Saturday, January 7, 2017

Stepping Stones finish... and KonMari

Each year (since 2013) I make one of these Stepping Stones quilts for an upcoming 'graduate' of an orphanage in Tokyo.  This year I have "Sara" who wanted blue and pink.  A little pink goes a long way against the blues.  

Backed and bound with some wild Kaffe Fassett fabric -

All set to be packed into David's carryon the next time he travels to Tokyo!

Meanwhile.... a big clean-up and clean-out in the office/sewing room...

We are prepping the house to be sold...  We are in no rush... but it feels time to downsize and simplify.  This 1746 farmhouse is ready for its next steward!

This means a LOT of decluttering... which is just the best feeling.  KonMari!   I love a creative mess, but a good straightening up and cleaning out gives such a feeling of calm and clarity.  I need more of that, and less anxiety and depression, in my life.  Having less stuff around does help!

In the process of decluttering, I texted with my daughters a lot... do you want this?  do you want that?

My middle daughter wants this family of vintage kokeshi dolls as a memento of our time in Japan (which included her senior year of high school).  Aren't their faces so charming?  I have another grouping ready for her older sister.

And on this snowy Saturday afternoon... with chores all but done... there is time to nurse a cold... watch some Netflix... catch up on quilting blogs... list out my current projects.... and piece a few blocks!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Front Porch top finished

I've been following this quiltalong with Lori at Humble Quilts.  The pattern is Front Porch by Jan Patek.  I think we started last June.  Not bad!

See some other interpretations on Lori's blog here.

The deadlines really help keep me motivated. Today was the day we were set to share our finished tops, so TODAY I put my borders on!  I had originally thought to use some of the sunflower fabric for the wide border, but in the end, it felt too formal, and I liked the red better.

The little bluebird still needs an eye: 

Now the question is - how to quilt it???  It is very wavy and loosey goosey in places.   It didn't go together smoothly at all.  I may just take my chances and do something very utilitarian on the machine.  

Thanks Lori for another great sew-along! 

Happy New Year one and all! 

cynthia nanto on Instagram 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Front Porch progress, and London

I'm late finishing up the bicycle.  I procrastinated starting it - thinking that I would do something different - but - I'm pretty happy with it.  A fun summery quilt after all.  It is VERY "wonky" (I hate that word but it's the only good word for this) and might be missing a few parts but it is finito!  It is counterintuitive but I will remember watching The Crown when I look back at this bicycle!

I have to say, as much as I love Jan Patek patterns..... I often come up against construction problems.... the flower pot section is too long....

So I shortened up the brown flowerpot and it all worked out:

One more section to go!

Lori has a link up on her blog Humble Quilts.  Her sewalongs are great for helping us keeping on track and motivated.   She has chosen another Patek pattern for next year - fall themed.  I had already chosen another Patek pattern (the Winter Quilt) to do with two of my long-distance sisters in law.... so I'm not sure about the fall quilt, but it's tempting!  For next year I definitely want to do Barbara Brackman's block of the month.  Looking to simplify a bit.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  David and I were visiting family in London!  Our middle daughter and son in law traveled with us.  It was a lot of fun.  We stayed with family and doing something so different took the sting out of being empty nesters!  I only wish I'd taken more photos.

A trip to Liberty is a must, if only just for browsing:

On the way out at Heathrow, "Santa" might have done a little shopping at Cath Kidston, with a little guidance from "Mrs Santa".  I wonder if English women 50+ years of age use these bags?  Well, I don't need to know the answer to that question - this American woman just loves it!  Oilcloth.  Floral. Durable. Practical.

And a quick stayover in NYC before returning to Mass:

HOPE might be my theme for 2017!