Artist Profile - Rosemary Killmier

I have been interested in craft work since my early teens, going from one obsession to another.  It started off with knitting and crotchet with a bit of basket weaving thrown in, then developed into dress making for myself and family.  Spinning and weaving (but mostly spinning) in the 1970s was fun and enabled me to use wool my father grew.  Some woodwork and furniture restoration happened in the late 70s, along with pottery classes.  Children were born in the early 80s, so lots of dressmaking and general sewing projects to enhance the home.  Very little time was left for creative pursuits until the early 2000s when my daughter introduced scrapbooking to me.  By 2010 I’d retired from work and taken up Mosaics, but as if I didn’t have enough to do a friend introduced me to patchwork.  Since then, I’ve made over 25 Patchwork Quilts (most quilted by myself) and many other patchwork items.  Patchwork and Quilting are definitely still my current obsession.

My husband developed ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia in the mid 90s, continuing to work, but 20yrs ago another virus brought both conditions again, forcing him to leave work.  Since that time three other family members developed the same conditions plus some others.  While I don’t experience the same medical conditions my life has been defined by the restrictions forced on the lives of my family.  Therefore, my patchwork and scrapbook projects have allowed me to escape, but still be available to help my family when needed.  As another attempt to help my family (there’s not really very much I CAN do for them!!) I have been the Membership Officer for ME/CFS South Australia Inc since 2020.

Northern Adelaide, South Australia


(Click on the images above to open the gallery, click again to zoom in)

ROSE TRELLIS: This wall hanging measures 67 inches x 10.5 inches (170cm x 26.5cm) and depicts a climbing rose plant on a wooden trellis.

A tall window in our bedroom let morning light in too early.  There is a climbing rose near our front door so that was the inspiration to create this hanging.  Scrap paper taped to a wall was used over several months to draw up the pattern which was copied onto fusible fabric and ironed onto the chosen fabrics for rose petals, leaves, branches and the trellis.  Once each leaf and branch section was cut out and ironed onto the background fabric it was zig zag stitched into position.  Each rose was constructed by making two individual petal sections separately, then joining them together onto a rose background and fixing with a cluster of beads, allowing the rose petals to look unattached.

Free motion quilting was used to pick out the leaf veins and create bark markings on the branches. The very heavy stippling in the background allowed the Climbing Rose to stand out.

While the Climbing Rose blocks out morning light, during the day it hangs from a closed door and looks like a window in the door.

ALL AT SEA: Completed in 2019 this quilt is 98 inches (248 cm) square and took 4 years to complete.  The 25 central blocks are hand stitched using the “Tile Quilt” method, each segment being “needle turned” and sewn onto the navy blue backing fabric leaving a space, or “grout” between each segment. The 13 sailing boat blocks were drawn by me to depict different sailing vessels and include yellow, red, green and blue fabrics for the boat and sail and other lighter blue fabrics to depict sea and sky.  The other 12 blocks were constructed from light and mid blue fabrics printed with a variety of sailing boats then cut and separated to emphasise distinctive boats before needle turning onto the navy blue backing fabric.

The 14-inch (35cm) borders on each side of the quilt consist of five 2-inch strips of fabric in red, light blue, green, yellow and tan and a sixth 4-inch strip that includes blocks of semaphores.  These semaphores spell out (clockwise from the top): “All at Sea”; “Clayton Bay”; “Boat Quilt” and “Rosemary K 2019”.  The corner block is a “9 Patch” using fabrics from the central blocks.

The quilting was done on a domestic sewing machine.  The navy-blue borders between the central blocks was done “free motion” to depict waves. Free motion quilting was also used within all the “grouting” of the 25 boat blocks.  A Walking Foot was used to sew diagonal lines each way on the borders, which look like diamonds.

Family holidays have been spent at Clayton Bay since 1989 and more recently we lived there for nearly 5 years before returning to Adelaide.  A lot of the family leisure time has revolved around sailing boats and water activities making the subject matter of this quilt very evocative.

Description of work: 

See above for details. 

Rose Trellis: an earth-toned quilt with beige background, different shades of earthy green, and wine coloured 3 dimensional roses with white beads at the centre for stamens.

All at Sea: a brightly coloured nautical-theme quilt.

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Last edited: 10 July, 2024