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

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“Hoppy Easter!” + PhD Update

Happy Easter to all my blogging friends! Here is a little Easter decoration I made for the season.
TRilogy Rabbit
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.

BEFORE

Lily of Valley Collage

AFTER

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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Ganado

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

Working on PhDs…Projects Half Done: Lessons Learned

The winter has surely arrived….bitter cold, gusty icy winds, driving snow across your face! I pretend that since I live in Chicago, I have to like it. Well I don’t. I can’t wait until Spring! Now we have had a rather mild winter compared to last year…but I long for Spring.

So I am staying in and working on my PhDs! Yep…I have plenty of those! Projects half done. My IPhone was screaming for me to use it, so I finally took some photos. These projects big and small are like monkeys on my back screeching at me until they are complete.

Number one monkey is a triple Irish chain that I showed you last post. It took me six months to design and bring to fruition the border, get it layered and onto my quilt frame. I have a couple of friends who are helping me to quilt it, but so far we have only worked on it 9 out of 27 possible Fridays. Either I was away on vacation, someone else was away, the holidays came upon us, family obligations took precedence, or someone was ill. I have been diligently working on it in between our Fridays hoping to speed up the process. Lesson Learned: I absolutely adore this quilt (110″ x 110″) and I would make another one in a heartbeat; I adore the hand quilting even if it takes forever (truly heirloom); something is worth the time if you truly love it.

King Size Irish Chain1

KIng Size Irish Chain2

Number two monkey is another HUGE (101″ x 101″) red and white quilt that I am machine quilting myself on my home machine (no long or mid-arms here). Crazy…yes. It is the pattern Saturday Soiree which I increased to make it larger. And now I am sick and tired of looking at the busy red and white pattern and can’t wait to have it done. Lesson Learned: for me personally, I don’t like the block of the month thing; I love red and white, but only when it’s mostly white; don’t take on a huge quilt like this on a home machine unless you have a TON of patience. I am sorely lacking…but I keep on at it like the Eveready Bunny. And it is getting done and nicely if I do say so myself.

King Size Red n White

King Size Red n White 2

Number three monkey is my Halloween Fairy. I saw a blogging friend doing this several years and ago and admired it so much I started one myself. My friend even donated to me her left over beads and some thread. I think I have been working on it at least four years or more. I totally stopped when it came to all the tiny beads. Now I have it on my kitchen island staring at me each day begging me to take an hour or so here and there and sew those teensy tiny beads on it. Progress is slow, but it is coming along. Lesson Learned: I won’t ever choose another cross-stitch with a zillion tiny beads; once you start a project do one’s best to finish it in a timely fashion….going back to it later makes the monkey seem like a gorilla!

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Number four monkey is my Lily of the Valley Collage by Laura J. Perin. I LOVE this design and looked at it for a few years before buying it. I am not much of a “canvas”/”needlepoint” person, but I thought I would stretch myself and tackle this one. I haven’t been working on this one for very long, but I have to push myself to work on it. Lesson Learned: It’s great to experience new types of stitching; teaches me patience when I have to struggle with the counting and stitches on the canvas; have a bit of eye coordination problem when I see light beneath the canvas; don’t stop…keep on keeping on; and always try new things.

Lily of Valley Collage

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Number five monkey is a tiny ribbon embroidered pin cushion. It is Roses and Pearls by Lorna Bateman. Now I simply adore this piece. I nearly finished it right away, knowing if I stopped it would never get done. Well, I stopped and left it in the bag and now nearly a year later I am committed to finishing it. It’s truly an easy project. So why isn’t it finished? Beats me. Lesson Learned: DON’T STOP. Do the little projects right away!!!

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And last but not least is my TAMED monkey. A very small Halloween project. It was a give away item I picked up at one of my needlework groups when it was just screaming my name. Left it lie around my stash pile until Autumn rolled around and I was looking for something Halloween-ish to work on. Such a small item should have been done in a weekend, but I spent a few months taking a stitch here and there. But voila! C’est complete! A last finish of the 2014 year. Lesson Learned: Little projects are great…do more of them; do them faster…they give you an IMMENSE feeling of satisfaction.

Halloween Bag

MAJOR LESSON LEARNED: Remember to enjoy the journey no matter what.

Until next time….Amities, Averyclaire

Border Progress

Happy Easter Week to everyone!    Here are my Easter finishes. They were all fun and easy to make.

