Friday, 13 November 2009

Day 69

I will be away for 10 days while I do some research for my next novel. This one is not patchwork-related and will be aimed at the young adult age group. I won't let out any secrets yet, other than it will be set in Daylesford.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Day 68

Here it is, Day 68 and I feel like I'm losing the lot (not the plot). I feel like everything is untangling, like a ball of wool that falls from your lap and races across to the other side of the room at great speed. I've just read someone else's blog who is feeling low and uninspired and wondering why and how, and I can feel empathy with her.

For me it's the demanding nature of this computer. Every morning I sit down to deal with the emails, read through the posts on a chat group, check the emails on my other email address, check Facebook to see what's happening, pop over to a forum where I become completely overwhelmed with all the writing, back to check the blogs I'm following and finally to stop and write my own blog. It's all too much.

Two days ago someone said something a little unpleasant online and that set me off. I was prepared to cancel the whole lot. There are much more interesting and productive things to do with my time than sit at this computer. I could be sewing, researching for books, writing, creating.

Time to decide what my goal is. Time to work out what I want from the computer and how to make it work for me. Time to set myself free.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Day 65

Am about to head to the post office to post away 14 more books. Good stuff. Makes me very happy.
Have designed a nice looking brochure for my books which I will post out to patchwork shops next week. Am pleased with what I did - for an amatuer it looks pretty good. They say self praise is no recommendation:-
So what's the difference between self praise and self motivation?

Friday, 6 November 2009

Day 64

My new book! This is another handmade book by my daughter, which she has made from scratch using lined exercise books from her school days that were surplus to needs. Taking these unwanted books and turning them into a whole new, beautiful book is a great way of recycling. And it looks incredibly gorgeous.
I will be using this book for writing exercises to improve my skills as an author, taking myself off to different places where I can sit and be inspired. I love the patchwork paper used for the cover - it matches both my loves, writing and patchwork.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Day 62 Receiving a quilt home again - a writing exercise

The doorbell rang abruptly, interrupting the patchworker who had been happily sewing at her machine. It was a new quilt, something she had wanted to make for a long time, now finally those fabrics were running lovingly through the sewing machine. Pure bliss - the feeling of a new project. But who could be here at this time of night?
The door was opened to the Quilter, an old friend who was a professional machine quilter. She carried a large bag in one hand. Patchworker looked down at the bag and excitement brilled as she recognised a small piece of blue chenille showing at the top. Quilter was ushered inside eagerly with a warm welcome and a cheery smile. Patchworker was keen to see the toile and chenille quilt she had made so long ago, now finally expertly quilted by her friend. Quilter always did a fantastic job. Together they opened out the large quilt and Patchworker looked upon it with a large smile upon her face. The quilting was definitely beautifully done. Every block had a fleur-de-lis design it it specially chosen by Patchworker. Quilter had used a matching blue thread that showed the pattern nicely on the blue toile. Even on the wide blue chenille border Quilter had done a superb job, unfortunately not able to be seen from the front. Her work was meticulous.
Patchworker smiled broadly as she inspected the quilt and told Quilter how lovely it was.
"It was the quilt from hell!" excalimed Quilter.
Patchworker's smile slowly faded from her face. "What do you mean?" Quilter went on to explain how much trouble the quilt had been, how none of the blocks were square, some borders too tight, others extemely loose and wavy, asked how the borders had been measured and cut. Patchworker was dumbstruck. The quilt had been machine pieced a couple of years ago so memory was quite faded in regards to the construction, although she remembered enjoying making the quilt and did not recall having any problems. How could this be so? How could the quilt be so bad?
Quilter left Patchworker alone. She returned to her sewing machine and sat down, staring at the wall in front of her, crushed. 'The quilt from hell.' Never in a million years did Patchworker think she was capable of making a quilt that could deserve such a title. She knew she was not the best patchworker in town, that her work was often rushed and could definitely be improved upon, and that was something she was working on. Simultaneously she did not believe she was incredibly bad either. But the quilt from hell proved otherwise. She twisted around where she sat and looked at the quilt now bundled in the corner of the room. How could she look at this quilt ever again? Every time she did she would think of it as the quilt from hell, the quilt that yelled at her "You're such a bad quiltmaker!" "Don't delude yourself - you'll never be any good!"
Patchworker turned her back on the quilt. Her shoulders were slumped, her head tilted forward, eyes sad. There were no tears, just a mass of thoughts going through her head. Nobody would ever know it was the quilt from hell because Quilter had done such a good job with the quilting that it now lay flat and looked even all round. Quilter was very good at what she did, unlike Patchworker. Patchworker began to wonder if she should quit while she was ahead, stop making quilts and look for something else to do with her spare time - something she could be good at. But then she had been trying to find that something all her life and never found it.
She looked down at the beautiful olde world fabrics of the new quilt she had started that day, switched off the sewing machine and went to bed.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Day 61 (take two)

I've just been looking at someone else's blog and thought it wonderful. Her name is Quiltsalott and she writes a fantastic quilting blog. It does seem as though she has a lot of time to quilt and I think she is very fortunate. Go girl! Love your stuff.
Today I spent most of the day proofreading Ancestor magazine (the official journal of the Genealogical Society of Victoria). Those of you who have read early blog entries of mine will know that I have been the sub-editor of this magazine for 10 years now and recently I was awarded a Medal of the Society for my services. I was extremely thrilled to receive the honour. Now I am working on the last issue before my retirement from this position - forty issues. I am taking a lot of pleasure from this issue and feel like I am going out on a high.
Now that I will have freed up a bit of time (that's actually a joke, Joyce!) I will be putting my efforts into a new challenge. More about that some time later. But I'll tell you now - IT'S BIG!!

Monday, 2 November 2009

Day 61

And the winner is ....... KAREN! Congratulations Karen, and thank you to everyone who participated in my little competition. Karen, you have won a copy of both of my books, The Maria Challenge Quilt and The Elizabeth Challenge Quilt, from the Australian Challenge Quilt Series. I really hope you enjoy them. If you would like to contact me at with your snail mail address I'll pop these in the post for you. Happy reading!