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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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.

TIC--Carol Jessica

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.

TIC - Karen-Carol-Jessica

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.

TIC off the frame

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

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!

U make my heart happy 1

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

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

New Year’s Hopes

1. To finish more unfinished projects (I managed 7 quilts, and several needleworks this year….Hooray)

2. To take most materials for those unfinished projects from my STASH (Heavens, I have enough stuff)

3. To be happy while working on all those unfinished projects…enjoy the journey  (No grumbling allowed…well maybe just a little)

4. To share what I am accomplishing with reports on my BLOG (yes…I hope to post more than a couple times next year)

5. To make more gifts (I really appreciate handmade things…hope others do too)

These are just a few thoughts for the new year and my needlearts addiction!   Last year I made a list of ten things and worked on them in rotation.   To my surprise I really accomplished a LOT.   Perhaps it was not as much as I would have liked, but nevertheless, the quilts I have here and there in my home speak volumes!   Oh, to be even more prolific…don’t I wish.   The rotation really worked for me because  I get bored after several hours on one project.    Then again, a couple of the projects consumed me and I worked on them until they were done.

Besides the quilts you have seen previously on my blog, I made two flannel junior size bed quilts…this blue/green/white monkey quilt and a pink/green/white one with a girl print.   They were done with a “big stitch” quilting that everyone seems to like.

IMAG0160 Monkey Quilt

I also made a “music” quilt for a hostess gift. We went to Colorado for Christmas to spend the holiday with my son, Mike, Michelle and Maya. Because they were hosting my daughter, son-in-law, and two grandchildren already, we stayed with Michelle’s Mom, Carol. She is an expert piano teacher and so I chose to make her a music quilt as a thank you for having us there for the holiday.  This one was also done quilted with big stitch quilting.

IMAG0276

IMAG0278

Alas, I broke my lovely little camera and am now taking photos with my cell phone. I actually received a beautiful Nikon SLR camera as a gift from my dear husband, but I don’t know how to work it yet and have been taking photos with my phone. They are not very good and I am REALLY going to try to get the knack of the good camera this year!

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!! May you all be blessed with good health, prosperity, laughter, zillions of friends, and a plethora of needleart!

Amities, Averyclaire

Aside

Busy Days

What have I been doing for the last four months?   Well, a lot actually!   Thanks for being patient with me and thank you for always coming back to see what’s new!

I finally had my star quilt quilted by Jamie Wallen in Michigan City, IN.    Didn’t realize I wouldn’t get it back for four months, but I do love how it is quilted!   He did a beautiful job.   And it is now one of my favorites!

Star Quilt 1

You can see the lovely feather quilting done around each star!

Star Quilt 2 closeup

While that was out being quilted, I made 20 more baby blankets with teddy bears for our Quilters’ Plus Holiday Boutique the first weekend in November.   I have them all lined up and waiting to put double ribbons around each teddy bear.   I have made these for many years.   The proceeds of these blankets help support my quilt guild (and I get some money back as well).   It’s a lot of work to make so many, but voila!  C’est fini!

2013 baby blankets

I also made some wool Christmas ornaments to sell at the same Holiday Boutique, but 100% of the proceeds from these ornaments will go to my NeedleArtisans of NW Indiana group and the quilt guild.    The same goes for the cotton kitchen washcloths I made.   I would like to make more items, but my own projects seem to be suffering with all the things I made for the Boutique.   So I will have to call it quits for the boutique items I think.

Wool Ornaments 1

Wool Felt Ornaments 2

Wool Felt Ornaments 3

Cotton Washcloths

And last but not least of my projects, I have my “Over the River and Through the Woods” quilt prepared for quilting.  The three picturesque center panels are all hand embroidered.   I plan to machine quilt this one myself.   I don’t consider myself a good home machine quilter, but it’s too pricey to have one’s quilts quilted professionally.   I like to say “I DID IT MYSELF” anyway.   And some quilts just don’t warrant the weeks and weeks of hand quilting.   Besides, I still have my yellow whole cloth one on my quilt frame.   It’s almost done!

Over the River 1

In between all the sewing, life things happened….a couple of wakes and funerals….a shower and a wedding….a week’s getaway for DH and myself…. several lunches with friends….a trip to the International Quilt Show in Chicago….quite a bit of gardening upkeep….an unexpected reunion with my three siblings (some who live quite far away)…and the usual everyday things.   I very much enjoy my retirement….and love to sit and “veg” occasionally with a good book or my trusty computer seeing what’s new in the needlework and quilting world.

Thanks for visiting my blog again!     Amities, Averyclaire

A Quilting Weekend

Last weekend I went to Shalom Retreat House in Dubuque, Iowa for a four day quilt retreat. My SIL, Judy, and her friend, Kay, inspired me to come along. Their quilt shop in Cedar Rapids, IA sponsors this event twice a year. It was great fun, filled with lots of laughter and LOTS of sewing. Here are the photos from this productive weekend.

Monica w lovely purse

Monica's almost fnished quilt top..great colors

Patty with her Noah's Ark quilt

Patty's "circle" blocks (Libby Lehman pattern w Ricky Tims Fabric

More of Patty's circle blocks

Patty's duck baby quilt

Kathy working on Backyard Safari quilt

Kathy's lovely purses for the grandchildren

One of Kathy's many finished projects....Beautiful for any little girl

Lisa made a beautiful purse for someone who just learned of a serious illness

Lisa's lovely quilt top finished

Theresa with a small Halloween pillow cover

Theresa's Mom hand pieced this quilt a long time ago. Theresa had it hand quilted by some Amish women.

Betty Jo and Joanna enjoying the day

Betty Jo and the cute boxer shorts she made

Batik Purse made by Betty Jo

Betty Jo sewing a labor of love (buggy barn style) for the family of someone recently passed away

Terese working on a Paris Flea Market scrap quilt

Sue and her batik quilt...she was making LOVELY borders for this one.

Connie working on her Christmas Card basket

Connie and her monkey baby quilt....what a fun piece

Kay made this lovely table runner as a gift

Kay made several of these lovely purses, two with her Dad's ties

Another purse with a tie

Kay's lovely blue version

Kay also made this lovely table topper with tiny, tiny pieces

Kay also did this lovely fish (going to be a pillow)

Andrea sure is enjoying the creativity

Andrea's Rocket ship almost done

Rosie made this lovely sports quilt for a special needs friend

Heather working on fleece pants for her son and several neck warmers

Judy's beautiful batik fish quilt

Judy's Zen quilt

Jill's homespun quilt

Jill's red and white beauty she quilted this weekend

Jill's blue and brown all finished quilting

And LAST…BUT NOT LEAST…I did finish one quilt top…my Summer Nana’s Garden quilt. I also did a star quilt, but have not taken photos….next blog I will show you.

Averyclaire's finished summer scrap quilt

Hope you enjoyed the photo show.   If you have never been on a quilt retreat or a needlework retreat…you really must go.   It is a lot of fun, very relaxing and quite inspiring.

Amities……Averyclaire

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