A Few Finishes

I have been hibernating to finish out this crazy winter!   At long last most of our snow is melting.  Chicago (Chi-beria) is now beginning to thaw. We have had a few warmer days, but not enough!  However, I did finish a few things while keeping warm.

My yellow whole-cloth quilt is now complete.   I finished doing the trapunto work a few weeks ago.   I am in love with the quilt and am so sorry it took me SO LONG to finish it.   My thanks to Tim Latimer whose beautiful hand quilting and exquisite trapunto inspired me to complete this.  Please visit his blog to see his work.

Yellow Whole Cloth Finished

Next I finally did the “finishing” of two Christmas ornaments I did a while ago. I made some for friends for Christmas and liked them so much I made a couple for myself.   I KNOW that the photo background is not exactly a “christmasy” background, but my quilt was JUST SITTING THERE waiting to be photographed again!  Note…the red on the ornaments is really red…not orange!  (Both ornaments are Little House Needlework patterns.)

Xmas Ornies Jan 2014

And last but not least is an Easter ornament that I love. I have a couple more in the works but they are not completed yet.  This ornament is from a Prairie Schooler  leaflet entitled “Folk Eggs.”

Easter Egg 1

QUESTION FOR MY READERS:
Does anyone out there have the pattern from Prairie Schooler called “A Prairie Garden“?  It is rather old.   I wondered if anyone out there would be willing to sell me theirs?   Please let me know if you have one for sale or trade.

During the last blog hop I was lucky enough to be the recipient of some very nice gifts from Joyce at “Joyces Love of Life” blog.   Please visit her here.   She has a LOT of lovely cross-stitch projects in the works!    Thank you again Joyce for the lovely gifts.

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Others things have been in the in my studio, but my wonderful lovely Husqvarna sewing machine is in for repair at the moment.   Hopefully it won’t be TOO expensive for the repairs.    I was working on a king size red and white quilt and it just up and quit on me!    Oh the pain!    But then my hand stitching is getting caught up, so I shouldn’t complain!

Hope the Spring Solstice scares away the frigid north winds and lets the balmy breezes blow up from down south!

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

It’s Off the Frame!

I had GREAT fun this past weekend with the Grow Your Blog Party.   I have met SO MANY wonderful people and have seen such exquisite work and great blogs!   Thank you very much to Vicki of 2 Bags Full for coordinating this.  I am quite sure it was an overwhelming amount of work!   Looking forward to seeing more of the beautiful work that I saw last weekend.

Yellow Whole Cloth - Copyright

Yes…my yellow whole cloth quilt is almost completed.  I took it off the frame last week, squared it up and put on the binding.  Then it was soaked and washed (to get all the pencil marks out).  I love the look of it being all crinkled up nicely just like an antique quilt!  To be honest, I was TERRIFIED that some of the pencil marks might not come out.   This was a quilt I had begun years ago and stuffed in a drawer until last spring.  I took it out re-marked some of the lines and finished hand quilting it a couple of weeks ago.  Luckily all  of the pencil lines disappeared.  I am working now on trapunto-ing the flowers and leaves (corners and center circle). It is not taking as long as I thought it might…goes rather quickly.   Ahhh….I will be able to check another UFO off of my list!  I am in love with this new addition to my quilt collection!

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Also finished this small cross-stitch done on 32 ct. linen, finished with twisted pearl cotton and has a wool back. The pattern is from Homespun Elegance and is called “You Make My Heart Happy.” I made this small gift for a dear friend who lives in France, Maggy, for her birthday.  It can be used as a pincushion, a door hanger or a small wall hanging.  She received it in the mail last week and loved it.

Thanks again to all of you who stopped in to visit my blog during the blog hop…and to all those to signed up as regular visitors. I am delighted and honored.
I hope to see more of your lovely work soon.

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!

Progress

Well friends, I am trying to keep to my New Year’s hopes and have created a random rotation of ten projects.   Here are some photos of the work IN PROGRESS.   Yes…I am actually posting again!!

First is my yellow whole cloth quilt that is nearly finished and I hope to have it done SOON.  You can see that I am nearly at the end of the quilting.   I am hoping to do some trapunto work when it is finished in the floral areas…but we will see.

