Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Thank You


For all those lovely emails, texts and phone calls after my mums knee replacement surgery.....we thank you. She is doing really well and getting more mobile everyday. The true test of whether her home rehabilition is being successful will be tomorrow when she sees the therapist.


If you have emailed me and are awaiting a reply or are waiting for me to send something through to you, I am slowly working my way through my ever growing "to do list", thanks for your patience!!!


Back soon with some more of the new BOM blocks!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

In Pops Garden- Part 3


Time for some more blocks. Pop grew just about everything from either seed or bulbs. His potting shed was a fun place to be. Little seedlings needing to be watered, thinned out and repotted. I remember that he used to have all his bulbs hanging above the potting table, drying out and he used to scrap out the seeds from his pumpkins and tomatoes and they would be drying out as well on boards, ready for the next years crop! It was always tempting to pick them off when you knew you wouldnt get caught!!!
Attached to the potting shed was the nursery where he kept all the seedlings until they were ready to be transferred to the garden. In here, he also had his collection of cacti.......some of the most beautiful flowers I have ever seen and it also housed a gorgeous rubber tree which grew right around the room!! He had a lot of indoor plants in here as well as inside his home, most of them he had grown from cuttings!
There was no way I could draw his vegetable garden to show its true beauty, it was far too large. It was an abundance of yummy home produce. Nothing tastes better than peas picked straight from the vine and eaten as you walk around the garden. Those plump juicy baby peas you found at the end of the pod were the most delicious!!! We would pick a box of them and at night sit around the kitchen, listening to music, while we shelled them all.........most would end up being eaten while we did it or on various trips to the fridge you would always grab a handful!

As a child, watching seedlings grow and then produce in the garden amazed me! It was satisfying to know that you had a hand in providing the vegetables that fed the family. When Maddi was little, I had my own vegetable garden and it produced well, a little too many squashes were cropped but the neighbours appreciated them lol. Maddi felt that same sense of satisfaction when she took her basket and filled it with food we had grown. We are going to put another one in this year (arent we honey?? sweet, wonderful husband of mine!!!) as soon as we design a good plan for it (just like the stitchery hun!!).
Hope you enjoyed these blocks as well. I will be MIA for a little while, my mum is finally having her knee replacement on Monday! Wish you luck mum, we are proud of your strength and love you heaps!!!!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

In Pops Garden- Part 2


Pop was a fantastic cook. He learnt early in life that to keep a family together they had to be fed well. Sunday lunch was a tradition and Nan would be waiting at the back door, in her apron and there would be scones in the oven for morning tea. Pop would have a roast cooking and all the trimmings and you wouldnt be able to move after you had eaten....he fed us well. Sometimes there were others that joined the table but there was always room, lots of laughs and conversation and always heaps of food.
And he made the best jams, relishes and sauces. His pantry was full of jars of preserved goodness. I used to make my own when I was first married but they never tasted as good.
You would never find Pops house gracing the cover of "Home Beautiful" but it had beauty, warmth and love. It was an ecclectic mix of all that was comfortable and practical. If it broke you fixed it, if it got a hole it Nan knitted a blanket to cover it, but walking through that back door you knew you were home and I loved every minute I spent there!!!!
There was no need for fancy tools and gadgets in Pops garden, he just had what he needed and used what he had. To help myself through College, I started working part time in a Garden Centre and it was a treasure trove of tools etc for me and even though I brought him these new super duper sprinklers or pruners he still used the ones that he had had for years.
He would spent all day in the garden, planting, weeding, pruning, watering and harvesting. Now that tap was an important feature for us kids. You would wander round the garden and pull a radish or a carrot and wash it at the tap before eating it and they always tasted so good. Of course helping to harvest the fruit usually left you with a bellyache cause we ate more than we should!!!
Ok that was block 2 and 3, more to share next week!!!


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

In Pops Garden- Part 1

I promised to share some photos of the new BOM called "In Pops Garden" but just before I do, Id like to introduce you to the man and the inspiration behind this quilt.

