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Monday, March 12, 2018

March week one

Grab Bag
What's Stitching

Stitching Friends invites you to a St. Patrick's Day Tea! 

We are serving homemade Irish Soda bread that we will teach you how to make!

Mary's Irish Soda Bread:

2 cups unbleached flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 heaping teaspoon caraway seeds
4 Tablespoons butter, worked into the flour mixture
1 cup raisins
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 325

Mix dry ingredients excluding caraway seeds.  With pastry blender cut butter into flour mixture till crumbly. 
Butter blended into flour

You will now add the caraway seeds and raisins. Then pour in buttermilk all at once and gently stir to blend.

Next is the fun step of kneading the dough.

Place dough on floured surface and generously sprinkle with flour. You will knead the dough with floured hands and add additional flour until the texture is smooth and elastic. Don't overdo this step!

This is a double batter- recipe is for ONE loaf
Form bread into round and form shape of cross on top of loaf. Bake in a greased and floured 8 inch cake pan at 325 for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and rub a small amount of butter on top of warm loaf.

Serve with butter or plain, delicious either way!


Our Irish Ornament

A sweet bunny delivering shamrocks to my Irish friend Mary

RJ stitched this adorable ornament for me.  She added the words "luck to you" under the stitch. Love the buttons, shamrock charm, shamrock ribbon and large rick rack she added to the finish.  It makes the perfect accessory for my St. Patrick's Day dΓ©cor.    We wish you all good luck too!

Delivering Shamrocks
By Homespun Elegance
32 ct. linen
overdyed threads from stash

rick rack and charm from Joann's


What's Stitching

Please mark the date for our upcoming one year Birthday Party at the end of the month.  We would love it if you would send us a photo of one of  your favorite stitches either fully finished or just stitched.   If you have another craft you would like to display, we would love to see it too.  We look forward to whatever you choose to share with us. You can send your photos to by March 20th.  Surprises are being planned and we can't wait to celebrate with all of you.

Mary and I have been so lucky winning many give aways this year.   I'm so excited because I just won a wonderful bunny piece that our friend Jutta made.  There are also pretty fabrics in this give away which I will share with my blogging partner Mary.   You can find Jutta's blog at  Aren't they precious???   I'm totally in love with these bunnies and see an adorable pillow in the making.  Thank you so much sweet Jutta.   

Such sweet bunnies!


Irish Freebie

We have a cute Irish freebie for you from Threadwork Primitives.  Both these stitches were found on Pinterest.  They are both cute finishes using different colors.   You will find the free chart here  It's very sweet and may bring you a little good luck.


Hope you are getting in lots of stitching time.  We love to come to your blogs and see what you are up to.  Thank you once again for visiting us.  We truly appreciate the time it takes to leave a comment.  Next post we will be sharing our Styling with Stitches project and our New Ornaments.   Hope to see you then.   
                                                                     RJ and Mary  

☘ May good Luck be with you wherever you go, 
and your blessings outnumber the Shamrocks that grow☘ 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Week two and three

Grab Bag

What's Stitching
Finished Challenge
Stitched Challenge
Recipe of the Month

With February being such a short month, we decided to combine two weeks again.  We have a lovely grab bag to share, an easy dessert recipe, our two challenges and some progress on our SAL's. Hope you all enjoy!


Mary's Grab Bag- Adventures in Stained Glass

Has anyone tried their hand at Stained Glass?  I had the opportunity a few years ago to take an adult ed class in beginner stained glass. 

I was taught the copper foil method which was developed over 100 years ago by Louis Comfort Tiffany.  To describe the process here would be lengthy, so I have included a link if you would be interested in learning more about the process. To read about it, go here  

The first piece I designed was for RJ.  She loves all things French so my designed pattern around this pretty pre-cut fleur was perfect for her.  I found antique (man-made as opposed to machine made) glass from Germany and France in her favorite color combination. 

Upon completion of the piece, I put it under my couch for safe keeping till I was ready to ship it.  One day I was fluffing my couch pillows and heard "CRUNCH"!!!  I stepped on the glass and broke a piece! It was not a piece right on the edge but on the second layer of glass.  Yes, I cried, and it was over a year till I could bring myself to tackle the job of repair.  It finally made its way to Florida and hangs over RJ's kitchen window

Fleur d' lis stained glass for RJ

RJ says it sparkles when the sun shines!

First piece I kept for myself
It has an Art Nouveau style

I made this for my friend Louise

What's Stitching
Have you seen sneak peeks of the Nashville Market?   If not check out this siteMary and I have already picked the patterns we like.

