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Big Give Away coming the end of June!

Friday, July 31, 2020

Styling with Stitches
SAL update

Happy last day of July!   It is so good to be back.   I missed stitching, blogging and most of all my stitching friends so much.  You can count on me to come by and visit with all of you as soon as possible.   I would like to thank all of the lovely ladies who sent get well emails, comments and lovely cards.  They all meant the world to me and cheered me up greatly.  I have a serious auto immune disease that is causing alot of pain and making it hard to do much of anything.  I'm on meds but have not seen a huge difference yet but hoping to.   It is also causing weakness, dizziness and stomach upset.  But, I'm determined to get to the blog as much as possible.

Most of all I would like to thank my very special blog partner and dearest friend, Mary who made sure the blog kept going.   Each and every one of her projects were beautiful.   I especially loved the box with the nesting stitch...just gorgeous!!!

And thank you to Faith for sending us SAL updates and to Robin and Marilyn for their lovely stitches they sent for Friends Who Stitch.   Mary and I really appreciated the help of all three of you.


Styling with Stitches
This month we did patriotic wraps for planters.   We chose two of our favorite patterns to wrap around cans.  These can be changed out through the year for other holidays or seasons.

RJ's Planter Wrap

For my planter wrap, I chose the pattern Lady Liberty by Blackbird Designs.  It was a gift from our friend Catherine because she knows how much I love patriotic stitches.  I loved stitching this gorgeous flag.  You can find Catherine's lovely blog here.  Things didn't exactly work out as I planned.  For starters, I'm not allowed to leave the house because of Covid and an underlying condition so I had to make due with  flowers on hand.  Then I didn't have a can (they don't even sell coffee cans in our grocery store when my friend went to look) but dear Mary had an extra and even painted it for me with Annie Sloan paint.  Thank goodness for wonderful friends!

Long may she wave

Closeup of stitch.  The back is star fabric but it did not show up in photo.

Lady Liberty
by Blackbird Designs
40 ct. pecan butter linen
overdyed floss
Annie Sloan paint on can

Mary's Planter Wrap

The last time I went to a cross stitch shop I saw this pattern and immediately decided it would be my can cover for July.  I thoroughly enjoyed stitching this,  I love the Quaker style of the flowers and the banner trim.  Fabric from RJ was the perfect background.  I substituted grits for Shaker white as the white just looked discolored in spots.  I used Needlepoint Silk Raw Sienna for Old Hickory and the rest were called for colors.

I put together the arrangement from after season sale flowers from Michael's.

Sweet Land of Liberty
 by Heartstring Samplery
32 ct Wexford Linen 


SAL update

Faith and Mary were busy completing their July SAL's.   Aren't they adorable?   I wish I did not have to drop out of the SAL this year but am enjoying the beautiful work of my friends.

Faith's Sal

Mary's SAL



Here's a sweet freebie to share.  You can find the chart for this stitch here


We hope you are all staying safe and enjoying lots of time for stitching.  As always, thank you so much for stopping by to see us.  We look forward to visiting your blog and seeing what you have been working on.   We have some new extras next month to share with you so hope you will come see.

                                                  Stitching Friends 

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

June/Grab Bag
Give-a-way winner 
Friends who stitch
SAL update   

Give-a-way Winner:  The winner of "two become one" is Christel of Toilesetfils blog.  Christel please email Mary with your postal address.  

Grab bag
Several  years ago RJ had the fortune to visit the Shepherds Bush shop in Ogden, Utah. She surprised me with this adorable kit.   I immediately stitched it and then it languished in a drawer.  I decided that it needed to come out for this 4th of July.  This was my first attempt at sewing beads to a ruffled trim.  It was challenging but I'm satisfied with the final result for a first effort.  

True Heart Kit
Shepherds Bush
32 ct. Linen included
Floss included

Silk ribbon and beads included

Friends Who Stitch                                                                                                                    
     Marilyn and Robin are stitching friends that do not have blogs.  We are happy that they are sharing their lovely stitching with us once again.  

