About Me

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

Friday 28 September 2012

Red and White Bunting

It is a very grey rainy day here in my part of Melbourne. My favourite kind of weather. Yesterday was warm. So warm in fact that my kids and their friends had a water fight. (Lily's favourite kind of weather. We think it would be really nice if we could have one grey day, then one warm day, and so on. Then we would both be happy about the weather all the time.) Ok. So it actually wasn't that warm. Let's just say it was warm enough for kids to have a water fight. But that warm air did have an effect on me. It made me realise that it really is getting close to Christmas! Living in Australia warm and hot weather just scream Christmas to me. So today I am working on bunting. In one of my favourite colour combos!

Tuesday 25 September 2012

Christmas Ornaments

Wouldn't these look pretty on a tree? I'm busy making Perler bead ornaments. It's really kid's play, but I must be a kid at heart because I am having so much fun!

Monday 24 September 2012

I could do with some sunshine!

This photo was taken this afternoon. One moment there was sunshine, and the next I took this photo! I finished the Sunshine quilt top and had my Bradley model it in the yard. It's ready for basting (I've already cut the backing!) and then I am going to do some awesome free motion quilting on it. I have recently purchased a couple of online Craftsy classes. I did an online class in February this year with Rachel Hauser which was taught via a blog with video tutorials. I quite liked that style of teaching. I tried all sorts of things I had never done before. It was value for money I thought. Then I heard about the Craftsy classes which are taught via video tutorial. I bought a class called "Quilting Big Projects on a Small Machine" (I am nothing if not ambitious!) to try it out. Once you buy a Craftsy class you always have access to the video lessons which means you can work at your own pace through the tutorials. So I bought three more classes which included "Machine Quilting Negative Space"and now I feel FMQ confident! (Hopefully I will be able to do some awesome free motion quilting) Watch this space for something finished.

Sunday 23 September 2012

Lily's Peppermint Butler Bag.

Peppermint Butler on Lily's hip - off to church.
Yesterday Lily made a Peppermint Butler bag. (If you are not sure who he is find out here.) As the mother of teenagers I need to know all about important subjects like "Adventure Time" so I can hold intelligible conversations with my children. It's important you know! Anyway, this is Lily's Peppermint Butler Bag. He is fully lined, made of felt and comes complete with zipped top. He is the first piece of her school holiday project. Next comes her Princess Bubblegum outfit. (Honestly. That's her name! Find out who she is here.) I'm pretty sure Lily has homework to do too these holidays, but she will be leaving that to the last minute I think. I think she's awfully clever because she designed and made him herself. When her Dad asked her how she knew what to do she said that she had seen both Jess and I make lots of things which helped and it also helped her realise that you just make it up as you go along. Yep. My philosophy of life as imparted to my children: Make it up as you go along!

His tails.

Yesterday's Produce.

Sunshine top almost together.
Did I ever tell you that my son works in the fruit and veg department? Well, he does. He's a fulltime fruit and veg guy in Adelaide and has been for some years now. As I raced out the door last night to do a little food shopping I called out to the kids "What do you want?" Both of my Melbourne sons replied with "Oranges!", then "Apples and bananas.". Straightaway this quilt came to my mind. (Well, I had been working on it all day!) Really I should call it Oranges, apples, and bananas, cause that's what it reminds me of. (Ok. Possibly stretching it on the apples, but not if pink ladies are your favourite apple, and they are mine!)

Oh. And I don't have a headache today. Yay! Apart from the food shopping I also managed to hit two fabric shops yesterday. As I worked on the quilt above I felt a sudden need to purchase some backing. I think I thought that the top was almost finished and I might feel a sudden need to baste and quilt it so I had better be prepared. So funny! Perhaps I just wanted to go to a fabric shop. (Now that does ring true, doesn't it?) I managed to find backing for this quilt and another. Then I popped into the next fabric shop. They were having a sale. (Yep. Spotlight. When are they not having a sale? They had 30% off quilting fabric.) I managed to pick up some fabric to make Christmas pressies for my side of the family. Handmade Christmas here I come! It's funny how the purchase of some fabric makes me feel organised and productive. Imagine how over the moon I will be when I actually make something. Jess and I chatted yesterday about the whole Handmade Christmas thing and it turns out she is waaaay more productive than I am. She already has a stack of presents waiting to be wrapped. It's hard to feel eclipsed by your own children because mostly you just feel proud of them and glad that they have turned out to be so awesome. It is pretty great being the mother of awesome children!

