In which: Annlee becomes CEO of a sweat shop and Mel and I her slave laborers—joking!
Sometimes, like yesterday, the best days are unplanned. Mel, a former quilt shop co-worker survivor surprised us when she announced she was flying into town, so the three of us met at Annlee’s house early in the afternoon (thankfully, Ross is old enough to be self-sufficient for a day so I can take off when a rare moment like this presents itself).
After 30 minutes of catch up, we walked a few blocks to a cute little pub style restaurant for a late lunch.
When we returned to Annlee’s house, her head was exploding.
A little background: Annlee is a wonderful Mom, so when her oldest son, Jeff, reached out for help, she couldn’t say no. Jeff is an artist in New York and has a gallery show coming up in three weeks. His show, to the extent that I understand it, is a presentation of rustic furniture constructed of rescued timbers. He asked his mother to make a set of four Roman shade-style panels that will hang between the posts of a bed.
She’s known about the project for a little while, but it wasn’t until Jeff’s brief return home for Christmas that the final details got sorted out, chief among them: measurements. Hence, the bursting head.
Unsure about whether she could or even want to run solo on this project (for sure, I wouldn’t go it alone), she asked Mel and me for help; in a flash, Annlee was promoted to CEO of a fine textile workroom and Mel and I were drafted as rookie seamstresses. Yes, “rookie,” as neither of us knows much about drapery construction. Perhaps Annlee needs a human resources manager to better screen her employees.
After leading our staff meeting, Annlee, a working CEO, which, incidentally, garners much respect from the employees, retreated to the ironing board
to prepare the first four lengths of fabric for Mel and me to mark and cut.
It was fun working with Mel again; she and I are hyper-devoted to detail, which makes a meeting of the minds quite easy. Because there was no room—or time—for error, we were careful to talk through our approach to marking and cutting before picking up a marking tool or rotary cutter—plus we wanted to stay in good graces with the CEO.
The luscious fabric chosen for the project is a blend of 55% linen, 45% cotton. Initially, the light brown color was chosen, but white won out in the end.
About 7:30, 8:00, Annlee, always the perfect hostess, began bouncing around her kitchen, pulling multiple varieties of tea and hot chocolate from her cabinets and bottles and containers of lemonade, limeade and organic apple juice from her jam-packed fridge, insisting that we accept something. I wasn’t all that ready to stop working, but when she offered us some of her hot and steamy, spicy, homemade turkey chili, I found a reason to take a break.
Two more hours passed and between the three of us, we made a big dent in the prep work for the shades. It was cool how well the three of us worked together, discussing, collaborating and pulling on our individual strengths to get through each step.
It’s not over yet and I’ll be back at Annlee’s house again in a couple days to resume my job as rookie seamstress. But the headway we made yesterday bodes well for the rest of the project and maybe, I will be promoted to rookie seamstress II just before the corporate downsizing which will eliminate my job.