It is Finished and Hand Quilting Lives!

Yes…it is FINISHED! But first, I want to share a little story about the small quilt group of which I am a member. There are only three of us.These are the two ladies who have helped me quilt my king-sized quilt this past year, Carol and Jessica.

TIC--Carol Jessica

I have been quilting with these lovely ladies for several years now, but they have been together for eons! At one time there were four of us, but sadly Barb passed away a few years ago. Every Friday they came to my home and helped me quilt from 9:30 to 3:00. I provided lunch. Now that my quilt is finished, we will go to Jessica’s house to quilt a quilt for her until it is done, then we will be off to Carol’s house for her turn. Then the rotation begins again. They graciously agreed to help me with this huge 116×116″ quilt because I have a king sized bed and wanted an heirloom for my bed. I will be eternally grateful to them. I actually had tears in my eyes as we put the last stitches in the binding! I was so grateful for their help!

We started it on June 27, 2014 and it was just completed, a little over a year later.  There were many Fridays when we were unable to quilt due to family fun, illness, or vacations, etc. (35 weeks of actual quilting). I worked on it during the week whenever I could in between our Fridays. We spent about 120 hours quilting together the three of us and I spent another 108 hours quilting on my own.

TIC - Karen-Carol-Jessica

Carol is our most experienced quilter. Her home is filled with beautiful quilts. She has made so many that she is unable to count them from all the years past! Hand-piecing or hand-quilting was often done while traveling on the road with her husband. Carol has a wonderful color sense. When we have a problem with something Carol always can see the answer first. It is a pleasure to have such expertise knowledge available as she is quite talented. Each week before we quilt we have our tea-time and do a “show and ask.” Truly it’s educational and FUN!

Jessica has been quilting for a long time as well. She likes simple patterns and has made lots of them. A few years ago she began a business making table linens, aprons, quilts, and an assortment of other items. She has a website called Fiber Embellishments. Take a minute to browse her website and see the beautiful things she has made and offers her customers. Jessica is in the process of replicating an antique quilt that she owns. It has seen much love and is in sad need of replacement. So that will be our next quilt to work on when mine is finished.

After we finished the hand quilting….it came off the frame.

TIC off the frame

Then I spent some time squaring up the edges and trimming off the extra batting and backing.

TIC - trimming

Once it was all trimmed Carol and Jessica helped with the binding and soon it went into the washing machine and then outside to dry first in the shade of the morning sun…then in the bright sunlight.

Tic drying in the shade

TIC - drying in the sun

It got so windy that even rocks on the corners of the quilt couldn’t hold it down…so I hung it on the line to let the autumn breezes do their thing!

TIC - drying in the wind

TIC - Drying in the wind2

Tic - drying close up

And FINALLY on the bed! It looks so beautiful and the autumn breezes made my whole room as fragrant as the outdoors!

TIC on the bed

I can vouch that having a hand-quilting group, however small, is wonderful. We have become good friends and enjoy spending the day together. If you are a hand-quilter, you should consider something similar. It is delightful and nice to have some help with hand-quilting! And lots of fun.

Thanks for taking the time to visit. Hope you have enjoyed all of my photos. Lots more finishing photos to come soon. Amities, Averyclaire

Lots of Finishing Photos Today

Here are a few photos of some beautiful stitching done by my clients. There are a LOT of photos today so enjoy!

Southpaw Stitcher did a lovely job on this one. She even created some scissor and spool motifs to make the stitching longer for the drum pinkeep.  I love the detail on this especially the birdcage and the frog catching a bug! And I completed it with hand stitching up the back and around the top.




Karen P. does exquisite non-counted cross stitch. The colors are so soft and delicate. It brings me into an era where Victorian women wore long dresses and had tea in the parlor. She did the beautiful stitching on this pillow.  And there is a even zipper on the back in case this lovely “white” pillow becomes soiled!



Karen B. stitched the adorable Plum Street Sampler “Winsome Pair.” I love this little Scotty dog. He is done simply with some old gold chenille trim hand sewn around the edge with a snappy red star print on the back. The back also has a few country star buttons.



Then Karen B. did two (wall-hanging size) fun cross-stitched pieces. They are done with bright pink hand-dyed floss on lovely hand-dyed fabric. I used French fabrics, did some hand stitching on the front border and finished them off with corded hangers on the back and around the edge. Whoever the recipients might be of these lovely gifts will be lucky people! 




Mary A. wished for a bag like the one I made for the Prim Stitcher’s Society August 1st challenge. She stitched the free pattern for “May Basket” and I finished it into a project bag for her, larger, but similar to the one I made for myself. She did a beautiful job with the stitching and quick too!



