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Big Give Away coming the end of June!

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


  1. I did my son a full size monopoly board over ten years ago in cross stich and it is mounted under glass and he has played on it. He is 26 and it still loves it. Its our favorite game. Love seeing all the other board's. I was born in Nj, red bank

  2. Wow your Monopoly board is impressive!!

  3. A cute idea, these embroidered games, look great. And Monopoly is impressive.
    Oh, if there are snakes, I'm not there - I admire your courage.
    A nice pattern you have chosen for your SAL, I'm looking forward to your first pictures.
    If I forgot to sign up for the giveaway at the last post, I'm happy to do so.
    Big Hugs too you both, Martina

  4. Oh my the monopoly stitch is just wonderful.
    I love your stitching past so enjoyed them.
    Love your new SAL and thank you for the recipe looks yummy
    Another great post.

    Have a great week both.

  5. Hello RJ,
    your game baord stitching are wonderful. I love to play chinese checkers. Monopoly looks great.

    Thank you for the recipe. It looks very yummy, Mary.

    Can't wait to see the first photos from your new SAL.
    Have a nice Sunday, Manuela

  6. What a great collection of board games! All of them beautifully stitched. The cake recipe sounds delicious. A wonderful give away.

  7. Oh RJ I love this collection! How fabulous! My Aunt taught me Chinese checkers. Who did not play hours and hours of Monopoly as a kid?! :D
    Mary there is that lovely antique lemonade glass in use from your Grandmother! The cake looks and sounds delicious! But I could NOT go where snakes are!!! We had them in the woods behind our second last home and boy you could hear me scream when one found me!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. These glasses are a yard sale fine, old but in great condition. I was happy to find them.
      I scream when I see the snakes too but by me they are just black snakes or garter snakes, harmless to me!

  8. I loved seeing RJ's game boards. And Mary, that cake looks so good this morning. I wish I had a piece to have with my coffee. I went to my stitching group yesterday and there was some 14 count Aida on the give away table. I picked up two pieces of it because to me, Prairie School still looks good on Aida. I also purchase three cute needle minders from Brenda's Minders and More. I started working on October 31st by Brenda Gervais. I really enjoy her patterns and they are so easy to read for my old eyes.I always enjoy seeing what other stitchers are working on...out stitching group has a diverse range of designers. I even learned of one I did not know about yesterday. Carolyn Manning who does charts that look like quilts. Hope you are having a good weekend Ladies. I am always excited to see a post from you.

  9. It is always a delight to see a new post from the two of you. RJ, I like your gameboards. Mary, your cake looks yummy; I love your lemonade glass. I look forward to seeing your progress on Quaker Handework. Until next time, stitch away!

  10. Hey RJ and Mary...always great to have one of your blog posts come up in my feed. RJ, your game boards are so cute, but the Monopoly is fantastic--WOW!!! Since you mentioned it's original size, do you ever "play" on it?
    Mary, I'm not much of a pie eater, but I'm sure yours is delicious. I do believe my grandmother had those same glasses!!!

  11. Hello dear friends!

    Oh RJ your throwback stitching is just wonderful! I love your game boards so very much! I cannot pick a favorite but the Monopoly one touches my heart because that is Andrew’s favorite game of ALL time! Oh the HOURS I have sat and played that game! And I remember those charts so well! I too had a favorite cross stitch shop way back in the day and the gentleman that owned that shop stitched every one and had it on display in his store! Scott and I would admire them every time we would go into his store! Amazing! Thank you for the memory!

    Mary....Right after church I am going to the store and picking up raspberries! That cake sounds so absolutely delicious and I can hardly wait to make one! I think my journey to pick up berries will be safer and less exciting than yours but hopefully my cake will turn out as good as yours looks😀❤️ Thank you for sharing this recipe! It is such a wonderful summertime treat!

    I just read your giveaway post! Oh my goodness I cannot believe I missed that one! No worries though...I have now remedied that and entered! LOL!

    Sending hugs and love to both of you! You are very dear to me and I hold you near and dear to my heart! Have a happy day! ❤️

  12. Happy Summer🇺🇸....Wow! RJ that collection of game boards is spectacular! I’ve never seen anything like it what treasures 😍
    The recipe looks delicious 😋...great SAL

  13. What a lovely post! It's nice to have you both back. RJ I love your game boards and especially the Monopoly one - my brother and I spent hours playing this though we didn't know the real rules as we had a very old set with no instructions! Still fun though.
    Mary thanks for the lovely recipe, I have never tried wineberries but raspberries are my favourites.

  14. Your monopoly is wonderful! I used to love the game as a child :)
    Thank you for the recipe, looks yummy

  15. RJ and Mary! Imagine how happy I felt when I checked my email this morning and saw that there was a post from my good friends waiting to be read. ❤️ I have never seen anything like your Throwback Thursday charts, RJ. How neat! My family grew up playing board games and card games as well, and when I visit my mom (as I am this weekend), we play Texas canasta, Rummikub, Mille Bornes, Quiddler, and occasionally the classics - Monopoly or Sorry. My favorite growing up was Clue, but Mom thinks it’s a morbid game and will not play it! Haha!

    Glad you mentioned your transition from 14-ct Aida to 18-ct. and then linen. I think we can all relate! This will make me sound like a snob, but I recently stitched a project on Aida and it was just so...boring. I like the challenge of linen, and am really getting into stitching over one on lugana. My eyes are not happy with me right now, though.

