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!

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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Progress made at Toowoomba

I have come back from a weekend at Toowoomba with my quilting friends.  I always enjoy these weekends, they are special.  I love the school where we do out stitching, the old houses, the parks, just everything.

I have finished all the strip quilting for the blocks. 

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Everything has to be cleaned up and the corners added, so good progress.    I have no idea just what I will do with this quilt.  I think it will be a gift for my niece.

I also received another quilt that needs to be finished.  I had a good look at it and I think the problem is that the stitcher didn't get the designs orientated correctly, threw up her hands in horror, and then donated all the fabric and pieces to the quilt group.

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I will finish the applique and embroidery that is needed to finish the main blocks and then take it back up there again in August and we will discuss what should be done next.  This quilt will be for a major raffle.  I'm sure it can be rescued.

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Then I get an email alerting me to Constantine Quilts in S.A.  who have just finished quilting this exact same quilt.  Now I know now how it could look.  A bit different from the original pattern so we will see what can be done.  (There is one block missing completely from my bundle.)

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I also brought back some new books,

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and some old embroidery that I want to do something with,

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plus a pile of other odds and ends.  So, I have added to my list of things to do.

It was a great weekend.




This book has come highly recommended and I am looking forward to reading it.

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Just the blurb on the website has wetted my interest.


'He tilted his desk lamp so that the light fell on the image. The head of a bright bay colt gazed out of the canvas, the expression in the eyes unusual and haunting.'

A discarded painting in a roadside clean-up, forgotten bones in a research archive, and Lexington, the greatest racehorse in US history. From these strands of fact, Geraldine Brooks weaves a sweeping story of spirit, obsession and injustice across American history.

It has been some time since I had a good book to read so I look forward to this one.  I hope it lives up to expectation.


For my Library

After mastering twisted stitches there are a couple of books I think I need for my library. 

Firstly "Twisted Stitches Source Book".

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and secondly,

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I have borrowed both books from the library but there is so much in each of them that I think I need copies of my own and not just Kindle versions.  I need hard copies that I can refer to all the time.  For the Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible I am going to have to learn how to read those charts.  But Oh to be able to knit a collar like this.

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The Norah Gaughan book has sample swatches of all different patterns.

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I could just trial all the patterns and make a blanket and not feel guilty that I was wasting time.

Ah Ha!!  I have just had a thought.  What great Mother's Day presents they would make from my children!!

Another delivery

I had forgotten that this book would arrive from Scotland.

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I had signed up for the club, which included essays, patterns and other things, that all came via my Email.  I'm glad there is a hard copy of the book as well but all this will have to wait until 2024.  I have so many other projects that have to be finished first. 

What is also wonderful about it is the packaging.  The Royal Mail uses a certain type of cardboard that is just right for making templates.  I can't buy it here at all and I have used all my stock.  I have a project in the wings that this will be just right for.


Today is my "day off."  I was going to sit and stitch flat out, but, I have hit a wall.  I was also going to mow the lawns and tidy the garden, but that wall is right in front of me.  So, I look myself off to the coffee shop, with the dog, for a cup of tea.  (I'm restricting all coffee to just special occasions.) Also, I heard of the death of a small child, the grand daughter of a friend, and my heart began to weep.

It was a good decision.  I met a fellow quilter who lives on the island who is here from Canada, I spoke with the chef about how the kitchen is going and a light rain fell on me as I sat under a tree to drink my tea.  I got to thinking that what we concentrate on, the way we spend our time, tells us what we really care about.  Stitching is high up on my list.  As is my family.  Yesterday I dropped everything to take my grand daughter to get a new pair of shorts to wear to  "scouts". 

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She has joined to local "troop" and is off to camp.  It is the last thing I thought she would like but she loves it.

While I was sitting under my tree I read another of the essays from my book "Wheesht" by Kate Davies, again telling myself just how much I enjoy this book.

Screen Shot 2023-03-02 at 11.35.02 amI think that I will buy this as a Christmas gift for a couple of my friends.  Essays are a much underrated form of literature.  The essay writting that I studied at school put me right off this genre but this book has rekindle my interest.  (Every time I pick it up I think that.) Also, I love the way Kate writes, I learn something new each time I read something she has written.  At the end of each essay she has a list of "Creative Assignments", all of which stretch you a bit.  And at the chapter I have just read is a note to read the work of Adrienne Rich.   A poet I hadn't heard of, but , I found this poem and now have an order in at the council library to read more.

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Now I think I can sew again.