Our "Birthday Party" is coming up at the end of March and we hope you will all attend.  Please send a photo of one of your favorite stitches by one of your favorite designers either finished or just stitched.  If you don't have a favorite designer any favorite stitch or craft will be great tooA big thank you to all who have already sent a photo to us. 

On a personal note, thank you so much Mary for my gorgeous stained glass. You should see it on a sunny day when the sun shines through my kitchen window.  It is one of my most treasured gifts.   I think of you every day when I look at it.  

Finished Challenges
Last year we both stitched challenges and this year we are showing them finished.   

RJ's challenge
My finished challenge is another Prairie Schooler Santa for my Santa collection.  I added my favorite fabric to the bottom and cream pom pom to the middle. I had bought some really nice, dyed green, pom pom trim but it was too good of a match and it kind of faded away.  The cream pom pom brought out the creamy white in the bird and the beard so I went with that.   I added green check ribbon, a bow and a tree charm to the finish.  

Closeup of stitch with pom pom

Closeup of bow and tree charm

1986 Schooler Santa
by Prairie Schooler
35 ct. Weeks Cocoa linen
Over dyed threads on hand
charm from Bohemian Findings on Etsy


Mary's Challenge
Little House Needlworks Quaker Birds is my finished challenge piece. Each time I stitch one of these ornaments I think it's my favorite one! I just love all the LHN ornaments but this one really is my favorite! 

Pretty lace and a button are a simple addition to this sweet stitch.
Quaker Birds
by Little House Needleworks
30 ct. Weeks Cocoa linen
called for threads


Stitched Challenges
These are our new stitches that will be finished next year.   

My stitched challenge is the bookstore from the Hometown Holiday series.  I'm loving these little stitches with the great colors and cute details.  I changed it up a bit to make it smaller.  I left off the lantern and the small tree and rearranged the snowflakes.  Once again I left off the name of the store until I come up with a great French name.  I'm looking forward to finishing my French village for the holidays.
Bookstore from the Hometown Holiday series
by Little House Needleworks
40 ct. vintage country mocha linen
called for threads



New into my rotation of Christmas Challenges is block 10 from Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow by Carriage House Samplings.  I won this great series of 12 different charts from Stasi at Bee-mused and Bee-stitching blog.  I haven't made much progress as the adorable "frogger" RJ gifted me has been put to good use! 

Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow
by Carriage House Samplings
36 ct. linen
called for DMC threads


Recipe of the Month
RJ's Easy Brownies
Do you need a really easy and quick dessert that everyone will love?  I make these brownies all the time for tail gating, parties and to take to friends.  Everyone thinks they are homemade but we will never tell!

1 box of Ghiradelli supreme  brownie mix (the one with the package of chocolate syrup included)
1 egg
and secret ingredient:
1/2 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup of milk chocolate chocolate chips

Make mix according to directions on box.  At the very end fold in the two different chocolate chips (this is the secret ingredient).

Bake as directed but you may need to let it bake a few minutes longer as this is a very moist mix.

If serving as a dessert put a scoop of good vanilla ice cream on top and some swirled chocolate syrup.  If they have Blue Bell in your area try Homemade Vanilla for the perfect addition.  Icing is optional.

You also can crumble it and stack sliced strawberries, ice cream and crumbled brownies in a parfait glass for another dessert.  

Just a scoop of good vanilla ice cream on top of the brownie is the way my family likes it!


We are really enjoying our SAL and they are coming along nicely.   We started stitching on January 20th and we follow a few rules. One hour a day is all we can stitch and we don't count our time until the needle hits the linen. If we miss a day, we can stitch two hours the next day to make up.  Silk threads are being used which we both are really enjoying.  Mary's stitch is on 32 ct. linen with two threads and mine is on 40 ct. linen with one thread.   And to make it more fun Mary started from the bottom and I started from the top. 

RJ's Update
This is where I left off on February 14
Deer, words, cardinals and potted plant were added.   This is after 22 hours
And this is where I am today February 28th.
It has details on all the cardinals, flowers in the flower pot, large cardinals and more of the deer.  This is after 35 hours.

Closeup of the deer and his garland.   This deer has a lot of stitches!  Still need to do filling in around eye and ears.


Mary's Update  
This is where I was on February 14th.
Deer, basket of fruit, cardinals, tree on right and flower are new since last update.  This is after 22 hours.

This is where I am on February 28th.
Deer is growing,  cardinals, 3 more flowers and tree are new additions.  This is after 35 hours.


Thank you all for stopping by to see us.   We truly appreciate every visit and love your comments.   If you have a blog that we do not know about please let us know as we would love to come and visit with you too.   Next post will be our Styling with Stitches projects that we are working on now.  See you in about ten days!

