28 July 2014

Public libraries are important!

Before you read the rest of my post, please note this disclaimer: I am a librarian who has worked in NSW public libraries for nearly 30 years. 

I love words - reading and writing them. Enticing people to enjoy these same things is the reason I became a librarian. Along the way, I have developed skills (too many to list here) that I use in different ways, including writing for magazines, and editing magazines and books.

Did you know that library funding in NSW was once split 50:50 between the state government and local government? Aah, those were the days.

At present, the NSW state government contributes only seven cents out of every dollar and local councils now have to fund 93% of the cost of providing public libraries. The NSW state government contribution to libraries is the lowest of all states in Australia.*

How can you help change this? I'm glad you asked!

* For more information about how you can influence the NSW state government to pay its share of public library funding, visit the NSW Public Libraries Association website

Remember, 2015 is an election year in NSW so make your local representative know that public libraries are important to you and that you want them properly funded.

22 July 2014

Yes, I had too many books

Do you remember this post where I talked about how I was prepared for reading during my break from my day job? 

I confess I was a little, well, over-prepared. I'm back at work tomorrow, so let's see how many of these titles I finished - nine. Not too bad?

Three faves from these piles are:

The Book of You by Claire Kendal

Dancing on Knives by Kate Forsyth

You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz 

I still have ten piled up to read but that's ok - I hate not to have a choice when I start a new novel. Happy, happy.

20 July 2014

Being an optimist

It's difficult to be positive when we see so much unhappiness and misery in our world. Why do so many men seem intent to murder? You don't see women firing missile launchers at passenger planes; you don't see women shooting classmates with guns. What is it about being a man that creates this violence?

I don't have any answers - I wish I did. All I can do is try to see the good in life instead of being overwhelmed by the bad.

19 July 2014

Five favourite quilt sightings in movies

Watching movies on DVDs is my preferred way of viewing - no advertisements, no interruptions, and all the home comforts. Movie makers could easily increase their audiences, though, by adding quilts. 

Don’t we all appreciate spotting a quilt in one of the scenes as the high point of any film? That’s why we love those bedroom scenes: not for the steamy sex (oh no, that might damage the quilt) but for the game of 'name the quilt block' we all play. (Well, maybe the steamy sex might be an attraction - quilts do wash well!)

Anne of Green Gables - aah, who doesn't love this series of movies, based on the books by L M Montgomery? Along with many other afficionados, I've often dreamed of visiting Prince Edward Island.

 You've Got Mail - a romance that includes another of my favourite things: bookshops. Beautiful quilt on Kathleen Kelly's (played by Meg Ryan) bed!

 Baby Boom - Diane Keaton how I love you pl
aying the role of businesswoman, J.C. Wiatt. After inheriting a baby, she escapes to the country (as you do).

The Descendants - apart from featuring George Clooney, this movie also includes
exquisite Hawaiian quilts. Swoon.

How to Make an American Quilt - this is the movie most mentioned in the same sentence as the word 'quilts'. Members of a quilting group share memories while stitching a wedding quilt. 

So, over to you. What are your favourite movies that include quilts as props? There is quite a long list on Quilt Views if you need to refresh your memory of some old favourites.

I look forward to reading your suggestions!

17 July 2014

Speaking in code

A friend and I were in a coffee shop some years ago, discussing the blocks we'd recently received in a block swap. The waitress kept glancing at us and we couldn't work out why. It wasn't as if we were taking up a table for hours on the strength of a drink each. We were enjoying the lunch the waitress had delivered.

Then I realised: she had overheard me say, 'the geese fly clockwise'. No context, just 'the geese fly clockwise'.

Were we plotting to overthrow the government? Were we undercover agents, planning our next move?

No, I was just telling my friend how the colours in our Dutchman’s Puzzle swap blocks were to be arranged. We were speaking in code!

16 July 2014

Little Quilts

I do love a pretty quilt book and Little Quilts: 15 step-by-step projects for adorably small quilts by Sarah Fielke and Amy Lobsiger certainly deserves that description. It includes seven patterns by Sarah, seven by Amy and one joint project. They are all perfect for learning new skills and for swapping with friends. The difficulty may be deciding which project to start first!

I worked as one of the copy editors on this book last year and early this year. Books take a long time to create and my copy has just arrived. When you work as an editor with text, diagrams and the actual quilts, it helps to have an undertanding for how all those parts, plus the photographs, will come together as a published book under the eye of an experienced designer and publisher, working with the authors. Otherwise, juggling all those different pieces can overwhelm.

Do I have a favourite quilt from the book? I couldn't possibly say! You might fall in love with one special quilt from the selection, though, or you may fall for them all. Let me know.

15 July 2014

Textiles Tuesday

Hello! It's a gloomy Tuesday here, so what better way to brighten it than exploring these TWELVE links?

* Are you in Brisbane and want to learn how to screen-print? Prints Charming will be running workshops in September. Details here.

* Want to win the first ever subscription of Make Modern magazine? Details here.

* Exhibition by Meredith Woolnough: Bowral, NSW.

* For all things woolly: 18 - 20 July: The Australian Sheep and Wool Show, Bendigo, VIC.

* 4 - 27 July: The Art of Cleaning, an exhibition of textiles by Joy Harvey, Marion, SA.


* See photos of the winning quilts from the Sydney Quilt Show. Janet Treen won Best of Show (and several other awards) for Coxcomb and Currants. Congratulations to Janet and all the other winners!

*  1 - 20 August: The Fabric Trail - the journey of five textile artists, Wayville, SA.

* Do you organise or take part in quilting bee swaps? This Quilt Bee, Swap and Project Planner app could help you get organised. (iPad and iPhone only)  

* Angie at Gnome Angel has launched a Sea Breeze Mini Quilt-along on her blog. Cute! 

* The Australasian Quilt Convention presents the 2015 Challenge theme - True Blue. Entries close 27 February 2015. 
* Here's a great how-to article from Textile Artist.org about Facebook basics for artists.

* From Quilting Arts magazine, August-September 2014 issue.