Busy Summer…Sad News…Photo Finishes!

Golly, tomorrow’s August already! It’s been a busy summer. My DH and I traveled to southern Indiana with our RV for a week to the NMRLA June festival and then again in the RV we spent four days in Shipshewana, IN in July.  I won’t bore you with photos, but we had VERY relaxing trips. A good part of my days this summer have been spent preparing for a class that I and my friend, Elizabeth, will be teaching for the Great Lakes Region of the EGA in September.  More about that in a future post.

In the last few months I have also done a LOT of dog sitting. It’s funny that now my grandchildren are growing up and have no need of “babysitting”…I now am requested for “dog” sitting. I was just beginning to fall in love with “Ollie” the King German Shepherd and alas, he passed away suddenly last week. Previously I didn’t understand what grief was in losing a pet, but I sure do now! Rest in peace my friend….

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There have been LOTS of finishes gone through my studio, but since I haven’t posted for so long, I will show them just a few at a time.

Marcia stitched this lovely patriotic piece (from With Thy Needle and Thread designed by Brenda Gervais) and I added a little ribbon with a rusty pin and some buttons on the back.

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Candice was busy with these beautiful pieces from the Plum Street Serial Bowl Collection.  On the first flat fold  I added some little buttons across the bottom and on the second flat fold some french knots did the trick.  It’s so nice to have flat folds that can be folded up and put away so you can change up your cross-stitch displays often.

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Pat requested more pillows and provided fabric for me. The first is a stunning Patriotic theme by Shepherd’s Bush to which I added three large buttons on the back. The second one is a lovely sentiment from Victoria Samplers by Cathy Jean’s Designs. I found the perfect little secret heart charm to add!

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There are LOTS more finishes to post, but that is all for now! Thanks to everyone for your faithful following! Love hearing from everyone!

Amities, Averyclaire

Family, Friends, Fun, Finishing!

I know :((…I haven’t posted for a LONG time.  Where oh where did the month of May go?

There was Senior Prom for grandson, Noah, a quick trip to Minnesota, planting flowers at the cemetery, Mother’s Day, 8th grade dinner dance for Sophia, a retreat in Spring Green, WI, and a tour of Taliesin, graduations, dance recital, gardening, and, of course, finishing!

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A visit to the Mall of America, in Bloomington, MN for a few days with my DH.  Very relaxing, fun and a sight to behold with 520 shop and 50 restaurants!  And then on to Mother’s Day!

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Me, Daughter-in-Law  Heather, Granddaughter Haley (15) and Heather’s Mom Carol

Oh…and I mustn’t forget grandson, Max (12) and his band finale…he plays alto sax.

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A Stitching Retreat at Country Sampler in Spring Green, WI with five other fun friends for three days.  Country Sampler is a lovely Quilt/Needlework Shop.  It is chock full of primitive patterns both quilting and needlework, bundles of wool, and beautiful civil war style quilts.   Also did a tour of Taliesin (you can see photos on Southpaw Stitcher blog).

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May was also for graduation.  My grandson, Noah (18), graduated from Marian Catholic High School.  His sister, my granddaughter, Sophia (14), graduated from 8th grade at Mother Theresa Catholic Academy.  And my little granddaughter, Maya (4),  graduated from pre-school in Boulder, CO!  We are so proud of all of them!   It was a marathon weekend.

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Nick, Daughter Kathleen, Sophia and Noah

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Granddaughter Maya (almost 5)

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Son Michael, Maya, DIL Michelle from Colorado

This was also the month for Sophia’s dance recital.  She is a talented, graceful, lovely dancer in all forms of dancing with a strong stage presence in everything.  She was in 9 different performances with 9 different dances and celebrated her 10th year of dancing.  It was an amazing 3-1/2 hour performance!

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The garden needed a lot of attention.  After a walk in the wee-early morning hours, I tried to spend a couple of hours a day working outside.  Hard on the old body, especially the knees (even with professional knee pads)!!!

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And then there was the joy of FINISHING!

Pat L. stitched this beautiful Merry Christmas.

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Tina stitched two Halloween pieces…what fun to have these ready for the Fall to come!  I added a little spider and web to this first one and a bright orange ribbon to the second!