                                                                        Mary and RJ 

                                         A friend is what the heart needs all the time
                                                                     Henry Van Dyke

Thursday, February 15, 2018

February Week One

Styling With Stitches
What's Stitching
Invitation to a Party
Something New
SAL Update
Free Pattern

Happy belated Valentines Day to all!   You can call us the "day late - dollar short" girls.    Since the new year, we have been running late but we do hope you had a lovely day yesterday with your loved ones.   Our planned Valentine Day post is today!  This is a pretty jam packed post after missing last week so we hope you enjoy. 


Styling with Stitches
This month's styling with stitches project is decorated Mason jars.  It makes a thoughtful gift for that special person on Valentines day or any day actually.  You can tuck this idea away for future years or use it anytime during the year with another stitch design. 

RJ's Mason Jar
I used my first Shepherd's Bush kit for this project.   Have you tried one?   They include just about everything...hand dyed linen, silk threads, a charm, a bead, the chart and even a needle.  It was a fun and quick stitch!  I did change one color.   It had a mauve thread for the heart and I changed it to Poison Apple red.

I attached my little cross stitch to a pretty, tiny heart fabric with a running stitch.  After filling my jar with chocolate kisses and hearts, I tied the fabric to an antique Mason jar and added a double yo yo button.   I want a piece of candy so bad but I gave up chocolate for Lent...what was I thinking? 

Valentine centerpiece
Closeup shows tiny bead, garden tool and running stitch to attach to fabric

Grow Love
by Shepherd's Bush
silk threads
hand dyed linen
charm and bead

Mary's Mason Jar
I  have always appreciated anything handmade and when I saw this pretty doily at a yard sale for 25 cents I could not pass it by.  When RJ and I decided to stitch something for a Mason jar I thought of my little doily to stitch.   I think this linen was 50 count. I nearly went blind stitching it one over two!  A tiny ribbon and heart button from my stash finishes it off.

My jar is filled with filled raspberry Christmas candies.  These were a favorite from childhood and I haven't found them in years.  What a thrill when my sister brought a bag to me at Christmas, and yes, they tasted just as good as I remembered them! 

Valentine arrangement
My 25 cents doily added so much to this project
free stitch
find here
DMC 3777
up cycled linen doily



What's Stitching
We would like to thank Jo of Serendipitous Stitching for choosing us as bloggers of the week.  You made it alot of fun!   My interview is there this week and Mary's will be next week.   If you would like to read about us including a question asking for a secret you will find the interviews here

Birthday Party
We would like to invite everyone to come to our stitching party to celebrate our first year of blogging.   If you would like to attend, all you need to do is to send us a photo of  a stitch by one of your favorite designers.   It can just be the stitch or finished...your choice.   You can stitch it this month or it can be one from the past. The party will be the last week in March so we need them to come before March 25th.  We really hope you will attend.

Please send your photo to   


Something New
This is usually a smaller stitch and it can be finished any way we like but usually we make new themed ornaments or bowl fillers. 

RJ's new stitch
I chose to do a bowl filler this month.  Eventually I hope to have enough Valentine stitches to fill a dough bowl but this is my first one so I have a long way to go!   It's a cute primitive pattern that has a Victorian feel.  A small heart fabric was used for the front and ticking for the back.  I added a real tiny silver heart to her belt.   Lace, vintage buttons and a bow with a heart charm adds to the  finish.   

New stitch added to centerpiece

Closeup of finish with tiny heart charm, bow and charm, lace and buttons

Hearts Unite
by Shelly Auen
Primitivestitchin on Etsy
over dyed threads
40 ct. flax linen

Mary's new stitch
My stitch is called Crow in Love by Theresa Murgida.  Her Primitve Acorn shop can be found on ETSY. 

RJ bought this pattern for me as I am fond of crows. I think they are very intelligent birds and I enjoy watching their antics. This was stitched on a heavy, mystery linen that RJ sent me also.  I eliminated the heart on the crows chest  as I wanted to add a key and bow to his neck.  

My Shop Rite flowers with my crow stitch

Closeup of the sweet crow.

Crow in Love
by Theresa Murgida
called for threads
32 ct. linen


SAL Update
It's time to show our SAL progress after two weeks. We are really enjoying this project.    Stitching them with the called for silk threads is such a pleasure.  They go through the linen like butter and never seem to knot like cotton.  Here is where we are in a total of 22 hours.

This is where I left off after 11 hours of stitching

Deer, words, cardinals and potted plant are new since our last update.  This is after 22 hours.

