Friday, January 16, 2009

Things Fall Apart

And no, this is not a review of Chinua Achebe's novel! I had just two days at my workshop this week...I was going in today but find myself dealing with the pain of sciatica (something new for me) so I came home and today I will play with some calligraphy between drug-induced naps. 

Shortly after Christmas I had this pain in my hip/lower back and it progressed down through my leg in days following...sometimes it would seem to get better and sometimes I wouldn't feel it  at all but then last week I had tears flowing trying to get up in the mornings.  The pain would get better as I moved around but the mornings became horrendous! Finally went to the er and followed up with my doc and I'm trying to decide whether to take the PT she ordered or wait for a few weeks to see if there is any improvement.  I really do not want to accomodate the effects of taking the pain pill and the muscle relaxer...I have stuff I need/want to do and this is such an intrusion in my plans here!  Yesterday I did fairly okay without taking anything until the afternoon and had to miss a meeting with area textile and fiber artists.

The other problem which I knew was coming, came cutting table collasped!  (My mother's voice in my head "they saw you coming)  I purchased this table at Hancock's about 2 years ago and got it for 50% off.  I paid 50 bucks and it was the last one. Boy, did I feel smug and satisfied!  Well, when I set up the workshop back in the spring there was one problem screw that would not stay in...okay, I thought, I'll contend with it and just tighten it up from time to time.  Well since then every single screw has fallen out!  I would be in my workshop and here this "ping" would be the sound of a screw falling out and hitting the floor.  Every single screw that holds the top to the legs will not stay in.  Since I've been in a printing and sewing mode I've not had to use the table for cutting and have piled supplies on it.  Thinking that the weight of the supplies held the top down I really didn't give it too much thought (or just didn't want to deal with it)...well, like I said, yesterday it gave I'm on the search for a replacement.  I've inquired about 3 wood kitchen tables on Craigslist between 20-40 bucks and am waiting for replies.  I'm thinking I could glue the current cutting surface to the top of a rectangle kitchen table and elevate it with risers.  A friend of my father's could build me one if I don't need it in hurry and he is the same one who I'm waiting to call about building me a sewing table...but he works full time at Ford and it is so up in the air when I'll have them.  I'm just kinda typing out loud here for the most cost efficient and immediate answer to this problem.

And if the sciatica and collasped table wasn't enough...with less than 1/6 of the quilting to go on the current quilt that measures 60"x40" (huge for me) I ran into some SERIOUS puckering where the fusible didn't adhere well.  I would rather make a whole new quilt than to try to take the quilting out (a hell of a lot) and pull apart the fabric from the batting to adjust I thought cutting in down in size since the puckering is near the left edge.  The puckering you can see (click on image to enlarge) is not the worst of it either...I have that section folded back to see how adjusting the width would effect the overall design.  The yellow section is also wider than in the photo. 

DSCN3845 copy 

My other idea is to sew down patches of stone and rock that form circles over the problematic area and across the quilt in other sections...The title of this quilt is "washing over the stone of our origin" or "stone of our origin" which is a line from the poem written on it. 

Ah, but the brave thing that I did yesterday was to re-fashion quilt study into postcards and trading cards...if you take a peek at my old blog, Art Going Postal, they are in the line with Urban Egression.  When I complete the edging I'll place them up for sale and trade on a page here and on my website. 

With the King Holiday and the Inaurugation to follow I'm really jazzed...I like to prepare what I call a Freedom dinner on King Holiday and listen to and read his speeches, especially The Letter From the Birmingham Jail.  I think I'm going to watch the festivities with my parents on Tuesday and possibly drop into one of the community gatherings around town.  How are you planning to spend Monday and Tuesday?



  1. a shared tradition - I always read letter from a birmingham jail on King day. Sometimes my husband and I read it aloud to each other. Less pleasant or uplifting sharing - last spring I suddenly developed sciatica and was amazed by how much it disrupted my life. I did opt for PT and found it extremely helpful. Even followed up at the gym, etc. But in the past month (e.g. since it's become extremely cold as a general rule) I have had an outbreak of more problems - pain in the spine and the leg. Have had to learn to work around it and remain flexible in my plans. For me, at least, the pain and also the muscles actively spasming are a lot "bigger" than anything I can devise in the mind over matter department.

  2. That is such a beautiful piece. I enlarged the photo and I can't see the puckering. I am sure you will find a good solution to save this.
    Your pain sounds like mine. It seems counter-intuitive, but I find stretching exercises to help. I opted for pt rather than meds or a cortisone shot.
    What am I going to do Monday and Tuesday? Be very happy! Be glued to the tv, prolly.

  3. Check at your building supply store. I think you can get a substance that you insert into the scew holes prior to putting the screws in which will solidify and hold the screws in. If the table is metal you can use something called liquid steel. Insert the screws and then generously cover the screw heads with the liquid steel. It dries solid and hard. It should work.
    We do a very very gentle yoga that I'm told can help with sciatica.

  4. Oh, dear! I was thinking that there was something you could do about loose screws...then read Noreen's comment. It might at least serve as a stop-gap method until you could get what you really want.
    So sorry about the sciatica. I've heard horror stories about the pain. Hope you can manage the pain and the brain some way.
    I can't see the puckering either, but love the brilliant pink in your piece.

  5. I'm so sorry to hear about the sciatica- it's misery when something like that upends your plans. I hope you find something that helps relieve the pain soon- that doesn't involve drug-induced anything!
    Like the others, I can't see the puckering- but photos can be deceptive. Sometimes cropping can improve a piece, I think you were smart to consider it.

  6. I had sciatica once and it was awful. I went to a non-forcing chiropractor and she did some re-alignment and when I got off the table an hour later, I no longer had it. Best $100 I ever spent.
    Try it.
    Sounds like your screws are too loose for the holes in the table. You need mollys to take up the room in the holes and try re-assembling. I'm no carpenter but this may work. Get a guy to do it for you. Good luck