I have been exceptionally busy this past year, and 2019 is not going to be any different. To get clear on where I have been, and where I am going, I wrote about November 2018 in this blog post. And now, I’d like to share December 2018. It was a good one.
The last days of November were spent creating my latest Cloth in Common piece called Jökulhlaup. It is a good piece, and I am very grateful to Karol Kasmaul for leading our group into new territories. I know I am making work that I would not be making if I were not in Cloth in Common. I changed the orientation of this quilt. You were right Mark Vail.
But before I could finish the quilt, Anchorage had a major earthquake. You can read abou my experience here. YIKES. It was terrifying, but Anchorage quickly picked itself up and put itself back together. We were differently in parts, and then we were in pieces, and then we were whole again.
So carry on we did. I needed to sort out my small solo show at Visions Art Museum in San Diego. I had decided to create a series of new pieces all approximately 24’’ x 24’’ in size.
The gallery space I had been given at Visions is intimate, and these pieces would be just the right size for the show.
My favorite moments are when I get to shut down the rest of my life and create.
Maybe that seems a bit weird. It does hurt—it means short nights and long days, sore shoulders and simple meals, but it is totally worth it because I get to unapologetically work as hard as I can. It is the part of my practice when, to use a few cliches—I am in the zone, making zen quilts, at one with the sewing machine.
We are light on light this time of year. The outside fades into the gloom. The world is muted, dull, and soft.
Every year, I believe this darkness will refuse to budge, and we will never ever see or feel the sun again. Winter is a long dark pause up here.
And then finally, Solstice happens and we begin, again, to turn towards the light.
The down side of holding a stitching marathon in December is that the holiday season came and went. I regret that.
When I get into the thick of one these deadlines, I barely leave the house, and things get completely out of control in the studio. Ideas pile up on top of each other. It is a mess in more ways then one.
This is the period when I most want to quit a deadline. When I seriously consider giving up. When I wish I were a librarian with regular hours. When I think about things like pedicures and yoga with intense longing.
But I am addicted to creating backs that look like this, so I keep the pace.
Eventually, I put out plea a on Facebook for help.
My friend Kate Beebe came to the rescue. She spent EIGHT hours in my studio helping me sew on hanging sleeves and facings. She stitched until her fingers gave out. There are no photos of this incredible act of kindness towards another human being, but I am forever grateful to Kate for spending an entire day of her life helping me cross the finish line on this show.
I hauled the quilts to the post office and mailed The Pieced Canvas to San Diego.
Next up—January. How did you folks end 2018? Was it all you hoped for? Is 2019 shaping up to be year you desire? Are you staying on task with your quilting deadlines? Or have you taken a knitcation like one quilter I know? I am not pointing fingers at anyone here. I know all about knitcations. Sometimes you’ve just gotta knit.
I am having a bakecation. Quicker results than sewing but then they’re gone so quick.
That sounds delicious!
Thank you for sharing. I particularly love the comment about “Ideas pile upon each other.” Your writing creates those pictures in my head of how the world looks, the quilts and your thinking. Well said and well done.
Thank you Sydney- It is very nice of you to say that.
I see what happened here, happy to see the new orientation.
Heyho, just to let you know I’m wildearlobes. In the comment section. Looks good in the new orientation, ice caves and ice berets in a flood. Love it. Good to see you and Walt and the boys. Have a great spring traveling. Mark
Great to see you Mark! You are so right about the quilt. Thank you!
Knitting is good for the soul. But I’m back to work now. Honest.
I was thinking about you Heather. And myself. I just spent a couple of days organzing my stash. Walt pointed out to me that I have too much yarn. I am ignoring his comments.
I thought maybe you had me in mind…..However, you will be glad to know that I haven’t knitted in two weeks. Too busy sewing facings on the quilts I’ve just finished. My least favorite part….I’ll be back to knitting (in the evenings only) soon.
But I will admit, it feels good to get these quilts finished!
I would love to finish some quilts!
Amazing art. I’m at the point where everything takes so much longer than I thought. Working on small bits while prepping fabric to sell at our quilt show next month.
Bit work is very time intensive. I hope your quilt showis fabulous. I think very fondly of my experience with your guild. I was so new to teaching and traveling. Crazy times.
Went to Visions to see your exhibit. What a treat. After the docents overheard the story they offered me a white glove so i could show my sister the backs.
You did all that work! Thank you so much Kate! I am glad you enjoyed the show.
Again, I am in awe of what you accomplish
I am very deadline driven, but this year I am really trying to pace myself. I have a show that is a year away and I am working on the pieces now. We will see if I can do it this way.
Strength to your arm
Amazing pieces, lots of pressure!
Thank you Tierney!