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I am a mother of eight and grandmother of three who loves to make and create. Rosemary Hill is the name of our home where we live, work, learn and create together

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

This past week.

I have been so busy this past week. Mostly I have been busy procrastinating! (As I do!) My daughter's sister-in-law was married last weekend and one of my granddaughters was a flower girl. She had her two eldest of her four nieces be flower girls which left two little girls without a fancy dress so my daughter offered to make dresses for all four girls. Four dresses is quite a lot and I offered to help. Jess did all the cutting out and the basic sewing and I did the finishing. This is my granddaughters at their fitting.

My daughter and her three lovelies
She loooooves this dress!
And we had two birthdays. Well, four if you count extended family, so there were lots of birthday dinners to cook and go out for. This is my baby who turned 15. Fifteen!!! So strange to have no little kids at my house. We had little kids for so long. 

Lighting the sparkler on his cake
 Oh. And at one of those birthday dinners we ate some of the broccoli I grew in our backyard. It was delicious! 

I'm hoping to get more sewing done this week. I have been English paper piecing ever since I last blogged, but it doesn't look that different! Perhaps I will do some quilting!

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

This Goes With That...

It's spring! Isn't this a lovely blossom tree? I discovered this one Sunday morning and took a million photos (well, about twenty or so, almost a million, right?). There were lots of bees admiring this tree too.

A million years ago (everything today seems to come in multiples of a million) I joined the Patchwork Apple's block of the month club for Sue Daley's Pies and Tarts quilt. In the true tradition of block's of the month I still haven't finished it despite working on it for years. (I think the top is finished. Possibly. I'm thinking about it and considering it.) I really loved the look of the Pies and Tarts so when I heard that Sue Daley had released another block of the month and that Hettie's Patch were running a club for it I was in! I was keen the first month, and then my interest tapered of slightly completely. (Also in the tradition of block of the month clubs!) This quilt is a hexagon quilt with a difference. The difference being that some of the hexagons are built from other English paper piecing shapes. I was looking for a handwork project to do a couple of weeks ago and dragged it out of the cupboard and have been working on it ever since.

I think I was inspired somewhat by the show and tell at Gum Valley Patchwork's Stitch in Spring. A lovely lady by the name of Vicky had made a couple of beautiful hand stitched hexagon quilts which just took my breath away. Of course, her hexagons were smaller than this, but I'm still claiming her as my inspiration! (These are 2 1/2 inch hexagons - that's the measurement of each side) I've decided to alternate a "built" hexagon with a solid hexagon in the hopes of getting this finished some time in the next decade. (Vicky's huge quilts were completed inside a year each!)

In other news I have been gardening. My boys built me raised garden beds following a design by Jess and now I have food happening in my garden! This is a teeny tiny broccoli that I photographed yesterday. Today I have some lettuce to plant out and I'm hoping to pop a bunch of seeds in at the same time. Wish me luck!

Friday, 2 October 2015


Friday! My how the week passes! I sat in front of the computer on Monday morning to write a blogpost, and now it's Friday! (I haven't been sitting here all week - it just feels like it!) So, here's my Monday blogpost about my finishes from last week.

My first finish was a chevron quilt I started last year when we were living in North Adelaide. My daughter Jessica quilted it for me and I finally bound it!

I used a Bonnie and Camille diagonal stripe to bind it. It made really lovely binding. I bought a metre of this fabric from Lenora at Elm Grove Patchwork in Nullewarre Victoria. I made it all up into binding and used it for the two quilts I finished last week.

This is the chevron quilt up close on my clothesline after being washed. I love the quilting that Jess did for me.

The second quilt I finished was my beehive beauty that I assembled from the blocks I was sent by my swarmies. I joined the Instagram bee run by Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts and I chose the double star block designed by Christa at Christa Quilts I love how it turned out. This is me quilting the quilt. Even though I did a lot of straight line quilting I did it all free motion. (Hence they are wonky straight lines, but exactly what I was looking for.)

Quilted, trimmed and ready to bind. Did I mention that I love this binding?

I backed this quilt with a Denyse Schmidt fabric. It looked awesome with the binding too!

Here it is on the clothesline. Wet and scrunched up from the washing machine.

