Thursday, 23 November 2017

A life long before quilting......

........How about you do a agriculture post this week............

what does agriculture mean to you.........
what memories/connections do you have...........
you are all consumers so you all rely on agriculture to survive.......

Chookyblue threw out the challenge above earlier this week, and posted lots of ag photos of her world. This g0t me thinking, and delving into a drawer full of photos, (that still need to be sorted, someday!). There were lots of memories in that drawer, and a story that's not been told on my blog before. I was too lazy to scan the photos to get them on the computer, so took a photo of the photo instead, so I apologise for the lack of quality. I do have plans to sort all those photos and write a story and print it, for my children to read one day. This blog post will have a very brief outline of that story.

I guess the answer to the first question has to be that agriculture has a lot of meaning for me.
 And the second question, what memories do you have is summed up as follows......................................... I was brought up on a farm, that had been settled back in 1910, by our family. I guess I was more of an "inside" girl, and as I had 3 brothers, and our grandparents also lived on the property, there was no need for me do any farm stuff. I do remember a few spotlighting adventures in the jeep, my brothers checking their rabbit traps, and climbing trees looking for birds eggs.

And there was the year that it rained after the hay was baled, and us kids were "paid" to walk around the paddock and turn each bale over so that it could dry. And now I am reminded that we had a milking cow, and I did have duty sometimes to milk it (with a one cow machine!!), wash the machine, and then separate the milk to make cream. If you turned the handle really fast, the cream was much thicker, and you needed a knife to cut and spread it on your bread. A family story that we still laugh at today, is when my "city" cousins came to visit, they were amazed at the thick cream we had. And my dad, with a straight face, told them it was "bull's cream"!! It was many years later when they found out he was joking them.

Looking back, I would say that life growing up on the farm was pretty good, but at the time, all I could were the negatives, and I vowed and declared I was not going to marry a farmer!! But a new family purchased the farm next door, and ........... the inevitable happened and I was married when I was 19. But, he was not a farmer, he was a stock agent! I did not take into account that he was the son of a farmer, and had a yearning for his own farm!!

We have had many moves over the years, and a quick summary follows.

First we moved to Crystal Brook in the mid north of SA, where Neville worked for Bennett and Fisher, stock agent company. ......................
........Then another move to Brinkworth, a bit further south, still working for this company. .............................And while living there, we purchased our first property, a semi developed block of land near Mundulla in the South East of the state........................... Some time later, we left the stock firm, and moved to Bordertown, and sharefarmed a dairy, while we developed the Mundulla block, which was about 15 minutes away. (We had 2 children by then.)................   and even though I had been brought up on a farm, I still had no idea about lots of thing, including the fact that a cow needs to have a calf every year, to produce milk!!...... so you can see I had a big learning curve about to happen!! especially as we were responsible for 130 milking cows on this dairy!!!...............about 2 years later, we sold our Mundulla property and purchased our own dairy property at Jervois, on the river, about 15 minutes from Murray Bridge, (where I was born and bred)...........Our 3rd child was born here............... About 5 years later, we sold that property, and purchased a larger dairy at The Point, closer to Murray Bridge. We kept our own herd of cows, and walked them up the road, about 5 miles away......and our 4th baby was born while we were here...........

The following photo is the view from our house, looking down across the swamps, where the cows grazed, with our year's supply of hay and the converted herringbone dairy in front. We had more land behind the house, and another property across the river to run our dry cows, and heifer, and cut hay on.

One of the cows grazing on the swamp.

......After a few years of milking cows, we decided that a venture into "real" farming was a good idea!!???We purchased a grazing property just north of Bordertown, and moved back south again...........almost 10 years to the day that we had moved up on the river.
I was a "hands on" farmer by now, and helped in the dairy, and with the sheep etc on this farm. I had learnt a thing or two by now about farming!?? The children also helped, and were involved with feeding calves, hosing out the dairy, getting cows while we were dairying. The tasks changed to helping in the sheep yards to tail the lambs, draft sheep, and shearing shed duties when we moved to farming.

A few photos from our time on the Bordertown farm...............

 We did not inherit a family farm, and each move was a "step up" the ladder, hoping to build a future. We stayed on this property for 10 years, until selling it in the year 2000, and moving into the town in the house I live in now. There is a lot more to the story of our farming years, but suffice to say, that a husband that suffered with depression and anxiety, made for some hard times, in amongst the good ones, and eventually gave us no choice but sell.

It is almost 18 years now since the farm was sold, and my life has been filled with quilting instead. It sometimes seems like another lifetime ago. When I see paddocks of sheep with little lambs, I get a bit nostalgic, but then there is another quilt to do, and life moves on.

Well that is my blog post about agriculture, as it relates to me, and it might be more than you wanted to know!? But now it is in my next book and a record of part of my life. Thanks Chooky for the challenge.

