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Thursday, November 30, 2017

November Week One and Four

Thank you's

Styling with Stitches
New Stitch

It's hard to believe that today is the last day of November.   The time is just flying by and there is still so much to do before the Christmas holidays. Mary and I have been busy stitching for week one and week four.   I bet you thought we forgot about week one this month.  We didn't!   We are just late in getting them sewn up.  So today will be a double project day which means double the work double the pleasure.   

We start with thanks you's to three lovely ladies.   This past week I received a most beautiful RAK ornament from Andrea of The Craft Room.   I have been following Andrea for quite some time because of my love for her stitching and stunning finishes.   So you can imagine my delight when I found out I won one of her RAK'S.    It is a beautiful Prairie Schooler Santa which I'm so over the moon about.   I love everything about it from the perfect flat finish, the pretty cording, the organza bow, the lovely three pearl pin and even an adorable heart charm on the back.  I was like a little girl on Christmas morning opening a gift when I received this beautiful gift all the way from England.  

Stitching Friends thanks our good friend Catherine of I love to stitch for the really pretty Blackbird Designs and Shepherds Bush patterns she sent for Mary and me to stitch. She knows how much we love patriotic and SB stitches.  We can't wait to get going on these lovely designs.

We also would like to thank our new friend Sandy of  I majored in Home Economics for the beautiful chart Silent Night, Holy Night with the prettiest cardinals that was sent to us too.  It is a time consuming pattern but so pretty.

Thank you so much stitching friends.   


Styling with Stitches
For our week one project we made stitched quilt hangings to put on metal containers.  They are both by Fanci That which make them whimsical and adorable!

RJ's quilt hanging
I chose Harvest Angel by Fanci That.   This company is not in business anymore but I was able to find this one on Ebay and scooped it up.   I chose my own over dyed threads and added a star button to the halo and a blackbird on the fence.  When I made the little quilt I used a tiny sunflower border in black and cream and then a bigger border of homespun black check.  I still want to go back and do a quilt stitch around the borders but probably not until after the holidays.   

This is my little quilt hanging on a metal container.  I added a plant, some fresh sunflowers, wicker pumpkins and a birdhouse for the blackbird

The quilt hangs by vintage black ribbon
Closeup showing the two with sunflowers and the other a check homespun

Kinda crooked but shows the detail of the stitch and buttons better.  Can you see the pumpkins on her feet?  And it says Crows on the mailbox with a small red lever.   The details on these angels are amazing.   I wish I had gotten a better up close photo

Harvest Angel
by Fanci That
40 ct. country mocha Newcastle linen
overdyed threads
buttons from 123 stitch

Mary's quilt hanging
My hanging is another Fanci That stitch appropriately named Pumpkin Hollow.  I think the Fanci That patterns are such charming and whimsical stitches. 

I found this great wood and metal basket at Hobby Lobby and knew it would be perfect for a fall display to hang on my door.   I enlisted the talents of my good friend, Cheryl, to help me design the arrangement.  

I omitted the word Pumpkin that was on the pattern.   I found some tiny wooden leaves at a quilt show that worked well for the little halo.   The called for threads were used with the exception of substituting a few DMC colors, 3371 for Cherry Bark, 931 for Blueberry, 340 for Purple Iris and 738 for Summer Meadow. 
Closeup of quilt hanging

I love how this arrangement turned out
The back has a hanger at the top
Pumpkin Hollow
by Fanci That
40 ct. country mocha Newcastle linen
threads listed above
buttons found at a quilt show


Something New

RJ's new ornament - I chose a design by Blackbird Designs.   Have you ever seen a chart that you just had to stitch?   Well this one did that to me.   The first time I saw it I was in love with everything about it.   I really thought the blackbird was beautiful with the golden basket in his mouth and I loved the pretty brick color of the alphabet.   I usually don't date things or put my initials on them but this one needed it.

For the finish I did a thin piece of black homespun and then a larger piece of a pretty tiny floral that Mary had sent me from a quilt show.   It had the perfect brick red and black in it and worked so well.   I made my first attempt at a yo yo with a button.  Why?  I made a mistake when trimming my stitch.   I trimmed three sides and forgot the bottom.  Only after it was sewn up, did I notice my error. I may pull it apart and fix it later but for now I think the yo yo takes up space and helps make the extra length of the linen look more in line.  At least I hope so.  

