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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National Embroidery Month Book Give-Away!


Well, I haven’t said a lot here on Needle ‘n Thread about National Embroidery Month.

Yes, February is National Embroidery Month! Yay!

The thing is, I don’t really get into the generic naming of months or days for the awareness of things. Like “World Nutella Day.” What does that mean? Are people supposed to eat more Nutella that day than any other day of the year? Or are they just supposed to be aware that Nutella exists? I already struggle with the fact that Nutella exists! I don’t need to be reminded!

Does it really matter that November 6th is National Basketball Day? Or that March 1st is National Pig Day? Or that May 4th is Star Wars Day? If more people knew that January 23rd is Handwriting Day, do you think they’d have better penmanship?

And, really. Do you want the world to celebrate National Naked Day?

If I tried really hard, I could probably elaborate many reasons why I don’t get into these kinds of things. Among them, I might mention their arbitrariness, their (often) superficiality, their lack (in most cases) of clear foundation or reason for existence (Count your Buttons Day? National Absurdity Day? Tell a Lie Day? My mind boggles!), and, when it comes to things, the little inkling that they smack of marketing ploys. I bet more Nutella is sold at the beginning of February than any other time of the year.

And while I can get behind the notion of a more intensely embroidery-focused day or month, the fact is, every month is National Embroidery Month in my mind. I’m always asking myself how we can make others more aware of the art of embroidery, how we can pass the art on, how we can preserve it, enhance it, spread it, explore it…

Still, all that said…. ok! I’ll bite! It’s National Embroidery Month, after all! And to celebrate it – as it draws to a close – let’s have a give-away!

A-Z Embroidery Books give-away
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Modern Crewel – Tips on Twists & Needles


Ah, Embroidery Project Rotation! It can drive you nuts or keep you sane, depending on how you look at it!

These days, I have several embroidery projects going, and I work them in a kind of rotation schedule. I showed you earlier this year how I organize multiple embroidery projects at once. And as the year ticks along, things are working out ok with all of them, although, admittedly, some projects are getting more attention than others.

We’ll chat later on about the pros and cons of working many projects in rotation (and I’ll show you a couple more that I’ve added into the mix), but today, I want to update you on Modern Crewel, this project kit that I reviewed here, featured in Inspirations Magazine issue 90.

There are two tips I want to share that surfaced while I was stitching along the other day. I think they’re worth knowing, whether you’re working this kit or not!

Modern Crewel - Surface embroidery project progress
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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 foreward. 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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