Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Quilt (before)

0806 quilt to cut out
Originally uploaded by rooruu

When there's a lot to do at work, and so you're working late and come home rather weary and then you've the ordinary stuff of a household, plus a quilt to make for a magazine, and did I mention you're tired?

I did.

So then, of course, you decide that more is more, and the quilt (which would probably just as well work with fifty different fabrics in it) would look just SO good if you used 100 -

- at which point you've given yourself twice the pressing/cutting to do -

(and a photo a day on the blog has gone by the wayside for longer than ever has happened before, so that's there as a nudge too)

- so, as I said, you come home tired and sew what you can, but then sleep, beautiful sleeeeeeeep is what you want more than anything.

So you don't get around to blogging.

You sew what you can, then stop and head for the pillow.

And think, I'll keep going tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day (I do believe that's been said before?! - oh yes, she grins, it sure has).

But here's today's happy thought, of which the pink in this quilt reminded me. Although today was the funeral of Jane McGrath, who took such an amazing path in giving, and making a positive contribution, when illness might have made her do otherwise, or choose an easier way (Today's SMH coverage: also see their Andrew Denton's first and second (recapping first with extras) interviews with them on Enough Rope), it was also one of the first days back at work for a colleague who's also battled breast cancer. It was good to see her back. Hurrah to each of them.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Gee's Bend quilts in Australia!

The Quilt Indulgence Festival (which has moved venue this year from Mittagong to Canterbury racecourse in Sydney) will be featuring the Gee's Bend quilts, according to its website. (31 Oct - 2 Nov 2008, which is Fri-Sun).


I have a couple of the books, and have pored over them, and been inspired by them, but it will be wonderful to SEE the quilts, since I haven't had the opportunity to get to the US to see them.

I wish an Australian gallery or museum would be savvy enough to put them on display for longer - this is just one weekend. Surely if they're coming this far, it's worth giving them more time, and people more opportunity.

Thanks for the heads-up, Brenda.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Brideshead Revisited (again)

There's a new film due out later this year of Evelyn Waugh's novel. I am a devotee of the wonderful BBC version, as evident here and here, but am looking forward to seeing this (even if there are murmurings of it departing from the book in places - it will certainly involve greater compression than the TV version).

Here's the official trailer:

and the YouTube link, in case the above has some sort of spasm, as occasionally happens.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


0806 show loot
Originally uploaded by rooruu
Those familiar with this blog will know that loot usually signifies quilt fabric...

This is from the Sydney Quilt Show. 'Civil War Dressing Gown' fabrics by Judie Rothermel above, and fabrics from a range called 'Coccinelle', below. The precision and detail of these was particularly appealing. Not sure what they're going to become yet, but become they will. Particularly since a family member with an Important Birthday coming up next year has requested a quilt with reproduction fabrics. And that was after I'd purchased these...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The bookshop cat

0806 the bookshop cat
Originally uploaded by rooruu

A true story

Last week, the cat strolled into the bookshop via the back door. One of the bookshop people was taking a moment of fresh air. The cat neatly sidestepped and wandered in.

Clearly, he liked what he saw. The people who worked there were quite easy to find and supervise, the cat thought. He trained them within hours to install and fill a cat litter tray for him, and bring food.

They took him to the local vet: no collar, no microchip, no lead on where he might have come from, although he appeared to be possibly pedigree, Russian Blue.

The cat found the people in the shop to be good company. They didn't move around too much during the day, or leave, and so could be easily supervised by a cat climbing up a pile of boxes for a better view, or leaping onto a bench and getting a really gratifying reaction when a paw or two trod on a keyboard.

When he was sleepy, it offered (with its storage area out back) an ample number of locations in which to retire and sleep undisturbed. Books and boxes offered an agreeable variety of places to climb and explore, although he preferred to remain with the permanent people in the shop, at office or counter, rather than the customers.

Life as a bookshop cat seemed like an excellent choice. Even if that lovely lady who took him home for the weekend spent it sneezing, which didn't seem entirely polite, but could be overlooked since the rest of the weekend retreat was most pleasant.

