Rosemary comes from the Latin Ros Marinus, “dew of the sea,” and grew wild around the Mediterranean in ancient times. The Greeks and Romans braided the herb into their hair to improve memory. In Medieval Europe, Rosemary was worn at weddings, as a symbol of fidelity and friendship, used at burials for remembrance, oh, and mixed with vinegar as a foot bath to cure thieves of their thieving ways! Used as a preventative during the plague in the 1600s, the demand inflated the price of Rosemary so high, that a handful cost 6 times the price of a whole pig!
For me this quilt was about memory and friendship.
When we first moved away 2 years ago, I was glad to come somewhere where I didn’t know anyone. I was so tired. I had such a long history of being a people pleaser, that I had no idea who I was. I needed time to be alone to rest and process.
After a little while, with a clearer head, it became easier to see points in our history where we had made wrong, or just significant, turns. I could remember alarm bells that I’d pushed down and ignored, because I wanted to be trusting and faithful, that had turned out to be accurate. There were times where we had chosen working with people over career and stability and now we were in chaos. I think it was a really important time for us, to go over our story, to try and figure it out, to see where we were responsible, and where we were casualties.
It can be easy though, for a massive disappointment to go back and paint history in a completely different colour. Everything you thought you were changes. Everything in your future disappears. The world around you is not what you thought it was. And it can be easy to be critical. What were we thinking? How could we be so stupid? And so, I decided to write, to remember.
I wrote all the things I was longing for back then, I wrote about the things I loved and was grateful for. I offered some gentle understanding to my younger self, and I saw the good that came from those early life decisions. I remembered my dear friends, I gave thanks for my family coming into being during that time. I forgave the times where I pushed myself down to keep others happy, where I made promises I couldn’t’ keep, where I put myself in situations that only made me less. I felt grateful for this new step towards a life of creativity and ownership.
Rosemary Quilt is made with a bunch of my favourite fabrics that often get cut up too little to enjoy fully. It was made with a feeling of gentleness that I wanted to express with colour and the simple lines of rectangles. The little flowers of Rosemary are for memory. I remember the past with kindness and respect, with understanding and caution, and I create a life for myself that I want to live.