Grow Your Blog

Welcome everyone to Averyclaire Needlearts!   I am excited to be a part of the “Grow Your Blog Party.”  Thank you for stopping in to visit. 

I am a midwesterner, born and raised in the Chicago area.   Whether I am home or away, I keep busy hands.  There is nothing more wonderful than a cup of hot  tea while having a piece of some kind of needlework, sewing, quilting, or knitting in my hands.    An early morning in the perennial garden fills my soul. I can get lost for weeks in books and am a passionate Francophile. Music to sooth the soul is Andrea Bocelli, Adamo, and John Denver. 

My grandmother, Clara Avery, taught me to knit when I was seven and instilled into me the gentle art of all kinds of needlework.

If you leave a comment on this post you will be entered in the drawing to win a prize (the drawing will be held on February 15th).   It will be a lovely cross-stitched surprise.   However, please scroll through my blog to see some of my projects.  I hope you enjoy them all and I look forward to seeing all of your projects as well. 

 Amities, Averyclaire

Yellow Whole Cloth 1

Star Quilt 1

Sweet Sixteen HQ2

Berry Patch Rabbit

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sophia Sampler Framed

Kathie Monog Pillow1

Scotty Ornament

Sewing Pockets

catquilt001

IMAG0278

biscornu

Flannel Quilt

Tablecloth Quilt 2011

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Fleur de Lis Scissor Fob

Wedding Quilt

Christmas Stocking Remade

Cross-Stitched Navajo Weaving

Thanks again for coming!

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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

Remake

A few years ago I designed an “au naturel” wool Christmas stocking for my DIL who loves nature and the great outdoors (specifically sunflowers). Here is the first one I made:

She asked for a little more “bling” and perhaps something red…so I took off the top sunflower and added a cardinal, a few snowflakes, an aspen tree (they live in Colorado), and a pretty little gift under the tree and some “glittzy” sequins sprinkled all around.

I think she’s going to like this one:

And now I am working on one for one year old Maya….shhh.

Amities, Averyclaire

Christmas Stockings

stocking top one

 

 

I’ve been having fun creating a gift for my daughter-in-law, Michelle.

 

full stocking

 

 

 

 

 

 

From tip to toe…it was fun designing something for Christmas.

 stocking toe

 

 

With leaves and flower centers covered with needle felted wool roving mixed with angelina.

 

 

 

stocking top 3

 

 

And tiny beads in the center to add just another touch of sparkle.

stocking top 2

 

 

She loves sunflowers and while it’s not exactly traditional Christmas, this is what she asked me to make.

Full stocking 2

 

 

 

 And after I finished hers, I made the other one she asked for…one for the dog.   All sparkly and shiny and it even has a squirrel…Birdy’s favorite playmate!!!

 

Birdy's stocking

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s Birdy on the left with the little squirrel at the bottom.  I think Birdy’s going to love it almost as much as Michelle and Mike.  Don’t you think?   Now I’d better get this in the mail before they see this post!

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.

Ornaments

I’ve been working a lot without much time for sewing.  Actually I wake up at 4 AM and get some sewing done before I go to work.  I think I am a bit tired…but I managed to do these Christmas ornaments.  They are from a pattern by Indygo Junction.  I haven’t done a lot of it, but I love working with wool.  I have been collecting it for years hoping to do something fun.

 

 

 

Aren’t they just adorable.  I think I will save them for gifts for the holiday season. 

 

 

 

I think this green one is my favorite.  They worked up quickly and it was something I could do when I was really tired and just wanted to sit in front of the TV at night and “veg.”

 

 

 

The embroidery on this one didn’t take much time and it really adds a lot to the ornament!

 

 

 

 

The little Christmas tree has beads for ornaments and a tiny silver bead to top the tree.  Each ornament has a “jingle bell” attached to the ribbon.

 

 

On second thought…I think perhaps that this Mistletoe ornament might be my favorite.  When I was a young girl, I always made sure I had mistletoe around at the holidays for the all the gentlemen who might pass through our doorway!  What do you think?

 

 

 

Perhaps it is hard to choose a favorite.  But I think they will make delightful gifts this year.  Glad I spent those early mornings sewing.

Time

It was six days of fun, family, and relaxation.  We had a couple of days to ourselves; the children and grandchildren arrived; we hiked; we biked; we canoed; we roasted marshmallows; and we just simply spent time with one another.  We even celebrated one granddaughter’s 8th birthday with candles and cake and gifts.  It was marvelous.  It was a gift to me that they all agreed to come for the weekend.  And then we had a couple of additional days to just relax before coming home to what awaits everyone upon returning home. 

 

My time was spent with family…not much needlework, but I did manage to complete a couple of items, make progress on another, and read a good book.

 

The wool candle mats are from patterns I purchased sometime ago, but still available.  Working with wool is very soothing, very forgiving, quick to do and something I very much enjoy.   I have been collecting bits of old wool for years, have tried my hand at dyeing a bit, and have purchased some lovely wool pieces.  Most of what I use is felted wool fabric, but when I can’t find or create just the right colors, I use wool felt.  This comes in brightly dyed colors more than one could ever wish for. 

 

Sometimes my only enemy is time…not enough of it.  Right now I have time dedicated to promised projects and not enough time for desired art projects of my own.   One day.   For now, I spent the last six days of my time with my family…a very precious gift from them to me.  I am grateful.