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Big Give Away coming the end of June!

Sunday, March 15, 2020

March /Sewing
Styling with Stitches
High Fives
SAL Update
What's Stitching

Spring is right around the corner and I know many of you can't wait for warmer weather.  We love Spring and all the flowers that will bloom.  Do you have a favorite flower you are waiting to see?  For us, it is tulips and snowdrops.

When we were planning this year's posts, we decided to make some sewing projects for the month of March.   So, we both attempted our first project bag for our styling with stitches post.   We also have some more high fives, our first SAL update and a message from Clare.


Styling with Stitches

RJ's Project Bag

I've been putting off making a project bag for so long but I finally took the plunge.   I followed Vonna's tutorial which is excellent.   She explains every detail so well which I really appreciated.  I made a few small changes to mine. I had to make my bag larger to fit the stitch I added, I curved the ends of the flap and I added a button for a little extra detail. 

I used the pattern Stitching Friends by Sub Rosa for my stitch.   When I first saw this pattern, it seemed like it was designed just for us which made it special.  I've never been attracted to stitching mice before but these two are adorable.  I love how their tails stick out of their dresses, their stitching tools and the extra big, whimsical strawberry with large pins.  

I used a decorator fabric which had already been treated with scotchguard  which seemed like it would be great to keep it clean.   It also has a nice weight to it which makes the bag very sturdy.  The lining is a polka dot.  I came up with a new way to make a project roll .  Next post I'll add a simple, easy tutorial.

Finished bag with a matching project roll was sent to Robin as a birthday gift

Closeup of stitch.  Aren't those mice sweet?

Stitching Friends
by Sub Rosa
40 ct. platinum linen
called for over dyed floss
fabric from Calico Corners
buttons from Hobby Lobby


Mary's Project Bag

My project bag started with a pre-made zippered pouch that I purchased at the Crafty Framer in Florida last Spring.    As I don't like sewing zippers I thought this would simplify the project.  I machine stitched the zipper to the project bag but it would have been easier to hand sew it.  

 My stitch by Nikyscreations is called Stitcher Sewing Sampler

The stitch as designed

This is my version. I eliminated the alphabet and flipped the bottom border to use as the top border. 
Love this sweet stitch!

I found the fabric on line that went so well with the floss colors and Dames of Needle trim.
The finished bag found a home with RJ in Florida

Stitcher Sewing Sampler
28 count Weeks Havana linen
converted floss from DMC to Weeks and Gentle Arts threads

trim from Dames of the needle


High Fives

This is one of our features where we pick five things that we are really liking.  Hope you enjoy!

RJ's High Fives

1. Hometown TV series 

Have you seen this HGTV series yet?   I'm so hooked.  It's the sweetest couple in a small town in Mississippi who are restoring the homes throughout this charming town.  This French Country home was remodeled for a military couple that were retiring and it came out perfect.

2. Blaze Pizza

We go to Blaze Pizza every Sunday night after Mass.  The pizza is awesome.  You select  whatever you want to put on your pizza and as much as you want.   They make the best salads too.  It is the fastest growing casual restaurant chain in the nation so give it a try if you have one near you.

3.  Neat stand

Mike gave me this cool stand for Christmas.  I'm thinking it will be a neat place to hold stitches until they are ready to be sewn.   They also would hold a set of flat folds really nicely too.

4.  Covered button maker

Boy is this little tool coming in handy for all the covered buttons I'll be making for my French village.  It is so easy too.  I bought mine in Hobby  Lobby with a 40% coupon. 

5. Robot vacuum

I tend to be a cleaning fanatic but I've been having some serious health issues of late and this little guy sure has helped keep the house clean.   My husband bought it for me and we nicknamed him "Dusty".  They honestly work great.


Mary's High Fives 

1. Eagle Watching- I am fortunate to live in an area where I see these majestic birds.  I took this photo recently as he was sitting in a tree along the river. I was hoping to catch him in flight but he never moved. 

