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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

March week two
Our French month

Styling with Stitches

Something New
What's Stitching
SAL Update

Bon Jour!  Hope the weather is starting to warm up by you as Spring is here. Do you have bunnies and flowers ready to stitch?   We are in the midst of stitching them for the next several months.

When we were planning the blog for 2018', we decided to make March a French month.  And, it's now time for our pinafore and word play combo.  (One of us does a pinafore and the other does the monthly word play.   Then, another month during the year we switch).  So today we have a post filled with a French pinafore/ March word play combo, some French ornaments and an update on our SALs.  These were time consuming stitches but a lot of fun too so we hope you enjoy.


Styling with Stitches

RJ's pinafore

It's my turn to make a pinafore.  Of course I begged for the French month.

I've been wanting to do a Quaker stitch for quite awhile now and when I saw this Quaker Eiffel Tower pattern I knew it was for me.   I was surprised how many hours it took to stitch....alot!   I changed it up somewhat.   I took off some of the symbols and stitched a fleur d'lis, a bee and a crown instead.  And I moved a few other things to different places to make it all fit.  I used Kohl over dyed thread.  It changes from very dark black to a dark grey throughout the stitch.  When I got to the finish, nothing was really coming to mind (that happens a lot).  But, then I saw a pillow with these little triangles on the end and I thought they might look neat and French looking for my pinafore.  They were so easy to make.   The most time was spent finding out how to make them.  So that is how I went about it.  I added the polka dot triangles and a sweet fabric bow with an Eiffel Tower button.    It closes in the back with two more Eiffel Tower buttons.
It was my first attempt at making the triangles and they were surprisingly so easy

I decided to add my initials to this piece

Closeup of fabric bow and Eiffel Tower button

Closeup of stitch.   I added the crown, bee, fleur d'lis instead of other symbols

Quaker Eiffel Tower
by Jardin Prive
40 ct. Vintage Pecan butter linen
Kohl over dyed thread
Eiffel tower button from Hobby Lobby


Mary's word play

It's my turn to stitch the monthly word play which worked out perfectly because of my Irish ancestry.

My word play was completed on Jan. 30, 2015 and I just finished it last week!!!  This was one of my early projects on 18 ct. aida and I was so proud of myself at that time for graduating from 14 to 18 count.  I finished this with a double herringbone stitch that I  learned from watching Mary Corbett's Double Herringbone tutorial on YouTube.  This was my first attempt at stitching the herringbone and it was easy to do!  Pretty scrap fabric a friend gave me and a shamrock charm dresses up my stitch.

My Irish Sister-in-law will be getting this as a St. Patrick's Day gift and I'll eventually remake the word play in linen for myself. 

I added a herringbone stitch and a sweet shamrock charm to the finish

March Word play
By With Thy Needle and Thread
18 ct country mocha aida 
called for threads



Something New
RJ's French Ornaments

It was love at first sight when I first spotted these bunnies by Prairie Schooler.   I really enjoy stitching bunnies and these were just so cute.   And to me they looked French so I added French titles under them.   Changing  all the threads to brigher and lighter colors made them look more Spring like.   The lady "Madame" was so sweet in her dress and pinafore and carrying her pretty basket of Spring flowers.  And, I love how the border is just like her flowers.   

It was the man "Monsieur" that truly stole my heart!  Look at his boutonniere, ascot and vest.  But it was the walking cane that sealed the deal.   He is such a dapper fellow!  Can you tell I love him?   His basket is filled with carrots and they are repeated in his border.   

They both have a simple finish with green polka dot fabric, lace and vintage buttons.  I really enjoyed stitching and finishing these two sweet bunnies. 

Love her basket of flowers and the border with the same flowers

Fabric tape used for hangers from Joann's has stitches through it
Just look at all those accessories on this dapper fellow!

Love his carrot border that matches the carrots in his basket

Rabbit Folk book 19
by Prairie Schooler
40 ct. country mocha linen
      changed threads to over dyed


What's Stitching

The date for the party has changed due to Good Friday and Easter.  We will be joining Jo for her annual blog hop on the 29th however.

On April 4th we will be celebrating our first birthday.   We will be holding a celebration here for all to enjoy.   So many people have sent beautiful stitches for us to share and we can't wait to show you.  There will be a few surprises too.   If you still have a photo to send, just mail it to 

We have met so many wonderful people through the blog.  One of the sweetest and kindest is our friend Robin.   She sent some adorable patterns this week along with the cutest Michelle Palmer note cards.   Thank you so much Robin for your thoughtfulness. 

Mary received a sweet chart and fabrics that she won on Ele's blog.  You can find it here   And, it came all the way from Italy.   Thank you Ele for such a great give away. 


SAL update
Our SALs have been so much fun to stitch.  If you haven't guessed it yet, it is called
And Heaven and Nature Sing by Kathy Barrick.  Things are going along great but I fear we are going to run out of the brown silk thread.  The deer is really using a lot.  So Mary has an order in for more brown thread in the same dye lot.  Fingers crossed it arrives soon.

