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Big Give Away coming the end of June!

Monday, July 2, 2018

June birds and bees

Post two/Grab Bag 
Give Away
Stitched challenges

Give Away details

Blogging gives us the opportunity to meet so many kind and helpful stitchers and we wanted to show our appreciation to all of you.

We are ending the month of June with two annual give aways for our followers.  One is a collection of many of our favorite items that we use for stitching and finishing  projects for our US  followers.  The other give away will be for our followers outside the US who will win a PDF pattern of their choice from our talented friend Ezster of Sub Rosa or any other PDF designer of your choice. We would love to send the box outside the US but shipping costs prevent us from doing so.

"A few of our favorite things"

Included in the US box you will find:

There are three fabrics that you will love.   One is a pretty Moda fabric with bluebirds and rose buds.   Another is a sweet Moda bee fabric.   And the third is black and cream ticking which is one of our favorite fabrics for many of our projects.

We have added a pretty bird pattern from one of our favorite designers With thy Needle and Thread called "The Sewing Bird".   And a second pattern called "Be Kind" by Stoney Creek which is a sweet bee chart.

These pretty embroidery scissors are great for stitching because they are sharp and perfect for cutting your threads.   They have a pretty vintage look which works great in photo displays.  We think you will love them as much as we do.

Our favorite needles are by Bohin and we have included a package of them for you.

Mary and I love using vintage buttons on our ornaments and bowl fillers and you will be getting some from our collections.

There will be a mix of trims from our collections for you too (pom pom fringe, rick rack,lace and ribbon).  They are perfectly sized for ornaments and bowl fillers.

Some of our favorite charms are included in this give away. There will be birds and bees and other designs (sunflower, sheep, acorn, snowflake, friend and hearts) you will enjoy.  We have purchased most of these from Bohemian Findings on Etsy.

I've stitched this cute bee pattern by Heartstring Samplery for you.   I will surprise the winner with a cute finished pin cushion.  It will have a pocket on the front with the stitch.  It is lined for strength so that you can put your embroidery scissors, small ruler and even a rolled working copy of your pattern in the pocket.   The top has a wool heart to keep your needle.   And there is a  loop  on the top that holds a ring where you can put your floss for your project.  It will make a great travel piece because it will have everything you need except your linen and q snaps.

Everything you see below plus a box of buttons and charms will be included for the US give away except for the sewing machine drawer.   It is being used for display only.  Mary and I hope you like some of "our favorite things" we like to use.


For our followers outside the US we will buy a PDF pattern for you of your choice.   The winner may select one of our friend Sub Rosa's charts or tell us another PDF designer you may favor.

Here are some examples of Sub Rosa PDF charts.   You will find more here

This one is for sunflower lovers

Wouldn't this be pretty for one of your friends?

We know there are lots of  stitching bee fans.  It's perfect!

We love this one...the back is as sweet as the front!

Here's a great thread holder with those sunflowers we all love

Calling bird lovers!

I have stitched this one and it is adorable and a fun stitch

Who can resist this pretty Robin?

How about starting early for Valentine's Day or for someone you love?

Another pretty Valentine stitch!

Give Away Rules
To enter our give away all that is required is to be a side bar follower and to leave a comment that you want to be entered.   If you are a follower from outside the US, please let us know your choice of PDF designer and we will buy a chart of your choice.  We will choose our winners at the end of July so you have a whole month to sign up so don't miss out.  


Stitched Challenges:

We have some of our challenges stitched up and would like to show you.

RJ's challenge
My French village is coming along really well since I last showed one.   Each shop is cuter than the next!  This month I am showing you the Candy Shop which I really enjoyed stitching.   There are some additions and one change.   The original pattern is called a Sweet Shop and has a cake in the window with candy canes.   I wanted it to be just a Candy Shop so I changed the cake to a lollipop.   And, then I added a white sign on top of the red stripe awning where I can put the word candy in French.  A cardinal on top of the tree was added too because almost all the other shops have one and because I love cardinals.   

You can see the added cardinal on the tree, the added white sign that will have a French name and a lollipop changed from a cake in the window I'm still considering a French name to put on the white sign.

Sweet Shop
from the Hometown Holiday Series
by Little House Needleworks
40 ct. country mocha linen
called for thread colors



Mary's challenge
I was inspired by Carol of Stitching Dreams who is stitching the Hometown Holiday Series over 1 on 28 ct black Monaco.