Nancy H. was very busy with some beautiful and delightful stiching as well! She stitched Bent Creek’s “Flag of Stars” which became a wall hanging; one of Prairie Schooler’s Santas which became an ornament; Plum Street Sampler’s “Winsome Pair” which became a flat fold; and Threadwork Primitive’s “Beggar’s Night” which became a large pillow (approx. 12×15).












It’s been a long time since my last post, so I hope you have enjoyed all the photos.

For me personally, it’s been a very busy time with friends and family fun. There was a big fortieth birthday bash for my lovely daughter, cookie baking, one of many football games for my 11 year old grandson while I did the caretaking overnight, and local traveling to name but a few.  There was some stitching, some gardening, some reading, and lots of time in my sewing room.  But I did manage to get some hand quilting done on my huge quilt. (I am finally on the last border section.) I have several other WIPs…one is a wool appliqued, quilted wall-hanging; another is Catherine Theron’s Winter Strawberry Needleroll; and there is also a Stacy Nash cross-stitch. Photos will come soon. Rotation is the only way to get a little done each week. But my main focus has been on the king sized quilt. I am REALLY looking forward to having it on my bed SOON! Next post I hope to have photos of the two lovely friends who have helped me quilt this for the past year. Stay tuned!

Amities,  Averyclaire

New Tutorial and More Finishes


A Facebook group that I belong to, had a SAL (stitch-a-long) over the past couple of months.  ProjectBagLg-1We were not allowed to post it to the Facebook page until August 1.  In June while I was away on vacation I stitched the piece and made it into a project bag for myself.  Several people wanted to know where I got the pattern for the project bag.  To my knowledge there isn’t one.  SO…I created a free tutorial for everyone to enjoy.  If you are an experience sewer, it should be easy.  If you do not sew, you can order one with or without your needlework through my finishing service.  I am happy to teach others finishing and do custom work for those who do not wish to do their own.  So ABOVE there is a link to my new tutorial.


From The Workbasket comes this standup pattern for “Quaker Cardinal.”   Finished with handmade , hand sewn cording, and cream wool backing, he sits regally amidst the Native American influence of dream catchers.  Did you know that according to the legend of the dream catcher that Native Americans believe the air is filled with both good and bad dreams.  Dream catchers were hung in the tepee or lodge and on an infant’s cradle board.  Good dreams are said to pass through the center hole of the sleeping person.  Bad dreams are trapped in the web and perish with the light of dawn!

Quaker Cardinal-1

Quaker Cardinal-2

This is an unknown punch needle pattern is from an unknown designer. Evidently it has been a long time in someone’s drawer! But it is now finished with a black wool covered backing with handmade and hand sewn cording. The little hen and chicks will look quite sassy on a door knob or a wall.

Hen and Chicks-1

Hen and Chicks-2

My days have also been filled with hand quilting on my huge irish chain quilt, making binding for it, as it will soon be done (HAPPY DANCE SOON TO COME), plodding long on a wool and fabric wall hanging for my guest room. No photos until is done! And my knees can attest to lots of weeding in the garden!

Enjoy the rest of the summer!     Amities, Averyclaire

Sweet Liberty

Here is another new finish called “Sweet Liberty.” The pattern is free from our generous friend, Marly, at Samplers and Santas.   I love stitching on 36 count cream linen.  Then I created a cuffed, lined sack so I could fill it with some dried flowers.  Don’t you just love the red, gold and blue eucalyptus that I found?  I made it with a long handle so it could be hung on a door knob or nail on the fence!  It looks SUPER against the weathered wood of my backyard fence.   ALAS, I must keep it in the house because we are having TOO much rain these days. But when it can’t be outside, I think it looks just as nice on my red front door!

America Bag 1

America Bag 3

America Bag 2

America Bag 4

More to come soon. THANKS SO MUCH for stopping by!  I am honored that you take the time to look at my photos and read my musings.

Amities, Averyclaire

New Business and Some Old Finishes

NEW BUSINESS: Just recently I began a small finishing business for your projects. There is a new page which you can look at on the top of my blog called Finishing Services and another for Finishing Estimates.

Here are a few items I finished in the past couple of weeks.

An elegant Needlepoint Ornament for The Southpaw Stitcher which is dressed with a red velvet backing.


Briar Rabbit looks quite handsome finished as a flat-fold with his regal gold cording.




The small project bag I made (6″ x 7.5″) can hold threads and small items for stitching. The inside is a pretty as the outside. This bag and the next larger one are both lined and interfaced with a stabilizer.


The larger red paisley project bag (11.5″ x 13.5″) will hold most size patterns and stitching in progress. I love the charms I found for the zipper pull. The needlework is antiqued with instant antique spray. These project bags can be made any size and can be made with your needlework on the front or plain. I plan to make several for myself!


