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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

January Week one and two

Styling with Stitches - Week One
Free Pattern
Grab bag - Week Two
Recipe of the Month

Happy 2018' to all!   Hope everyone had wonderful holidays and are enjoying the new year.  Do you have lots of stitching plans?  We are so excited to be back and can't wait to share our new stitches with you.   

We still will aim to have four weekly posts a month with different themes.  You will find a few changes to the themes and posts on the sidebar.  Another goal is to have two topics to cover each week.  We hope you like the changes and additions.

Well we got a late start this month so we will be putting week one and two together.   So pull up a chair, a cup of coffee and enjoy a  jam packed post!


Styling with Stitches
Week One

RJ's Journal -  The pattern Sewing Bird by With Thy Needle and Thread was my choice for the journal.   I love to make notes and plans for the blog so I thought the beginning of the new year would be perfect for a sewing journal.   I bought a book from Amazon and then stitched Sewing Bird to add to the front.   I finally made my first flat finish but still need lots of practice!  I added black rick rack around the stitch and a little black bow at the top.   As a little extra, I attached a ribbon to the book to act as a page marker and stitched a scissor charm to it. 

I made some changes to the stitch to make it longer. Where it was suppose to end I made a new design  by putting the top border together with the bottom border.   Then I added some words "Just One Stitch More" under the new design.   I'm always saying that to myself each night because I never want to stop stitching.  I ended it with more so it would rhyme with the 1 2 3 4 in the stitch.  And, then I added the original bottom border.    
Adding the black rick rack and bow grounded it 

Closeup of the new stitch and words I added

I pulled the bookmark out so you can see how the scissor charm was added at the bottom

Sewing Bird
by With Thy Needle and Thread
40 ct. flax linen
called for over dyed threads
vintage rick rack and ribbon
scissor charm from Bohemian Findings on Etsy


Mary's Journal - My journal is for Hudson, my 4 year old grand nephew.  I’m hoping his mother will use it to journal his daily activities.  I stitched the train on 18 count country mocha Aida with 4 threads of assorted DMC for full coverage.   The most difficult part of finishing was trying to evenly place the rick rack, and I didn’t succeed so well at that!  On second thought,  the difficult part was trying to thread the needle with 4 threads!!!

Here is my journal for my sweet grand nephew 

H is for Hudson!

H is for Hudson
18 ct. Country Mocha Aida cloth
DMC threads in primary colors
black rick rack


Free Pattern for you

Robin sent us this great free stitch that we thought you would really enjoy.   I know it is in our stitching plans.

You can find the chart at glorybeestitch


Grab Bag Week Two 
Review of Styling with Stitches 17'
Our first grab bag of 18' is to review our Styling with Stitches from our first year of  blogging.  We thought this would give newcomers a way of getting acquainted with Styling with Stitches and a place for our early followers to find them all together. Our goal for Styling with Stitches is to find new ways to use our stitches.  They usually are our bigger projects of the month.   

April was our very first post and we made candle banners.  We were so afraid to hit the publish button that first day!   But we are so glad we did and got to meet so many wonderful people through this blog.   

May was a fun month and we still use these sewing machine covers every day. 

In June we made two cute pin cushions.   One in a tart tin and another on a wooden stand.

July was our patriotic month.   We made two projects - a flower bag and a paper weight.

August was our first pillow pinafore and word play combo.   You will see two of these each year.

September was our gift month.   We made a set of seasonal birds and a really pretty sewing set.

In October we made two projects.   One was a stand to hold a stitch waiting to be finished and the other a cloche tag. 

November was our fall month and we made two Fanci That angel hangings.

In December we ended our first year with our second pillow pinafore and word play combo.

It was a fun first year and we look forward to many more with all of you.


Recipe of the Month

This is a new feature we will be adding every second post of the month.   We will share our favorite recipes and hope you will enjoy them.

Mary's Butternut Squash Chili:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large or 2 small jalepeno seeded and chopped
¼ cup tomato paste
3 large plum tomatoes, chopped (In off season, I substitute Hunts petite tomatoes)
1 cup apple cider
1 cup water
1 tsp cumin
3 Tablespoons chili powder (I start with 1 T and add more to taste)
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into one inch cubes
3 cups black beans (I use three 15 oz cans drained)
¼ cup cilantro

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread butternut squash cubes on lightly oiled cookie sheet. Bake 12 mins or till tender to touch, remove and set aside.

