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Friday, June 9, 2017


June Birds and Bees
Week one

While working in the garden, it was easy to hear the birds singing and a bee buzzing around a flower.   There is only one thing that can draw either of us away from such a perfect day outside and that is cross stitching.  If you are like us not a day goes by without stitching.

Styling with Stitches

This month's project is pin cushions.  We chose two very pretty bird patterns from Brenda Gervis of With Thy Needle and Thread.

When I was a child I was fascinated by my Mom's sewing items.  I loved how pretty her pin cushion was and all her spools of thread.   I can remember playing with her sewing box and I would set it up like a classroom.  Boys were spools of thread in colors like navy, brown and tan.   And the girls were in pretty shades of pink, red and green.  I would teach them all a lesson from school that day.  It did not surprise my Mom when years later I majored in elementary ed. and became a teacher. 

Today we don't have those pretty wood spools with engraved writing on top of them for our thread. Now we only have plastic spools with paper labels.  We have to rely on searching for vintage spools make of wood.  But, we still can buy pretty pin cushions thanks to people who cross stitch, quilt and do needlework.   I have a large pinterest board just on pin cushions that you can find here.

We hope you like our pin cushions with bird stitches for our monthly June theme.  We selected two different styles for their finishes.  One is in a tart tin and the other is on a pretty wood stand.  


RJ's pin cushion: I used the pattern "A Tisket A Tasket" by Brenda Gervis.  The little bird with her bonnet in this pattern is just too cute not to stitch.  I didn't follow the directions for finishing, however. Instead, I found the center of my stitch and drew a five inch circle using a protractor.  Cut the same sized circle out of some pretty fabric and stitched them together leaving a small opening to turn. After it was turned, I filled it with crushed walnuts and sewed the opening shut.  Then I tacked on some pretty cotton lace that Mary had sent me. I added some ribbon and a scissor charm before I placed it in a tart tin.  I bought the tins here on Amazon.  I found the cute bird stick pin at Etsy from the sweetest lady from Victoria, Canada.  Her site is called Pincushion Crazy and can be found here.

I gave my new 50 lens that my blog buddy sent me a try today.   It blurs out some of the surrounding items while you get a good view of your target.  It is a fun accessory thanks to Mary.

Closeup of the stitch still using the 50 lens

This is the tart pan laying flat like it will be used. I had to stitch the ribbon and lace to the pin cushion.

A Tisket A Tasket
by With Thy Needle and Thread
40 ct. country mocha linen
called for over dyed threads were used

                                                                           💙


Mary's pin cushion: The story behind this stitch exemplifies the generous spirit and kindness of stitchers.   RJ found a photo of a pattern that she wanted badly and her search for it came up empty handed.  I went on a cross stitching facebook page and asked for help in identifying the pattern.  A lovely lady named Cathy offered to send it to me.   She not only sent that one but several more Fanci That patterns and even some of the coordinating buttons. 

She was very happy that they were going to be used and asked us to pass them on after they have been stitched.   As soon as we are done stitching them, we will be sharing the patterns with our followers as part of our give-a-ways in future posts.

This pin cushion was just a small thank you to Cathy.  I used the pattern Pin Feathers by Brenda Gervis and the talented Faye of Carolina Stitcher finished it using some of my antique buttons and a wood stand I painted with Annie Sloan "Duck Egg Blue" paint.  The wooden stand can be found here.  I was thrilled when I received the finished pin cushion and was tempted to keep it myself!  Cathy loved it too! 


I love how the antique buttons hang from the pin cushion


Pin Feathers
by With Thy Needle and Thread
40 ct. Newcastle flax linen
called for over dyed thread
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Next week we will have a special "grab bag" you don't want to miss.   We have a really nice give - a - way to tell you all about.   We also will have photos of our challenges.   See you then.
                                                         RJ and Mary


                               When life gives you crumbs…feed the birds.
                                                        author unknown 


35 comments:

  1. Both your pin cushions are darling. Mary, I love the little wooden stand (but your link doesn't work). RJ, did you just set yours in the tart tin or did you permanently glue it in? Thanks for sharing! I wish you both a wonderful weekend.

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    1. Thank you Robin. Glad you liked our pin cushions. Funny that link worked when I put it on so maybe the site is down. It's Brenda Gervis's Country Stitches site. It suggests gluing the pin cushion to the bottom of the tart tin but I did not. I just sat it in there for now.

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    2. Hi Robin, Sorry about the link, there is a computer glitch but I found out that Michaels crafts sells the little stands also in the wood dept. Have a great weekend.

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  2. Two lovely pincushions here. I really like the button trim on Mary's. What a generous person to send the charts to you.
    I also really like the photo effect on RJ's camera, looks very professional!

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    1. Those buttons are lovely aren't they? I've done them on word plays and they are very time consuming. I can't wait to tell my husband how much you liked the photo effect as it was our first try. We both gave it a work out and took like 50 photos this morning.

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    2. Hi Jo, I love anything old and the buttons give it an aged look. I thought that was the kindest thing to send a total stranger charts with the cute little buttons, it was such a generous act.
      RJ, is doing great with learning a new camera. Have a great weekend.

