Sunday, November 7, 2021

A Stroll Through Pete's Garden - A Quilt Finish




The story♡ Where do I begin?? The story of my quilt, A Stroll Through Pete's Garden, (yes, I have named her) I suppose, began many, many years ago. Why, it is a story which began before I was a twinkle in my father's eye. It is a story where the seeds of single letters germinated into words, the words then flourishing into sentences, burgeoning into paragraph after paragraph, sometimes ambling, other times skittering across the page; one after the other. Chapter after chapter of the re-telling of everyday life, travelling through the years; when all of a sudden, a story has been written. A story where the first chapters were authored in the mysterious and pulsating places of India; and as the years slipped by, travelled with the protagonist through the space of time to Australia.

The inspiration for my happy flower garden quilt begins with a little boy whose life began in the melting pot of Calcutta, India. The little boy, Pete, (my husband) at six months of age was taken to an orphanage/boarding school, Dr Graham's Homes, a school founded by a Scottish missionary in the earlier part of the 20th century, providing a home and school for Anglo Indian children. Dr Graham wanted these children to find acceptance and worth within a school setting because the caste system, Jati, considered Anglo Indian children to be definitely on the bottom rung of the Jati ladder. This school which has been buzzing with the sounds of children for over a century, is located in a town called Kalimpong in the district of Darjeeling, nestled in the foothills of West Bengal, where the snow covered Himalayas rise majestically to soaring heights, kissing the sky, keeping a lazy eye on all the daily goings-on of school life. Pete's mother was a nurse and because she had to travel far and wide every day, there was no-one to care for him. All his older brothers and one sister boarded at the school too, though he didn't really see them much, as they were busy with their own friends and they boarded in different cottages. Pete's mother didn't much care nor love Pete, a fact which to this day nobody knows the reason. Through all the years, Pete's mother made it perfectly clear that she didn't like nor indeed care for him.

Although Pete found a home with all the other children and teachers, and even though life at school was more agreeable than day after day in the streets of Calcutta,  he was a bit of a scallywag. In his little child's mind, in his heart, there was this nagging feeling he was never quite good enough. Pete was always in the middle of some fracas. More often than not, Pete found himself in the principal's office bearing the brunt of some nasty discipline, because of his shenanigans and hijinks. Let's just say that the Malacca wood cane figured greatly in Pete's school days. Oh my goodness, the stories Pete tells of discipline in India, in the fifties! But then, I suppose discipline in the 1950's was draconian and rather over the top, the world over. One story comes to mind of a male teacher sticking drawing pins into his head because of some misdemeanor in class. I know!!!!

One day, for punishment, after many a failed attempt to corral Pete's disobedient and 'adventurous' spirit,  the exasperated principal at the end of his tether, took 14 year old Pete out to the garden and ordered him to pull out every single weed and not to go back to class until he had done so. A horrible task for most but to Pete, within the confines of the garden; with the kitten faces of the pansies smiling at him, the delicious scents of the roses sprinkling upon him.....and all the other flowers sashaying with the joy of life before him, he found his tribe. He discovered a sense of the magic of the flower kingdom. Digging his hands into the earth, pulling out the cantankerous and ornery weeds, he found joy. He found delight in the beauty and stillness; the peace of the garden. He found patience in waiting for the slowness of nature, perseverance with the challenges which a garden presents day in, day out. Something deep within him began to stir. Pete loved 'his' garden.  Within the environs of the flowery little plot of earth he found a quietness that nature always gives. Like all whoever have ever tended a garden, Pete discovered life skills that would hold him in good stead in his later years. For gardens are the very best teachers of all. Indeed, gardening is a life-long education. For those who tend a garden are always learning. Pete loved to spend time within the boundaries of the garden. Needless to say Pete was even naughtier in class, because he knew as punishment he would be sent to the garden. He was a clever boy, was my Pete.

Let's just say that over time, the garden was a sight to behold; not a single weed in sight, with happy plants thriving. Why, because of his care and love for his garden; Pete's garden more often than not won the annual 'garden of the year' prize among all the cottages. Each cottage had a garden. Pete tended the garden and the garden tended his soul. As a little boy Pete was filled with dreams of creating gardens when he was older and indeed, throughout his life, gardens, both for pleasure and employment have been his mainstay, his joy.