I loved how the colors popped on the black and decided, I too, would complete this series on28 ct black linen and to make it easier  2 over 2.

Well friends, you see here my one and only project on black!  Stitching this was a nightmare for me.   I persevered though despite it never getting any easier and finally with a sigh of relief put the last stitch in.   I could have easily completed this 4 times on 40 ct in the time it took me to stitch this!! 

I made a few changes, substituting Valdani brick Med for the house color. GA dried thyme and endive for the trees and GA barn grey for the tires. 

I would love to know how many of you have stitched on black and did you enjoy it or struggle with it as I did. 


What's Stitching

If you have noticed that this is a June post but dated July 2, it is because I was running late.  I've been running back and forth to the hospital for tests and will be having exploratory surgery tomorrow.   I would really appreciate if you say a prayer for me.  I thank you so much in advance.  RJ


We hope you all like the give aways and that you will sign up.   Next month we have lots of patriotic projects to share with you.   We will be back to three posts a month in July too.  So happy you stopped by for a visit to our blog and we always look forward to visiting yours.  We hope all of you "stitching bees" have a great fourth.   Hope to see everyone in about 10 days.

found on pinterest


  1. Love both of your challenge pieces. RJ, your candy shop is so sweet (sorry...couldn't help myelf). Mary, black is a challenge but oh my..the colors really do pop!
    Please enter me in your drawing--I appreciate the opportunity--you are more than generous!!!

  2. You ladies are so generous. I would love to be entered. I love the stitching. The candy shop is delightful. I do like that series. So far I have not stitched any of them. Mary, I am too chicken to even try stitching on black. It does look great.

  3. What a generous give away!! Thanks so much for doing this for your fans!! RJ, prayers going up for you as you have surgery. I hope you get some answers. Stitching on Black is always a challenge for me but you make it look easy Mary. RJ, I have a love of little houses...I want to stitch them all.

  4. I love your box of goodies but live in New Zealand but I`m so pleased you thought of us outside USA. I so love `Stitching friends mice`. So cute and adorable so would love to be in that giveaway. Happy Stitching.

  5. Wow! What a fabulous blog posting! I would love to be entered in the generous. Such lovely stitching 😍...RJ prayers are being said for a positive outcome many blessings coming your way..hugs from afar🌷

  6. Both challenge pieces are super adorable. Since I won one of the drawings in your birthday giveway, I am not entering this one. But what a generous package you have put together. Mary, I have no suggestions for stitching on the black. RJ, lifting you up in prayer for a good outcome following your exploratory surgery.

  7. First and foremost, you have been prayed for RJ and I will continue to do so.
    Such great stitches. Y'all have inspired me to try some 40 count. I have not used black, but I think that would be so hard.

  8. I follow and want to enter, thank you! (USA) :)
    Love your changes to the Sweet Shop.
    I have stitched on dark blue and also black and do not care to do it again. lol.
    Prayers for you!

  9. I would like to be entered for the giveaway. It is such a thoughtful way to spread joy and kindness.

  10. Oh what wonderful stitching Ladies .
    I love both of the designs you are stitching .
    Mary with the black stitching ,I find it hard too.
    Until someone told me to put something light under maybe a white pillow case on your lap , or some small lamp like a reading lamp under your stitching.
    Oh yes you will be in my prayers RJ that's for sure .

    Oh my what great giveaway's .

    Please enter my name in the hat , UK
    Thank you .

  11. I do hope RJ is feeling better soon. The stitching is all lovely as usual, I once stitched on black fabric and never tried again because it was such a pain. They do say it helps to have a white cloth under the fabric to see the holes more. Thank you for a sweet giveaway, I am in England and would love a Sub Rosa chart. x

  12. What a great idea to make the village a French Village1 So cute!
    I have stitched a small piece on black, but you DO need a good light, or stitch in the daylight.
    Prayers for RJ, for a positive outcome.
    I would love to be entered in your generous giveaway.

  13. I love your blog. I don't usually comment but I love that the two of you together do the blog and love your finishes and the types of things you stitch. It is such a joy to see what you have created. I would love to be entered into the giveaway.

  14. RJ I continue to pray for you.❤️ Please count me in for the giveaway ladies. You are so very generous. What kind, BIG hearts you have. I love your sweet shop RJ. Mary the stitching on black is fantastic! Stitch in the daytime or at night with a great, bright light.

