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Thursday, February 15, 2018

February Week One

Styling With Stitches
What's Stitching
Invitation to a Party
Something New
SAL Update
Free Pattern

Happy belated Valentines Day to all!   You can call us the "day late - dollar short" girls.    Since the new year, we have been running late but we do hope you had a lovely day yesterday with your loved ones.   Our planned Valentine Day post is today!  This is a pretty jam packed post after missing last week so we hope you enjoy. 


Styling with Stitches
This month's styling with stitches project is decorated Mason jars.  It makes a thoughtful gift for that special person on Valentines day or any day actually.  You can tuck this idea away for future years or use it anytime during the year with another stitch design. 

RJ's Mason Jar
I used my first Shepherd's Bush kit for this project.   Have you tried one?   They include just about everything...hand dyed linen, silk threads, a charm, a bead, the chart and even a needle.  It was a fun and quick stitch!  I did change one color.   It had a mauve thread for the heart and I changed it to Poison Apple red.

I attached my little cross stitch to a pretty, tiny heart fabric with a running stitch.  After filling my jar with chocolate kisses and hearts, I tied the fabric to an antique Mason jar and added a double yo yo button.   I want a piece of candy so bad but I gave up chocolate for Lent...what was I thinking? 

Valentine centerpiece
Closeup shows tiny bead, garden tool and running stitch to attach to fabric

Grow Love
by Shepherd's Bush
silk threads
hand dyed linen
charm and bead

Mary's Mason Jar
I  have always appreciated anything handmade and when I saw this pretty doily at a yard sale for 25 cents I could not pass it by.  When RJ and I decided to stitch something for a Mason jar I thought of my little doily to stitch.   I think this linen was 50 count. I nearly went blind stitching it one over two!  A tiny ribbon and heart button from my stash finishes it off.

My jar is filled with filled raspberry Christmas candies.  These were a favorite from childhood and I haven't found them in years.  What a thrill when my sister brought a bag to me at Christmas, and yes, they tasted just as good as I remembered them! 

Valentine arrangement
My 25 cents doily added so much to this project
free stitch
find here
DMC 3777
up cycled linen doily



What's Stitching
We would like to thank Jo of Serendipitous Stitching for choosing us as bloggers of the week.  You made it alot of fun!   My interview is there this week and Mary's will be next week.   If you would like to read about us including a question asking for a secret you will find the interviews here

Birthday Party
We would like to invite everyone to come to our stitching party to celebrate our first year of blogging.   If you would like to attend, all you need to do is to send us a photo of  a stitch by one of your favorite designers.   It can just be the stitch or finished...your choice.   You can stitch it this month or it can be one from the past. The party will be the last week in March so we need them to come before March 25th.  We really hope you will attend.

Please send your photo to   


Something New
This is usually a smaller stitch and it can be finished any way we like but usually we make new themed ornaments or bowl fillers. 

RJ's new stitch
I chose to do a bowl filler this month.  Eventually I hope to have enough Valentine stitches to fill a dough bowl but this is my first one so I have a long way to go!   It's a cute primitive pattern that has a Victorian feel.  A small heart fabric was used for the front and ticking for the back.  I added a real tiny silver heart to her belt.   Lace, vintage buttons and a bow with a heart charm adds to the  finish.   

New stitch added to centerpiece

Closeup of finish with tiny heart charm, bow and charm, lace and buttons

Hearts Unite
by Shelly Auen
Primitivestitchin on Etsy
over dyed threads
40 ct. flax linen

Mary's new stitch
My stitch is called Crow in Love by Theresa Murgida.  Her Primitve Acorn shop can be found on ETSY. 

RJ bought this pattern for me as I am fond of crows. I think they are very intelligent birds and I enjoy watching their antics. This was stitched on a heavy, mystery linen that RJ sent me also.  I eliminated the heart on the crows chest  as I wanted to add a key and bow to his neck.  

My Shop Rite flowers with my crow stitch

Closeup of the sweet crow.

Crow in Love
by Theresa Murgida
called for threads
32 ct. linen


SAL Update
It's time to show our SAL progress after two weeks. We are really enjoying this project.    Stitching them with the called for silk threads is such a pleasure.  They go through the linen like butter and never seem to knot like cotton.  Here is where we are in a total of 22 hours.

