Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Reviewing My Choices

We live in a land made from ideals, not blood and soil. We are custodians of those ideals at home, and their champion abroad. We have done great good in the world because we believed our ideals are the natural aspiration of all mankind, and that the principles, rules, and alliances of the international order we superintended would improve the security and prosperity of all who joined with us.
~ John McCain ~

I miss John's insights, ethics, and patriotism.

I reached the point of diminishing returns with these Shadow Star blocks. There are more than enough for the quilt. {Actually there's enough for two quilts. Sigh.} The extras give me more room to play with the layout but color combinations are being repeated. It's time to stop.

When I started I wanted the squares to fade into the white like these.

Six blocks arranged on the design wall without their center circles.
Shadow Star quilt blocks

After a while it seemed to need some slightly lighter compass points so I made I few more with the darkest color in the middle.

Six more blocks slightly darker colors.
Shadow Star quilt blocks

Then I realized I'd missed a number of colors and a few lovely prints begged for some fussy cutting.

This set of six blocks has fussy cut components to highlight the prints on the fabric.
Shadow Star quilt blocks

Personal issues came to a head this past month so I am mostly off-line. Hopefully short posts will suffice but very little time or energy for responding. Sorry.

Enjoy the day, Ann

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Sixteen Blocks

American nationalism isn't... nativist or imperial or xenophobic, or it shouldn't be. Those attachments belong with other tired dogmas that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history.
~ John McCain ~

Chugging along. Sixteen blocks are now complete but I didn't count as I grouped and cut fabric so there are several more on the tray. Why do I do this?

Eight-pointed star variations have medium and pastel colors surrounding white fabric stars. The center circles haven't been chosen yet.
Sixteen Shadow Star quilt blocks
They aren't laid out in any particular order. Some seem to belong to different groups. And there's the reason... or at least my way of working myself out of the corner of excess blocks. Since I usually make extras when planning larger quilts, the leftovers can be used for a smaller lap or baby quilt. It keeps the fabric moving, reduces clutter {if I get the second one made quickly} in my sewing area,  and gives me a larger selection for the quilt(s).

EDIT: The design is based on an old newspaper clipping from my cousin once removed. No idea what paper. Not terribly accurate. She had a note that I interpreted as "Aunt Ethel's quilt" - the one I have a vague memory of. Using the layout I drafted this design myself. No other information. Sorry.

Want to see the finished quilt? Skip ahead a few years to this post.

The book I'm reading now is The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights and Other Appreciations by John McCain and Mark Salter. What a reminder of better times.

Enjoy the day, Ann

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Nine Blocks

What God and good luck provide we must accept with gratitude. Our time is our time. It's up to us to make the most of it, make it amount to more than the sum of our days.
~ John McCain ~

What a wonderful precept: make our time amount to more than the sum of our days. It encourages me to think what I can do to make the world better than it was yesterday.

The fabric choices continue. I enjoy fussy-cutting the compass points when I have a large scale print...

although sometimes there isn't enough fabric {like the red compass in the bottom right.}

Even when I like the squares, there are still issues with those compass points. Currently I'm choosing between the dark red and the bright red blow.

In no particular order, here are the nine currently sewn. These are not quick blocks. It takes a couple of days for each one. Of course that includes changing out the fabrics almost every time.

Shadow Star quilt blocks

Figuring out how to best arrange the fabric is also a problem with Trip Around the World and other Trips. Do you have the same issue? I can easily see how strips look next to each other but once they are cut into squares, everything changes tremendously. I always want to rearrange something. So while I'm not working in units like Kaja, this is one of my versions of improvising.

If the blocks are sashed, the "disappearing star points" effect will still be featured. Almost as importantly, the points won't have to match up. Without sashing that effect will be lost as the points touch each other. Of course, sashing makes a lot more white. I'll need to think about posts {for the quilt, not the blog.}

And the compass centers. I don't want to add those until the layout is set. So the blocks aren't really done but they are coming along.

Enjoy the day, Ann

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Fabric Choices

We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It's easy to say, "It's not my child,
not my community, not my world, not my problem." Then there are those who
see the need and respond. 
I consider those people my heroes.
~ Fred Rogers ~

Last year I watched the Mister Rogers documentary, Won't You Be My Neighbor?, which related the life of Fred Rogers with many clips from his shows and interviews. Now I just finished reading The Good Neighbor by Maxwell King which covers much of the same ground; however, there are differences when you read. You can pause and re-read paragraphs; books usually dig deeper and explain more.

When DH saw what I was reading he queued up the 2016 documentary, Mister Rogers and Me by the Wagner brothers for us to watch last night. I didn't realize Kickstarter began the funding for this movie. The difference with the previous works is this one highlighted people who were influenced by Fred and discussed their work that parallels his vision. How good to know there are more people interested in early childhood development and grounding children in kindness.

Back to the Stars. Picking three fabrics always seems like it will be easy. It's not. At least for me it's not. First I chose the three blue fabrics on bottom. They looked so good folded in a group and so bad cut and laid out. It needed color contrast, too. I kept trying different choices until finally choosing pink for the lightest value.

So it should be easier going forward, right? Wrong.

This time I used the medium value from above as the darkest value below. Again, my first idea was a range of three values of the same color.

Eventually the pale blue worked best for the lightest fabric. Hopefully my choices will improve as the quilt moves along. {Hope springs eternal.}

Enjoy the day, Ann