Mary Corbet

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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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Give-Away: Helen Stevens Embroidered Gardens and Some Great Needlework Threads!


Here’s this month’s embroidery stash give-away! Last year (January of 2008), I began doing these monthly give-aways. I’ve tried to include in them fibers or embellishments (beads, buttons, charms, etc.) that would enhance your stash and perhaps give you something new to try in the realm of surface embroidery. I also tried to keep them varied enough each month to make them interesting (I may have failed a wee bit in that regard…)

Mostly, the items included in these little give-aways come from my own needlework stash or my own library. Sometimes, though, I include a neat little something I’ve picked up new that I thought would be a fun addition to the give-aways. And, in today’s case, part of the give-away comes from someone else! A very generous reader wrote to me to say she had an extra copy of the book featured today and of one of Trish Burr’s books. Would I like to have them? I could pass them on to someone else, if I wanted. And of course I said, “Yes, please!” (THANK YOU!)

Well, let me get on with it, then. This is this month’s loot, up for grabs!

Hand Embroidery Items: Book by Helen Stevens and various fibers and embellishments

A nice little stack!

Hand Embroidery Items: Book by Helen Stevens and various fibers and embellishments

The book is Helen M. Stevens’ Embroidered Gardens (this will take you to a more detailed description of the book at Amazon). It’s a fantastic and beautiful hard bound book that’s part of the Helen Stevens “Masterclass Series.”

Hand Embroidery Items: Book by Helen Stevens and various fibers and embellishments

To go along with the book, some fibers and embellishments – and not just any fibers! Some really nice ones! Gloriana Ribbon, Baroque Silk, Charon Watercolors, Silk ‘n Ivory, and a spool of TESS – the silk that Helen Stevens uses in her embroidery. Also, there’s a little package of frosted glass Mill Hill beads, and a little heart charm.

Just think, all of this wonderful stuff could be yours! Just leave a comment below, answering the following question:

Do you have a needlework project that you pine over, that you don’t have anymore, for whatever reason (you gave it away, it got lost in a move, it got damaged, etc.)? And if so, what was the project and why do you wish you still had it?

You can thank Laura Bullinger for that question! I pulled it off the comments on the August stash give-away, where I asked people to submit questions that I could use for stash contests.

Make certain you leave a name with your comment! If you post “anonymously,” sign the comment with a name.

NOTE: Please leave your comment on this post on the website. You need to be actually on the website, not in the e-mail newsletter. Below, you will see a link that says “Click to comment.” It’s right under the text of this article, under the “Posted by Mary Corbet” line. Click on that link, and you’ll be able to leave a comment.

The contest ends Wednesday, February 4th, at 5:00 am CST. I’ll post the winner on Wednesday, and the winner will need to contact me with a shipping address. The contest is open to anyone, anywhere.

Good luck!


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(109) Comments

  1. I don’t have one that I completed that I pine over. I have one that I want to do that I pine over (A Dia de Los Muertos sugar skull, inspired by Sylvia Ji’s artwork) but I can never seem to get off the ground because I never like anything I come up with.

  2. It may seem a bit silly – but I miss a needlepoint eyeglass case I bought to do on a visit to see my mother. It was the last time I would see her and I lost the case somewhere between moving and a fire.

  3. If I had one project I did when I was very young (in my early twenties) it was a crochet project. I made at least 400 five inch round popcorn doilies and chained stitched them all together for a huge banquet tablecloth for my mother-in-law. She used it many times during the holiday seasons and I do think of it often. It disappeared when she passed away. I do wish I knew what happened to it. I stay away from crochet now, because my paasion lies in surface embroidery. The tablecloth will always be one of my precious memories.


  4. I gave my very first stumpwork piece away to someone I haven’t seen in years.
    I wish I had it back! It’d show how far I’ve come – plus I remember really liking it at the time, and being really proud.

  5. Well mine is one of the first embrodery projects I did it was 3 little kittens in a boot it was made up into a pillow and used all the treads disinegrated and I tossed the pillow. I can’t find the pattern back. The reason I would love to have it back is my starting stitches were big and balky by the time I was finished my stitches were very small and neat.

  6. I give many of my works as the gifts for my friends. But I am very happy, that they like them. Maybe I’d like to make one crocheted tablecloth (it is about one metre width). I made it maybe 6-8 times, every time for myself… Guess, how many of them I have at home. All of them are at my friend homes πŸ˜€ But I’ll make it for myself one day.

  7. Hmm this one is a difficult question because in some ways every project I give away I wish I could keep. I think it's because I pour so much of myself into them which makes me want to keep it but at the same time it's what makes it a gift worth giving. I recently found out that a pillowcase set I gave as a gift isn't used and loved and that really made me wish I had kept them since I loved the set it was a Mr & Mrs set, but most of the time if someone really really loves the gift then I'm happy they have it.