Throughout his school days in India, Pete was sponsored, through World Vision, by a little church youth fellowship in Canada. It touches my heart to think that for years a group of  young people prayed for a little boy thousands of miles away in India, contributed money for his schooling; and sent wonderful packages and letters to him throughout the year. For a lonely little boy the arrival of much anticipated packages through the year, bursting with fabulous surprises from far, far away, filled with such love and prayer  was to Pete, the things of such joyousness. Why it brings tears to my eyes just to think about it. To think those prayers covered Pete like a warm cloak all his life, strengthening him, bolstering him, building him up, urging him on to face life's challenges; indeed, hugging him. Aahh....the wonderful provision of our Heavenly Father. God, truly had Pete in the palm of His hand, unbeknownst to Pete, of course. Why, God has had Pete in the palm of His hand all his life.

Fast forward about fifty five years Pete (who had waved goodbye to India and emigrated to Australia at eighteen years of age), with his wife (that would be me) and daughter, moved all their worldly goods and chattels to live in Tasmania, a little island at the bottom of mainland Australia. Tasmania........the land of the proverbial  'milk and honey'......well.....at least rich, red fertile soil and bucket loads of rainwater. Though Pete created a garden wherever he lived, he thought this was the place where perhaps he could create that one beautiful garden, the stuff of an Indian boy's dreams all those years ago.

So, the dream of that one beautiful garden began to be. Did I say "Tasmania.......the land of milk and honey"?? Well.....that wasn't quite true of the plot of land where we found ourselves. Why, I remember uttering to Pete on the morning of our arrival at this rather humble place we now call home "are you sure this is the house we bought"!! But......that is many, many more chapters to another story!





Alas, before Pete's dream of a beautiful garden could be more than a pipe dream; a figment of his rather fertile, horticultural imagination, he had to first extricate trailer load after trailer load of tetanus causing, rusty car parts, debris, junk, concrete slab after concrete slab, and whatever else the previous owner had decided to bury in the backyard. I must say those first few years of the rather underwhelming plot of land resembled an archaeological dig. Unfortunately for us, no treasure was to be unearthed! Blind Freddy could see that the previous owner adored and worshipped all things concrete and junk. It seemed this bloke just 'lurved' to plant concrete! The tragic thing is that the previous owner lived here for forty years!! In my mind's eye I can see the beautiful trees that could have been planted. I can imagine all the green as green, gorgeous flowering trees that could have been planted; beauteous buddleias, magnolias, rhododendrons, weeping cherries, tree gardenias........oh, and an ever bountiful orchard with fruit trees that just keep on gifting. Why, my head gets dizzy just thinking of all the aged trees that could have welcomed us on our arrival. 

Not to be deterred and with the heart of a lion my husband slowly began to create his garden. It took a couple of years to manually dig up all the junk and take it to the tip, the place of refuse. Day after day, month after month, year after year Pete lovingly worked with the plot of land before him. Many a chapter has been written by me about the beautiful garden Pete has imagined and then created. Many a chapter has been written about  'the pond' an oasis where dragon flies zip here and there, gold fish dart in and out of the water lilies, and from time to time there seems to be a little romance among the lily pads where frogs serenade their croaky love songs to one another. Much has been written and many a happy snap captured of the garden; where trees grow happily, reaching to the sky and below the canopy of the trees, shrubs and flowers thrive and bloom joyously throughout the year. Irises, poppies, lilies, foxgloves, daisies, gladioli, cosmos, agapanthus, ajugas, lilacs, dahlias, daffodils, jonquils, lupins, love-in-the-mist, forget-me-nots, bluebells, ixias, azaleas, rhododendrons.......just to name a few, all take to the flower stage and bloom at their allotted time. Every season there is something new, something different that wasn't seen the previous year, as gardens are never static, they are always changing. Pete is always adding to the garden; always changing, always improving; always trying out new ideas. It is a garden where the wind blows seeds wherever it will and flowers pop up in the most unexpected places. And.....I might add that nature always gets the placement of these rogue seeds just right! We both love wild and disobedient gardens that hug you, grab you as you pass by. Pete's garden is a garden where an intoxicating potpourri of gorgeous colours and heady fragrances, together with the glorious sounds of nature....sweet birdsong, quicken the senses. 

Why, Pete's garden is a garden which through the years has healed us both physically, mentally and spiritually. It is a safe cocoon from the troubles of the world. Why, one can almost forget about the travails that happen outside the parameters of our little garden. It is a secret garden where one can hide among the trees and flowers and never be found. This magical place is where we have bent our heads when there were no words in our hearts and have heard the loving whispers of God.  Oh, I could go on and on and on about Pete's garden and the joy and peace; the calm this little patch of paradise gives to our days, but enough said. Let's just stroll through a few photos of the miracle that is Pete's garden; shall we?? 






























