After repairing the sewing machine and finding a copy of the manual on-line, I started learning to use it. Sure wish I had taken home ec in high school! I can’t imagine how I’d be getting along right now if I hadn’t taken typing, then. You never know what’s going to come in handy in your life, especially when you are seventeen years old. I marvel at the kids who have already figured out that they are going to become pediatricians or accountants or morticians. At seventeen, I barely had enough sense to get out of bed in the morning, so how did I figure out that it was a good idea to take typing?
Well, back to sewing. I’m pretty good at following directions, so I was able to load the bobbin, thread the needle and begin practicing sewing. Getting the tension right between the needle thread and the bobbin thread was a challenge. The manual shows how a correct stitch is supposed to look; none of mine looked that way for the first hour. The needle thread was either too tight or the bobbin thread was too tight. I just said that I was good at following directions, but there was one that I missed that made all the difference: you are supposed correct the needle tension with the presser foot lowered. I kept trying to set the tension with the foot up. When I discovered what I was doing, it only took another thirty minutes to adjust it! Not only do I follow directions well, I’m also patient.
This project is all about flexibility and improvisation, so I’ve made another adjustment to how the canvases are going to be displayed. Originally, I thought I would just hem the edges of the pieces and attach grommets, but I decided that might not be secure enough. After some deliberation, I decided to cut two pieces of canvas for each shape that will be on the trellises and create pillow-like objects: three-dimensional “sculptures” instead of just flat, two-sided paintings. I’m planning to stuff the pillows with the millions of plastic grocery bags that we accumulate and with the packing peanuts we’ve saved from previous moves. I knew those would come in handy eventually.
After cutting all the additional pieces, I started sewing then together. Here is a photo of cutting and one of sewing. I also pressed each piece so it would provide a smooth surface for the painting, which will be done before I stuff the pillows.
I started preparing the canvases last night by gessoing them. If you aren’t familiar with the term “gesso” you can go to that all-purpose, pseudo encyclopedia, Wikipedia, to find out more than you could possibly want to know about it. Here’s the link:
As the painting progresses, I’ll add photos.
Charles, these are so cool! You are one of the most creative minded people I know. You run such a wide gammet of projects AND the impressive part is that you carry them thru and complete them! I am impressed. Now I want to see them in person.
Sherri and Buck
Thanks! Yes, we really need to get together so you can see these “on the ground.” I’ll consult my “social secretary” to see when we can do that. Let’s make it soon.