French Boutis

The past month or so I have been avidly working on designing more French Boutis patterns.  Today I published one just in time for Valentine’s Day on my Etsy site.

double-heart-boutis

This French needlework technique is easy to do if you like handwork. Stitching the piece is rather like hand quilting, a small running stitch, on two pieces of batiste. Then the boutis yarn is drawn through the channels by inserting a tapestry needle from the back between the two layers of fabric. Voila!

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In my kit I provide the pattern, instructions with photos and finishing technique, the white and pink batiste needed to complete two hearts, a white sun catcher and a pink sachet.  Also included are the two needles necessary for stitching and toothpicks needed for stuffing in the tail ends of the yarn cording.  Other materials you provide are white and pink thread, a ribbon or cord for finishing, and filling for your sachet.

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I am working on about six other designs as well.  If you love handwork and would love to try this ancient French Needlework Art, give it a try.  There is also a digital pattern available. It’s a small piece, easy to work up quickly…just in time for Valentine’s Day! I also teach French Boutis to anyone interested.

Thank you to my dear French friends, Nicole, who introduced me to this beautiful art nearly 15 years ago with a gift for my newly born granddaughter, to Maggy and Nicole, who have supplied me with lots of books and magazines for inspiration, to Elisabeth, who sent me a piece of her own hand worked Boutis, and last but not least to Elizabeth from Canada at Seams French who shares this passion with me!

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think! (The comment form is at the top of the page under the date)

Stay tuned for more finishing work next time!

Amities, Averyclaire

 

Family, Friends, Fun, Finishing!

I know :((…I haven’t posted for a LONG time.  Where oh where did the month of May go?

There was Senior Prom for grandson, Noah, a quick trip to Minnesota, planting flowers at the cemetery, Mother’s Day, 8th grade dinner dance for Sophia, a retreat in Spring Green, WI, and a tour of Taliesin, graduations, dance recital, gardening, and, of course, finishing!

Senior Prom

Senior Prom

Sophia 8th Grade Dance

Sophia 8th Grade Dance

 

A visit to the Mall of America, in Bloomington, MN for a few days with my DH.  Very relaxing, fun and a sight to behold with 520 shop and 50 restaurants!  And then on to Mother’s Day!

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Me, Daughter-in-Law  Heather, Granddaughter Haley (15) and Heather’s Mom Carol

Oh…and I mustn’t forget grandson, Max (12) and his band finale…he plays alto sax.

Max and friend

A Stitching Retreat at Country Sampler in Spring Green, WI with five other fun friends for three days.  Country Sampler is a lovely Quilt/Needlework Shop.  It is chock full of primitive patterns both quilting and needlework, bundles of wool, and beautiful civil war style quilts.   Also did a tour of Taliesin (you can see photos on Southpaw Stitcher blog).

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May was also for graduation.  My grandson, Noah (18), graduated from Marian Catholic High School.  His sister, my granddaughter, Sophia (14), graduated from 8th grade at Mother Theresa Catholic Academy.  And my little granddaughter, Maya (4),  graduated from pre-school in Boulder, CO!  We are so proud of all of them!   It was a marathon weekend.

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Noah and Sophia GraduationSophie Graduation

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Nick, Daughter Kathleen, Sophia and Noah

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Granddaughter Maya (almost 5)

Maya Pre-School Graduation

Son Michael, Maya, DIL Michelle from Colorado

This was also the month for Sophia’s dance recital.  She is a talented, graceful, lovely dancer in all forms of dancing with a strong stage presence in everything.  She was in 9 different performances with 9 different dances and celebrated her 10th year of dancing.  It was an amazing 3-1/2 hour performance!

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Sophia in Center

The garden needed a lot of attention.  After a walk in the wee-early morning hours, I tried to spend a couple of hours a day working outside.  Hard on the old body, especially the knees (even with professional knee pads)!!!

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And then there was the joy of FINISHING!

Pat L. stitched this beautiful Merry Christmas.

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Tina stitched two Halloween pieces…what fun to have these ready for the Fall to come!  I added a little spider and web to this first one and a bright orange ribbon to the second!

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Pat L. also stitched two fun quite large pillows.  Both are lovely, but I am awed by her bright pink pillow!

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Marcia T. stitched this special seasonal Prairie Schooler piece and chose a flat fold finish for easy storage.  I hope one day to do one of these for myself.  Love it!

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The Southpaw Stitcher, my prolific stitching friend, quickly finished this lovely May piece and also chose a flat fold.

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And Vivian loves to do primitive pieces and finished another pillow…this one for Halloween!  She loves to antique her fabric before she stitches!  Nice work!

