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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Fourth Day of Christmas – Crewel Embroidery!


Welcome to the Fourth Day of Christmas Give-away! All you crewel embroidery enthusiasts out there will love this one – it is a combination give-away, from Wooly Thread and from Talliaferro Designs. It’s for the whimsical embroiderer and for the serious embroiderer, all rolled into one.

Today’s give-away is one gift, in two parts: a Wool & Hoop crewel kit from Wooly Thread and the latest (and not yet out) Talliaferro Design kit, Paradiso I.

Wool & Hoop Embroidery Kit

This Birthday Wish Wool & Hoop kit from Wooly Thread is a complete kit, from fabric, to hoop, to wool, to needles – and instructions – for a 3″ x 3″ fun pattern of funky birthday candles. The finished product is modeled as a birthday card. It’s a fun and quick little project!

You can find all the Wool & Hoop kits available at Wooly Thread – they’re fun, a bit funky, and quick to work up! They make cute little accents, or they can be used in other applications (like card-making).

Talliaferro Designs: Paradiso I

Then, when you’re in the mood for something more challenging and elegant, you can move on to Paradiso I, the newest Talliaferro Design which will be released after the first of the new year some time. Like the Royal Persian Blossom design released earlier in 2011, this is a design & instruction kit. That is, it contains the design and step-by-step instructions for the completion of the design. It doesn’t include fabric or thread. The thread used in Talliaferro Designs is Appleton wool, available through Wooly Thread. Paradiso I is quite a bit smaller than the Royal Persian Blossom design, at 8.25″ x 9.5″, and the stitches are not as complex, but the results are exquisite. The taupes and the blues work beautifully together! Some of the stitches involved: Chain stitch, French knots, buttonhole, long and short stitch, satin stitch – so plenty of variety, but nothing too daunting!

Paradiso I will be available some time after the beginning of the year, from both Talliaferro Design and from Wooly Thread. Wooly Thread will probably carry an Appleton color pack for the kit, as well. I know they carry a color pack for the Persian Blossom design, so hopefully they’ll have one for Paradiso I as well! (Update: Wooly Thread has Paradiso I and Appleton wool packs on the site and available now!)

Today’s winner will receive both kits – the Birthday Wish kit from Wooly Thread and Paradiso I from Talliaferro Designs. To enter today’s give-away, please follow these simple instructions:

1. Leave a comment at the end of today’s article. If you click on that link, it will take you directly to the comment area, so that there are no mishaps! Comments delivered via e-mail or on other articles will not be included in the give-away.

2. In your comment, answer the following question:

Some self-analysis: are you a Wool & Hoop kind of stitcher, or a Talliaferro Designs kind of stitcher? Or a combination of both? Both crewel design companies have a completely different look and feel – which one characterizes you the most, or do you identify with both?

3. Make sure you leave a recognizable name either in the body of your comment, or on the “name” line above the comment box. For example, if your name happens to be Holly, you might include a last initial or a location to differentiate yourself from any other Holly that might join in.

4. Leave your comment before January 9th, 2012, at 5:00 am Central Standard Time (Kansas, USA!). All winners for this series will be selected on January 9th, and announced that day here on Needle ‘n Thread. You’ll have to check back on January 9th to see if you’ve won, because the winners will need to contact me within 3 days to claim their prizes. The Give-Away is Now Closed. Thanks for your interest!

Merry Fourth Day of Christmas!

Please do not panic if your comment does not show up immediately. All comments are moderated in the order in which they come in, and they will eventually be posted. If you are looking for your comment, please use the “older comments” and “newer comments” links at the top of the comments section. These will take you through all the comments pages, from newest to oldest.

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(624) Comments

  1. I am a Talliaferro Designs kind of stitcher. I can really ohh and ahh over beautiful designs and they make me want to make them and experiment with them. I have had this since I was a little child, I was mesmerized when I first saw the beautiful and colorful dresses of the women in india and when I saw the movie of Sissi I wanted to live in that era and wear those dresses! In my opinion the world can never have enough beauty full things in it. Beautiful flowers, beautiful landscapes and beautiful designs they are all eye candy!

  2. Good Morning Mary,
    I did experiment this year with a color block type of crewel embroidery–it fit the subject and was fun to do; quite liberating as a matter of fact. For the most part I prefer traditional crewel designs and look. But, who knows what will be in 2012–that’s what stash is for, yes?

