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Thursday, January 31, 2019

Styling with Stitches/Snowmen

Our January theme is snowmen.   Once a year, we each pick a month to stitch a pinafore.  Mary chose January and I will be doing mine in July.   The other person does a word play door beller. Our goal is to have a pinafore for all 12 months and the same with the word plays.   Several people have asked what is a door beller?   That is what Brenda Gervais the designer of With Thy Needle and Thread calls them.   The word play is because there are many words that are associated with the month you are stitching and door beller is because you hang them on your door and they make a jingle when you open your door.


RJ's Word Play Door Beller

Here in Florida, it never snows and I miss seeing it.   Ok, I know if you are somewhere really cold tonight you are ready to throw a snowball at me!   I do remember as a child getting out of school early because of snow.   We couldn't wait to get outside and make snowmen.  My Mom would make me wear two pairs of socks under my boots, a sweater under my coat, a wool hat and scarf and my hood up, two pairs of gloves and sometimes even a second pair of pants.   It's amazing I could even walk in all those clothes let alone make a snowman.  

When my Dad would get home from work at five, we would dress our snowman up.   My Dad would bring out charcoal for his eyes, a carrot for his nose, buttons from my Mom's button box for his shirt, my Grandpa's pipe to put in his mouth and my Dad's hat and scarf.   He would usually fatten the jolly man up too with added snow.   

Now I only get to stitch snowmen and remember those fun days growing up. I really enjoyed stitching the January word play.   It seemed quicker and easier than the others.  Who doesn't love snowmen?   It was fun stitching him in the wagon and all of the winter words.   I did change the color of the wagon to red but everything else was just like the pattern called.   For the finish, I used a French General fabric called Doily snowflakes in dark green.  In between the fabric and stitch, I sewed in white rick rack.  Then I added a red wool heart with a running stitch and added a cute snowman button because I snowmen.  A white ribbon hanger and a small bow with a snowflake button was stitched on the top left side.   And to turn it into a door beller, rusted bells were stitched to the bottom.   I wanted to paint the jingle bells white so they would look like snowballs but time did not allow me so I stuck with the rusted ones that I have used before and work great.  (Maybe one day I'll change it!)

Door Beller is hanging on an old shutter

Closeup of the heart, snowman button and rick rack plus those dangling bells.

Closeup of the white bow and tiny snowflake button
January word play door beller
by With thy Needle and Thread
35 ct. Abecedarian linen
called for threads except used cayenne for wagon
button from 123 Stitch
rusted bells from Amazon


Mary's Pinafore

"Jolly Happy Soul" otherwise known as "Frosty"  by Brenda Gervais was my choice for a snowman pinafore.

I thoroughly enjoyed stitching this sweet fellow but once again I struggled with the finishing.  I initially used my burlap envelope pillow that I used for  my Gardener Goode Witch Pinafore but it was not doing anything for poor Frosty and certainly not doing anything for me!

Rejected Frosty finish

I remembered I had some red burlap in my stash and made a new envelope pillow cover.

I think he looks so much better on the red. 

Even Smokey agrees! 
Jolly Happy Soul
by Brenda Gervais
With Thy Needle and Thread
35 ct. Old Town Blend linen
by R+R Reproductions
called for floss

Stay safe and warm if your being affected by this Polar Vortex.  I certainly won't be building any snowmen today in freezing New York!!!


What's Stitching?

Well we are about to start a new SAL in March.   It is a four pattern series (but will include six projects) by Brenda Gervais of With Thy Needle and Thread.   It is called Summer Schoolhouse Lessons.  It is stitched on 28 ct. mushroom Luguna over one, but you can use any fabric of your choice.   If you would like to join us let us know.   We will be following the same rules as before which is to  stitch only one hour a day on this project.  If you miss a day you can catch up on another day.   You can show it on your blog at anytime you wish.  

photo taken from Country Stitches sales site 

There is a new pattern out that I have been so anxious to stitch.   My dear blog partner Mary bought it the first day it was available and sent it to me and I can't wait to get started.   I just have to order my floss and I'll be stitching a great new SNOWMAN.   He is precious but look at that adorable cardinal on his head.   That sold it for me.   I just love him!

