 other things have jumped in to take its place, but I did finish sewing that giant fucking woman yesterday. Rather early even, in the afternoon. I’m installing this afternoon…completely nervous about it. Not sure it will work or look good or be big enough, or enough enough, or even enough.

That’s the thing though. It has to be. At this point, it has to be.

In a situation like this, where you’ve made a piece specifically for a show and they have a space set aside for you, well, you just have to show up with what you have. There’s this worry in your gut that it’s not good enough, it’s not the right size, it’s not what they expected, even now, after doing many of these. I still worry. I still stress. But I’m also really happy it’s done. I won’t know until I hang it if I’m happy with it in general.

Yesterday, I laid it out and started ironing it as flat as I could…

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I had to pin the hole on the side to get stitched up. The fingers…those damn fingers. They pressed out OK…

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And then I clipped and turned the belly hole. That was easy enough. I didn’t hand stitch it closed…I just used the machine.

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Then I stitched around the entire edge. Took a while. It’s 17 feet long and I had to go up it and down it and then up and down each arm and up each side of the legs as well. It was not a short and sweet affair…

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But then there she was, all folded up, ready to go. Well, except for that place in the hand where I had to add a backing piece. I did hand sew that closed.

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Really, I should tape her down to get rid of hair and threads before I go over there. I have a ladder in my car. I have to get some fishing line, strong stuff. I’ll need some tools. I had to make a sign. So I had to pick a name. I’ll tell you later, when I have photos of it hanging, hopefully tomorrow. Unless a disaster happens. It’s possible.

She took almost 33 hours to make. About a third of one of my big quilts. A little less time than the one I just finished, which is pretty small. I have three nasty burns on my left arm from the iron. My fault. No holes in my fingers. I still have spray baste on one finger…keep finding bits and pieces of it everywhere.

So you might ask what I do when I finish a project? I spend a few hours grading papers instead, because school has started and I’ve been blowing it off. Tonight, I’m hoping to be back on the sewing machine with the little commissioned boob and with the big piece. I really don’t have time to take a break. I just need to put my head down and get back into it.

It Won’t Take Long

So. This will be quick, because I need to get to work. Someone asked how I find time to write these. First of all, I write quickly. Second of all, I write about what I did the day before, and if I was really smart, I took pictures of it to remind me what to write about. Third, I don’t really edit what I’m writing. This drives some people nuts. Then they can go read someone else’s precise blog about exactly what they did in art yesterday. Walk On!

I did about 7 hours yesterday…started with finishing the spray baste…actually, no…first I had to drive to my parents’ house and raid my mom’s 505 stash. I finished the big one the night before, but I found the four smaller ones she had hidden around her studio. One was already almost empty, so really all it did was throw spray snot everywhere (who thought that was a good idea?)…

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Then I emptied out the next one, which was probably a third full…

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All I really had left were the arms and some edges where the batting wasn’t wide enough. I think I used half of the third small one and didn’t even touch her almost full one…so I’ll return those to her tonight. I’m not totally sold on this stuff, but I may try it again. Not sure how to make it so the stuff doesn’t clog and send snot trails everywhere. There’s probably a trick. And I still have some on my hands today. Couldn’t get it all off.

I wasn’t sure what to use for the backing. At first, I thought because of the way I WAS going to hang it to accommodate the group I was working with, that the only part of the backing that would show would be the backs of the arms. But then I realized the whole back would show so it couldn’t be a confusing mismatch of all my leftovers. My SIL had sent me a huge box of fabric from her house, and in it was about 10 yards or so of an upholstery fabric…this one…

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But the green was way too busy. So I flipped it. It reads as mostly white on the back…or at least a toned-down version of this. So that’s OK.

Then I remembered I had to hang this this somehow and I started looking around at the ribbon I have stashed from doing crazy quilts, not thinking I would have enough of anything appropriate, until I remembered my friend Vickie had a friend who sent me a bag of those binding strips…bias tape. Holy hell, it’s the motherlode.

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There was a dark blue that was unopened…I used it.