Easter 2014

Yes…the border is coming along. I am going to post some time lapse photos so you can see the progress. I have the center sections and the left sides complete. Here is the progress to date beginning with the photo I took initially:

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Border 2a

Border 2

Center sections of borders complete.

Border 3

Left side sections of borders complete.

Border 4

It sure has been a long tedious process…but I feel it will be done soon. The right sides remain. Although, I do have all the pieces traced and ironed onto fusible…just waiting to cut out…so that will go quickly. After I fuse the right side appliques down, I can do the four corners…not difficult after all the work I have already done. Then the appliques must be sewn in place.

Alas, with these borders taking up all my time, I have done no other handiwork. :((

Hope everyone out there is enjoying the lovely spring days we are having! And for those of you living far far away, I imagine you will begin having your cool crisp autumn days to enjoy!

Amities, Averyclaire

Designing A Border

I have had a king size triple irish chain quilt top made for a LONG time. I never finished it because I wanted to design a border for it.  Well I am tackling another UFO and am designing the border.  Here is my method and progress to date.

First, I taped a LOT of freezer paper together making a strip 95 inches long which matches the four sides of my quilt top.  The border is 9 inches wide.   I drew a design on one half of my freezer paper. Then I traced it in reverse on the other half. I now have one entire border to work with. Some of the flowers I used from the William Morris Applique book and some I drew. I drew all of the vines myself.  It was drawn with a mechanical lead pencil allowing for LOTS of mistakes.   Here are some photos.

Center of Border

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[Nothing like a million little pieces, huh?] This design will be the corner block, matching up to the long side borders.

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My DH cut me a piece of plexiglass to fit into the opening where I normally have my sewing machine.  [He is such a nice guy!]  I put a small florescent light under it to use as a light table.

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Using “Steam-A-Seam-Lite” I traced my designs onto fusible web.  [LOTS of tracing going on for four borders!]

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Now my fusible web pieces are ironed onto the wrong side of my fabric ready to cut out. [Whew…cutting out takes forever!]

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I have a design wall in my sewing room made of thick insulation which is covered with white flannel and screwed to the wall.    My four cream colored  borders have been pinned to the wall behind where I am working.  (They are not pink!…must have been the sunshine!)  I divided the border into fourths and marked each border with a water soluble pen.  Working from the center out I am placing my pieces onto the border.  I can actually use my Clover mini iron to affix my pieces right on the wall before taking it to the ironing board.  When I have finished the center sections of each border, I will re-pin and do the remaining sections of each border.   After fusing the borders, I plan to sew my appliques down with a small blanket stitch before sewing the borders onto the quilt.

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I don’t have any of the leaves or small fabric circles done yet…but I am making good progress with my UFO.  When it is completed, it will be hand quilted.

It is a BIG project….[perhaps I am nuts?!]   But the end is in sight for my LONG AWAITED quilt.

Amities, Averyclaire

Grow Your Blog Winner!

Make My Heart Happy-Green

Once again, thank you to everyone who visited my blog during the “Grow Your Blog” days.   And a special thank you to all of you who have signed up to be followers of my blog.    The winner of my giveaway for this special time is Barbara Lillian In France.   A special thank you to you Barbara for participating.  Please stop in to see her blog…her photos are LOVELY!   I previous made one of these for a friend’s birthday…and I liked it so much I made another one for the giveaway.  Hope you enjoy it Barb! My days have been filled with lots of diligent work on finishing my unfinished projects.

Here is one of my projects I managed to finish.  It was so fun stitching one bird, that I made four of them!   It is a Just Nan pattern called “Cardinal Tweet” and it is available from Inspired Needle in Lemont, IL.  The pattern includes only the finishing materials for one bird.  I had to create my own tails and beaks, and add extra beads to make four birds.  Fun:(

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My trapunto flowers are coming along, although I had hoped to have them all done. It goes fairly quickly, but I worked on other things instead!

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Another favorite project I hope to finish soon is this one. I will not reveal the pattern until it is finished. Can anyone out there guess what it is?

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Of course, much time was spent in helping my DH clear out our snow-filled walkways. Recently when a group of ladies were complaining about the terrible winter, one friend said, “I woke up this morning, and I am not in any pain…so I cannot complain about something so minor as the weather.” I whole-heartedly agree!

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And so I let my beautiful African Violet inspire me. Just looking at it reminds me that Spring is just around the corner!

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Congratulations Barb.    Happy stitching to all.     Amities, Averyclaire

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

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Sophia Sampler Framed

Kathie Monog Pillow1

Scotty Ornament

Sewing Pockets

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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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