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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. 



  1. Oh, your trays are both delightful! RJ, what a neat idea to list the places you've lived alongside your stitched finish. So perfect for that saying. I am in awe of all of the locations you've lived!! And, Mary--you're right--I think I like this finish with the trim on it even better than what you had originally planned. Funny how things work out that way sometimes :)

    Your SAL is so pretty--what a fun color palette to work with...

    Hope you both enjoy this final week of July--can you believe August is almost here?!

  2. Great projects and finishes by both of you. Can you believe that July is almost over?

  3. What an awesome post to read and view this evening! Both of your trays look fabulous -- the stitches and the trays. You both are making good progress on your latest SAL stitch. It has a lovely thread palette. Thank you for the link to the complimentary patriotic design!

  4. Seriously, both of those trays are wonderful. I am so inspired by both of them. I am going to put this idea in my file. The SALs are great as well. Enjoyed the post!

  5. Those finishes are amazing. Another thing to consider when it comes time to finish a bigger piece. RJ thanks for sharing the tip on cutting mat board. I guess I will have to get a rotary cutter!

  6. What beautiful work by the two of you ,I love both trays .

    I love the idea .

    Enjoy your July well the rest of it what's left of it.

    Look forward to your next post ,I really do get excited seeing new stitching and finishes.
    Happy week to you both.

  7. Wow your trays are simply fabulous! Both the stitching and finishing. It's all the little touches you add like the trim Mary and RJ's list of homes that really just make the finishes perfect.
    I love your new SAL piece, your stitches are so neat!

  8. Both finishes are looking great.
    I like your SAL stitching, wonderful fabric and threads.
    Enjoy the July. Best wishes Manuela

  9. Both of your tray finishes are gorgeous!
    They do have some different frames at HL, so cute.
    Great progress on your SAL's too.

  10. Another wonderful post ladies!!!
    RJ, you made the SB piece so meaningful for you--love that idea!
    Mary, your "drawer" is precious and I love your paint job (I've never attempted using the chalk paint).
    Question for both--did you attach your stitching to your background fabrics or just have it laying there in the tray?
    The SAL pieces look great..can't wait to see how they progress.

    1. The question about how the stitching is attached to the trays is a good one! I am curious, too!

  11. Oh RJ, I just love the way you did the SB piece. Perfect! Just awesome. Holy Smokes you guys have been on the move!! Mary I agree, this finish was meant to be. It is lovely.

  12. What awesome trays and stitches!

    RJ...thx for the rotary cutter tip

    Mary...the edging on your patriotic stitch makes it appear so authentic!

  13. You two ladies are inspiring with all your creativity :) Both finishes look fabulous. I love the personal touch of the list of places you've lived too! Great work on your SAL, you've chosen a great pattern.

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  15. Bravo à les deux Toutes. De modéles Que doux vos bien en finitions mettent Valeur. C'est une belle idée Que d'mis la liste Avoir des Différents Endroits habités.
    Bravo les avancees also verser sur Votre SAL.

  16. Ladies, your trays are GORGEOUS! Seriously! You have definitely got my wheels turning. RJ - I love how you put yours together, and am wondering, did you glue the fabric to the back? If so, what glue would you recommend? I have used hot glue, but it can be finicky (and you have to work fast!), and some other glues just don't hold.

    Mary, that drawer frame is awesome, and I love the color you chose for the chalk paint. I have never, ever seen edging with such beautiful trim before.... that blew my mind. I really would like to try that.

    Thank you for the freebie! It's a cutie!

    Your SAL is coming along so well. I'm so glad you have this to share with one another.

    If I did not ask already, please enter me in your giveaway.

    Have a wonderful week!

    Hugs from Idaho...

  17. You both do such a wonderful job of displaying your stitching. Both of those patriotic pieces are delightful!

  18. I love your trays, ladies! What clever finishing! And I enjoy seeing your Quaker SAL, they will be gorgeous!

  19. I love your trays - such an interesting idea. I like how RJs can also be switched out easily for different pieces x

  20. Good Morning my friends!!!

    Oh my goodness! I am SERIOUSLY in love with both of your trays! RJ the SB design is just so beautifully done and the saying just made my heart stop! Love it! Your background fabric is perfect and the list of where you have lived previously is wonderful! What an amazing family heirloom! Your shopping adventure to Lowe’s was obviously a success! ☺️

    Mary your tray is beautiful as well! I love Brenda Gervais designs as well...ahhh her birds! The way you finished the tray is beautiful and how you improvised is so well done! It looks so so beautiful! I love the trim so much! Very well done!

