Finished Needlework

My Santa ornament is a pattern from Drawn Thread. It took a little longer to finish, but it is a lovely design. I especially love the backside of the ornament…Peace and Joy. Says it all for the season.

I adore this little Scotty dog. It is a gift for someone and I couldn’t post it until I was sure it was received. Tartan is one of my favorites. This pattern is from the magazine Just Cross Stitch Christmas ornament edition for 2009.

This reindeer was a freebie ornament from last year that I didn’t get around to working on until now. It only took a couple of hours to complete the entire piece including finishing. I have no idea who designed it and I don’t remember where it came from, but I think it’s lovely. I did add a bit of holly and berry to the original pattern.

Finished in time for Halloween was my little “Humbug.” I do not know why it is called a humbug…perhaps someone out there knows. But it was quick to stitch…done on a rectangular small piece of fabric then sewed into this triangular shape. Makes a cute little pincushion. There is going to be a series of these “humbugs”…the next one coming out in January (House of Stitches will have it). I love the little owl pin that went with it. I have a little robin as well.


I hope by this time next year I will have been able to actually design some of my own ornaments!  But for now I have truly enjoyed the fruits of others hard work and talent. Hope all of you are enjoying the holiday season and preparations for a blessed Christmas.

A bientôt….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. 


French Sampler

Full BicycletteHere is my second finish of the year…not saying much since it is already April. However, it was a fun project. The pattern is from french designer by the name of Isabelle Haccourt Vautier called “A Bicyclette.” I purchased the pattern from a little needlework shop in Colorado called Stitcher’s Garden. They have a section of their shop and webpage called “The French Quarter.” This section has this pattern and many other lovely French patterns. It is a really nice shop with fair prices and wonderful people! The sampler worked up quickly and was fun to do. It was done on 32 ct. Belgian Linen with Threadworx overdyed, slightly variegated thread, Woodlawn Green #1048. I have already prepared it for framing. It’s an odd size so I will probably have to mat and frame it myself…too expensive to have it done. Oh…and I really do love to ride my bicycle!

A Bicyclette


I’m working now on cleaning up my art room so that I can actually walk into the room and get to my sewing machine. I have a LOVELY art room, but sadly this winter I’ve just piled things into the room and can’t work in it anymore! Hopefully, it will be done before too long.

New Sampler

Bicyclette BEECan’t understand where my days go anymore. It seems there is little time for surfing all your blogs that I love so much, little time for sewing, embroidery, quilting, and all the rest. Just working at the office seems to consume my days and leaves me exhausted at night with my eyes too crossed to see clearly to do much of anything. It’s beginning to sound like a broken record to me.  However….

Here is a little bit of heaven I found at The Stitcher’s Garden in Colorado. It’s by a french designer by the name of Isabelle Vautier. Francophile that I am, I couldn’t resist. It’s been a long time since I’ve done a sampler. Don’t you just love my “BEE”…I think it’s grand. The sampler should finish to about 12.9 inches by 5.5 inches. The pattern shows it in red thread, but I chose a cream Belgian Linen, 32 count, with green Threadworx overdyed floss. I love the one shaded color, but I preferred the green to the red. It is coming along slowly as I am trying to do a couple of other projects as well.

Bicyclette A



 The Stitcher’s Garden carries lots of french patterns…lots of different assorted styles.  I haven’t seen french needlework patterns at any shops near me, so this one has been really fun for me.

First Project for 2009

Violets closeupYes, it is finally completed…my violets needlework for my sister-in-law. It will take a special mat and frame to truly make it lovely. As I mentioned before, my late mother-in-law’s name was Violet. This gift is for her daughter who is still having a hard time with Mom’s passing. I hope it will make her smile.Violets Completed

misssaigonIt’s been done for a while, but since I’ve been home from vacation I’ve had a bad cold and been catching up with work at the office. Oh well. I did get a bit of fun in this week however. I was able to have dinner one evening with two of my good friends, Joan and Pat. After dinner we saw the play “Miss Saigon” at Drury Lane Theatre in Oak Brook. The music was phenomenal, the voices were stupendous, and the sound and light effects were out of this world. I am so thrilled I was able to have this opportunity. I love plays. But back to reality. And back to work on my projects for my Pay It Forward surprises.

Home Again

Temari Ball2A big thank you to Jane for the beautiful gift I received in the mail while I was away in Colorado.   As a winner of her Pay It Forward Award, she sent me a beautiful Temari Ball.   She has made many of them and each one is different.  On her blog she has just recently posted directions for making the core of the Temari Balls.  It is very interesting.  Stop in and take a look at World Embroideries to see how it is done.  Thank you so MUCH Jane for the lovely gift.  I am still working on the gifts for the two who won my Pay It Forward.

