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 (23) 2016 (147) 2015 (246) 2014 (294) 2013 (294) 2012 (305) 2011 (306) 2010 (316) 2009 (367) 2008 (353) 2007 (225) 2006 (139)

Free Hand Embroidery Pattern: Dillmont Rose #2


Happy Monday!

To get your creative juices flowing for the week, here’s a cleaned up version of another Therese Dillmont design! This one is similar in some ways (we’ll talk about those below) to the Dillmont Rose I shared with you a few weeks ago, though a little simpler.

The design was originally intended as an embroidery design. It is from Dillmont book on Colbert embroidery, which you can read about here. It would also make a wonderful design for quilting and for crafts like paper crafts and card making.

Let’s chat a little bit about Colbert embroidery, to clarify some ways this design could be used for that style of needlework.

Free Hand Embroidery Pattern: Dillmont Rose #2
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Beginner’s Guide to Goldwork – New Edition!


Oh dear.

I promise this isn’t shameless self-promotion here. There’s nothing about this book that has to do with me, except for the fact that I love the book…and the fact that my name is on the cover.

There’s a new edition to Beginner’s Guide to Goldwork by Ruth Chamberlin out. I wrote the forward. Why? Because I love the book!

I reviewed Beginner’s Guide to Goldwork a long time ago, way back in 2007. It became hard to find for a while, and now it’s been re-issued – a great boon to embroiderers everywhere, because now the book is widely available again, and affordably so!

There are many reasons why this book nestles deep within the cockles of my heart, but there’s one reason in particular. I’ll share that with you today, because if you’re anything like me when it comes to your embroidery journey, you’ll understand!

Beginner's Guide to Goldwork
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5 Braid-Like Embroidery Stitches for Textured, Bold Lines


Sometimes, there’s nothing better on a piece of embroidery than a bold, textured line!

A bold line draws the eye, and texture keeps the eye glued. Often, in embroidery, you want the eye drawn to a specific area. And once it’s drawn there, the texture of a nice, chunky braid-like line can engross the viewer.

Braid-like lines – bold or delicate – can be used effectively in hand embroidery in a number of ways. They make great outlines, they’re terrific for stems and tendrils, they can stand on their own for lettering. On samplers and such, they add texture and interest. So it’s always good to have a nice arsenal of braid-like line stitches in your stitching repertoire.

Here are my five favorites, with links to tutorials so that you can try them on your own stitching projects!

Embroidery Stitches, Braided, for texture and bold lines
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Would You Bee Mine? Playing with Monograms!


Oooooooh! I’ve been playing with monograms again!

You know what I love about embroidered monograms? I love the fact that they are self-contained projects that don’t take very long to work up into their finished glory. They can be stitched on practically anything textile-related, and voilá – you have a Finished Thing!

Fairly simple monograms – like the ones I’ll show you today – can be whipped up in no time. A weekend of intermittent stitching will easily get you to the finish line!

With Valentine’s Day tomorrow, I thought I’d share a glimpse of the two latest letter styles I’ve been playing with. Admittedly, there’s a bit of sugar shock going on here, but…now and then…we all need a little something sweet in our lives, don’t we?

Heart Monogram B - Hand Embroidery on Needle 'n Thread
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Finding the Illustrator Behind the Loreto Embroideries


Today, I want to take you on a little exploratory excursion into the art and illustration behind a famous collection of embroidered panels. Being rather the curious sort, I tend to fall into little rabbit holes when I start exploring, and sometimes, the results can be rather serendipitous!

In 2015 and 2016, the Royal School of Needlework (RSN) made their collection of ecclesiastical embroideries available to public view through the exhibit For Worship and Glory.

If you were fortunate enough to see the exhibit in person, lucky you! For those of us who weren’t, the catalog of the exhibit is still available here through the Royal School of Needlework.

It’s a beautiful catalog, and worth adding to your collection if you are keen on ecclesiastical or historical embroidery. It covers many items in the exhibit, besides the Loreto embroideries.

For Worship & Glory - RSN ecclesiastical needlework exhibit catalog
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Whitework with Colour – Book Review!


Seems like a bit of an oxymoron, doesn’t it? Whitework with color?

Whitework with Colour is Trish Burr’s latest embroidery book – and it’s a doozy! It’s a hard-cover, large project and instructional book that incorporates techniques that normally would be seen in whitework (as in, white-on-white embroidery), but that, in her book, are worked in a combination of whitework threads and colored threads, employing many surface embroidery techniques that are often seen in whitework.

So, while technically, Whitework with Colour does not concentrate on whitework per se, the techniques, materials, and approaches to the actually stitching are reminiscent of whitework. Trish’s ingenious incorporation of color brings to life the varied and vivid embroidery projects in the book.

Let’s take a look at the book in detail, shall we?

Whitework with Color by Trish Burr
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Colorful Threads, Spring Inspiration



It’s a word that strikes dismay in many people’s hearts.

If you’re languishing with the winter blues, or just disappointed it’s Monday, this should cheer you up!

This is a group of embroidery threads that I plan to incorporate in a spring-ish design that I’ve been fiddling with for years and have never gotten around to stitching. And by years, I can tell you exactly when I first doodled the first drawing – it was March 23, 2013. That was almost four years ago!

Finally, I’m going to stitch it. And these are some of the bright and springy colors I’ll be using…just to whet your appetite, you know!

Overdyed Embroidery Floss, Spring Colors
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