This is where I left off after 11 hours of stitching

Deer, words, cardinals and potted plant are new since our last update.  This is after 22 hours.

Mary's SAL
This is where I left off after 11 hours of stitching
Deer, basket of fruit, cardinals, tree on right and flower are new since last update.  This is after 22 hours.


Free Pattern
We hope you enjoy this pretty free pattern from Glory Bee.   It's very sweet and looks like it would stitch up quickly.  This pattern can be found here


Thank you so much for your visit.   We really appreciate each and every one of you. If you have a blog that we don't know about, please let us know.   We would love to come and visit.  Next week will be our new grab bag and recipe post.  Until then, we hope you get the time to do lots of stitching. 

                                                                      Mary and RJ

                        Smile, it is the key that fits the lock of everybody's heart
                                                          Anthony J. D'Angelo 

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

January Week Four

Something New
SAL Progress
Review of week four ornaments of 2017'

It's hard to believe that it is the last day of January already.  This month just flew by for us.  We hate to admit it but we just put our Christmas decorations away this week!   We squeezed in our posts on the very last day of the month!  

Week fours are usually a new smaller stitch that we turn into an ornament or a bowl filler but this year we have some new ideas we will be sharing too.   We are starting the year with snowmen ornaments to follow our January theme.   We also have a new feature to share...a SAL.   And, we have a review of our week four projects from last year.   Enjoy!


Something New
RJ's New Ornament

Snow Love by Country Cottages was the choice for my January ornament.   I've been wanting to stitch on the dotted fabric for some time and this chart seemed well suited to go with it.  The only problem is when you have to stitch through a dot because they are painted on and it is hard to go through them.  I used a deep red fabric with tiny hearts the color of the linen.  Mary found this pretty fabric at a quilt show.   I wish we had tons more of it.   Tiny pom pom fringe was added to the middle to resemble snowballs and a heart button was stitched between the snow couple.  I finished it at the top with a bow and a small heart charm that says made with love.

Siting in the greenhouse with snow couple and trees

Pom pom fringe, red heart button and heart charm were added.  

Closeup of charm "Made with Love"

 Snow Love
by Country Cottage Needleworks
32 ct. raw/white petit point linen
over dyed threads I had
pom pom fringe from Hobby Lobby
charm from Joann Fabrics


Mary's New Ornament

January 1st and I had nothing stitched for our new ornament.  So, you can imagine how pleased I was to find this adorable Snowman on Martina's blog on January 1 st!! A great start to the New Year! 

He stitched up quickly.  I made a few small changes to the color scheme and  the shape of the snowflakes.   Pretty trim was added between the stitch and the fabric.  A bow with a snowflake charm was added to the finish.    You can find the pattern here.

Thank you Martina for your lovely design and sharing your talents with us! 

The colors read true.  Photo was taken in daylight

Close up of charm taken in artificial lighting

Pattern by Martina
Assorted DMC and Gentle Arts threads
  28 count raw cashel linen by Zweigert
charm from Bohemian Findings on etsy



Mary and I buy all our patterns together and then we decide who will stitch what for the blog.   We always know which one the other one really wants and we always say you do that one.   But one pattern popped up on blogs towards the end of last year that each of us really LOVED.   We both were willing to let the other one make it for the blog but deep down we both really wanted to stitch it.   So we said lets do a SAL.   We have enjoyed watching Martina, Manuela and Jutta do SALS together and thought it looked like fun. 

We received our patterns late in the month so we have only been stitching for 10 days so far.  The first two days we did only 30 minutes but then we decided to move it up to one hour daily.  

We have rules we follow.   We  can only stitch one hour a day but we don't have to count ripping out or putting the part we ripped out back in.  And time does not start until the threaded needle hits the linen.  If we miss a day we can stitch two hours the next day.

And to make it more fun, Mary started hers from the bottom of the chart and I started mine from the top.   Now see if you can guess which pattern we are stitching???


 Mary's SAL


Review of week four ornaments from 2017'

We showed you a review of our bigger projects for last year in week one.  So, we thought we would do a review of all of our smaller week four stitches this week. We will continue to do stitches like this in 18' but we have some new projects planned along with our new SAL.  