Heat oil in large pot, add paste, garlic, jalepenos, cover and cook for 5 mins. Add beans, tomatoes, apple cider, water, spices and squash. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer till squash is very tender, about 20 mins. Add beans and simmer uncovered for additional 20 mins. Garnish with cilantro.

I prebake squash in microwave for a few minutes to make cutting easier.  I don’t add jalapeno as my husband does not like “hot” food. It’s good with and without jalapeno. I have even served this cold as a dip with tortilla chips.  

I am fortunate to have a local farm stand that sells the squash for 1$ each and load up on it in the fall. Squash stores very well in a cool spot. This is a healthy recipe to start off the New Year!! 


Thank you so much for your visit.   We really appreciate each and every one of you.  Next week will be our new "challenges" post.   Until then, we hope you get the time to do lots of stitching. 

                                                       RJ and Mary

                  Snowmen fall from heaven one flake at a time
                                                             unknown author


  1. Oh I like the two motifs for the notebooks, a nice idea.
    You've done so many nice little jobs, so different in theme, and great finishes.
    Thanks for the freebie
    Big Hugs to you, Martina

  2. Both books look great and will come in handy for many occasions. A sweet free stitching pattern find too!

  3. It is lovely to have different ideas of things to do with our stitching, it is easy to get in a rut and finish everything the same way. Looking forward to another year of your blog. x

  4. What a wonderful post , full of wonderful stitching goodies , and ideas and cooking . Love your new look post it's a real winner.
    Thank you love it .
    The first stich on your post is so beautiful.
    Wishing you both a happy day.

  5. Hello RJ
    your new stitching journal looks great. I like your change.
    Hello Mary,
    Great Idea the journal for your little grand nephew.
    The Snow freebie is wonderful Thank you for the link.
    Thanks for sharing again all your wonderful and beautiful finishes from last year.
    Big Hugs Manuela

  6. You were right...this was a jam packed post...full of great projets and clever finishes! Love your journal pieces...both are wonderful! Mary, I'm going to send you a PM about the "loop method" so it's easier to thread your DMC strands. Looking forward to seeing your fresh ideas in 2018!

  7. RJ Just One Stitch More is awesome!! You are so clever! Oh Mary, what a darling journal for your nephew.❤️

  8. What a great free chart...thanks for sharing! Love your journal cover, just perfect for a little boy :)

  9. I loved the review of what you have shared. I am so glad y'all pressed that button. I have enjoyed getting to know y'all. I seriously love the journal ideas. Both are fabulous. RJ, the idea of adding "one stitch more" was genius. I say that too. The border was perfect, and how you stitch on 40 count, I do not know. Did you use one thread?
    I think I must have missed the sewing machine covers. I really like them. I might need to do that!

  10. What a great post to read this morning with my coffee! Both of your journal covers turned out fabulous. I like the addition you made to the Sewing Bird, RJ. Mary, that train is adorable. I look forward to seeing what you all come up with in 2018.

  11. RJ: What a beautiful finish with Sewing Bird, it is fantastic.
    Your year in review is a wonderful idea, so happy you are in the BlogLand sharing with us.


  12. Mary: I am sure Hudson will love this journal and I hope Mommy uses it, he will be able to look back when he is older to see what he was into .
    The year in review is so sweet, I should try that some January.
    Super recipe, thank-you for sharing with us.


  13. Thanks for the review! How beautiful pieces during 2017, RJ and Mary! I love so much both of your sewing machine covers!
    Wonderful pieces for journals covers!

    Happy New Year!

  14. Girls when I see a new blog post pop up from yall I get so excited. I love the finishes that do not require framing. I am trying to do more finishes in that style. Especially seasonal things that are only out for a little while. I already printed the freebie. Thanks so much for sharing it. I am too lazy to search the web for freebies so that is a much loved service yall provide to your readers. Love your Blog!!

  15. Hi, RJ and Mary! Great post. I love the journals....good idea! I enjoyed the “year in review” of styling stitches. Up until very recently, I thought I had to do one of very few things with my stitching: frame it, make a bookmark, or make a Christmas ornament! I actually thought at one point, I’m running out of wall space, so I’d better find a new hobby. Lol! Or I would see how a project was finished in whatever publication it was in, and I would think that was the ONLY fabric to use or the only dorky way to finish it (and those cross stitch magazines really do go out on a limb sometimes)! Vonna at The Twisted Stitcher had a cool finish in her blog this week using half of an acrylic ball ornament to make a snow globe finish.

    Have a wonderful week!