  8. It wasn’t actually a project of mine but I pine over my grandmother’s embroidered hankies…she passed about two years ago and I wish I would have had the sense to hang on to one. I am making my own to pass on to my children and theirs!

    Amanda S. T.

  9. My step-daughter loved unicorns as a teenager (I still do!) and I wanted to surprise her for Christmas one year. I located a beautiful unicorn picture, massaged it on the computer, and printed it. I then used my light box to trace it on a pale blue fabric and proceeded to stitch it in a combination of stitches. I then appliqued it to a complimentary print fabric and made it into the cover for a photo album.

    I really hated to part with that!!! The last time I saw it, she was keeping kids’ pictures in it, but it was starting to show its age. Maybe I’ll make another for me…….someday.

  10. Lovely goodies anyone would love to win! The first thing that popped into my mind when I thought about your question is something that I didn’t make (and I hope it counts). When I was first married, my mother (who suffered a great deal of pain resulting from a serious accident) made me a reversible jacket. I loved it, and lost it…somewhere. I regret it so much because I know how much love went into making it.

  11. I stitched Flower Power by The Crossed Wing Collection. For those of you unfamiliar with it, it is not only HUGE (41 x 24 inches) it is a gorgeous design, with some stitching over one and metallic accents. I made it for my mom-in-law, who is now my ex mil…lets just say she is not too fond of me anymore, and she has likely burnt it on her front lawn by now. Just the thought of a years work wasted makes me want to cry…

  12. I can’t think of one that I gave away that I wish I hadn’t. But that is a good question. I do have one quilt that might just fit in that category but only because I don’t think they did not appreciate it as much as I did.

  13. first: i dont think you failed AT ALL in making the giveways interesting.
    i think this is a wonderful giveaway. I have never regretted giving away anything, but i dont know if this counts!

  14. Years ago I took a series of courses at a Community College on various kinds of needlework. One project was pulled thread work which we did on a large piece of burlap. I made it into a flat curtain for my side door window. I loved that piece of work, it was so interesting, but sadly, with the sun it just rotted away.

  15. When I first started working full time and had a little money to spend I bought myself a beautiful new oak dresser with a mirror. It was the first big thing I had bought on my own and I was worried about scratching it by sitting things on the top. Dear Mom came to the rescue and embroidered a pretty dresser scarf with roses in all shades of pink.

    Now Mom’s been gone 20 years. I still use the dresser every day (and no longer fret over scratches!) but the dresser scarf somehow disappeared in one of my many moves.

    I’d love to have it back. But what I’d really love is to have my mom back, sitting here and stitching with my daughter and me.

  16. When I was in 7th grade, oh about 25 years ago, I was in art class and I had to design my own project. Unfortunately, I could not draw, or paint very well. So I asked if I could do something in needle work. I designed a very large and not very proportional yellow rose on canvas stitched in yellow yarn. It was awful, ugly and I wish I had it now so badly.
    It was my first design project and it earned me a purple ribbon for 3rd place in the art fair.
    I miss it so.
    Mary, thank you for the giveaway, they are such a sweet treat for us, still learning to be as accomplished as you are.

  17. I started a beautiful floral needlepoint cover for a bench but got bored and it was, I thought, put away. However, it seems to have disappeared. I’ve hunted high and low for it. Now I really need a new cover for that bench and would love to have been able to finish it!

  18. Years ago, in the early 1980’s, I learned to weave and made several woven projects, one of which was a long table runner in red, tan and brown. I gave it away and it would soooo work in my house now. Bummer… but it was loved so at least I have that!

  19. Not embroidery, but I regret that I gave away my very first hand quilted project. I took a class to learn and finished the pillow top and promptly gave it to a co-worker for her birthday.

  20. I started a large Noah’s arc cross-stitch when I was in High School. Several moves and many years later, and I don’t know what happened to it.

    Although I don’t do much cross-stitch anymore, I’d like to find it because the pattern was gorgeous and I know a few little kids that it would make a great present for if it were ever finished.

    Plus I don’t like the idea of unfinished objects floating around, especially not mine πŸ˜€

  21. AHHHHHH…what beautiful delectables. I gave my daughter a fun needlepoint that I named “It’s five o clock Somewhere” with pictures of tropical drinks with umbrellas and such in it.
    It was such a happy fun piece, that when my daughter moved 2000 miles away I found myself really missing it!

  22. I’m a beginner in embroidery. So whatever I made remains with me as they are all my learning efforts.Now I’m planning to embroider ina couple of pillow cases for one of my friends.I wish I could start the project ASAP.

  23. What a great contest and question–and on my birthday too!

    The one piece I lost in a move (we were military) was the very first crewel I learned to do. I was just flowers in a narrow slightly curved path, but the mat that laid over it was in the shape of a cat looking sideways–I LOVED that piece. it was from one of those craft party things, kind of like Tupperware for stitching. What I wouldn’t give to have that one back.