On Monday, he was back in the shop. Today, he snoozed on the front counter, since one of the people was often to be found there, and he did like company. And supervising, when sleep wasn't a greater priority.

The shop people haven't given him a name. That can be dangerous... They did, however, ruefully agree with the axiom that while dogs have owners, cats have staff. As they absentmindedly scratched his head, before returning to their other work.

Later this week he'll be relocated to a new, permanent home, with a relative of one of the people he's trained. Is that his finest hour, finding himself a new home via the bookshop? (It's another of the things that makes this independent bookshop rather wonderful).

Monday, June 16, 2008

To the pure...

0806 Ikea's strange naming
Originally uploaded by rooruu

According to Wikipedia, the naming of manchester items in Ikea follows the following protocol:

Bedlinen, bed covers, pillows/cushions: flowers, plants, precious stones; words related to sleep, comfort, and cuddling.

O-kay. With you so far. But is it just me, or is this name just a tad -

um -

well, you know. Unsubtle????? Indelicate?

(Even with the y and the umlaut?)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sydney Quilt Show: 100 Glimpses, detail

0806 Sydney Quilt Show
Originally uploaded by rooruu
Here's a detail shot of my quilt, 100 Glimpses: Fact and Fiction. As you can see, stories and photos alternate. The fabrics include the blue Floragraphix print, a cream/brown script print and a bunch of muted Japanese fabrics in browns.

Sydney Quilt Show: 100 Glimpses

This is the third quilt of mine which was on display at the Sydney Quilt Show. It includes fifty photographs (which have been on this blog) and fifty 100-word-stories (most of which, ditto) and is called, 100 Glimpses: Fact and Fiction (since you realise, of course, that these are less plainly divided than one might think, and so a photograph may not be true and a fiction may not be untrue....

I was happy with how this one worked out, and the game it was playing with fabric and text and images. Text on quilts does get people reading, and it was amusing to walk by and see people stopped and going from block to block.

It can also be rather fun eavesdropping, although you have to be prepared for whatever people may say. I chuckled today when I overheard a woman remark to the fellow with her, "Oh, she's just photocopied a bunch of stuff", in a dismissive tone. I left her to her delusions. But I do wonder why people thought I'd burgle other people's words or images without attribution...As you, dear reader, would know, the photos and stories are original, not burgled.

I was taking detail photos for the Guild's newsletter today, and so going around quilt by quilt. It was most amusing, as I took a photo of the quilt next to this, to have someone turn to me and say, this is your quilt, isn't it? Ahem, um, yes...

She recognised me because I happened to be wearing my red Converse gymboots, as blogged a couple of weeks ago! We had a lovely conversation. It was good to meet you, Lynda!

This one also received a Judges' Commendation, and that was rather nice. One or two items from the commercial area of the show came home with me, and I'll blog 'em later.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Quilt: Adaminaby

I gave you a sidelong look at this one a little while ago, and here it is flat and fully visible. It will be published in Australian Patchwork & Quilting magazine vol 17 no 1, which will be out in a couple of months (I don't normally blog quilts ahead like this when they're going to be published, but this has just been on public display for several days to the many many people who come through the doors of the Sydney Quilt Show...). It's not a large quilt, but one for wall display. Love those blue repro fabrics - I bought some of them in Goulburn a while ago, at a sweet little quilt shop there, and had wanted to play with them for a while.

It may acquire some friends...

Friday, June 13, 2008

Quilt: The More Things Change: Family Tree

This is one of the three quilts I had on display at this year's Sydney Quilt Show. It's part of the Looking Forward, Looking Back challenge currently touring Australia for two years (The Quilters' Guild of NSW loans the challenge collection to various galleries and other places during that time, then you get your quilt back).

This one combines old blocks (recut to become squares) with new reproduction fabric in the sashings, and old green buttons on the cornerstones. On each block there is either the initial of one of the women in my family (my grandmothers at the top down to the generation following mine at the bottom) or a quality of our family, embroidered on the block. At the top, the pink square includes "The future is the past", while at the bottom, on the green square, "The past is the future".