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Pat L. also stitched two fun quite large pillows.  Both are lovely, but I am awed by her bright pink pillow!

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Marcia T. stitched this special seasonal Prairie Schooler piece and chose a flat fold finish for easy storage.  I hope one day to do one of these for myself.  Love it!

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The Southpaw Stitcher, my prolific stitching friend, quickly finished this lovely May piece and also chose a flat fold.

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And Vivian loves to do primitive pieces and finished another pillow…this one for Halloween!  She loves to antique her fabric before she stitches!  Nice work!

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And last but not least for the finishes that I am able to show this month is a special order from The Tinsmith’s Wife for some tea bag holders.

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Whew….this was a long post!

Summer is finally arrived with crazy weather….cold, hot, cold, hot.  But I do love the hot days of summer and love to sit with a cup of tea in my garden!  Happy summer to all!

Amities, Averyclaire

 

 

Spring Really Is Here

Well, the warm days finally arrived here in Chicago after a mild winter, but cold days.  It sure feels nice to sit on my back porch and gaze at my perennial garden.  Everything is slow to grow, but it IS coming.

I want to take the time to thank all my blog followers and let you know how much I appreciate your stopping in to view the lovely work of so many of my stitching friends!  And, of course, I love to have everyone peruse the finishing I have done.  I can’t show all the finishes because some people use their items as gifts and it is obviously a SECRET!  Alas I must say that MY stitching and MY quilting have suffered due to not much time left after finishing.  But I will be sure to show you something of mine occasionally!  A heartfelt thanks again to all you who view my blog each post!  Oh…and see my 2 new pages above… Finishes for 2015 and 2016.

Southpaw Stitcher did this soft, lovely ode to Spring!  Need I say more?  Love the soft colors.  So many of my clients are loving the “flat fold finish” for their seasonal projects.

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Cheryl gave me some beautiful purple and teal batiks to use for finishing her box lid.  I added some tiny cross-stitches across the top and bottom and added some hand made purple cording.  What a lovely tribute to friends everywhere!

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Pat will be attending a wedding shower soon and stitched this beautiful keepsake for the wedding couple.  All those little dots are gorgeous glass beads that she added.  Such a lovely gift.

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Judy had fun stitching this elegant leprechaun with his lovely shamrock and cute gold buttons.  I added some super Celtic fabric.  She has a BIG head start for next year’s St. Patty’s Day!

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And speaking of head starts…Pat (who did the wedding pillow above) also stitched this scary Halloween wall hanging.  She gave me the spooky black eye fabric and I couldn’t resist adding a silver spider web and a creepy spider to go along with it!

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Becky is also well ahead of time with her adorable “Elf on the Shelf” ornament.  I think some lucky children will simply adore this one!  Golly, I wish I were ready for the holidays for 2016 already??!!

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That’s all I can show right now.  I hope you enjoyed today’s photo gallery.  Tis a busy season for everyone…gardening, family celebrations, graduations, Mother’s Day nearly here, vacation planning.  I hope each one of you is truly enjoying beautiful warm and sunny days.  After the long winter I am feeling renewed for sure.

I hope to have some photos next time of a stitching retreat I will be attending at Country Sampler in Spring Green, WI.  Can’t wait!

Until next time, amities, Averyclaire

 

 

 

Happy Easter

Alas, I don’t post as often as I should, but I do wish EVERYONE a Happy Easter!  I have been away in Boulder, Colorado helping out with my 4-1/2 year old granddaughter while my daughter-in-law was out-of-town on business.  My son is a #1 Dad, but he works long hours, and I LOVE helping out with Maya.  We also used our trip to Colorado as an excuse to do a little side trip (before Boulder) and stayed in Santa Fe first for a few days .  I do love Santa Fe as well.  My favorite place to stay is The LaFonda on the Square in Old Town.  While no finishing got done while I was away, I came home to LOTS of orders and have a few lovely items to show as well as a couple family photos.

Spring is certainly here with these two items.  Cheryl stitched these lovely Easter themed pieces.

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Don’t you just LOVE these happy little chicks???!!!

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Then there was this adorable bunny rabbit collecting eggs turned into a door hanger.

