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Big Give Away coming the end of June!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

September Friendship
Weeks three and four

Something Old Made New
Something New
Christmas Challenges
Free Pattern

We had some delays this month because of Hurricane Irma and computer problems so this week will be a "jam packed" post.  We are combining weeks three and four together.  Enjoy!!!

Something Old Made New

RJ's -   For my old ornament, I chose Six Little Cardinals by Little House Needleworks.  Cardinals have a very special meaning to me so whenever I see a pattern with one I want to stitch it.   This particular pattern was a really quick and easy stitch and a lot of fun to do.   I used all the called for thread colors.  

Before:

After:  To dress up my old ornament, I added some pleated satin ribbon that Mary had from stamping , double check bows and tiny jingle bells.  It's still taking me forever to hand stitch trim all the way around an ornament.   Any tips?


Six cardinals with pleated ribbon, double bows and tiny jingle bells

Six Little Cardinals
Little House Needleworks
35 ct. weeks cocoa linen
called for threads


                                                      ⚜⚜⚜⚜


Mary's -  My old ornament update was a free Shepherd's Bush pattern.  You will find it here:    https://www.shepherdsbush.net/shop/Shepherds-Bush-Designs/Free-patterns.htm

Before:
            

After:  I kept the update simple to keep with the simplicity of the stitch.  A piece of cording that I had on hand and a wooden heart button dresses up this quick, fun stitch.
Free Shepherd Bush pattern
40 ct. country mocha linen
mixture of DMC and over dyed threads


Something New

RJ's - For my new stitch for our friendship month, I'm showing a really sweet stitch called Stitching Friends Forever by Lizzie Kate.  When I saw this pattern I knew I had to have it.   It was a hard one to find but one night I found it on Ebay and bought it quickly.  It's like it was designed for our blog.   Cute story:  I made it for Mary and then a few months later the same stitch came with the same frame in the mail to me.   Mary said "You have to have one too"!  At first I thought she was sending the one I made her back to me.   It was only when I looked closer that I realized there was a different pair of scissors on it.  So I'm actually showing you the one Mary made for me but the one I sent her is almost identical.
Sweet stitch in our favorite Kohl's frame which allows a charm to fit under glass

Closeup of Stitching Friends Forever

Stitching Friends
Lizzie Kate

40 ct. vintage country mocha linen
called for over dyed threads

                                                                     ⚜⚜⚜⚜


Mary's -  These two pieces complete the Valentine Sampler series by Brenda Gervais of With Thy Needle and Thread that I gifted RJ.   Faye of Carolina Stitcher worked her magic yet again.   I love how she added the heart stitch to a box that she painted and lined with a fabric that coordinated so well with the stitch.

Thank you Faye yet again for your wonderful creative vision.  I was thrilled with your finishing and I know RJ was also.
Lovely pin cushion that has embroidered X's all around the seams

You can see the beautiful heart box in this photo along with the rest of the sewing group.


Christmas Challenges

RJ's - I really fell in love with this sweet little sewing Santa by Homespun Elegance.   It is called Santa Please Bring Me from 2008.  I used over dyed threads that I had on hand that looked close to the called for colors.   When it is finished into an ornament, it will have a cute pair of scissors that came with the pattern.      
                          
Closeup of Santa Please Bring Me...scissors will be added to his hand
Santa Please Bring Me
2008 ornament collection
Homespun Elegance
mystery cream linen
over dyed threads I had
  
                                                                         ⚜⚜⚜⚜


Mary's -  This is the second Prairie Schooler Barnyard ornament that I have stitched for my little nephew.  I used called for DMC threads with the exception of GA Gold Leaf for the basket on mystery fabric.  The tail feathers were a challenge.  I initially stitched them vertically, but after spending much time "frogging", I realized that stitching the feathers horizontally was much easier for me.
Prairie Schooler Barnyard
mystery linen
called for DMC and GA Gold Leaf


September Free Pattern

We found this really perfect free pattern called Sister StitcherSince starting our blog, we have certainly become Sister Stitchers.  It was designed by The Primitive Hare.  You can find the chart here:     http://www.theprimitivehare.com/free/sister.pdf