    Ruth m

  24. Right now what I wish I had was some more of my needlework project. I’m staying with a friend while we are out of power because of the ice storm. I thought I had grabbed a couple of projects as we left, but left a few things on the desk that I wish I had. Not so tragic as some, but I’d hoped that at least I’d get a chance to get some real stitching done while I was awaiting the return of power.
    Mary, this is such a gorgeous stash!! Thank you for your generosity and wisdom.

  25. I first started embroidery I completed this kit with lots of satin stitched butterflies and roses. I cursed and cussed and threw it across the room, but somehow managed to finish it. I gave it to my grandmother in the nursing home. She showed it to EVERYONE there and they were all very impressed because I was only 15 at the time. I think of it every so often because it was so frustrating for me as a beginner.

  26. I would be able to answer this question probably a few years down the line – since I just started my embroidery a couple of years back.I’ve not done much since Iam still learning.
    The only piece I’ve given away is a brazilian embroidery work conceptualised and designed by me-and I don’t repent it coz it went to my Inlaws and they treasure it πŸ™‚
    As long as the giveaways are treasured,I believe no one should repent.Make sure you give it to someone who values it.

  27. Hi Mary! You have such wonderful giveaways!
    Well do I have a piece I pine over? Not really although I wish I knew what happened to that first tea towel I embroidered. Mostly I wish I had taken pictures of all the things I have made and given away. Would be nice to have an album of those. I’m going to use flickr to try and do just that from now on.

  28. My grandmother lost the use of her arm due to radical mastectomy, but she did needlewok/embroidery with tremendous ability and talent.

    I would like to be as proficient as she..and to finally finish the Christmas stockings she left undone when she died, only now for her great-grandhildren and great-great grandchildren (none of which are mine).

    In the meantime, now I know what book I’ll be drooling over until I can get it–and man, I hope I win it!! πŸ™‚ It’s just glorious, and very very much what I’ve been pining to do.

    Thanks for doing these great stash giveaways–they give me the neatest ideas!


  29. It may sound silly but I miss my first embroidery project. I made it when I was around 5 years old. It pictured several ladybugs and a flower. I put way more effort into it than normal for a 5 year old. It got lost during moving few years ago and I deeply regret it.

  30. Hi Mary, First thanks for your helpful (and beautiful) site. It has brought embroidery back into my life! I recall as a young student (perhaps 12-13) having a crafts teacher showing us how to make a doily by stitching onto a cardboard circle. I recall it was tricky, but came out gorgeous in the end. It’s gone now and I don’t even know what kind of “work” it was (I would love to re-create it!). Linda

  31. I don’t have completed embroidery projects. Yet. (I do have a few in the works that I get to, periodically.) What I pine over is this really great iron-on project of a vase full of flowers. (The colors, the stitches I can use in it!) I sigh over it but I don’t want to begin it before I get my stitches right, since it is so gorgeous that I want to keep it and display it (by framing it or using it in something)…so I don’t want to be embarrassed by a sloppy job.

  32. The only piece I really miss was actually done by my grandmother. It was a small doily in cross-stitch and you couldn’t see where she had started or finished her threads. It went missing after a move with clumsy removalists. There is one piece of my own design that I do wish I had taken pictures of before I gave it away but when I stitch something for others I don’t miss them because they are where I always intended them to be.


  33. My grandmother had a beautiful surface embroidery pillow cover that she had started in the 1930’s. It was never finished for some reason and I always wanted to get my hands on it to finish it. When she died it was lost to me.

  34. The one project I pine over is the christening gown I made for my youngest daughter 25 years ago. I handmade her a smocked gown, slip and bonnet to which I added french lace and then embroidered dainty flowers and vines on each piece. I have other dresses, bonnets and things I did for my children, but this was my most ambitious and special project which I hoped to hand down. It was irreparably
    damaged in storage.

  35. When I first started dating my husband I wanted to “win over” is Grandma so I decided to cross-stitch a cat for her, in a very detailed quilt pattern. She was a real cat lover and couldn’t wait for me to finish the picture. We went over to her home for Sunday lunch, and I was just about finished with the picture but didn’t want her to see it. I had been working on it in the car. I neatly folded it up and left it on the console. About that same time my soon to be husband decided to start collecting fountain pens and we had just left a flea market where he found a “prize”. We went in to Grandma’s house and she asked about the picture. My darling fiance went out to the car to get it and returned with an “indelible blue” ink spotted cat and I mean 50 cent size spots all over the piece…it was ruined and Grandma and I were both very upset. Grandma said some not nice words to him in her native Armenian. I mumbled something about that must be why we no longer use fountain pens and started using ball points. We still get spots of “indelible blue” in the laundry from time to time. You would think after 23 years one of us would have learned something!!! Grandma kept that ink spotted almost finished cat folded in her drawer. I found it in her things after she passed away.

