Block 12: March 1, 2013


Good evening, everyone!

I’ve made the big jump away from “tone on tone” today; quite brave of me, isn’t it?

Yesterday, I saw a show (Talley’s Folly) at Roundabout’s Laura Pels Theatre with a friend. The jury is still out on what I thought of the play and production itself, but it was nice to hang out in public with someone for a change.

He mentioned he had been following my progress on the A Thousand Quilted Cranes Project. He had two questions for me. Why not make it a giant quilted blanket instead of my original thought (the obscenely long banner)? My answer, after 24 hours of thought, is that I want the project/finished product to seem like a scroll- a timeline of my life as it were. Instead of writing about actual events in my life, I’m using these cranes as reminders of all the people that have come in and out of my life. I don’t think of these people- the ones who have had a lasting effect on me- as having done so in a group. I think of them as individually leaving as impression- one after an another- instead of collectively changing me.

I keep thinking of the final project as a kind of quilted Bayeaux tapestry, if any of you are familiar with that work of art.

His second question? What would you do with something that large? I joked that once it’s done, it’ll most likely get boxed up and sent to my parent’s house to live in storage. Honestly, I hadn’t thought about its next life. Do I keep it? Do I give it away?
The Thousand Cranes Project is a task for myself. I’m making these in an attempt to make myself a better person, to better myself in life.

Does this mean I keep it?

Date: March 1, 2013

Location: Apartment, Washington Heights, NYC

Person I would have sent it to: my niece, Ruby.

Music I listened to while sewing: It was a Netflix day again. This time, Downton Abbey! Back to Season 1 (so no spoilers, please!)…

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: Today’s question for myself… “Is the knowledge that you CAN do something worse than the thought that you can’t?”

It was a busy day today; crunch time as I had a final fitting on the Elizabethan/Jacobean dress I’m building for a friend’s production this evening. I was extremely behind because I’ve forbidden myself from working past 10pm, or even before 9am, since they’re only paying me $300 for the work. It’s not a lot of money at all, when you think that the garment needed to be wearable in a week.

But I did it. Granted, this afternoon, I made an Elizabethan skirt in less than two hours, made and set-in two sleeves in another hour; this obviously meant I took short cuts whenever possible and tweaked as I went along.

We had our fitting. And with the exception of hemming the skirts and a waist adjustment I knew I would have to take (due to the finished corsetting), I only have to revisit the armsceye as the actress needs to have better arm mobility (i.e. raise her arms over her head).

The actress, the director, and my friend are excited with the outfit. They say it’s more than they every thought. To that end, they’re featuring the dress in more of the show.
I’m proud of that. I’m humbled by that. But a part of me, is even more anxious now. Despite being a designer first (and not really someone who builds clothes), I do know how to drape and build things. Given that I had limited time and resources (I wasn’t using materials I would have preferred in some cases), I did a pretty good job. But I *do* know I can do better. I do. And seeing the work that *could* be done to make it better. Seeing the short cuts I made to deliver a usable project… it unnerves me.

Am I too hard on myself? If I doubted my ability (and my ability isn’t perfect, by any means), is that a better insecurity to have than seeing something you know you could have done better and frustrated that you cheated?

Yes, I know it’s Friday night. I should be out. But I’m at home. And, even though I promised myself only one crane a day, I’m thinking about starting tomorrow’s now. Just to get my mind off of things.

Good night, everyone.

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