Saturday 22 September 2012

A tree

a tree, partway through the painting process
I have been struggling with a headache for a few days now. Nothing seems to shift it. Yesterday I thought it hurt so much that I couldn't really do anything. Today it hurts so much I can't possibly do nothing. I guess it is changing at least! So I decided to paint this MDF tree that I bought last year at Spotlight. I am completely amazed at how many edges it has. Eventually it will all be white (I hope) with some glitter paint over the top. I'm not sure whether I am a glitter type person or not. Anyway, the paint is bought and I am definitely putting it on. Hopefully it will be pretty!

Friday 21 September 2012

Brown paper packages tied up with string..... (yes, a few of my favourite things!)

My Bradley had some appointments in Adelaide this week. He stayed with our daughter Jess (picklesticks) and her family. When he came home he brought a brown paper package tied up with string (and a button. It's funny, but Julie Andrews never mentions the button) from Jess. It contained a key ring that she had made, and yes, it's now one of my favourite things.

Most of our family members love to make all sorts of things. Making is very important to me. One of the reasons I fell in love with my Bradley was that he made things for me. He crocheted a nose-warmer with a pompom on the tip for me early on in our relationship. (Well, it was winter, and my nose was cold!) I thought it was a beautiful and thoughtful gift. He remembered that my nose was cold, and he handmade something to fix the problem. My friends thought it was ugly and handmade, but I loved it and wore it. (This was the '80s people. There was nothing worse than handmade in the '80s! Not for me though. Growing up my mother made most of our clothing, her clothing and decorated our home all with handmade items and I loved it all!) Since then he has made many things for me. It's all so "Little House on the Prairie". I read the books before the tv show started and I loved that Pa would make gifts for Ma.

This week I haven't really made anything. I think I have the making equivalent of writer's block, or I'm just a bit out of sorts. So far all I have made is a mess all over my sewing desk. However, Sophie has made a cardigan, a hat, a dress and has been working on two rugs. Maxim built a skateboard and has been working on a carved Santa. Lily has been working on her Princess Bubblegum costume and has been carving a sword. Asher has spent the week building lego vehicles and buildings. Hmm... I had better get my act together!

Wednesday 19 September 2012


A photo from my pinboard
Yes, I am on pinterest (and twitter, and facebook, and google+) but this post is not about any virtual pinboards. It is about the pinboards on my wall in my sewing room. I have four from Ikea stuck up on my wall with reusable 3M velcro hooks. Sometimes I pin notices that are time sensitive and important to the running of our family. (I must admit here to having a large pinboard on the wall in the kitchen where most family oriented notices are pinned, and a large pinboard right above the family computer in the dining room just because.) Mostly though I pin beauty onto my pinboards to inspire me and make me feel happy. Some of the things on my pinboards have been there for four houses. (Only three years. Gosh we must love to move!) Other things have only been there for a matter of months or weeks. Most of it has been made by me or somebody that I know. The photo above features a page torn out of a magazine. It is a blue and green curtain and it has been on my pinboard for a very long time. I planned to make those curtains four houses ago. Then we moved. I still might make them one day. I thought I would share them with you tonight because it seems that blue and green are suddenly my two favourite colours. This photo shows though that I have been in love with blue and green for a very long time. So my passion for Sarah Vee's Wonky Churn Dash quilt is not unexpected really. My bee mates from Care at do. Good Stitches are busy making these for me at the moment. In fact, Lucy's are already pinned up on my pinboard looking down on me as I type this. Once I finish the quilt I am thinking that I will donate it to Inspirational Quilts which provide quilts mainly for kids with cystic fibrosis. Apparently a quilt can help soften the blow of your worst day ever. (The day you find out that you have cystic fibrosis) I think that if I could do something to soften the blow of someone's worst day ever, that would be extremely worthwhile. That's one reason I am loving being a part of do. Good Stitches. Another reason is the opportunity I am having to "bee" friends with the Care members. I didn't know any of them before joining this bee, and I like them. Proving yet again that we quilters are a pretty good lot! Oh. If you want to join a charity bee you can check out do. Good Stitches here, or google it. (My children think I am in love with google. They're pretty much correct about that!) Anyway, I am off to bed now despite the relatively early hour. So. Tired. Sleep.....