  3. Wow, hard question but amazing prize! I’m currently working on a crewel embroidery and loving ever single stitch – it’s more in keeping with the Talliaferro style, but that’s not to say I don’t love the wool and hoop too! I am currently renovating my 1884 Victorian house, using a mixture of original features and modern design so either of these would fit in well in my house.

  4. the talliaferro designs are wonderful .
    I am of course a wool and hoop kind of a stitcher .thanks for this awesome giveaway .Hope I win this.

  5. i’m neither one entirely but a little bit of both — i like the playfulness of the wool & hoop design (and would probably send it as a card) but the calm, classic effect of the talliaferro design has a very powerful attraction, and its more intricate design looks like it would be fun to stitch. thanks for these lovely giveaways, mary, and happy new year to you.

  6. I am a combo! Just enjoy sitting at day’s end with a needle and thread and a good cup of tea and seeing what I can accomplish and thinking about who I will be gifting it to! Chris Beresford from Michigan

  7. Good Morning, Mary.

    Happy Fourth Day! Crewel work is my “go-to” process. I enjoy working with wools and am always very comfortable when I’m in my crewel world and am most definitely a Talliaferro Designs kind of stitcher. I would love to win this one!

    Thanks for sharing all the wonderful gifts with us. I hope you have a great day, Mary. Stay warm!!


  8. Although I love the energy of Wool and Hoop, I am definitely a Talliaferro stitcher. I am obsessed with the Jacobean period. What a treat to see all these lovely give aways-they are all making the creative juices flow.

  9. G’day there Mary,
    The candles design has been appealing to me for quite some time. I think it may be on a book cover?? Only, I didn’t realise they were candles. Thought they were some funky sort of trees, like our bottle trees here in Oz. So can see myself adding a branch or 2 and the odd extra ‘flower’. Umm, we do have flame trees here in Oz too so…there we go!

    I absolutely love that crewel design and colouring. Both the designs/kits make my skin prickle, so guess I’m definitely combo identified.
    I reckon a special good luck to myself for this one wouldn’t go astray!

    A wonderful thank you to our suppliers for this beaut giveaway. And you Mary, for joyously offering it to us.

    Cheers, Kath from Oz

  10. Hello Mary,

    I am eger to learn both techniques.
    Happy new Year 2012, health, love and prosperity.

    Franรงoise Y. Beauchamp
    Mafyb Crรฉations Textiles
    Bois-des-Filion, Quรฉbec, Canada

  11. Hi mary, i’m mary varma from india. Merry 4th day of christmas. Both the kits are beautiful. I would say a combination of both, the birthday candle kit is simple and nice and the other has a beautiful stitch and colour. Thanks for such lovely giveaways

  12. I’m a “combination of both” kind of stitcher. I don’t like to limit myself. I enjoy making things and usually end up giving them away. In that way I get two enjoyments – the first in making the item, the second in seeing someone else’s joy in receiving it.

  13. I can identify with both! I definately am drawn to the wool and hoop designs because primitive type stuff has always spoken to me. A simpler time and place(not really but in my mind). But, I am also drawn to the beauty of the Talliaferro Designs.

  14. Mary, its been quite a few years since I’ve stitched any crewel work. I’ve not stitched kits from either of these companies, but am always open to new stitching opportunities, especially when I can choose my fabric and thread colors. Loving these give away opportunities.

  15. Oh I am definitely and absolutely a Paradiso I from Talliaferro Designs kind of stitcher! I saw that picture and it took my breath away! Besides loving that color combination, the design itself is beyond gorgeous! If I don’t win, which I hope I do ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll buy it. It’s too beautiful not to! Either way, thank you for bringing it to my attention – I’m in love. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. I think I am a bit of both but lean more towards the Talliaferro Designs.
    I love the new one.
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  17. Oh, I love that book The New Crewel! I bought it a few months ago but never had the chance to start any of the included projects as it seems to be quite impossible to buy the specific wool in Germany.

    So I’m definitely the Wool & Hoop kind of stitcher. I clearly identify myself with the look and feel of this kind of stitching.

  18. I hadn’t realized until giving thought to your question, but I am a combination of both a Wooland Hoop and a Talliferro kind of stitcher. There are times when whimsical, fun and fast is perfect and other times when I want to stitch a more intricate design.

