Saturday, December 28, 2013

Stepping Stones

It's that time again to complete a "Stepping Stones" quilt - to be given to a graduate from a Tokyo orphanage.  I have been assigned Hiroki, who likes green and blue.

I purchased lots of the fabric in Japan... supplementing liberally from my stash of green scraps at home.

The pattern is Bonnie Hunter's "Sticks and Stones" - and for our purposes we call it "Stepping Stones". You can find the free pattern here.

Although the finished quilt looks like it is made up of four patches and narrow sashing, it is actually constructed as a nine-patch with the sashing "built in":

Twenty out of thirty scrappy blocks completed!  Feels so good to (finally) get into the sewing room and feel productive there.  It seems like it's taken weeks and months to settle back into life back in the U.S.

Besides... after going completely off the rails of Weight Watchers over the past few weeks, I am thinking it's time to concentrate on fabric and sewing once again, rather than this kind of stuff:

But... one last batch of cookies today....

How I wish I could talk to Grandma Mary Lou about cookies and quilting once more!  I do feel her close though... especially in the kitchen and in the sewing room.  

So thankful for this crew... (my how the years fly!): 

Happy New Year fellow quilters out there in blogland.  Hold your loved ones close! 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Christmas at home, and a very worthwhile 5 minutes!

I know that "home is where the heart is"... and now a piece of my heart will forever be in Japan...

but it DOES feel really good to truly be home-home this Christmas season...

Especially with the promise of all three chickies back in the nest...
And celebrating our daughter Kaela's recent engagement to Joe:

We refocus on the birth of Jesus:

 And have some fun as well:

This is about half of the Christmas quilt I finished last year...

It's from an old, great little book called "Favorite Quilts Fast and Fun" by Nancy Smith and Lynda Milligan.

I added a little red house to represent where we lived when I started the quilt years ago... in a little red Cape nestled in the pines...

Not a great photo but you get the idea:

I hope you are having a wonderful December.  If you are so inclined, I invite you to watch this beautiful little video -  "Good Tidings of Great Joy: The Birth of Jesus Christ" - one of a series of Bible videos produced by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  It's an excellent way to spend five minutes!  I have found that it's one good way to refocus on the Savior when I'm feeling a little scattered or stressed with the busy-ness of the Christmas season.  "The story of Christmas is a story of love."