  15. What a generous giveaway. Such lovely things. I enjoy your blog and a of your wonderful ideas. Stitching on black fabric is always a challenge but I love how the design pops on it.

  16. I would love to be entered in the giveaway. I read somewhere that when stitching on black fabric, place something white (towel, t-shirt, etc.) under your stitching (on your lap or tabletop) - this is supposed to help you see better. Have not tried this, so cannot say if it works well.

  17. Please count me all your favorite things.

  18. I'm not entering the give away, just wanted to let you know I'll be praying for you, RJ.

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  20. I can see why these are your favourite things....they are all gorgeous! Please count me in on your giveaway.

    I love the look of a design on black fabric, but find it very difficult to work on....and very slow going too! A small trick that I learned from another stitcher was to put a white pillowcase or light coloured fabric on your lap while stitching so that you can see the holes in your black fabric. Hope that might help you in the future :)

    Hoping all goes well with your surgery, RJ. You are in my thoughts.

  21. Just found your blog. It is wonderful. Please enter me into your giveaway. Thank you.

  22. RJ and Mary - Hello! First and MOST importantly - RJ, I will be thinking about you and praying for you. I wish you comfort and time to heal, good news and patience. (Patience, because if you're like me, you can't stand to be off your feet and out of your routine for long!)

    The Sub Rosa patterns are wonderful! Notice how some of the finished pillow/pincushions are nice and flat, rather than thick and puffy? When I make little pillows, they end up being poofy and thick (I use fiberfill). A pattern I recently stitched said to stuff it with crushed walnut shells. I have not tried that, but I wonder if that is the difference.

    RJ, your candy shop is sweet! I love the changes you made. I bought the Hometown Holiday series but have not started yet.... Trying to figure out beforehand how I want to finish them before I start!

    Mary, the tree lot is wonderful! I love the colors you chose. I, too, am considering following Carol's lead and stitching them on black. I bought some 25- and 28-count lugana but haven't started. Years ago I tried to stitch a complicated tiger design on black aida for my husband, and it was such a frustrating experience that I gave up and never finished it. I will have to see if more stitching experience under my belt makes a difference. Not sure it will!

    Please enter me in your giveaway. What a treat!

    Have a wonderful week. RJ - speedy recovery!


  23. Oh my word! What an awesome giveaway! Of course I would like to be included! You two are so generous! all things Cardinal! Your French village is adorable!
    and Yes, I am praying for your health outcomes.
    Mary...I've wanted to try the black fabric, but I usually just stick to dark grey. Your post was so funny and made me laugh!
    Hugs, Susan

  24. Oh Ladies, your pieces are Amazing! I've never stitched on black and won't attempt until I get cheaters. The colors are so beautiful. RJ, I'm praying everything works out okay for you. Thank you both so much for offering such an amazing give away, so generous. Please enter me. Thank you and have a wonderful 4th of July!

  25. What a lovely giveaway--I would enter for those pretty scissors alone! Will throw my name in the hat and keep my fingers crossed :) Thank you for the chance.

    Oh, RJ--I do hope this exploratory surgery goes well and can offer some answers. Will definitely keep you in my prayers. Your candy shop is darling.

    And, Mary--I feel like I tortured you or something :( I'm so sorry the black didn't work out and that you disliked the whole experience so much. I can't explain why I don't have trouble with it--just very weird eyes I guess. BUT, that being said--your finish looks fabulous and you should be proud of yourself for sticking with it :)

    Hope you both have a nice 4th of July tomorrow with at least a bit of stitching time thrown in! Hugs to you both from Pennsylvania!

  26. Hello RJ,
    your candy shop looks wonderful.
    I hope the surgery goes well.

    Hello Mary,
    your stitching on the black fabric looks great. One day, I will try it, t stitch on black fabric.

    What a wonderful giveaway. Please, count me in. I'm from Germany/Europe.

    Have a nice 4th of July my friends.
    Hugs Manuela

  27. I would love to be part of your delightful giveaway. I am very fond of bees and have stitched a few.

    Hope you both have a lovely 4th of July.

  28. Vous ferez une heureuse avec tous ces présents, c'est très gentil et généreux. Si j'ai la chance de gagné ce sera un pdf de votre choix. La surprise :)
    Bravo pour vos différentes réalisations. C'est plein de gaieté, de couleurs.