(photo from family holiday in Hobart)
These are my fathers parents Mary and Allan and I have shared a lot about my nan on this blog, the gorgeous lady she was!!! This is about my Pop.

He was the eldest of 5 brothers and as a young boy he nursed his mother until her death and then a few years later, his stepmother. He took on the responsibilites of running a home and garden to help provide for his father and brothers. As a young man he worked for the apple sheds where he became an apple classer and where he met my nan. They brought their first home in Launceston and then after my dad was born, they moved not too far to the home which I remember so fondly!!

(photo from family holiday in Hobart)
Pop had two loves in his life, his family and his garden. He had a large suburban block and 2/3rds of it was planted with fruit trees and vegetables. In the early years he used to sell these to help put my dad through private school. The rest of the garden was filled with his flowers. He used to sell these flowers to the local florist (if any of you local girls ever received a bouquet from Hinton and Llyod Florist in the 70's and 80's then they probably came from my Pops garden!!)


(Pop and Maddi, aged 1)
I look back on the time spent at his house and feel so blessed to have had them in my life. There wasnt anything to "play" with as a child but there was always something to do. You could learn so much from him just following him around the garden, helping him harvest the vegetables, watching him plant the seedlings or feeding the chickens and you never left there without a box of homegrown goodness to enjoy!!

When my nan became sick in 1990, my dad took over looking after the garden all under strict instructions from my Pop (it was his way or else.....bit like me actually lol). In 1995 my Nan passed away and it took a huge toll on Pop. When you visited, you would still find him pottering about in the garden but he had lost his love, his will to live. He died in 1996 (1 year and 1 day after my nan) and there isnt a day that I dont think of either of them, nor wish they were still here!!!

There is so much to share about this man and I hope I have managed to capture a little of the wonderful person he was, in the 9 blocks of this BOM. Heres the first block and a little more about him:


One of my fondest memories was pulling up in his driveway. This was a familiar scene, him mowing the front lawns with his handmower......he would never use a motor mower!!!! I can still remember the smell of the freshly cut grass and his lawns were always so green and soft. They were a great place to practise our handstands and cartwheels cause we had a soft place to land. People used to walk past and they never failed to stop and admire his lovely roses and camelia's and he would take cuttings for them and give them advice to grow their own.


He always wore a hat in the garden and of all the things he left behind in this world, seeing his hat sitting there after his funeral upset me the most!!! My parents now live in his home and its not the same as it was when I was a child, they have changed it so much, so it was fun to draw up these stitcheries as I remembered them. I could never do the beauty of his garden justice but this way my memories will live on!!!

Hope you like the first block........next post will be block 2 and 3 and a little more about my Pop!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

First Day of Spring!!


Spring would have to be my favorite season, its a sign of new beginnings and a promise of better weather to come and after the last few weeks of constant rain and wind, it will be very welcome!!! There is so much inspiration to be found in the garden and it boosts your creativity!
Id love to say Ive been busy in the studio but I have Cohen at home with a really bad case of the flu and he needs my attention, so Ive had to channel my creativity in other directions!! We spend a lot of money at the supermarket on museli bars etc so today I decided to try some of my own:

They are really yummy and according to the recipe, they are healthier than what you buy prepackaged, which is a bonus!!! These ones have dried apricots and sultanas in them but the possibilities are endless. Heres the recipe:

Homemade Museli Bars
2 2/3 cups of Rolled Oats
2/3 cup of Oat Bran
2/3 cup of Plain Flour
1 1/2 cups of dried fruit of your choice
2/3 cup of apple juice concentrate
4 tbls of brown sugar
4 tbls honey
1 ts vanilla
Bake rolled oats and bran on a flat tray in a 180 degree oven for 10 mins. Put fruit into a bowl with the plain flour. Add oats and bran when done. On a medium heat, cook the apple juice, brown sugar and honey in a saucepan until sugar dissolves. Add vanilla. Combine all together and press into a tin which has been lined with foil and sprayed lightly with cooking oil. Bake for a further 20 mins in the 180 degree oven. Cool, turn out and slice into bars..............Enjoy!!!

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