A day early.
I couldn't wait.
Hope you like the surprise.
The name of this year's BOM is "The Love of Home" and the first block reminds us of something we know to be true, that we all, every one of us, need a home.
Mr E and I have lived in more than 20 homes, 5 states and 12 towns in our 25 years of marriage, and have held on to a hope that one day we'll be able to turn the key in the front door of a home that is really ours, not a rental, a home where we can put down roots, a home where all our children and grandchildren know where to find us and don't need to call and ask for our current address.
But that doesn't mean I never feel 'at home' where we live now, or where we've lived before.
A sense of 'home' is one you create for yourself, it's a decision to 'feather the nest' by laying out the welcome mat, filling the kitchen with wonderful aromas, spreading familiar things in every corner, and encouraging your beloved family members to settle and bloom in their own spot.
Over the years I replayed that scene more than twenty times, like a sitcom re-run, but it was real life. My life.
I confess there was a need to fight negative attitudes when faced with some of the dwellings we found ourselves living in (rented or assigned sight unseen from another state) but once I made that attitude adjustment and chose to look on the house as a blank slate and myself as the artist who had been given the task of bringing it alive, the delight of a makeover challenge soon lifted my spirits!
Browsing op-shops and driving around to Saturday morning garage sales are great fun and good resources when you're tight on funds for a makeover, and those times are now wonderful memories that our family (Blossom and I especially) share.
Be it tiny, moderate, or comfortable, the key thing with every house (or cabin) was letting who we were and what interested us spill over into our surrounds so that each person felt they had a place of their own and something familiar to carry them through those first unfamiliar weeks.
We've been in our current rental home three years and one month, a record for us.
I suppose because we no longer have children at home and our youngest daughter lives just around the corner with a wee babe of her own that staying put for the time being seems right just now. There's no reason to spread our wings like there was before.
No children left to take adventuring across Australia.
Have I ever told you that Mr E and I have always had a strong sense of adventure and there's a part of us which still longs to go walkabout? We knew that about each other from the moment we met. In fact when we got engaged we made a pact that we'd never go overseas until we'd seen our own country and we still have about a quarter of Australia yet to explore so we have decided to just stay here until Jesus calls us home.
Our next plan is to get a camper trailer later this year and pull it behind the Jeep during school holidays, setting up camp wherever the mood takes us. You can go far in two weeks.
You can go even further in the six week summer break.
A portable pop-up home on wheels, a new memory maker.
Just my beloved and me, imagine that?
The 10 blocks I'll be sharing in "The Love of Home" this year do not make a quilt; they're all single designs for you to use any way you like.
This first block would, I think, look lovely as the centre of an elongated churn dash block, then finished as a mini quilt - which is exactly what I'm going to do.
I'll use more of the Tilda "Bumblebee" prints that feature in most of the applique and will show you the finished project when it's done.
Do you know how you'll display this design? I'd love to hear your ideas.
I'll sign off today with a beautiful photo of my daughter Aisha's two young ones, son Austin and daughter Frankie (ages 9 months and 2¾ yrs). They're in the midst of a heatwave in Sydney and the children stand at the window longing for it to cool so they go play outside...
I miss them so much.
2,200 kilometres is a long way away.
May your week be blessed and overflowing with kindness and love,