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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s My Birthday…Yesterday!

When one gets to be an “older” woman….one prefers to pretend one’s birthday is just another day. However, secretly I am deeply grateful to my friends and family who went out of their way to make this a very special day.

I received some lovely emails today from some dear friends all the way from France and Belgium, a lovely note from my son and his wife, some from my nieces, many from needlework and quilting friends, other long-time friends, and sisters, Barb & Bonnie, Barb even sent me a some special internet gifts. And there were lots of special phone calls too and a video message from my new 4 month old granddaughter, Maya. I am SO humbled and grateful. Thank you to each of you.

I share with you some photos of other gifts I received in addition to the beautiful Eiffel Tower scissors and books I showed you last post. The other gifts must remain anonymous! Shhhhhh…I’ll never tell….Smile.

My SIL Judy, and friend, Kay, sent me this lovely teacup bouquet to brighten my day. Thanks again, Judy and Kay.

And what a surprise when Southpaw Stitcher made this lovely pincushion for me. It really says a LOT! Thank you so much Pat…yes, friendship DOES grow.

And My friend Jodi equally surprised me when she presented me with this lovely pincushion (filled with sand) handmade by a friend of hers. This one came all the way to me from Washington state. And isn’t this a beautiful card. Thank you Jodi…how kind and thoughtful to think of me while you were away!

I still do some computer work at home for the Augustinian priests and brothers and my boss, Fr. Mike, thoughtfully, sent me this plant with lovely lavender flowers along with a promise of prayers and Mass celebrated in my honor. Thanks so much…I miss all of you.

So you see…..amidst all the “to do” that one really doesn’t want to remember that one is ANOTHER year older…..it is really nice to be remembered. I SO appreciate all of the good wishes and prayers and gifts.

And I plan to keep on celebrating my birthday all month long. After all it comes only once a year….so celebrating for one full month is certainly in order!

Gratefully, Averyclaire

HAPPY HALLOWEEN……..

I absolutely love Halloween decorations…the fun that the children (and adults) have in dressing up and partying…the chocolate candy. Alas I did not have a lot of time to do many new Halloween needlework pieces, but here is one of my favorites finally mounted and finished.    I found an unfinished box at Hobby Lobby, painted it black and roughed it up a bit to look antique.

I found the cutest tiny fuzzy ball trim to go around the mounted cross-stitch work.    Sorry it’s so difficult to see.

And the grandchildren just love the surprise inside!!!    And I love the orange paint!!!

My birthday is coming soon and my dear French friend, Maggy, sent me the most BEAUTIFUL pair of “Eiffel Tower” scissors!! I absolutely adore them. How did she know that I have wanted a pair of these for a LONG time? Thank you Maggy.

She also sent me two French Patchwork magazines and a watercolor book on scenes from Provence. This will keep me busy for sure.

Remember the Stumpwork workshop I attended….well I had finished the needlework itself, but now I have completed the finishing on the ornament. Don’t you just love the look of the Dupioni silk?

It was great fun doing the little spider.

And whoo hoo….I have finished the quilt top I started on retreat last weekend. Now it just needs to be quilted.

It turned out larger than I had expected…isn’t that nice!!

Hope everyone had a fun weekend and a laughter-filled Halloween Day.

Til next time, Amities, Averyclaire

Happy Memorial Day!!

A very special thank you to all the men and women serving our country and helping to keep us safe!!

It’s been a LONG couple of months. First we were away in Colorado for some time, then I was ill, and then finishing up on some projects and a lot of work in the house and garden. Time heals all.

My DIL loved the quilt I made for the new baby-to-be (only six more weeks to go). Helping them set up the nursery was truly fun. And the baby shower was wonderful. Her friends made these scrumptious cupcakes…..delightful to look at….”almost” too pretty to eat!!!

It was such fun creating this secret gift tote for my friend, Maggy, with whom I do an exchange for Les Muguets Day (Lily of the Valley Day which is May 1st in France). Her favorite color is purple.

She, in turn, made for me this LOVELY, Japanese folded origami pocket. I adore it. It has THREE little pockets, perfect for sewing supplies, nail items, etc. Her sewing is exquisite. Already I have put it to good use to carry my nail files, etc. in my purse. Also…a generous friend of hers, Elaine, decided to make for me a lovely French apron. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful friend of a friend!!! Thank you so much Maggy and Elaine. [Correction: Maggy also made the apron…but her friend did some decorative stitching on the pockets. I love it Maggy and Elaine…thank you]

After recuperating for some weeks, I finally completed my scrappy tablecloth quilt (about 62 inches square). It is machine pieced, hand appliqued, then straight line machine quilted by me…and the applique border I free-motion quilted around the applique by adding lovely leaves whereever they would fit. I used a thin cotton batting. It is perfect on my kitchen table and will certainly warm my kitchen during Autumn.

And last, but not least, I have been working on another applique quilt. So far I have two of the sixteen blocks completed (16.5 inches square). I do love handwork. Although I have spent all of my time on the quilts and, alas, have not completed any “needlework” projects. But the applique blocks are fun and a change of pace for my fingers.

That’s all for now. I know that’s not much news for two months of absence….but I did miss all of you and am happy to be back.

Til next time….Amities, Averyclaire

Another Birthday Gift

My friend, Maggy, is having a birthday on January 20th. Here is a little gift I made for her.

The pocket calendar pattern is from Drawn Thread and done on 32ct natural raw linen.

Happy Birthday, Maggy! May you be blessed in this New Year with Laughter and Joy.

Amities, Averyclaire

A Gift for Judy

My sister-in-law, Judy, has ALWAYS been more like a sister to me. I don’t get to see her as much as I like, because she lives in Iowa. But when we are together we sure have such fun and NEVER run out of things to say. Her birthday was December 17th and I just finished this little gift for her. It finally found its way into the mail last week, nearly a month late! Sorry, Judy…but, better late than never. She just received it and LOVES it. I’m so happy. I LOVE to surprise people. She actually used an alias name and tried to win my give away a while back. She didn’t win, but little did she know that I already had something similar in process for her!?!

The pattern is from the 2010 December Just Cross Stitch Ornament issue, done on Misty Blue, 32 ct. linen.

Happy Birthday Judy! May your days be filled with laughter and may you have MANY more birthdays!

AND HERE’S A GIFT I MADE FOR MYSELF………

I have a wonderful collection of scissors, now I guess I must make myself some fobs. This is the first cross-stitched one I have! Isn’t this Santa cute?

Amicalement, Averyclaire

A Gift Received

In December Hillery from North Country Samplings had a give away and I won her first prize! [She actually has a new blog now called This and That.] Please stop in and visit her.

Some lovely threads, a cross-stitched santa book, a very interesting motif cross-stitch book, four pretty pieces of 28 ct. linen and not shown in the photo, a lovely card I can use for a small cross-stitch. Thank you so much Hillery.

What fun to win something so nice just in time for the holidays!

Amities, Averyclaire

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