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Big Give Away coming the end of June!

Saturday, September 8, 2018

September Friendship
Postcard Hop
Winner of stitching shirt
Styling with Stitches
SAL update

In this past year we have had the privilege to get to know so many of you and you have become a part of our "stitching friends" family.   Right now one of our dearest stitching friends is going through a very rough time.   If you have read Vickie's postyou know that Jenny's husband Scott's cancer has spread.  We need prayers, lots and lots of prayers for this very kind and loving family.

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Postcard Hop

Jo has started this enjoyable hop where you send a summer cross stitch postcard to an online stitching friend.  We received a beautiful card from lovely Kaye in Australia  She wrote: "Dreaming of summer on freezing winter day Downunder"


Isn't it a great summer stitch?   We love the colors and the pretty house and of course the big flag.  Thank you so much Kaye for thinking of us.  We enjoyed receiving your wonderful postcard

You can visit Kaye and see more of her lovely stitches at http://kittenstitching.blogspot.com/

You can read more about this fun hop at Jo's blog at www.serendipitousstitchingblogspot.co.uk

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Winner

Congratulations Vickie on winning the sweet cross stitch shirt that Mary brought home from her favorite cross stitch store in Florida.



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Styling with Stitches

This is our friendship month so our stitches today are ones we have made for each other. Having a best friend to stitch for is more fun than even stitching for yourself.   And when you hear they love it, it makes all of the hard work worth it.  So we thought you would enjoy seeing two of the gifts we sent to each other that made us both very happy.


RJ's
For my gift to Mary, I chose the pattern Mary Valentine's Handework.   Mary loves birds and WTNT designs so I thought she would like this one a lot.  I fell in love with it the minute I saw it.   My favorite part is how the wing of the bird is satin stitched and how that makes it stand out.   I also like the urn and pretty flowers.

To finish I used the perfect fabric that Mary found at a quilt show (she didn't know that she was contributing to her gift)   It blended so well with the thread colors and mimics the flowers in the stitch.  I did a herringbone stitch between the cross stitch and the fabric and then added a basket charm.

This is the first door hanging I did with the closing in the back and I'll be doing them that way from now on.   It gives such a nice look and sits on the bottom perfectly.  This is one I'll be making for myself too!

I love the beautiful setting Mary used to photograph my stitched gift to her

The gorgeous vase came from Mary's Aunt.  It was a gift Mary's parents gave her Grandmother when they were dating.  Mary admired it while visiting her Aunt in Florida and weeks later it arrived in the mail to her home.  She does such wonderful flower displays and this beautiful vase is the perfect accompaniment 

Closeup of my favorite parts: the satin wing, the basket charm and the herrringbone stitch


Mary Valentine's Handework
by With thy Needle and Thread
40 ct. country mocha linen
over dyed threads from my stash
charm from Bohemian Findings at Etsy

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Mary's
For RJ's gift I chose Button Button! from With thy Needle and Thread by Brenda Gervais.  I could not go wrong selecting a pattern by Brenda as RJ loves her designs and if you haven't realized already, Brenda is my favorite designer.

The pretty blue birds are what originally attracted me to this stitch but I had an idea of another use for this pattern.  If you are not familiar with this pattern it is shown with rows of buttons in the blank space under the birds. Instead of sewing on the buttons and having it as a solely decorative piece, I thought that area would be perfect to hold your threaded needles when stitching.

So, I enlisted the talented Faye Riggsbee of Carolina Stitcher blog to fulfill my vision. ( I wanted a standing flat fold for this project and my sewing skills were not up to the task.)

Faye exceeded my expectations!! I love how she added the pretty blue wool fabric to line the back and layered it to hold the needles.  The standing flat fold is so practical and yet decorative.  I was thrilled with her finishing and I know RJ was too!!  

RJ styled such a pretty vignette! 

I hope RJ enjoys many years of use! 

 Cording and pretty little beaded pins on the sides

Buttons Buttons!
by With Thy Needle and Thread
32 ct. linen
called for threads
Finishing by Carolina Stitcher

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SAL update
We are so close to being finished! This has been such a pleasure to stitch   Here is our newest progress.