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And last but not least for the finishes that I am able to show this month is a special order from The Tinsmith’s Wife for some tea bag holders.

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Whew….this was a long post!

Summer is finally arrived with crazy weather….cold, hot, cold, hot.  But I do love the hot days of summer and love to sit with a cup of tea in my garden!  Happy summer to all!

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 www.glorybeestitch.com). 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.

 

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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

Grow Your Blog Winner!

Make My Heart Happy-Green

Once again, thank you to everyone who visited my blog during the “Grow Your Blog” days.   And a special thank you to all of you who have signed up to be followers of my blog.    The winner of my giveaway for this special time is Barbara Lillian In France.   A special thank you to you Barbara for participating.  Please stop in to see her blog…her photos are LOVELY!   I previous made one of these for a friend’s birthday…and I liked it so much I made another one for the giveaway.  Hope you enjoy it Barb! My days have been filled with lots of diligent work on finishing my unfinished projects.

Here is one of my projects I managed to finish.  It was so fun stitching one bird, that I made four of them!   It is a Just Nan pattern called “Cardinal Tweet” and it is available from Inspired Needle in Lemont, IL.  The pattern includes only the finishing materials for one bird.  I had to create my own tails and beaks, and add extra beads to make four birds.  Fun:(

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My trapunto flowers are coming along, although I had hoped to have them all done. It goes fairly quickly, but I worked on other things instead!

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Another favorite project I hope to finish soon is this one. I will not reveal the pattern until it is finished. Can anyone out there guess what it is?

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Of course, much time was spent in helping my DH clear out our snow-filled walkways. Recently when a group of ladies were complaining about the terrible winter, one friend said, “I woke up this morning, and I am not in any pain…so I cannot complain about something so minor as the weather.” I whole-heartedly agree!

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And so I let my beautiful African Violet inspire me. Just looking at it reminds me that Spring is just around the corner!

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Congratulations Barb.    Happy stitching to all.     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!

New Year’s Hopes

1. To finish more unfinished projects (I managed 7 quilts, and several needleworks this year….Hooray)

2. To take most materials for those unfinished projects from my STASH (Heavens, I have enough stuff)

3. To be happy while working on all those unfinished projects…enjoy the journey  (No grumbling allowed…well maybe just a little)

4. To share what I am accomplishing with reports on my BLOG (yes…I hope to post more than a couple times next year)

5. To make more gifts (I really appreciate handmade things…hope others do too)

These are just a few thoughts for the new year and my needlearts addiction!   Last year I made a list of ten things and worked on them in rotation.   To my surprise I really accomplished a LOT.   Perhaps it was not as much as I would have liked, but nevertheless, the quilts I have here and there in my home speak volumes!   Oh, to be even more prolific…don’t I wish.   The rotation really worked for me because  I get bored after several hours on one project.    Then again, a couple of the projects consumed me and I worked on them until they were done.

Besides the quilts you have seen previously on my blog, I made two flannel junior size bed quilts…this blue/green/white monkey quilt and a pink/green/white one with a girl print.   They were done with a “big stitch” quilting that everyone seems to like.

IMAG0160 Monkey Quilt

I also made a “music” quilt for a hostess gift. We went to Colorado for Christmas to spend the holiday with my son, Mike, Michelle and Maya. Because they were hosting my daughter, son-in-law, and two grandchildren already, we stayed with Michelle’s Mom, Carol. She is an expert piano teacher and so I chose to make her a music quilt as a thank you for having us there for the holiday.  This one was also done quilted with big stitch quilting.

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Alas, I broke my lovely little camera and am now taking photos with my cell phone. I actually received a beautiful Nikon SLR camera as a gift from my dear husband, but I don’t know how to work it yet and have been taking photos with my phone. They are not very good and I am REALLY going to try to get the knack of the good camera this year!

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!! May you all be blessed with good health, prosperity, laughter, zillions of friends, and a plethora of needleart!

Amities, Averyclaire

Aside

Busy Days

What have I been doing for the last four months?   Well, a lot actually!   Thanks for being patient with me and thank you for always coming back to see what’s new!

I finally had my star quilt quilted by Jamie Wallen in Michigan City, IN.    Didn’t realize I wouldn’t get it back for four months, but I do love how it is quilted!   He did a beautiful job.   And it is now one of my favorites!

Star Quilt 1

You can see the lovely feather quilting done around each star!

Star Quilt 2 closeup

While that was out being quilted, I made 20 more baby blankets with teddy bears for our Quilters’ Plus Holiday Boutique the first weekend in November.   I have them all lined up and waiting to put double ribbons around each teddy bear.   I have made these for many years.   The proceeds of these blankets help support my quilt guild (and I get some money back as well).   It’s a lot of work to make so many, but voila!  C’est fini!

