Wedding Quilt Completed

Much time was spent the last few months completing this quilt for my son and daughter-in-law.   It is a belated wedding gift.   Mike is a mountain climbing, fly fising, outdoors man.   Michelle is very much an outdoors woman.   Her hobby is photographing wildflowers.   They both love Colorado.  So in the quilt I included a little bit of everything for each of them.   The pattern is a McKenna Ryan pattern (At Home in the Woods), but I took liberties and changed a couple of the blocks and made other modifications to suit me.   In the lower center of the quilt I used photo images on fabric and included Mike and Michelle hiking, giving Michelle a sunflower in her hand, then added Mike’s precious dog, Birdy, and Mike with his Land Rover.

Three years ago at their wedding, I asked all of the guests to write a short note on 10 inch square batik pieces of fabric. I saved them and configured them into sixteen squares, bordered with another printed batik and used it for the back of the quilt. I didn’t get a really good picture of the back, but if you look closely you can see there is writing on it. Mike and Michelle were thrilled.

Actually used a teeny tiny real fishing fly for the large mountain/fly fisherman block.

There are mountains, fly fishing, streams with fish, deer, elk, moose, mountain flowers and an Aspen tree….all the things that Mike and Michelle love about Colorado.

Free motion quilted (top stitched) every single tiny little piece on this quilt. It took hours and hours and hours. But Mike and Michelle really love it. They have already hung it in their office at home and intend to decorate the room around the quilt. I guess it was worth all the agonizing and loving hours that went into it.

Til next time…hopefully not two months…..Amities, Averyclaire


Back Again

I was away a lot this summer.   Shortly after I wrote my last post in June,  we made an emergency trip to Florida to see my sister who was in intensive care.   She is doing better now, but it will be a long recuperation and it is one of those scary touch and go things. Please keep her in your prayers.
You can see that the Gulf crews have been really working hard to keep the BP oil off the beaches. They are really white and pristine. However, the water is quite murky and leaves an invisible residue on your skin. Hopefully it won’t take eons to return to normal.

When we returned, it was back to work, catching up, and working frantically to finish “THE” quilt.

Then we were away again to the Black Hills of South Dakota, and then on to Colorado to spend time with my son.   My DD, her DH, and her DS and DD came along as well.   It was a bit of a family gathering.   Only missing was my son and his family back home here in Chicago.

Tomorrow I will post photos of the quilt I made and delivered to my son in Colorado.    Thanks to all of you who made inquiries as to my disappearance.    I had no access to internet service while away. It’s good to be back. Can’t wait to have some time to surf all of your blogs as well…..I know I have missed a LOT.

Amities, Averyclaire

Happy Thanksgiving

For all of my blogging friends I am grateful on this  special day.

For my family…my husband, my children, my grandchildren, our extended families and ALL of our friends, we are grateful.    We are grateful to be alive and well right now and happy.  And we are grateful for our times of trial and illness which help us to see our days in a different light.  I am even grateful for the job I sometimes wish I did not have, as so many people today have no job and desperately need one.  I am grateful for the men and women who are serving in foreign countries to try to keep our world a safe place for all of us.

But most of all, I am grateful to God for the gifts of love and friendship he has given to each one of us.

In Gratitude….Thank you my friends, Averyclaire

Sunflower Inn Modified

When I saw this needlework pattern, I knew that I had to have it and modify it to fit the gift I planned.   My son and daughter-in-law have overnight guests at their home nearly every weekend.   And she adores sunflowers.   In her guest room she always has small vases of sunflowers or sunflower-like flowers.   The pattern words said “Sunflower Inn.”   So I modified it by adding the line to say “Mike and Mich’s Sunflower Inn.”    I can’t wait to give it to them.   Of course it still needs framing, but at least the stitching is done.   This is a “Little House Needleworks” pattern appropriately named Sunflower Inn.  I stitched it on 32 ct Belfast cream linen with DMC and Weeks Dye Works threads.   It worked up fairly quickly and I am delighted with the result.   I am quite sure that the Christmas surprise will be a special one.