A Stroll Through Pete's Garden, quilt had swirled around in my imagination for a very long time. I had dreamt about it for so long that I could see it in my mind's eye. I had been day dreaming of fashioning a quilt with blossoms flourishing all over, inspired by the garden which embraced me, in which I strolled and delighted in, every day. But, though I could see the quilt in my imagination nothing was certain. I just wanted to play with design, pattern, fabrics, colour, movement and texture, and see where all my playing would lead me. I wanted the quilt to be a wild garden, much like Pete's sometimes wild and disobedient garden, where flowers of the seasons danced together in one quilt.

I had never really totally hand appliqued a quilt before. Oh, I had fiddle-faddled with applique in the past but now I wanted to grow up and join the big girls; those clever girls who hand appliqued the most amazing quilts. I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and design, hand applique and hand quilt a flower garden quilt of my very own. Somebody else's pattern didn't interest me. I didn't want to copy anyone else's work, I just wanted to go with the flow and see where my playing took me. And, I must say that at the beginning the thought "what am I doing??" did cross my mind.....but only fleetingly. =)

A Stroll Through Pete's Garden, quilt is a happenstance quilt. I say this because at every juncture I just happened upon the very fabric I was looking for. I wanted to evoke an impressionist feeling to this quilt as Pete's garden brings to mind an impressionist garden......and my favourite artist is Monet. I adore the Impressionist artists. It was a happy day indeed when I happened upon the soft green fabric with just the hint of smudges of tiny watercolour flowers for the grass, and the sky of soft painterly, batik dancing in pastel shades, reminiscent of those soft, whispering, early morning misty skies that greet me as the sun rises each day. The backing fabric was a serendipitous find. The daffodils and all the other spring flowers dancing all over is perfect. The border fabric, too, of blue and lilac hydrangeas dancing around the flower garden is pure serendipity.

Morning after morning awoke; and I designed and played with freezer paper, glue; fabric flowers, butterflies, bees, birds; all magically finding their way onto my quilt. Time marched on. The procession of  the seconds, the minutes, the hours;  slipped into days, weeks, months, seasons....and yes, years.  I stitched on.  Contented.  Always thinking. Always designing. Sometimes wondering if the last tiny hand stitch would ever be stitched.  As I looked outside my window the changing garden inspired me.  Why, the flowers flourishing on the quilt  are those which bloom in the garden, during the seasons of spring and summer. A magical packet of flower seeds sprinkled onto the quilt and before my very eyes the garden grew. The fabric flowers began to bloom. Cosmos, daffodils,  anemones, granny bonnets, pansies, daisies, tulips, foxgloves, hydrangeas, water lilies, and my arch nemesis, the wisteria!  Gosh, the wisteria was a pain in the royal proverbial, but it was essential that the wisteria panicle flowers cascaded from the top of the quilt. I suppose the crowning glory, if you like. It didn't matter one iota that each wisteria flower took an age to fashion. Pete's garden evokes an impressionist feel, as does A Stroll in Pete's Garden. Care to take a stroll around and see A Stroll Through Pete's Garden quilt sashaying happily amongst the flowers which were the inspiration??


Just a little aside; the first three photos of the field of golden daffodils were taken at my beautiful friend, Christine's house. Truly, her home is filled with whimsical delight...and beauty; and as for the garden...just divine. The two photos of the ancient rhododendrons are unfortunately not flourishing here in our little plot, but at a guest house nearby. Oh....and because the wisteria here in Pete's garden is not flowering at the moment (it is very, very late in doing so this year) I captured some happy snaps of my pretty quilt in font of an ancient wisteria growing along a road. I of course screeched "STOP" to Pete, hopped out of the car and  happily clicked away. Truly this wisteria's branches of vertiginous height are stretching and climbing high, high into the blue sky. It is breathtaking. So please excuse me for my artistic licence.....as you know me. ..it is all about the look. =)


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A Stroll Through Pete's Garden is finished♡ I sit here amazed at the finished quilt before me. I sit here amazed at the flowers, the bees, the birds, the butterflies; all singing the happiest of songs, dancing in a most beautiful, rhythmic fashion. A quilt, inspired by a beautiful garden that a man dreamed and then constructed, with  faint whispers echoing of a long ago garden in another country. A time where he found peace and contentment within the confines of a garden. I often wonder about that youth fellowship in Canada who for all those years prayed for a lonely little boy in India and gifted him with their kindness. Their faithful prayers have been answered. God has always held Pete firmly in the palm of His hand. Funnily enough the mischievous scallywag of a boy grew into a wonderful man, husband and father who throughout his life has served others and his God. He has that rare, God-given gift of  really listening to people, to put others before himself. My Pete is a humble man. I suppose it is because he was once a troubled youth all those years ago in India. I don't know why I am amazed that this should be so, as I know God works His miracles in the everyday happenings. All his adult life Pete has mentored and worked with young people with an uncanny ability to relate to troubled youth. It is as if he has channeled all those memories of the hard times in the days of his youth in India, and turned them into something positive and good. When we moved here, Pete found employment as a chaplain at our local district high school where day in, day out he chats to young people, encouraging them to be their better selves, helping them work through life's hard times. Sadly, at the end of this year he has decided to retire, which saddens him.....but that just means more time spent in his beloved garden. =) 