Blessings, From Jude

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Blooming where you are planted.....

This will be a quick, short post with some photos of the one flower in my front garden. I must confess that I would not even have known it was there, until Pat was getting into her car last night to leave, and told me to look. (The weather is quite warm this week, and I am not venturing too far outside, except to water in the early morning! - Well that's my story anyhow!) 

First picture is last night,.......

and this was this morning, in the early light!

I thought I would show the whole plant, which is not very much to look at, is it? It is straggly and there has not been much obvious progress since the garden was planted earlier this year.

All I can think, is that the plant was putting it's effort into this single bloom. Maybe there is a lesson in life here, and that things are not always as they appear to be?? Something beautiful can come out of something quite plain and nondescript looking. I could go on with more words of wisdom, but will suffice to say, that I hope that I might bloom where God has planted me, and that other's might know something of his power and peace in all situations.

I will finish this post here, and get back to another post that I am working, that is taking up the challenge that ChookyBlue issued this week for National Agriculture Week.

Blessings, From Jude

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Lots of catching up!!

Looking back into the photo files, I notice that once again I have fallen behind in posting pics, so here I am catching up again. Although it was photo overload during the exhibition, the following are customer quilts not yet posted on the blog.

First up is Pat's candlewicked quilt that she made for her daughter. There was a photo of the quilt hanging with it's ribbon at the show, but below are a couple of closeups. There was a lot of SID in this quilt!

This quilt was one of the Pick a Case Mystery quilts and made by Val, and was quilted allover with a pattern called Fandangle.

This strippy quilt was made by Prue and a simple block pattern was used in each block.

Michelle made this quilt for her mother, and it was custom quilted, this time with a different pattern in the 4 patch blocks and a simple flower in the plain blocks.

The top and bottom borders were wider than the side ones, and you can see what I quilted in the following photos.

This strippy star quilt was made Kerry, and was quilted allover with a star pattern.

Mon made this scrappy quilt, and it is all hand pieced, even the borders, and was quilted with an allover pattern.

There are still a few more photos in the files, but that is enough "catchup" of quilting for now.

For the last 2 days there has been more "catchup", although not quilting. Max has been switched off and there has been a lot of catchup of sleep and rest. For 2 days I have sat in the recliner, and rested, and had some "time out". For the first time in quite a while, I even read a book! There has even been some afternoon naps. My plan for the weekend had been to finalise my bookwork ready for an appointment with the accountant next week, but that can wait. It was time to recharge and rest. Life has been rather hectic for awhile now, and it all came to a halt. Hopefully by tomorrow morning, I will be back with Max, until I need to go to the dentist after lunch. The diary does not list much for the remaining days of this week, so hopefully I can get some quilts finished.

Next weekend will be time for family, as there is another wedding to attend.

Enjoy your week, and there will be more newsfromjude soon!

Blessings, From Jude

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Time with William 2

Sorry for the boring blog title, but could not think of a better one tonight. Thought I would report in before the rest of the week takes over. Although, being Wednesday evening already, I think the end of the week is almost here again. I have been standing with Max again today, after a few days "off"! Although I have not been quilting, I have been playing hostess to lots of lovely ladies over the last 5 days. Much has been achieved by all of us, and I did take a few photos for you. 

Michele managed to put a few quilts together, and this is one that she is showing the girls, and sorry I can't remember what it is called. It will come out as a pattern in due course.

A little sugar fix, helps the energy levels, doesn't it??

I managed to get some time to sit, cut and layout my blocks for my Dear William quilt. I had done quite a bit of the cutting earlier in the year, and only had 2 of the 9 blocks left to cut. I have made changes to the original pattern, and left out some of the applique. (Hopefully my quilter will use the extra space to be "creative"!!)

And by Tuesday evening, I had ironed all 9 blocks and now they are ready to sew. Not too sure just when I will get to do this??? Hopefully it will not be too many more years!!

Another of Michele's designs heading for a finish.

All the blocks laid out on the floor, and a name was decided on, but I did not write it down, and can't remember what it was!! It looks fantastic, and there will be applique on the corner triangles to do yet.

And of course, the group photo.

I could probably write a lot more, but I think it is time for bed. It has been a fantastic few days, and the last retreat for 2017. Thankyou so much for sharing your time with us Michele, and your amazing knowledge of William Morris. I think he would be very pleased with how you honour his name with your creations.

Thankyou also, to all who have come to Number 8 during the year, and shared in the fun and friendships at each retreat. I look forward to what's in store for 2018.

The weather was rather warm, but with the air conditioner going inside, we hardly knew it was 38 deg outside. And after 2 hot days, today's temp was back to 22 deg, and we have had 42 mls of rain. Quite a contrast!

Over and out, back soon.

Blessings, From Jude