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

Sophia’s Sampler

It’s been a busy couple of weeks….but in the evenings I managed to get this sampler completed. It’s called Sophia’s Sampler by Cedar Hill.   (I had to have it because my granddaughter’s name is Sophia.)    I chose 32 ct. Lamb’s Wool Linen and modified the sampler by leaving out a design area I did not want in order to make it a perfect square.    I love the colors of the flowers at the top.

Now I am sewing daily on an art quilt.   It’s taking ALL of my free time.      I would love to tell you that it will be finished by my next post, but I doubt it!!!     Tomorrow we are going to celebrate Father’s Day here.    Both of our father’s have long since passed, but I have a son and son-in-law nearby who are fathers….as well as my DH…..so I will do the cooking and celebrate with all of them.

Amities…….Averyclaire

Canvas Work

We’ve been away in our RV for a little rest and relaxation, but here’s another one to add to the “need to be finished” list. It is a canvas work piece that I did last month with my new needlework group. It is meant to be placed in the lid of a wooden box. I do not have the box yet, nor do I have a frame for it….so it will have to wait. One could continue on with more designs around the edges, but I stopped at this point because this is what will fit into the box I am hoping to purchase.

It has been many years since I have done any type of canvas work. And now I have decided that I did not enjoy the canvas work because the “see thru” canvas distorts my vision. I found this to be hard on my eyes and very tiring. I think I like cross-stitch and other types of embroidery much better.

After requesting advice on finishing in my last post, it appears that most people are in the same position as me….”procrastinators.” I think I enjoy too many things. I love my needlework. Really enjoy working in my garden now that the weather is lovely. I am in the middle of a HUGE quilt that is already two years late for my son’s wedding gift. I have upholstery fabric to make armchair covers, antimacassars and a footstool cover for my two wing back chairs. I have upholstery fabric to make pillows and two chair covers for our RV. I have upholstery fabric to cover my husband’s footstool to match the Morris Chair he made (which I upholstered)…..the list goes on and on and on!!!!! Not to mention I have committed to make some things for my quilt group’s boutique sale which will take place on the first weekend in November. Ahhhhh….to have my “projects” completed and be free to do what I wish. One day this will happen. Do you all have projects like this as well???? I guess I don’t want to think that I am the only idiot who bites off more than she can chew at any given time!!!! I would love to be secretly involved in making surprise gifts for all my friends.

Amities, Averyclaire

Now I Just Need to Do the Finishing

My days have been filled with either office work or working on THE quilt…and my evenings have been spent doing needlework in front of the television. I don’t have any photos yet of the quilt…although progress IS being made. I am bound and determined to complete it before mid-summer…it’s my goal.

But I did complete some needlework. However, I am really bad at getting the final finishing completed. One reason is that the framing costs SO much money. But I don’t have any excuses for the last three ornaments I made and still haven’t done the “finishing.”

Here is my Eiffel Tower from Jardin Prive. I did change a couple of the motifs…the major one being adding my “bee.” I also changed a few other items. Now I just need a frame.

Here are a few photos of the 4th LHN ornament in the series. I have done the “finishing” on 1 and 2…but 3 and 4 are still waiting for the “finishing.” I already have 5 and 6 in the series waiting to be stitched….and number seven is coming out on May 25th!!!! Will I EVER get caught up? Maybe before Christmas? This is #4 called Snowy Pines. You can see them all or purchase one at Anita’s Little Stitches. I really like the colors and motifs in this one.

Does anyone else have trouble procrastinating with their “finishing”???     What’s the secret to getting it done?    Let me know.

In my next post, I’ll have photos of a project I did with my new needlework guild.

 Amities, Averyclaire

Another Gift

If you check my post of May 8th you will see a couple of gifts I received from my friend Maggy in an exchange. I received another gift from her for our exchange. It was really only supposed to be just one small item…but she made me not just those first two items, but another one now as well..!! I love this small book cover she did. I love sashiko stitching and hers is so tiny and exquisite. The pale blue fabric is lovely. And the fabric inside that lines the sashiko has the same clam shell motif….it’s perfect!!! The book inside has blank pages. This is just the kind of book I like to carry in my purse to jot down spontaneous notes when I am out. Thank you SO much Maggy.

Maggy knows that I really like the work of Marie-Therese St. Aubin. She also included in my surprise package, this book…”Papillons, coccinelles et aures bestioles.” Here are some photos of the book and a couple of the inside photos. It is such a beautiful book. It is surely on my list of projects now.

I just LOVE the snails!!!

And last, but not least, Maggy included for me some computer print-outs of French cross-stitch motifs….MORE for my list of projects…I just love them.

Thank you again Maggy….I adore ALL of my surprises. What an exchange!!!!

In my next post I’ll show you the needlework that I have completed in the last few weeks. Amities, Averyclaire

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