2. Sullivan's Ball tip needles- These are my favorite needles for stitching on higher count fabrics. I used to think a needle was a needle but I swear by these. I think they are easier to thread, no burrs catching the floss and the floss just glides through the fabric. Have you tried a ball tip needle?   I buy mine from Peggy at The Crafty Framer in Largo, Fl.  7$ for the package and she ships economically.  

3. Marie's Creamy Chipolte Ranch Dressing-This is my new favorite dressing. It has a little bit of heat and you don't have to use much in a salad.  I toss it with dried dates, pecans and mixed fresh greens, top it with grilled chicken and  you have a fast and easy delicious dinner. 

4. Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Orange Sticks-I don't have a sweet tooth but I really like these chocolate covered jellies.  At only 2.99 a bag how can I pass them up??   


5. Trader Joe's Unexpected Cheddar Cheese-While we are at Trader Joe's how about picking up some delicious Cheddar??  If you like really sharp cheddar this one fits the bill.  I enjoy it room temperature, sliced thinly on a crisp apple slice, oh sooo good!!! 


SAL update

We are so thrilled to have Faith join us for our Year in Celebrations SAL. You can visit Faith here and enjoy all of her great projects. 

Feel free to join us anytime during the year as we stitch one a month.   Maybe you would like to stitch just a few or all 12 or them.  Anytime you want to join in you are welcome.   Just send us an email.

Faith's March SAL

Mary's March SAL

RJ's March SAL


What's Stitching

Our friend Clare is stitching flowers for a tree festival and we are hoping you will help her out.   Below is Clare's post from her blog.  Just go here and tell her if you can send a small stitch to add to her tree. 

 This year I would like to do a floral tree - A Bouquet of Flowers. 

Since my diagnosis I have received so many beautiful flowers which have certainly brought a smile to my face and lifted my spirits. This year I'd like to fill my Christmas tree with flowers ....... and I'm hoping you will help.

Each of my ornaments will be a mini hanging pillow with a flower head for each design

I have used 28ct but the flowers can be on any fabric with a design size of a maximum 3" x 3".

There is no need to make up the mini pillow, if you stitch on a piece of fabric 6" x 6" and send it to me I will make up all the mini pillows using a variety of backing fabrics and ribbons for hanging making a colourful display.

By sending just the stitched piece it should not be too much postal costs.... I live in the UK so some post will be overseas.

It would be absolutely superb if you would help me make my 'bouquet' - please leave a comment if you would like to help and I will reply with my postal address.

Huge thank you, Clare 🌹

We hope all our stitching friends will go leave a comment on Clare's blog to help her make a beautiful flower Christmas tree .  


Thank you so much for coming by to visit with us.  We really appreciate all of you and your kind comments.   We will be by to see what you have been up to and what crafts you have been busy with.  Stay safe everyone.  Have a wonderful St. Patrick's Day!  May the luck of the Irish be with you all.  

                                                              Stitching Friends 

                                                      author unknown

Friday, February 14, 2020

Jo's Valentine Hop 
Styling with Stitches
Friends who Stitch
Sneak Peeks
What's Stitching

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!  Hope you get to spend time with special people in your life.  It's a great day to show love and kindness to others.  Sometimes a smile can make another's day.  So, sending smiles to all of you from Stitching Friends.

Our theme this month is Love.   We have joined Jo's Valentine Hop and will share the valentine we received.   Next, comes our February Styling with Stitches projects with a love theme.  We are happy to have Friends who Stitch back.  Our third new feature of this year is Sneak Peeks.  And lastly, we have some news in What's Stitching.  So it's a packed post that we hope you will enjoy.


Jo's Valentine Hop

We received this lovely greeting in the Valentine Hop.    What a beautiful heart our secret stitching Valentine made for us.  Thank you so much.  Please let us know who you are.  If you would like to follow the hop and find out who our mystery Valentine is go to Jo's blog.   There will be a list of stitchers to go visit.   Also, we sent a mystery Valentine too and we will find who it went to as we hop around to fellow stitchers blogs.  It should be fun!