And here it is in it's intended place above my bed. Yeah. I'm not much into making my bed. Perhaps I should have cropped that shot? Oh well. I love it. I love the colours and I am thrilled with the quilting. Next up I have a couple of quilts in various stages of finish that I want to use on my bed. One is together as a top and the other is blocks. It will be a while before I get to them I think. They will be big quilts and I need to do some more quilting practice on little quilts before I start to quilt them. If I'm looking at them every day I will want to love the quilting on them!

clothesline view

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Stitch in Spring

Friday morning I got up bright and early because Loz and I were off to Stitch in Spring held each year by Linda White from Gum Valley Patchwork. It was the second time I had been and it was as much fun the second time around. The tutors this year were Gail Pan and Helen Stubbings. I managed to work on projects from both of them over the weekend.

the view from our window
Linda's shop is in a little place called Cooriemungle in Victoria, but she holds Stitch in Spring at the Lifesaver's clubrooms in Port Campbell. Port Campbell is on the Great Ocean Road not far from the Twelve Apostles and it is a very scenic and beautiful setting. Loz and I stitched at Stitch in Spring on the Saturday and spent Sunday stitching at our accommodation. Last year we did the touristy thing on the Sunday and headed out to the Twelve Apostles, London Bridge and other geological coastal features. This year we told ourselves that we had already done that and stayed home and stitched. I think what really happened though was that we were both tired and just needed a rest, so Sunday was a lovely restful day for us.

progress on Sunday night
This week I have a huge to-do list of sewing. Sewing is what really makes me happy so having a huge to-do list is the best for me! I have things to finish for our home which makes me feel really cheerful. One of the best things about meeting and knowing quilty people in real life is that their homes are an inspiration to me. Loz, Shay, Claire and Val all have beautiful quilty homes. As soon as you walk into their homes you can tell a quilter lives there because their quilts are on show! I guess its more than just quilts being on show. Anyway, that's what I want my home to look like. This week I am keen to get my beehive quilt finished. It's going on the wall above my bed. It's about the last thing to do to "finish" my room. (Well, I am keen to get new quilt covers for my bed, but that's probably not necessary!) I am hoping to get all of our rooms "finished" over the next couple of months because in December we will have been here for twelve months - a milestone - and it would be good to have everything organised and pretty by then! I am also working on some quilted cushion covers and I have a couple of ottomans that need recovering. I'm going to take a leaf out of my daughter's book and make a quilted cover for my ottomans. She made one for hers and it is so lovely! 

In case you were wondering I gave up on posting from my iPad. After the two successes I had last month I couldn't get it to work again, so thats why I have had so much time between posts. Now I have a computer set up in my sewing space and I am good to go! Hopefully I'll be back this week with some finishes. Wish me luck, I have to get to the sewing machine!

Wednesday, 26 August 2015


I love to stitch, or embroider, or whatever you call it. When I was younger I used to say I'll learn to embroider when I retire, but the opportunity presented itself before then so I took it. I find handwork really relaxing. I also like the look of machine free motion embroidery. I often think one day I'll try that. I'm not much into trying new things. Earlier this year I joined a swap on Instagram. A hoop swap. (Are you in love with Instagram? I love all the pretty pictures there!) I decided to make a pretty hand stitched scene for my partner and that was that.

I also tried a crocheted covering for the hoop. I had pinned this on Pinterest ages ago and was thrilled to have the opportunity to try it out. I don't usually try these things for myself. I have to be "pushed" into it! After the swap date had come and gone I got a message on Instagram asking if I could be an angel for someone who had sent a hoop, but not received one in return. I was happy to do it and felt the pressure of a self-imposed deadline. It was sad that this person didn't have a hoop and I wanted to make one as quickly as possible for her. So I began to consider making a free motion embroidered scene for this second hoop. (Quick, right!) With a little hand embroidered embellishment. This is what I came up with. 

It was so much fun to make! I also crocheted a hoop cover for this one (It was easy to do!) and I really loved this one. I liked the first one, but the second one is my favourite. I (almost) wished I kept it. I figured I could easily make another for myself, but I haven't quite gotten around to it yet. I am keen to try some more free motion embroidery. Hopefully I'll try it again soon.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Such a long time!

I went to a class at Hetties Patch last weekend and ran into someone who I had met years ago and she said she used to keep up with me on my blog, but I don't do that any more. I was a bit stunned because I often think about blogging, but I never quite get there. Part of it is fatigue (I moved three times in thirteen months!) and part of it is not having access to a computer to blog on. I have my iPad always at the ready but have found blogging on that difficult. So today I woke up and thought, that's it! I love this blog and the record it is of my doings I'm just going to try harder to use the iPad and be done with it! So here I am blogging. Weird, huh?