  29. I always enjoy your lovely posts and beautiful stitching...thanks for the giveaway... Happy Independence Day!

  30. What an amazing giveaway! I love the fabrics and all the neat finishing items. I would like to be entered into the drawing please.

  31. Sending prayers and hugs as you have your exploratory surgery! I know all will turn out ok.

  32. Please do enter my name in the draw....and thank you.

  33. Please enter me in the wonderful drawing! Thought and prayers to you as you face surgery. Thanks for the giveaway!

  34. I am happy to participate in your giveaway, a nice idea. im from Germany.
    You again show beautiful little motifs that are great to embroider, great progress.
    I have not embroidered on black fabric yet.
    Dear RJ, I pray for you, and look forward to hearing from you here soon.
    Big Hugs to you both, Martina

  35. Oh I so wish I was leaving in USA right now ;) What a wonderful giveaway! Great stitching pieces for both of you too.

  36. Love the giveaway RJ. Love all, of the trinkets. Ha
    py 4th of July

  37. What a generous give-away Mary and RJ! I hope the surgery goes well and resolves your issues.

  38. Such a generous giveaway!

    Mary, I've stitched on very dark gray before. The first few rows were terrible but once I got a few foundation rows in, it was better. It was 32 count though! I have to say your black ornie is VERY striking!

    RJ, hoping all is well with your surgery. Do take the time needed to rest and recover well!

  39. A very generous give-away - count me in!

  40. Lovely to see a post from you two again, especially one with a generous giveaway.
    I've got so many shops bookmarked on Etsy now, I love shopping there. This is currently at the top of my Etsy wishlist if I win:

    Love the way RJ adapted the sweetshop, maybe Mme Sucre as the name?
    Also, love Mary's piece on the black fabric. I use black fabric a lot and have no issues seeing the holes. I just love the way it makes the colours pop.

  41. You are so very generous, I just fell onto your blog. You know how these things happen, click this site then this one what fun.

  42. Hello RJ,
    I hope your surgery goes well, good luck for you!
    My favorit is your candy shop, so sweet!

    Hello Mary,
    I love your stitching on the black fabric, it looks really great!!!

    Thank you for your amazing give away, I am from Germany ;-)

    Have a nice sunday, hugs from Berlin,

  43. Both give-aways are so generous and the recipients will be thrilled. Please, don't count me in, I have so many unstitched charts that I want to leave the chance ti win to someone else.

    RJ, your French village is coming along so nicely. I just love the idea to give all these patterns a French touch in some way. Very creative.
    Mary, you were doing great with your stitching on black fabric. I once stitched on very dark blue fabric and it was OK. Maybe because it was an 18 ct aida fabric.

  44. Hope all is well with you RJ. Take good care of yourself

  45. Thinking of you RJ, you're in my prayers. I think your French village is adorable and the shop should be called Bonbons!

    Mary your black ornament is stunning, I have no tips except for those already offered.

    Please don't enter me into your giveaway as I was lucky to win in your first birthday giveaway and you truly spoiled me!

  46. What beautiful stitching! Both your challenge pieces are so cute! RJ, I hope your surgery went well and gave some peace and answers to you. What a generous giveaway too! You have excellent taste in your selection of favorite things! I hope I'm the lucky one! :)

  47. what a lovely Giveaway. And so nice Bee Stitching. I love your challenges too. I never tried to stitch on black material. Many many great things you show to us. Thank you. I hope your surgery has gone well.
    Waving greetings from Germany Larissa

  48. Hello RJ and Mary! What a wonderful giveaway, but please this time don't count with me.

    RJ your piece is lovely! Love the big tree with that adorable cardinal!
    Mary, so sorry that you had such hard time with your ornament! It turn out very beautiful!
    I stitched on black long time ago, more than 10 years ago, it is hard, but you can do it! You need a good light and also you can use something white on your lap or table, depending how you stitch (I used a white towel on my lap...)


  49. RJ I just LOVE the Sweet Shop! You did an amazing job on it. Mary, WOW that design looks great on that black fabric! You are both doing great on your challenges.

    RJ hope you are recuperating well after your surgery. I hope you are following the doctor's orders!

    Such a generous giveaway, thank you for the opportunity to win it.