It's hard to believe we have completed six months of blogging.   It was way more work than we ever thought and way more fun than we ever could dream.    We thank all of you for coming and becoming stitching friends.   Next week will be our October Styling with Stitches.  Hope to see you then. RJ and Mary  

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

Monday, September 18, 2017

September Friendship
Week two

Mary's Grab Bag - Interview with a Finisher

I think one of the greatest compliments you can give someone is that you have been inspired by them.  Faye, who blogs at Carolina Stitcher,  has certainly inspired us.  We look forward to each new post and she never fails to delight with her finishing.  

Before we started our blog, I asked Faye if we could interview her for our future blog and we were thrilled when she accepted.  
                                           
Meet Faye! 
      Thanks for the opportunity to do this interview! When I was about 12, my Mom taught me how to sew. Then in high school I was very involved in Future Homemakers of America. I was hooked!  I graduated from N.C. State University majoring in textiles which fed my love for fabric, thread and creativity.  After college I began stitching. My mentor was Edna Medlin of Threads of Gold Designs.  She taught me so much. I also model stitched for her shop.  Her love of reproduction samplers rubbed off on me. She passed away a couple of years ago but she touched the lives of many N.C. and Va. stitchers.  As my retirement journey begins, you'll see me stitching more and finishing more. As my Carolina Stitcher products (project bags and stitcher rolls)become more popular, I may begin inventorying them for last minute buys. Until then, all my products are made lovingly on an individual basis.  

How long have you been stitching?  40 years
Who taught you? I am self taught
Do you have a favorite designer? Threadwork Primitives by Nan Lewis
How long have you been finishing for others? I began Carolina Stitcher finishing in 2010
Do you ever get nervous when finishing a stitch that you will make a mistake and ruin the stitch? I take a deep breath each time I cut someone else's precious linen.
What is your favorite part of finishing? My favorite part is envisioning something unique and special, then gathering supplies. 
Where do you find your finishing inspiration? Like everyone, I see projects finished by designers and others, then I put my special spin on things.
Do you ever tire of finishing? No....
Do you have a stitching buddy? Linda Page of NC is my #1 stitch buddy, travel buddy and assistant at retreats. 
Have you ever thought of designing your own patterns? I'm considering designing-
What brand sewing machine do you use? I use Singer machines but my first was a Kenmore. A gift from my Mom. 
Do you have a favorite brand of fabric that you use in your finishing? I use good quality cottons, Moda primarily. 
What is your favorite linen to stitch on and do you ever stitch on aida? I started on Aida but  quickly went to linen. 40 ct Lakeside Linen is my go to linen.
What product do you use to hold your fabric, in hand, qsnaps, other? I use a 6"wood hoop that a good friend from France gifted me 10 years ago. (Manufacture unknown)
Have you ever entered your stitches in a fair? No
Have you ever been published? Cross stitch magazine, etc? Cross Stitch magazine wrote an article about me June 2016. This was a UK publication, issue 262.
You are obviously great at time management, any tips to offer on that? I'm organized. I have to stay that way. Fortunatly as a teacher, those organization skills come naturally. 
Do you know the number of stitches you have finished for yourself and others? LOL..too many to know. 
What do you find most rewarding about stitching? Finishing? Stitching and finishing are relaxing for me. 
Have you ever been commissioned to stitch for a designer? Absolutely! I have been honored to do commissioned stitching for designers many times. 
Where do you purchase your great trims and fabrics? On trips, online.
What are your other hobbies and interests? I enjoy traveling and reading.
We are looking forward to your retirement because it means even more great posts from our favorite finisher, what are you looking forward to in your retirement? As a retired educator, I hope to finish more, relax more and shorten my turnaround times. 

Thank you so much Faye for participating in our first interview. One can see that you put your heart and soul into your finishing and stitching. It's so nice to learn more about a kindred stitcher and  we are so happy you took time to share with us and our followers.   

