28 September 2006

On hand piecing

Thank you for the positive comments about my Japanese quilt project. I have been collecting indigo prints and Japanese-style fabrics in reds, cream and white for years, but never really knew what to do with them. Once I decided which way to go, hand piecing was my first choice.

The meditative process of stitching by hand soothes me. It is important because it slows me down and provides plenty of time for my mind to wander. Sometimes I get my best ideas while hand piecing. The stitching gets into a rhythm and I don't really need to concentrate on it, so other thoughts can form. I guess that's because I first learnt to patchwork by hand and it has stuck with me.

Of course, this means it takes a VERY long time to finish anything!

27 September 2006

More on China Bayles

Susan asked VERY nicely if I could tell her the order of the China Bayles books by Susan Wittig Albert, so how could I refuse?
1. Thyme of Death
2. Witch's Bane
3. Hangman's Root
4. Rosemary Remembered
5. Rueful Death
6. Love Lies Bleeding
7. Chile Death
8. Lavender Lies
9. Mistletoe Man
10. Bloodroot
11. Indigo Dying
12. Dilly of a Death
13. Dead Man's Bones
14. Bleeding Hearts
15. Spanish Dagger (due out in 2007)
I think that so far 1-12 are available in paperback as well as hardback. (Sorry, that's the librarian in me coming through!)

26 September 2006


Finally I have photos of a current project. Based on the simple rectangles from the book by Judy Turner and Margaret Rolfe, Successful Scrap Quilts, this is a hand-pieced top that I started last year and take along to monthly Scquilters meetings to piece. Since I never really read patterns properly (too keen to get started piecing), I pieced the rectangles in an arrangement I liked.

The other photo is of a piece of fabric I bought recently from Jane MacDonald of BeBeBold. I plan to use the fish fabric as a border, swimming around the centre blocks. Stand by for another year or so until I make some more blocks...

24 September 2006

My fantasy life

I have many fantasy lives, all of which I experience through the joy of reading fiction. This book, Bleeding Hearts, is the latest in the China Bayles series by Susan Albert Wittig. China is an ex-lawyer who owns a shop that sells herbs. She sets up herb gardens, sells herbal products and runs a tea shop in conjunction with her friend, Ruby.

There are 14 books in the series so far, and China's life gets more interesting in each one. In Bleeding Hearts, quilting is introduced, with the opening of a quilt shop next door and a quilt stolen from the local quilt show. The story line follows China and Ruby as they solve the mystery of the stolen quilt (and other challenges along the way). I want to be China!

23 September 2006

Onwards to victory!

Here I am at 1 o'clock in the morning with my adrenalin levels still extremely high after a night's screaming and singing as the mighty Swans won the game that takes them to the AFL grand final next Saturday. This pic shows a view of the crowd just before the start of the game - a total of 61,000 people (most dressed in red and white) attended the game. Onwards!

19 September 2006

To meander

Sometimes 'meander' is taken to mean wandering aimessly, lost and with no purpose. A sad interpretation, I've always thought. A more positive explanation is that of taking a winding course through life, being aware of all that we see on the way and taking the time to notice. What could we miss if in a rush to travel a straight line from one point to another? We'll never know unless we slow down.

18 September 2006


While I was away from home for a week, spring arrived in my garden. Leaves unfurled and flowers bloomed. This Japanese maple, given to me by Stephanie from her garden before she moved to Perth, suddenly revealed its new growth - lush and delicately-shaped.

17 September 2006

Spot the rosella

The Coral trees on the nature strip outside my house are in full flower. I love to see the glorious red of the flowers against the vibrant blue of the sky. While I took this photograph, a flock of rosellas swooped down into the branches and enjoyed a feast. They blended into the colours so well - can you spot them?

16 September 2006

Is the first the best?

Having created a blog for work-related purposes and enjoyed the process of adding a post each day, I have decided to extend myself by creating a personal blog. Focus of the posts: words, textiles and gardens - the joys of creative dabbling.