RJ's Styling with Stitches Project

I made a Valentine bowl filler with a stitched pocket.   "Heart of Hearts" by Abby Rose was given to me for my birthday by my good friend Robin.   I had never stitched an Abby Rose pattern before so was happy to do so.   This pattern is so lovely with so many hearts forming one big heart in the prettiest of colors.  

A French General fabric picked up all the colors in the stitch.  I added some cotton lace trim, ribbon and a heart charm for the finishing.

I filled the pocket with a Valentine, a favorite candy bar and a flower for a special someone.  But, think of it filled with a small pattern, a piece of linen and a package of needles for a neat gift any time during the year.   What a great project to make for a stitching friend.

The flowers are all made of heart shapes

Filled to the brim with Valentine goodies!

Sitting in the Greenhouse
Heart of Hearts
by Abby Rose
40 ct. platinum linen
called for over dyed floss


Mary's Styling with Stitches Project

My stitch is Prim Stitchers Heart designed by Sub Rosa.  When I first saw this stitch, I knew exactly how I would use it. It would be a photo album cover  for RJ and I would add  photos of the stitches that she has gifted me.  And, she could add photos of all her other projects she has made as a record of her stitching.

I purchased a photo album at Michael's and covered it with pretty fabric from Hobby Lobby.  Covering the album with fabric went surprisingly easy.  The difficult part was cutting and shaping the heart.  If I tell you I spent hours on that, would you believe me??? I wouldn't, but I did!!    With all my fussing with the heart the linen started to, I used Dritz Fray Check and that stained the linen!!   I added some lace to distract the eye from my lopsided heart but that was not a success either.   So, RJ, please excuse all the imperfections and know that it was made with lots of love for a stitcher that has the biggest heart of all. 

I changed out PRIM for RJ's initials

Closeup of the pretty fabric

Prim Stitcher's Heart
by Sub Rosa
40 ct. Newcastle linen
called for floss
Weeks Pebble for  scissors


Friends Who Stitch

We are so happy to have our friends Robin and Marilyn back with us this year to show their pretty stitches.   This feature is open to anyone that stitches but does not have a blog.   Just send us a photo and we will be happy to showcase your stitch here.

Robin sent this pretty framed stitch which is perfect for this time of the year.  It is called Reunion of the Hearts by The Trilogy.

Marilyn shared these adorable Valentine stitches for us to enjoy. 

Thank you ladies for being a part of our Valentine post.  I know everyone will enjoy seeing your beautiful work.


Sneak Peeks

This is our third new feature this year.   Sneak Peeks joins High Fives and Question of the Day as little extras we will add to our posts.  We will be showing some of our new stitches in progress that you will be seeing later in the year finished.


What's Stitching

Winner of the Snowman pattern is June from England.  She has a lovely blog that you can read here.  Congratulations June! Have fun stitching the sweet snowman.

We are happy to have Faith join us with our SAL "A year in Celebration".  Feel free to join us anytime during the year as we stitch one a month.  Maybe you would just like to stitch a few (like birthday months of family members).  Anytime you want to join in you are WELCOME.  Just send us an email.

We were asked how we would answer the question of the day in the last post. Well, like so many of you it is almost impossible to choose one designer to stitch for the rest of our lives as we love so many.  But, if we absolutely had to we both agree it would be Brenda Gervais from With Thy Needle and Thread.  We fall in love with her designs almost every single time a new pattern comes out.


We enjoyed visiting with you today and really appreciate your comments. A neat new feature is coming in the next post that we think will be fun.  
Hope to see you again at the end of the month.  We will be by to visit your blogs and to see all of your new stitches and other projects.   Stay warm and keep stitching during these cold days !!!

                                                            Stitching Friends

              “A friend is what the heart needs all the time.” 
                                                 Henry Van Dyke

Monday, February 3, 2020

January Stitcher's Choice
Question of the Day
SAL update
Give Away

Welcome to Stitching Friends.  We are so happy you came by for a visit.  This post is our January Stitcher's Choice which lets us pick anything we want. Hope you enjoy.  We added our second new feature which is Question of the Day.  And, we will be announcing our newest SAL. You are invited to join us.

