Autumn Returns … and so do I

Some of my Autumn favorites! THANK YOU FOR RETURNING HERE to see what’s new!

Yes, it’s been nearly two months since I last posted! I have been in absentia! Sometimes life gets in the way of having fun! But I won’t bore you with details.

One thing I must announce to all is that I have ended my “finishing business.” It was creative and wonderful to help others with making their gorgeous stitching into lovely “finishes.” But it became so busy that there was no time left for my own stitching, gardening, quilting, boutis or even family time. My health was not perfect and life became stressful. So TY to all those who trusted me with their projects. I was happy to serve all of you for those two years.

With my free time I am feeling better and slowly getting back to normal. Here is a quilt I had in the works for some time now finally complete. You can zoom in on it to see details of the quilting and lovely batiks.  NOTE:  Yes, it is hand embroidered with a black/brown DMC thread.

And another one in the works:

My last stitching project begun 1-1/2 years ago remains undone:

But I have been working on some new Boutis designs seen here. Patterns soon to be available.

And a large white on white 24″x24″ piece for myself.

And last but not least are my patterns seen below that I sell on my Etsy page. I also have been teaching them to needlework and quilting groups.

Hand dyed batiste will soon be available for purchase on my Etsy page as well.

Amities, in friendship, Averyclaire

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March Already and Halfway Over!

Hello Spring? Coming soon? It doesn’t seem like it the past couple of days.  At least not here in Chicago, nor all of those other lucky people who were blasted with FEET of snow! I am used to Mother Nature and her surprises for us in March and April sometimes. But I won’t show you photos of the mess!  I am thinking Spring today. This tiny little pillow was once a free pattern out there on the internet, but it seems to have disappeared. I love it because it not only had a Shamrock for March, but extends into May for Les Muguets Day (May 1st…in France) with the tiny little Lilies of the Valley. I believe it was by Danybrod.
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Finishes better late than never:

This one was stitched by Southpaw Stitcher and it is one of my favorites! I LOVE the lone deer and the quiet dusk-like feeling you get with the blue linen and barren trees!
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Southpaw also did this Winter Cardinal. She LOVES stitching birds and has quite a collection of them!
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These were gifts for the holiday each one done with the recipient in mind.  A project roll with a matching project bag! The project rolls open on the end and can hold thread, scissors, needles, patterns, etc. Fun to make and they include charm pulls on the bags dedicated to each person’s interests.DSC_1352

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Here is another winter cardinal.  This one is Little Red Bird from the Little Stitcher Shop on Etsy.  It is SO nice to just go on-line and be able to download a PDF pattern!  If you haven’t tried it…you need to! Instant gratification!IMG_4668

I do a LOT of pillows for my client Pat and this one is fun and amusing!  I love the fact that the dog has no eyes.  He/she could be ANYONE’S pet!  And that HUGE bone…why surely that is any dog’s dream!  I love the colorful fantasy flowers as well.  Fun just to look at!
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Here is another one done by Pat.  Brings me into Spring for sure. It is so soft and delicate and the purples and blues so pastel. I hand-dyed a silk ribbon to match. Beautiful.DSC_1409

This Lavender Needlebook was stitched by Lynn. I adore lavender (although I can NEVER seem to get it to grow in my garden). The inside has a lavender lining and wool lavender pages for needles.  I hand-dyed more silk ribbon for the closure. Lovely.DSC_1418

New Techniques and Stitchers Alive and Well…

It has been very busy the last couple of months stitching French Boutis needlework. I will be teaching a couple of classes in French Boutis coming up soon and I have been busy with stitching more patterns for other classes and kits. It is nice to know that there are adventurous women out there wanting to learn this ancient art. So often we look at our young people today and wonder if the Needle Arts will disappear. I don’t think so. We had this discussion just the other day at a needlework group with waning membership. One friend mentioned that she knows of a lot of young people doing stitching…they have lots of digital connections and just are not joiners of our “old” needle work groups! (So true Marj!)

So keep on stitching everyone and keep on learning new techniques and methods and pass them along to our young people everywhere!

Amities, Averyclaire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Clients Do Such Lovely Work

Well, I survived the hacking of my email, although I spent a full day on my computer changing passwords, etc. I don’t know if that will help any, but it made me feel good. I had been meaning to do that anyway.

Each time I do finishing for clients, I am competely in awe of the lovely stitching that they create. I always wish that the item was mine when it is finished. Alas, with all the finishing I do, there is little time left for my own creations. I promised myself in the coming months to save a day or two a week just for me! I actually did finish something which I will show another time.

For now, feast your eyes on the lovely work of my clients!