2013 baby blankets

I also made some wool Christmas ornaments to sell at the same Holiday Boutique, but 100% of the proceeds from these ornaments will go to my NeedleArtisans of NW Indiana group and the quilt guild.    The same goes for the cotton kitchen washcloths I made.   I would like to make more items, but my own projects seem to be suffering with all the things I made for the Boutique.   So I will have to call it quits for the boutique items I think.

Wool Ornaments 1

Wool Felt Ornaments 2

Wool Felt Ornaments 3

Cotton Washcloths

And last but not least of my projects, I have my “Over the River and Through the Woods” quilt prepared for quilting.  The three picturesque center panels are all hand embroidered.   I plan to machine quilt this one myself.   I don’t consider myself a good home machine quilter, but it’s too pricey to have one’s quilts quilted professionally.   I like to say “I DID IT MYSELF” anyway.   And some quilts just don’t warrant the weeks and weeks of hand quilting.   Besides, I still have my yellow whole cloth one on my quilt frame.   It’s almost done!

Over the River 1

In between all the sewing, life things happened….a couple of wakes and funerals….a shower and a wedding….a week’s getaway for DH and myself…. several lunches with friends….a trip to the International Quilt Show in Chicago….quite a bit of gardening upkeep….an unexpected reunion with my three siblings (some who live quite far away)…and the usual everyday things.   I very much enjoy my retirement….and love to sit and “veg” occasionally with a good book or my trusty computer seeing what’s new in the needlework and quilting world.

Thanks for visiting my blog again!     Amities, Averyclaire

Spring is finally here!

Yes, it’s been 6 months since I last posted.   The warmth of the sun is pouring in my windows, teasing us for a couple of days with 80 degree temperatures.   Now it is raining again, but everything is very green and the trees leafed out with the balmy days.   I LOVE the warm weather.   It feels so good.

My winter was spent in completing unfinished projects.   I was inspired by something I read last Fall about making a list of one’s unfinished projects and working a little on them each day.   So I did.   I am notorious for beginning things and not finishing them.  But I want to be able to empty my drawers and closets of all of my UFOs or should I say WIPs. Here is just one.

This is Berry Patch Rabbit by Cedar Hill done on 32 ct. Lambs Wool linen. I think I worked on him on and off for a couple of years. I love this little rabbit and he hangs proudly in my living room.

Berry Patch Rabbit

Then I did a cross-stitch for my daughter who loves “Life” quotes.  This was not a UFO, but a work of love for Kathleen for Valentine Day.   It is “Life” cross-stitch by Lizzy Kate done on 32 ct. natural linen.  The linen is NOT checkered.  For some reason the shadows of the linen weave shows up as checkers.  She loves it and it hangs in her foyer.

Life

And because I was SO READY for spring, I made a new spring table runner for my island in the kitchen and made 8 coordinating napkins. I also made a second set for my dear friend Maggy. I sent it to her as a “Les Muguets” gift. On the first of May every year, we make something for May 1st. “Les Muguets” Day (Lily of the Valley Day) is a day of friendship and one is supposed to give their friend a small bouquet of lilies of the valley…or so the story goes. I received a lovely hand made bag from Maggy. Sorry, no photos, today, but next post.

I have LOTS more completed UFOS to show, so come back soon and check again.  The posts are ready, just waiting for me to take some photos. I have accomplished much in just a few cold winter months.

So, friends, while I have been silent for a long time…I have been very busy.   Oft times I was lurking in the shadows of your blogs and admiring your work.   I really enjoy everyone’s blogs and love seeing all of their work, so I am going to try to be better at posting again.

Amities….. Averyclaire

So Much to Do…So Little Time

Stumpwork

Last weekend I went with a friend of mine to a Needlework Class in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was sponsored by the Indianapolis Chapter of the Embroiderer’s Guild of America. We belong to the chapter called Needle Artisans of Northwest Indiana (NANI) that meets in Munster. Once a year they have an event called State Day in various locations around the State. Last year it was sponsored by our Chapter here in Munster.

This year’s class was a lesson in “Stumpwork”…it is a style of embroidery where the stitched figures are raised from the surface of the work to form a 3-dimensional effect. It was a very beginner class, as I had never done anything like this. After one prepares the foundation by layering pieces of felt, the finished bird (or whatever you are doing) is painted with one strand of embroidery floss (needlepainting) in various colors. I very much enjoyed the process. Here is my cardinal which I finished embroidering Sunday after the class. I plan to turn this into a Christmas ornament. The finished ornament will measure only 2.5 x 3.5…so it is a VERY small cardinal.

