Hello everyone! I’ve been thinking about writing a newsletter for some time but wondered: would anyone be interested to read it? Well, I see there are subscribers already so I guess you are willing to give it a chance.
My relationship with gardening is complex. Nothing’s straightforward - I simultaneously love plants that have a strong will to live and spread while hating they will try to take over the place. I admire a tidy garden yet I enjoy one that’s a little bit wild. My reactions are emotional, bound with my experiences of making gardens.
There’s a wonderful article by Joyce Veheary in the Radicle newsletter this week about this emotional complexity. It’s called “Done is better than perfect”, where she says:
“I must remember that there are lessons to be learned and joy to be found in failures, and the mess… Perfectionism is usually just in my head.”
This can, and does, apply to all creative endeavours, I think. Waiting for perfection is a form of creative paralysis. Would you rather create something that’s not perfect or create nothing at all?
I’m keen to engage more with writing of all types this year - books, articles, reviews. This also means interacting more with authors (clever people!). You’ll see more book reviews from me on my website and on Goodreads.
Have you read a great story recently? Personal recommendations are always welcome, so let me know your faves.
Although I mix up my reading, I have a fondness for crime thrillers. Here’s an article about “How Australia’s crime writing took over the world”. It’s from last November but is still relevant and makes the point:
“We are living in a golden age and our bestseller lists are being dominated by the likes of Liane Moriarty and Jane Harper, who are blazing a trail for a host of equally brilliant crime writers including Candice Fox, Sarah Bailey, Emma Viskic, Christian White and Chris Hammer (I could keep naming names).”
Aren’t we fortunate?
After deciding to make a quilt featuring my stash of Liberty lawn fabrics instead of just hoarding them in the cupboard, I’m been having a love/hate relationship with it. The pattern’s simple - two blocks that, when sewn together, make a secondary design.
It’s the background fabric that’s frustrating me. I’ve changed it twice but I suspect I need yet another fresh approach. The Liberty blocks are great but that background… I’ve put it all away on a shelf while I let my subconscious come up with a solution.
Are you acquainted with Annette Gero’s book, The fabric of society: Australia’s quilt heritage from convict times to 1960? It’s a rich text, well illustrated and with patterns for 29 of the quilts written by Kim Mclean. A superb history.
As I reread it, the book reminds me that our country has a valuable history of quilt making. It’s useful to recognise that because we Australian quilters can often be swamped by the amount of quilt literature that focuses on quilts in the USA.
Margaret Rolfe’s books, Patchwork Quilts in Australia and Australia’s Quilt Heritage, are also valuable records of our quilt history. I refresh my knowledge from these two books on my shelves occasionally. It’s an important reminder that our early quilt makers have a lot to offer today’s quilters.