Getting it all done

I guess if I wanted to create an umbrella topic for this blog post it would be about the process of working.
When i last showed you the Torah mantle, it looked like this.
Clearly, a something in progress. This is the stage when I know exactly where I am going and feel pretty good about myself. I understand that if my client were to see this photo she might have some doubts about how the project was going. I get that it does at this point look like something of a mess.

But letter by letter, I stitch down the bits that make up the appliques letters. i then carefully cut away all of the extra fabric with my trusty cuticle scissors.

Some of the fabrics are easier to cut than others.  This orange hand stitched  Indian cotton is a dream to trim. The needle-pointed kippah is something of a bear to trim.  The needle-point is dense and has been stitched to a black backing. It's a whole lot of careful snipping with a tool that does not especially want to carefully snip around curved lettering.

The hardest fabric of all is the multicolored fabric. It started life as Indian pill box kippot that is constructed out of bits and bobs of textile effluvia, cotton lace, bunches of couched threads, hand embroidery and shisha mirrors. I have to denude these pieces of the mirrors before I begin stitching. If I don't remove the mirrors I risk either breaking a sewing machine needle or blindness from the flying pieces of broken glass. The Indian pill-box hats are a whole range of thickness all within an inch or so. Sewing machines don't take kindly to sewing on such fabric. No, I have not cursed yet, not even in my head.

The cuticle scissors are also hard on my hands. After too much time trimming with the cuticle scissors I get giant blisters on my fingers. So I try to vary the tasks to keep my sanity, my vision and my hands all intact.

Once I am done with this step them i thread all of the losse threads and pull them all to the back of the piece.
Eventually, the Torah mantle looks less like a kindergarten art project gone wrong,

and closer to what I had envisioned before I began sewing.

Staying focused on a project filled with  so many small and pesky tasks can be difficult. Earlier today I made myself a fast dress to re-spark my energy.

I re- arranged my Thanksgiving floral arrangement.
I threw away all of the dead and dying flowers. I suppose that my bag of earth from the Holy land should remind the flowers that they ought to stay perky for a little while longer.

I also began work on an atara for a new tallit commission.

Eventually, everything gets done.


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