This is where I was on February 28th

And this is after 14 hours of stitching.  The deer is taking it's time and the garland took recounting several times.   The ears and eyes are now filled in and the deer is growing each week. 

Mary's SAL
This is where I was on February 28th

I was only able to put five hours of stitching in this month but you can see how the deer is filling in and the garland around his neck is coming along.


It is always a pleasure to have you come by for a visit.  We truly appreciate the time you take to comment which always makes our day.  We love to come by your blogs too so if we don't know about you yet...let us know.   April 4th will be our one year birthday party and we are going to PARTY so don't miss the celebration.   

                                                                   Mary and RJ

                           Que les invitΓ©s qui entrent dans cette maison, repartent en amis.

                                     The guests who come to this house leave as friends.

Monday, March 12, 2018

March week one

Grab Bag
What's Stitching

Stitching Friends invites you to a St. Patrick's Day Tea! 

We are serving homemade Irish Soda bread that we will teach you how to make!

Mary's Irish Soda Bread:

2 cups unbleached flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 heaping teaspoon caraway seeds
4 Tablespoons butter, worked into the flour mixture
1 cup raisins
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 325

Mix dry ingredients excluding caraway seeds.  With pastry blender cut butter into flour mixture till crumbly. 
Butter blended into flour

You will now add the caraway seeds and raisins. Then pour in buttermilk all at once and gently stir to blend.

Next is the fun step of kneading the dough.

Place dough on floured surface and generously sprinkle with flour. You will knead the dough with floured hands and add additional flour until the texture is smooth and elastic. Don't overdo this step!

This is a double batter- recipe is for ONE loaf
Form bread into round and form shape of cross on top of loaf. Bake in a greased and floured 8 inch cake pan at 325 for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and rub a small amount of butter on top of warm loaf.

Serve with butter or plain, delicious either way!


Our Irish Ornament

A sweet bunny delivering shamrocks to my Irish friend Mary

RJ stitched this adorable ornament for me.  She added the words "luck to you" under the stitch. Love the buttons, shamrock charm, shamrock ribbon and large rick rack she added to the finish.  It makes the perfect accessory for my St. Patrick's Day dΓ©cor.    We wish you all good luck too!

Delivering Shamrocks
By Homespun Elegance
32 ct. linen
overdyed threads from stash

rick rack and charm from Joann's


What's Stitching

Please mark the date for our upcoming one year Birthday Party at the end of the month.  We would love it if you would send us a photo of one of  your favorite stitches either fully finished or just stitched.   If you have another craft you would like to display, we would love to see it too.  We look forward to whatever you choose to share with us. You can send your photos to by March 20th.  Surprises are being planned and we can't wait to celebrate with all of you.

Mary and I have been so lucky winning many give aways this year.   I'm so excited because I just won a wonderful bunny piece that our friend Jutta made.  There are also pretty fabrics in this give away which I will share with my blogging partner Mary.   You can find Jutta's blog at  Aren't they precious???   I'm totally in love with these bunnies and see an adorable pillow in the making.  Thank you so much sweet Jutta.   

Such sweet bunnies!


Irish Freebie

We have a cute Irish freebie for you from Threadwork Primitives.  Both these stitches were found on Pinterest.  They are both cute finishes using different colors.   You will find the free chart here  It's very sweet and may bring you a little good luck.


Hope you are getting in lots of stitching time.  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.  Next post we will be sharing our Styling with Stitches project and our New Ornaments.   Hope to see you then.   
                                                                     RJ and Mary  

☘ May good Luck be with you wherever you go, 
and your blessings outnumber the Shamrocks that grow☘ 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Week two and three

Grab Bag

What's Stitching
Finished Challenge
Stitched Challenge
Recipe of the Month

With February being such a short month, we decided to combine two weeks again.  We have a lovely grab bag to share, an easy dessert recipe, our two challenges and some progress on our SAL's. Hope you all enjoy!


Mary's Grab Bag- Adventures in Stained Glass

Has anyone tried their hand at Stained Glass?  I had the opportunity a few years ago to take an adult ed class in beginner stained glass. 

I was taught the copper foil method which was developed over 100 years ago by Louis Comfort Tiffany.  To describe the process here would be lengthy, so I have included a link if you would be interested in learning more about the process. To read about it, go here  

The first piece I designed was for RJ.  She loves all things French so my designed pattern around this pretty pre-cut fleur was perfect for her.  I found antique (man-made as opposed to machine made) glass from Germany and France in her favorite color combination. 

Upon completion of the piece, I put it under my couch for safe keeping till I was ready to ship it.  One day I was fluffing my couch pillows and heard "CRUNCH"!!!  I stepped on the glass and broke a piece! It was not a piece right on the edge but on the second layer of glass.  Yes, I cried, and it was over a year till I could bring myself to tackle the job of repair.  It finally made its way to Florida and hangs over RJ's kitchen window

Fleur d' lis stained glass for RJ

RJ says it sparkles when the sun shines!