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  3. Oh ladies! Super work! Sooooo pretty. RJ I love that little cart full of buttons! :D Oh Mary, that gift is just lovely! ooOoo!

    I have my Great Aunt Ethel's spools I cherish.

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    1. Thanks Vickie for the sweet comments on our pin cushions. I would love to see your Aunt Ethel's spools. You are so lucky to have them. I would cherish them too.

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  4. Oh, these are both so pretty but I think that I love Mary's finish the best, with the very cute buttons.

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    1. Hi Kaye! Glad you stopped by. I love those antique buttons and the pretty stand Mary painted with the duck blue paint too. It is so pretty. RJ

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    2. Thank you, I wish I could take credit for the finishing, I knew exactly what I wanted but don't have the skills (yet!) Faye did a beautiful job on the finishing.

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  5. These are beautiful, I love the delicate colours and the embellishments which take them out of the ordinary. x

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    1. Hi Kay, I love all of Brenda Gervais's patterns, her style and choice of colors is lovely. Thank you for your kind comments.

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  6. Beautiful makes!!! Also love the mini wheelbarrow full of buttons, this is so cute!

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    1. Hi Mii! I love her wheelbarrow too!

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  7. This blog is so inspiring to me. Not just to do with the stitching, which I love and I try to stitch every day, but the settings also. All the little primitive looking pretties and all. Makes me want to take a good look at my home and see where I can set up or improve things. Lovely!

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    1. Oh Linda, what a lovely compliment! It's actually fun to see what you can use with displays. RJ is so creative, I just love her little wheelbarrow with the buttons. Thank you again and we are thrilled that you found inspiration on our little blog. Mary

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  8. Both are wonderful pincushions.

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  9. Wonderful stitching work, RJ and Mary!!

    I have "A Tisket A Tasket" for my Summer stitching plans, now looking at your pin cushion RJ, I decided to used the recommend threads! I really love the floss on your stitching, RJ! I really like your finished piece!

    Mary, your pin cushion is adorable too! :)

    A lovely weekend for both!

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    1. Hi Lili, I have yet to do "A Tisket a Tasket" but after seeing RJ's I want to start it right away. Too many lovely patterns, too little stitching time! Yes, use the recommended threads,they are just so soft and lovely. Have a great weekend!

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  10. The pincushions are beautiful! I am amazed at the generosity of the people we meet online through blogging and groups. Glad someone had the pattern and was willing to share it plus some more. Stitchers are a fantastic type of people. --Andrea

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    1. Andrea, I was so happy to find the pattern for RJ and was thrilled by the generosity of Cathy sending all the patterns. I stitched one that I'll be showing in the fall. Happy to have you here!

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  11. Darling pin cushions...love the lace around the tin and Mary's little wooden stand...the birds are so sweet!

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    1. Thank you Susan, I love crocheted lace and I love it around RJ's tin too. Have a nice week.

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  12. I just love how you each finished your pin cushions! Mary I would have never thought to put it on a small stand like you did but it is gorgeous. Both of you have beautiful finishes!!

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    1. Faith, Brenda Gervais displayed it finished on her pattern like this and I wanted it done the exact same way, I wish it was my idea!! I loved it. Thank you!!!

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  13. Your gorgeous stitches continue to flourish and I love seeing them~ The dangling antique buttons on the pincushion make me want to stitch this piece again as a gift for a dear friend..... I certainly enjoyed finishing yours~ Keep up the great work.... Your talent is beaming❤️

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  14. Faye, I hope you stitch this for your friend, it's a gorgeous stitch and your finishing is perfection, she will love it. We are thrilled to hear you are enjoying our blog.

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  15. Hello RJ, thank you so much for your sweet comment on my blog! That was such a nice surprise ...
    I love the stitches you made, love the birds. I LOVE LOVE LOVE to make crossstitches and don't do it often enough ... As you read we just started our holidays and I look forward to make some 'serious' stitches.
    I look forward to read your blog too :)

    Dutch waves & greetings, Carolien

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  16. These are two wonderful pincushions, and with birds, which is always an extra plus for me. I love to see cross stitched birds and I love to stitch them myself. And of course I love to watch the birds in our garden :)
    The finishing of both pincushions is fantastic.

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  17. I'm so late with my comments due to traveling for two family weddings, but I just wanted to pop in and tell you how lovely both of these turned out! I stitched the one that Mary stitched and made it into a round hanging ornament for a friend last year--need to stitch one for myself!

    Enjoy your weeks, RJ, and Mary! Hope you are having some lovely summer weather...

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  18. Sorry I missed this when you originally posted it. The pincushions and finishes are both wonderful and I enjoy the background stories. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  19. I'm a bit behind too but just wanted to say how beautiful your pincushions are, and your gorgeous settings too!

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  20. I love the buttons and fabrics on Violet. What a pretty finish. I have never framed any of my cross-stitch myself, but the current cost of having even something small framed is making me reconsider. I will have to remember to measure twice and cut once. I hope you find a smaller frame. That piece is quite pretty.

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