  19. Hi,as i am not familiar with crewel embroidery,though very much fascinated by the Royal Persian Bloom Design, this kit might help me do one.
    thank you ansu chennai

  20. Hi Mary,
    As I have just finished one project and just started another, I have “way” little to do. Both of these projects look like fun. I would love to work them both.
    Vicki W

  21. Actually, I’m neither–but if I had to choose, I’d go with the Taliaferro, and pick a LOT brighter and more realistic colors for it.

    I’m more fauna-and-flora oriented, really…the modernistic stuff like the woolythread designs just look…unappealing to me.

    These giveaways are great! I love the question-answer thing, too–it’s neat to see what everyone thinks. ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Talliaferro Designs stitcher definitely! It is just a matter of what I see that interests my tastes at the time!
    Avis in VA

  23. Definitely a Talliaferro Designs stitcher. I’ve been doing crewel embroidery since I was a child. I love the elegant designs and the variety of stitches.

  24. I would love to say I would really love to win this but I don’t know whats ahead!!

    I would say I am both kinds of embroiderer…the wool & hoop kind for my 15 min blocks & the Talliaferro is the kind I would enjoy completing…it would satisfy my sense of accomplishment.

    I’m beginning to enjoy this! Makes me feel special, even I I don’t win anything, just that its on offer.
    Thank you

  25. I feel more like a Wool and Hoop stitcher, but I am actually a combination of both. I think your website is fantastic–it is a daily part of my life. You give so much to all of us. Thank you.

  26. I am definately a Talliaferro Designs kind of stitcher, while I have done funky designs for my grandchildren, I can’t resist the Talliaferro type of designs, this one is so beautiful, thanks for the opportunity of maybe stitching this one.

  27. What a fantastic duo for crewel lovers! I am in both camps, the modern and the more classic. I thoroughly enjoy embroidering the traditional motifs because of their use of a wide variety of stitches and patterns, and the modern because they are simpler and more fun – a welcome break. I have not yet tried any of the Wool & Hoop designs, and I am (ahem) currently working on an RPB design, so can appreciate the subtlety of Anna’s designs. I would say, though, that I am probably more traditional than modern in the designs I work.
    Thanks for this great chance, Mary.
    -Sharon in France

  28. As I am pondering if I prefer to work with wool or thread , I am recalling past projects and the fun I had working with both . Lots of good memories and room for more with either one of these projects.

  29. I am definitely a Tallifaro type. that design is so pretty!
    thanks for organizing the 12 days of Christmas give away

  30. Oh Mary! I feel greedy but I would so love to win the crewel give-away. I really enjoyed the small attempts I have made at this style of work, and to do more would be delicious. Thankyou to all for their generosity…. Catherine

  31. Recently I found a Wooly Thread kit at a thrift store for a dollar. I own the book New Crewel by the creator of the design. I have to say that I have been disappointed. I have not yet put my needle and thread to something as fine and complicated as a Talliaferro design, but I hope to do so soon. I think that is much more to my style. However, my 2 year-old and 4 year-old loved helping me stitch the projects in the Wooly Thread kit.

  32. I am very much more the Tallifero type. I find the Wool & Hoop designs cartoonish and just plain not. my. style. I can theoretically see their appeal to the beginner in crewel, but I wonder if they should shift their focus to somewhere more between what they have now and what Tallifero does. Not so detailed or traditional designs as Tallifero, but not so Sponge Bob as what they have now. I could definitely see interest in steampunk-type crewel designs and ones that fit in with contemporary decor without being so… well, so basic. I’m afraid Wool & Hoop, in its design process, is talking down to beginners with its designs.

  33. You know how some people tell you that their favorite movie is something like Citizen Kane when really it’s French Kiss? That’s how I want to answer this question. I want to be all sophisticated and refined and say that I love them both, but I’m not even fooling myself. I’m a Wool and Hoop girl all the way. Fast and easy, that’s me. Wait a minute, that didn’t come out right…

  34. WOW! This just gets better and better. I confess, I am a wool and hoop stitcher, but then, I didn’t know there was another way. I would be anxious to learn anything new.

  35. >> Some self-analysis: are you a Wool & Hoop kind of stitcher, or a Talliaferro Designs kind of stitcher? <<

    Honest answer is Neither – I haven't used any of these kits before. Judging the kits from their covers, I think I love the elegance of Talliaferro Design than the bolder Wool & Hoop design.

