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

Contact Mary

Connect with Mary



2016 (111) 2015 (246) 2014 (294) 2013 (294) 2012 (305) 2011 (306) 2010 (316) 2009 (367) 2008 (353) 2007 (225) 2006 (139)

Embroidered Iris


This is another one of those “little projects” I’ve been working on when I can snatch a minute here and there. I haven’t had time to delve into anything big lately! The size of this makes it very convenient to pick up and put down again, without having a huge project out. This is another example of needle painting – this time, an iris.

There are two flowers I just love – the iris and the daffodil – and I really love them together…. It was only natural, then, that Tanja Berlin’s Iris caught my eye and became one of those “must do” kits. Too bad she doesn’t have a daffodil! I’ll have to drum that one up on my own.

So here’s the iris so far….

Admittedly, it ain’t perfect! The large bowl-shaped petal on the top right was the most difficult part of the pattern. I like it in the right light, but if the light’s not right, my stitches don’t look so good. I’m still debating about that one…

You can see what I mean up close here. From far away, it looks a lot better!

I like the leaves and stems, but the bud part is a little stiffer and unnatural looking. When I finish the flower, I’m going to go back in and do something about those leaves around the bud and on the bud stem. They’re just too “coloring-book” looking. They need some depth, and a little more of a wrinkly taper at the top of the leaves (like on the left leaf next to the bud).

So that’s my current little project… I need to get on with some bigger things, like the silk sampler – we have our first autumn guild meeting Monday, and I haven’t made any headway on that recently! And then I’ve got two projects that have been requested that I want to start, AND…. oh, stay tuned – I’ll post about this – I’ve got beetle wings to play with! And some videos I need to edit!

Time… it’s not on my side. I think I’ll write a song…


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


(6) Comments

  1. The iris is stunning! Absolutely beautiful. I read your blog often and I get your newsletter. I should probably comment more often. My Bad! I do enjoy your videos. They have been a great help to a struggling lefty. Thanks!

  2. Thanks, Gerry! The iris has been fun to work on, and it’s a good learning experience, as far as stitch direction goes!

    I’m glad you find the videos useful!

    Thanks for your comment!

  3. The Iris is so pretty and your needle painting is just perfect. I had a question – when you use different shades of the same color, do you normally work each area of the same color first or keep several needles threaded in different colors and use as needed? Do you carry the thread across from one area to another?

    Many thanks!

  4. Hi, Meeta –

    I keep several threads going at once, and switch when the shade changes. On the bowl of the top leaf on the right, for example, there are three shades, but they’re worked across the shape, so the shade changes as you work the row across, though I admit I fudged it a bit here, and kept going down with one color when I thought it needed filling in more. But, yes, to answer your question, I do keep several threads going – it’s just too much to do only a tiny bit of a color, end the thread, start the next, and so forth!

    Hope that’s helpful!


  5. Hi Mary, here I have found the practical answer to my question of “vertical shading” that I put a couple of days ago. Wonderful! Do you think this is a project for an “almost beginner” (long and short sttching since 4 or 5 months) or is it too challenging? Iris is my favorite flower, I love it! Thank you so much, ciao Manuela

    1. Hi, Manuela – Tanja’s kits are written so that most beginners can follow her step-by-step instructions. The iris is one of her more challenging flowers, but if you understand the basics of stitching, I think you’ll be able to do it! ~MC

More Comments