Phew.....that was bigger than Ben Hur!!!! =) If you are still here and managed to read to the end.....THANK YOU♡ The story behind my little quilt is a long story....which I have wanted to tell for some time now. A Stroll Through Pete's Garden is my very favourite quilt of all time and will be forevermore. I don't think any other quilt I fashion will touch my heartstrings quite like this one, as the back story with which this quilt came into being is so very special to me♡ It is a story that will ever be held tightly within the deepest part of my being. But for now, this pretty quilt is done; the story behind the quilt has been told and the photoshoot is over......thank goodness for that, I hear you say. =)

Bye for now...........until the next time, much love to you♡





Linking this week to Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching.

Frédérique's Quilting Patchwork & Applique

Judy's Design Wall Monday



79 comments:

  1. Your final photo of Pete in the garden resting with your dog encompasses so much of this wonderful post. Yes, I read it all. Pete's garden at your home is gorgeous. He truly found his calling in gardening to make the world a more beautiful place. That quilt is a perfect representation of Pete's garden. Your writing and your quilting also make the world a more beautiful place. Thank you so much for sharing..

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  2. Thank you for sharing Pete's story! Pete's garden is just beautiful and your Pete's Garden quilt is beautiful too. Both are completely amazing! Can you even sleep at night with your lovely quilt on the bed! The texture looks wonderful. I would enjoy softly running my fingers across the quilt. Thank you so much for sharing with us all!

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  3. What a joyous celebration of Pete's Garden quilt! Awesomely beautiful. Wonderful work that you will be able to enjoy and that will take you back through this amazing story. Thanks for sharing hugs, Julierose

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  4. Kim... I love your post and I love Pete's garden quilt too! You did an amazing job on it!!!! And as usual your photos are the bomb!! Just awesome in every way :) Have a blessed week ahead!
    Kathi

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  5. Wow, Kim!!! what a special and gorgeous quilt and what a wonderful garden Pete made!!
    I always told you it is a piece of heaven and I never imagined the difficult story behind every beautiful detail.
    Reading your post today several times my eyes were watering.
    Thanks!
    Give Pete a tight hug, he could have become a troublesome person but chose to help the Creator and he made the world a beautiful place.
    I love reading your posts and seeing your photos.
    I don't even have words to express my gratitude for this inspiring post.
    Have a happy week and God bless.

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  6. Wow, just wow! That is such a gorgeous quilt. Your husband's story is so very touching. I bet that group that sponsored him would love to know his story!

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  7. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! The story, the garden and the quilt. Thank you for sharing all.

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  8. Oh my heart. So so beautiful . Hope you are both well. I haven’t been on here for so long. It’s nice to see all your beautiful work. Miss chatting with you

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    1. Hello lovely Carla, it has been much too long since you and I chatted about quilts, knitted woollies and all things life. We are both well, though we seem to have more aches and pains with each new day. =) I hope you and your Bliss are well, too. You will have to start blogging again. I miss your beautiful quilts and fabulous photo shoots in those gorgeous mountains of yours. I have often wondered what you and that burgeoning family of yours are up to. Take care my beautiful friend. Thank you for the gift of your beautiful words. So, so happy you stopped by. Kim Xx

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  9. The Story is BEAUTIFUL! All parts that it consists of: the quilt, the garden, his adulthood in Australia with his lovely supporting wife and the prayers and encouraging gift from a Christian group halfway around the world. People in the ministry truly don't retire. Your garden beginnings remind me of how Butchart Gardens began ~ with a vision and lots of work. Thanks for sharing your inspiring story!

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  10. This has to be the most glorious, life-affirming, inspirational post ever written. From the story of Pete's troubled youth to his finding healing in the garden to your exquisite quilt honoring his devotion, I am in awe. As I come to grips with the death of my husband of 34 years two weeks ago, I find your words calming and a balm to my tattered heart and soul. May you enjoy many more peaceful and happy together.
    Pat

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  11. WOW! I'm speechless, Sarah :)
    Such a beautiful story, such a beautiful garden and such a beautiful quilt all together can make a beautiful book! Seriously, you should find a way to publish this as a book with your own pictures! It would be such an inspirational story!
    You and your husband are both such creative personalities! Both the garden and the quilt are real works of art, masterpieces. I can only imagine how much love and work invested in each of them!
    Enjoyed reading the story and looking at all those details in the pictures. Thank you, thank you so much for this absolutely charming blog post, dear Sarah! And bravo to Pete!