Photo taken from Country Stitches sales site


RJ's French Village Update

The last time I showed you a village shop it was last November.   I stitched eight last year and this year my challenge was to finish them.   Well I got two new patterns for Christmas and started stitching them again.   I literally became obsessed with stitching these cute village shops and before I knew it I had stitched seven more just this month!   I had a lot of fun with many of the new stitches changing many parts and even making up parts of the stitch.   I will show two each time we post and then finally start showing them finished into ornaments at the end of February.

One of the newest patterns out is the Clockmaker.   I liked everything about this pattern and stitched it just like the pattern called.  Well except for changing the doors to Baby Spinach and changing the name from Clocks to Temps which means Time in French.   The word for clock in French was much too long and I didn't like how it sounded.   So I looked up Tick and Tock but they didn't work either.  Then my husband George who remembers his French way better than me suggested Temps.  Perfect!

Then the next new one was the Coffee Shop.   I was going to use it for my French Cafe' but it just did not look French to me at all.   So I purchased the Cafe' from Country Cottage Needleworks and made adjustments so it would fit in with the rest of the LHN shops.   So many features looked French to me like the menu board, the iron lantern, the balcony, shutters, and outdoor eating.   It looked like so many cafes I've seen in the French Quarter of New Orleans and so I thought it would fit perfectly in my French village.  It turned out really cute and was just what I wanted.

I changed the shop to olive instead of a bright avocado.   Then I stitched the doors and shutters in red instead of the called for brown. And, changed the doors to double doors too. I did the awning and umbrella in red instead of the called for colors.  The trim and window box were changed to ecru. The tablecloths were made white so they would stand out.  The outdoor furniture I stitched in hickory sticks to make them look iron instead of wood.  I put cafe on the menu board instead of menu.   And, lastly I added a sign above the awning that says Croissant (the name of the cafe' because it is famous for croissants).  It turned out to be one of my favorites though I love them all.


We enjoyed visiting with you today and hope to see you again in about ten days when our February Styling with Stitches projects will be ready.   We will be by to visit your blogs and to see all of your new stitches/projects too. And if you have a blog and we don't have it listed on our sidebar, please let us know as we would love to add you.  Stay warm and keep stitching during these cold days. 

                                                     Stitching Friends

                                  Snowmen fall from Heaven unassembled
                                        unknown author

Sunday, January 20, 2019

January 2019'
Grab Bag - Review of 2018' Styling with Stitches

Happy New Year everyone!   We do hope you all had lovely holidays and are back stitching for the new year.   We have lots of new projects planned that we are excited about.   New themes for each month are posted on the sidebar.   Our goal is to aim to have three posts a month which will include our styling with stitches post, a grab bag post and a new post called stitcher's choice.

Our styling with stitches post will continue to be new ways to use your stitches. This is probably our favorite post as we enjoy the process of coming up with new ideas.   The grab bag post will help you get to know the two of us better and we have lots of new ideas for it.  And, the third post is going to combine all the things we did in the past on our third and fourth weeks like old ornaments made new, a new ornament and our challenges.   It might be one of those or even a new, small project.  We aren't planning this one together so it will have an element of surprise to it.   We won't even tell each other until they are posted. 

And, we will be starting a new SAL too.   We will let you know what we have chosen in the next post and maybe you would like to join us.   

But, before we get started on our new projects we thought we would do a review of our "styling with stitches" projects of 2018'.   This will show our new followers what S/S posts are all about and put all of them in one place for our long time followers. 


2018' Styling with Stitches Review:

January Journals

February Mason Jars

March Pinafore and Word Play

April - Don't miss our big party you will find here.  It is filled with beautiful stitches from our friends and followers.

June Basket Hangings

July Trays

August Summer projects

September friendship

October Word play door beller and Pinafore

November Thanksgiving Silverware and Napkin Holders

If you would like to see a review of our 2017' styling with stitches projects go here  Just scroll down until you see review of 2017'.  (First you will see the review of ornaments and then further down the page will be the 2017' styling with stitches projects)


Stitching friends is glad to be back in the swing of blogging.   Next post will be our styling with stitches post for January and we hope you will come back to see it.   We look forward to visiting all of you and see what you are working on this new year of 2019'.  We really appreciate the time you take to visit and leave a comment.   Stay warm and keep stitching!

                                              Stitching Friends

                Snowman's Prayer: Please freeze! Amen