  36. These are great kits but as to which I identify with…heavens! I’m a Piscean. I can swim in both directions at the same time and I never know what I think or what I am going to do from one minute to the next. Panic, chaos and confusion. My work here is done :0)))
    I guess that means right at this minute I’m a bit of both and game to try either kit….but ask me again in an hour and you may get a totally different answer so if I won both it would be the perfect solution to a split stitching personality !

  37. I love Jacobean crewel. I have a piece that I did over 35 years ago proudly hanging on my wall. I’ve enjoyed the resurgence of crewel in the past few years and would love to add these to my repertoire!
    Terry in PA

  38. I am definitely a Talliaferro Designs stitcher. Beautifully traditional designs and the colours are subtle and well matched. I have bought the first design already.

  39. Once more wonderful news. At the moment I only start learning crewel embroidery and stitching Tanja Berlin kit. “Paradiso” maybe is something too difficult for me at the moment but I’d like to stitch it one day. I could easily identify myself with Talliaferro Designs (only need to deepen my skills of stitching).

  40. The colors of both designs match the new furntiure in our family room. Although my style is to present my crafts as gifts most of the time, I think I will keep both of these completed projects to decorate the family room with. The Wool and Hoop and Hoop may be up the longest because the colors will be beautiful in the room. My very first favorite color is blue and the family room has beautiful gold and taupe accents. So it will look awesome in there.

  41. I think I’m a combination. I love the blues and taupes of the Talliaferro design because it is so elegant but the birthday candles make me smile.

  42. Hi Mary!!
    I love them both! I actually have the book with the birthday wish pattern in it. I love to make little things with it. but sometimes little is just so little, and I need a BIG project. I’m still saving to buy a Talliaferro design, but maybe I’ll win one, haha!
    Gwen Kok, Dordrecht, the Netherlands.

  43. What a wonderful design is Paradiso I. This is my kind of design and stitching. The Wool and Hoop design is a fun design and looks so easy and fun to stitch. Something quick to do between more difficult projects. I love the colours, too, of Paradiso and they do sit well together.

  44. Hi Mary
    I would say I am more a Talliaferro Designs kind of girl – perhaps a bit too structured but being a Libran I am a bit more precise I think and like the order of that design just as I loved the persian blossom one that you showed us previously. However anything stitching floats my boat.
    Thanks to you and all the generosity of the companies participating in this wonderful give-away.
    Eleanor – Isle of Man

  45. I love the Talliaferro designs. I consider myself an old-school stitcher. I started in my early teens and was greatly inspired by Erica Wilson. I’m also very involved in a medieval history group and my focus is on needlearts from that period. Crewel work is so tactile and rewarding. The blues and taupes make my heart sing.

  46. Talliaferro would be my choice, but oh it is so difficult to choose, once again thank you so much for the opportunity to win something this beautiful.

  47. I love Crewel embroidery – one of my favourites. I have been eyeing the Talliaferro Designs for some time. I am definitely a Talliaferro stitcher. Their designs and choice of colours are beautiful. Another delightful giveaway. Gay B, South Africa

  48. What a great idea for a give away!! I enjoy reading your blog and get lots of ideas ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks. I am a “wool & hoop” type. Thanks and Happy New Year!!

  49. Good morning Mary, OK, will admit to being a free form wool stitcher. Sometimes turn to kits to learn new techniques, to see how someone else approaches wool work or to test for a class project. The small Wool kit looks to be a fun one and perhaps very reasonable to use for a class project.

  50. I’m a Wool & Hoop style of stitcher, with Talliaferro aspirations. Maybe a kit would help me get there….

  51. I’d like to think of myself as young at heart and reaching for the Wool & Hoop design, but the truth is I’d be reaching for the Talliaferro.

  52. Good Morning, Mary – – Must admit today’s giveaway appeals on several levels. Love the whimsical birthday candles, and as it happens, my birthday is about 6 weeks away. But I must admit the Talliaferro Paradisio I caught my special attention as there is something in the design which calls to mind a rooster design of yours I am going to be making this year. I also hope to do the Royal Persian designs I linked to and as your description says that Paradisio I is smaller and not quite as complex, it seems it would be a perfect trainer to prepare me for the other. So I know what my “Birthday Wish” will be, but I can’t tell or it might not come true.