I was pleased with this one - it looks rather random, perhaps, but it works for me. The fabrics all blended in well together, and there's a pleasure in having captured a family tree in cloth.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


One of my quilts, 100 Glimpses: Fact and Fiction won an award at the Sydney Quilt Show this year. Very exciting it was to receive a judges' commendation. Woohoo! I don't make quilts for prizes, and this particular one was a game I wanted to play, combining my photos and 100 word stories (so if you've read this blog much, you'd recognise what's on the quilt - I caught up with Bev at the show, who does read this blog, and she definitely experienced deja vu!). It was a good game to play, so the award is the unexpected cherry on the icing on the cake.

And yes, hunt around here not too far and you'll find a picture of the whole quilt. Try the entry for 15 June.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Returning soon...

0712 pale pink rose, Cowra
Originally uploaded by rooruu
...probably on the weekend. The feverish cold has become an irritating cough, work has been Very Busy and so forth and so on.

But here's a lovely rose from the rose gardens at Cowra to keep you going. Take a moment. Look at it. Remember a lovely moment from the past that you associate with roses, or flowers, or a special flower.

Aaaaaaah. I should do that more often.

Friday, June 06, 2008







in grip of feverish cold. back soon.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Kiva: the Cielo group

This is my most recent Kiva loan, to this Cielo group: a continent away, over the Pacific Ocean, in Bolivia, they're sewing too.

You can lend through Kiva, microfinance to the world's poor, from as little as $25US. The money is paid back, and then you can lend it again. What's not to like? Please consider participating too. There are so many different people and businesses, all worth supporting - reading about each business is a window to understanding how the world works in other places.

The main activity of the group "Sky" is making hand embroidered clothes, purses and folk disguises. They work with Pro-Mujer and take on much responsibility. They have already finalized the work that people have ordered, art work for stores, and folk disguises for fairs in the city of "La Paz."

The dream of the association is to export their products to the interior and exterior of the country. In order to do this, they need better credit to replenish their capital for work and be able to hire personnel to help them in the business. They already have orders that demand manual labor and much time and they will train these new employees in order to ensure the quality of their products. In this way, they will achieve better economic and personal status for the benefit of their homes.

Here are their names: Fernando Gutierrez (not pictured), Betty Flores, Gladys Yapu, Cintia Bravo, Filomena Rada, Norka Claure, Emilia Chabarria (not pictured), Ana Fernandez, Feliza Suares, America Garcia, Ivlin Alfaro, Patricia Guerrero, Blanca Chabarria.

I've added a Kiva banner over on the silver sidebar - take a look at the business there (it refreshes each time the blog page is reloaded) as a place to start...

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Vale Sydney Pollack

Out of Africa remains one of my favourite films. And as I consider other favourites, the work of Sydney Pollack is represented as one of my favourite directors. His films earned deserved respect for his clear, intelligent approach to film-making. And I enjoyed the characters he brought to the screen in his acting roles.

Two favourite directors gone this year, Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack. I am sad to think I will not again have the opportunity to learn, imagine, be entertained and drawn into worlds by their work, and grateful for what they did make.

There are many lengthy, deserved, detailed obituaries on the net for both men. This is just a simple thank you from one cinemagoer.

Sydney Pollack, thank you.

100 Word Stories: You're wet, cold and hungry

The woollen socks worked for a while, but then gave up. I felt my feet chilling, and the gnaw of hunger as darkness fell. The rain kept gusting under the canopy, and I wished rather viciously that its designer was here too, shivering under a bus shelter that offered neither shelter nor bus.

A vehicle accident, said the radio. Road entirely blocked. Nothing to be done but wait.

Or walk.

I couldn’t stand the miserable seep of cold any more. Staying seemed increasingly pointless. Hoisting an optimistic umbrella, I started on the long walk home, rain stinging my face gleefully.