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    1. That is high praise indeed, Alina; thank you so much for your beautiful words. It touches my heart that you enjoyed Pete's story, his garden, and my quilt. That you consider there is a book in all of this warms my heart. Who knows.....one day. KimXx

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  12. I think that is the most beautiful quilt I have ever seen, and the story behind it is so powerful, I had tears in my eyes while reading it! Congratulations, to both of you, for the two gardens! Bravo!!!!! Xxxxx

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    1. Oh wow, I am humbled that you should think so; thank you so much, Loraine. Your beautiful words are a gift to my heart and they have made me smile. Thank you for blessing my day with your kindness. KimXx

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  13. Wow what a beautiful post! The story, pictures and gardens are amazing. You have truly found paradise. Hugs.

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  14. What a spectacular quilt! And made all the more so by the wonderful "manuscript" it represents. I am awed by your creation.

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    1. Thank you so much for your beautiful words. I smiled at your word "manuscript"....perhaps there is one book in me....perhaps. =) Kim Xx

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  15. Oh, Kim, what a gorgeous quilt that turned out to be! I loved reading Pete's story - so amazing what the garden did for him in his life. And his persistence when you moved to your place. I always enjoy your garden photos and what you share of your life there. Just beautiful!

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  16. Oh my, I am speechless and I have tears in my eyes. I really enjoyed your story you should write a book dear Kim you have such a beautiful way with words. Pete's garden is spectacular he should be so proud of what he has achieved, I wish I could come and take a stroll through the garden in person, how lovely to have such a special place to enjoy, no wonder you were inspired your quilt says it all it truly is amazing, well done on creating such beautiful a masterpiece. I could just sit and gaze at it for hours. xx

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  17. The quilt is absolutely amazing and I have enjoyed watching your progress. But, the story makes everything complete. . . full circle. Thanks so much for sharing this with me.

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  18. Realmente emocionante todo lo que cuentas, una gran historia de toda una vida que has reflejado muy, pero que muy bien en ésa colcha y lo mejor que la has terminado coincidiendo con su retirada del trabajo y el comienzo de una nueva, tranquila y bonita etapa de vuestras vidas. Te felicito y no solo por la colcha, sino por Pete y aunque ya sé que te lo he dicho otras veces.... te envidio por vivir en el paraíso.
    Muchos BESICOS.

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  19. How lovely to read the story behind a stroll through Pete's garden, thank you for letting us in and sharing!

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  20. Wonderful post...Amazing story and stunning quilt! I always admire your heavenly garden but I could never imagine its beggining. You both are great artists...God is good and we are in His hands. Love.

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    1. Maristella, when you see Pete's garden now it is hard to imagine what is was like in the beginning. I wish I had taken photos before Pete began his magic. Yes, God is good. Every day there are miracles in the ordinary...we just need to be on the lookout for them, don't we. =) There are sprinkles of beauty in the everyday of our lives. Thank you so much for your beautiful words, lovely lady; they are a beautiful gift. Kim Xx

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  21. Thank you so much for sharing the story behind this beautiful quilt. Reading about Pete's unhappy and unloved childhood years brought me to tears, I must say. I am so pleased that he found you and together you have found happiness and contentment in Tasmania. I have always loved your garden photos, and they are even more special knowing the history of your property. The quilt is absolutely gorgeous and thanks so much for including pics of the two of you.

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  22. ♡ Sigh ♡ What an heart-warming story. Thank you for letting us share in all things Pete and Kim. Pete's story...he is amazing...as you know. Pete's garden is spectacular; I've enjoyed all he's done and all his flowers in your blog. WHAT A QUILT! I feel so honored and privileged as you have shared your brilliant A Stroll through Pete's Garden. How wonderful that you two found each other... you compliment each other so well. Retiring is always a big step but from one to another - we have never looked back - we love retirement.

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  23. Thank you so much Kim for telling Pete's story. His garden is amazing, as is your wonderful Stroll Through Pete's Garden. This was truly an amazing post and brought tears to my eyes. I love all your beautiful pictures!

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  24. That was such an amazing read! It’s a quilt that encompasses so many special feelings and is befitting a garden so lovely.