  53. I am a combination of both and would love to stitch them both. The birthday wish kit looks like fun, while the Paradiso I kit is more elegant and would be a challenge to embroider.

    Thank you for challenging us each day.

  54. If I have to choose, I would say a talliferro kind. Lots of different stitches, something to learn from. And I like that kit the most.
    Bye, Winne

  55. Hello Mary: Just to say, I love your site. I have always been a fan of crewel embroidery. I have a few books sitting, just waiting for the right thread for crewel projects. Please make my books happy as they are lonely just sitting there waiting, waiting, waiting for their day. Thanks, Paula Magnani-Smith on the east coast.

  56. I like to think I’m cool and elegant but usually I’m just funky an fun so both really at different times

  57. I am definitely a Talliaferro designs kinda girl! I love the classic look! But I do appreciate the more whimsical, it’s just not my style. Thanks for offing such a wonderful prize to win! I an having fun checking my email everyday seeing what surprises you have in store!

  58. I can be either funky or more serious…depending on my mood for the day or project. These look like fun kits from Wooly and Talliaferro…have not played with either but would like the opportunity!

  59. I am basically a hoop embroiderer with very little experience with wool. I would love to learn more with these beautiful kits.Thank you for your teaching and caring learning experience from afar.

    Jane Georgia Gal

  60. Mary,
    I am a crewel lover-but have never learned how to actually do this style of embroidery. It certainly can be so diverse. I like small projects to learn on and then I would feel comfortable moving into larger designs. These offerings are really wonderful.
    Thank you
    Peg F. in NJ

  61. Although I have a strong sense of whimsy, I am drawn to the Taliaferro type of design like iron to a magnet. There is something in the Jacobean, ornate style of needlework that has called to me from the time I was a very young person. As I’ve said, I love color and the Taliaferro designs use color with a lushness that could make one reel – even when used with a limited palatte. Noel

  62. I am more of a Talliaferro type of stitcher but willing to try the more funky style in the Wool and Hoop pattern! Thanks for the fun contest.
    Sandra Owen in WA State

  63. I am more a Talliaferro Designs type stitcher but would love to try both types. Hope I win.

  64. Talliaferro works are fitting to my style of decor but I’m not sure of stitching — I haven’t done crewel work with such fine wools and detailed patterns but would certainly begin with this win of the drawing –

  65. What a good question ๐Ÿ™‚ . I would have to say that I identify with both styles… Wooly.. appeals to my whimsical side and appreciation for simplicity. Talliaferro appeals to my sense of design and appreciation of the more complex designs. Both are just wonderful exercises in creativity and needlework. Can’t go wrong with either… decisions, decisions… if I had to choose one… I would buy both :).

    Joan in Bryn Mawr

  66. You would have to ask THAT question wouldn’t you? I identify with both designs. I love the fun and funkiness of the Wool and Hoop design and the elegance of the Talliaferro design. I am a big Wool and Hoop fan and I’m looking forward to her new book coming out. As far as stitching is concerned I’m definitely a beginner at crewel so I’d be inclined to work on the “easy” one first and work my way up to the harder design.

  67. Merry Fourth Day of Christmas Mary,
    For me, i think i lean toward the Wool and Hoop, with a desire to be
    a bit more elegant like Talliaferro!
    Have a Happy Day!

  68. I am definately more of a Talliaferro kind of stitcher! However I can also see myself stitching the Wool & Hoop project for my grandchildren.
    I started my stitching adventures 48 years ago with Crewel and it still has my heartstrings!

  69. How fun to have so utterly different looks in one give away. I think I’m somewhere in between. I like them both the candles are whimsical but I’ve not done a modern looking whimsical. Yet I’ve never done anything quite so elegant as Paradiso 1 either, although I think that suits me better as far as my tastes go. So I think if I did these kits I’d make the candles as a gift and work Paradiso 1 for my wall!

  70. Katherine Shaughnessy’s book “The New Crewel” is a fun exciting trip into a whole new world of crewel work. It ain’t your momma’s crewel work. I checked the book out from my public library, it was so fun I bought myself a copy. I love the freedom of the designs, they have a folk-art feel to them.
    I clicked on the link to Talliaferro and was lost in a world of stunning crewel work. I visted every page (with my mouth hanging open)those designs are beautiful. The color combinations and stitches, made me want to order all of them. This is your momma’s crewel work and her momma’s and her momma’s!
    The designs are timeless. The Process 2 page shows the basic stitches, enforcing the fact that anyone can do this. They also point out how crewel embroidery requires very little equipment and is totally portable.
    Thank you for the inspiration!

