Sunday, August 2, 2009

So You're a Quilter Too!

I came across this poem on BellaOnline as I was trawling quilt related goodies online. It pretty much sums it all up for me :-)

Jenny Riley is a Queensland writer and poet.

So You’re a Quilter Too!

We don’t think you’re a weirdo for we do the same ourselves
We have miles and miles of fabric stacked by color on our shelves,
And we are still collecting, though the space is getting short,
Why we even cross state boundaries for that special piece we bought.
Though we live to be a hundred, we will never use it all,
But we’ve become compulsive; patchwork has us in its thrall.

We buy new fabric, prints and plains, in black or blue or rose,
But before we even stack it, through the washing machine it goes,
Hanging like Tibetan prayer flags, from our fence or hoist or line
And lucky folks with a Queensland home hang it under any time.
It’s colour fast, it hardly frays, we iron out all the creases
Still, we fold it up and stack it before we cut it into pieces.

Now our modest piece of fabric is one of countless numbers,
But we always need that one piece more! How is it so one wonders?
We have picked the perfect pattern, now the prints, the plains, the shades,
We marked the shapes out carefully and cut with eager blades,
NO! We don’t think you’re funny; it’s just the way you’re built.
We understand obsession. We know you have to quilt.

We turfed them from the dining room (in fact, it’s now our own!)
'Gee, Mum, is dinner late again?' the little horrors moan.
But sewing’s moving on a pace, the needle’s running hot,
'Kids, can’t you see I’m busy?' and we’re smiling as we speak,
And we serve an instant dinner for the seventh time this week.
At last we have it all stitched up, and everything looks right
We want to show the world our work but it’s the middle of the night.

Of course we haven’t finished, we tack, we quilt, we border
And conscience sometimes makes us put our messy house in order.
For how could we hang a quilt up or throw it on our beds,
When everywhere we look has dust or pins and scraps and threads
No! We don’t think you’re odd at all. We tread the path you do.
Yes! We’ve been thru’ it all ourselves. We know what drives you too.

So when 'they' say 'How silly to cut and then re-stitch,
And all those odd shape pieces, I can’t tell which is which.
Is there nothing better you can do but sit and sew all day?
I suppose it helps to pass the time in a silly sort of way.'
But we know different, you and I, for it comes from yourself,
And the whole thing starts all over with more fabric from your shelf.

By Jenny Riley

My stash - 2 years ago ... washed, ironed, folded neatly and organized in colours ...
... it has ... er ... grown a LOT since then!

A xo

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bushfire Quilts

Hello lovely people

I know you are all aware of the horror of the fires here in Victoria. The wider Kinglake area is the main 'feeder' area for my school - Plenty Valley Christian College. Many of our families have lost everything, and most of us knows someone/many who have lost homes, and have either lost a friend, family member or acquaintance, or know of someone who was killed, or knows someone who has lost someone. We also have friends who are CFA volunteers, and are still fighting the fires. Needless to say, the school community is in shock, but has banded together to support each other, and those in our wider community. We have a wonderful team of professionals to counsel us, and are coping OK under the circumstances.

As a staff, our main purpose at the moment is to provide our children with the stable environment they need - for some, school is the ONLY thing in their life that hasn't changed. Their eyes are either blank, or filled with visions no child should ever have to see.

There is a heaviness in my gut of being able to do so little - until I thought of quilts. A quilt is a gift of love - and love is a powerful healer. With this in mind, I have been given the go-ahead to make quilts for the children. My aim is to make a 'snuggle' quilt for each of the children from school who has lost their home. The task appears daunting at the moment, but I know it can be done.

My plan is to collect 12" blocks (+ seam allowances) and put them together as a sampler quilt. For this I need help. It's too big for the few of us at school who quilt and sew - so I'm asking for help.

If you are able to help out - either by making a block/s, helping to put the final quilts together, doing the quilting or can donate fabric etc etc - I would LOVE to hear from you and/or any others you know of who would like to help.

If I get too many blocks (how wonderful would that be?) they will be put together and the quilts given to the many others in need of a 'snuggle'.

Please feel free to pass this on to anyone you think may like to help.

I look forward to hearing from you.

You can follow the progress of the quilts on my Snuggle Quilts blog.


Friday, November 7, 2008

It's been SO long ...

It's been SO long since I wrote anything down ... pathetic really! It's so much harder to keep a blog up-to-date than it is to read them.

Note to self ... get organised woman!!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Oops ... I forgot to mention Skype. I've been a Skyper (???) for a while. It's a great way to chat to friends 'face to face' (using a webcam), as well as saving big $. It's use is becoming more prevalent in my work as well. I've recently set up PD for all our staff for next year, using Skype.

I wouldn't say it's as much a part of my life as my mobile phone ... but it's certainly a regularly used tool.

