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Big Give Away coming the end of June!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

August Sunflowers
week one

When we think of August, our thoughts go to beautiful sunflowers standing tall and following the sun.   We both love sunflowers so we really liked finding patterns to follow this month's theme.


We have two special projects to share.  For quite awhile, we have been thinking of new ways to use larger stitches and our favorite way is making pillow pinafores. We thought we could make a new one for each month and special holidays.

They would be easier to make than a pillow and would store flat so we could have lots of them.  Plus you only need to buy one pillow.  We chose to use a nice rectangle down filled pillow from Ballards Design during a great sale.   And that means lots of uses for big stitches!

We will make two pinafores a year and every time one of us makes a pinafore the other will make a word play.   We immediately fell in love with the monthly word plays from With Thy Needle and Thread and decided to make them all.

RJ's pinafore -  I chose the pattern Sunflower House by Plum Street Samplers.   There were so many details on this stitch that I loved like the horse and buggy, the sunflowers, the barn and of course the great American flag.

I changed it up quite a bit because I wanted it to be longer for a pinafore.  So instead of stitching the random Shaker signs, I decided to add a whole row of them across the lower section of the stitch.  Then I took a song line from the Beatles "I'll Follow the Sun" for my next added row.   I finished it with a long row of tall sunflowers.   I used the sunflower design from the August word play to make them.  I kept the border going around the whole stitch.  This was my first Plum Street Sampler cross stitch but it definitely will not be my last.  In fact we have purchased quite a few more for the coming months.  I loved this pattern because it took on so much personality with each completed section.   When I got to the end, I was sorry there was no more to stitch.

Well here it is ... my first cross stitched pillow pinafore!

Tried it out on another chair for better light.   Forget "sunny Florida"...we have only had rain!!!

The pattern ended where the horse and buggy are.  So I added a row of Shaker signs, a line from a Beatles song and a long row of tall sunflowers to make it longer.

I used black ticking, black gingham ribbon and black buttons.

Sorry I cut off the flowers and the border but I wanted you to see the details.  The border is black and the red like the barn.  

Sunflower House
by Plum Street Samplers
40 ct. flax Newcastle linen
over dyed threads


Mary's word play -  When I found out that RJ was using Sunflower House for her August pinafore, I was thrilled because it meant a "no work" post for me!  She had sent me this beautiful Word Play as a birthday gift in 2014.  This is such a delightful series and my favorite month is August.  Not only is it my birthday month, but I love the garden theme which included sunflowers, tiny bees, a hive and a sweet girl holding a watering can. It is such a charming stitch and you can see why we were both smitten with the whole series.

I loved the finish of this pretty stitch which included hanging vintage buttons, the perfect coordinating fabric and the sweet addition of a stitched sunflower on the back with a running stitch.

But, the best part of this gift is it was stitched with love.  I am so fortunate to have RJ as a dear friend and my blogging partner.  One could not ask for a more generous, kinder soul and I'm blessed to have her in my life.

I display my word plays on my curio cabinet

Close up of the stitch and the hanging buttons

I love the backing fabric RJ chose

Such a sweet additon

August Word Play
by With Thy Needle and Thread
35 ct. Abecedarian linen
called for over dyed threads

Have a great week of stitching.  Next week we have a really neat grab bag post and also our stitching challenges to share. Hope to see you then.   RJ and Mary

                              Tomorrow may rain so I’ll follow the sun
                                                       The Beatles


  1. Love both your finishes. I would like to do pinafore`s for myself as always looking for some different finishes as framing is costly over here. Happy Stitching.

  2. Oh how nice, two different pattern, and both so perfectly finished. I can´t say what is my favorite.
    Happy Weekend, Martina

  3. Fabulous finishing on both..have never seen the pinafore idea done like that before just spectacular ❤️ Both designs are perfect as well
    Happy August my birthday today enjoy this wonderful month🌻🌻

  4. The pinafore is a great idea. I love both stitches. I have been spying those word plays forever.

  5. Both pieces are the summer/sunflower themes and pinafore finish. And to top it all off, Beatle lyrics!!! Inspirational all around! Thanks ladies!