  36. Oh yes I certainly do. I had a friend who made a aHussif pattern just for me, it was her pattern. She created it for a very good friend of hers and noone had it. But when she showed it tome it was just beautiful and different. Well she was very sick for a long time but before she passed on she gave me the pattern in her original handwriting and everything and told me to only make it for a good friend and I promised I would. But when we moved 3 times in one year I cannot seem to find it and I am just sick about the whole thing. Hopefully I will find it so I can pass it on as she requested…

  37. This looks like a wonderful stash giveaway. It’s so nice of you to do this every month and I get so much from your daily entries.

    As to the question – yes, I did have a project that I wish I still had, but it’s gotten away – I don’t know where – but I’m sure it’s gone forever. It was a lovely cross stitch angel that was given to me as a gift. It would have been beautiful if I had finished it. I started it, but life just got in the way. We moved several times and I have no idea what happened to it. I didn’t realize then how much pleasure and stress relief I got from doing needlework. Live and learn, I guess.

    Cindy Bonnell

  38. Last year I made a drawstring bag to wrap a friend’s birthday present and decorated it with a lotus (as she’s a yoga fan).

    It was a simple design, nothing complicated it but I really liked it and wished i still had it.

    One week later I couldn’t take it any more. I had to make myself one…it wasn’t the same fabric but it was still pretty good πŸ™‚

  39. Wow! What a give-away! My mouth is watering πŸ™‚

    Great question too.

    We have had to move quite a few times since I married…. It’s a follow-the-job thing.
    In our latest move I lost “Dutch Beauty”
    It a sampler in the Dutch style and I just loved it! (I was born in Amsterdam and now live in the USA).
    It was completely kitted up with silks and a huge piece of linen…and I planned on starting it as soon as we settled in to the new house.
    Well, that particular box disappeared .
    I still want to cry every time I think of it….
    To kit it up cost quite a bit. Since I was working at the time, it was my treat to myself….
    I don’t work now so can’t afford to treat myself in that way….

    I hope the kit wound up in the hands of someone who appreciates it and will do it justice.

    Hugs Marlon

  40. What a lovely giveaway!

    My project would be the cross stitch picture I made for my MIL after my first daughter was born. It was of a couple kewpie dolls reading a book entitled “Notes on Grandmas”

    My girls were her first grandkids. She was such a good grandmother to them, unlike my own mother.

    I actually have the project back in my possession. What I no longer have is my MIL, and that is what makes me sad.

    Yeah, I’m crying…

  41. Dear Mary,
    I lived in Anchorage Alaska for a year with my husband. While shopping he found this Bucilla Endangered Species Wool Crewel kit and asked me to make it for him. It took me all year as it was a 24 by 30 inch design with much detail. I think it was my best work. I had it framed and gave it to him. It was beautiful. A week later he asked for a divorce. I wasn’t able to bring my picture home because I had gifted it to him. I still feel like I left one of my children behind when I had to leave that piece.

  42. Yes… I wish I still had my very 1st attempt at hand embroidery ! I was about 4 years old sitting next to my Mom curiously and inquisitive meanwhile she was working on her hand embroidery project. So she took a scrap of muslin hooped it in a tiny hoop (I remember it was a plastic yellow one) she took a pencil and hand drew a flower on it , threaded a needle with one strand of peach floss and handed it to me. I remember getting a little frustrated with the laizy daisy stitch because I was not doing the anchoring part of the stitch… lol !

    27 years passed … I got pregnant with my dear daughter, and a strong desire and determination to hand embroider came back to me, , so I have being teaching myself to hand embroider for 4 years now very slowly , and I’m teaching my dear daughter as well πŸ˜€ , she is 3 now.

    So I wish I still had my very 1st hand embroidered flower attempt master piece πŸ™‚ , I tried asking my Mom for it, but she can’t remember what she did with it… she can not even remember very well how to hand embroider… she suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and she is only 60.

    Thanks for your kindness and generosity in offering this wonderful give away and for the world of information on the beautiful art of hand embroidery !

  43. Hello,
    I have never commented here, but I do check you blog almost every day. You have so many ideas i’d just love to try sometime.
    I can’t think of any finished projects that I pine over or wish I still had. The one that bother me are the ones I’d like to do but haven’t had time to start. My fingers are just itching to try some different things.
    Thanks for having this blog. I’ve gotten another of our sisters hooked on it too.

  44. I was 10, I made a pin cushion at Girls’ Brigade, designed it all myself. Was really very proud of it and have no idea what happened to it.. I think I stopped going and never picked it up..

    Love the Helen Stevens book – I bought one of the others for my mum for her birthday..

  45. I wish I had the first quilt I helped my mother hand quilt,when i was 10 years old.Have made a lot of quilts,simply embroidery ,crochet and knit projects in my 65 years. Now I want to do some fancy embroiery peices.

  46. I just want to say that I love your give aways, and I am SO glad that you are continuing them through this year.
    I also have a project that I miss dearly. It was a Bonnie Bonnet pre-stamped pillowcase that I worked on with my great-grandmother. It was her project, but she let my little 8 year old hands go crazy as she patiently taught me stitches. The combination of my uneven, awkward stitches next to her perfectly formed beautiful stitches is something that will always stand clear in my mind, but I desperately wish I still had it.

