It is Finished and Hand Quilting Lives!

Yes…it is FINISHED! But first, I want to share a little story about the small quilt group of which I am a member. There are only three of us.These are the two ladies who have helped me quilt my king-sized quilt this past year, Carol and Jessica.

TIC--Carol Jessica

I have been quilting with these lovely ladies for several years now, but they have been together for eons! At one time there were four of us, but sadly Barb passed away a few years ago. Every Friday they came to my home and helped me quilt from 9:30 to 3:00. I provided lunch. Now that my quilt is finished, we will go to Jessica’s house to quilt a quilt for her until it is done, then we will be off to Carol’s house for her turn. Then the rotation begins again. They graciously agreed to help me with this huge 116×116″ quilt because I have a king sized bed and wanted an heirloom for my bed. I will be eternally grateful to them. I actually had tears in my eyes as we put the last stitches in the binding! I was so grateful for their help!

We started it on June 27, 2014 and it was just completed, a little over a year later.  There were many Fridays when we were unable to quilt due to family fun, illness, or vacations, etc. (35 weeks of actual quilting). I worked on it during the week whenever I could in between our Fridays. We spent about 120 hours quilting together the three of us and I spent another 108 hours quilting on my own.

TIC - Karen-Carol-Jessica

Carol is our most experienced quilter. Her home is filled with beautiful quilts. She has made so many that she is unable to count them from all the years past! Hand-piecing or hand-quilting was often done while traveling on the road with her husband. Carol has a wonderful color sense. When we have a problem with something Carol always can see the answer first. It is a pleasure to have such expertise knowledge available as she is quite talented. Each week before we quilt we have our tea-time and do a “show and ask.” Truly it’s educational and FUN!

Jessica has been quilting for a long time as well. She likes simple patterns and has made lots of them. A few years ago she began a business making table linens, aprons, quilts, and an assortment of other items. She has a website called Fiber Embellishments. Take a minute to browse her website and see the beautiful things she has made and offers her customers. Jessica is in the process of replicating an antique quilt that she owns. It has seen much love and is in sad need of replacement. So that will be our next quilt to work on when mine is finished.

After we finished the hand quilting….it came off the frame.

TIC off the frame

Then I spent some time squaring up the edges and trimming off the extra batting and backing.

TIC - trimming

Once it was all trimmed Carol and Jessica helped with the binding and soon it went into the washing machine and then outside to dry first in the shade of the morning sun…then in the bright sunlight.

Tic drying in the shade

TIC - drying in the sun

It got so windy that even rocks on the corners of the quilt couldn’t hold it down…so I hung it on the line to let the autumn breezes do their thing!

TIC - drying in the wind

TIC - Drying in the wind2

Tic - drying close up

And FINALLY on the bed! It looks so beautiful and the autumn breezes made my whole room as fragrant as the outdoors!

TIC on the bed

I can vouch that having a hand-quilting group, however small, is wonderful. We have become good friends and enjoy spending the day together. If you are a hand-quilter, you should consider something similar. It is delightful and nice to have some help with hand-quilting! And lots of fun.

Thanks for taking the time to visit. Hope you have enjoyed all of my photos. Lots more finishing photos to come soon. Amities, Averyclaire

It’s Off the Frame!

I had GREAT fun this past weekend with the Grow Your Blog Party.   I have met SO MANY wonderful people and have seen such exquisite work and great blogs!   Thank you very much to Vicki of 2 Bags Full for coordinating this.  I am quite sure it was an overwhelming amount of work!   Looking forward to seeing more of the beautiful work that I saw last weekend.

Yellow Whole Cloth - Copyright

Yes…my yellow whole cloth quilt is almost completed.  I took it off the frame last week, squared it up and put on the binding.  Then it was soaked and washed (to get all the pencil marks out).  I love the look of it being all crinkled up nicely just like an antique quilt!  To be honest, I was TERRIFIED that some of the pencil marks might not come out.   This was a quilt I had begun years ago and stuffed in a drawer until last spring.  I took it out re-marked some of the lines and finished hand quilting it a couple of weeks ago.  Luckily all  of the pencil lines disappeared.  I am working now on trapunto-ing the flowers and leaves (corners and center circle). It is not taking as long as I thought it might…goes rather quickly.   Ahhh….I will be able to check another UFO off of my list!  I am in love with this new addition to my quilt collection!

U make my heart happy 1

Also finished this small cross-stitch done on 32 ct. linen, finished with twisted pearl cotton and has a wool back. The pattern is from Homespun Elegance and is called “You Make My Heart Happy.” I made this small gift for a dear friend who lives in France, Maggy, for her birthday.  It can be used as a pincushion, a door hanger or a small wall hanging.  She received it in the mail last week and loved it.

Thanks again to all of you who stopped in to visit my blog during the blog hop…and to all those to signed up as regular visitors. I am delighted and honored.
I hope to see more of your lovely work soon.

