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

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A Little Update

The king sized quilt was on the frame by the end of June.   The borders took a long time to finish and then even longer to blanket stitch all those tiny designs I created!   With the busy summer and lots of traveling the actual quilting has been slow going.   Here is a photo of the giant first being basted and then on the frame.

Irish Chain being basted

Irish Chain in Frame

In the meantime, I did create an adorable “Frozen” princess dress for my three year old granddaughter, Maya.

Maya Frozen Princess1

Maya Frozen princess2

Lots of traveling included a week in the woods of southern Indiana in June for DH’s hobby interest.  Then we did two weeks out west in Boulder, Colorado and the Black Hills of South Dakota in July.  We took a couple of grandchildren with us and my oldest granddaughter broke her arm the first day we left!   Next we spent ten days in Atlanta, Savannah, Tybee Island, Hilton Head, and Charleston, SC in Aug for a woodworking convention and just R&R for the two of us.   And one more week in the woods of southern Indiana in September at which time I did a lot of sewing on baby blankets in our RV!   Whew!   Fun, but nice to be home.

Grandchildren…Haley, Sophia, Noah and daughter Kathleen enjoying the Niwot, CO evening concert.

Niwot 2014

We had a GREAT family campout while in Boulder, CO.

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Since then I have completed 20 baby blankets with teddy bears for my Quilters’ Plus Holiday Boutique coming up November 7 and 8.   My heart wanted to do a lot more projects for the Boutique, as some of the money goes to support our group, but alas, I did not do what I had hoped to complete.   Oh well, there is always next year.

Some of my blogging buddies have been wondering where I have been.   Just busy with life and trying to avoid spending time on the computer fighting with downloading photos, etc.   It has been a nice respite.   However, I do lurk behind the shadows and visit all of your blogs often.

I hope before too long there will be some stitching and other quilt items to show.   But my progress is SLOW.

For now…..Amities, Averyclaire

Border Progress

Happy Easter Week to everyone!    Here are my Easter finishes. They were all fun and easy to make.

Easter 2014

Yes…the border is coming along. I am going to post some time lapse photos so you can see the progress. I have the center sections and the left sides complete. Here is the progress to date beginning with the photo I took initially:

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Border 2a

Border 2

Center sections of borders complete.

Border 3

Left side sections of borders complete.

Border 4

It sure has been a long tedious process…but I feel it will be done soon. The right sides remain. Although, I do have all the pieces traced and ironed onto fusible…just waiting to cut out…so that will go quickly. After I fuse the right side appliques down, I can do the four corners…not difficult after all the work I have already done. Then the appliques must be sewn in place.

Alas, with these borders taking up all my time, I have done no other handiwork. :((

Hope everyone out there is enjoying the lovely spring days we are having! And for those of you living far far away, I imagine you will begin having your cool crisp autumn days to enjoy!

Amities, Averyclaire

Designing A Border

I have had a king size triple irish chain quilt top made for a LONG time. I never finished it because I wanted to design a border for it.  Well I am tackling another UFO and am designing the border.  Here is my method and progress to date.

First, I taped a LOT of freezer paper together making a strip 95 inches long which matches the four sides of my quilt top.  The border is 9 inches wide.   I drew a design on one half of my freezer paper. Then I traced it in reverse on the other half. I now have one entire border to work with. Some of the flowers I used from the William Morris Applique book and some I drew. I drew all of the vines myself.  It was drawn with a mechanical lead pencil allowing for LOTS of mistakes.   Here are some photos.

Center of Border

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[Nothing like a million little pieces, huh?] This design will be the corner block, matching up to the long side borders.

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My DH cut me a piece of plexiglass to fit into the opening where I normally have my sewing machine.  [He is such a nice guy!]  I put a small florescent light under it to use as a light table.

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Using “Steam-A-Seam-Lite” I traced my designs onto fusible web.  [LOTS of tracing going on for four borders!]

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Now my fusible web pieces are ironed onto the wrong side of my fabric ready to cut out. [Whew…cutting out takes forever!]

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I have a design wall in my sewing room made of thick insulation which is covered with white flannel and screwed to the wall.    My four cream colored  borders have been pinned to the wall behind where I am working.  (They are not pink!…must have been the sunshine!)  I divided the border into fourths and marked each border with a water soluble pen.  Working from the center out I am placing my pieces onto the border.  I can actually use my Clover mini iron to affix my pieces right on the wall before taking it to the ironing board.  When I have finished the center sections of each border, I will re-pin and do the remaining sections of each border.   After fusing the borders, I plan to sew my appliques down with a small blanket stitch before sewing the borders onto the quilt.

