Author(s): Rosemary McLeod
Rosemary McLeod's collection of handcrafts was exhibited at The Dowse in 2002-2003. This book shows items from the exhibition and others from her collection, telling the social and sometimes personal history of their makers - women and girls who dreamed about a life beyond the front gate, and worked those dreams into reality, using simple materials they had to hand. From rag rugs to felt handbags, from patchwork quilts to sacking aprons, from cheery tea cloths to topsy-turvy dolls, they provide a unique insight into women's art and creativity in a new country finding its way. "Thrift to Fantasy" provides an important and unexpectedly moving contribution to New Zealand design and craft history that will become a must-read for many New Zealand women. "Thrift to Fantasy" is not only a seductively designed and illustrated book, but also one that uses crafts such as embroidery and knitting to provide a revealing insight into the personal lives of threes generations of 20th-century Kiwi women." - New Zealand Listener "It's a fabulous book, worthy of a place on every woman's bookshelf, but will be of special significance to those with an interest in hand crafts and the social and domestic evolution of the New Zealand woman... It's well worth the price and a diamond in the rough of many of today's offerings." - Southland Times "Valued craft is woven between the history of New Zealand women of the time. Women's lives have changed and if we did not have special people such as Rosemary McLeod all our historical handcrafts would be lost." - Waikato Times First published 2005.
Winner of Montana New Zealand Book Awards: History Category 2006.