  50. I have stitched on black before! For small pieces, I put a white pillow on my lap (which is sometimes joined by a not-white-and-therefore-unhelpful kitty). A lamp on the floor shining up helps too... But this is best in winter to have the added bonus of warming toes. :D

    Hope the surgery went well and that you were inspired to get a French Candy Shop name~

    Y'all really throw a good giveaway! Those scissors are super cute. I'll leave my name out of the hat this time so I don't steal a chance from someone else. :) Plus I may or may not have similar scissors in an Amazon order!

  51. Firstly, I do hope all surgery goes well and without problems. A really beautiful post with such pretty stitching and finishes. I have never stitched on black and do not wish to. Very generous give away with so many interesting goodies. I´m in Spain and like Sub Rosa´s designs, so please add my name to the list.

  52. What generous giveaways from you both.I no longer have my stitching blog but I have your lovely blog on my i pad in a 💖Favoruite Blogs folder.I love your challenges,and yes Mary stitching on black was hard for .I did it once!
    I do hope your exploritory surgery went ok RJ.

  53. I always enjoy your projects and results. Thanks for taking the time to show us! Mary, it's been a while since I stitched on black - obviously my eyesight has changed so who knows what it would be like. Take care of yourself RJ and good luck. This is a great giveaway - thanks!

  54. Please enter my name in your drawing. I’m in Canada.

  55. Hello RJ and Mary....

    Oh my goodness...I actually missed this post! 😳 I cannot believe it! If the truth be told I actually do know why I missed this post...anyway....

    RJ....your stitching is lovely and I love this series so very much! Cardinals are very near and dear to my heart as well!

    Mary...Your stitching on black is stunning! Really stunning! Congratulations! I started stitching a sampler for my husband many years ago on navy fabric and that turned into a UFO very quickly.... lol! I have NEVER attempted dark fabric again....😳 I do admire projects that are stitched on it and the stitchers that stitch on it are amazing!

    Your giveaway is just beautiful and I am so in love with those scissors....oh be still my heart! Please enter me in the giveaway ☺️

    I hope you both are having a good day!

    Hugs my dear friends!

  56. Thank you for your generous and gracious giveaway! Stitching is my therapy, I try to stitch everyday,sometimes only10 minutes and sometimes a hour. It definitely soothes the soul! I would love to be included in lovely giveaway

  57. Great giveaway! I really like the scissors. Your monopoly finish was really cute. I enjoy your posts.

  58. Please enter me in your lovely giveaway. I enjoy your beautiful cross stitch.

  59. what a generous offer!!!!! Please throw my name in the hat for a chance. This stitching community of ours is awesome!!

  60. What a wonderful contest. Please enter me. Thank you.

  61. Please enter me into your giveaway. Thanks for the opportunity!

  62. You both are so generous in your giveaway, but I must pass on entering this one. My stash is definitely more than I can stitch for the foreseeable future, and I have been gifted a pair of those wonderful scissors already. I know the winner will be thrilled with everything!

    Praying the surgery shows there is nothing serious! Hugs!

  63. What a wonderful giveaway, please count me in!
    RJ, I love your Candy Shop, especially with your changes. I hope you're doing better, I'm praying for you.
    Mary, I have yet to stitch on black, but when I do I'll be sure to have good lighting and a white background. You did a great job though!

  64. RJ, you are in my prayers for quick healing and recovery. I couldn’t help but think how much my grandmother would have loved your shop. She was a Home Ec teacher with a sweet tooth. Oh, the sweets and treats that came from her kitchen! She too was a lover of cardinals.

    Mary, I just love how those colors are popping on the black. I love the darker linen but just can’t see it well enough to stitch. Maybe if I choose a large count the sheen of the linemen wouldn’t bother me so much.

    What a beautiful and generous US giveaway. Eszter is such an incredible designer. I have many of her designs I’d love to do, but this monogamous stitcher can’t seem to put the whoppers down long enough. Judy

  65. Such beautiful work, you are incredibly generous in your giveaway, please throw my name in the hat. Love seeing what you are both doing.

  66. What a generous giveaway! Would love to be entered and, hopefully, win! Glenda

  67. This is an amazing giveaway! So generous. And such lovely items. Please enter me in this. Thank you!

  68. I enjoy reading your blog - especially the re-dos. It's been a while since I stitched on black Mary, but I used a light pillow case on my lap to help see the holes. I hope you're feeling better RJ. You guys are so generous! Please sign me up!