Love the colors in this stitch

Closeup showing the yo yo and fabrics

Gathering Basket
By Blackbird Designs
overydyed threads
40 ct. flax Newcastle linen
vintage button


Mary's new stitch -  I stitched this for my friend Cheryl's printers box.  She changes the display seasonally and I volunteered to make a little stitch for each season.    I call this my mystery stitch because I cannot recall the design or threads used.  I tried a flat fold for the first time using chipboard and gluing the linen down. Neither method will be used again by myself! The chipboard was difficult to cut and once I placed the linen on the sprayed glue surface I could not move the stitch to align it evenly. I'm glad my learning experience was on a small piece like this one. 

Perfect for Cheryl's printers box


Thank you all so much for your visit.  We really appreciate each and every one of you.  Next week we will the doing our Styling with Stitches post.   Until then "Happy Stitching".                      Mary and RJ

                                        Begin each day with a grateful heart
                                                               unknown author

Monday, November 20, 2017

November Week Three

Old Ornaments Made New

Free Pattern

With Thanksgiving approaching quickly and Christmas not far behind, we know everyone is very busy.   So, we are really happy you came by for a visit today. We have two of our older ornaments updated to show you.  And, we have included a free pattern we hope you will enjoy.


RJ's old ornament made new
I chose the pattern The 12 Days of Santa by Heart StringsI love this Santa with his  "argyle like jacket".  You can't tell but different shades of yellow are used in each of the squares. There was a lot of counting to get the white individual x's in the right place.  And then, it was my first time using the Wisper thread for his beard and mustache.  I was really happy with this sweet Santa.   But like all our older ornaments, it needed a bit more to dress him up!

Love this Santa stitch but why not dress him up for his big day!

Well I thought I had a cute new idea for this ornament. But after working on it for quite awhile, it wasn't coming out like I wanted.   So I went back to a tried and true method of hand stitching some red pleated ribbon around the ornament.   I added a red check bow to the corner with a charm that says "believe". There is also a cute little cardinal button still sitting on top of the tree.   Now he looks more dressed up!

He seems at home in the greenhouse!

Or maybe he'll stay here in the basket of flowers

Closeup of the bow so you can see the believe charm and how the pleated ribbon ruffles
The 12 Days of Santa
by Heart Strings
35 ct. unknown linen
called for threads
Wisper thread for the beard
Cardinal button
Believe charm from Joann's


Mary's old ornament made new
My Christmas update is one of several ornaments I received from RJ as part of my 2013 Christmas gift.  ( I have a very generous friend!)   It is Tiny Tidings XV by Lizzie Kate.  

RJ suggested updating some of the older ornaments she had stitched for me.  I hesitated, as I love the stitches "as is," but I am running low on my own stitches so I took the challenge

Love this sweet little stitch but RJ asked me to doll it up!

I added some cording around the edges, replaced the bow with jingle bells and a tiny bow on the wreath.   I know she will love the new additions to her pretty stitch.  

The cording colors were a perfect match and I found it on sale in Hobby Lobby which was an added bonus. You can see the little bow made with six strands of thread on the bottom of the wreath.

Love the fabric she used for the back.   We both wish she had more.  You also can see the cording separated for decorative back finish.  

Tiny Tidings XV
by Lizzie Kate
Weeks cocoa linen
English Ivy, Cayenne and DMC blanc threads
Cording from Hobby Lobby


Free Pattern for you

We hope you enjoy this pattern we found on Plum Street Samplers.   It is perfect for the season.

You can find the chart here   


Hope you all have a lovely and blessed Thanksgiving.   We know we are most thankful for each and every one of you that come by and visit.   We are truly honored that you like our blog and take the time to comment.  We hope to see you next week...we are working on a  double post to end the month of November.            Mary and RJ

Sunday, November 12, 2017

November Week Two
Veterans Day Thank You
Cross Stitch Birthday gift
Birthday Cake recipe
Christmas Challenge stitches

Stitching Friends would like to say thank you to all our Veterans past and present for their dedication and service to their country.   This week we have a cross stitch gifta recipe and our Christmas challenge stitches to share with you.

