Books Feed


Recycling is so very 'now'.  But recycling has been going on for ever.  Then again, recycling can mean something quite different depending on the era.

This book was published in 1915. 

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WW1 was raging and recycling was a necessity for most people, so, it was often a topic of interest, especially for women trying to make ends meet.  I find the difference in how we 'express' ourselves in different eras interesting.  Back in 1915 we 'explained' what we meant with a lot more words.

A good example was the 'Preface'.

War is a hard, stern teacher, and its lessons are bitter in the learning; yet some of its teaching we badly needed - and not the least important of its main lessons is the one it inculcated on the criminality of waste.

To so many of us "waste" was a word with a comparative meaning. What was waste in one woman was not necessarily waste in another, we argued.  It was wrong for the factory girl to let her skirts drop off her for lack of mending: but not wrong for the better-off women to discard their clothes directly they showed the least sign of wear, because they could afford to buy more, we said; and besides, it made it good for trade - that was a favourite argument used by the extravagent to excuse their wanton waste.

Harsh words indeed.

On reading this book I had no idea that you could use old crockery for beads.  It seems like a lot of work.  We can purchase beads at a very cheap price today, maybe this is something that will change over the next 100 years?

What I was looking for was drawings, rather like those of Margaret Clarke, to use in my 1920's quilt.  The only thing I found was these illustrations in advertisements.

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Screen Shot 2023-04-08 at 1.26.29 pmI might use the faces of the girls looking over the wall and the flowers on the cover could translate into an applique.  Or maybe these?

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What I can't see myself doing is turning the collars of my husbands shirts.  If he wants that he can do it himself!

New Books (sort of) and future projects

When I say "sort of new books" they are not actually mine.  I am the librarian for my local quilting group and it is my job to source new books and maintain our collection.  This has been difficult due to the changes in how books are published and the demise of many publishing houses.  To overcome this for the past year all the new additions have been donations that I have sourced from members and friends and this has worked well.  The big problem has been the costs of buying and transporting books from the other side of the world where all the publishers are.  This sees the  landed cost at least double the original price.

Then I got an email from Quiltmania saying they were having a 10 day sale.  So many beautiful books and such limited funds!  Most meeting days a good percentage of members are stitching Sashiko so I decided that I would purchase Japanese quilting books. (Two books took my whole small budget.)

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Of course I had to read them first and have selected a number of projects from which I will choose.

This is paper pieced and the patterns are for a quilt and a cushion.  I am going to do the cushion.

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I would like to experiment with a small quilt like this.

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And my daughter and her husband are going to build a Japanese inspired house on their new cattle station.  (This station is partly on the plains but the house will be on elevated land in the forest.)  I expect the quilt to take a year to construct and these are the two front runners.

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The quilts in the books are mostly made from re-purposed fabrics,  I don't think I can source those.  But I have found a Futon manufacturer who imports fabrics from Japan and will sell me the off cuts.

Both books have English and French texts and are just brimming with inspiration.

Getting into it again.

I am still not fully recovered after my "dalliance" with Breast Cancer.  Actually, I'm suprised that I have survived! The odds of that happening did not look good for some time but my body scan came back clear and I have started to pick up the pieces.  There is still a lot of 'recovering' to do but I am about to venture out again.  Up until now it has just been getting to the hospital for treatment, getting back home and into bed, sleeping and getting to treatment again.  Broken only by a bit of mindless stitching to try and kick start my brain again.  (That brain fog is real.)   My local patchwork group meets today so I am going to the meeting.  I might have to go back to bed again, but, I am going to start interacting with people again.

The mindless stitching is going to expand to a new project, inspired by a group of local women, some of who have since passed.  These women collected and catalogued all the local plants on the island.  This was made into a a collection of samples that were mounted and have been since photographed.  I will stitch a selection of these onto tote bags.

This is not an original idea.  I got my inspiration to do this from a book published by Tara books in India called "A Stitch out of Time".

(The link is to a great article about the writting of this book.  Well worth a read.)

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This stitching was done on garbage bags but I am looking for a cotton/linen fabric to make my bags.  The video below shows her stitching process on an Indian cotton.


I have started by photographing some of the plants.  I need to select something uncomplicated for my first piece.

Actually, it's good to pick up the pieces and start thinking about living again.

Book - The Man Who Died Twice

This is an enjoyable, entertaining read.  In fact I read it in one sitting.  I should try and pace myself but I got caught up in the story and just kept reading.

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I think it has been written with the idea of it being translated into a TV series and, with the right actors it would work well.  The author, Richard Osman, has a background of working in TV, (Pointless Quiz), so that makes sense.  It is amusing, has pathos, an entertaining story line and keeps you guessing until the end.

(It would also make a good Xmas present and I see it is now for sale in Target and Woolworths at a good price.  That is one present taken care of.)

New Book

I was on duty at the Embroiderers Guild Stand at this years State Quilt show this week and had a wonderful time catching up with old friends, past students and other people.  I had to check out all the stalls and at Be Be Bold, who specialise in Japanese materials (they were my importers for materials when I was teaching), Jane said "I have a new book".  So I bought it.