RJ's SAL
It's almost done!!!

Closeup of the new stitches


Mary's SAL


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We love having you stop by for a visit.  Next post is our grab bag and it will be fun.   We love visiting your blogs too so let us know if we don't know about you yet so we can add you to our sidebar.   And, thank you so much for becoming "Stitching Friends".  You all are much appreciated.


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        Friends are God's way of taking care of us. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

August Post Two
Mary's Grab Bag/Finding a Stitching Friend
Mini Give Away
RJ's Recipe of the Month

Hope you all have been enjoying the summer.  We hate to see it come to an end but deep down we are longing for some cooler weather.   It has been SO HOT everywhere.  Today Mary has a special Grab Bag you will enjoy which even includes a small give away.  And, RJ has her husband's great taco recipe to share too.  Enjoy!
                                                             
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Mary's Grab Bag

This past May I had the pleasure of visiting The Crafty Framer in Largo, Florida.  This store is 4 short miles right down the road from the Clearwater/St. Pete Airport and if you are ever in the area you must visit Peggy at her wonderful shop.  I went on a very rainy day to kill some time and I ended up spending 4 hours at the shop!!  Upon walking into the store, I was warmly welcomed by the very genial Peggy.    This was only the second stitching shop I have visited and I spent a lot of time absorbing it all.

What do stitchers do when they get together?  They talk stitching of course and Peggy was more than happy to share her knowledge of stitching with me.  The time flew by and I learned so much!!!

I walked into the shop a stranger and walked out feeling like I made a new friend!!  Visiting The Crafty Framer is on my must do list for all my future trips to Florida.  If you ever have the pleasure of visiting her shop be sure to tell her StitchingFriendsForever sent you!!

What could be more perfect than a stitching and framing shop together?

Here's my new friend Peggy tallying my order.

"Can I have one of each please?"

I love the colorful Halloween display!

There is comfy seating for everyone to sit and stitch
Look at the lovely Blackbird Designs stitch in the left corner with the bi-color linen.   Peggy said she realized that she cut the cream linen too short after she started her stitch.  I love how she added the green linen to the bottom and turned a mistake into a positive.   The addition of the second color linen makes this stitch even more striking!



Interview 

Peggy, how long have you been stitching?  I took a class in Minneapolis, my home town about 35 years ago.  But all I knew was Aida, DMC and patterns.  What a surprise to find out about linen and overdyeds and all the fun things we now have to offer our customers.

How did you happen to combine a framing and cross stitch shop and how long have you been in business?   We opened in January of 1999 as a frame and country gift shop.  We took crafters in on consignment, hence our name.  I was CRAFTY and Rick was a FRAMER.  For 3 years we fought trying to keep the craft part going and it just kept bombing but every time a cross stitcher brought something in for framing they complained there was no where to buy cross stitch. One day, like a piece of sky hitting me in the head we said, "Why not try cross stitch supplies on our retail side," and the rest is history!

What is the most rewarding aspect of store ownership? The people we have met and can call friends has been HUGE. We hug and cry and pray and have all kinds of connections with our customers.

Have you seen an increase or decrease in the interest in cross stitching?  We see many people who are getting back into cross stitch who have been quilting and knitting and realize they miss stitching. I say INCREASE DEFINITELY.

How has the internet affected your business? To the benefit or detriment?  I love the internet. People can window shop all they want to at all hours of the day or night.  Then they come to me and place their orders.  I inspire in them that the internet is not going to go away-it will be there forever. However, if you don't support your stores they will be gone.  And my gals don't want that to happen to us so they shop and buy here.  I love the groups and the websites and Floss tube as it all is teaching so many so much. I use it to my advantage rather than disadvantage.

