A Little Update

The king sized quilt was on the frame by the end of June.   The borders took a long time to finish and then even longer to blanket stitch all those tiny designs I created!   With the busy summer and lots of traveling the actual quilting has been slow going.   Here is a photo of the giant first being basted and then on the frame.

Irish Chain being basted

Irish Chain in Frame

In the meantime, I did create an adorable “Frozen” princess dress for my three year old granddaughter, Maya.

Maya Frozen Princess1

Maya Frozen princess2

Lots of traveling included a week in the woods of southern Indiana in June for DH’s hobby interest.  Then we did two weeks out west in Boulder, Colorado and the Black Hills of South Dakota in July.  We took a couple of grandchildren with us and my oldest granddaughter broke her arm the first day we left!   Next we spent ten days in Atlanta, Savannah, Tybee Island, Hilton Head, and Charleston, SC in Aug for a woodworking convention and just R&R for the two of us.   And one more week in the woods of southern Indiana in September at which time I did a lot of sewing on baby blankets in our RV!   Whew!   Fun, but nice to be home.

Grandchildren…Haley, Sophia, Noah and daughter Kathleen enjoying the Niwot, CO evening concert.

Niwot 2014

We had a GREAT family campout while in Boulder, CO.

IMG_0276

Since then I have completed 20 baby blankets with teddy bears for my Quilters’ Plus Holiday Boutique coming up November 7 and 8.   My heart wanted to do a lot more projects for the Boutique, as some of the money goes to support our group, but alas, I did not do what I had hoped to complete.   Oh well, there is always next year.

Some of my blogging buddies have been wondering where I have been.   Just busy with life and trying to avoid spending time on the computer fighting with downloading photos, etc.   It has been a nice respite.   However, I do lurk behind the shadows and visit all of your blogs often.

I hope before too long there will be some stitching and other quilt items to show.   But my progress is SLOW.

For now…..Amities, Averyclaire

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So Much to Do…So Little Time

Stumpwork

Last weekend I went with a friend of mine to a Needlework Class in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was sponsored by the Indianapolis Chapter of the Embroiderer’s Guild of America. We belong to the chapter called Needle Artisans of Northwest Indiana (NANI) that meets in Munster. Once a year they have an event called State Day in various locations around the State. Last year it was sponsored by our Chapter here in Munster.

This year’s class was a lesson in “Stumpwork”…it is a style of embroidery where the stitched figures are raised from the surface of the work to form a 3-dimensional effect. It was a very beginner class, as I had never done anything like this. After one prepares the foundation by layering pieces of felt, the finished bird (or whatever you are doing) is painted with one strand of embroidery floss (needlepainting) in various colors. I very much enjoyed the process. Here is my cardinal which I finished embroidering Sunday after the class. I plan to turn this into a Christmas ornament. The finished ornament will measure only 2.5 x 3.5…so it is a VERY small cardinal.

The designer and teacher was Marsha Papay-Gomola. She is an excellent teacher and taught a fun class.   She has a website here.    Her class was delightful and I would encourage anyone interested in learning something new, to check into her classes.   I did take photos of some of her samples she brought to the class, including the step-by-step proces for our cardinal.    I think her work is magnificent.

She even showed us a sample of leaves for us to have ideas in how to make a choice in finishing our cardinals.

It was one of the really FUN weekends.     Southpaw Stitcher has many more photos on her website, so please check them out if you have not done so already.    She is a GREAT traveling companion with a super sense of humor.    We even did our own shop hop on the way down visiting Persnickety Stitchers in Zionsville and Needle Fever  in Indianapolis, and even stopped at a quilt shop nearby, Quilts Plus.

Home Dec Project

Last post I mentioned that I was working on a home dec project for my daughter for her dining room. Here are a couple of photos of what I have finished: Six antique dining room chairs were recovered. Three cushions for the window seat with zippered custom covers, six large pillows with zippered covers, one hand embroidered pillow for the center of the window seat. I made this black velvet pillow out of leftover velvet from a dress I made her MANY years ago for a dance. Thought it would be good memories…then I cross-stitched a deisgn with a monogram with their last initial.

Still have to make the draperies and the table and buffet runners.    So it’s not done yet……the story of my life!!!