Marilyn's sweet stitch

Love the nest and the pretty pink colors

Robin's pretty stitch

Choose Joy
by My Big Toe Designs
Lakeside Linens,
32 ct. Butter Pecan
Weeks floss
 SAL Update

We have now completed 4 months of our  HOD, A Year in Celebrations.  These are enjoyable quick stitches and it's not too late to be a part of this year's SAL!  You are welcome to join anytime.  Just drop us an email with a photo of your stitch. 

Faith's June SAL

Mary's June SAL

This is certainly a Summer like no other. We hope that you are enjoying all the pleasures that Summer has to offer.  Have a safe and Happy 4th of July and as always, thank you for visiting and taking the time to comment.
                                                           Stitching Friends 


Saturday, May 23, 2020

May/Post 2
Grab bag/Give-a-way
SAL Update

RJ is feeling a bit better and is appreciative of all your well wishes.   I am deviating from what we have planned to show for May's post till she can join me.  Hopefully soon!!

Grab Bag & Give-a-way

I wanted to stitch something for one of the ladies that I worked with before I retired for her wedding. I loved the sentiment  and simplicity of this pattern. The pattern came with a gold heart charm and I substituted a silver charm as the recipient prefers silver. I am offering this pattern and the gold charm that came with it as a give-a-way. Just make a comment you would like to stitch this and I will enter you into the drawing.  All followers are eligible.

I searched a long time for a frame and I really like how this one picked up the grey in the stitch and how the zig zag design complimented the design in the stitch.

Frame from Home Goods

two become one by Heart in Hand
Called for floss, 30 ct dolphin linen, 2 over 2

Mary's SAL

25 cent pin I found at a flea market -love how it works with this stitch

Faith's SAL
I am looking forward to seeing how Faith finishes her stitches. It's not to late to join us if you want to stitch this series along with us!
Hands on Design
A Year of Celebrations

Thank you for taking the time to visit.  We hope you are getting lots of stitching in and staying well.  Till next time, stay safe!! Mary and RJ.

Friday, May 1, 2020

May/ Spring has Sprung
Styling with Stitches
Sal Update
What's Stitching

I am saddened to report that I am going "solo" on this post.  RJ  has been very sick and is unable to participate.  I  pray that she gets better soon as this will certainly not be the same without my dear stitching buddy. I am sure you have noticed her absence from commenting on  your blogs. I know that she is missing everyone  and hopes to be visiting again with you soon.  Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery.  

Mary's Styling with Stitching Project  

Birds chirping at dawn, robins arriving and nest building are some of my favorite harbingers of Spring. So, Brenda Gervais's "Where Hearts Rest" was the ideal choice for my Spring stitch. 

Sometime last year, I saw Deb at Country Stitchers Floss Tube show a stitch on top of a little chest she purchased at Hobby Lobby.  I literally ran out to purchase that same chest. Fortunately, my Hobby Lobby still had them in stock. 

At that time I knew I would use a different pattern and I rifled through my patterns to see if I had a stitch that would work.  I struck gold!!  "Where Hearts Rest"  would fit nicely so I immediately went to work and while stitching the nest I realized I made a major error that entailed lots of frogging.  I put it aside until a few weeks ago.  I spent an entire morning frogging and once I started stitching again I could not put it down!! 

I used all the called for colors with the exception of the border.  Our friend Robin had sent me some Victorian Motto  flosses and I substituted the called for floss for  Victorian Motto Burnt Russet.  I love how there is so much variegation in the VM floss. Thank you Robin, I love the VM floss. 

I painted the chest with Annie Sloan Primer Red.   I laced the stitch onto mat board using Meg's excellent directions that you can find on her blog Live to Stitch. 
Cording and a little metal bird finish the project.  

With Thy Needle and Thread
Where Hearts Rest
mystery linen-called for floss with one exception

Mary's Sal Update

Faith's Sal Update
Hands on Designs A Year of Celebrations
If you would like to join us in our SAL just send me a photo of your stitch, up next is May! 