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Cheryl also stitched these two cute Christmas items.  She now has a real head start on the next Christmas season!  Flat folds are so nice for holiday pieces because they fold up so nice to pack away after the holiday is gone!

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Doesn’t this little pillow just make you smile?

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Southpaw Stitcher was very inventive and took an old cross-stitch piece that was once stuck to a sticky mat board and decided to have it made new again.  She is adding to her growing “bird” stitched collection.  I think it turned out fantastic.  Check out her blog.

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Cheryl also stitched a lovely large pillow on scrumptious white and yellow striped linen.  Love the sunny colors for Spring.

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Christie is ahead of the game for this year and zoomed right into a couple of patriotic pieces.

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And here is the second one she stitched as a gift.  Love this pattern.

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I also had an order to make 3 tea bag holders for someone.  I made these a few years ago for our Quilt Boutique.  It was a popular seller as they make nice gifts.  If anyone would be interested in purchasing one, just email me on my Finishing Page or my FB page and I will get back to you.  Here are a couple of photos of what they look like.

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It was really fun helping out in caring for my 4-1/2 year old “Maya.”  She is a delight.  My other grandchildren are older now (18, 16, 14, and 12), so it’s fun to still have a young  ‘un around.   One day we went for a walk around the lake which is only 5 minutes from their home.  Maya LOVED getting a little wet and loves to cuddle up on her Daddy.  I LOVE Boulder!  We try to get out there twice a year.

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I really hope the weather here in Chicago warms up soon.  I am missing the warm sunny days of Boulder.  I thought since we had a mild winter that Spring warmth would be early.  Not so…there was FROST on the lawn this morning!  I like the change of seasons here, but I do so LOVE the warmer days!

I love hearing from my blogging friends…be sure to leave a comment.

In friendship, Averyclaire

 

 

 

 

 

 

February Finishing

Wow…February is halfway through already!  We have had a lot of grey days…not good for the psyche! Then my sister was seriously ill and nearly died. I am grateful she made it through and I still have her hopefully for a long time to come! The weather swings from pleasant to bitter cold and back again and again. I have been trying to get back to my daily walking routine with my DH, but I confess I am chicken on the bitter cold and windy days. So I worked on unfinished projects and did a couple of stitching projects of my own along with those of clients.

Here is another needleroll finish stitched by Southpaw Stitcher.  It is done the same as the one I did for myself (which was posted last time), except that she chose pink wool for the needle holder section of hers. I LOVE the pink!

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And here they are together…the two of them.  I am quite sure you have seen or will see more of these needlerolls somewhere on the internet. Our EGA chapter, Water Fall Glen, did this as a group project. Other EGA chapters did the same project.

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V.D.N. did this beautiful Christmas pillow by Brenda Gervais.  It is large…14 x 25 inches.  I love the script writing in this. It looks like it is painted on, but it is meticulously stitched!  We kept the finish very simple so as not to take away from the primitive style.

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Southpaw Stitcher did this exquisite needlepainted “Eastern Bluebird” designed by Tanja Berlin. She took an EGA class not long ago and already completed the stitching.  I am in serious awe of the absolutely gorgeous detail done by one single thread at a time! I didn’t want to return it to her after I finished it!

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And here is an owl pin done by J.DN.  She actually made two of them, but I forgot to take a photo of the second one before I returned them to her :((  He is backed with black wool and has a pin back.  The other one was backed in brown.  J.DN asked me to leave the edges “naked” so she could do some beading around the face! I think the beads will make a beautiful finish.

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Last post I showed you my own stitching and finish of “Merry One” by Plum Street Samplers.  Well here is “Merry Two” done with a slightly different finish. I can’t wait to see her Merry Three and perhaps Merry Four! It will make a delightful set. On this one I changed the colors of Santa’s robe, the snowman’s hat and nose, the flowers on the sled and I used a thicker chenille trim around the edge which I dyed with antiquing spray. I guess I am a traditionalist.  But I really like the way it turned out.

