I'll start by saying that I am not posting images of the final installation here. I'll post it on Sunday. I really want the church to enjoy this piece before it hits social media. The above and below photos are from the pre-hang we did 1 week ago today. It feels like it was a month ago right now! So much has happened in a week and I barely slept last week with the looming Easter deadline.
There was a lot of discussion and research going into the decision of ho to hang this piece. This is an issue I always run into. Many of my pieces are meant to be hung away from the wall rather than on on it. Luckily I had a great team that I was working with through this process and there had already been a cable system hung elsewhere in the church. We went with the "classic" dowel rod, with 2 tiny hooks on either end. The pieces are put on the dowel then Wayne and Cory (their assigned job now) take poles with hooks on the end and lift it with the poles on to the cable above.
I will go into a lot more detail on the final post about the Easter Sunday "unveiling" but I cannot say enough how honored I am to have been hired for this installation. I have always been inspired by stained glass windows and this piece gave me the opportunity to apply that inspiration to my own work. I had a great team to work with from the church throughout this process, it was all in all an amazing experience. When the piece was in place and finished on Friday, I cried. I was moved, joyous and exhausted. I have to admit, I'm still riding this wave of excitement and I hope it wears off soon so I can get more than 6 hours of sleep to play catch up!
Along the way this piece has taken over our dining room. My studio space with the loom, sewing table, general disaster, was not spacious enough to house these pieces. Each panel is about 3'4" by 12' long. I was working on the table for most of this process, but when it came down to hemming the sides, I couldn't measure it rolled up, I had to keep re-stitching areas into place, so the second 2 panels I moved to working on the floor.
Other issues I ran into...for a week I could not get hold of the dark green crinkle satin from Joann's. I ordered it online from my local stores, 3 hours or so later I got an email that the order had been cancelled. I ordered it online from the company (they had to have 2 yards somewhere) and about 4 days later I got an email cancelling the order. I pleaded in an email to customer service with no response. The following week I found a bolt sitting in my store. I bought all 4 yards. I usually purchase too much in yarn or fabric when I'm working on a piece, but since the terms of the commission was that they were paying for materials, I was using coupons and buying what I needed as I needed it (hence using Joann's). I also purchased fabric from Field's fabric in Grand Rapids. I really had to reel myself in on that shopping trip.
My sewing machine jammed to the point that whatever I did, it did not want to go. I am so thankful to have 2 sewing machines. This seems to happen every time. The week the piece is due, the week of Halloween, you name it.
Moving to the floor. I had to be careful in my ironing to not melt this piece to the carpet. Also, you cannot directly iron the silver fabric, it's content is all sorts of strange, including some metal because my touchscreen on my phone would react to it if the silver happened to graze it.
I love the ironing/sewing novelties section of Joann's. Above is a normal press cloth on the left, the more expensive but sheer silk press cloth in the middle and on the right, an ironing pad that's meant to lay over the top of your dryer to iron, but works great as a portable ironing section (for the floor).
It was a bit too late in the process when I realized that I should have gotten knee pads too. Even my dining room space wasn't that big to work on this piece, but I got it together and it is done! Such a relief. And I only dropped 3 pins in my coffee through the process.