Saturday, November 17, 2007

Quilts in the Library

Today I made a visit to our local library to see the quilts which are on display this month. they are made by members of the Refugee and Migrant Quilt Group which is run to teach new immigrants sewing skills and also give them an opportunity to socialise and practise English in an informal setting.

Some of these women had never used a sewing machine before joining the group. The quilts display all levels of sewing skills from extreme beginner to very competent, but they are all exuberant and colourful (and there's really no need to examine the stitching too closely). The cards that are displayed with the quilts tell a little about the maker and almost all express the pleasure they get from learning new skills and making new friends.

The women are from a wide range of countries: Taiwan, Malaysia, Japan, Iran, Somalia, France and Lithuania are those that I recall.

This pattern was a popular one - there were several quilts in different colours. It's a great pattern for unifying a diverse collection of scrap fabrics.

The maker of this beautiful quilt was the exception to most - she had made many quilts by hand in Japan before coming to New Zealand.

No doubt she is able to pass on her skills, as well as practising English. The group is very popular and the members are only allowed to stay in the group two years, I believe, before leaving to make room for others. But some of them continue on as helpers.

I just had to take some pictures of our beautiful library. The green of the furniture merges with the green of the trees outside at this time of year.

The library is only a few years old and won a number of architectural awards. It is designed to be environmentally friendly.

The moat is more than just decorative - it is an important part of the passive air conditioning system and helps to keep the building cool in summer. It also, I gather, helps collect rainwater, which is used to flush the toilets.


OldLady Of The Hills said...

What a BEAUTIFUL Library Catherine. And to be able to sit in comfort and read, WOW! What a luxury. It has been many many years since I have been in a Library....I never saw wonderfully comfortable furniture like that before and a ligrary. And the setting is so peaceful and serene...!

That last quilt is absolutely gorgeous. The colors are so pretty and the design is very very pleasing. I like the other one too, but this one by the Japanese woman is truly stunning!

OldLady Of The Hills said...

Forgot to say Michele sent me this early Saturday A.M. here in Los Angeles...Have a wonderful Sunday, Catherib=ne!

January said...

The quilts are amazing. And I'm sure that the people who made them are equally as amazing.

The library looks like a wonderful spot to relax with a book. Those green chairs are fabulous!

Pat said...

I love quilts. When we first got married I had left my home and friends and felt quite lonely so started a double bed sized patch work Quilt. It's not nearly so beautiful as those - much more muted - but it's all hand sewn by me and in the middle the old lady who lived next door embroidered our initials and the date of our wedding.
I love the photos of the library. What an oasis of calm.
Michele says hi!

kenju said...

That's a lovely library and I think it must be a serene place to sit and read. The quilts are wonderful; I love the color and range of patterns. MIchele sent me, and as we are just heading into our winter - I envy you the nice green of your spring!

Kay Cooke said...

Superb post - beautiful. Library's lovely too.

Smiler said...

It always amazes me to see the level of detail and intricacy that goes into quilt-making. You took great photographs of them, I like that you've shown the entire piece to give the overall impression and then close-ups so we could see all the different tiny parts composing the whole. Seen in such a beautiful setting, it must indeed have been quite a treat. In these parts, we'd be lucky to view them in a church basement!

Smiler said...

OOops almost forgot: Michele sent me to say hello! :-)

David Edward said...

what a lovely library, and Springtime, I am so happy fore you and all the GREEN.

Anonymous said...

What an awesome library! I'd love to see designs like this utilized in the states more often, instead of these huge mausoleums that are traditionally built, and look like they only house incredibly ancient tomes.

Michele sent me.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting the pictures. The quilts are truly beautiful. The library looks great too.

My mother never could pass on her quilt making skills to me. I don't much like sticthing unless it is to mend something.

Glad Michele sent me your way today.

Jerry in Tampa said...

Love the quilts! And thanks for the tour of the library! You have an awesome blog!

Hello, Michele sent me.

Jerry in Tampa

craziequeen said...

I'm so glad Michele sent me here this morning, Catherine... :-)

What a wonderful library to read and mull life in....

I love that lavender quilt, it is quite exceptionally beautiful and detailed...


Anonymous said...

Catherine - it IS a beautifuf library