Happy Memorial Day!!

A very special thank you to all the men and women serving our country and helping to keep us safe!!

It’s been a LONG couple of months. First we were away in Colorado for some time, then I was ill, and then finishing up on some projects and a lot of work in the house and garden. Time heals all.

My DIL loved the quilt I made for the new baby-to-be (only six more weeks to go). Helping them set up the nursery was truly fun. And the baby shower was wonderful. Her friends made these scrumptious cupcakes…..delightful to look at….”almost” too pretty to eat!!!

It was such fun creating this secret gift tote for my friend, Maggy, with whom I do an exchange for Les Muguets Day (Lily of the Valley Day which is May 1st in France). Her favorite color is purple.

She, in turn, made for me this LOVELY, Japanese folded origami pocket. I adore it. It has THREE little pockets, perfect for sewing supplies, nail items, etc. Her sewing is exquisite. Already I have put it to good use to carry my nail files, etc. in my purse. Also…a generous friend of hers, Elaine, decided to make for me a lovely French apron. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful friend of a friend!!! Thank you so much Maggy and Elaine. [Correction: Maggy also made the apron…but her friend did some decorative stitching on the pockets. I love it Maggy and Elaine…thank you]

After recuperating for some weeks, I finally completed my scrappy tablecloth quilt (about 62 inches square). It is machine pieced, hand appliqued, then straight line machine quilted by me…and the applique border I free-motion quilted around the applique by adding lovely leaves whereever they would fit. I used a thin cotton batting. It is perfect on my kitchen table and will certainly warm my kitchen during Autumn.

And last, but not least, I have been working on another applique quilt. So far I have two of the sixteen blocks completed (16.5 inches square). I do love handwork. Although I have spent all of my time on the quilts and, alas, have not completed any “needlework” projects. But the applique blocks are fun and a change of pace for my fingers.

That’s all for now. I know that’s not much news for two months of absence….but I did miss all of you and am happy to be back.

Til next time….Amities, Averyclaire

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It’s Been A Quilting Week

My quilt quild does a new quilt every two years to put up for raffle. Members are asked to make a block…fabric and instructions are included except for the tone on tone pink fabrics which we provided. This next quilt will be the Carolina Lily.

It was the block from HELL. I think the instructions were “antique” as well as the design. I absolutely love the block and think the finished quilt will be exquisite, but the pieces did not fit together properly and I had to cut, recut, sew, resew!!! I am happy it is finished. We were asked NOT to square it up in the end…I imagine that everyone’s will have slightly different measurements. Mine actually measures the 14-1/2″ it was supposed to be. Hallelujah!!!! Here are the photos of my block.

And here is a sneak peak at another project that I have been working on for a while. I LOVE SCRAP QUILTS. The actual piecing was done a year or so ago, but took only about two weeks. It was put away while I was working full-time because I couldn’t be bothered with the appliqued border. The applique sure took a long time to prepare and even longer now to applique it. I am using just a blanket stitch simply because it will be laundered quite a bit. My plans are to use it as a table cloth (as it is about 60″ square). Half of the appliqued border is now finished. I really like the way it looks. What do you think?

When one does needlework and quilting and gardening and reading, etc. etc. etc., it is hard to decide what project to work on at any given time. I guess I am just a jack-of-all-trades….master of NONE!!!!

And last but not least….I thought I would wish EVERYONE a Happy Valentine’s Day! Hugs and Much Love to All of You.

Amities, Averyclaire

Barn Quilts, Woolen Shop and More

I spent this past weekend in Cedar Rapids, Iowa with my lovely sister-in-law, Judy, and her friend, Kay.  We began the day with a trip to her local quilt shop, Pine Needles, for a fun quilt group to learn of all the latest things. This shop is quite famous and one of the nicest I have ever visited.  The weather was cold and rainy, but we had a great time anyway.

Then we went to Kalona, Iowa.  I share with you the postcard I picked up at the quilt shop we visited. There is a wonderful Barn Quilt Tour in Washington County to see amazing quilt blocks which are painted on the side of barns.  We saw quit a few of the painted quilt blocks as we drove into Kalona, but with the rain it wasn’t good for photos or a complete tour.  Maybe next year on a sunny day.

We promptly had a luscious lunch at the Tuscan Moon Restaurant. A super place with great food. Then walked across the street to the Willow Creek Quilt Shop (sorry no link), but a lovely quilt shop that just went on forever. Each nook was filled with a new treasure to behold.  It was hard talking myself out of buying everything.  A must see when in Kalona.

We skipped the Kalona Quilt Museum (as I actually had been there before…although it is a “great” place to visit), and left for Williamsburg, Iowa where Judy and Kay had discovered a wonderful wool shop on a previous trip. The Woolen Needle is just a lovely place to find lots of wool patterns and get the most beautiful hand-dyed wool. 

 

 

 There is nothing more wonderful and fun than spending a weekend with good friends.  Ahhhh.

Moving onto another topic….Each year at the beginning of November, my quilt group holds a holiday boutique.  All of our members make handmade things to sell.  Part of the profits go to our quilt group to sustain us during the year in order to have wonderful guest speakers at our meetings.  We also use our profits to buy fabric for charity projects.  For several years now, my contribution is a stack of baby blankets with teddy bears. On September 30th I showed a photo of a huge pile of flannel fabric.  Well here is part of the results my work.  I made about 14 blankets and teddy bears and have flannel for about 6 more (later maybe).  I also made up the “Moses Basket” to use for displaying my blankets.  While my children are all grown and my grandchildren are too old for baby blankets…they are still fun to make.