 Please tell us about your F.A.S.T. events and what you offer as far as classes, etc.?  Now that really is a loaded questions.  We have 4 groups a week that come here to stitch.  They bring their own projects in and have a ball.  A couple of our gals love to bake so there is always something to munch on.  I have watched perfect strangers and totally shy people become the best of friends and come out of their shells.  They help each other here in the store but also outside the group.  F.A.S.T. stands for FRIENDS ALL STITCHING TOGETHER.  It is an all day event that we hold at a local church. Everyone gets a really cool goodie bag, a great lunch of hotdogs, hamburgers cooked on the grill  and all the fixings.  WE have a sweets table where we ask for donations from those that love to bake or love to eat sweet things and they really deliver on that one!  We have door prizes and a theme for each F.A.S.T.  January is SNOW, May is FROG, July is RED, WHITE and BLUE and November is THANKS 4 GIVING, our annual food donations drive.  We do a Stitch n Bitch Cruise to Cozumel in Feburary and in the early fall we do a retreat called  BEE TREAT. It is all Bee Themed.  Both of these even get BIGGER and BETTER goodie bags. If you want the really, really good stuff you have to come for a weekend.

Anything else that is interesting or pertinent about yourself that you would like to add?  I hope the good Lord leaves us both here for awhile so we can continue to do HIS work.

Peggy offers classes at her shop and for further info please visit her website CRAFTYFRAMER.COM  and your welcome to join her facebook group at I LOVE THE CRAFTY FRAMER

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Peggy's Give Away

When I asked Peggy if I could interview her for our blog, she generously offered  this adorable t-shirt for a giveaway. (excuse the wrinkles)  The t-shirt is a large size.  Please be a sidebar follower and leave a comment if you wish to be entered in the giveaway.

                       

I hope you have enjoyed meeting Peggy and learning about her wonderful shop.


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RJ's Recipe of the Month

Want a quick and easy taco recipe that is also extremely tasty?   Then try my husband's Tacos.  His room mate in pilot training taught him how to make these and we have made them this exact way ever since. Instead of just lettuce and tomato, make a dressed salad for your next taco dinner.  Don't forget the "secret ingredient" of salad dressing.   It makes all the difference in the world.   And if there is anything below that you don't like just leave that item out.

George's Tasty Tacos

Bag of Fresh Express Sweet and Crunchy Lettuce or any lettuce of your choice
Tomato (one from your garden or farmers market would be great) chopped
Sweet peppers chopped
Sweet Vidalia onion chopped
"Secret ingredient": Kraft Balsamic Vingerette or any Italian Dressing
Urban Cowgirl Salsa or any Salsa of your choice
One pound of Ground Sirloin
Package of Taco Mix (we use only half of the suggested water)
Soft Flour Tortillas
Lettuce, Heirloom tomato, sweet peppers and sweet Vidalia onion.  

While your taco meat is simmering, start to make a salad in a large bowl.  Mix your veggies with either a Vingarette or Italian Dressing.
Ground Sirloin simmering on top of stove with added taco mix
Veggies are chopped and waiting to be dressed

Our favorite Salsa but any one will work.

Tossed Salad with "secret ingredient" Vingarette or Italian dressing

Then warm your soft flour tortillas on a hot electric griddle.   A hot non stick frying pan will work too.  It's great to brown them slightly and even get some bubbles on the tortilla.
Tortillas warming on high on your griddle

To make taco put some meat into your tortilla, then top with some of your favorite salsa and finish with a generous helping of salad on top. Pull sides together when you are ready to bite into your taco.

Casual dinner at the island

You may also like to serve shredded Cheddar Cheese, sliced Avocado and Sour Cream in separate bowls for extra choices.  Tonight I just served chips and salsa but you could make Mexican corn, rice or beans as a side dish too.   This makes a great meal for a large group like a football party.   Just put out the ingredients and let them make their own.

Taco Salad
Can be made the same way as above.
Start with the prepared salad in separate dinner size bowls
Topped with some of the taco meat.
Then add some Salsa
And finish with broken Tortilla chips

Again you may use your choice of  shredded Cheddar Cheese, sliced Avocado and Sour Cream too.

Enjoy!!!


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We thank you so much for coming by for a visit and we look forward to coming by to see all of you too.   Big thanks to Peggy for doing such a lovely interview and giving away such a cute shirt.  We will be back in about ten days with our newest challenges.  Hope you will stop by to see them.  Until then, keep stitching!!! 

