Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Best of 2014

I have started this post a bajillion times, each time thinking I'm going write about all my accomplishments from the last year, and instead I find myself whining about how the last year pretty much blew chunks. Again. Seriously, y'all, I am kind of tired of looking back on the year and thinking, "Well, thank Gof THAT'S over." (I realize I typed "Gof" instead of "God" but now I'm imagining some personal deity who looks over my life and determines how shitty my year is going to end up being and apparently his name is Gof. All hail the mighty Gof!)

I keep having these conversations with my husband where I tell him that I feel unmoored, that I don't know what to do with myself, that nothing, no project or endeavor, seems like the right thing to pursue. Should I try to be a novelist? Should I keep working on the everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-quilting-but-all-the-other-quilting-books-were-too-stuffy-to-tell-you book instead? A newsletter? Embroidery designs? Quilt designs? Nothing appeals to me, and then I remember that I know so many people in this business who are trying to make a living doing these things and here I am going, "La dee dah, what shall I occupy myself with today?" and I feel guilty.

Unmoored. that's the word I keep coming back to. I feel so unmoored.

Despite my lack of moorings, I have managed a few things, not the least of which is the I'm A Tula Fan quilt. Do you know Karlee Porter? Well, allow me to introduce you. Karlee is a very young (like twenty-three or some such nonsense) longarm quilter who has developed a style she calls Graffiti Quilting. She uses several different design motifs and combines them, producing this really cool effect that is, frankly, kind of mesmerizing to look at. All of the work I had seen of Karlee's had been very high-contrast, but I imagined it on the Tula quilt just in the background areas and only adding texture, not color. It just so happened that Karlee had been playing with monofilament thread and that is what she used on the Tula quilt. She then did a very regular looping pattern in each dresden plate and a kind of casual, free motion circle around and inside each center.

I bound it with a black and grey Tula print from the Moonshine collection and placed the last stitch on the label on Monday. I think it's freaking magnificent and I cannot stop looking at it.

A million thanks to Karlee for giving this quilt a soul.

So generally sucky was 2014 that I assumed there was nothing else for me to go back and point to as an "accomplishment." Certainly, there were no other quilts this year, but upon review there were some pretty good blog posts. In fact one of them set massive records for views and comments, even though it wasn't the least bit funny. So I thought I'd just list them all here, in case you maybe missed one or two.

So, here's to a happy, healthy, prosperous and well-moored 2015. Thank you again for joining me on this ride and for not once telling me this past year to watch my language.

Design Wall—or The Drywall-Destroying Panels of Doom? 
In which I discover a really cool way to make a design wall that, as of today, has still not come crashing down on my head.

My New Book
One of my favorite activities is to make an April Fool's post and then wait for somebody to link to it on Quilting Board. Those people are APPALLED by me and it's so entertaining.

Traditional neo retro post-industrialist modern punk quilting or TNRPIMPQ 
You want to create a quilting 'movement" that isn't really a movement at all? I got your movement right here. Movement. (This was also the second most popular post of all time for my blog.)

The Laughter Quilt
I thought it would be really cool to collect quilt squares from all my readers and turn it into a massive quilt devoted to the power of laughter. I may have slightly overestimated my readership or how willing people would be to write down what makes them laugh on some simple little quilt blocks, but I will not give up! About 100 people immediately responded. I still need about 600 more. I do still get questions as to whether I am still accepting blocks (even after I re-post links to the original post as a hint, hint). YES!!! I am still accepting them. Otherwise, the Laughter Quilt is basically a Laughter Table Topper.

Quilting With the Big Dogs
This actually started out because of some appalling behavior I was watching from a fellow Quilt Industry Professional and I had thought of trying to make some aspects of that person into an animal character, but then I started writing in the voice of a dog and realized I really love dogs and didn't want to make my quilting dog into a total asshole. Also, cats get way too much attention.

Behind the Bolts
I interviewed a JoAnn's employee and wrote about what she told me.  The most viewed and commented-on post of all time.

Super Helpful Amazon Product Reviews
Sometimes, even when I'm feeling pretty low, I still manage to entertain myself.

I'm A Quilting Fan, I Think
One of the most gratifying things about writing this blog has been hearing from people who appreciate seeing something they have often thought or felt put into words. I didn't think that would happen so much from my expression of quilting ennui.

Texting With Mom
Fake texts are one of my favorite forms of comedy. Once I finally figured out how to generate them (even though I forgot which bubbles are the sender and which the receiver), I was in giggle heaven. Another moment where I made myself laugh and that was all that mattered.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Texting with Mom*

*not my actual mom
(and yes, I realize I got the sender and receiver mixed up on these, but I'm not doing it all over, so hopefully it still works)