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And last but not least, over the Christmas holiday and cold January I managed to finish my Stacy Nash’s Primitive Drumroll Pinkeep and slipper with strawberry. I changed some of the colors on this pattern as well.  I added the rusty orange rather than what was called for.  And then made my strawberry orange too, rather than the traditional red. The drum is filled on the bottom third with sand, the center section with crushed walnut shells, and the top third with fiberfill. This really makes a super heavy free standing piece.  I am very happy with the end result.  [Edit:  I didn’t change the rust flowers, I made the chamomille ones WDW-dolphin blue instead…sorry…my mind is going!]

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I hope everyone has an especially lovely Valentine’s Day with those who are the special people in your life.     Amities …Averyclaire

New Photos for a New Year

Happy New Year to all! I hope all of you had a great Christmas and a super start to the New Year. Ours was a lot of fun spent with family and friends. We sure missed our Colorado family though. They did not make it here this year.

My finishing business was slow over the holiday so I managed to get some stitching and finishing done for myself. Then I worked on a list of unfinished projects I hope to do this year. I will save the list to show for my next post.

Here are a couple of finishes I did before Christmas.

P.B. did a beautiful circular pumpkin design and asked me to do a pincushion. This was a special Christmas gift for someone.

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Tinsmith’s Wife sent a stitched snow globe. She finds the loveliest patterns!

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Personally, I managed to finish my project from the Waterfall Glen EGA group.  It is a Catherine Theron “Winter Strawberries” needleroll.  The area that says “Scissors” and “Needles” is done over one on 32 count linen with variegated silk floss. The small pincushion in the center is also done over one. The edges and center lines between the strawberries are done in Palestrina knots. The inside is lined with Dupioni Silk.  The pattern called for linen needle pages and a scissor fob, but I chose not to do that.  No fob and wool for the needle pages.  It is about 8 inches long when opened and about 2.5 x 3.5 when closed. It was a project that I was not fond of after I began it, but it did turn out to be a quite nice small needleroll.

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Then I saw Plum Street Sampler’s pattern for “Merry One” and “Merry Two” and bought them up as soon as I could. They just caught my eye and I delighted in stitching Merry One right away. It is stitched over one on cream 25 ct. Irish Linen (which I sprayed with my antique spray).  It turned out about 4 x 6. The pattern came with white chenille trim, but I used some green that I had and I love the way it turned out!  Merry Two is completed, but not “finished” yet.  Here is my finish for Merry One.

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HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY a little early.  With Valentine’s Day coming I did a couple of special stitched pieces.  I wanted a big red heart to remind me of the lovely big red heart candy valentine boxes that my dear husband gave me when we were dating.  I found this pattern and I “finished” it into a lacey big red heart in memory of that special time. I did it on 40 ct. Aztec Red over two.  It turned out to be about 5 x 7.

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I also found this cute pattern for a “Valentine stocking” and created it with a real red velvet backing. It was done on 36 ct. Lambswool over two sprayed with antique spray. Then I stuffed it with “Merci” chocolate candies. YUM YUM. It turned out to be about 2 x 7.

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It was such fun having time and energy to do some of my own stitching. It makes me want to resolve to do more this year!

I hope everyone out there finds LOTS of time to do whatever it is their heart desires for 2016.  For now, happy stitching!  Amities……Averyclaire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to everyone! I can remember in July saying…Christmas will be here in the blink of an eye!  And guess what?!  It is upon us and I am not sure how it got here so quickly. Like so many others out there I got that awful bronchial virus and have been sick for six weeks and then my DH got hit by a car while out walking last week. Luckily it was a small car moving not too fast so DH came out of it very well. But it seems like I have been in a fog since summer time. I hope my head clears by the New Year and that the New Year brings a round of good health to all!

For now I offer you a photo journey of the finishes that were completed recently.

C.J. created this lovely skate themed piece for a Christmas gift. It was fun turning it into an ornament for her.

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The Southpaw Stitcher spent a lot of time on this beautiful needlepoint scissor case. I really love all the fibers and colors! It is lined in purple wool and has a purple glass bead finish around the rim. Also you will notice that it is TWO-sided. How fun is that?!

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I belong to the Waterfall Glen Chapter of the Embroiderers Guild of America. For our annual Christmas party I made this project bag as my “grab bag” gift. I like to make my purses and bags with a light colored inside so things don’t get lost in the bottom. The stitching is taken from a portion of a pattern from Stacy Nash Primitives called “Summer Gathering Pinkeep Drum.” It was quick to stitch and looks lovely on the project bag.  K.B. was the lucky recipient and I know she will enjoy it!