What's Stitching

May is here and Stitch Mania has begun! For those that are unfamiliar,  it was started in May of 2015 where stitchers start a new project each day. There are no hard and fast rules, so you can choose how you are going to participate. I know my limitations so I only kitted up 5 new projects.    Are you going to participate in Stitch Mania??   How many new projects are you going to undertake? 

We hope you are all enjoying Spring as much as you possibly can during these trying times.  Stay safe and as always, we appreciate your visits and taking the time to comment.  

                                                                 Stitching Friends

                                          Despite the forecast, live like its Spring.    
                                                                                                    Lily Pulitzer

Sunday, March 15, 2020

March /Sewing
Styling with Stitches
High Fives
SAL Update
What's Stitching

Spring is right around the corner and I know many of you can't wait for warmer weather.  We love Spring and all the flowers that will bloom.  Do you have a favorite flower you are waiting to see?  For us, it is tulips and snowdrops.

When we were planning this year's posts, we decided to make some sewing projects for the month of March.   So, we both attempted our first project bag for our styling with stitches post.   We also have some more high fives, our first SAL update and a message from Clare.


Styling with Stitches

RJ's Project Bag

I've been putting off making a project bag for so long but I finally took the plunge.   I followed Vonna's tutorial which is excellent.   She explains every detail so well which I really appreciated.  I made a few small changes to mine. I had to make my bag larger to fit the stitch I added, I curved the ends of the flap and I added a button for a little extra detail. 

I used the pattern Stitching Friends by Sub Rosa for my stitch.   When I first saw this pattern, it seemed like it was designed just for us which made it special.  I've never been attracted to stitching mice before but these two are adorable.  I love how their tails stick out of their dresses, their stitching tools and the extra big, whimsical strawberry with large pins.  

I used a decorator fabric which had already been treated with scotchguard  which seemed like it would be great to keep it clean.   It also has a nice weight to it which makes the bag very sturdy.  The lining is a polka dot.  I came up with a new way to make a project roll .  Next post I'll add a simple, easy tutorial.

Finished bag with a matching project roll was sent to Robin as a birthday gift

Closeup of stitch.  Aren't those mice sweet?

Stitching Friends
by Sub Rosa
40 ct. platinum linen
called for over dyed floss
fabric from Calico Corners
buttons from Hobby Lobby


Mary's Project Bag

My project bag started with a pre-made zippered pouch that I purchased at the Crafty Framer in Florida last Spring.    As I don't like sewing zippers I thought this would simplify the project.  I machine stitched the zipper to the project bag but it would have been easier to hand sew it.  

 My stitch by Nikyscreations is called Stitcher Sewing Sampler

The stitch as designed

This is my version. I eliminated the alphabet and flipped the bottom border to use as the top border. 
Love this sweet stitch!

I found the fabric on line that went so well with the floss colors and Dames of Needle trim.
The finished bag found a home with RJ in Florida

Stitcher Sewing Sampler
28 count Weeks Havana linen
converted floss from DMC to Weeks and Gentle Arts threads

trim from Dames of the needle


High Fives

This is one of our features where we pick five things that we are really liking.  Hope you enjoy!

RJ's High Fives

1. Hometown TV series 

Have you seen this HGTV series yet?   I'm so hooked.  It's the sweetest couple in a small town in Mississippi who are restoring the homes throughout this charming town.  This French Country home was remodeled for a military couple that were retiring and it came out perfect.

2. Blaze Pizza

We go to Blaze Pizza every Sunday night after Mass.  The pizza is awesome.  You select  whatever you want to put on your pizza and as much as you want.   They make the best salads too.  It is the fastest growing casual restaurant chain in the nation so give it a try if you have one near you.

3.  Neat stand

Mike gave me this cool stand for Christmas.  I'm thinking it will be a neat place to hold stitches until they are ready to be sewn.   They also would hold a set of flat folds really nicely too.

4.  Covered button maker

Boy is this little tool coming in handy for all the covered buttons I'll be making for my French village.  It is so easy too.  I bought mine in Hobby  Lobby with a 40% coupon. 

5. Robot vacuum

I tend to be a cleaning fanatic but I've been having some serious health issues of late and this little guy sure has helped keep the house clean.   My husband bought it for me and we nicknamed him "Dusty".  They honestly work great.


