Mary Corbet

writer and founder


I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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2017 (8) 2016 (147) 2015 (246) 2014 (294) 2013 (294) 2012 (305) 2011 (306) 2010 (316) 2009 (367) 2008 (353) 2007 (225) 2006 (139)

Clip-on Lights for Needlework: Mighty Bright Review & Tips


Have you ever been stuck in a situation where you wished you could whip out your embroidery and indulge in some stitching, but there just wasn’t enough light to do it?

Think: airplanes, cars, trains, hotel rooms, lobbies, libraries, waiting rooms. Think: power outages.

I know if I don’t have adequate light for embroidery, I just skip it. There’s no point in straining to stitch – and subsequently stitching poorly – because I can’t see my work well enough.

Sometimes, it’s not feasible to travel with a full size light. Sometimes, you can’t use a full size light, anyway.

There’s a really easy, portable, affordable, and tiny solution for these types of situations. It’s the clip-on mini light, often known as a book light.

I have a few different types of these types of lights. They get me out of all kinds of lighting binds when I want to stitch but can’t use my normal light.

The light I’m going to show you today is from Mighty Bright. We’ll talk about the light, see how it works, and discuss some pros and cons.

I’ll also share a purchasing tip with you on how to avoid a dastardly marketing practice when shopping for mini book lights!

Might Bright Clip On Light for Embroidery - Review & Tips
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Needlework News Snips – January, 2017


Here we are, in the New Year – with January almost half gone! It’s still winter here in Kansas (we’re expecting a little ice this weekend) – perfect for a cup of cocoa, a roaring fire, and a nice visit with good friends.

So pour yourself a steaming cup and pull up a chair! Here’s a small collection of inspiration, instruction, and fun embroidery stuff for weekend exploration.

Needlework News, January 2017
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56 Count: Setting Up Silk Gauze for Embroidery


The other day, I introduced you to another project in this year’s embroidery project rotation – this Tree of Life miniature tapestry.

Today, we’ll chat about setting it up and getting the first stitches in.

I’m going to tell you a little bit about silk gauze in general, setting up the embroidery frame, and lighting and magnification, with a few tips that will make stitching on this kind of thing a bit easier!

Tips & Information for Stitching on Silk Gauze
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56 Count: Miniature Tree of Life


Well, yes. I might be nuts.

And I might be nuts for a lot of reasons.

Having a good ten embroidery projects going at once could be one reason.

But this – this project that I’m working on, that I’m going to show you today, involving 56-count silk gauze – it’s not nuts!

It’s engrossingly satisfying. It’s addicting. It’s strangely compelling. It’s habit forming. It’s instructive. It’s colorful. It’s fun. It’s challenging.

But it’s not nuts.

And if I say it enough times, I will believe it.

Miniature Tree of Life Tapestry on 56-count silk gauze
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DIY: How to Frame Needlework Using Pins


Have you noticed that there’s an increasing trend in the embroidery world to find different ways to finish needlework, besides framing it?

This is completely understandable, given the fact that any one house only has so much wall space, and anyone’s circle of friends and family’s houses only have so much wall space!

Still, despite our reasonable desire to find multiple ways to display needlework, framing is still the most popular approach to finishing a project for display. Professional framing, though, can be mighty expensive! So, in many cases, I do my own framing.

I’ve written about how to frame up pieces of embroidery before, using a lacing technique for mounting the finished work on board before putting it the frame. You can read about that here.

Today, I’m going to walk you through a recent framing job, this time employing pins.

If you’ve pondered framing your own embroidery but haven’t taken the leap, come along while I frame up a favorite piece of needlework, and you’ll see how easy it is!

Framing Needlework & Embroidery using Pins
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Padding Embroidery Stitches: Two Approaches & Some Tips


It seems like ten forevers since I’ve shared an embroidery project progress report with you!

But today’s your lucky day! Not only do you get a project update, but you’ll also get couple tips that will speed up your stitching process and that will save your sore little fingers.

The project here is Modern Crewel, a surface embroidery project worked in a variety of cotton threads with some bead embellishment. You can find my review of the embroidery kit here, if you’d like to know more about it.

Padding Embroidery Stitches - Two Approaches
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Organization: Managing Multiple Embroidery Projects


Last year (or just a few weeks ago), the subject of time management and embroidery came up repeatedly in my inbox. I mentioned it briefly here on the blog and got lots of response, asking for me to cover the subject.

The more I’ve thought about it, though, the more I realized that time management is a really difficult subject to cover in just one article, for several reasons:

1. Time management is a huge topic, and lots of sub-topics fall underneath it.

2. What works for one person when it comes to time management is not necessarily going to work for another person, because everyone’s circumstances are different.

3. I am not the best example to follow when it comes to time management. Yes, I have certain tricks – more like rituals – that I go through, to help me manage my time and make sure I get my work done, but, like anyone, I tend to slip up and fall off the wagon now and then. So I’m plagued with self-doubt when it comes to sharing ideas about a lofty subject like how to manage your time!

4. Time management is not quite the same thing as organization (although organization has a lot to do with time management), and when it comes to embroidery specifically, I think it’s more a question of organization than actual time management.

So today, I thought I’d share with you some ideas on managing embroidery projects, especially if you are the type of personality that needs to have a lot of things on the go at once. This is a much more specific topic than “time management,” and perhaps the ideas we share here (and in the comments below) will be more of a direct help to those of us who stitch and who want to have time to stitch more often.

Organizing Many Embroidery Projects
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