The green wasn’t wide enough at one hand…literally one and a half fingers not wide enough. So yes, most people would have pieced it, but I just pinned it (and I had to flip the pins later when I realized this was the back and now the seam was showing on the front). In the long run, I’m glad I did that, because it meant I had an opening in that hand…

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It took two hours just to pin it down. I ironed at the same time I pinned, rather then iron ahead of time, so that was part of it, but it was just a lot of fussy work…trimmed too as part of that. Then I sewed…another hour…

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I left an opening in the side to flip it, although I could have flipped it all through the hole in the belly if I’d thought about it. It flipped easily except for the fingers. The fingers were a bitch and a half. I trimmed the batting on the second hand before trying to flip and it was a little easier, but not a lot. I used a chopstick, pins, my teeth (seriously…I did), and my fingernails (which ache today). I think it took two hours just to pull all 10 fingers out. That’s how that hole in the one hand helped…easy access. The other hand, I had to shove my arm into the quilt arm, and it was too tight, so then pull the arm up onto my arm until I could reach the fingers. So it’s warm and I’m wearing a quilt. Plus I left about 10 pins in after I sewed, so I had to go around and find those inside the quilt.

So there it is, in a pile, all flipped. I have to iron it, stitch down the edges, hand sew the hand shut, machine sew the side and the hole shut, and then maybe quilt the three motifs that are in there. I don’t think it needs more quilting than that, although I have some ideas if I think it does…

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And then I have to hang it tomorrow. I’m worried it’s not big enough for the space, but I originally designed it with the other group in mind and they were going to enclose the space slightly. So that’s a little annoying. I guess worst-case if it looks really small, I could go buy some more muslin and enclose the space the way they originally were going to. Sigh. I don’t have time for this! I’m installing tomorrow afternoon, so it will be done no matter what.

If I sound a little frustrated with the piece right now, I am. It’s OK. It will be fine. I just can’t visualize it in the space, so that’s freaking me out. Plus the dog is farting heinously in here so I think I’m a little light-headed. Ugh. Put dog out, eat something, make more tea (sleep? What is that?), and then iron and sew. Do I need to iron? Yes. I need to iron first. It won’t take long. (what SHE said)

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.

She’s Got Legs…

Yes. Now that song is in my head All Day Long. And probably yours too. If not, don’t think too hard about it. Avoid the earworm.

So after totally sucking Tuesday night (well, at least on the art front…wait, I lost both games too, but I was close for a while on one), last night I completely rocked. Four hours of sewing and ironing (hello chiropractor on Friday, because that twist and turn I do to get the fabric and iron to the side without standing is a killer). I’m feeling much less panicked about getting this done now (although still not completely out of panic mode…I might need a margarita party Monday night once it’s hung). I’m actually thinking about the next steps…OK, so I thought about those on Sunday and called the Mom Store for supplies…I really would have gone out and bought them, but she handed it to me and…well…there we are.

You have to understand that I am doing almost nothing else when I get home. I feed myself (barely) and the animals. I pet them. I sleep and shower. But I’m not (really) cleaning. I occasionally move something or throw something out because it seems easy to do it right then, but the house isn’t getting cleaner or even presentable. Sigh! Art waits for nothing. Deadlines wait for nothing.

I started before dinner last night…decided to get to a certain point before I was allowed to eat. I needed to finish the ribs to the hole. That sounds awful, but it makes sense when you’re looking at it. Have I mentioned this thing has a giant hole in it? It does. Originally something was going to hang through it. I could still do that, but it would probably have to be a baby doll and not fabric. I thought about gluing small pieces of fabric all over the baby doll…like decoupage of old, but…eh…time and I just don’t know if I want that.

So it was still daylight when I started on the other side (which I technically started Monday night)…

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I had originally sewn the outline with this red old thread from Sandi, and I think the stitching was too close together with the muslin being so light and foofy, so to keep the base fabric flat, in some places I have to rip out a stitch and pull to lay it flat. This section was particularly bad for some reason…

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I finished the side, and girlchild called from Boston. An hour later, I’m pretty proud of all the things she’s trying to do. Apparently moving 3000 miles away makes you braver. Good for her. I cooked dinner while talking to her and then ate after she went off with her friends to study Anthropology.

Then I finished around the hole. I thought I had more torso until I hit pubic area, but no. It was right there. So I formed that over the purple that would be the legs.

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I keep burning myself on the iron. This one looks worse this morning. I don’t know how I’m doing it…just reaching around the fabric and hitting it, I think. I tried to move it behind me after that so I wouldn’t keep burning myself.

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Sometime around 10 PM, I got all that done and tried to see the whole thing. It’s getting harder…

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So all that’s left now are the legs. I put away a bunch of the blue (at least the smaller bins…I’ll wait on the larger bins) and pulled purples.