First piece I kept for myself
It has an Art Nouveau style

I made this for my friend Louise

What's Stitching
Have you seen sneak peeks of the Nashville Market?   If not check out this siteMary and I have already picked the patterns we like.

Our "Birthday Party" is coming up at the end of March and we hope you will all attend.  Please send a photo of one of your favorite stitches by one of your favorite designers either finished or just stitched.  If you don't have a favorite designer any favorite stitch or craft will be great tooA big thank you to all who have already sent a photo to us. 

On a personal note, thank you so much Mary for my gorgeous stained glass. You should see it on a sunny day when the sun shines through my kitchen window.  It is one of my most treasured gifts.   I think of you every day when I look at it.  

Finished Challenges
Last year we both stitched challenges and this year we are showing them finished.   

RJ's challenge
My finished challenge is another Prairie Schooler Santa for my Santa collection.  I added my favorite fabric to the bottom and cream pom pom to the middle. I had bought some really nice, dyed green, pom pom trim but it was too good of a match and it kind of faded away.  The cream pom pom brought out the creamy white in the bird and the beard so I went with that.   I added green check ribbon, a bow and a tree charm to the finish.  

Closeup of stitch with pom pom

Closeup of bow and tree charm

1986 Schooler Santa
by Prairie Schooler
35 ct. Weeks Cocoa linen
Over dyed threads on hand
charm from Bohemian Findings on Etsy


Mary's Challenge
Little House Needlworks Quaker Birds is my finished challenge piece. Each time I stitch one of these ornaments I think it's my favorite one! I just love all the LHN ornaments but this one really is my favorite! 

Pretty lace and a button are a simple addition to this sweet stitch.
Quaker Birds
by Little House Needleworks
30 ct. Weeks Cocoa linen
called for threads


Stitched Challenges
These are our new stitches that will be finished next year.   

My stitched challenge is the bookstore from the Hometown Holiday series.  I'm loving these little stitches with the great colors and cute details.  I changed it up a bit to make it smaller.  I left off the lantern and the small tree and rearranged the snowflakes.  Once again I left off the name of the store until I come up with a great French name.  I'm looking forward to finishing my French village for the holidays.
Bookstore from the Hometown Holiday series
by Little House Needleworks
40 ct. vintage country mocha linen
called for threads



New into my rotation of Christmas Challenges is block 10 from Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow by Carriage House Samplings.  I won this great series of 12 different charts from Stasi at Bee-mused and Bee-stitching blog.  I haven't made much progress as the adorable "frogger" RJ gifted me has been put to good use! 

Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow
by Carriage House Samplings
36 ct. linen
called for DMC threads


Recipe of the Month
RJ's Easy Brownies
Do you need a really easy and quick dessert that everyone will love?  I make these brownies all the time for tail gating, parties and to take to friends.  Everyone thinks they are homemade but we will never tell!

1 box of Ghiradelli supreme  brownie mix (the one with the package of chocolate syrup included)
1 egg
and secret ingredient:
1/2 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup of milk chocolate chocolate chips

Make mix according to directions on box.  At the very end fold in the two different chocolate chips (this is the secret ingredient).

Bake as directed but you may need to let it bake a few minutes longer as this is a very moist mix.

If serving as a dessert put a scoop of good vanilla ice cream on top and some swirled chocolate syrup.  If they have Blue Bell in your area try Homemade Vanilla for the perfect addition.  Icing is optional.

You also can crumble it and stack sliced strawberries, ice cream and crumbled brownies in a parfait glass for another dessert.  

Just a scoop of good vanilla ice cream on top of the brownie is the way my family likes it!


We are really enjoying our SAL and they are coming along nicely.   We started stitching on January 20th and we follow a few rules. One hour a day is all we can stitch and we don't count our time until the needle hits the linen. If we miss a day, we can stitch two hours the next day to make up.  Silk threads are being used which we both are really enjoying.  Mary's stitch is on 32 ct. linen with two threads and mine is on 40 ct. linen with one thread.   And to make it more fun Mary started from the bottom and I started from the top. 

RJ's Update
This is where I left off on February 14
Deer, words, cardinals and potted plant were added.   This is after 22 hours
And this is where I am today February 28th.
It has details on all the cardinals, flowers in the flower pot, large cardinals and more of the deer.  This is after 35 hours.

Closeup of the deer and his garland.   This deer has a lot of stitches!  Still need to do filling in around eye and ears.


Mary's Update  
This is where I was on February 14th.
Deer, basket of fruit, cardinals, tree on right and flower are new since last update.  This is after 22 hours.

This is where I am on February 28th.
Deer is growing,  cardinals, 3 more flowers and tree are new additions.  This is after 35 hours.


Thank you all for stopping by to see us.   We truly appreciate every visit and love your comments.   If you have a blog that we do not know about please let us know as we would love to come and visit with you too.   Next post will be our Styling with Stitches projects that we are working on now.  See you in about ten days!

                                                                        Mary and RJ 

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

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