Gratitude

This has been a difficult year for the family in many ways, but it is with much GRATITUDE that I share the following photos. All three of my children are avid dog lovers and each of them lost a dear member of their family this past year. While all of us were stricken with sadness and grief, we are eternally GRATEFUL for the love they gave to everyone. While their departures left holes in everyones’ hearts, the memories they leave behind are filled with love, laughter, and GRATITUDE for having been a part of our family.

The first photo is of Ollie. He was a King German Shepherd who passed away suddenly of stomach bloat at the young age of 8 years old. He was a well-behaved and loveable guy who loved to play ball. He is missed by all.

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This lovely lady is Birdy. She was a Border Collie/German Shepherd mix who actually smiled when we arrived for a visit. She was gentle and kind and oh so huggable! She died of old age at the age of 17! Again missed by all.

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And last, but not least, and the most recent loss, is this beautiful lady, Razzle. She was an Alaskan Malamute. Larger than life, she would “WOO” for you when you arrived and immediately roll over for a belly rub. Such a sweetheart! She passed suddenly from an aneurysm at the young age of 7. Very much missed by all.

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During this past year I managed to complete one quilt. This was made as a gift for someone. The soft colored batik squares make this quilt just lovely. I have always wanted to do some straight line machine quilting and quilted this one only 1/2 inch apart. It turned out perfect. I can’t wait to give it to the person it is meant for.

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For myself personally, I am GRATEFUL for all my family and friends who sent flowers, cards and gifts in the past month or so. It was appreciated more than you will ever know! I had not been feeling well for several months and suddenly found myself in the hospital having emergency surgery at the beginning of March. It has been six weeks now and I am a new person. Still need to build up my stamina for all my activities, but I feel VERY WELL! Thank you again for your kindness!

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And lastly, I am GRATEFUL for many boring days during my recuperation when I finally got up the desire to work on some needlework. I managed to complete about HALF of my “Tulips” cross-stitch piece. I still have a long way to go. But to me HALF done is ALMOST done. SMILE

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Happy Spring to everyone! It has finally arrived in Chicago. Although I would like it to be a little warmer, I will take what is given.

Amities, Averyclaire

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Zippered Bag

This past year and already into the new year I have been busy teaching French Boutis classes and designing new patterns. I also have done several quilt trunk shows for quilt groups.

After many months my new French Boutis Zippered Bag pattern is published on Etsy as a complete kit and as a PDF downloadable pattern. The small bag when completed measures about 5 x 7.5 inches. It has a 12 inch zipper and is lined with beautiful fabric.

Once again French Boutis is an ancient art. Simply done, two pieces of special fabric are sewn together with a small running stitch (quilting stitch) on drawn pattern lines. Then a double strand of Boutis yarn is drawn through the channels from the reverse side giving the piece a raised relief. (Similar to trapunto but has no batting.) Traditional Boutis is done on white batiste fabric. However, I have fallen in love with the Provencal bright colors. Hence my colorful kits.

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Luscious Provencal colors are available with the kit including beautiful lining fabrics. The fabric is 100% pima cotton and the linings are carefully chosen 100% cotton quilting fabrics.

For those not interested in a kit, the pattern and instructions are available in PDF downloadable form. However, the pattern must be enlarged 129% from 8-1/2 x 11 inch paper to 11 x 17 inch paper. It was reduced for ease in printing. A full size pattern is included in the kit.

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Alas there has not been much time left for my other interests such as stitching. I hope this year allows more time and better health!

Please visit me on Etsy or Instagram at “Averyclaire222“.

Amities, Averyclaire

Autumn Returns … and so do I

Some of my Autumn favorites! THANK YOU FOR RETURNING HERE to see what’s new!

Yes, it’s been nearly two months since I last posted! I have been in absentia! Sometimes life gets in the way of having fun! But I won’t bore you with details.

One thing I must announce to all is that I have ended my “finishing business.” It was creative and wonderful to help others with making their gorgeous stitching into lovely “finishes.” But it became so busy that there was no time left for my own stitching, gardening, quilting, boutis or even family time. My health was not perfect and life became stressful. So TY to all those who trusted me with their projects. I was happy to serve all of you for those two years.

With my free time I am feeling better and slowly getting back to normal. Here is a quilt I had in the works for some time now finally complete. You can zoom in on it to see details of the quilting and lovely batiks.  NOTE:  Yes, it is hand embroidered with a black/brown DMC thread.

And another one in the works:

My last stitching project begun 1-1/2 years ago remains undone:

But I have been working on some new Boutis designs seen here. Patterns soon to be available.

And a large white on white 24″x24″ piece for myself.

And last but not least are my patterns seen below that I sell on my Etsy page. I also have been teaching them to needlework and quilting groups.

Hand dyed batiste will soon be available for purchase on my Etsy page as well.