Social networking sites

I have a Facebook page, but not MySpace. There's something about MySpace that I just couldn't trust fully. As the guy from Symantics said on the Sunrise video - you don't trust everyone in your normal community, and you shouldn't in online communities either. Part of my job is to teach kids about online safety - and social networking spaces are really significant in that teaching. Kids are trusting, and are not fully aware of the possibilities of what could happen to them through their networking spaces. It's really about educating them. If they know what to look for, they will be safer. These sites will not go away and, I think, will become more prevalent and important in their lives. I can understand why libraries would want 'in' on the act - but it's not really for me.

Drupal looks interesting. I have to admit I didn't watch the presentation to the end, but the site certainly has features that I could see used in a school setting like mine. I have bookmarked the site and will look into it closer later on.

I have had a Facebook page for a while because a friend got engaged whilst overseas, and the only way I could 'see' them was on her Facebook page. So I joined. What amazes me is how GOOD it's been. Several friends I haven't heard from for years have caught up with me (I have NO idea how they found me ... I guess they searched????). My daughter recently got engaged, and some of her old friends contacted ME to ask about pressies etc. How cool is that???? That part has been great. But, I must admit, the 'gifts' are driving me crazy - they can become a bit overwhelming after a while. I now choose to ignore them (and I hope the friends who send them don't get upset).

I had heard of Nings, but didn't know what they were. I found, and joined, the Quilting Librarians Ning. I'm also a member of a Yahoo group of TL quilters who 'met' on the oztl_net list. Maybe librarians are attracted to quilting because of the 'order' ... dunno ... but there seem to be a few of us around!

Second Life TOTALLY freaks me out. I MUCH prefer a 'real' life to one online. Amazing as it might be to 'attend' a Jane Austen tea party and discussion, I think I would rather 'attend' one in real life. The same applies to the other sites ... a Second Life university campus ... pLease!! As exciting as they are, and as much fun they might be 'being there', I believe that, as humans, we need to integrate with others in person. The kids I teach who spend a lot of time online often experience problems relating to others in real life - social skills are vital, and too much time on sites like these can be mentally and physically damaging. They look like fun, the kids would probably ge a real kick out of doing a course I had developed online, BUT they are a worry to me.

The bottom line with all of these is ... who has the time to do it all??? I don't ... I'd rather be quilting!

Google maps

I've been a fan of Google Maps for a while. The latest views are almost freaky in their detail ... I mean, to see my car parked outside my house is fantastic ... if not a little freaky. It certainly brings up the possibility of one's privacy being invaded.

When I searched for directions to get from home to work, the suggested route was a bit odd. It took me out of the fastest and most direct way, through a busy shopping centre, backstreets and 60km zones, rather than on the main road and an 80km zone. I hadn't realised Google maps had this directions option - I usually use Whereis. An advantage of the Google maps directions is that you can actually see a photo of your destination - that could prove to be useful.

Google goodies

Hmm ... not so sure about iGoogle. I'm undecided as to whether or not I'd use it regularly. Some of the gadgets available look great - but I already have my favourite things bookmarked. I guess the main plus is that you can access your faves from the one page, and not have to look for them on the bookmark list ... but it doesn't 'grab' me.

As for working at Google ... it almost looks too good to be true. Having all those services available to you in one place tells me they work VERY long hours and, perhaps, need all that 'pampering' and facilities available to them. As much as I am an advocate for workplaces looking after their staff, and that studies have shown when staff are treated well productivity increases, there's something about the Google setup that doesn't feel comfortable to me. It's kind of 'too good to be true'.

YPRL's Overdrive Downloadable Media

Wow ... I didn't know YPRL's Overdrive Downloadable Media even existed (a sad thing for a TL to admit). What a treasure-trove of great books. It's got me thinking about the place of e-books in our school library ... my, how the role of a TL has changed since I was at school!


Children's Storybooks Online
I found this great site for children's storybooks last year. It has illustrated children's stories for kids of all ages.

A quick search of Project Gutenberg led me to ‘The Storyof the Three Little Pigs’. It is quite an old version, illustrated by Brooke, L. Leslie (Leonard Leslie), 1862-1940 . The book can be downloaded for free, but it looks great to read it online … but … be WARNED … it’s the original version … no lovey-dovey running off to the next little pig’s house in this one … !!!


Hmmm ... it looks like other folk have linked to the web page, not the actual Podcast ... so ... OK ... I'll have a go and see if this works.

Chris Betcher is a teacher who is 'into' ICT. I've been following his Virtual Staffroom blog for a while, and this Podcast about Moodle is of particular interest as the other online course I'm doing is about Moodle.

In this Podcast Chris interviews Talia Carbis, Darrel Branson and Julian Ridden. They all use Moodle, but in completely different settings.