31 October 2016

Thank you, Quilters Newsletter

This is the cover of the last issue of Quilters Newsletter. Mine arrived a couple of weeks ago and I'm still sad that I won't receive any more.

The title was started in 1969 by Bonnie and George Leman. Think of how much has happened in the magazine and publishing world since then! It's a tribute to this magazine that it has survived for so long.

I still remember the first time I discovered Quilters Newsletter. It was about 1982, when I was working in my first library job. There was a patchwork shop, The Quilting Bee, a block from my workplace and I enrolled in a sampler class there. (Yes, we all made sampler quilts, didn't we?)

There weren't any Australian quilt magazines then. The first, Down Under Quilts, started in 1988 and I immediately snapped it up - I think we were all eager for information about the local quilt scene - but until then, Quilters Newsletter was my source of quilt information.

I've bought every copy of Quilters Newsletter since then. It was and still is my favourite of all the quilt magazines around because it has great articles. They are meaty and interesting and make great reading. 

I like a magazine that exposes me to different aspects of the quilt making world. I love reading about the history of our craft but I also enjoy contemporary developments. Quilters Newsletter gave me all that and more.

Thank you, Quilters Newsletter. I'll miss you.

10 October 2016

Have you ever looked at a seed pod?

I found this seed pod while I was walking around a local botanic garden and found myself immediately picking it up from the ground. The shape intrigued me.

Look at the gentle curves and the twisted shape. No flat outer shell here!

I flipped it over and looked at the other side. Its outside is tough and covered with freckles.

A closer look revealed a surface that is rock-like in its appearance, with ruddy earth-like colouring. What a clever way to protect the seeds, the life within.

03 October 2016

My book of the month: October

"I don't know. I was wrong. I'm sorry. I need help."

These four sentences are the principal guiding philosophies that Inspector Armand Gamache says inform his actions. I'd add another one that I see as evident in all his choices: "Be kind".

Gamache is the creation of Louise Penny, who has recently released the twelfth novel in this mystery series, A Great Reckoning. Each time I read the author's latest offering, I fall under the spell of the world she has created; a place inhabited by idiosyncratic characters, attempting to live as best they can in a society that is swirling with currents of cruelty and self interest.

Each time she releases a new novel, I devour it and then declare it the best she has written. A Great Reckoning shows that Louise Penny has taken her storytelling to a new level. With several plot lines intertwining and twisting through the story, this is a powerful novel that examines authority, grief, corruption, and the enduring sanctuary of Three Pines, a village that does not exist on official maps.

If you haven't read any in the Gamache series, start with the first one, Still Life. As you progress through the series, you will appreciate the masterful character development and complex story lines that sometimes take a few books to be significant. 

That is the sign of a writer at her peak. 

Visit Goodreads to read more about A Great Reckoning.