My photos of needlework never seem to come out with true colors.   Do any of you photographers out there have some suggestions for me and my point and shoot camera?    I usually lay my pieces on a black velvet board to take the photos.   I have tried a couple of the different settings on the camera but can’t seem to get just the right one.   I have an Olympus 1010.   I’d appreciate any advice anyone can give.


Here’s a closeup of one of the little sunflowers.   I love it.   Well…on to the next project. 


Good News

P6270037It was a long week, but the news is good.    They have removed all of the cancer present at this time.   Perhaps there were angels watching over us.    My DH will begin chemotherapy in September.    It will last for seven weeks and then once a month for a year.    It is a long road to complete recovery.    And always looming over one’s head is the possibility of a reoccurence.    But we are grateful for today and are hopeful for the future.

I confess to having a meltdown this week.   I think I cried for five days straight.   The emotions of the past months finally came out and wouldn’t stop.    But I am fine now.   And we are planning a two week vacation for ourselves soon.    I need to be away from work and we both need to be away from doctors and hospitals.

Life is different now.   It is what it is, but it does not mean that we cannot enjoy life and each other.    I look forward to our time out west for a bit of rest and relaxation.

Thanks for all your notes and emails.   I am grateful for your friendship.    Averyclaire

What a day!

Ollie Friday evening I said yes to babysitting two of my grandchildren and the dog. It’s always a delight and an adventure. They were playing out in the yard when I arrived, as they have a big wooden fort built at the back of the acre property. When I didn’t see them anymore, I went out back to be sure they were safe. I found them all playing in the forest behind the property…building a fort of big fallen branches, etc…..every little boys’ dream. However, it had rained for two weeks straight here. My grandson, his friends, and the DOG were covered with MUD!!! Of course, I was wearing a “white” sweatshirt and a “white” jacket. I brought them all up to the house and my grandson said, don’t worry Nana, I know how to clean “Ollie” (the dog). We got the hose out and Noah proceeded to hose down the dog and ME as well….while I wiped all the MUD from Ollie’s paws and underside. By the time we were finished, I was splattered with MUD and my trousers, socks and shoes were soaked clear through!   Oh I should have had my camera!!  Ah, the price of saying yes to babysitting!

framing On another note…this weekend I did make excellent progress toward cleaning up my art room and finishing up some mending projects that were waiting for me. I also cut my very first photo mat, and, with my DH’s help, he taught me to cut some wooden framing pieces. I stained the pieces and it all awaits assembly.

new mat My French sampler will soon look beautiful! So all in all, it was a great weekend! Amities, Averyclaire

Happy Spring…Happy Easter

Girl with UmbrellaHappy Spring…Happy Easter to all. On Sunday, my daughter, son-in-law and their two children, and my son and his wife and their two children will be coming for dinner. I am happy to have them and have been already preparing for the day. It is good to be busy with things I love.

Fabric BoxMy two days off were most enjoyable. I spent the first day with my two good friends, Joan and Pat. They are the kind of friends that support you…no matter what! We attended a workshop given by Barb Pelowski on making small boxes from fabric. The boxes are made with mat board inside and out. The mat board is covered with thin batting and fabric. The box was easy and fun to make. And best of all, it was simply fun to be with Joan and Pat all day long. I know now that I need more time with my friends and will have to fit it into my schedule somehow.
Fabric Box Inside

Cute little box…yes? Perhaps for jewelry, a sewing box, little desk items, etc.

Yvette giftsJust wanted to share with you a surprise gift from my friend Yvette, who lives in Switzerland. It came in the mail totally unexpected. She is such a lovely artist. She painted the beautiful handmade card and knit the lovely socks for me. She included a box of special sharp pins and a pretty calendar of gorgeous mountains. There were also two DELICIOUS chocolate bars (they were gone before I could take a photo.) Thank you again Yvette. What a delight!