  16. RJ & Mary you two are No Fear with all the different finishing projects you've tackled in the past year - wow! The two journals are wonderful - I really enjoy that each of you has your own take on what the project might be and we thus get to see two very different concepts.

  17. What a beautiful year of stitches! You two really have the creative touch when it comes to different ideas to display your stitching and the finishing work you do.

    The journals are magnificent and what a wonderful keepsake for Hudson.

  18. What a wonderful post. Thank you so much for sharing all the amazing things you both are doing. I actually have a Pinterest page on what to do with cross stitch as I am such a stitch and frame person. You have opened new doors for me! Let's hope I go through. Both journals are wonderful!

  19. Un post charmant!
    Je suis ravie d'admirer vos travaux de broderies et couture,vos idées sont toujours sympathiques .
    Ces petits journaux sont si reussi ,votre petit neveu en sera bien content.D'ailleurs toutes vos finitions sont d'une extrême finesse.
    Merci a vous pour ce partage ,je serais impatiente pour vos prochaines publication bien sûr;
    Un délicieux week end a vous deux

  20. Hello RJ and Mary! Love both of your journals and what a great idea to use them on the front of something so useful. And I so enjoyed your year in review... Think my favorite things you made are your sewing machine covers. Mine is sitting upstairs covered by an old white pillowcase--shame on me :)

    Looking forward to more wonderful weekly posts from you two this year! I really enjoy them and you've become such a special part of the stitching/blogging community!

  21. Thank you for the review of your first year! I'm so glad you both started blogging, your blog really is an inspiration for finishing ideas. Those notebooks are adorable and such a good idea. I am going to make one each for my sons.

  22. RJ and Mary, what a delightful post, full of wonderful projects you have made during the last year, neatly stitched and beautifully finished, lots of ideas there. I like the pinafore pillow and little pin cushions.

  23. Hello dear RJ and Mary,

    What a great start of this New Year! I loved to see the collection of last year one more time. Quite an achievement!
    The idea of these journals is so nice. The journal for Hudson is a spendid idea and looks great! Our dauhters have some scribbles from my hand but not in such a glorious journal ;) They love to read it from time to time ... "Mom, did I do that? Really?" LOL

    Have a great weekend & love, Carolien

  24. Oh RJ and Mary, your posts are always a joy! I, too, am happy that you have joined the blogging community. May I add that your photography is very good and adds so much to my enjoyment of your blog.

  25. Hi Mary and RJ....

    What a wonderful post filled with lots of inspiration! Your journals are both so lovely! I had to smile RJ when I saw your “ just one stitch more” because that is how I ALWAYS feel when I am stitching. The train you stitched Mary was very nostalgic for me because when Andrew was a baby I stitched him a baby sampler with a train on it....and he had a wooden train set that he loved! Beautiful...I love them both.

    Thank you for doing your year in review! I love all of your projects but I had forgotten about your bird pincushions and boy did my heart skip a beat when I saw! I think I just need to stitch full time....grins!

    The recipe sounds wonderful! My mom especially loves squash so I may try some and share it with her too.... minus the jalapeños...winks!

    I hope you are both having a good start to 2018!
    Sending lots of hugs your way!

  26. The journals are great. The one for the nephew is a lovely idea, they change so much at that age it's good to look back on.
    You showed us so many wonderful finishes last year, an inspiration to us all!

  27. You two are so prolific! I never cease to be amazed at your creativity! Love ALL your pieces, your recap of 2017, and the yummy recipe.

  28. Hello, Mary and JR,
    finally, again a post of you. . . . your journals are really great, I love both!
    A nice freebie, thank you.
    And the retrospect on your projects is sensational!
    Kind regards, Jutta

  29. You two have such great ideas. Love your journals and ALL of the others pieces too.

  30. I've never thought to incorporate stitching into a sewing machine cover—what a lovely idea!

  31. I'm exactly the same, I'm always saying, just one more stitch! The recipe looks delicious, I'm a big fan of butternut squash :)

  32. So great to see how you made these book covers so differently according to the different purpose. I love the idea of the book mark attached to the book cover (if I got that right.) "Just one more stitch" -don't we all know it? Lol.
    So nice to see your wrap up of last year's stitched and finished pieces.

  33. Ya'll have done it again with your lovely book covers. Do you hear that, Mary? I'm printing out the recipe for butternut squash chili. All I need is cilantro, but maybe I'll make it without the cilantro first since it's a headache producer for my family.