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Saturday, August 11, 2018

August Post One
Winners of Give Away
Styling with Stitches/Summer
SAL update
Freebie

Hope all of you have been enjoying the summer months.   It sure seems like it flew by this year.  When Mary and I think of the summer, good times at the beach always come to mind so our Styling with Stitches projects will center around a beach theme.   We also have the winners of the Give Away to announce, an update on our SAL's and a new freebie.

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Winners of Give Away:
Outside the USA winner is Martina from Germany
In the USA is Meg from Idaho
Congratulations ladies!!! 

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Styling with Stitches


RJ's Summer Ferris Wheel

I've always loved Ferris Wheels...the bigger the better!   My Mom would tell a story of how she would be walking me in my stroller on the boardwalk down the shore.   She said when she was nearing the Ferris Wheel she would walk a few blocks off the boardwalk so I would not spot it.  If I did, I would start chanting Feffa Wheel, Feffa Wheel and want to go on.   No way my Mom wanted to go on the tall Ferris Wheel at Seaside.   But, when my Dad would come down later in the week he could not wait to take his little dare devil daughter high in the air.   When it stopped to let someone on or off, he would actually swing the seat much to my delight!

That Christmas my parents bought me a painted tin Ferris Wheel that I played with all the time.  Years later when we were stationed in California, I spotted my Ferris Wheel in an antique store.   I went right over to look and it cost $399.   I doubt my parents paid $10 for mine.   I asked the lady why it was so expensive when it wasn't even an antique?   She said those type of toys were big collectibles and that was actually a great price.   I could not wait to call my Mom and ask "Mom is my Ferris Wheel still up in the attic"?   Mom's answer: "Oh no I threw that old thing out years ago".  I did not have the heart to tell her what it was worth.

But from that day forth, I really wanted a Ferris Wheel.   It could be just a tiny one that was affordable but I never had any luck.   Then Mothers Day a big box arrived in the mail from our son, Mike.   When I opened it up, I started to cry...it was a Ferris Wheel.   But only when I was putting it together did I realize that instead of seats it had photo frames.   The first thing that came to my mind was tiny cross stitches.   I could change it out for the seasons too.   So my first Ferris Wheel is for the summer.   Hope you like it too.

Summer Ferris Wheel

Didn't we all have a pail and shovel to dig in the sand?

Love to watch the sailboats in the bay

Favorite footwear at the beach

Loved building a sandcastle with my Dad moat and all!

One of my favorite things is a beach umbrella.
The beach we go to always waves the American flag.


Patterns from Sam Sarah designs
and Country Cottage Needleworks
over dyed threads in stash
40 ct. Vintage Country Mocha linen

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Mary's Beach Stitches

My usual mo-dus operandi is to select my pattern and then find material to display it, this time I worked in reverse order.

While scavenging the streets in my town during "bulk pick-up" week, I found this beachy style frame and knew it would be perfect for my condo in Florida.  ( For those not familiar with bulk pickup week, each Spring the local towns allow you to put your trash/treasures at roadside to be disposed of.)

It is a Spring Ritual for me and many others to peruse the trash looking for "treasures"!!  The irony in this is that I was a yard sale snob and had no desire to buy other people's junk.   But I have now made a complete turnaround in my attitude after my first find of a gorgeous antique bedroom set sitting on the side of the road.   I am now hooked on trolling  the streets for treasures and going to yard sales.

Getting back to stitching, these 2 Cathy Haberman patterns worked quite well for my beach theme. The called for count was 32 which I changed to 36 ct to fit the frame.

Framed Stitches display in NY but will eventually find a home in Florida

Common Florida sight!

Chair stitched with GA Chamomile and GA Evergreen for sign background

Flock Together and On Beach Time
by Hands on Design
36 Country Mocha linen
DMC threads and 2 GA threads


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SAL update
We are moving along on our SAL's and loving every minute of it.   This is such a pretty pattern and the threads are so lovely.   It is called Quaker Handework by With Thy Needle and Thread and we are both stitching them on 36 ct. Espresso linen.

RJ's SAL
This was my first update on our SAL after 11 hours.


And now 14 hours later for a total of 25 hours:



Mary's SAL
My first SAL update after 11 hours.
                                    

Second SAL  update after a total of 23 hours.