  47. I designed and stitched a sampler for a friend’s wedding using the verse “As for me and my house.” I’ve lost touch with my friend and my sampler. I wish I’d taken a photograph or kept the chart (I was young and not very organized!) I just hope the sampler didn’t end up at Salvation Army or a garage sale!

    – Dawn

  48. the project I wish I kept was one of stamped embroidery with animals baby quilt. I wish I kept that now I have grandchildren / babies I could do it for them now.

  49. almost 25 years ago my grandmother was embroidering table clothes for a antique shop, the piece i long for is one of her round table clothes with violets and hummingbirds
    in shades of purple and light pink.
    the matching napkins were done in dark colours and just to lovely

    my emberoidery never was as good as her work

  50. Let's see…it is so rare that we keep what we make, myself included! I did a cross stitch picture of my two boys for my MIL. The boys were 2 & 5 at the time. I was looking for it at my MIL's the other day and to my dismay it was not hanging anywhere :(…I worked long and hard on that piece. I would love to hang it here…my boys are now 17 & 20.

    Thanks for doing a give-away. I am now into embroidery, falling in love with it and just at the first teetering, tottering steps.


  51. I have several of Helen Steven’s books, but not this one. Along with being educational they’re great eye candy.

    It’s not a finished project, but I still pine over a cross stitch project that I started in the early 80’s. It is Jim Harrison’s “Rural Americana” and measures 355 stitches X 302 stitches on size 18 aida. Managed to get about 2/3 of it done. I would really like to see it finished but doing cross stitch just doesn’t appeal to me anymore.

  52. I did two lovely blue Donald Ducks on a pink pillow cover. This was when i was in school and learnt satin stitch for the first time in my SUPW class.I was so happy with it that I finished two 6inch ducks in satin stitch. My mom treasured it for a long time but it has mysteriously disappeared. Now, when I revisit surface embroidery and try to learn those things over I wish I had it with me. I really really want it back.

  53. What project do I miss? One that was given to me by my mother, unfinished. It was a huge (to a five year old’s eyes) piece of crewel work done on a darker piece of linen. It was a colonial scene with people doing their chores, men with long barreled guns, fox, chicks, cows, trees and more trees, and women in gowns. She gave it to me, instead of throwing it out when I was nineteen. But being nineteen, and just married, and starting a path of life that meant moving often to get my husbands graduate degrees, and having children, and moving from church to church it was lost. Mom died two years ago at the age of 94, and I’m dragging myself ever so slowly to 60 this year. BUT, I still remember that piece of crewel embroidery. I’ve never seen anything like it, and suppose I won’t see the likes of it again. I wish I could.

  54. I gave my mom a piece I stitched and then had framed. It is a piece with birds, flowers and her favorite Bible verse. Proverbs 3:5,6
    It is one of my favorite pieces and I know it blesses her.
    I have been practicing stitches so I can make another piece worth keeping or giving away. I have decided to put away knitting needles and take up embroidery needles instead. It has been my passion for many years. Thank you for your daily posts.

  55. I am just a beginner with limited funds. I find I can do embroidery without spending too much money-hurray. I miss seeing the designs for pillowcases that my aunt used to embroider. She is my inspiration. I, also, miss the patterns with the color guide included in the pattern and the stitch pattern as well. You can see I am a beginner. I probably just haven’t looked well enough. Thanks for this wonderful site, especially the video tutorials.

  56. Years ago, I embroidered lovely flowers on a 72×90 tablecloth for my Mother and Father. When she passed away in 1996, I let some time pass, then asked Daddy if he was still going to use that..if not, could I pass it on to my children.(It was SO gorgeous) His reply? He had bagged everything of Mom’s up and took to Goodwill!!. He didn’t realize the tablecloth was in with it all. Sharon@slozano5@earthlink.net

  57. I had started an applique wallhanging for someone very close to me. It was to replace another needlework project I had done and has been hanging on the wall for way to many years. As I was showing her what I intended to do, she gave me the impression it wasn’t something she was interested in. I scrapped the whole project.

  58. Hi Mary, the piece of needlework I am most proud of is a Paula Vaughan cross stitch quilt picture – one of the Summer Days charts, I think. I was really proud of that as it was the first time I had completed a full size picture. I had done this for a friend’s 25th wedding anniversary present but when it came time to give it to her, I felt heartbroken. I still do feel this way, and I have yet to do this picture for me.

  59. I still can’t believe this — but I gave away my second piece of Japanese embroidery which I had stitched in class in Japan to my ex-boss. It had hung in my office and when I was packing up to leave, I left it for him with a note, because I had been close to him. Turns out he didn’t really support ME as much as I did him. To this day I pine for that piece — Funny, it’s title is The Three Pine Trees — Now it’s pine in a different way…

  60. Oh, I hope I win! Your stash give-aways are always something to droll over!

    I started a project while studying at the Royal School but abandoned it when I returned home. I keep hoping it will turn up so that I can complete it and have it as a memento of a wonderful week.


