Thursday, May 31, 2012

Nosy neighbors

 I was so looking forward to the holiday weekend!  two days off in a row!!  And the weather was beautiful, and for the first time in at least 5 years, we got our garden planted on time!  I found a guy on Craigslist to come rototill and I can't say enough about him.  He was friendly and respectful and showed up when he said he was going to, his price was more than fair, and he did a great job. He does all sorts of other yard and garden stuff too, I highly recommend him to anybody in the RI area. Thomas Reilly, 401-749-5296.  And he's a military man, so that seemed appropriate too!
So here's the view from my garden bench!  The garden is about twice this length.  Tomatoes and peppers and beans, oh my.  And my nosy neighbors.  Some people say cows don't have much personality, but these two couldn't be more different; the one on the left enjoys being sprayed in the face with the hose--in fact she'll come closer and open her mouth for a drink--the other one doesn't like it at all.  On the other hand, the one on the right will let you pet him on the nose, the other one won't come close enough to be touched.  But they BOTH come running when they see someone in the garden, they're always looking for a handout. 

Yeah, so we got our garden planted, and Preston welded his trailer.  He offered to let me do it, but I have to admit I'm leery of the welder.  I'd probably zap myself and that would be the end of me.  But he requested that I model the helmet, very sexy.

And my muses won't shut up; the more stuff I make, the more loudly they clamor.  The other quilt top is sewn together, but I was compelled to begin this one.  This, too, was triggered by something else.  I made a little purple gingham dress, which sold in my shop before I could even get it finished.  Inspired by that and by the fact that gingham makes me happy anyway, I cut out four more dresses in the shades you see here.  And of course, there were scraps so you know what transpired.  I should have tried to hunt down a couple more colors, but I'm still on a mission to see how much stuff I can make out of materials I already have, so that's what I did.  As I said before, I'm not really a quilter.  I have a Judy Martin book with lots of great quilt block designs, and I've used them on small one-block projects, but to make a whole quilt--even a baby quilt--with anything more complicated than squares takes too long because they really should be hand-quilted instead of tied, and I get bored.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Voices in my Head Said, "Make Another Quilt"

 And we must always obey the voices.  Actually
what happened was that I was making this little flannel baby jacket, and as I was looking at the colors in the print I thought, those would make a really colorful baby quilt!  So of course I had to go get my tote o' scraps immediately, because you know if I wait I would never get around to it.  I'm not really a "quilter" in the true sense of the word, but that's ok.  If I had the time and patience to make real quilts nobody would be able to afford them anyway. 
Quilts are not something I do all the time, but I guess my brain was still in quilt mode from having just recently finished this purple and turquoise one.  Sparky doubted, she said those two colors fight...and to be honest, I think I've lost all perception of what colors go with what.  I can not think of a color combination I've never used in the making of powwow regalia.  After a while everything I learned in art class in elementary school just lost meaning (and believe it or not, I DID learn that in art class;  they showed us a color wheel and informed us that these colors go together, and those do not.  As you can see, I didn't pay a lot of attention in school).
 Anyway, my response to Sparky was, "if I put them together, they're going to have to learn to get along".  And they do.  Apparently it's not just me, because the quilt I made was inspired by this little afghan I made out of a skein of yarn I found at the local consignment shop;  purple and turquoise all variegated together.  It also inspired several purple-and-turquoise baby outfits, which brings us back to the voices in my head.
People talk about their "muse" all the time, what inspires them to do what they do.  I would picture myself as having two muses, sitting on each shoulder like in the cartoons, and egging each other on;  "hey, look at that yarn!  Why don't you make an afghan?  I bet you remember how to make the broomstick stitch".  "You know what would be fun?  Some little clothes that match those colors, cause you don't see THOSE colors every day in the baby department".  "While you're at it, why don't you take the scraps left over from the clothes and make a quilt?  You weren't really going to throw them away, now were you?" (I wasn't.  And to be fair, I think that last one might have been my Dad.  God forbid I should throw anything away!!!).

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Prom season is almost over!  While I always welcome the extra work, it just so happens that at the same time the prom gowns start coming in for alterations, everyone else also decides they need stuff done so my shop fills up with piles of work to be done!  But I made it through another year, and people have been really patient with me so I'm thankful for that. 

In between the prom stuff and all the other stuff, I've still been working on new things for the store.  It makes me happy, and at the end of the day (literally) you need things that make you happy to balance out your work day stress.  This is the collar to a little dress I'm making...indeed, it's almost done now that I found out how to make little buds using this Oyster Stitch.  Thanks to Carol, who posted this really cool link on Facebook at exactly the time when I was thinking about trying to find some stitch that would replicate the buds in the fabric.  Embroidery is not something I do a lot, so I learn stuff as I go when I need to.
Another thing I don't know a lot about is crochet. There are a few stitches I know, and I DO know how to make granny squares, so I make the most of that.  I always seem to have at least one crochet project going, and I work on them at night while we watch such enriching shows as America's Got Wackos. ("Hey, you could do that!!"  "Yeah, but WHY???")  The current project is going to be some sort of afghan;  maybe for a baby, maybe larger.  Someone gave me this yarn, and I don't know what she had planned to make from it but I looked at it and saw granny squares.  So we'll see how many squares three big skeins of Red Heart will make. 
And then there's THIS bunch of really bright colors:

I have them left over from my first-ever Grass Dance regalia (more on that later), and I thought a baby afghan made from them would be a good idea.  People come in to the shop all the time looking for baby stuff and I just can't keep up!  So I worked up this one square to see how big it would be if I used all the colors, and how many squares I'll have to make.  As it happens, I had picked up some extremely cute polka-dotted fabric last week that has these same colors in it.  So we'll see what comes of that.

And now, it's time to get back to my REAL job!  Those prom gowns aren't going to hem themselves, and in spite of every fairy tale I've ever read, the mice do NOT come out at night and finish all my work.