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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

July Post Two
Styling with Stitches/ Patriotic trays
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.


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

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



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


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.


Mary's SAL


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. 


Saturday, July 14, 2018

July Post One
RJ's Grab Bag/ Throw back Stitches
Mary's Recipe/ Raspberry-Wineberry Cake
SAL preview
Big Give Away

Welcome to Stitching Friends Forever.  I hope you enjoy your visit and come back often.   July is a very special month to both of us because we get to celebrate our nation's birthday.  Our flag is especially dear to our hearts and we always enjoy stitching patriotic patterns.  There are celebrations everywhere and lots of red, white and blue! 


RJ's Grab Bag 

I'm not a regular on Facebook but I noticed on my husband's page that they have something called Throwback Thursday where they show old photos which are always fun to see.   I thought for this patriotic month I would do a Throwback Stitches post.   They are game boards in red, white and blue and seemed perfect for this month.    These are some of the first stitches I did and they are still near and dear to my heart.

We were stationed in San Antonio at the time and I found this great cross stitch store (my first) and I became a regular visitor.   When I saw this booklet with game boards I was smitten and decided to make them all.   Back then, I was using 14 count Aida cloth and DMC.  Who knew linen was out there and I'm not sure over dyes were even around back in the stone age.  I stitched them up pretty quickly and then took them to the base craft shop.   We were so lucky to have a retired Air Force officer who framed for cost for any one with a military ID.   Oh to have that luxury now!

Sorry for the glare but having a bad weather day and had to use a spotlight

That very sweet man tripled matted all of them!

I still love to play checkers!

Maybe my favorite of the small boards but look at the damage moving 17 times does.   I'm sure it's a water stain.   One day when I actually find the chart again I will redo this one.   

A few visits later to my favorite store and there she was the "Monopoly Board".   Oh my I had to make it as monopoly was my favorite game growing up.   And did you know that all the names are after streets in Atlantic City that lead up to the Boardwalk? Growing up in New Jersey, this was really cool.  To make the size of a real monopoly board I had to stitch it on 18 count.   18 count!?!  Everything seems scary before you try it.   But, it was a very easy change and I loved stitching it until I would come to a community chest.   They intimidated I skipped them!  When I got to the end, I still had three community chests to do.    Right about this time, my husband came home and announced we had orders and were moving in two months.  That meant I better get those three dreaded "community chests" done quickly so there was time for it to be framed in a similar way as the other four.   I hated every single moment of stitching those three little babies.  Memo to self: never put off a part of a stitch because it seems hard.  Do it when you come to it.  You will be much happier in the long run.

This is the stitch that actually got my son's attention.   When he saw it he said "Mom, it's looks like you took a real Monopoly board and framed it."   When he visits he still comments on it all these years later.  

A corner of the board.  
Another corner.  Lots and lots of backstitching!

There it is one of those three community chests!

And one more corner

Unknown chart names (still looking for booklet)
called for DMC
14 ct. and 18 ct. Aida cloth


Mary's Recipe

      Although I am not a "Summer" person, there is still much I love about July.  Celebrating  Independence Day with a family BBQ, cheering on my METS,  and swimming and kayaking at the lake are some favorite pastimes.

      A highlight of July is when the wineberries ripen.  I like them even better than Raspberries, they are tarter, have more flavor and taste great in muffins, cake and in a simple syrup over pancakes.

My property is surrounded by these bushes.

 Picking these berries is fraught with peril!! I have had snakes slither by my feet,  thorns snag my skin and where there are wineberries there is the dreaded poison ivy!!  But, it's all worth it!!   I go out each morning and pick the ripest berries and freeze them to use all year.  So please join me for a slice of a very simple cake and fresh lemonade! 

Raspberry/ Wineberry Cake

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick of butter, softened
2/3 cup of sugar
1 Tablespoon of sugar (for topping) 
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 cup of fresh raspberries ( about 5 ounces)  I substitute  wild wineberries

Pre-heat oven to 400 F with rack in center of oven. Butter and flour a 9 inch cake pan. 

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Beat butter and 2/3 cup of sugar with an electric mixer at med-hi speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes, then beat in vanilla, add egg and beat well. 

At low speed, mix in flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing till just combined. 

Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Scatter berries evenly over top and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar. 

Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 25-30 mins. 

Cool in pan 20 minutes, then invert pan  on cake plate.  ( I run a knife  all around the edge of the pan before inverting cake pan. ) 

Right out of the oven! 

New SAL to announce:

We are actually starting this SAL today.   It is called Quaker Handework by With Thy Needle and Thread.   It's a beauty and we are excited to put our needle to the linen and get going. 

                            Image result for quaker bird by with thy needle and thread


Our big Give Away

Don't forget to sign up for our big give away.   You will find all the details here    You can sign up until the end of July so don't miss out.



Well hope you enjoyed going down memory lane with RJ's "Stitching Throwback" and had a big piece of Mary's delicious cake.   Wish she could cut it and pass it around right now.   We will be by to visit with all of you and see the beautiful stitches you are creating.   Next week will be our "Styling with Stitches" post and we have a neat project to share.   Until then...Happy Stitching! 

                           "My patriotic heart beats red, white and blue"
                                                     unknown author

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