I lifted some photos from my iPad for this post. This is my Sue Daly "Pies and Tarts" quilt in progress some months ago. Actually, now that I look at it closely I see that this photo was taken in the townhouse we lived in for four months in North Adelaide. That was immediately after we left the farm. The best thing about the farm was it was in the middle of nowhere. I loved the quiet. And not being able to see anyone else. I loved the Kangaroos I could see every day around the property and I loved the "big sky". And the worst thing about the farm was it was in the middle of nowhere. It was a 25 minute drive to the bus stop and I had to make that trip twice a day with my two university girls. It was too much! So we moved almost to the centre of Adelaide which was in direct contrast with the country experience. I loved it! We could walk everywhere! A free bus into the city took off two houses away from us and we really loved it there. We "did" so many more things there even though we were only there for a short time. Everything was in walking distance. The Botanic gardens, the zoo, the city, museums, the art gallery etc. Trying to park your car was a nightmare for us and visitors, especially when there was an event on at Adelaide Oval because they have more onerous restrictions during events, but I did a lot more walking there! We were sad to leave that location, but really felt like we needed to move closer to our grandkids and so we are living in the Adelaide Hills now. We moved here eight months ago (so long now!) and I STILL have things in boxes. Sigh! Anyway, I have been sewing and making and I intend to keep sewing and making and recording my life here at "Rosemary Hill" even if it's just for me to read and remember! 

This photo shows more progress on the Pies and Tarts quilt. It's officially huge these days and I am busy practicing my free motion quilting so that I can do a better job on this beauty. After all, 

Sunday, 6 July 2014

It's a journey.

This is what I have been working on over the last month. "Aunt Bettina's Parlour" by Quilted Crow Girls Designs. I started it I can't remember when at a class at Hettie's Patch earlier this year. I am enjoying hand stitching! It's all very relaxing and fun.

This year is all a bit of a blur. Every year I am amazed at the beginning of every month to realise that another month has flown by. This year it is even worse. We left Melbourne last November, but it seriously only seems like a month or two ago, not the eight months it really is. I miss Melbourne a lot. Well, the place a little, but mostly the friends I made there. 

When we moved back to South Australia eight months ago we decided to do something different. Why not? We decided to move to the country. We are just renting so this would be an opportunity to see if country life is for us without too much of a commitment. Our current home is on seven acres, and is on a dirt road. (Can't get more country than that!) When we moved in we couldn't see any houses from our house. We are surrounded by paddocks. Paddocks that are full of rabbits, foxes and kangaroos and also cattle and sheep. Now we can see a house on the hill opposite our hill. It is in the process of being built. And do you want to know something funny? In the tradition of South Australia (it's a small place people) we know the people building the new house. They will move in in the next month or two. What are the odds that we would know them? In Victoria not great. In South Australia, pretty much even. 

This is our backyard. So, after eight months, how do we like country living? So-so. There are some things I love. Like living in the middle of nowhere! And some things I am completely sick of. Like living in the middle of nowhere! I love the quiet. (Well, except for the cows and sheep. Boy are they noisy!) But I am sick of having to drive 20 kilometres to the bus stop to drop kids off. (I know that that is not really a long drive, but it seems long to me!) Sometimes I make the 40km round trip three times a day which is crazy, but necessary. So I'm hoping to move again when our lease is up. Where to? Right now I have no idea. 

We moved back to South Australia to help our daughter. She is one of the most brilliant and capable young women I know. Always has been. She does have a huge challenge though, her son has special needs. Without the regular support of extended family this special boy's challenges were overwhelming for her. As he has gotten older, and bigger, the challenges have grown too. So now we are nearby to help. We have him come stay at our house one day a week each week. This gives her a break and an opportunity to do something other than look after him. He has behavioural problems which are really hard work. Of course, he is still wonderful along with it. Last month was a big month for him. His doctor prescribed him medication. His mother has resisted this course of action previously because she wanted to try every non-invasive way of helping him first. This was the next step. He has reacted really well so far and we hope this will give him a chance to learn and practise better behaviours. 

This is him helping his sister last week, which seems an ordinary thing but is quite amazing for him. 

So, I am still here. Working on sewing projects, babysitting my grandchildren and watching kangaroos in my front yard, in the side paddocks and on the other side of the hill. I have many new projects floating around in my head. I have attended a class and improved my free motion quilting somewhat, and I am contributing to a market that my girls are doing this month. Oh. And we built a tiny house.