Can’t help but take a moment today to reflect on how important friendship is in people’s lives. I know I cannot do without my friends and I treasure them and their friendship. A special thank you to all my friends. I am so LUCKY. Amicalement, Averyclaire

Home Again

   goodmorningscannedimage-31My stay at my daughter’s is finished and I am home. While I came home completely exhausted, it was a lovely stay. But I confess to missing the children terribly! I was actually depressed for a day or so. I guess I was so busy that coming home to my own laundry, cleaning, etc., seemed boring next to my chores with the children. They actually surprised me and brought dinner over last evening and visited for a while. The dinner was delicious and it was delightful to have more hugs!! Hopefully life will allow more needlearts again.    Averyclaire

The Magic of the Moment

fairy2-997413-0821No photos still…but I am at my daughter’s home for 12 days  taking caring of my grandson and granddaughter and their enormous dog while they are away for a much needed vacation.   It is a delight to be with them.   I confess to being tired, but I manage a few moments at the computer late at night after the children are in bed.  I prefer to be surfing all of your blogs to writing my own, as I haven’t much to say.   The routine here is typical of a household with small children…getting them up and ready for school, dropping them off and racing to my own office.   Luckily my DH is retired and can be here to look after them when they arrive home from school.   Then it’s dinner, homework, baths and bed, with some laundry thrown in for good measure.   See didn’t I tell you it was typical?  

Of course, being with the children has its treasured moments, such as programs at school (where I get to take a half day off my own work just to see them perform) and delighting at the amazing things that they say and do.   I told them leprechauns sneaked into their lunch boxes and I left them chocolate covered gold coins and green shamrocks.   My little granddaughter truly believed it and told everyone.   Naturally, my grandson is too smart to fall for it.  Magic moments.

And then there are the not so magic moments when Oliver, the HUGE dog, sticks his cold nose into my face at 4 AM wanting to go outside to take care of business.   UGH UGH….

I hope they will remember fond days with Grandma and Grandpa who stayed with them while Mom and Dad were away.   I know I will not forget it.  Perhaps I will take vacation when my daughter returns just to reminisce. SMILE, Averyclaire

Thank You….All of You

I was overwhelmed by the personal mail I received yesterday regarding Michael’s surgery.  I certainly felt a great comfort in knowing so many held Michael and myself in their thoughts for the day.

The surgery was successful…at least from the doctor’s point of view as of now.  Only time will tell.   And of course, I will not feel completely safe until I know there are no staph infections lurking anywhere.  I did turn my fears over to higher powers yesterday…I am helpless.  It took five hours for the surgery, some time in x-ray afterwards to be sure his back was properly aligned once again, and Michael is now on his way to recovery.  I was actually able to speak with him by the evening yesterday on the telephone.   It is so difficult being 1000 miles away at times like this.  

His wife, Michelle, is a LOVELY person.   She will see him through his recovery without any trouble at all.   Of all bad timing, however, Michelle had a court date yesterday which could not be changed to settle this very same accident case that caused Michael’s injuries.   Her mother, who is equally as delightful, was there in the waiting room for Michael until Michelle returned to the hospital!   Life is certainly crazy.

I worked all day yesterday, but stayed close to the telephone.   After work I took my grandson to his basketball game, then stopped for a quick take out supper, and then helped him with his homework.   I was “babysitting” for him and his sister until 11 PM last evening so I had to see them off to bed as well.  It surely made for a hectic day, and I confess to being emotionally exhausted.

My DH and I will travel to Colorado to assist in Michael’s recovery when he is home.   I look forward to seeing him and giving him the real hug that I keep sending him over the phone!!

Thank you again to all of you who so kindly kept us in your thoughts and prayers.   It certainly makes a difference in a person’s life to know that someone is sending loving vibes through the airways!   Bless of you.   There are no words to describe how grateful I am.

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