Amities, Averyclaire

Progress

Well friends, I am trying to keep to my New Year’s hopes and have created a random rotation of ten projects.   Here are some photos of the work IN PROGRESS.   Yes…I am actually posting again!!

First is my yellow whole cloth quilt that is nearly finished and I hope to have it done SOON.  You can see that I am nearly at the end of the quilting.   I am hoping to do some trapunto work when it is finished in the floral areas…but we will see.

Yellow Whole Cloth Quilt

Next is a “flock” of ornaments. I began them too late for Christmas, but it will be nice to have them done for next year.   The pattern is Cardinal Tweet from Just Nan.   I decided to make four of them (they are two sided).  Making four seemed just as easy as making one!

Cardinal Ornaments

And my third project I am working on is a block of the month I began from Top Shelf Quilts in Frankfort, IL. It is called Saturday Soiree. I really love red and white quilts, but this is turning out to be a LOT of work.  It will be set on the diagonal with sixteen blocks.  I actually have all the setting squares completed, but I have not completed the main blocks yet.   The original pattern called for only twelve blocks, but I purchased four extra ones and all the extra fabric I needed to make it larger.   (Am I crazy?)

Saturday Soiree

It’s been so cold and snowy here in Chicago that staying inside, keeping warm and cozy, has helped the progress on my projects to keep rolling along!  Hope all of you are on the track to needlework success for the new year!     Until next time, amities, Averyclaire

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.

IMAG0276

IMAG0278

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

Hand Appliqued and Hand Quilted

Here is my hand-appliqued quilt top. It is an Editar Sitar pattern (Sweet Sixteen – there are 16 blocks – 76 x 76) done in colors of my choosing (love that stash). It took me about a year to do the 16 appliqued blocks and then it was about 3 months to be hand-quilted. My two hand-quilting friends, Carol and Jessica,  came faithfully each Friday to help me finish the quilt top.  Lots of lovely days spent together over the quilt frame and lunch. We worked from 9:30 to 3:30 every Friday. I couldn’t be happier with it and it is now one of my favorite quilts.

Sweet Sixteen HQ1

Sweet Sixteen HQ2

Sweet Sixteen HQ3

Some years ago I won some blocks from my guild. “Bento Box” they were called. I won 16 blocks–not enough for a quilt. So a friend donated to me a small bag of oriental scraps and I made 32 more blocks for a total of 48 and made a twin size quilt using wide indigo sashing. Then I spent a very, very long time hand quilting it with a clam shell design. It now hangs over the back of my sofa. It feels SO GOOD to have this one finished.   Love the light blue sashiko quilting…looks lovely on the indigo.

big stitch quilting sashiko 1

Bento Box HQ1

Bento Box HQ3

I have two more quilts I am actively working on now.   I will show those in the next post or two.   Oh, and another one coming back from the long-arm quilter soon.   Can’t wait to see it finished!

Hope all of you out there are having fun working on using up stash, finishing UFOs, and diligently working on your WIPs.   My family tells me that people could do their quilt shopping here.   I don’t think so, because I couldn’t part with my fabrics or patterns or books.    But perhaps I do have enough stuff that I could quilt and do needlework for at least another 20 years and not have to buy anything!   Of course that’s ridiculous….because I never seem to have just the right pattern, or just the right fabric and have to go shopping myself!

Amities, Averyclaire

Nana’s Garden, Kitchen, and Les Muguets Day

After completing a couple of needlework projects, I turned to my quilting again.   I made this twin-size Pinwheel quilt top some time ago (perhaps a year or two) and finally layered it and machine quilted it.   It was a free pattern that came in the mail from McCall’s Quilting entitled Summer At Mom’s…I call it Nana’s Garden. I used up a LOT of my floral scraps in the blocks and a LOT more on the scrappy back.  There were many hours spent quilting special “fleur de lis” designs in each block and lots of vines, leaves, and flowers in the border.   But once it was washed the specialty quilting is now barely visible.   But I adore the crinkled look of this quilt.   So for all of you who think you don’t machine quilt very well….just do it and wash it right away…Voila! an antique looking quilt!

Pinwheel 1

If you look hard you can see the vines, leaves and flowers quilted in the border above and the fleur-de-lis quilting in the block below.

Pinwheel 2

DSC_0012-001

Don’t you just love that crinkled look of the quilt after washing…..and even better yet….with the scrappy back you get two quilts in one!

Pinwheel 4

As I mentioned on my last post, here is a photo of the Les Muguets Day gift I made for my friend Maggy.   And I have one just like it.   It makes my kitchen look all “Spring-like” and sunny!

Spring table runner

And Maggy sent to me this lovely “sac a boutons” which she handmade for me.   I love it!   Thank you Maggy!

Button Bag

Well, two more projects completed in the winter months. One unfinished quilt now complete, and a new project for fun.

Come back again in a day or two to see my completed hand appliqued, hand quilted finish!

Amities, Averyclaire

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