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I don’t have anywhere near as many purples as blues, but I still have a lot. Purple’s weird though…such a range of red-purple to blue-purple. Seems harder than blue.

Here’s the legs coming off the bottom…I think they’re at least as tall as I am. If the whole thing is 17 feet, then 5 feet for legs is actually a little short, but I did make the body the biggest part. Oh yeah. And now you can really see the hole. Although it’s not currently a hole. Yeah.

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Purples piled for legs…

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I rested for about 20 minutes with the dog on the couch in the dark before starting this. I could legitimately have gone to sleep, but I am still worried about having enough time to finish, because I honestly don’t know how long each step will take.

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That’s the plus to keeping track of your time. Then you can estimate better for next time. I spent about 45 minutes on this part of the leg (and picking fabrics out). It’s halfway done. I should be able to finish the legs tonight after my meeting. Really. I should.

I’m 15 hours into the piecing. Someone asked if I would sell this. Thing is, I’m already almost 19 hours into it and it’s not near done yet. And it’s weird. Where are you going to hang it? A wall that’s over 17 feet high or long (I could hang it in my hallway or my living room or even my entryway), but it’s not even configured to hang on a wall. It could be, but that would take more time. And it’s not going to be cheap because of the time involved.

So that’s not why I make art. I suppose that’s obvious to most.

OK. School calls, along with about 75 damp and mushy gummy bears (don’t ask). And I try not to look at the calendar and see Monday looming (that’s install day, although I can push to Thursday if I have to, but it’s not like Tuesday and Wednesday are days that have a lot of sewing time available). I want this fucker done and out of my hair. I like how it’s coming out, but fuck me. It needs to get out of here. And my head.

Black Head…

What was my goal for sewing this weekend again? I know it was get the torso to some point…which I did. I feel like I didn’t get as far as I wanted though…the head wanted to be black…

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There’s a reason for that. Interesting thing about severe depression. It actually changes your brain. Like physically. And then when bad shit happens, even when you just have a bad day, the brain spirals much quicker than it would before the depression. When I was sewing the head, my own head was in a bit of a spiral. It’s mostly out again, but it’s hard to kick that black head.

I sewed the head down over a neck piece that was already there. Then I started filling in the upper chest, which was kind of a pain because I couldn’t just string piece like I did on the arms. So I messed with it and made it work.

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The dark is for under the breasts…it has to go down first so I can sew the breasts down on top of that.

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That’s where I quit on Saturday…wanted to be further, but that didn’t happen.

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Sunday, I really hoped to have more time, but that’s life. The plus is that my school website is up and running, all my school stuff for the week is done (well, mostly), and I prepped food for the week as well, hopefully to forestall the lame foodness of last week, when I didn’t really prepare. We’ll see how that works.

So Sunday night, late, I started in on the breasts again…

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And got both done…plus a plan for the torso above the hole.

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This is not the easiest thing in the world to photograph. But there’s the rest, the torso and legs, which still need to be done.

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No. It’s not a small amount. The plus is that it finally colored itself in my head, and I think I have a plan for finishing the whole thing, although it may not matter, because if I run out of time, I’m cutting the finishing out.

I’m still not feeling OK about this getting done in time. I do have to teach and sleep and eat. Maybe I will feel better by Friday. I hope I feel better by Friday.

This piece is for a show called Response


I don’t really know what to say about the response part, because that kind of disappeared for me at some point. But whatever. I’m still responding to them, even though their response was to run away! OK, not really. Sometimes a response is to hide or gather in a circle for protective reasons or to pull the blanket over one’s head. The opening is September 12 from 6-10 PM at Space4Art in downtown San Diego. I’ll be there for the early part at least. Not sure how long I’ll last.

There’s always at least one animal in here with me, often Kitten. Sometimes all three are in here. Right now it’s Calli. Last night it was Kitten.

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I did take time out on Sunday to see the traveling bit of the SAQA trunk show that is in Southern California.

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It was a nice break, got me out of my head for a bit.

Then I came home and prepped 12 breakfasts (bacon, egg, and zucchini muffins)…

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Yes, they taste as good as they look. Plus 2 dinners and 4 lunches. Five lunches would have been better, but it didn’t work out that way. No, I don’t mind eating the same thing for breakfast and lunch for days. Dinner though? I need variety. So I tried to build that in there. We’ll see if I have the energy to actually cook it by the end of the week.

Wish I had more positivity with which to start the week. I think it’s just Head Down until I get enough done that I can breathe.