    Your SAL is coming along as well! My goodness you two have smoking needles! Quaker samplers are some of my favorite ones and your choice is really beautiful! I love the colors! One thing I do stitching goes at a snails pace compared to you!

    Thank you for the free pattern. It is really adorable!

    Sending hugs and love to you both!

  21. Mary what an awesome find with that drawer picture frame! You really did make lemonade with your lemons and it turned out delicious!!

    RJ I love, love, love that framing idea and hope that I remember it in the future so I can steal, oops I mean borrow it! And thanks for the rotary cutter tip I always have such a hard time cutting those board.

    Great start on your SALs ladies! I like how you both start at different places on the same piece. Thanks for the freebie :)

  22. Mary and RJ your tray finishes are beautiful! I love your personal touches like the list of places you've lived and the trim finish. Such a good idea and both very versatile!

  23. RJ - Shepherd's Bush women are one of my favorite designers and I enjoy learning new stitches and working with silks on their designs. I love what you've done with your tray and the list of homes dear to your heart is a wonderful personalization.
    Mary - You certainly did make lemonade out of lemons - I'd have pulled out my hair in frustration. I too love Brenda's designs and will add this one to my must buy list.

  24. I'm totally impressed with both trays that you stitched and finished. And both are so different in style but one is just as beautiful and creative as the other.
    Great choice of designers as well.

  25. Your patriotic trays are both wonderful to look at!!!!
    Thanks for the freebie and have fun embroidering your SAL project.
    Dear Mary and RJ, have a nice weekend, Jutta

  26. Beautiful finishes, RJ and Mary!
    I love both progress on the SAL! The design is so gorgeous!

  27. Wow, RJ, you've lived all over the place! I can count places I've been on one hand -- I don't know if that's a good thing or not! I like that the tray can be switched out. I love projects like that that can be "seasoned" :D

    Mary, that little drawer is such a cute find! I think this piece looks awesome horizontal anyway and sits "framed" in the tray! Will you surround the image with little stitched pillows and ornaments at some point?

  28. You both did such a super job with the trays, they are amazing. The little extra details you added really do add something special.
    Julie x

  29. Oh WOW, both of your trays look amazing! RJ, I love how you included the places where you've lived. Mary, I love the colour you chose to paint the tray.
    Nice progress on your SAL too!

  30. As always, absolutely gorgeous stitching and finishing! What a treat for the eyes. :D

  31. Two gorgeous tray finishes, such great ideas. Between the age of 0 and 7 I lived in loads of different places being an Army brat but then we settled down and I have only lived in 4 houses since then! 2 of which I owned myself. I don't do moving unless forced LOL

  32. RJ: Wow what a beautiful tray, you did a wonderful job, what a great idea to add all the places you have lived, thank-you for sharing such a lovely piece.
    Your SAL is a beauty, you have done lots of stitches in ten hours, I have never kept count of the hours of stitching a piece, a great idea in my mind, just to see how much time is put into a piece.


  33. Mary: I am loving the trim around the finished stitch, I too am a lover of Brenda Gervais, she is such a creative designer, your tray is lovely, I love distressing wood, it adds such a beautiful touch.
    Your SAL is lovely, I think I have only done one SAL about five years ago.
    You girls are so creative, thank-you for sharing your beautiful talents.
    Thank-you for the freebie hookup, I am going to have to do this one this week at retreat.


  34. Both of your trays are fabulous. So pretty. Your SAL pieces are just wonderful too.

  35. RJ, that tray could not be anymore perfect for a military family. I love it. Mary, I thought for sure she had you bested, but your "lemons to lemonade tray" swooped in for a very strong tie for the double win. You might have even started a new finishing following. Loving the stitch along. It's got such a great combination of fabric and threads. I just might have to add it to my wish list. :-) Judy

  36. Love these trays ladies!!🇺🇸🇺🇸