Yellow Whole Cloth Quilt

Next is a “flock” of ornaments. I began them too late for Christmas, but it will be nice to have them done for next year.   The pattern is Cardinal Tweet from Just Nan.   I decided to make four of them (they are two sided).  Making four seemed just as easy as making one!

Cardinal Ornaments

And my third project I am working on is a block of the month I began from Top Shelf Quilts in Frankfort, IL. It is called Saturday Soiree. I really love red and white quilts, but this is turning out to be a LOT of work.  It will be set on the diagonal with sixteen blocks.  I actually have all the setting squares completed, but I have not completed the main blocks yet.   The original pattern called for only twelve blocks, but I purchased four extra ones and all the extra fabric I needed to make it larger.   (Am I crazy?)

Saturday Soiree

It’s been so cold and snowy here in Chicago that staying inside, keeping warm and cozy, has helped the progress on my projects to keep rolling along!  Hope all of you are on the track to needlework success for the new year!     Until next time, amities, Averyclaire

Whole Cloth Quilt In Progress

On my quilt frame now is a whole cloth quilt that I began more than ten years ago. I had a tiny pattern and enlarged it to a lap size quilt. The pattern is lovely and I love hand-quilting, but back then, I quickly tired of it and put it away for years. After finishing my applique quilt I was inspired to work on this one again. I put the quilt frame in the living room and work on it each evening as I sit “listening” to the TV. (I love Hallmark movies.) It was only about 1/3 done before….and I already have at least 2/3 done now. At this rate it will soon be considered another winter project finished!!

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Does anyone out there know what causes the puckering during hand quilting? or if there is a way to prevent this?    It is not everywhere in the quilt…only in certain places.   It won’t matter after I am finished and soak the quilt, as I imagine it will all be “puckery.” 

Have fun stitching whatever it is you are working on!     Amities, Averyclaire

Hand Quilting Lives

I’d like to share with all of you something very special.   Sometime ago I was invited by a friend to participate with a small group of women (three, plus myself) to hand quilt each Friday.    I said yes and found some lovely friends.   There is a bond that forms when you meet every week and spend the whole day 10AM to 3 PM sitting around the quilt frame.   While the hands are busy lovingly placing just the right stitches in the right places, joining the layers of love together, we share bits of pieces of our own quilting and sewing experiences and our lives in general.    It is a sacred time.    For a time I had to quit the group as my working full-time took over.    But I missed them and am back again. Here is Jessica and Carol around the quilt frame. We are hand quilting an antique wedding ring top done perhaps 90 or more years ago. It is fragile, but still beautiful.

One of the members prepare a quilt top. We then meet at her home and together we hand quilt the top until it is finished. The hostess provides lunch for us. When the top is completed, we go to the next member’s home to do a quilt top for her, etc. etc. It puts a fire under us to complete a top for quilting when it is our turn. We all get a hand quilted top perhaps once a year. And the friendship I have found is irreplaceable. It will be my turn next. I can’t wait.

Here is a photo of one of our members, Barb Kapost, who recently passed away from pancreatic cancer. I miss her. She was a member of my quilt guild also. She is why I am handquilting today. I met her some years ago when I signed up to become a secret sister. We provided small gifts to a person in secret until some months later your identity was revealed. When it was time for the reveal, my secret sister was ill. So I went to her home to deliver her final gift and to reveal who I was. During our visit I couldn’t help but notice the large quilt frame in her dining room. I had not known she hand quilted. We talked about it for a while and I told her if she ever needed help in hand quilting, please let me know. She did and voila…I am still hand quilting.

Here is one of my favorite pieces done early in my hand quilting days. It is hand quilted with a variegated purple and teal metallic thread. What was I thinking? Howver, it turned out nice and still a favorite.em>

Here is block number 13 of my Sweet Sixteen series. I want this one finished before it is my turn to have a quilt top quilted. All this hand applique just calls for hand quilting.

I would encourage anyone to think about this fine art.    Of course I adore any kind of hand work.   To some, I understand “hand work” can mean something bad.    But if you are of the frame of mind as myself, please give it a try.    I think you will love the peace and quiet satisfaction that comes from such a lovely pasttime.

Hand quilting is NOT a lost art.   There are many of us who still love it. Try it if you love hand work…you will love it too.

Amities, Averyclaire

PS….I still machine quilt as well.

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