Pat did the first one here. It is from the Plum Street Sampler Leaflet entitled “Good and Plenty.” She found the perfect burgundy mini pom pom trim to go with it! I love pieces like this that go all the way through Autumn!

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Beth managed to create some beautiful beaded ornaments. First is this adorable turkey named “Bruce.” She has a lovely story to go along with it after cooking a 40 lb. turkey one year! Nice memories.

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The next she did is this Sailboat Ornament. It’s very elegant with the rayon floss I used for cording and is perfect with the “sea” themed backing I had in my stash.

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And talk about elegant…well this Santa is quite stunning! His beard is made of all beads! A work of art! And I finished it will a green velvet back.

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And the last one for Beth is this lovely needle book/ornament. This was a gift to her stitched with her friends’ initials. How lovely is that?

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Nancy stitched this beautiful reindeer from last year’s Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue. The color of the linen she chose for this is perfect for the wintery day it depicts!

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And Betsy…well there are no words to describe this luscious sampler. It is from By the Bay Needle Art and is called Serenity Harbor Sampler. She changed the flowers from pink to yellow and the large house at the bottom to yellow as well. It took her a year to complete and is stunning! I added a coordinating plain fabric backing and used handmade cording. I painted the dowels to match the cording and the look is complete!

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Vivian made this lovely primitive pillow from the pattern “Christmastide” by Notforgotten Farm. She said it reminded her of she and her sister decorating the Christmas tree! I used the antique lace she gave me and I hand-dyed silk ribbon to coordinate with the pillow. It is a very pretty piece.

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Vivian is an extraordinary quilter, but loves to do cross-stitch too. This one is called “Deck the Halls” by Stacy Nash and was made into a pinkeep filled with walnut shells by Vivian. She asked me to attach the mini pom pom trim to it after it was finished, but I like it better within the seam allowance. So I took it apart and finished it with the trim in the seam. She loved it that way.

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And last but not least is a simple photo of the lovely “Princess Diana Serviceberry Tree” in my yard. The colors are so lovely in the Fall. It doesn’t last long but when it turns colors, it’s beautiful. Alas, I think our Autumn is coming to an end making way for the fun-filled holiday season.

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Once more I have to put in a small advertisement for those of you who have not tried French Boutis Needlework yet. On my Etsy site you will find an ornament kit with three French Boutis Christmas Ornaments. I am in the process of designing more Boutis patterns so I hope you will give them a try.

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In friendship, Averyclaire

A Few More Photo Finishes

Here is another post with photo finishes!  The finishing studio is humming where each week my clients challenge me with their work.  There is always something new and interesting to see. Enjoy the eye candy handiwork of my clients!

Vivian did this lovely Brenda Gervais small pillow “Merry Noel”.  Since the fringe was unavailable for her, I hand dyed some mini ball fringe to match.  It’s perfect.  The soft colors in this piece are beautiful.  Nice work Vivian.

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And Laura did an equally beautiful job on this Stacy Nash medium sized pillow entitled “Pine Tree Farm”.  She gave me handmade antique lace to use as an accent around the pillow edge and the perfect fabric backing.  It’s gorgeous!  And the colors in this one are equally soft and delicate.  Lovely!

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Judy created this beautiful white work pillow.  She wanted a brown backing behind the stitching, so I used the same brown fabric for handmade cording and the pillow back.  I included a zippered back so the pillow insert could be taken out if needed. Such intricate detailed stitching!

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Pat did a couple of gifts for little ones this time around.  She requested a rather large flatfold for the first one.  I added the “sticky kisses” across the bottom and the cute little matching buttons.  On the second one I added a handmade multi-colored cording with multi-colored french knots along the accent fabric.  And for privacy, in the photos I have deleted the birth date and weight from both.

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Pat’s needles were on fire this last month and she created this very large wall hanging for someone who just LOVES Halloween.  The tomb-like shape just adds to the fun!

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She also did these two cute wall hangings as Christmas gifts.  All the little girls seem to LOVE the Disney Princesses, especially the mermaids.  Here is one of Ariel!

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And another one of Snow White…this one is certainly elegant with the rosy red apple and the red rattail trim around the perimeter of the stitching!  I LOVE the Disney fabrics on the back!  These little girls will love to look at both front AND back!!

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If you are interested in learning Boutis (a simple running stitch and corded French needle work technique), I now have on my Etsy page not only a kit for the three ornaments I designed (containing ALL materials needed for the three ornaments), but a “pattern only” choice, as well as the “hard to find” special cotton yarn that is needed for the kit.

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I have lots more photo finishes…so come back again soon!  Thanks so much for your continuing visits!

Amities, Averyclaire

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

 

 

 

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