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The Tinsmiths Wife sent me this beautiful stitched piece which was finished into a lovely round ornament to grace her tree.

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The Tinsmiths Wife also sent me this fun Christmas House piece. This year I have done a LOT of flat folds for my clients and this one is lovely.

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S.H. gave me this small “Joy” stitching to finish for a friend. Most of my clients have requested flat “mat board” style ornaments rather than pillow style ones, so I did this one in an oval for her.

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And last but not least was this perfect “Teacher” gift done for S.G.   Here is another “flat fold” that will aid the teacher in not having to find a place to hang it! And it can be packed away “flat” from time to time!

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And last but always FIRST with me, I share a photo of my immediate family who fills my heart at Christmas time and ALWAYS.   I LOVE YOU ALL!Family 2014

And now I must finish up my Christmas week preparations for a festive weekend. It will be gone before we blink! So everyone….Have a truly Blessed Christmas and a peace-filled New Year!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year…..Averyclaire

Happy Holiday Finishes

I am honored to help so many of you with your stitching finishes. My small business has grown considerably and I humbly thank all of you who trust me with your precious work.

C.J. lovingly stitched Six Little Cardinals and some pretty red fabric with golden stars was added:

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V.DiN. beautifully rendered this special pillow, hung with wide silk ribbon and surrounded by twisted chenille trim, as a lovely gift:

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A.G stitched this lovely Santa with pastel reds and greens for a soft side to the traditional colors:

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The TinSmiths Wife stitched this peaceful Dove on a gorgeous unusual red fabric, adding the lovely turquoise beads and knots around the neck and requested a cupboard hanger.  I added some more knots to the trim:

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Then using the same beautiful red fabric The Tinsmiths Wife stitched a Star Was Born cupboard hanger:

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And last but not least the colors were changed from light to dark and this beautiful Pomegranate Sewing Tray from Stacy Nash Primitives was born:

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I hope to soon show a few more finishes before the Christmas week is upon us. Thank you again for your faith in me and allowing me to be creative with your pieces!

Wishing everyone a blessed Christmas season!   Amities, Averyclaire

Finishes for the Upcoming Seasons

Autumn is one of my favorite times of the year. Everyone is thinking ahead and stitching up some lovely things to cover all the coming celebrations. It has been a busy few weeks in my studio finishing up some beautiful and amazing stitching.

Carol J. now has a place to store her needles and pins with her new needle book.

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Becky M. chose a flatfold for a fun new spooky decoration for her home.

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The Tinsmith’s Wife is a Needlework Shop in Comfort, Texas specializing in Knit, Crochet, Cross-Stitch, and Needlepoint. They now have an Autumn Owl on display in their shop.

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The shop also has a new basket tag encouraging everyone to be “Thankful.”

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and a lovely new Shepherd’s Bush ornament in anticipation for Christmas to come.

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Judy B. is celebrating “Friends” this season with special gifts.

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Nancy H. has another pillow similar to her Halloween one…this one for Christmas which will look lovely in her home. It’s not a small pillow…maybe about 11×16 inches. Love the soft colors she chose.

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Carol J. found two of her three kings and decided to have them finished for the holiday this year. They now have a luscious deep forest green velvet back!

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Becky M. stitched up two lovely Christmas ornaments…a “peaceful” angel and a cheery cardinal.

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Anne L. was lucky enough to purchase the chart for the new Prairie Schooler Christmas “reindeer.” We will all surely miss Prairie Schooler designs!

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And last but not least Southpaw Stitcher quickly stitched this fun and lovely Blackbird Design and requested a “box” finish. I think I need to find a box a make one for myself! Love this one.

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Thank you to everyone for your trust in me to create lovely things from your beautiful stitching!

More finishes to post soon. I have so busy in my studio there has been little time for me to stitch anything for myself! However, I did have a LOT of fun this month in showing my finished quilt at my quilt and needlework meetings and telling the story behind it. I haven’t had a quilt to show for a LONG, LONG time!

Amities, Averyclaire

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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