My wonky churn dash block 

Saturday 15 September 2012

All things Christmas

the nativity Sophie designed this week
We have been thinking about getting organised for Christmas for weeks now. Ever since we started hearing people talking about "Christmas in July". This week however, Christmas has been thrust upon us. Sophie (Miss 26) was asked to design a nativity wall hanging. And make 20 wall hangings. She took the challenge on and this is the start of her nativity. It's very simple and very sweet, and it makes me think about Christmas. I have stated my aim to have a handmade Christmas this year here before. I just need to make sure I start in time! So today, I packed away the quilt I am in the middle of quilting (I am so OVER it! I just need a little break from it. I'm sure I'll finish it e-v-e-n-t-u-a-l-l-y - is that how procrastination is spelt?) and "poured" some Christmas fabrics on my desk. My mind is full of Christmassy ideas. I am thinking I will start with some decorations, just to get me in the mood.

my desk with Christmas fabrics "poured" on it

Thursday 13 September 2012


quilting tonight
This week is just racing by. This is one of the two quilts I basted last week. It has taken me ages to decide just how I would quilt it and ages again to do the quilting! Gosh. That last statement makes it sound like I have finished. Not so. I am still working on it. I don't think I am even halfway through yet. I am keen to get this one finished, because it is a gift. Keen to get it finished and gifted! Back to the sewing machine!

Monday 10 September 2012


I started playing around with these fresh squares last Thursday and managed to get this cushion finished today. I have had so much fun playing with these 2 1/2 inch squares. I recently had occasion to learn how to pipe a cushion (thank you YouTube!) so I put this new found knowledge to the test and piped this cushion. It makes a really nice finish for the cushion I think. I am so happy to have something finished. There's nothing quite so cheerful as a finish people! If it was possible I would finish something every day.

Saturday 8 September 2012

Water Globe...

water globe, or snow globe complete with LED lights and snow blower
 I went to Costco for the first time today. I don't often go to the city (where Costco is) and so have never really been interested in getting a Costco membership, but then I heard from someone that one was being built not far from our house. Hmm... I was a little more interested then. My Bradley signed up and today we trawled the aisles there together for the first time. Christmas has already come to Costco and I saw a beautiful "water globe". Ok. I would call it a "snow globe", but the box proudly proclaims it to be a water globe. I looked at buying a snow globe last year, but didn't quite make the commitment. This one not only has a snow blower when you press the button (battery required) but also two LED lights! And it was half the price of my favourite one last year. I was sold. So now we have Christmas sitting on our making table. Not sure how many days until Christmas, but I need all the encouragement I can get because I want to have a handmade Christmas this year and I need to get started!

It's hard to see inside the snow, but it has a white Christmas tree inside.

Friday 7 September 2012

Fresh Squares

I read something on facebook this morning that said, "When life gives you lemons, eat M&Ms." I have a bucket of them at the moment. (Yes, Coles is still selling those buckets of Aussie green and gold M&Ms they had for the olympics cheaply.) My only addition to the quote would be, "And sew. A lot." It seems that I just can't get enough of 2 1/2in squares. Those granny square blocks have made me crazy for 2 1/2in squares. This is a new project I have started. (Probably my quote would include M&Ms, sewing, and new projects!) It's all good though, because it is only a small project that I am hoping to finish today. Back to the sewing machine.

Monday 3 September 2012

Basting done and dusted!

Two quilts basted!
I did it! The blue quilt is one I have been working on in the last month or so and the pink quilt is a top from my stash. (I'm pretty sure I pieced it prior to 2009.) So I now have two quilting projects for this week. I also am working on the Little Pieces of Sunshine quilt top. Of course, there are three quilt tops in the cupboard that require basting and about a thousand (or so) other projects on the go! So many choices. I am very lucky! So lucky that I am off to the fabric shop next. *sigh* Great day.

Sunday 2 September 2012


I had planned to baste today, but didn't quite get that far. I did get the batting down from upstairs which is further than I have got any other day this week. Tomorrow might just be basting day. Instead we did Father's Day type things and went to church. It takes quite a bit to celebrate Father's Day here because my Bradley is a father eight times over. Well, we have been married for a million years now you know. Actually, we are closing in on our thirtieth wedding anniversary which is nothing short of amazing. Seriously. How can we possibly have a thirtieth wedding anniversary when we are both still in our twenties? It's quite mind boggling!

This is my Bradley shooting hoops with number one son quite some time ago now. He still goes to shoot hoops with son number three. (There are only three boys amongst our eight children) It keeps you busy all that hoop shooting! He has spent most of this evening chatting on the phone to our Adelaide based children. So, I hope your family's all had a great father's day. And tomorrow I might just baste a quilt.

Saturday 1 September 2012

Little Pieces of Sunshine

It's the first of September and Spring is in the air, which seems to validate my choice of sewing project this weekend. I have been sewing little pieces of sunshine all day today. The sewing has been punctuated by a trip to the supermarket, and answering the door to Lily and Asher's friends as they have drifted in and out to draw, paint, do homework and watch tv with my kids. (Right now I am typing to the sounds of Finn and Jake from Adventure Time.) Hopefully "Little Pieces of Sunshine" (the new quilt) will be together by tomorrow night. Then there will be six quilt tops waiting to be basted. Must get onto that!