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Nothing I don't already know as far as the contents is concerned but it is a lovely book and I do like the use of Counted Sashiko as the title.  Western stitchers understand this far better than Kogin.

She has 200 Hishizashi patterns included in the book.  You can find 700 Hishizashi patterns that you can download for free here on this blog, so I don't need those but the names of the patterns are all there.  I searched forever for these and only found confusing results.  The history section is also good but the Kogin from the west coast isn't included.  (It was only used for making straps to remove wood from the forest.)  The other useful section was the traditional and substitute western fabrics that can be used.  I ended up having to import my threads and the fabric by the bolt when I started stitching Kogin as nothing was available here.

The book has lots of basic beginner projects for those who want to try this technique but I think I will make this bag for my grand daughters.

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I made a similar shaped bag that I taught as an advanced Kogin class some years ago but it was for teaching techniques and I think the girls would like the one from the book better.  (My bag was a sampler of all the Hishi Zashi patterns.)

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New Book

I got this from the council library and am enjoying it.  A good insight into what makes her tick.

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The writter says that Marie Currie was a major role model for her and that she was greatly influenced by her.

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Also, that in her decision making she projected what the outcome of a problem may have been and then acted on her conscious, not just what other leaders thought might be "politically" right.  I suppose only time will tell if she made the right decisions.

Autumn there....Spring here

I joined the "Colours"  book club at KDD & Co some time ago and have enjoyed every article and post.  So much so that I bought the book, which has now arrived.

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Lots of articles and knitting patterns, which  will have to wait until my wrist is better to knit, but I did check them out and I also found this hat from a previous book.  Such a cheeky feel good video.


I was checking out her blog for the latest post the other day and it was all about the change in the seasons.

There it is Autumn.

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Here it is Spring.

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Just shows, the world keeps spinning!



Not only have I now finished the binding on my scrap quilt.  I made this from the scraps left over from the piecing.

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I have also finished the quilt bag, made from all the left overs.  I like to make a bag for each quilt from the materials I used in that  quilt because when you pack it away at the end of winter it is easy to find in the cupboard when you need to get it out again.

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These include the blocks that I made mistakes on.

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But I am having trouble programing my old sewing machine  (30 years old) to do the label.

I now have 3 queen sized quilts to make so am on the lookout for designs for the other two.  I found some vintage looking fabric for my daughters quilt.

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I am going to use this French General fabric for my sister's quilt.

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And I have no idea what I will use for my niece.


As I now have 2 machines set up in my workroom I need another machine cover for the second one.  I love this old machine but I think I need to have it serviced again.

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This is the pattern I will use.  I have some of those butterflies on the pocket already made in my stash, I just hope the colours all match. This pattern is a cover and doubles as a mat.

Screen Shot 2023-08-20 at 2.08.17 pmI am trying to not use my hand too much and keep it in it's splint but it doesn't seem to do much.  I now realise that I have been putting up with weakness and pain in this hand and wrist for all the years since I got Ross River Fever, I just blocked it out until the level of pain made itself felt more urgently.

The Art and Science of Ernst Haeckel

I find it so frustrating when I hear about a book that I think I might like and I can't find it in the library, not my local one or the one in the city.

This has been the case with "The Art and Science of Ernst Haeckel". 

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He was a contemporary of Charles Darwin and in fact they did meet.  His illustrations are quite stunning and I think many would provide a great resource for embroidery design.

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I have found a web source where I can view some of these pictures on "The Guardian" web page of all places and I could BUY the book from Amazon.

One interesting thing about this man was that he coined many of the words used in science today.  Some of these include ecology, phylum and stem cells.  I might invest in this book, problem is where will I put it?

You can view another article about his work at:

The Modern Met.

and this is a quick flip through of the book at You Tube.



New Book

Straight after my little 'rant' yesterday I came upon this book.

Screen Shot 2023-08-11 at 3.20.43 pmI read it from cover to cover in one sitting. 

One inspiring story and now I know the meaning behind the lyrics of the opening of the song 'Sound of Silence' by Simon and Garfunkel,  'hello silence my old friend'.

It is amazing how the universe will speak to you and put you straight.


As I seem to be doing a lot of sitting around I am glad I have an interesting book to read.

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I don't think I would have liked Mr Banks very much but he did lead an amazing life.  What I like about this book is that the author gives you a global view of the times.  He places ALL the major players on the board and you get a good view of their relationship to one another.  What I mean by that is he doesn't just place the English explorers in the frame but all the other nationalities who were active in about a 100 year time frame.

And there are lots of little things that are mentioned that are of major significance.  For example, as I sit here and write this I am looking out at the Bougainvillia growing all over my patio, it is beautiful but the thorns are lethal, as the scars on my arms are testament to.

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In the 1760"s Louis Bougainville set off on a global circumnavigation.  The Botanist Philibert Commerson was also on that ship and he named this plant after this man but what is also interesting is that his girl friend dressed up as a man and was on that trip as well.  Her name was Jeanne Bare and she became the first European woman, (or any woman that we know off), to circumnavigate the planet.  This is in the years leading up to the French Revolution and she is not the only French woman I have found mention of who sailed with the French explorers.

I found this small recently posted video about her life .


So that has now led me to another book I want to read.

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