OLD FINISHES: An old FINISH from my PhD list (projects half done) (and number two monkey on my back) is my 101 x 101 inch red and white quilt. HAPPY DANCE!! If you recall on one of my previous posts I showed this quilt stuffed under my home sewing machine. I managed to quilt around all the blocks and sashing, then I did the quilting in the sashing and cornerstones. At this point I began to free-motion quilt the blocks…DISASTER!!! The quilt was simply TOO heavy, TOO bulky, and just plain TOO big for me and it broke my sewing machine. So I found a long-arm quilter who agreed to finish it even though I had it half done. Finishing the 404 inches of hand sewn binding was quite satisfying. I was able to check it off my PhD list without all the nightmares trying to stuff it into my machine. I will NEVER attempt to free-motion another LARGE quilt on my home machine. To be perfectly honest, I think I am sorry I participated in this block of the month.  It turned out to be very expensive and now I really don’t like it.  C’est la vie!  Although it fits my full size guest bed nicely (draping way down like a “bedspread”) and it even fits my king size bed (albeit it could be somewhat wider). It will be good for a change of decor from my other quilts.


My number one monkey the King Sized Red/Green/White Triple Irish Chain is making steady progress. There are only one and half rows left plus one of the four borders to go. My Friday quilt friends haven’t been here for most of June due to vacations or commitments for all of us, but I did do a LOT of quilting on my own to speed up the progress. WHOO HOO…the end is in sight, literally!


Happy Summer…keep cool while stitching! Amities, Averyclaire

Hello Summer!

It always seems like Summer to me when Memorial Day is over.  Time for sunshine, warm/hot days, swimming, garden flowers in bloom, kids out of school, ice cream (lots of it), and long lazy walks.

A day late, but in the mood for a “patriotic summer” I completed a few smalls. The first one is a free design by Barbara Ana and retrieved from the “files” of the Facebook page group entitled “Star Spangled Stitchers.”  I made some small alterations to the pattern, added the red stitching along the border, and stitched it on 35ct. Abecedarian linen.

Barbara Ana Freedom1

This next one is called Flag and Liberty designed by Glory Bee (also a freebie from This one is done on 28ct. white Lugana. I did choose my own DMC colors.

Flag and Liberty

A few weeks ago I did another patriotic small called Itty Bitty America by Twisted Threads.  It was done on 25ct. Dublin Linen over one thread using the called for colors.  The cording was made by me using three skeins of the same red/white/blue flosses.  That was a real trick trying to make cording using three colors!

Itty Bitty America1

Along with the patriotic pieces, I did a “summer” one. It is called Itty Bitty Bee by Twisted Threads, but it is not so itty bitty. I did not do it over one. It is done on cream colored 32 ct. linen over two threads. I love bee embroideries and decided I should have some of my own. Voila!

Itty Bitty Bee

Getting back to my PHds (projects half done), during the last month I did manage to finish my Lily of the Valley Collage (designer is Laura J. Perrin).  This was one of my first canvas pieces in many years.   It was a challenge for me, since I have done only old-fashioned tent stitch needlepoint.  I love Lilies of the Valley and this is already framed with a lovely white-washed frame and is hanging in my bedroom.  The colors are not quite as true as they should be…I am experimenting photographing with my IPhone.





Next I had framed my long ago finished Eiffel Tower cross-stitch. This is a pattern from Le Jardin Prive.   The DMC colours were done with three different shades of blue.   The navy blue frame and mat is absolutely gorgeous with it.   And the slightly sanded edges that show the light colored wood underneath, bring out the cream colored background.  It is SO HARD to photograph with glass covering the pieces, but it did not turn out too bad especially since it is done with an IPhone!

Lily of Valley Collage-framed1

Well that’s it for now. I still have a lot of work on unfinished items, but the big king sized quilt is coming along, not so the red and white one, nor the pink rose pin cushion. I must get busy!       Amities, Averyclaire

Les Muguets Day (May 1st)

I wish all of you much happiness on Les Muguets Day (even though I am a little late). In France May 1st is the fest of Les Muguets. One gives a bouquet of Lily of the Valley to one’s friends. I made this bouquet for a friend of mine. It is a free pattern from Ellen Maurer-Stroh. It was done on 32 ct. lamb’s wool linen with DMC threads.    The little pillow turned out to be about 4″x4″.  My friend really enjoyed receiving it. I love having small little seasonal decorations for the home. Don’t you? And all the small cross-stitch patterns are perfect for quick completion and almost instant gratification.

2015 April Karen's Work - Lily of the Valley 005

2015 April Karen's Work - Lily of the Valley 007

2015 April Karen's Work - Lily of the Valley 008

2015 April Karen's Work - Lily of the Valley 009

I DID finish my needlepoint Lily of the Valley Collage, but it is not framed yet, so I will save that one for the next post.

Thanks for always visiting.   Amities, Averyclaire

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