Amities, in friendship, Averyclaire

French Boutis Scissor Case

French Boutis is an ancient form of French quilted needlework. Traditionally it is all white on white, but I adore the bright Provencal colors and created this SCISSOR CASE to entice people to learn this art. It is done with a small running stitch and a back stitch on two pieces of batiste, then yarn is drawn through the channels to give it a raised relief. I am working VERY hard to bring this art to the USA. I teach classes for a minimal fee and sell beginner kits on my ETSY AVERYCLAIRE page. The kit is available in a variety of colors (8 different colors) and includes everything you need to complete one scissor case. Please tell your quilting and needlework groups!

UPDATE:  This pattern calls for a silk covered snap. I have provided the materials in the kit, but I put the tutorial at the top of this page for all to use.

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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.

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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

 

New Business and Some Old Finishes

NEW BUSINESS: Just recently I began a small finishing business for your projects. There is a new page which you can look at on the top of my blog called Finishing Services and another for Finishing Estimates.

Here are a few items I finished in the past couple of weeks.

An elegant Needlepoint Ornament for The Southpaw Stitcher which is dressed with a red velvet backing.

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Briar Rabbit looks quite handsome finished as a flat-fold with his regal gold cording.

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The small project bag I made (6″ x 7.5″) can hold threads and small items for stitching. The inside is a pretty as the outside. This bag and the next larger one are both lined and interfaced with a stabilizer.

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The larger red paisley project bag (11.5″ x 13.5″) will hold most size patterns and stitching in progress. I love the charms I found for the zipper pull. The needlework is antiqued with instant antique spray. These project bags can be made any size and can be made with your needlework on the front or plain. I plan to make several for myself!

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OLD FINISHES: An old FINISH from my PhD list (projects half done) (and number two monkey on my back) is my 101 x 101 inch red and white quilt. HAPPY DANCE!! If you recall on one of my previous posts I showed this quilt stuffed under my home sewing machine. I managed to quilt around all the blocks and sashing, then I did the quilting in the sashing and cornerstones. At this point I began to free-motion quilt the blocks…DISASTER!!! The quilt was simply TOO heavy, TOO bulky, and just plain TOO big for me and it broke my sewing machine. So I found a long-arm quilter who agreed to finish it even though I had it half done. Finishing the 404 inches of hand sewn binding was quite satisfying. I was able to check it off my PhD list without all the nightmares trying to stuff it into my machine. I will NEVER attempt to free-motion another LARGE quilt on my home machine. To be perfectly honest, I think I am sorry I participated in this block of the month.  It turned out to be very expensive and now I really don’t like it.  C’est la vie!  Although it fits my full size guest bed nicely (draping way down like a “bedspread”) and it even fits my king size bed (albeit it could be somewhat wider). It will be good for a change of decor from my other quilts.

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My number one monkey the King Sized Red/Green/White Triple Irish Chain is making steady progress. There are only one and half rows left plus one of the four borders to go. My Friday quilt friends haven’t been here for most of June due to vacations or commitments for all of us, but I did do a LOT of quilting on my own to speed up the progress. WHOO HOO…the end is in sight, literally!

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Happy Summer…keep cool while stitching! Amities, Averyclaire

“Hoppy Easter!” + PhD Update

Happy Easter to all my blogging friends! Here is a little Easter decoration I made for the season.
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It is from Trilogy on 32 ct. linen. I left off the alphabet that comes at the bottom of the pattern, turned around the bottom border to be opposite the one at the top and added the ribbon.  Happy Easter to All!

I actually did work on my unfinished projects…but slowly. I went away to Colorado in January/February to care for my son (who was in a 12 week recuperation after serious back surgery) and my little 3-1/2 year old granddaughter while his wife was out of town. When I returned it was difficult to get the MOJO back for the PhDs. However…here is my completed Halloween Fairy.

Halloween Fairy framed

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It is seriously difficult to photograph something that has already been framed and sealed under glass! I will remember for next time!

Slow progress being made, but coming along nicely is my Lily of the Valley collage.   Here are the before and after photos from last post.

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Lily of the Valley Collage progress

Still quite a ways to go.

And last but not least are two projects completed a LONG TIME AGO…but are finally professionally framed. They are cross-stitched replicas of two Indian rugs which I did for my husband to hang on the wall in his den.

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There is NO progress to report on my large red and white quilt which I was machine quilting myself….it remains unfinished.  No work done on the Lorna Bateman pin cushion either.

We are now on row five of the nine rows of the huge king size red and green Irish Chain quilt. Lots of work to go, but steady progress being made.

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I worked on a couple of other small needlework projects which I will show next time. So much for the long  grey Chicago winter.  I think Spring is finally coming…the daffodials are peeking up and a few crocuses are blooming!

A Blessed and Happy Easter to all….Amities, Averyclaire

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