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  25. I very much enjoyed reading the Story of Pete's garden Kim - thank you for sharing all this & your amazing quilt which you have bought to life. What a lovely man your husband is & what an amazing garden he has created. I have to say I think my favourite photos are the ones of him & dear Maisie at work in the garden. xx

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  26. Oh wow such a wonderful story of your hubby's life, and the inspiration for your lovely quilt. It is amazing what prayer can do for someone's life, and now I am glad that our Sunday school has followed a few boys through school in Africa and what the money and goodies we have sent probably meant to them too.
    We all have been so blessed to have enjoyed his garden over these years and what a wonderful garden it is, I am sure God looks down and is very pleased with the gifts he has given your husband and how he has used them over these years. I can only imagine the love you have put into that wonderful quilt you have made in his honor, and something special that can be passed down to further generations to remember not only the lovely garden he tended but to the wonderful gift God blessed you with in making you a quilter.
    May God continue to bless you both as you bless others!

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  27. What a wonderful life your Pete has lead and to end with a wife that loves him so much,he must feel as blessed as you do..the garden pictures are never too many nor are your quilt pictures.with love you are sharing him with your part of the world and he does not realise how happy he makes us all feel seeing his garden and your stitchers. I must not feel bad that my garden does not do justice to your pictures but I am trying to do too much I think some days,maybe it’s time I cut some of my stuff out,no that won’t happen I will continue to sew,knit,spin, quilt,embroider,and garden to my hearts content.

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    1. Your words "I will continue to sew, knit, spin, embroider and garden to my heart's content" have made me smile. Yes, may you and I fill our days with beautiful creativity. I am so glad you love seeing my too many happy snaps of Pete's and my, little world. =) I must say I have loved skipping down the flower-filled path these past 43 years with Pete. Thank you so much for blessing my day with the gift of your lovely visit and kind words. Kim Xx

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  28. A beautiful quilt, a beautiful garden and a life well lived. Thank you for sharing all of those.

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  29. Hi Kim
    Wonderful story. Pete’s garden and your quilt are amazing. Such a lot of work but so so worth it. The photos are so lovely, could almost smell the flowers.
    Best wishes to you both. Kay c XX

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    1. Lovely Kay, yes, such a lot of work, but as you say, so worth it. Such a pity there is not a 'smell the flower key' on the computer. The fragrances that waft through the garden are delicious. Your beautiful visit and lovely words re Pete's story, his garden and my quilt has brought such joyousness to my little place; thank you so much, lovely lady. Kim Xx

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  30. This post would be a book I would buy! Gorgeous pictures. Beautifully written tribute to Pete.

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    1. Oh, really??!! You are so very kind, Luann...thank you so much. Your beautiful words have sprinkled loveliness into my day. Kim Xx

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  31. Oh my, I'm in tears. What a beautiful, true life story. Thank you for taking the time to fashion that beautiful quilt and use it to tell your husband's life story. The story of God's faithfulness that shaped Pete's life. Thank God for those people in a far off land that prayed for him. I hope you will transform Pete's story and your quilt into a picture storybook for all to read and share.

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  32. Beautiful post ! Love and beauty everywhere...! Gorgeous quilt, beautiful garden and Pete...Lucky woman !
    Thanks for sharing what matter to you.
    And the beauties in your life...
    Hug
    Anna

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  33. What a stunning, beautiful quilt and a terrific reflection of Pete's garden, too! And what a special testimony your handwork is to his handwork. Brava!! I'm truly in awe! :)

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  34. What a lovely story of God's provision for us. Thank you so much for sharing it. Pete's garden is glorious, with so many lovely places tucked here and there. Your quilted garden is glorious as well. I especially enjoyed the photos of you with your quilt, and the one of Pete at the end. This just made my day!

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  35. I have loved watching both of Pete’s gardens grow over the months and years that I have been reading your blog. Despite his rough start in life, he has flourished and made a difference in the lives of others. Well done to both of you. Enjoy retirement! A side note…my inlaws’ church has supported Dr Graham’s home for many years…decades in fact.

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  36. What an absolutely wonderful story! Your Pete has been a real inspiration! I’ve long admired the photos of your lovely gardens but didn’t realize he was the real gardener. Your quilt is a true work of art, just as are Pete’s gardens. I can well understand how this quilt will be your favorite of all time. Not only is it gorgeous in its own right but because of the man who inspired it. ❤️ Wishing you a week, dear Kim! Zenda

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  37. Oh my word, Kim, I had no idea all the history behind your dear, sweet, kind, wonderful Pete! Oh dear me, I had tears as I read from when he was a little boy and growing up in the cottage, tending his garden. Your Pete’s Garden quilt holds many memories woven through each stitch. Pete’s Flower garden is still lovingly cared for by your sweet Pete. What a beautiful story you’ve shared with us. Thank you! Loved his picture at the end with Miss Maisie.