    Your SAL is going to be gorgeous! And that cake...YUM. I had never heard of wineberries before today. They sound amazing! Our friends Rob and Kristin go huckleberry picking in late summer with their family. They know where all the good wild places are. I hope someday to go with them, but they can be pretty hard to get to. Kristin’s Mom broke her leg severely two years ago hunting for berries, if that tells you anything.

    Have a fantastic week! Hugs from Idaho.

  16. Your game boards are so pretty! The Monopoly is gorgeous!
    Great design for the new stitch-a-long!

  17. Toutes ces broderies concernant les jeux sont superbes. J'ai joué à tous et de temps en temps nous refaisons des parties de dames, de monopoly et de petits chevaux avec ma petite-fille Lara.
    Merci pour le gâteau et la limonade :o)
    Je pense que ce que vous appelez wineberry sont des mûres. Que j'adore en tarte, en confiture et mélanger à du yaourt nature.
    La grille pour votre SAL est splendide. Dommage que j'ai trop d'encours en ce moment et que je n'ai pas le modèle.
    Douce journée,

  18. The wineberry cake looks delicious! I've picked blackberries before and surprised I haven't run across a snake or two. I always get scratched up!

    I have a friend who is stitching a scrabble board which is similar to the Monopoly board in that it is big and she will be framing for use too. It will be such fun for her family to use!

    Regarding the community chests advice, I have a friend who when I first started stitching who said she never left the border to the end or the over 1 (or background in rug hooking) and it left a big impression on me!

  19. What a great Blast from the Past! We had all those games but we called some different names - Chinese Chequers with a Q. Parcheesi we called Ludo, Checkers is Draughts and TicTacToe is Noughts and Crosses.
    We also use the London landmarks for Monopoly although you can now buy regional variations and even a Harry Potter version!

    Mary's cake was delicious and the new SAL looks lovely.

  20. All those games are fantastic! I did think about doing a monopoly board once but decided against it....yours looks wonderful!
    Love the recipe - might have to try that this weekend :)

  21. I love those game boards RJ. The monopoly board is amazing.
    Mary, I have never ever heard of wineberries, but they sound divine. I love blackberry cobbler....well, anything with berries, so I am sure I would like wineberries.

  22. wow che bella idea ricamare i giochi, il monopoli è perfetto!

  23. RJ, your game boards are awesome! So glad you finished Monopoly to get it framed before you left - what a great deal!
    Mary, my neighbour used to picked wineberries and make jam, I need to ask her where she picked them so I can try your cake. It looks wonderful, thanks for sharing!

  24. The game boards are amazing! Chinese Checkers was my fav game as a young girl. But that Monopoly board is incredible....great job, RJ!
    And Mary...thanks for enduring nature's dangers to bring us that recipe! ;-)

  25. Oh yummm, that cake looks delicious Mary! I will take my piece with a big cup of coffee please!

    RJ, I love the game boards and have Monopoly in my stash! You could probably stitch Tic, Tac, Toe again by looking at the piece you stitched already. I wish I had a neighbor like that. I could keep them busy for quite a while!!

    Great new SAL for you ladies. I look forward to following your progress.

  26. Heureuse de votre retour malgré mon retard,les vacances obligent!
    Comme d'habitude de trés beaux travaux et un sublime dessert....bien oui je suis gourmande.
    Amitié a vous deux

  27. Very much enjoyed your flashback stitches. I think you and I must have both been stitching back in the late 1970's / early 1980's when everything had a country folk look to it and was stitched on aida. Your Monopoly stitch is remarkable - I am always pleased when a relative or friend admires and appreciates the effort and skill needed to create something like that. Goodness but those berries must be yummy to make snakes and poison ivy worth the effort!

  28. A great idea with this game and amazing work. Everything looks great! Good job!

  29. RJ: Wow your game boards are fantastic, I love them, I have never thought of doing a game board, thank-you for the information on the 18 count for making it true to size.
    So sorry have to post as anonymous due to google.
    I am from I Love To Stitch


  30. It would be impossible to pick out my favorite, RJ's beautiful patriotic game boards or Mary's cake. I do have a flat of raspberries so I think I will make Mary's cake later today!! I was lucky enough to find a Halloween game board chart done by the Primitive Stitcher(I still miss her). I think RJ has inspired me to do that one before Halloween!

  31. What a fun post! They do Throwback Thursday posting on Instagram, too, and I've gotten ideas of several old charts that I simply "must" track down--it can be dangerous!! Your Monopoly board is just great--I always thought that it would be a fun one to stitch when my sons were younger. We had some pretty cut-throat Monopoly games in the day :) RJ--17 moves??? Yikes--life in the military, I guess. I only ever moved 5 times in my entire life--and that includes college!

    Mary, that cake sounds so tasty--in fact, my husband is celebrating his birthday a bit late this coming Sunday and I may just make that for him. It sounds quick and easy--thank you for sharing the recipe!

    Enjoy your new SAL--it sure is a lovely design :)

  32. Absolutely love the Monopoly stitching!! Awesome!

  33. Loved your Throwback Thursday, RJ - what great game boards. And Mary, that cake looks completely delicious! Great pick for your next SAL, delightful design.

  34. And another great post from both of you, thank you!
    My favorite is the Monopoly board, as a child I played it soooooo often.
    Mary, thanks for the recipe, I'll try it.
    Hugs from Berlin, Jutta

  35. Looking forward to seeing everyone's progress on the SAL!!