Mary's High Fives 

1. Eagle Watching- I am fortunate to live in an area where I see these majestic birds.  I took this photo recently as he was sitting in a tree along the river. I was hoping to catch him in flight but he never moved. 

2. Sullivan's Ball tip needles- These are my favorite needles for stitching on higher count fabrics. I used to think a needle was a needle but I swear by these. I think they are easier to thread, no burrs catching the floss and the floss just glides through the fabric. Have you tried a ball tip needle?   I buy mine from Peggy at The Crafty Framer in Largo, Fl.  7$ for the package and she ships economically.  

3. Marie's Creamy Chipolte Ranch Dressing-This is my new favorite dressing. It has a little bit of heat and you don't have to use much in a salad.  I toss it with dried dates, pecans and mixed fresh greens, top it with grilled chicken and  you have a fast and easy delicious dinner. 

4. Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Orange Sticks-I don't have a sweet tooth but I really like these chocolate covered jellies.  At only 2.99 a bag how can I pass them up??   


5. Trader Joe's Unexpected Cheddar Cheese-While we are at Trader Joe's how about picking up some delicious Cheddar??  If you like really sharp cheddar this one fits the bill.  I enjoy it room temperature, sliced thinly on a crisp apple slice, oh sooo good!!! 


SAL update

We are so thrilled to have Faith join us for our Year in Celebrations SAL. You can visit Faith here and enjoy all of her great projects. 

Feel free to join us anytime during the year as we stitch one a month.   Maybe you would like to stitch just a few or all 12 or them.  Anytime you want to join in you are welcome.   Just send us an email.

Faith's March SAL

Mary's March SAL

RJ's March SAL


What's Stitching

Our friend Clare is stitching flowers for a tree festival and we are hoping you will help her out.   Below is Clare's post from her blog.  Just go here and tell her if you can send a small stitch to add to her tree. 

 This year I would like to do a floral tree - A Bouquet of Flowers. 

Since my diagnosis I have received so many beautiful flowers which have certainly brought a smile to my face and lifted my spirits. This year I'd like to fill my Christmas tree with flowers ....... and I'm hoping you will help.

Each of my ornaments will be a mini hanging pillow with a flower head for each design

I have used 28ct but the flowers can be on any fabric with a design size of a maximum 3" x 3".

There is no need to make up the mini pillow, if you stitch on a piece of fabric 6" x 6" and send it to me I will make up all the mini pillows using a variety of backing fabrics and ribbons for hanging making a colourful display.

By sending just the stitched piece it should not be too much postal costs.... I live in the UK so some post will be overseas.

It would be absolutely superb if you would help me make my 'bouquet' - please leave a comment if you would like to help and I will reply with my postal address.

Huge thank you, Clare 🌹

We hope all our stitching friends will go leave a comment on Clare's blog to help her make a beautiful flower Christmas tree .  


Thank you so much for coming by to visit with us.  We really appreciate all of you and your kind comments.   We will be by to see what you have been up to and what crafts you have been busy with.  Stay safe everyone.  Have a wonderful St. Patrick's Day!  May the luck of the Irish be with you all.  

                                                              Stitching Friends 

                                                      author unknown

Friday, February 14, 2020

Jo's Valentine Hop 
Styling with Stitches
Friends who Stitch
Sneak Peeks
What's Stitching

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!  Hope you get to spend time with special people in your life.  It's a great day to show love and kindness to others.  Sometimes a smile can make another's day.  So, sending smiles to all of you from Stitching Friends.

Our theme this month is Love.   We have joined Jo's Valentine Hop and will share the valentine we received.   Next, comes our February Styling with Stitches projects with a love theme.  We are happy to have Friends who Stitch back.  Our third new feature of this year is Sneak Peeks.  And lastly, we have some news in What's Stitching.  So it's a packed post that we hope you will enjoy.