  6. The pillow pinafore is so very clever. I like your word plays displayed on your curio cabinet like that Mary. So very pretty!

  7. Two wonderful finishes. I like the pinafore pillow.
    Have a nice weekend.

  8. I love your posts. I've never heard of a pillow pinafore. I'll have to look it up but what a great idea. I like stitching smaller things. I already have a perfect pillow form to use as the pillow. Will just have to figure out how to complete it. Love your choice of patterns.

  9. I love the pinafore idea! I am all about saving storage space, and the idea of having lots of easily storable pinafores but only one bulky pillow is fantastic!

  10. Happy August to you both! Both your projects are super! I love the pillow pinafore idea. Hmmm, what a fabulous way to display a larger piece and resolve the how to store as well. Enjoy your weekend, ladies!

  11. RJ and Mary, thank you for another beautiful post! I love the pillow pinafore! It's a pretty design and I'm a Beatles fan, so this is especially lovely to me. I am really enjoying your blog!

  12. What a great way to avoid going design blind. Use a rotating pinafore on a pillow. I wish you a very happy birthday, Mary. We'll done on your word play. 🙂

  13. RJ, what a great theme you chose for this month - sunflowers! I love sunflowers a lot and there are so many wonderful sunflowers designs out there. The Plum Street Sampler pone is one of them. Great idea to extend the design a little and then turn it into a pillow pinafore. Wonderful finishing.

    Mary, your wordplay looks perfect and it also has a little sunflower. How sweet. These hanging buttons are so darling, a lovely idea to embellish your finished little word play.

  14. Another post with two beautifully stitched models. Love the pillow pinafore finish, never seen anything like this before and it looks great. Also great addition of buttons to finish off the word play project.

  15. I really love this word play for August, it is a set of patterns that I hope to do for rmyself one day. x

  16. I have sunflowers on my mind also. Love the finsihes. Its hard to believe we are in August already.

  17. Great month theme, Sunflowers! How beautiful stitching, RJ and Mary!

    Happy August!

  18. RJ...your pinafore is so cute and I love the pattern plus your creative improvising! What a great way to finish!
    Happy Birthday this month, Mary! The buttons on the Wordplay make it so a gift from RJ, I'm sure it is a treasure for you...

  19. Love the August selections Ladies! The Word Play series looks like a fun series to stitch up and I love the additions made to the Sunflower House piece!

    Happy Birthday Month Mary!

  20. Beautiful finishes and stitching!

  21. Love your pillow how beautiful the stitching and the word series is so lovely too.
    Happy Birthdaymonth Mary.
    RJ and yourself sounds like you have a beautiful friendship hugs.

  22. These are both just so pretty! Your photographs are always gorgeous as well, you must have the most beautiful homes.

  23. Hi Mary and RJ,
    Oh you ladies have done it again! Oh be still my heart....I love sunflowers...absolutely love them! RJ...your Plum Street Sampler stitch is sooo beautiful and the finish? What a great idea! Love it!
    And Mary....I have so loved these word plays...and of course August is one of my favorites! Beautiful! I always have so many great ideas when I read your posts!
    I hope you both are having a good week! Sending hugs and love your way!

  24. Both such pretty finishes! Happy Birthday Mary.

  25. A very beautiful finish for Plumstreet Sampler's chart!!!

  26. Wow, such lovely finishes! Love the barn too :)
    Wishing you lots of sunshone & Dutch waves across the ocean (mmm, raining here too),


  27. What a neat way to finish a pillow, RJ! I love the lyrics that you added and the way you extended the height of the pillow--really creative and it turned out beautifully!

    And what a lucky one you are, Mary, to receive that Word Play as a gift. I've stitched three or four of them and know they take awhile! Hope your birthday was special--you and RJ sure are!!

  28. Hoping for rain here in hot, smoky Oregon! What wonderful stitches and finishes - truly inspired!

  29. Both are wonderful finishes.

    Love the idea of the pinafore. The extra touches make it extra special.

  30. I have never seen a pillow pinafore before but it looks like a clever idea! Any chance of a tutorial? Or a link to one?
    Love the Word Play design too, I want to stitch the whole series and must get cracking on the two I have on loan right now.