Are you having snowy days by you?  Mary has had some in New York but of course we never get to enjoy it in Florida.  But, it has been colder than usual which is ok with me.   I'll be happy stitching snow!

And don't miss the give away at the end.  Good luck to all who enter.


RJ's project

My French village got put on hold last year due to illness so this year it is my number one challenge.  I was able to finish the train station and the needlework shop to join the flower shop from last year.  I used different fabrics from the Petites Maison de Noel collection, yo-yo's, a herringbone stitch and covered buttons.  Now three are done and twelve left to sew.

I did something to my right thumb (it kind of pops out of the socket and really hurts when I bend it) so trying to finish these took forever.   Hand stitching was a nightmare but I was determined to get a couple of these done and I did.   My doctor says I may need an operation (fingers crossed that won't happen)!

Added the name of the town Avignon to the train station.  

Love this sweet train station taking me to Provence!

Changed the name of the shop to Broderie which means needlework.

Love the spool on the top of the shop!

Needlework shop, flower shop and train station
from Little House Needleworks Hometown Holiday
40 ct. vintage country mocha linen
over dyed floss and DMC
fabrics from French General


Mary's project

The Snow is Coming Down by The Trilogy was gifted to me by Meg of I Live to Stitch blog and I thought it would be perfect for a January stitch .Thank you Meg!   January is usually a snowy month in NY but not this year.  I hope to get some soon!

I found this wooden décor at Michael's after Christmas Sale for 4$ and thought it would be perfect for this stitch.  I calculated which size of linen would work and 32 ct was  a perfect fit.  I replaced the clip on the frame for a yo yo and snowflake button. After trying out numerous trims I settled on the pom pom's as I think it looks like little snowballs.

Stitch matted on foam core with batting

Sweet Snowman

The Snow is Coming Down
 by The Triology
32 count cream linen
called for Dmc 


Question of the Day

This is a new feature like high fives that we did in the last post.   It should be fun to hear the answers so we hope you join along.  Give us your answer with your comments.

If you could only stitch one designer for the rest of your life who would it be?


SAL update

We will be starting a new SAL in February.  It is a set of 12 stitches called a Year in Celebration by Hands on Design.   We will stitch March during the month of February and then continue stitching April in March and so forth until all 12 are done.  These look like quick stitches and DMC floss is listed as an alternative to the over dyed floss listed as well.   We would love for you to join us for all twelve months or any months you like.  Just let us know by email if you would like to be part of the fun.  Please feel free to join at any time during the year.


Give Away

Mary is giving away her pattern that she stitched her project with.  Our sweet friend Meg sent it and asked for the chart to be passed on to others.  So if you are interested in stitching this lovely pattern just let us know. 


Thanks for joining us today.  We really appreciate your visits and comments.  You can count on us to stop by your blog to see what you have been stitching too.   And, if you have a blog that we don't have on our sidebar please let us know.  Stay warm and keep stitching! 

                                                   Stitching Friends


Thursday, January 16, 2020

Styling with Stitches
High Fives

Welcome to Stitching Friends.   It's been awhile since we have been able to blog but we are excited to be back.  We have some new features we have added this year that we hope you will enjoy.   Our theme for January is snow and our "styling with stitches" projects will reflect that. You can find all our 2020' themes on the sidebar.

Hope you all had wonderful holidays with your family and friends.   Doesn't that time always go by so quickly?   Our son Mike was here for nine days and the time just flew by.   We missed you all bunches and are so happy to be back in blogging form.


Styling with stitches

RJ's snow project

When I saw these skis in Joanne's, I thought they would make a nice display for a snow stitch.   The pattern "Delivering Snow" by Homespun Elegance seemed to be the right size to fit on the sign that was already there.   This little family of snowmen are on their way to a ski lodge for a winter vacation.  I've never been to a ski resort myself but always thought it would be an enjoyable time.  Sitting by a roaring fire and sipping hot chocolate after a day on the slopes would be so much fun. 