We hope you enjoyed learning more about Faye.  I have used Faye for several finishing projects and her work is impeccable.  She truly brings your projects to life.    You can find her blogging at www.carolinastitcher.blogspot.com  If you have never been to her blog before you are in for a treat!

                            A small sampling of Faye's finishing talents

Faye's lovely needle bag
Her choice of trims and fabrics are always lovely
Quaker rounds collection
Her heart shaping is perfect!
Stitcher roll and project bag

             "A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you." 
                                                      Elton Hubbard

Thanks for visiting and taking time to comment.  We love hearing from you!  Next week we will be showing our "oldies made new".  We hope to see you then.   Mary and RJ

Sunday, September 10, 2017


September Friendship
Week one

There is a Miracle called Friendship
that dwells within the heart
and you don't know how it happens
or when it even starts.

But the happiness it brings you

always gives a special lift
and you realize that
Friendship is God's most precious gift. 
author unknown

How could a blog called Stitching Friends Forever not have a month of friendship? For this month we will be showing cross stitch gifts we have made for each other and other friends. As stitching friends and blog buddies we are in constant contact on a daily basis. For me it is a pleasure and honor to have such a wonderful and caring friend like Mary in my life.

Styling with Stitches

RJ - I chose four stitches by Homespun Elegance to make four seasonal door hangings for Mary for Christmas one year.  They are all from the delivering series.   I made Delivering Flurries for winter, Delivering Fleurs for spring, Delivering Posies for summer and Delivering Harvest for fall.  I used all over dyed threads some called for and some I liked better.   

The stitch I used for spring had a sheep with the cart but I changed it to a bird from Delivering Americana so that all four of the stitches would be birds.  It meant changing the straps where they meet the bird but other than that I pretty much followed the pattern. The sheep was adorable but Mary really loves birds so I wanted to be sure they were all birds. There were lots of details in these cute stitches like lots of small French knots, button wheels, cute charms, decorative buttons and ticking ribbon.  It really was so much fun putting these four separate patterns together and making a door hanging for each season.


Delivering flurries I used for the Winter bird and added a snowflake button to his beak.

My favorite was made for Spring.   I changed the sheep to a bird and added garden tools to his strap.

This was my choice for the Summer bird.  I added a ladybug button to the cart.  The insides of the flowers were all tiny French knots.

The autumn bird had a lot of detail which was fun.   I added an acorn charm to the cart.  The caps of the acorn and flowers were all tiny French knots.  And there was a lot of backstitching to highlight the stitch.

Delivering Flurries, Delivering Fleurs, Delivering Posies and Delivering Autumn
Homespun Elegance
Over dyed threads
40 ct. flax Newcastle linen
decorative box from Michaels


                                                             ❤




Mary - The thoughtfulness RJ put into her gift speaks volumes of the kind, generous soul she is and I'm equally honored to have her friendship.

Only a fellow stitcher could imagine my delight and how touched I was to receive this beautiful series. My favorite is also Delivering Fleurs because of how she personalized this just for me.  I love birds and how she kept the continuity of the series by changing the sheep to a bird made it even more special. I loved the addition of the red bird sitting on the bird's head, the flower between cart and bird and the shining sun she added.  The time and effort that it took to personalize this just for me is what made this so special. 

I wanted to give RJ a gift that would bring as much joy to her as her gift brought to me so I enlisted the talented Faye of Carolina Stitcher to finish Valentine Sampler by Brenda Gervais, With thy Needle and Thread.  


Project bag and Needleroll

Pocket and padded pin cushion

Sweet addition of hanging buttons

Love the wool felt heart and button she added to the fob


  
Rouched ribbon trim


How lucky was I to receive this gorgeous sewing set from Mary for my birthday.  I can't tell you how much I truly love each piece and the love behind Mary's stitching and Faye's wonderful finishes.  We are now beginning our sixth month of blogging and we have met so many wonderful people.  We thank you for coming to our blog and becoming "stitching friends".  Next week we will have a special "grab bag" post we think you will enjoy.   Hope to see you then.  
 RJ and Mary



Strangers are just friends waiting to happen
                                unknown author