  61. When I was a little girl, my mother made tote bags with my name embroidered on it. I lost it in the many, many, many moves we have done over the years. The other project that I miss was the embroidered panel baby blanket that my mother never finished. πŸ™‚ However, she recently found it and sent me all the pieces. Now I just have to put it all together!


  62. My project that I wish I had was a set of pillowcases with God’s hands folded in prayer. I gave them to someone that I have not seen for years.

  63. Hi Mary, Mine is a piece of needle painting with fuschias and buterflies. I did it when I was just starting dabbling with embroidery and I’d love to have it back so I could do it properly, now I know how long and short stitch really works!
    Alison in Sydney

  64. When I first converted to being a Catholic, I made a counted cross stitch Mary that was gorgeous. I wanted to keep it so bad but I donated it to the church for a silent auction. A nun fell in love with it and she was the winner. I don’t know how much money it brought but it brings me joy to know she loved it so much. I always thought I’d make another one for me but I doubt I’ll ever get around to it with so many new things to make.

  65. esalada@comcast.net

    I made several Christmas ornaments
    this year and one was a Woodpecker
    with added beading. The pattern
    was taken from a previous year’s
    Just Cross Stitch Christmas Orn.
    issue. I made it as a gift for a
    very good friend who always gives
    us an original watercolor, so I have no regrets at giving her the
    ornament. But I really fell in love with that Woodpecker, so I am
    determined to make one for myself

  66. Although I love my needlework projects, I usually have someone in mind when I do them. My mother ,however, stitched a dear little kitten for me after my own sweet pet passed away. She embroidered his name ,attached his tags with a ribbon and framed the piece. It meant alot to me first, because I loved that cat, but more because my mom seldom did fine work, her eyes were so bad.It was thoughtlessly ruined by my former husband and I still often wish I had it.

  67. I did a piece of Kasuthi embroidery about 12 years ago- Kasuthi is similar to Assisi / Holbein stitch / Blackwork on a sari that is five and half meters long. It had 150 motifs and a long 44 inch border. This piece was a cherished part of my wardrobe, but has started fraying along the gold borders and hence cannot be used ever. All I can do is to take it out once in a while to show it to my daughter and maybe use as a sampler. This was the first piece that I did and all the rest have been given away as gifts to my family who simply love my work. Sigh!! Wish my daughter could have worn it atleast once.

  68. Hi Mary,
    Once again an amazing give-away. Thanks for that. πŸ™‚
    I really pine for one of my initial projects, a set of 3 handkerchiefs, edges crocheted by my grandma. I gave it away to my cousin sister and she lost them all. I do always feel, I shouldnt have given those away..

  69. Hi Mary…… First of all I want to thank you for the countless inspirations and brainwaves that I get from you!

    When I was in school, we used to have handwork classes and we were asked to embroider handkerchiefs and table-cloths. Although at that time I knew very basic stitches, I did them with great passion and made sure that mine were the best. But the worst part was that we had to submit our embroidery projects to our teachers and were never returned back again. I still wish I had them because no matter how they came out, they would have been great keepsakes. However, no regrets….

  70. I am not sure I am doing this correct but here goes ..I made a noahs ark a few years back and it took awhile to do my husband really commented on it ..it had the ark on top abc below and all the animals around it ..after finishing it I had it framed ..and gave it to a special friend ..my husband never forgot that and I have never heard from the friend shortly after that ..so there are times I wish I had given it to my husband he doesn’t let me forget it ..debbie b.

  71. I did a Huck Embroidery Sampler, when I was 9 yrs old, for my needle work classes. It was then, I learnt my first embroidery. The sampler was long piece (similar to a bath towel). My mom gave it to her maternal uncle, just because he told it looked beautiful. I cried for atleast a week, and I couldn’t forget it. It was my first work and I don’t know where it is now. I really miss it.


  72. Every year (in the late 4 years) I stitch a gift for my best friend for christmas. And every year I want to stitch these little goodies for myself, too… In christmas presents I always try something new, and always like the result. I have never got enough time to stitch two identical piece simultaneously, but later I have managed to stitch one of these presents for myself. Only 3 to go…

  73. One of my first needlework projects was a large canvas of flower pots sitting on shelves in a window sill–great for a window-less room. Lasting, cheereful blooms! Over the many, many moves we have had–it has disappeared.

  74. The piece my ex gave his girlfriend was the very first piece of needlepoint I ever did. A Rosey Greer piece when he made needlepoint “Hot”—it was a brown pillow with all kinds of mushrooms and I was so proud of doing it. I wish I had it back because it was my very first piece.

  75. Actually, I am lucky as I still have that piece of needle work with me. It was my first piece that I created with my mother. I adore it. It is one of my prized possesions. As my mother passed away, that piece reminds me of things we did together. Thanks for the beautiful giveaway and for bringing back old memories.