Thank you too for all of you who sent well wishes and prayers for my son.  He is recovering slowly and making excellent progress.   In another three to five months or so he will be back to normal.   I was so fortunate to have been able to spend this week or so with him and see for myself how he is doing.   This trip to Colorado was a very special time for us.Sunset in Colorado  Here is one of their lovely sunsets.







On our return trip we did a little detour and did some middle-of-the-winter touristy things.   We stopped in Custer State Park to see the free roaming buffalo and other animals. Buffalo2  The buffalo amaze us.  


Then the beauty of the Pronghorn antelope is so refined.






mountain goatWe did a quick visit to Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills and saw a wooly mountain goat grazing.Mt.Rushmore







The Quilted MooseQuilted Moose2On the way home, I did manage to find the quilt shop that Jill from Cottonwood Quilts in Niwot, Colorado told me about.   It was not hard to find and it certainly was well worth the trip.   The owner, Debbie, has done a fantastic job of having a LARGE variety of fabrics, patterns, threads, etc. for her customers.   It is a delightful shop and it seems to be busy with lots of things going on all the time.   They do quite a bit of internet business as well.   So stop in to see them at The Quilted Moose in Gretna, Nebraska.  It is a lovely town just west of Omaha, Nebraska.  It was difficult to walk out of the store without spending a fortune.   I could have bought one of this and one of those and some of these….etc. etc.   Since my sewing room is shamedly stuffed already with things I haven’t finished…I refrained and just picked up some small pieces of fabric I had been seaching for.


Fiber HiderOne special find of this trip to Colorado came from The Stitcher’s Garden in Longmont, Colorado.   Nancy showed me a delightful tool called a “Fiber Hider.”    It is super for all kinds of thread or yarn.   One can just slip the looped end under your threads and pull the tail through with the other hooked end.   It is a bit pricey ($30…would make a delicious gift), but once I had it…well I can’t imagine not having one now!!   And I love the little silver turtles.    In the past week, I have used it over and over again!  Don’t know what I did without it.

Hi from Colorado

Boulder and the RockiesHello everyone…I’m still in Colorado, but wanted to give an update.  My son is doing exceptionally well, albeit he must be very careful and do nothing but walk, lay down and take it easy for at least another month.   The surgery appears to have been a great success.  He always told me the weather in Colorado here was mild compared to Chicago and I used to tell him he was telling falsehoods.   However, it’s the middle of winter and it is to be in the 50s tomorrow!! with beautiful sunshine.  Eat your hearts out those of you back in Chicago!   I love driving into Boulder, Colorado and being able to see the Rockies and the city below.

On the trip out here we like to stop at some interesting places…and for me, of course, I look for quilt and needlework stores.   Our first side trip was in the Amana Colonies.   There is a WONDERFUL quilt shop there.  Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos of this one, but believe me it is worth the side trip.   Heritage Designs is to be featured in Quilt Sampler Magazine soon.   They are not only a quilt store, but also a needlework shop.   A great place to visit.  I can’s seem to find a website for them…but be sure to drop in when passing through.

Fons & PorterLater that same day we made the side trip to Winterset, Iowa.   Here one can find the home of Fons and Porters Quilt Store.  You know how one can never seem to find good light fabric…well I found quite a collection to my liking.   I collect patches from famous places I have been, mostly state parks, etc., but I found a lovely patch from Winterset with a quilt block in the middle.  The patch is a fundraiser for the Bridges of Madison County there.  Another great place to visit, so be sure to take the time to stop here.

John Wayne

Not far around the corner from the Fons and Porter shop, one can find the birthplace of our own famous John Wayne!   It was late in the day, but the visitor’s center called ahead and the delightful caretaker opened his shop for us.   Now that’s service you don’t find at home!   If you like John Wayne…this is a must.


Stitchers Garden1I told my daughter-in-law to go skiing with her friends in the moutains for a few days, for a break away from the caregiving.  So after spending some time with my son, helping out with the daily things like, walks around the block, laundry, shopping, cleaning, cooking, etc., I managed to sneek out with the use of our trusty GPS, and found this SUPER needlework shop, The Stitcher’s Garden, in Longmont, Colorado on Main Street.    I couldn’t stop myself and spent far too much money.

Stitchers Garden2

Nancy who helped me out was delightful, even serging the edges of the fabric I purchased.   Again…service beyond compare!!   The shop has a little bit of everything…something for everyone.   I even had to go back again this week and make a second purchase.   And since I will be here for a while…no doubt I’ll go back at least one more time.  This is a MUST stop for anyone in the Longmont, Colorado vicinity…about 20 minutes north of Boulder.  But if you can’t make it here, the online shop is great and so is Nancy.