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  38. A quilt finish sounds so good ... and yes it is the dream, your quilt and the story that goes with it. I am in love.
    Thank you, dear Kim, for sharing this wonderful story with us. I enjoyed it to the fullest, the story and your beautiful photos ... the last photo of Garden King Pete is so wonderful, as is yours in the beautiful blue dress with flowers that you are wearing in one of the photos.
    Be hugged. Thank you Viola.

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    1. Lovely Viola, a quilt finish is always a wonderful occasion. Though I feel a bit strange now that it is finished. The stitching of it has involved such a lot of time, these last three years; I feel strangely odd, not stitching it. Though I do get to enjoy it every day as I look at it on my bed. Thank you for your beautiful visit to my little place and for your beautiful words re the story that swirls around my little quilt. You have sprinkled joy into my day. Kim Xx

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  39. Wow, what a story!!! Incomprehensible and almost impossible that a mother does not love her child.
    Your dear husband has come out of this all the stronger. And how lucky you are to have met and bonded together with love.
    Your quilt is of an otherworldly beauty, so unbelievably beautiful!!!!!
    What a great post, one that touches our hearts.
    I wish you many happy years together with your husband in his beautiful heavenly garden.

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    1. It is hard to fathom a mother not loving her child, Loes, but families are complicated. Thankfully, Pete decided as a young man that his childhood was not going to define him. Of course, too, he has a very deep faith in God, and the faithful prayers of those beautiful people in Canada upheld him. I am very blessed that I get to do this thing called life with My Pete. Pete's story is a triumphant one....there is so much to tell but it would be a tome. =) I think the stories of all our lives are fascinating, aren't they? Thank you so much for your beautiful words, re Pete's story and my little quilt, lovely Loes. Indeed, your words are akin to the warmest of hugs. Kim Xx

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  40. Finally got a chance to sit and read this whole post. What a terrific story. I can now see how the garden is as amazing as it is - your photos of it are always out of this world. And it makes me love the quilt even more. :-) Thanks for sharing!

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  41. Your garden has always been an inspiration to me and I really enjoyed joining you in your stroll and learning more about Pete's life. He really does have a magical touch with creating the most beautiful vistas. And your quilt is stunning. I think it is even more beautiful than your other flowerful creations. Much love to both of you and very good wishes to Pete for a happy retirement :)

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  42. What a beautiful story and a beautiful quilt. I read your blog for inspiration and the fantastic gardens. Not many people would have the patience and drive to create such gorgeousness (is that a word?) You and Pete are lucky to have found each other. I hope you have many more years of creating such beauty.

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    1. Anne, I use the word 'gorgeousness' all the time; so if I use it and you do, too, then it must be a word. =) Thank you for your beautiful visit. I am so happy you find inspiration here at my little place. Kim Xx

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  43. What a wonderful story, both sad and happy. And that quilt! It is simply beautiful. I don't know why but I had it in my mind that you lived in New Zealand, not Tasmania. Thank you for sharing this very special story of Pete and his garden quilt, Kim. Hugs, Christine xxxx

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  44. Fantastic post Kim, I was fascinated to read Petes and your story, the quilt is stunning and perfect to represent Petes garden. I always enjoy photos of your garden, how fortunate Pete found his happy place in the school garden and then your family found your happy place in Tassie.

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  45. Words fail me, Kim. I am speechless. Exquisite!!!

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  46. Kim - thank you for sharing this story. So inspirational. We often think we have challenges in life, but then we read a story like Pete's! As a gardener, I can completely appreciate the journey and the love invested in this garden. Fabulous! And I see many parallels between gardening and quilting - imagination, design, implementation, reward! Congratulations on your quilt finish!!! Stunning!

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  47. I am glad he found a life's passion out of punishment. He is quite unique in that. You know how much I admire his garden, and your gorgeous quilt is a perfect and beautiful celebration of his life. I do love the photos you shared of him and Maisie in the garden, specially the one where they are looking at something together. I love it!!

    -Soma

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  48. What a wonderful story, Kim. Thank you so much for sharing Pete's journey, the garden and the your beautiful quilt. Yours and Pete's passions shine in your hard work and the beauty that you both create. Thank you both for being inspirations.

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  49. Kim, what a beautiful story of hope, resilience and spiritual growth! Your quilt is breathtaking, and Pete is an amazing man. God bless you both!

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  50. After reading your beautiful story with tears in my eyes and a knot in my throat, now I am lost for words as to what to say! I am so sad to learn that Pete endured through pain and hardships during his boyhood. He was a rock that got brushed and sanded, chiseled and washed to become a diamond that shines in your life! The quilt is a masterpiece celebrating the spark that lead him to better life! God bless you both!