  76. I have a project that I eventually want to do, but none that are unfinished. I would eventually love to do the Beatrix Potter embroidered waistcoat. Ah, someday…

    Well now that I think of it, there was another one that I did a long time ago that I wasn’t able to finish. It was a beautiful peacock that came in a whole kit, and I wasn’t quite as skilled as I thought way back when. It was so pretty, and I ended up having to get rid of it because I messed it up so horribly. I wouldn’t mind finding that one again. I know I could do it now.

    shanawoodman (at) hotmail (dot) com

  77. I made an afghan for my grandson, cross stitched 24 squares. I packed it in a plastic bag, which was mistaken for garbage and thrown away. He’s in first grade now, and wouldn’t like the pattern, but I still think of re-stitching it.
    jcompeau at tblusa dot org

  78. I actually have two. One was a strawberry modeled after an antique botanical drawing. I made it for a coworker to use for a project and found out later that she didn’t. Oh, well. At least I still have my design notes.
    The other is the portrait I did of my sister-in-law and her younger son. She loved it and I don’t at all regret her being able to enjoy it but it was a beautiful piece of work.

  79. I did a little embroidery as a young girl with my mother – I was perhaps 10 years old. My father was in the military and we lived overseas so I don’t know where this kit came from. My mother and I embroidered some stamped pillowcases – nothing fancy, just some split stitches, french knots, etc. She let me do as much of the work as I liked even though I’m sure my work was not very good. I have a lot of her things now that she’s gone. I just wish I had our pillowcases. Trish Binkley, Columbia, TN

  80. Hiya Mary,Loving yr mails,as ever! …As a fervent gardener I have made attempts at flowers in the past…but never been really happy with the results.Those first attempts were in a box that went missing when I moved 13 years ago….the box would have gone into one of 2 friends’ houses…with stuff to be kept bone dry, and in it was also a huge collection of threads.I was SO upset to lose them…and maybe resentful, because instead of replacing the threads and starting again,I stopped embroidering…Now I’m back at it,loving learning all over again,and can’t believe I missed out on years of enjoyment like that.
    I would SO love that book!Charlie x

  81. Mine would be a patchwork cushion I made when I was seven. It always seemed to me looking back, that it was really well made. It was something I was really proud of and gave to a family friend. We called her grandma. She used to have it on the chair in her bedroom. We moved from that part of the country, and I never knew what happened to it after she died.

  82. While I wouldn’t say that I “pine” over it I do wish I knew what happened to my very first embroidery project. It was a tea towel that my grandmother taught me to embroider on. We went to the dime store and bought the iron on pattern then together washed the towel, dried it and ironed the pattern…I was 10 at the time and I embroidered this sweet lamb on the towel. Lots of precious memories are tied up in that towel since my grandmother passed away a year ago at Christmas.

  83. I made a small wallhanging that took me hours and gave it to my —. she didn’t hang it and wanted to make it into a pillow. I put hours into it and the image was a landcape and the shape would have only laid on its side if made into a pillow. auugh!!!

  84. I wouldn’t say that I “pine” over any projects, but I’d love to know what happened to my very first project. A tea towel embroidered with the sweetest lamb. My grandmother taught me to embroider with that tea towel, and I gave her the towel. Sadly she died Christmas before last and I don’t know what happened to the towel.

  85. I am such a beginner, I don’t have a finished piece to pine over :). My imagination has begun to run over with ideas, however, as I learn more and more. I have started a sketch book with ideas for projects, I guess now I must get to work!

  86. I can’t think of any single piece that I wish I still had. However, I did a number of Swedish Embroidery (or huck stitch) pieces when I still lived with my parents (a very long time ago!) and I’ve often wished I had some of that. Just to prove I did it, I guess.

  87. Hi, Mary, Thanks for using my question. I enjoyed reading the heart-rendering stories. Now, here is my “pining” story…
    I made a pair of flower pillows combining crochet (deep red velvet chenille rose) attached to hand made and purchased frothy and dainty laces, and added some embroidery in varied shades of dusty deep pinks and roses. The second pillow was golden ovals petal rings set on chocolate velvet and black trimmings. They were so pretty that people actually covered their mouths, one person lost their balance when I displayed it to them!So pretty it hurt! I gave it to my sister-in-law because she drools over my handcrafts. I miss looking at them, such eye-candy.

  88. I have not completed many projects but I did embroider my friend a lovely little pear. She was delighted and I would love to do one myself, but I had such trouble making the pear part – I can’t face it again. The one I DREAM about is the Camels in one of the Inspirations magazines, I believe. Thank you for all the inspiration you put out there.