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I don’t have any of the leaves or small fabric circles done yet…but I am making good progress with my UFO.  When it is completed, it will be hand quilted.

It is a BIG project….[perhaps I am nuts?!]   But the end is in sight for my LONG AWAITED quilt.

Amities, Averyclaire

Grow Your Blog

Welcome everyone to Averyclaire Needlearts!   I am excited to be a part of the “Grow Your Blog Party.”  Thank you for stopping in to visit. 

I am a midwesterner, born and raised in the Chicago area.   Whether I am home or away, I keep busy hands.  There is nothing more wonderful than a cup of hot  tea while having a piece of some kind of needlework, sewing, quilting, or knitting in my hands.    An early morning in the perennial garden fills my soul. I can get lost for weeks in books and am a passionate Francophile. Music to sooth the soul is Andrea Bocelli, Adamo, and John Denver. 

My grandmother, Clara Avery, taught me to knit when I was seven and instilled into me the gentle art of all kinds of needlework.

If you leave a comment on this post you will be entered in the drawing to win a prize (the drawing will be held on February 15th).   It will be a lovely cross-stitched surprise.   However, please scroll through my blog to see some of my projects.  I hope you enjoy them all and I look forward to seeing all of your projects as well. 

 Amities, Averyclaire

Yellow Whole Cloth 1

Star Quilt 1

Sweet Sixteen HQ2

Berry Patch Rabbit

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Sophia Sampler Framed

Kathie Monog Pillow1

Scotty Ornament

Sewing Pockets

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biscornu

Flannel Quilt

Tablecloth Quilt 2011

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Fleur de Lis Scissor Fob

Wedding Quilt

Christmas Stocking Remade

Cross-Stitched Navajo Weaving

Thanks again for coming!

Hand Appliqued and Hand Quilted

Here is my hand-appliqued quilt top. It is an Editar Sitar pattern (Sweet Sixteen – there are 16 blocks – 76 x 76) done in colors of my choosing (love that stash). It took me about a year to do the 16 appliqued blocks and then it was about 3 months to be hand-quilted. My two hand-quilting friends, Carol and Jessica,  came faithfully each Friday to help me finish the quilt top.  Lots of lovely days spent together over the quilt frame and lunch. We worked from 9:30 to 3:30 every Friday. I couldn’t be happier with it and it is now one of my favorite quilts.

Sweet Sixteen HQ1

Sweet Sixteen HQ2

Sweet Sixteen HQ3

Some years ago I won some blocks from my guild. “Bento Box” they were called. I won 16 blocks–not enough for a quilt. So a friend donated to me a small bag of oriental scraps and I made 32 more blocks for a total of 48 and made a twin size quilt using wide indigo sashing. Then I spent a very, very long time hand quilting it with a clam shell design. It now hangs over the back of my sofa. It feels SO GOOD to have this one finished.   Love the light blue sashiko quilting…looks lovely on the indigo.

big stitch quilting sashiko 1

Bento Box HQ1

Bento Box HQ3

I have two more quilts I am actively working on now.   I will show those in the next post or two.   Oh, and another one coming back from the long-arm quilter soon.   Can’t wait to see it finished!

Hope all of you out there are having fun working on using up stash, finishing UFOs, and diligently working on your WIPs.   My family tells me that people could do their quilt shopping here.   I don’t think so, because I couldn’t part with my fabrics or patterns or books.    But perhaps I do have enough stuff that I could quilt and do needlework for at least another 20 years and not have to buy anything!   Of course that’s ridiculous….because I never seem to have just the right pattern, or just the right fabric and have to go shopping myself!

Amities, Averyclaire

Another Block

I am committed to this project.  Only 4 more to go.  Here is block number 12:

And what did I do this past weekend? Well….granddaughter #1, Haley (11 years old), participated in her first music competition. She first played accompanied by her other grandfather, Jim; then played a duet with her best friend, Abby; then proudly displayed their blue ribbons. It was so fun to watch her play. They all did a super job. I am so happy she loves music.

And grandson #2, Max (8) (Haley’s brother), bore the concert bravely. He has such sparkly eyes!

And then I ran home, had some lunch, and quickly made it to granddaughter #2, Sophia’s (10), dress rehersal for her dance competition.   She takes ballet, jazz, etc. and is on the dance team.   She is on the far right.   This will be her first competition.   I think I had more fun than she did.

I think this coming week and weekend will be a quiet one.   Perhaps I can finish a couple more blocks.   And maybe even do some stitching on my “Cedar Hill” Rabbit that I began last year for Easter and never finished.   I honestly hope it is finished for this Easter!

Amities, Averyclaire

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