So instead of going forward, I went on a tangent, and the tangent was: quilting.
This happens to be right up my alley, personality-wise: something that I can do by myself in my apartment, in a sort of mindless fugue state from which I surface 12 hours later to discover I have created a functional thing that I can give away and start over? Sign me up. I had zero sewing skills prior to fall of 2012, when I took an Intro to Sewing and then an Intro to Quilting class at Lill Street: Art Classes for Adults. Most of the way through the ItQ class, I made the Shades of Gray one below, and it was off to the races. And so the following are what I finished in 2013.
Shades of Gray was made out of thrifted men's shirts in, uh, grays, and Kona charcoal, I believe, was the solid. I didn't use a pattern, but it's basically a sashed brick layout. I still have this, but I don't actually use it much: a lesson in useful sizing and also the relative value of a cozy backing.
The second one I finished was for sister P's 50th birthday - she had specified reds and browns, and liked this pattern I found scouring quilt sites (this is from the blog You Had Me At Bonjour). Apparently I don't have a better finished picture than this, like with binding (it was red) which is unfortunate, but you get the idea :
And then I did the top of this Pretty Pretty Pink Princess quilt, which was based on Kaffe Fassett's "Yellow Potpourri" from one of his books, maybe Spectacular Shapes....lord knows I have like 10 of his books. I backed this one with a cotton linen blend and I use it all. the. time. It's my go-to couch blankie.
This one here is a half-square triangle quilt that I was calling "Rainy Day Picnic," made out of 6 or 7 flavors of the Squared Elements fabric line from Art Gallery fabrics. This was an object lesson in fastidious cutting and ironing open the seams, and the result was better than I had any right to expect....but man, did this take forever.
This one here is a disappearing 9-patch with sashes, made for my niece's Bat Mizvah in her mizvah colors purple, gray and black; and using fabrics that made me think of her while bowing to the fact that she's an adult now. Mazel Tov, Hannie!
Baby quilts: I'm a fan, because they go from conception to execution in like a weekend. This was for one of my work-mates' first girl-baby - she said she didn't want anything too pink or pastel-y, and while she didn't have formal colors she did like purple and yellow. The pattern is something I just sort of hazarded after looking around at various whirligig type things. My first effort at a border, though I think I should have added a white one so the whirlies weren't whirling right into the yellow. Lesson learned. (and the lesson was: don't do borders.)
And the next baby blanket was Oh Fransson!'s New Wave quilt pattern: another questionable picture, and the binding is obviously not on yet, but I started to see the value in the many many whimsical fabrics available for youngns, and this one had elephants and foxes and birds and bicycles and also the alphabet, in my friend's nursery colors of aqua and gray:
And the last finish of the year was another Kaffe Fassett pattern called Bordered Diamonds, and the colors in here actually gave me a fair amount of stressy nausea because so many! colors! eeps! This was for a friend who chose a lot of these fabrics, though, and has a much much better developed sense of what goes with what than I do, so trusting her I closed my eyes and jumped, and the result was this here Carnival Pandemonium quilt, heavy on the oranges and purples:
So when I go on a tangent, I REALLY go on a tangent. And as it happens, I'm already four quilts deep into 2014, so apparently this is now a quilting blog, though I might still natter on about Other Topics as they strike my fancy. Oh, and I'll likely swear quite a bit, too.