I am beginning to understand why they say sitting at a desk all day, every day, shortens one's lifespan. I'm pretty sure that as a result of my efforts to design the first issue of Generation Q Magazine, I will die a good ten years earlier than I would have otherwise. My back hurts. My neck hurts. My right wrist is a mess. My eyes are always burning. It's fucking awesome.
I'm dead serious. Even though I feel like a big blob of pain, I am having the time of my life. I probably won't say that next weekend, as we approach deadline, but in general, I'm truly enjoying the work. And it has gone the way so many things I do has. At first, I approach the project thinking, "There's no way. There is no way in hell that I can do this. Why the fuck are they making me do this? Idiots. I told them I couldn't do it, and now I have to go through the process of failing and then telling them I'm failing and then go crawl in a hole because I let everybody down even though I TOLD them I couldn't do it."
And then I do it.
The mag is well over halfway done, and every time I take a moment to scroll through the pages and look at it, I think, "That there looks like a real magazine." I honestly don't think it looks like people are gonna pick it up and go, "This was obviously made by a middle-aged woman in between obsessing about her weight and telling children that boogers belong on tissues, not on fingers." That falls somewhere between projectile vomiting in horror and disgust and having spontaneous, multiple orgasms on the scale of How People Will React To Seeing The First Publication I Ever Designed All By Myself.
I even managed to write my column for it, and I was pretty sure that wasn't gonna happen either. Then the good old internet came to the rescue with all kinds of inspiration. I think it turned out pretty good and there's even a little eye candy to go with it. Ah, it's good to be a magazine designer!
I even ended up doing photography. All the quilts for our projects need flat shots as well as "lifestyle" shots, so that you get a pretty picture of the quilt "in use" as well as a view of the entire quilt. Unfortunately, some of our shots didn't work out in the original photo shoot and they couldn't be shot again, and I start to get twitchy when I can't be there to control everything. "Are you using enough light? Don't rely on ISO to make up for low light—it'll just end up grainy. Can you do it outside? You have to make sure it's perfectly flat and you have to make sure your camera is parallel. Hey! Where are you going?" Turns out, Jake was going to the FedEx office, because she sent me all the quilts. So then I had to suddenly come up with a way to get flat shots.
Often, people with put quilts on the floor and then find a way to get above them and shoot down, but that is fraught with problems unless you have a very specific set-up. I decided the quilts needed to go on the wall, but then, well, I needed a wall. Naturally, the only wall in my house that is suitable is in my sewing room/office, where George hangs:
So, David and I broke down all my sewing tables on the other side of the room and moved the sofa over to where they used to be, then George got re-hung in between the two windows on the west wall (and when the kids first saw what we had done, their first question was "Where's George?" followed quickly by "When are you going to put it all back exactly the way it was because we liked that better?"). After we moved George, Devon felt a need to show her support for the project:
Then I had to figure out how to get something on the walls that I could pin entire finished quilts to. After a couple false starts, I finally got a phone consultation with a wonderful woman known far and wide as Shortbread Sam. Shortbread Sam is a friend of Jake's and now she's a friend of mine AND THAT IS JUST THE COOLEST THING. Honestly, the idea that I have all these people whom I've never even met in person just kills me. I love it. Anyway, Sam suggested good old posterboard and these 3M Command strips that are used for hanging pictures. Nine panels of posterboard and nine packages of 3M strips later, I had a wall. I got some cheap reflector lamps from Amazon as well as some very bright, daylight balanced light bulbs, and set up my tripod.
The background gets completely Photoshopped out, so the seams in between the boards don't matter. It's not perfect, and doesn't really work well for very large quilts, but it did acceptably well for the smaller ones.
A few days after getting my boards set up, I got a package in the mail from Sam. She has made these super cute buttons and she sent me a whole set:
"Sewinatrix" immediately found a home on my purse. Sam will be selling these on Etsy soon, so keep checking her blog to find out when they go up. Sam is also letting me test her paper piecing patterns for letters. I want to make a big, inspirational message quilt for my sewing room. You know, something with a quote or saying that will keep me going when my ass hurts and my carpal tunnel is acting up and I just think I can't take any more goddamn quilts. So, it's going to say: RIDE IT LIKE YOU STOLE IT. Cheers me right up every time I think about it.
Anyway, thanks for being patient with me while I am "on leave," as it were, to work on this project.