RJ's Grab Bag

As an Air Force wife for 30 years, I can tell you I am so proud of all the men and women who serve.  I asked my husband if he would tell me what being a veteran meant to him.  His response was the following: 

Being a veteran means being part of the 1% of the population that steps forward to defend our nation. It means sacrifices by both the service member and his or her family, but there is also great satisfactionYou learn to appreciate teamwork and a shared purposeYou have the opportunity to associate with like-minded individuals who become your extended family and lifelong friendsPeople frequently tell a veteran, “Thank you for your service.” That sentiment is certainly appreciated, but in reality, it is an honor and privilege.


Cross Stitch Birthday Gift

It was also my husband George's birthday today and one of his gifts was this cross stitch from Little House Needleworks.   It is called Brave Hearts.  The first time I saw it I knew I wanted to stitch this for my military husband.   I love everything about this stitch.   The colors really pop beautifully.   I really enjoyed stitching the checkerboard roof and the wavy navy was a great color for the house.   I always like stitching the American flag and this was a great one.  And letters are always fun which made this meaningful poem especially enjoyable to stitch.   Happy Birthday George! 

Love everything about this stitch!
Here is a WWII photo of my Dad in uniform sitting in a field of flowers with a a bouquet in his hand.  It is one of my favorite family photos.

It found a home in the green house!

 when I made this ornament in July?   I used the pattern Brave Hearts above for the house, flag, bird and some other small parts.  Then I added my own words, pots of flowers and moved things around abit to finish it off.

You can see the changes I made to make this my own ornament.

Brave Hearts
by Little House Needleworks
25 ct. vintage country mocha over one
called for overdyed threads


German Sour Cream Cake

George's favorite dessert is my Mom's German sour cream cake and that is what I will make for his special day.   I would like to share the recipe with you all.   It is a very easy cake to make.   I followed the recipe almost exactly.   The only change I made is I always use pecans instead of walnuts.  But recently, I substituted pralines (glazed pecans) instead.   It really gave the cake a nice sweet crunch.   A slice of this cake is perfect with a big scoop of Blue Bell homemade vanilla ice cream.   

 Mom’s German Sour Cream Cake

½ lb. butter
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
4 eggs
1 pt. (16ozs.) sour cream
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts (we prefer pecans)
Vanilla ice cream (Blue Bell is our choice)

Cream butter and sugar.   Add eggs one at a time beating after each one.   Add sour cream and mix well.   Add all dry ingredients and mix well.   Add vanilla and nuts and blend in.   Bake in greased tube pan at 350 degrees for one hour.   I find it usually takes another 10 to 15 minutes.   Sprinkle with powdered sugar when cake is cool.  Serve with really good Vanilla ice cream. 


RJ's Santa challenge -

My Christmas challenge is St. Nicholas II Santa by Prairie Schooler.   I saw this stitched on black on Carol's site "Stitching Dreams" a few years ago and just loved it. Even though I had never stitched on black linen before, I had to give it a try.   At first it was very hard on these old eyes, but after awhile I got the hang of it.  At first I was stabbing trying to find the hole.   After the first row went in, it went fairly easy.   I love this Santa because he is holding a cardinal which is very near and dear to my heart.  I used overdyed variegated threads which really popped on the black linen.

I used cayenne for the reds in this stitch which really popped against the black linen.

St. Nicholas II Santa Book No 36
by Prairie Schooler
32 ct. black linen
overdyed threads I had on hand

Mary's Christmas challenge -

My Christmas Challenge is another favorite by Little House Needleworks called Quaker Birds.   I had to look up the name because I renamed it Snow in Love.   I just love these two little birds.  I stitched this once before all in cream and used it as the topping for a gift for my niece's Wedding Shower.  I received so many compliments on the brown craft paper packaging, burlap ribbon and this lovely stitch adorning the gift box.   I think a pretty ornament being used as a bow is a thoughtful idea for a special gift.

Love these sweet birds!

Quaker Birds
by Little House Needleworks
30 ct. Weeks Cocoa linen
called for threads

Thank you once again for stopping by to see us.   We really appreciate the time you take to comment.   It always makes our day special.   Next week will be our last old ornament made new for this year.   Hope to see you then.   Mary and RJ

We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude
                                                  Cynthia Ozick