Jo's Valentine Hop

We received this lovely greeting in the Valentine Hop.    What a beautiful heart our secret stitching Valentine made for us.  Thank you so much.  Please let us know who you are.  If you would like to follow the hop and find out who our mystery Valentine is go to Jo's blog.   There will be a list of stitchers to go visit.   Also, we sent a mystery Valentine too and we will find who it went to as we hop around to fellow stitchers blogs.  It should be fun!


RJ's Styling with Stitches Project

I made a Valentine bowl filler with a stitched pocket.   "Heart of Hearts" by Abby Rose was given to me for my birthday by my good friend Robin.   I had never stitched an Abby Rose pattern before so was happy to do so.   This pattern is so lovely with so many hearts forming one big heart in the prettiest of colors.  

A French General fabric picked up all the colors in the stitch.  I added some cotton lace trim, ribbon and a heart charm for the finishing.

I filled the pocket with a Valentine, a favorite candy bar and a flower for a special someone.  But, think of it filled with a small pattern, a piece of linen and a package of needles for a neat gift any time during the year.   What a great project to make for a stitching friend.

The flowers are all made of heart shapes

Filled to the brim with Valentine goodies!

Sitting in the Greenhouse
Heart of Hearts
by Abby Rose
40 ct. platinum linen
called for over dyed floss


Mary's Styling with Stitches Project

My stitch is Prim Stitchers Heart designed by Sub Rosa.  When I first saw this stitch, I knew exactly how I would use it. It would be a photo album cover  for RJ and I would add  photos of the stitches that she has gifted me.  And, she could add photos of all her other projects she has made as a record of her stitching.

I purchased a photo album at Michael's and covered it with pretty fabric from Hobby Lobby.  Covering the album with fabric went surprisingly easy.  The difficult part was cutting and shaping the heart.  If I tell you I spent hours on that, would you believe me??? I wouldn't, but I did!!    With all my fussing with the heart the linen started to, I used Dritz Fray Check and that stained the linen!!   I added some lace to distract the eye from my lopsided heart but that was not a success either.   So, RJ, please excuse all the imperfections and know that it was made with lots of love for a stitcher that has the biggest heart of all. 

I changed out PRIM for RJ's initials

Closeup of the pretty fabric

Prim Stitcher's Heart
by Sub Rosa
40 ct. Newcastle linen
called for floss
Weeks Pebble for  scissors


Friends Who Stitch

We are so happy to have our friends Robin and Marilyn back with us this year to show their pretty stitches.   This feature is open to anyone that stitches but does not have a blog.   Just send us a photo and we will be happy to showcase your stitch here.

Robin sent this pretty framed stitch which is perfect for this time of the year.  It is called Reunion of the Hearts by The Trilogy.

Marilyn shared these adorable Valentine stitches for us to enjoy. 

Thank you ladies for being a part of our Valentine post.  I know everyone will enjoy seeing your beautiful work.


Sneak Peeks

This is our third new feature this year.   Sneak Peeks joins High Fives and Question of the Day as little extras we will add to our posts.  We will be showing some of our new stitches in progress that you will be seeing later in the year finished.


What's Stitching

Winner of the Snowman pattern is June from England.  She has a lovely blog that you can read here.  Congratulations June! Have fun stitching the sweet snowman.

We are happy to have Faith join us with our SAL "A year in Celebration".  Feel free to join us anytime during the year as we stitch one a month.  Maybe you would just like to stitch a few (like birthday months of family members).  Anytime you want to join in you are WELCOME.  Just send us an email.

We were asked how we would answer the question of the day in the last post. Well, like so many of you it is almost impossible to choose one designer to stitch for the rest of our lives as we love so many.  But, if we absolutely had to we both agree it would be Brenda Gervais from With Thy Needle and Thread.  We fall in love with her designs almost every single time a new pattern comes out.


We enjoyed visiting with you today and really appreciate your comments. A neat new feature is coming in the next post that we think will be fun.  
Hope to see you again at the end of the month.  We will be by to visit your blogs and to see all of your new stitches and other projects.   Stay warm and keep stitching during these cold days !!!

                                                            Stitching Friends

              “A friend is what the heart needs all the time.” 
                                                 Henry Van Dyke