Mary's SAL
This is where I left off after 11 hours of stitching
Deer, basket of fruit, cardinals, tree on right and flower are new since last update.  This is after 22 hours.


Free Pattern
We hope you enjoy this pretty free pattern from Glory Bee.   It's very sweet and looks like it would stitch up quickly.  This pattern can be found here


Thank you so much for your visit.   We really appreciate each and every one of you. If you have a blog that we don't know about, please let us know.   We would love to come and visit.  Next week will be our new grab bag and recipe post.  Until then, we hope you get the time to do lots of stitching. 

                                                                      Mary and RJ

                        Smile, it is the key that fits the lock of everybody's heart
                                                          Anthony J. D'Angelo 

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

January Week Four

Something New
SAL Progress
Review of week four ornaments of 2017'

It's hard to believe that it is the last day of January already.  This month just flew by for us.  We hate to admit it but we just put our Christmas decorations away this week!   We squeezed in our posts on the very last day of the month!  

Week fours are usually a new smaller stitch that we turn into an ornament or a bowl filler but this year we have some new ideas we will be sharing too.   We are starting the year with snowmen ornaments to follow our January theme.   We also have a new feature to share...a SAL.   And, we have a review of our week four projects from last year.   Enjoy!


Something New
RJ's New Ornament

Snow Love by Country Cottages was the choice for my January ornament.   I've been wanting to stitch on the dotted fabric for some time and this chart seemed well suited to go with it.  The only problem is when you have to stitch through a dot because they are painted on and it is hard to go through them.  I used a deep red fabric with tiny hearts the color of the linen.  Mary found this pretty fabric at a quilt show.   I wish we had tons more of it.   Tiny pom pom fringe was added to the middle to resemble snowballs and a heart button was stitched between the snow couple.  I finished it at the top with a bow and a small heart charm that says made with love.

Siting in the greenhouse with snow couple and trees

Pom pom fringe, red heart button and heart charm were added.  

Closeup of charm "Made with Love"

 Snow Love
by Country Cottage Needleworks
32 ct. raw/white petit point linen
over dyed threads I had
pom pom fringe from Hobby Lobby
charm from Joann Fabrics


Mary's New Ornament

January 1st and I had nothing stitched for our new ornament.  So, you can imagine how pleased I was to find this adorable Snowman on Martina's blog on January 1 st!! A great start to the New Year! 

He stitched up quickly.  I made a few small changes to the color scheme and  the shape of the snowflakes.   Pretty trim was added between the stitch and the fabric.  A bow with a snowflake charm was added to the finish.    You can find the pattern here.

Thank you Martina for your lovely design and sharing your talents with us! 

The colors read true.  Photo was taken in daylight

Close up of charm taken in artificial lighting

Pattern by Martina
Assorted DMC and Gentle Arts threads
  28 count raw cashel linen by Zweigert
charm from Bohemian Findings on etsy



Mary and I buy all our patterns together and then we decide who will stitch what for the blog.   We always know which one the other one really wants and we always say you do that one.   But one pattern popped up on blogs towards the end of last year that each of us really LOVED.   We both were willing to let the other one make it for the blog but deep down we both really wanted to stitch it.   So we said lets do a SAL.   We have enjoyed watching Martina, Manuela and Jutta do SALS together and thought it looked like fun. 

We received our patterns late in the month so we have only been stitching for 10 days so far.  The first two days we did only 30 minutes but then we decided to move it up to one hour daily.  

We have rules we follow.   We  can only stitch one hour a day but we don't have to count ripping out or putting the part we ripped out back in.  And time does not start until the threaded needle hits the linen.  If we miss a day we can stitch two hours the next day.

And to make it more fun, Mary started hers from the bottom of the chart and I started mine from the top.   Now see if you can guess which pattern we are stitching???


 Mary's SAL


Review of week four ornaments from 2017'

We showed you a review of our bigger projects for last year in week one.  So, we thought we would do a review of all of our smaller week four stitches this week. We will continue to do stitches like this in 18' but we have some new projects planned along with our new SAL.  

April bunnies


May garden

June birds and bees

July patriotic 

August sunflowers

September friendship

October and fall

November thanks

December "Christmas"


Hope you have enjoyed seeing our new January ornaments and watching progress on our brand new SAL.  We look forward to your visit next week for our latest "Styling with Stitches."   The time you take to visit is much appreciated and we always enjoy reading your comments. 

                                                                        RJ & Mary 

 “Snowflakes are one of natures most fragile things, but look at what they can do when they stick together.”   

                                                     unknown author