Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Project

Do you ever find yourself stuck in a project that turns into a series of never-ending annoyances?  I'm in these sorts right now.  It's a simple enough thing I'm trying to do -- sew a new set of curtains to replace the ones the cats put holes in two months ago by leaping up and swinging merrily while the sheer fabric tore.  I bought four sturdy all-cotton panels at Ikea which needed no work at all other than hemming them up because they were too long.  I did this with one panel and then discovered that somehow I'd gotten the measurements off and it still dragged on the floor by a good inch.  As busy as I was with school, I left that panel up and put off the entire project until summer when I'd have more time and patience.

It is now summer and I have more time.  Patience -- not so much.  Yesterday I took down the curtain to begin work and my first discovery was that Arby had given it a good spritz some time in the intervening two months.  Not a good beginning, but something I chose to ignore for the present.  The first order of business was ripping out the stitching on the hem of the panel that was too long.  First I needed to find my seam ripper.  After finding it, I got to work and was reminded how tedious taking out a hem is.  When that was at last done, there was another slight delay as I looked for my fabric marking pen and then my cloth tape measure.  Then I set to work measuring off 87 1/2" and cutting off the excess.

At this point, things were going well, so I decided that it would be nice to listen to "Morning Edition" on NPR.  So I got my laptop and clicked what needed clicking and was gratified when everything worked and my show was streaming in with an interesting story.  I got down on the floor again to continue marking a panel and the program cut out.  I got up and fiddled with the WiFi and eventually the program came on again.  I got down on the floor and had just recommenced marking the panel, when the program stopped for the second time.  And so it went.  After about the fourth attempt to stay connected, I gave up and lay down for a bit of a rest, but fell asleep instead.

An hour later, I woke up, gritted my teeth and finished marking and pinning the panels in a room devoid of entertainment.  As each panel was pinned, I hung it up on the rod to make absolutely sure that none of them dragged on the floor.  Then I stitched all the hems and finally washed and hung all the panels out on the line.

Fun though yesterday was, today I was determined to get this entire project completed.  I set up the ironing board and iron and got the first panel pressed and up on the rod.  And it's dragging on the floor -- only a little, but still...  How this can be is beyond me.  I can understand cotton shrinking after washing -- but lengthening???  Never mind -- a tiny bit of dragging will be endured.  I refuse to take all those hems out.

I brought in the second panel and noticed that one edge was crusted with dirt.  I must have inadvertently dragged it on the carport while hanging it on the line.  I didn't want to rewash the entire panel, so wet a cloth and carefully blotted out most of the dirt.

Then I went back to pressing it, only to discover that the iron no longer worked.  Yes, the iron had chosen this particular day to be its last.

This afternoon I've got to go up to Angels Camp to pick up my new glasses and will stop at the hardware for a new iron. At this point, I won't ask what else could possibly go wrong because the Curtain Gods would be sure to hear me.

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