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Freebie

                                  

If you would like to stitch this cute crow in the cornfields, you can find the chart at the Victoria Sampler website.  Just go here  


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We thank you for visiting Stitching Friends and hope you will come back and join us again.   Next post will be a Grab Bag which will be a lot of fun. Enjoy the rest of your summer and keep stitching! We will be by to visit with all of you.  If we don't know about your blog please let us know. 


                                             Dance with the waves,
                                             Move with the sea
                                             Let the rhythm of the water
                                             Set your soul free.

                                             Christy Anne Martine
                                   

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

July Post Two
Styling with Stitches/ Patriotic trays
Freebie
SAL update

July is always such a fun month...picnics, cookouts, the beach and fireworks!!! Hope you are all enjoying lots of great times with your family and friends.   We have two new stitches to share.   We made two patriotic trays that we hope you will enjoy.

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Styling with Stitches

RJ's patriotic tray

Where my Home is there lies my Heart by Shepherds Bush is the pattern I chose.   I loved the saying on it and thought it would be neat to use with all the places we lived and where we left a part of our hearts!  This was my first larger kit by Shepherds Bush and it was a fun one.   I got to learn a few new embroidery stitches and enjoyed working with the beautiful hand dyed linen and silk threads that are included. The kit also contains a really cute flower button and a white star button to add to the finish.

To put it together, I cut two pieces of mat board (one 11 by 14 and the other 8 by 10).   For the first time I had a pretty easy time cutting it because of a tip I got from Jackie of Jackie's Stitches. She said to use a rotary cutter and go over it a couple of times.   It worked like a charm!   THANKS Jackie.  After that I attached quilters smooth batting to each piece of mat board and then covered the bigger one with the star fabric and the smaller one with the stitch.   I attached the stitch to the left side.  And then added the list of places we lived to the right of the stitch and put a small ticking yo yo with a heart flag button on top.  Big thanks to my husband, George for putting those handles on the sides to turn it into a tray.  The whole board can be pulled out easily so that I can change stitches for different holidays and seasons.

Here is the finished tray!

Closeup of the list of places we have lived with a yo yo and flag button at top.

Here the framed box is open

Closeup of the stitch.   Can you see the little white star button on the right and the purple flower button in the basket?

Where my home is there dwells my heart
by Shepherds Bush
Linen, thread and buttons in kit
handles from Lowes
                 
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Mary's Patriotic tray

The design I chose for my patriotic tray is Liberty for All by Brenda Gervais. She is my favorite designer and anything with a bird attracts my eye.

I found the frame that looks like a drawer in the picture frame section at Hobby Lobby. It had a black finish, so, out came my chalk paint, and after a little distressing and waxing I was happy with the result.

I was stitching on a piece of linen that would cover the entire tray. Well, that plan backfired as I was well into the stitch when I realized I was stitching vertically on the linen when I should have been stitching horizontally.  So, my next plan was to add fabric to either side of the stitch so it would fit the tray, but I could not find any fabric to my liking. So, edging the stitch with trim and sewing it onto the burlap that came with the photo frame was my solution.

I am now glad I made the mistake because I think I made lemonade out of lemons. 

My one tip for stitching this is to be careful using the Parchment and Eggshell, as I accidently substituted one for the other and had to do a lot of frogging. 


My finished tray!

Love this sweet bird! 

Tray painted with Rustic Red Dixie Belle Chalk Paint

Liberty for All
 by Brenda Gervais
36 count Country Mocha Linen 

 called for threads


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Freebie


Our freebie pattern this month can be found on the Nebby Needle site. It's cute and should stitch up quickly.  You will find it here


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SAL update

Well we are really loving out newest SAL called Quaker Handework by Brenda Gervais.   We used the called for Espresso linen 36 ct. and the called for overdyed threads.  The colors are soft and pretty. It is moving quite well and we should be done a lot quicker this time.  This is how far we have come in 10 hours of stitching.

RJ's SAL


Mary's SAL



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Hope you are all enjoying your summer and finding time to stitch.   We will be visiting you to see what you have been up to and all of your beautiful new stitches.  Don't forget to sign up for our big give away...there is still time. Details are here   Next post we will be sharing our challenges.   Hope to see you then.