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

It’s Just One of Those Things

Sorry for not posting for three weeks, but it’s just one of those things.   My life has been consumed with work problems and solutions.   Today I begin training the new person who will take my place.   I have only two weeks left to teach that person everything.   It’s been very stressful and busy at work and at home.  I am definitely looking forward to working only two days per week.    I actually worked only two days per week for years, until I let them talk me into helping out full-time “temporarily” which turned into full-time for two years!   

My DH had a bad report on his cancer, so I worried and worried and worried.   It turned out to be a “false positive”….so we are in the clear again for now.   I feel as though I worried twenty years off my life, but perhaps I can gain it back again.   SMILE.   Life sure has it’s ups and downs.   Thank you to all of you who sent emails….I love reading your uplifting notes.

The weather has turned nicer now, and I will be able to work off some of that stress and frustration in my garden.   It’s soothing for the soul.

I managed to escape from the merry-go-round and spent a “little” time with my friends, just because they are such super people to be with.   And I needed their company so very much.   We went out for dinner and then saw the play Funny Girl…it was a delicious dinner and a delightful play.   Thank you Pat and Joan…I don’t know what I would do without you.   And thank you Maggy for being at the other end of my email 4,000 miles away.  My hands have not been idle…still working on unfinished needlework projects.   And I did join the Homewood Embroiderer’s Guild this month.   The group is lovely and inspiring.

I’ll post some new photos soon.     Thanks for stopping in for a visit.

For now….amities, Averyclaire

L’Adieu

Here is just a TINY beginning on my Marie Therese St. Aubin piece entitled “L’Adieu.” While perhaps Guillaume Appollinaire’s life might not have been to my choosing, his poem in this piece speaks of a long love. My DH and I have been married for 43 years (we married when we were two…SMILE) and I still adore him. Marie Therese St. Aubin does lovely work and I hope mine will be as beautiful. Amities, Averyclaire

It’s Been Too Long

ringaroundrosy998622-175Sorry to all my readers and followers and friends that I have not made a post for so long.   After spending long grueling hours at the office pouring over extremely complicated financial difficulties, I race to tutor an eleven year old fifth grade boy with his homework.    Finally, after social studies, reading and language arts, math problems, science and religion and essays, I drag myself home, exhausted, and crawl into bed.  Only to do the same thing again tomorrow.

I am NOT complaining.   I am assisting a young woman, who works nights.  Her husband works out of town and comes home only on the weekends because that is where he can find work in today’s awful economy.   Her son, the young 5th grader,  has an “attention deficit” disorder and needs special help.   I believe that what I am doing right now is making a big difference in all of their lives and I don’t mind the extra work.   Perhaps sometimes sheer exhaustion is good for my soul.

Thanks, Philip, for prodding me into a much delayed post.

So for now…..til next time……hopefully not so long….and maybe with some photos…….Averyclaire

Fabulous Flannel

It’s been a busy week, working mostly. But I attended the funeral of a good friend who passed away from melanoma. She was only 58. I wrote a reflection on her illness and impending death on August 17th. And I have been reflecting on her life and passing often lately. Of course this leads to reflection on one’s own life as well.

But I have to get back into the groove and take care of projects. Here is a stack of fabulous flannel which will be turned into cute little blankets with stuffed bears and bunnies. I have been making these and selling them for years.  I’ll post a photo when I am finished. My quilt group has a holiday boutique every year in November and a portion of the profit from the things we sell goes to our quilt group.  It allows us to have wonderful guest speakers each month and to purchase fabrics for charity quilts, cancer hats and wheelchair and walker bags.  So I have LOTS of work to do before the November boutique.  Guess the wedding quilt will be put on hold one more time.

Off to work for the day…I hope I still have energy tonight to start this flannel project!

A Breath of Kindness

“Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away.” 

I did this needlework (a quote from George Eliot) many years ago for a good friend.  That friend has since passed away and the needlework came back to me.   It is mounted on brown velvet, done on linen with frayed the edges.  I added the stalk of wheat to signify  the chaff and grain. I will treasure it always and the friendship it was meant to signify.

I learned last night that my friend with cancer was put in the hospice program, less than one week after the fundraising benefit.  It made me think of this needlework and I wanted to share this quote with everyone.

Learning to Sew

My mother was my best advocate. She encouraged me to do things, when I wasn’t sure I could. One summer when I was ten years old, I was bored. I asked her if I could use her treadle sewing machine. So she gave me a quarter to buy a pattern at the local Woolworth store and one of her old dresses to cut up for the fabric. I read the pattern carefully and made myself a sleeveless blouse out of it. Then she gave me another quarter to buy some fabric. I made a pair of shorts. Her trust in me and support gave me the courage I needed to begin something I have treasured all my life. My ability to sew. Oh, I do not propose that I am a designer or anything special, but I do love to sew and learned to make just about anything. Here are photos of the flower girl dresses, baskets and ring bearer pillows I made for my son’s wedding last year.

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