Tuesday, January 31, 2017

"The Love of Home" 2017 BOM - block 1...

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 or 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.

Update February 27th, 2017:
Here's my completed mini quilt:

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,


  1. Thanks Jenny for publishing this new BOM!
    Looks like it will be another encouraging series!
    Take care,

  2. You are right.....we all need a home...especially when you have to pull up roots every now and again...! I am sure your husband appreciates your efforts in creating a welcoming home in any space! Thanks for a Beautiful block!!

  3. Thank you so much. I am wondering when I will find time to fill my wish list and get all these beautiful things done.

  4. Love this Jennifer. And the picture of the kids is fabulous.

  5. What a beautiful photograph and thank you for your lovely new BOM project.... it is gorgeous! Christine x

  6. Thank you for this block - that goose just pulls at my heart strings somehow. Beautiful post, and the picture at the end - beautiful shot!

  7. Receiving the new block of the month pattern was indeed a very pleasant surprise! Loved your story of the many places you and Mr.E have called home. For me moving so many times seems impossible, even perhaps a bit crazy. We've been married for 45 years and have only lived in 2 different homes, with no plans to move anytime soon. So I'd have to say we don't have nearly as much of the wanderlust! - Diane from Minnesota

  8. Lovely words today Jenny. You brought a little sunshine to my morning. The goose block is adorable. Thank you. Have a blessed day.

  9. Your new BOM is really cute. And yes, home is a very important part of our lives, no matter where it may be. I , too, have the camper dream, but my husband does not share that dream with me. I hope that one day my daughter will catch the same dream, and maybe we can take a few trips. :)))

  10. This block hits "home" with me for some reason. Maybe like you I have lived in many places, many states, many homes. Would not change that for anything due to the wanderlust in my heart. But now at retirement age it is nice to be still for the most part.

    I hope you have a wonderful year and your wishes come true.

    Thanks so much for all your sharing.

  11. I don't know how you do it dear...however I amm so thankful you do! This is very sweet and I can see Blossom's gift has inspired you. We do all need a home and I am very grateful for my home. Thank you for this precious 2017 BOM. Home Sweet Home...XO

  12. Thank you so much for all you do, this block 1 is so cute!! You are so artistic and generous with your stitching..thanks again!!

  13. Hello Jenny! Such a true statement for a beginning block of the month. Like you, I have lived in many homes, in a number of states in the United States. Even moving from home to home in the same town for a variety of reasons and have accepted that it is part of my life and make each home our home! So Thank You for this adorable truthful Block! I can understand why you could not wait another day to share it with us. I was not going to start another Block of the Month, I am already doing two, but I can not resist yours! Thank you for designing it and sharing it! Have a great day!

  14. Jenny, Google would not let me sign out of hubbys and then into mine. Sorry.

  15. Thank you for this block. When I first saw it, before I read the rest of today's blog, I thought, "I need to make this for my sister." She and her son recently had to move from their rent-subsidized apartment or pay a huge increase in rent because she got a job and my nephew turned 18. She was able to get a mortgage for a tiny house that needs a lot of work. I think I will make this into a pillow. I will wait for her to choose the colors she is going to paint with before I pick out the fabric.

  16. I love this block Jenny - thank you so much! 4 homes in 32 years for us and I can't imagine moving now, we've accumulated so much Stuff!! The photo of your grandies is beautiful!

  17. Thanks for a beautiful block, Jenny. I like the idea of putting it in an elongated churn dash. I'll have to see if it will fit in the blocks I've made before and maybe be a center piece for that quilt! Has to be a lime green background and the dash is raspberry, so that is going to be a challenge, maybe!

    Your story resonates with me, too. I was a rolling stone the majority of my life. I did make it ten years in a house once. Can't believe I've been in this one 5.5 - I'm pretty antsy the last year or two! =) I don't have to imagine your caravaning. Lived it, loved it, would do it again in a heartbeat, even by myself. I have it all planned out, in fact. Just two little obstacles in the way ... three if you count my age. But I don't. LOL

    Can't believe how tall both Aisha's children have gotten! Is that little guy walking or just getting ready to walk?

  18. Hi Jenny and everyone!
    I know of the "wandering feet syndrome". My Hubby and I are full time RVers in the United States. He works remotely for a large medical device company and I am a "Workamper", which means I put in minimal hours at a RV park, National Park or other type of RV park for the site fee and hookups. This allows us to survive on his salary alone. Also this allows me to absorb all the knowledge and skills that you share, Jenny. Our home may be on four wheels, rattles and rolls, but to us, it is the best kind of home!

  19. That pop up camper sounds wonderful. We lived and traveled in a fifth wheel for a couple years around the US. Wish we still could! Hope you enjoy! Nancy

  20. A they say ( whoever "they" are), home is where your heart is. Getting a camper sounds wonderful. My eldest and her hubby have one as they have been camping for around 16 years with their friends each year and also took a trip up to Cape York. I think this baby will be well travelled. Thanks so much for your beautiful BOM again. Hmmm, to sew the last one or this one first????

  21. Hi,Jenny. Thanks for a beautiful BOM. I love stitchery's . I am look forward to starting on the first BOM .
    Hugs from Jenny in Norway

  22. Hi, I'm from Belgium in Europe, my english is very bad but i want to say thanks for this very lovely design... I'll try to realise it, because you're right, the nest is essential in our life... kiss

  23. Thank you for the lovely block! Can't wait to see your finished little quilt.

  24. Thank you Jenny. I'm excited for the 2017 BOMs.

  25. Thank you Jenny. I'm excited for the 2017 BOMs.

  26. Thank you Jenny. I'm excited for the 2017 BOMs.

  27. What a lovely block Jen! I know about moving - 17 places before hubbies and I got together and 17 more since then. ..... mostly chasing work ( and lots of rentals )..... blessed to be in our own place now which as you know we are trying to sell in order to reduce our mortgage . It's hard with children and grandies so far away - we are here in Vic and grandies up there in Townsville! We have missed so much of them growing up........ I'm guessing Mr E must be a teacher if you are looking at using the school hols for travelling! Take care my friend xo

  28. This is cute, and a great saying. I love all the detail stitching and the applique. Focusing on home again this year is such a blessing to me. I've been collecting your patterns for a couple of years, and in 2017 I've actually been setting aside time to stitch some. I'm working on the 2015 bom's, kitchen theme. I'm really enjoying it.

  29. It's lovely, Jenny. Your stitches are soooo neat and precise. I imagine there are lots of children, like your lovely little ones, wishing for cooler weather so they can go outside to play. My boy is too! So am I, wishing it was cooler so I could garden. Meg:)

  30. Dear Jenny.
    I dare to call you dear because I feel the love of the Lord unites us.
    I want to thank you for sharing with me, on the other side of the world, from Spain such beautiful experiences of your life and cover everything for being so generous and sharing tuss creations.
    I am starting in this technique so I do not expect to reach your precious result but I promise to try and show you my progress.
    Many blessings for you and your family from Barcelona, Spain.


  31. Love this block. Thank you! I'm glad I found this through your emailed newsletter. I don't think I received notice of this blog post at the time you posted it but I cannot be sure. I seem to be having a problem with some blogs that I have been following for a long time and then all of a sudden I'm off their mailing lists and then I'm on again! Some kind of glitch I suppose. I will keep a closer eye on yours for posts and if necessary I will sign up again! :)

  32. Oh how I love your duckie block! I cannot wait to see what you have in store for us next!
    I love your fabric choice also! Thank you so much for giving us this free gift!

  33. Es un block precioso, qué bonito bordado, me encantaria participar, muchas gracias por tu generosidad al compartir tu creatividad


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