The designer and teacher was Marsha Papay-Gomola. She is an excellent teacher and taught a fun class.   She has a website here.    Her class was delightful and I would encourage anyone interested in learning something new, to check into her classes.   I did take photos of some of her samples she brought to the class, including the step-by-step proces for our cardinal.    I think her work is magnificent.

She even showed us a sample of leaves for us to have ideas in how to make a choice in finishing our cardinals.

It was one of the really FUN weekends.     Southpaw Stitcher has many more photos on her website, so please check them out if you have not done so already.    She is a GREAT traveling companion with a super sense of humor.    We even did our own shop hop on the way down visiting Persnickety Stitchers in Zionsville and Needle Fever  in Indianapolis, and even stopped at a quilt shop nearby, Quilts Plus.

Home Dec Project

Last post I mentioned that I was working on a home dec project for my daughter for her dining room. Here are a couple of photos of what I have finished: Six antique dining room chairs were recovered. Three cushions for the window seat with zippered custom covers, six large pillows with zippered covers, one hand embroidered pillow for the center of the window seat. I made this black velvet pillow out of leftover velvet from a dress I made her MANY years ago for a dance. Thought it would be good memories…then I cross-stitched a deisgn with a monogram with their last initial.

Still have to make the draperies and the table and buffet runners.    So it’s not done yet……the story of my life!!!

Halloween Cross-Stitch

I have been diligently working on a Halloween Fairy (Nora Corbett) cross-stitch. It is from one of the cross-stitching magazines from a year or two ago, I can’t remember which one.  A friend of mine stitched it and graciously donated her leftover threads and beads to me. I couldn’t resist doing this one for Halloween. I hope it will be done (even if it doesn’t get framed on time).   Unfortuantely, I still have a ways to go.   I have been really slow on this one.

 

Am I Lucky or What???

And last, but not least, I went to a neighboring quilt group meeting, Pieces and Patches. They had a very entertaining speaker that evening, Amy Walsh. She and Janine Burke have been publishing patterns under the company name, Blue Underground Studios, since 2005. The patterns are more modern than my usual choices, but they are absolutely lovely.   And lucky me, I won their favorite pattern, “In and Out.”  I can’t wait to try it.   They tell us that their patterns are easy and quick to make and great choices for using up your stash of fabric.

And from Inspired Needle Blog, I won a lovely patriotic needlework pattern.   Please visit her website as well as the blog.   I will save this one to work on for next summer!

 Hope you have enjoyed my photos……….until next time……………Amities,  Averyclaire

Happy Spring…

Yes…it’s been six weeks…going on two months. I’m just not good at posting often. I hope you will all forgive me for the times you visited and found nothing new. But….I HAVE been enjoying my retirement.

I am slowly working on “Briar Rabbit.” Love him, but he’s really tedious. It’s a Cedar Hill pattern (I love their patterns), but can’t wait to have him done and framed. I wanted to do a rabbit for Easter, but I must not be in the mood. Perhaps my focus has been more on quilting lately. Ahhh…whereever the spirit pours out the creativity I guess.

Here’s a peek at the quilt top I have created for our new baby granddaughter-to-be due to arrive in July. Her name is going to be “Maya” and her Mom likes Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit……so……here are some of the blocks. Here’s Peter….with an embroidered flower garland….

and here’s Johnny Town Mouse, Hunca Munca and Tom Thumb….

and some pretty flowers….

and here’s Nutkin smelling the embroidered flower…

and some hearts and birds and pretty scrolls….

and here’s Jemima Puddle-Duck and friend….

along with a lunch basket and some carrots…

another flower…..

and voila…..the quilt top waiting to be quilted.

The block patterns came from the book “More William Morris Applique” by Michelle Hill. Her pattern was made with William Morris fabrics. I wanted something more pastel and I wanted to make it larger. So I added sashing where there was none….and I added the blocks with the letters to spell the name “Maya.” I drew the letters by hand. And because it was so very pastel I also added the flange cording around the blocks and sashing. It helps to separate something so pastel that does not have a lot of contrast. The blocks were machine appliqued.

There will soon be a baby shower and I hope the top is quilted and complete in time for the big day. It was a lot of fun to make and prodded my creative touch with the changes I made to the pattern. It now measures about 40 x 50.

And last but not least….I made a new cushion (approx. 16″ x 50″) for my son and daughter-in-law’s foyer bench. A request that somehow remained set aside for more than a year. It feels good to check things off the to-do list.

I pray all of you are enjoying warmer weather and hints of Spring. My walks on these warm days are delightful and inspiring. Back to the rest of the “to-do” list….

Til next time……Amities, Averyclaire

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