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  51. Oh, wow, wow, Kim! Sorry, I will come back to this, so much to read, it is time to go and make some dinner here. I will need to take my time with this post and so many beautiful pictures! xx

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  52. Well, you got me on that story, Kim. Crying over this way. What a wonderful story of Pete. The man who creates with patience and love such glorious beauty.
    So fitting that your unbelievable,fantastically gorgeous quilt should be named after him.
    The two of you together are beyond a dream team!

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  53. What an incredible story Kim - and what a wonderful tribute you have written to someone who quite obviously deserves to be called a hero. He is proof positive that goodness will triumph over circumstances. His retirement is well-earned and just think of the hours he can spend in his beautiful garden. He and God together have created a beautiful place. And in turn you have created a beautiful quilt which I always thought was a labour of love but it wasn't until I read this that I realized just how much there is of that love. Blessings on you both!

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  54. ciao amica mia,, era da molto che non aggiornavo il blog, mi ha fatto molto piacere il tuo commento, sono rimasta incantata dalle immagini meravigliose che hai postato :) sono felicissima di averle potute ammirare e ti ringrazio moltissimo <3 un abbraccio di cuore

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    1. Thank you so much for your beautiful visit, and for the gift of your lovely words. You have sprinkled joy into my day. Kim Xx

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  55. How delightful this garden is, what a beautiful blanket, I never cease to be amazed. Interesting story.

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    1. Thank you so much, Svetlana, for your lovely visit and beautiful words. Kim Xx

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  56. Good Morning Kim, such a beautiful,heart warming post.Pete,s Garden is extraordinarily beautiful as the quilt you have made as a tribute.God bless you both.

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  57. There are no quilts more beautiful than yours!

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  58. Stunning quilt and beautiful story of Pete. Glad to know he found you and a wonderful life far from his youthful trauma.

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  59. Such a beautiful story, lovingly told. Thank you Kim. Such a a stunning garden - I always love to see it and to know that it was in such an awful state when Pete started on it is just amazing. And of course your superb quilt, I am lost for words. Just so beautiful. xx

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  60. Oh my, Pete's garden and Pete's quilt are both beautiful beyond words, and the wonderful greenhouse (that's not what you call it, sorry) built by Pete in amazing. There are gardening magazines that don't come close to fesaturing the beauty that you two have there. It is breathtaking!

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  61. Wow! A stunningly gorgeous quilt and a beautiful story to go with it! Thank you so much for sharing! (gladiquilts.net)

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    1. Thank you so much, Gladi♡ That is high praise indeed from an amazing quilter such as yourself. Thank you for your sweet visit; you have delighted my day. Kim Xx

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  62. So, Kim, here I am at last :-)
    Very noisy, windy night here, snow flurries this morning and it is COLD. There is no better time than that to come and stroll in your garden! Pete's story is incredible, and how lucky that you are a part of it.
    Reading about creations of Pete's gardens makes me smile; in our previous garden, which was neglected for a very long time before we moved in, we found a half of Mini car, and after taking apart as much as we could, we had to burry the engine, as there was no way of getting it out of the garden. After we moved to our current house, my husband removed over 700 bricks from our new, very small garden ( various projects by the previous owner...), and tons of concrete. There was just a very large last slab left, but our new neighbour said "don't even think about it, it is DEEP" - so that is where our summer house is standing now :-)
    And now to your quilt - what a wonderful story and I can now fully appreciate where the inspiration came from - you made an incredible piece of art, and yes, it does remind me of Monet. Beautiful, unique, a treasure...... I love everything about, the fabrics, flower designs and your quilting - this is a quilt made with love. Even the backing, (where did you find that fabric?), it complements it so perfectly. It really is hard to believe that this was your first large applique project. I do hope that it is not a last one, you have so much talent, I hope you will find more inspiration (although it will be hard to top the one behind this quilt). I am in awe of your talent, because as I said before I have no patience for designing, it is the process of handling of fabrics and stitching which I enjoy most, so I am grateful for all those wonderful people out there who provide me with their designs.
    So again, my hat off to you; I have so enjoyed your post and thank you for sharing your story with us. xx

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  63. What a lovely story of resilience, perseverance, and redemption, dear Kim. I love that your dear husband turned what was a tragic childhood into a life of beauty, love and caring. Your amazing quilt tells this story so wonderfully and is truly a labor of love, as is the garden that inspired it. So very touching. Sending hugs xo K

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  64. Wow! Oh, Kim! I am fascinated by your story of Pete! What an amazing testimony of God's great faithfulness. Your quilt is stunning! It's so big! You and Pete are beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing this. (BIG HUG!)

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