It’s Off the Frame!

I had GREAT fun this past weekend with the Grow Your Blog Party.   I have met SO MANY wonderful people and have seen such exquisite work and great blogs!   Thank you very much to Vicki of 2 Bags Full for coordinating this.  I am quite sure it was an overwhelming amount of work!   Looking forward to seeing more of the beautiful work that I saw last weekend.

Yellow Whole Cloth - Copyright

Yes…my yellow whole cloth quilt is almost completed.  I took it off the frame last week, squared it up and put on the binding.  Then it was soaked and washed (to get all the pencil marks out).  I love the look of it being all crinkled up nicely just like an antique quilt!  To be honest, I was TERRIFIED that some of the pencil marks might not come out.   This was a quilt I had begun years ago and stuffed in a drawer until last spring.  I took it out re-marked some of the lines and finished hand quilting it a couple of weeks ago.  Luckily all  of the pencil lines disappeared.  I am working now on trapunto-ing the flowers and leaves (corners and center circle). It is not taking as long as I thought it might…goes rather quickly.   Ahhh….I will be able to check another UFO off of my list!  I am in love with this new addition to my quilt collection!

U make my heart happy 1

Also finished this small cross-stitch done on 32 ct. linen, finished with twisted pearl cotton and has a wool back. The pattern is from Homespun Elegance and is called “You Make My Heart Happy.” I made this small gift for a dear friend who lives in France, Maggy, for her birthday.  It can be used as a pincushion, a door hanger or a small wall hanging.  She received it in the mail last week and loved it.

Thanks again to all of you who stopped in to visit my blog during the blog hop…and to all those to signed up as regular visitors. I am delighted and honored.
I hope to see more of your lovely work soon.

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sophia Sampler Framed

Kathie Monog Pillow1

Scotty Ornament

Sewing Pockets

catquilt001

IMAG0278

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!

Progress

Well friends, I am trying to keep to my New Year’s hopes and have created a random rotation of ten projects.   Here are some photos of the work IN PROGRESS.   Yes…I am actually posting again!!

First is my yellow whole cloth quilt that is nearly finished and I hope to have it done SOON.  You can see that I am nearly at the end of the quilting.   I am hoping to do some trapunto work when it is finished in the floral areas…but we will see.

Yellow Whole Cloth Quilt

Next is a “flock” of ornaments. I began them too late for Christmas, but it will be nice to have them done for next year.   The pattern is Cardinal Tweet from Just Nan.   I decided to make four of them (they are two sided).  Making four seemed just as easy as making one!

Cardinal Ornaments

And my third project I am working on is a block of the month I began from Top Shelf Quilts in Frankfort, IL. It is called Saturday Soiree. I really love red and white quilts, but this is turning out to be a LOT of work.  It will be set on the diagonal with sixteen blocks.  I actually have all the setting squares completed, but I have not completed the main blocks yet.   The original pattern called for only twelve blocks, but I purchased four extra ones and all the extra fabric I needed to make it larger.   (Am I crazy?)

Saturday Soiree

It’s been so cold and snowy here in Chicago that staying inside, keeping warm and cozy, has helped the progress on my projects to keep rolling along!  Hope all of you are on the track to needlework success for the new year!     Until next time, amities, Averyclaire

Whole Cloth Quilt In Progress

On my quilt frame now is a whole cloth quilt that I began more than ten years ago. I had a tiny pattern and enlarged it to a lap size quilt. The pattern is lovely and I love hand-quilting, but back then, I quickly tired of it and put it away for years. After finishing my applique quilt I was inspired to work on this one again. I put the quilt frame in the living room and work on it each evening as I sit “listening” to the TV. (I love Hallmark movies.) It was only about 1/3 done before….and I already have at least 2/3 done now. At this rate it will soon be considered another winter project finished!!

Yellow Whole Cloth 1

Does anyone out there know what causes the puckering during hand quilting? or if there is a way to prevent this?    It is not everywhere in the quilt…only in certain places.   It won’t matter after I am finished and soak the quilt, as I imagine it will all be “puckery.” 

Have fun stitching whatever it is you are working on!     Amities, Averyclaire

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

Hand Quilting Lives

I’d like to share with all of you something very special.   Sometime ago I was invited by a friend to participate with a small group of women (three, plus myself) to hand quilt each Friday.    I said yes and found some lovely friends.   There is a bond that forms when you meet every week and spend the whole day 10AM to 3 PM sitting around the quilt frame.   While the hands are busy lovingly placing just the right stitches in the right places, joining the layers of love together, we share bits of pieces of our own quilting and sewing experiences and our lives in general.    It is a sacred time.    For a time I had to quit the group as my working full-time took over.    But I missed them and am back again. Here is Jessica and Carol around the quilt frame. We are hand quilting an antique wedding ring top done perhaps 90 or more years ago. It is fragile, but still beautiful.

One of the members prepare a quilt top. We then meet at her home and together we hand quilt the top until it is finished. The hostess provides lunch for us. When the top is completed, we go to the next member’s home to do a quilt top for her, etc. etc. It puts a fire under us to complete a top for quilting when it is our turn. We all get a hand quilted top perhaps once a year. And the friendship I have found is irreplaceable. It will be my turn next. I can’t wait.

Here is a photo of one of our members, Barb Kapost, who recently passed away from pancreatic cancer. I miss her. She was a member of my quilt guild also. She is why I am handquilting today. I met her some years ago when I signed up to become a secret sister. We provided small gifts to a person in secret until some months later your identity was revealed. When it was time for the reveal, my secret sister was ill. So I went to her home to deliver her final gift and to reveal who I was. During our visit I couldn’t help but notice the large quilt frame in her dining room. I had not known she hand quilted. We talked about it for a while and I told her if she ever needed help in hand quilting, please let me know. She did and voila…I am still hand quilting.

Here is one of my favorite pieces done early in my hand quilting days. It is hand quilted with a variegated purple and teal metallic thread. What was I thinking? Howver, it turned out nice and still a favorite.em>

Here is block number 13 of my Sweet Sixteen series. I want this one finished before it is my turn to have a quilt top quilted. All this hand applique just calls for hand quilting.

I would encourage anyone to think about this fine art.    Of course I adore any kind of hand work.   To some, I understand “hand work” can mean something bad.    But if you are of the frame of mind as myself, please give it a try.    I think you will love the peace and quiet satisfaction that comes from such a lovely pasttime.

Hand quilting is NOT a lost art.   There are many of us who still love it. Try it if you love hand work…you will love it too.

Amities, Averyclaire

PS….I still machine quilt as well.

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