Tuesday, June 23, 2020

More String Diamonds

When men fear the loss of what they know, 
they will follow any tyrant who promises to restore the old order.
~Barbara Kingsolver in Unsheltered

Quilting

The scrap bag still looks as full as when I started. More diamonds in the making but this time simply divided into either light or dark. A speaker at our guild showed her elegant Feathered Stars. Some were traditionally set while others were rotated 45 degrees so the points lined up with the cardinal directions.

Twenty-four paper-pieced string diamonds of dark values of blue, black, brown, green, red, and purple surround eight more string diamonds of very light fabrics.
Diamond strings made into a star

With this layout, the backgrounds are just more 45 degree isosceles triangles. Half diamonds as it were. Since they needed contrast with the star outlines, they are made using only lights. The strings are chosen to "look good" next to the previous one. Whatever that means. Just as long as they are light.

Two large isosceles triangles o fpaper-pieced strings rest on a green cutting board.
Triangle strings for a background

I wasn't sure what these would look like arranged around the star but it's not too bad.

Sixteen large, light value isosceles triangles form an octagon around the dark string diamonds.
Triangle strings added to diamond strings 

Gardening

My mother was a gardener but I've never been very successful. With all the extra time at home this year {and with lots of advice, encouragement, and some seeds from a dear friend} I planted two larger containers with zucchini and bush beans, two window boxes with herbs, and diligently added watermelon radishes between the larger seeds. The idea is that they will be pulled before/as the larger plants need more room. Watermelon radishes are delicious but usually only found at restaurants. Only twice have I found them at the farmers' market and never in our groceries. We'll see how it works out. Pretty good so far but there is a squirrel or cat who comes by regularly to dig certain plants up. Sprinkling lots of pepper around seems to be discouraging this antisocial behavior somewhat.

This morning I noticed a new but smaller hole near the plants. This time I'm getting the red pepper flakes out! And I'm open for more advice. 

Projects Around the House

Like everyone else, I've noticed an uptick in quilting procrastination. I've been reading {mainly rereading  favorites.} That led to a purge of the bookshelf. DH even agreed to discard twenty old reference books that were seriously out of date. AND the related software. Now he's on eBay selling off old DVDs and spare parts. Woo hoo! Not much money but we are both delighted to keep things out of the landfill and I, at least, am delighted to get them out of the house.

This weekend was a clean out of the spice rack. Sad to report one bottle expired in 2006. No wonder it didn't add much taste. 

Voting

Our November 3 election is 133 days away. Are you registered to vote?

Enjoy the day, Ann

31 comments:

  1. The strong contrast between the light and dark string pieced triangles is stunning! I am looking forward to seeing this piece evolve!

    I'm a want-to-be gardener so I am Zero help with your issue of some creature digging around your plants. I put a fence around my garden to keep the deer out, but other creatures can easily get in. So far I haven't had a problem.

    Good for you and DH with your purging! It is amazing how outdated stuff collects. Last week in the neighborhood there must have been some serious cleanout going on because it seemed like every third of fourth house had a huge pile of broken furniture set out for bulk pick up. You know people are bored when they are down to purging to fill in their stay-at-home time!

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    1. I find when working with my scraps that the mediums get used up first and I'm left with lots of dark and light. This was a great way to clear them out.
      We are too urban for deer but certainly have loads of unbelled cats. Two of them got in a fight last night.
      I thought we were unique but we are following the crowd. Everyone here has started filling their trash bins and setting out extra junk. We are starting small and working to larger stuff. Still a lot to go.

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    2. I live in the city next to the metro parks and that is where the deer come from. They are not afraid of people and like to graze thru the neighborhood at all hours of the day looking for a easy snack. My neighbor has two cats she brought home as strays and they run the neighborhood. I don't like cats to begin with and chase then whenever I see them in my yard. But cats don't care and they will wander back. They like to go into the woods at the back of my yard and hunt. Two cats in a fight - what a racket!

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  2. The star is so lovely--I like the contrasting sections a lot...
    I am spending this week binding all my little RSC quilts that I have made so far this year...I don't want to ADD anymore until I see what I have; plus I have two BIG projects one to bind the other to sew together...ENOUGH....
    Hugs from home base Julierose on a foggy Tuesday...

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    1. Thanks, Julierose. This is certainly the perfect time to clear out our old projects. We need the room since we are staying home all the time.

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  3. the first quote is very true... omg... I hope voting makes a difference this time, since the majority of Americans want change. Your strings are brilliant! I like them in triangles instead of diamonds... you can do a lot design wise with them. I bank from activity to activity because of lack of focus. That happens when your basic safety needs are not met. LeeAnna

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    1. I'm very disappointed with the roadblocks to voting. Mail in ballots would be such a smart move if keeping people safe and encouraging them to vote is the point. And don't get me started on gerrymandering. Talk about breaking down neighborhoods.
      I can easily flitter from one project to the next. I'm worst at getting the tops sewn... especially in this heat.