Had to use artificial light today because of cloudy weather and it distorted colors.   All the reds are a true red but they look orange today.
The little "snow family" is on their way to Aspen!

Closeup of the stitch and little tag added to pine cones and plaid bow

Delivering Snow
by Homespun Elegance
40 ct. linen
overdyed floss
skis from Joann's 


Mary's Snow Project

Tree Lott from the Hometown Holiday series by Little House Needleworks is finally a FFO!!  I stitched this quite some time ago and knew I wanted to finish it as a flat fold.  I finally got up my courage to try it.  I watched Vonna's (The Twisted Stitcher) tutorial and I don't know why I waited so long as it was easy!!

I love the snowy scene

Pre-made cording from Hobby Lobby

LHN Tree Lott
28 ct linen
Called for floss


High Fives

One of our new features is called High Fives.  We have enjoyed reading our friend Arlene's Friday Favorites at Nanaland each Friday.  Why not give it a try we thought. We will be doing these about six times a year which will give you an idea about some of the things we are really enjoying. 

RJ's High Fives (in no particular order)

1.  New Mantra bracelet ... My husband gave me this pretty bracelet for Christmas.   This mantra means the world to me and I have not taken it off since Christmas day.

2.  Gator basketball games ... I love college basketball games and the Gators are my favorite team.  We have season tickets so we get to enjoy all the home games.  Go Gators!!!

 3.  Rizzo's Rules ... I just started my husband George's newest book and I'm hooked.

4.  Needleworker's Sampler...This is my newest stitch that I started on the first of January.   It is such an enjoyable stitch with pretty colors and designs.

5.  Gifts from stitching friends ... I'm still admiring all the pretty gifts I received this year from sweet stitching friends.  Gorgeous cardinal ornaments, adorable notecards, a lovely charm pack, a set of French needleminders, a very pretty blue house ornament, a beautiful hand pieced cardinal wreath, a fun fabric gift box, creative scrabble tile art, delicious chocolate, fancy stitching paper, and a fun patriotic pattern can really put a smile on this girl's face.  Thank you so much Robin, Meg, Manuela, Jutta, Stasi and Arlene for your thoughtfulness and friendship.


Mary's High Fives

Chick-Fil-A Chicken Sandwich-  A  Chick-Fil-A finally opened in NJ and  I was quite surprised at how good it was as I am not a fan of fast food.  It was real chicken!!  I was surprised that the sandwich had pickles on it as pickles and chicken seems an unlikely combo but it was good! Next trip I want to try their mac and cheese.

Trader Joe's Cedarwood & Sage Mulit-Purpose Cleaner- I have terrible perfume allergies so I can't use many cleaning products but this has a light, clean scent and it cleans very well

Beekman 1801 Honeyed Grapefruit Goat Milk Lip Balm-  Have you heard of the Beekman Boy's? They had a reality tv show based in NY and developed a line of goat products.  It comes with a nice little case to carry the balm.

Tulips in my new tulipiere-  My husband brought back the tulipiere from a recent trip to Holland as a Christmas gift for me.  . I spotted these beautiful tulips in Trader Joe's  and with the 68 degree weather in NY  and my cheerful display I am enjoying the break in Winter weather.

Cracker Barrel Christmas Mugs- My husband and I love bears so when I saw these sweet Christmas mugs with a Momma Bear and her two cubs I had to buy us each a new Christmas mug.


Hope you like our first freebie of the new year.  This pretty stitch is called "First Snow" and it is by Drawn Thread.  If you would like to stitch it, you can find the chart here.   It would work great on the dotted linen too 


It's been great to be back blogging again.  We look forward to visiting with all of you and seeing what you are working on this new year of 2020'.   At the end of the month we will have our "stitcher's choice" post that we hope you will come back to see.  We really appreciate the time you take to visit and leave a comment.  Hope you are staying warm and enjoying great stitching weather.

                                               Stitching Friends