April bunnies


May garden

June birds and bees

July patriotic 

August sunflowers

September friendship

October and fall

November thanks

December "Christmas"


Hope you have enjoyed seeing our new January ornaments and watching progress on our brand new SAL.  We look forward to your visit next week for our latest "Styling with Stitches."   The time you take to visit is much appreciated and we always enjoy reading your comments. 

                                                                        RJ & Mary 

 “Snowflakes are one of natures most fragile things, but look at what they can do when they stick together.”   

                                                     unknown author

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

January Week Three
Challenge Week

Are you getting lots of stitching done during this very cold weather?    We have never had such a cold winter in Florida.   And, my dear partner Mary is truly freezing up in New York plus she gets SNOW!    I would love to see some pretty white, fluffy snow fall from the sky.

This month is flying by and both of us feel like we are catching up with all the projects we have scheduled to do.   This week is what we are calling our "Challenges" week.   It will consist of a challenged stitch from last year now finished and our new challenge for this year stitched.   It should be fun to see if we can keep up. 

RJ's Finished Challenge

Remember this Sewing Santa from last year?  It's called Santa please bring me.   

I was going to use the tree fabric but couldn't find it at sewing time so I made a change

Here it is finished into an ornament.  It was fun finishing Santa.   I thought the addition of old buttons, lace and scissors would give him a good sewing look.  I added a bow to the hanger and a button in the middle for a little extra.  I've been closing up my ornaments in the back instead of the bottom the last few months and what a big difference it makes.   It gives it a much neater finish and it is easier to stuff when the opening is in the middle of the back too.   Give it a try...I think you will like it.  

Lace, vintage buttons, a button bow and scissors were added.  I used Wisper thread for his beard!

Closeup of the buttons and charm

Santa please bring me
by Homespun Elegance
Mystery cream 32 ct. linen
Over dyed threads I already had
Vintage buttons and lace


RJ's New Stitching Challenge

I chose to do the Hometown Holiday series but with a twist.   I'm going to turn them into a French holiday village.   The first one I've stitched is the Florist.   I think I'm going to call it Fleurs for flowers in French. But I left the name on the sign off for now.   I really love these little store fronts.   They are so colorful!  I love that they have awnings and other sweet details.   And each one has a cardinal...that sold them for me.   Stay tuned for more little stores, houses etc. to be added to my little French village.

Some changes were made to make it a smaller size.  I left off the lamp post and another tree.  And for now I didn't stitch the name of the store.   I'm pretty sure it will be Fleurs but I'm leaving my options open for now.

Hometown Holiday
The Florist
by Little House Needleworks
40 ct. vintage country mocha
Over dyed threads


Mary's finished challenge

North Pole Express by Little House Needleworks was stitched last July for my stitching challenge.

It is finally finished!  I'm always on the hunt for decorative accessories for my stitches and found these cute wired stars in one of the craft stores. I snipped the wire at either end of the star and twisted it to form a button hole of sorts. I threaded my ribbon through the little hole I made out of the wire and sewed the star and ribbon to the pillow ornament.

I used a small amount of Dritz fabric fray on the ends of my ribbon.  You have to use a very small amount, otherwise the ribbon will stain. After several stained ribbons, I put a drop on a toothpick and gently put it on the ribbon. Finally no stain!

   I was very happy that I sewed my rick rack on evenly on my first try! I have sewn rickrack on stitches before but never under the seam. It took tons of pins but I  was pleased with how it turned out.
I put a small amount of Dritz fray check on the ends of the ribbon to keep them from fraying.

North Pole Express
by Little House Needleworks
Called for over dyed threads


Mary's New Stitching Challenge

I am a stitching challenge dropout!  My goal was to stitch either a LHN, a Prairie Schooler Barnyard animal or  Hawks Run Christmas.  Time got away from me so I stitched this little freebie from .romyscreations. She has many small stitches on her site.  This was stitched in an evening and I'll make it into a small ornament for my nephew. Next month I hope to organize my time better!!

Here is the free stitch from romyscreations


We hope you like our new week three feature.  We have not forgotten about old ornaments made new as they will pop up now and then too.  Hope you are keeping warm and getting lots of stitching done.   We love to come to your blogs and see what you are up to.  Thank you once again for visiting us.  We truly appreciate the time it takes to leave a comment.

                                                                 Mary and RJ         

                                           Kindness is like snow-
                                         It beautifies everything it covers.
                                                                  Kahil Gilbran