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  4. I love your string stars. You make it look so easy. I've been cleaning and sorting too. Today I listened to an old CD thinking I'd listen to it one last time and then put it in the give-away pile. But, I liked the CD all over again. It's going to stay put. I also cleaned out an old box with scraps in it, thinking I'd add them to the quilt I'm working on. I was surprised to realize that there wasn't as much in that box as I remembered so I took everything out and put my stacks of greens in there to keep them all together. It just feels so good to organize, doesn't it?

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    1. Thanks, Robin. It is easy. You can use that kaleidoscope tool to make the diamonds and their paper foundations. No set in seams and I'm getting rid of lots of strings.
      Yes, I have done that will CDs and books... and fabric. Intending to sort and toss but just reshelving.

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  5. I love what you are doing with that string star. I'm looking forward to what will become of it, with it.

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  6. You've got this string star business looking great, so don't worry about whatever was meant. Just keep going!
    I'm the opposite of everyone else when it comes to gardening. Raised on a farm, I'm actually pretty good at coaxing veggies and flowers out of something green. It's the heat that's my problem. The very thing that has plants growing and producing is what burns me out. Mostly I walk around giving "advice" to the guys around here, pretending they need it. I like to point at things. Sometimes I just point and say nothing. Yes, that's my forte! I point well. :)

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    1. Thanks, Mary.
      I have no advice so although I point, it's just so say, "Isn't that lovely." I do get up with the sun to do any outside work. It's so hot and will stay that way till Halloween.

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  7. Yes, ma'am we are registered to vote. We've been cleaning out and repurposing/regifting, too. We used to garden when we lived in the upper midwest but the summers are so hot here that we've not had much luck (and the hard clay soil isn't great either). LOVE what you're doing with your triangle stars - very, very nice.

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    1. I know. I'm preaching to the choir to tell anyone reading this blog to register. It's our grandkids and young neighbors. Perhaps I should make a flyer. I remember taxiing people to vote when I was young. Unfortunately now is not the year to pick up unknown groups. Nor is it the year to vote in person. I resent these moves to curtail both physical voting locations and mail in voting.

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  8. Loving your triangle stars, so effective. It's been a no-sew zone here these past few weeks, I'm busy downsizing my 94yr aunties home down to one room. And, ever mindful of the landfill v finding 'new' homes for her bits & pieces, we too are using Trade Me and other avenues, but it breaks my heart when she comments "its my life going out the door".

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    1. Thanks, Linda. You are in a difficult place. My mother at least downsized to a smaller house on her own but I remember how hard it was for her to get rid of half her stuff. I've read that book on Swedish death cleaning and try to do it. I do have talks with the kids about what they would want and what they'd never want. Certainly all these old files are something they won't need and they can delete them with a simple click of a button because I've put them in labelled files.

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  9. Great piecing! And you're using scraps, very satisfying.

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  10. Quilting - adore your latest creation Ann!! I love strip/string quilts and you definitely have a winner here, the addition of the outer triangles adds another dimension, I wonder where you're going to go next! How wide are your strips?
    Garden - good luck with deterring cats or squirrels, we have the same problem in our vegetable plots, the cats next door - four of them - seem to think that is their own personal toileting area!! We have tried out a few ideas but perhaps pepper should be our next go to possible solution. Good luck with your problem.

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    1. How kind of you, Maureen. These are mainly skinny strings from 3/4" to 2" and I'm finding it makes it look better. I need to find a way to square it up next.
      Yes, this is a cat and he's using the flowerbed as a toilet. Grr. I bought a large can of those hot dried red pepper flakes and have been sprinkling it all around my plants. So far so good.

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  11. This makes me wish my haphazard methods would let me tackle a star - I love how the strong structure holds all your scraps so effectively.

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    1. And I wish my structured methods would somehow morph into your "haphazard" style.

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  12. The triangles look so good together. Now I'm intrigued to find out how you will fill out the corners (presuming you will square this off)....And, you bet I'm a registered voter!

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    1. Thanks, Nann. I'm working on them now. I knew you were a registered voter because you're so organized.

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  13. These triangle strings are gorgeous. What a fantastic way to use up scraps. Happy Stitching!

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    1. Thanks, Jocelyn. I'm glad to have a new way to use my scraps up. There are always more.

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  14. Oh yes, the bottomless scrap bin! Your star is looking fabulous. Love the intensely dark pieces around the lighter star and then lighter fabrics framing the whole. I'm always trying to pinpoint exactly what precisely makes up the 'Ann' look, but whatever it is, I usually love it. Couldn't ever duplicate it, but what would be the point? You do you, and I'll do me.:)

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    1. Those scrap bins automatically refill. I'm glad I keep mine small. It still gets out of hand.
      I wasn't sure how this would look with only the darkest and lightest. It could have been boring but this is pretty fun. How kind of you to write. I love looking at yours and wish I had more of your whimsy. But as you write, I'll to me and you do you. And we can be a mutual admiration society. Perfect.

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  15. Do you are a tutorial on how you join the triangles. Would love to try and make something with them. Thanks

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    1. I don't have a tutorial, Patti. They are sewn on paper and the apex is a 45 degree angle which you can cut with your regular ruler. If you look there are no set in seams on this version. Just think of eight pieces of pie. Hope this helps.

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