  89. Those are beautiful threads and embellishments that I would love to add to my stash.
    What a great question. Nothing I gave away or lost, though. In the early days (I started when I was 6 or 7) I used to do a lot of Erica Wilson kits. I haven’t done kits in a long time, so when a few years ago I came across a sealed Erica Wilson kit in one of my cabinets, I saw there was a market for it on Ebay and got a pretty good price for it. Now, I’m kicking myself for selling it, as it’s something that would be good just to have, even if I would never make it!

  90. Hi – A piece I “pine” over happens to be pines, with snow on them. It was a 3-D embroidery scene that looked just like the trees outside my window with the snow clumped on them. I had given it to my ex (when we were married) and he had it in his office. Don’t know where it is now but wish I had taken it with me! Oh well…
    Helen Stevens is my FAVORITE designer – I love animals and flowers and she does them so beautifully!
    Kathy in Kenai

  91. Question: This is my answer to the contest question. Yes, I had a “stash” of needle work materials that went “missing” when we moved 4 years ago. You know what a “stash” can consist of. The loss is that so many hours, ideas, dreams of ways to complete, special gifts that were being worked on (for grandbaby # 3) are now gone physically, but not in that special place in your mind, so the loss if very significent. I so want to again, pick up on beginning needlepainting, ribbon embroidery, crewl, whitework etc. I decided I wanted to start again in November 2008 and in the beginning of December 2008 I became part of the economic “cloud” in our country and was laid off. I can manage to start small purchasing all the new “stash” I will need but as we all know it can be costly (so much love and time goes into these projects that costly is ok… it should only be the best!)so I need to start small and if I could win this contest, I would be a little more ahead of the game. Hope to hear from you Wednesday. Your site is bringing me so much joy and excitement at what lies ahead with all of the needlework I would love to do. By the way…. the stash I brought was all the beginnings to begin embroidery so still need to LEARN, but what a joy it will be when I can master some of the stitches and give lasting gifts to my children and grandchildren!
    Kate Revell

  92. I made a cross stitch blanket for my 1st daughter over 40 yrs. ago, somehow it has gotten lost. I would love for her daughter to have it for her kids to be able to pass down.

  93. What a wonderful give-a-way! Am just drooling over this prize! Also, love your site and refer back to it time and again. Thank you for the stitch dictionary.
    My Mother made a cross-stitched quilt and it was stolen shortly after she died….the house was full of “friends” and “family”, so who knows where it ended up.
    Thanks again for doing this!

  94. winter greetings! I happened upon your site and was instantly drawn in and inspired again. Having pieced and embroidered a quilt for a dear friends first child some 35 years ago; I don’t want the piece back ; but the timeless memories! Having always wanted to learn the art of stumpwork, this give away is just the best!To be able to work a new design, interwoven with love, and to give freely! Our consolation? The old saying,”When this you see, remember me.” Thank you Laura and Mary for your generous gift of inspiration! Looking forward to the results!

  95. I stitched two Joan Thomason santas but never finished them. I put them in a garage sale and my best friend’s mother bought them. She then asked me if I could finish them for her as stand-ups. What do you tell your best friend’s mother…they turned out cuter than I imagined. At least I know they are in a good home and not the trash or a Goodwill store.

  96. Would love to have that book. Like all the items of interest on this site…”white on white”, article on history of needle work.

  97. When my little brother was born my Mom embroidered a beautiful baby blanket for his crib. It had darling little boys and girls with animals, birds and flowers on it. I always loved it and wished that I had even a picture of it so that when I had grandchildren and time to do such projects I could have duplicated it. My Mom died at nearly the age of 92 in 2002. I often think of that little blanket and it brings back special memories of Mom, who never was without needles in her hands.

  98. The project I pined over is on it's way to me. My great-grandmother started a cross stitch quilt and I fell in love with it when I went to visit my grandma in California. My grandma never learned to stitch, so it has just been sitting in a trunk all these years. Recently she had to move to a nursing home and decided to send it to me to complete. But the kind of cool thing is that my great grandma and I have the same name, Catherine Sarah. The book would also be a great addition to a relative beginners small library of needlework books. <3

  99. I have one that I stitched for a friend — it was a wall hanging/notions organizer with little pockets made of AIDA bands, embroidered with motifs like buttons, needles, scissors, etc. that would be stored in it. I’ve lost the pattern in a move (from saudi Arabia to the US) and can’t reproduce it…

  100. I don’t think there’s one particular piece I wish I had back, but I love it when I go to a friends or family members house and see that they have something I’ve given them displayed. I always have to look it over, remembering making it for them, and maybe it’s silly, but I miss it just a little.

  101. I once embroidered an altar frontal with an IHS emblem on a lovely brocade fabric for a Catholic student group. I’m not sorry that I gave it away, of course, since I don’t have much use for it at home, but I never quite finished it to my satisfaction, so I wish I hadn’t given it away quite so soon. I also wish it lived a little closer so I could visit it more often.

  102. I made a chicken scratch shirt on blue gingham, it was the first project my Mom taught me. I wore the shirt so much that it was to thread bare and had to be trashed but it is still treasured.

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