Cottonwood Quilts1

 Today I found a quilt shop nearby in Niwot, called Cottonwood Quilts.   What a great place!   It’s just a short drive north from Boulder.  First of all, the town is a delight in itself.   A quaint little town with old fashioned buildings and lovely people.   Jill at Cottonwood Quilts is a lovely lady and  charming person who not only helped me out with my purchase, but went  so far as to give me handwritten directions to another special quilt shop to visit on the way home!  You know how each quilt store has its own “ambiance”…well, I loved this one.   It’s warm and inviting and the people in the shop were just as delightful.   I know I will have to stop in again before I leave Colorado.   And I know I will shop here again on my next visit to Colorado.  Feel free to drop in to see them online.CottonwoodQuilts2

 Now I have to take those directions that Jill from Cottonwood Quilts gave me for The Quilted Moose in Gretna, Nebraska, and program them into our GPS, so I don’t have any trouble at all finding this quilt shop on the way home.

Gee…taking care of my son here in Colorado is turning out to be much more fun than anticipated!   And I feel like I’ve made new friends in the quilt and needlework shops of Colorado!


Violets 4Here is my almost done “violets” needlework.   I have to finish the ribbon and backstitch all the flowers, etc.  and last but not least put in the lovely saying in the center.   Hopefully it will be done soon.

For a couple of weeks now I’ll be in Colorado assisting in the care of my recuperating son.   I am so very anxious to be there with him…I can’t wait to go.   His recovery is VERY slow, but normal I guess for this type of surgery.   Keep on praying.   Thank you to everyone for your comments and emails.   I’ll try to get back to each of you soon.

Needlework Update

violets 3Here again is a photo of my slow, but steady, progress on my “violets” needlework.   It has been relaxing to sit in the morning and evening, before and after work, doing a bit of stitching.  The sparkle of the Kreinik blending filament is lovely and the Kreinik braid (which I had never used) is quite delightful as well.  I wish I had more hours to work on it.   Alas the office beckons.

Michael is coming home from the hospital today.   He needs to be flat on his back for two weeks.   But Michelle has rented a recliner chair that reclines flat and also automatically will bring him into a standing position.   Smart lady.   I love her dearly.  Thank you again for your continued prayers….no sign of infection yet.

We are expecting a lot of snow today 4-8 inches.   For Chicago, this is not a big thing.   We are used to having crazy snowy, cold winters.   But my heart goes out to all of you who live in the Northwest, Washington state has had devastating weather.   If any of us bloggers can offer our prayers or support in any way, please let us know.

A Couple of Favorites

snowmanI know that Christmas is done and so is the new year holiday…but before I put away the Christmas decorations this week, I wanted to share with you a couple of my favorites this year.

I LOVE this snowman. It came from the White Barn Candle Company and contains an evergreen candle. I haven’t burned the candle inside, but I adore the snowman. He is so shiny and reflective and jolly. It was a great addition to my Christmas decorations this year. But alas, it is past now and I must think about taking down all the decorations that took so long to put up. It will look so plain! I love my tree and all the decorations. Probably because I didn’t have any at all last year!

strausborg ornieAnother of my favorite ornaments is one my friend, Maggy (who lives in France), sent me last year…a wooden ornament from Strausborg. She sent me a couple of them. Her daughter lives there and she got them when they visited during the Christmas market time. The ornaments are so delicate and lovely and looked beautiful on my tree.

Another really fun thing I did this weekend was to be able to speak with Maggy. She lives in France and for me to call her costs me $1.00 per minute…so I just never do. But now I have a computer program (downloaded for free) called Skype. Probably ALL of you out there know all about it, but it is an amazing new-found, fun-filled tool for me. Maggy doesn’t have Skype, but I could talk to her from my computer to her phone for half an hour for only 82 cents. And my son, who lives in Colorado I could speak with for free. I not only could speak to him, but we share live video calls as well. It is so amazing to me to be able to see my son living 1000 miles away like we were having a cup of tea at the table. And for Maggy….well, there are no words…I was just plain thrilled!! It doesn’t take much to make me happy!!

violets 2Here is another update of the latest needlework I began over the holidays. [For some reason the beautiful rose colored fabric never looks quite nice in the photos.] Not much progress…but a little each day. I am having trouble doing such close work. I guess I need new glasses, or some kind of magnifying thing. I have one, but it seems cumbersome to use. I will have to look for a new one. Anyhow, I am enjoying the cross-stich and I know my SIL will love it.

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