Halloween Cross-Stitch

I have been diligently working on a Halloween Fairy (Nora Corbett) cross-stitch. It is from one of the cross-stitching magazines from a year or two ago, I can’t remember which one.  A friend of mine stitched it and graciously donated her leftover threads and beads to me. I couldn’t resist doing this one for Halloween. I hope it will be done (even if it doesn’t get framed on time).   Unfortuantely, I still have a ways to go.   I have been really slow on this one.

 

Am I Lucky or What???

And last, but not least, I went to a neighboring quilt group meeting, Pieces and Patches. They had a very entertaining speaker that evening, Amy Walsh. She and Janine Burke have been publishing patterns under the company name, Blue Underground Studios, since 2005. The patterns are more modern than my usual choices, but they are absolutely lovely.   And lucky me, I won their favorite pattern, “In and Out.”  I can’t wait to try it.   They tell us that their patterns are easy and quick to make and great choices for using up your stash of fabric.

And from Inspired Needle Blog, I won a lovely patriotic needlework pattern.   Please visit her website as well as the blog.   I will save this one to work on for next summer!

 Hope you have enjoyed my photos……….until next time……………Amities,  Averyclaire

Happy Spring…

Yes…it’s been six weeks…going on two months. I’m just not good at posting often. I hope you will all forgive me for the times you visited and found nothing new. But….I HAVE been enjoying my retirement.

I am slowly working on “Briar Rabbit.” Love him, but he’s really tedious. It’s a Cedar Hill pattern (I love their patterns), but can’t wait to have him done and framed. I wanted to do a rabbit for Easter, but I must not be in the mood. Perhaps my focus has been more on quilting lately. Ahhh…whereever the spirit pours out the creativity I guess.

Here’s a peek at the quilt top I have created for our new baby granddaughter-to-be due to arrive in July. Her name is going to be “Maya” and her Mom likes Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit……so……here are some of the blocks. Here’s Peter….with an embroidered flower garland….

and here’s Johnny Town Mouse, Hunca Munca and Tom Thumb….

and some pretty flowers….

and here’s Nutkin smelling the embroidered flower…

and some hearts and birds and pretty scrolls….

and here’s Jemima Puddle-Duck and friend….

along with a lunch basket and some carrots…

another flower…..

and voila…..the quilt top waiting to be quilted.

The block patterns came from the book “More William Morris Applique” by Michelle Hill. Her pattern was made with William Morris fabrics. I wanted something more pastel and I wanted to make it larger. So I added sashing where there was none….and I added the blocks with the letters to spell the name “Maya.” I drew the letters by hand. And because it was so very pastel I also added the flange cording around the blocks and sashing. It helps to separate something so pastel that does not have a lot of contrast. The blocks were machine appliqued.

There will soon be a baby shower and I hope the top is quilted and complete in time for the big day. It was a lot of fun to make and prodded my creative touch with the changes I made to the pattern. It now measures about 40 x 50.

And last but not least….I made a new cushion (approx. 16″ x 50″) for my son and daughter-in-law’s foyer bench. A request that somehow remained set aside for more than a year. It feels good to check things off the to-do list.

I pray all of you are enjoying warmer weather and hints of Spring. My walks on these warm days are delightful and inspiring. Back to the rest of the “to-do” list….

Til next time……Amities, Averyclaire

Learning to Sew

My mother was my best advocate. She encouraged me to do things, when I wasn’t sure I could. One summer when I was ten years old, I was bored. I asked her if I could use her treadle sewing machine. So she gave me a quarter to buy a pattern at the local Woolworth store and one of her old dresses to cut up for the fabric. I read the pattern carefully and made myself a sleeveless blouse out of it. Then she gave me another quarter to buy some fabric. I made a pair of shorts. Her trust in me and support gave me the courage I needed to begin something I have treasured all my life. My ability to sew. Oh, I do not propose that I am a designer or anything special, but I do love to sew and learned to make just about anything. Here are photos of the flower girl dresses, baskets and ring bearer pillows I made for my son’s wedding last year.

A Part of the Past

Each time old photos are viewed, it brings back a memory of a special gift for a special person and how relationships can enrich my life. This teddy bear was a gift for a my daughter, who will remain in my heart forever. She was a wild young thing, but grew into a beautiful and lovely young woman. And a handknit blanket and homemade outfit for little Joey who is SO very adorable. We all make gifts, little ones and ones that take eons to finish. They are gifts not only for the recipient, but for those corners of our hearts where memories linger forever.