  71. I have never stitched a crewel design, so Wool & Hoop and Talliaferro Designs would be great beginner projects. My friend has an alpaca ranch so she would get a kick out of the Birthday card.

  72. I love crewel! I’m definitely the Talliaferro type of crewel stitcher. I’ve done a little of the traditional type of crewel, but nothing of a more contemporary nature. This would be the chance, wouldn’t it?

  73. I’m somewhere in the middle. I love the whimsical candles and also the elegance of the Paradiso 1. Thank you for such a wonderful variety.
    Jean B. in Greensboro NC

  74. Talliaferro for sure – at least I am if we refer to the two designs just shown. I like whimsy but it has to be colourful. I think overall I’m a traditionalist but whimsy’s there too.

  75. LOL! I’m a Talliaferro Designs kind of stitcher wannabee! The Paradiso I will be gorgeous I’m sure. I love the jacobean style – so classy.
    Don’t put me in the drawing, just know you have droolers in the wings! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Your talent for choosing these lovelies is surpassed only by your talent to teach, motivate, inspire, and create.
    I so enjoy seeing what you’re up to every day.

  76. I am a combo myself. About 60% Wooly Hoops and 40% Talliaferro. The 12 days is great fun and
    I love the links.

  77. Checked out both websites. Talliaferro Designs caught my attention. Would be perfect for a pair of chairs I have been procrastinating about redoing for quite some time.

  78. After just(!) finishing Royal Persian for 2011…
    Paradiso 1 would be gratefully received for 2012!……..Thank you Mary

    Sue – Good Old Blighty

  79. Ahh…crewel! To answer the question, I guess I fall somewhere in the middle so far as the past since I’ve long worked at restoring old crewel work, which requires skills from both ‘disciplines’. But my bent since I’ve retired and been able to make the choice, is in the Talliaferro direction; I love what they are doing.

    This is great fun, if only for the dreaming!

  80. I am definately a Talliaferro Designs kind of stitcher. I just love these designs. A very Happy New Year to you and your family.

  81. I am definitely a Talliaferro Design stitcher – the classic Jacobean crewel pattern has always been a favorite. I am thinking I would flip and invert the design to make it a 4-way pattern, with the pomegranates in the center and the leaves forming the corners. I have enjoyed following the Royal Persian Blossom “Share” Page this year. Happy Fourth Day of Christmas! Janet.

  82. I just love the Talliaferro Designs–they are so beautiful! I appreciate the Wooly supplies: we cannot find wool anymore in our area. I appreciate the .pdf on blanket binding from Wooly. Thank you.

  83. My absolute favorite – crewel work – and until I came across your website, I was stumped to find anything new or original. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your contacts, expertise and your talent. I have never done anything “modern”. Most of what i have done has been in the Jacobean style. The Modern wold be an interesting exercise and the Talliafero would be amazing to do. Thanks for the possibility of winning.

  84. Thank you for these 12 days of Christmas give aways. What fun!
    Both types of embroidery are lovely but I definitely lean towards the Talliaferro designs. I love the Jacobean look of them with the fantasy flowers and sweeping curves. After browsing their websit I came to the conclusion that I would like to stitch all of their designs.
    Winnifred, Braeside, Ontario

  85. I like the modern, quirky designs, but my true love is the classic, detailed intricate sort of work that Talliaferro has. I’m a detail oriented sort of person and though I try sometimes to just enjoy the simplicity and freedom of a style like the Wool and Hoop design, I find myself called back again and again by my true nature. I would never succeed as an Abstract Expressionist ๐Ÿ˜‰

  86. Good Morning! I’m a Wool & Hoop stitcher … always looking for the challenge of a new stitching method. Thank you.

  87. Tallaferio style of embroiderer….for sure. More traditional…but enjoy stepping outside my comfort zone for some projects!



  88. I must admit I can’t decide which I lean towards. I like them both, and I like an eclectic life that lets you enjoy both styles.

  89. Don’t know which I identify with most. Different days, different interest.

    Would love to have a chance to work on both.

  90. I am more of a Talliaferro design person. The wool and hoop is okay, but too contemporary for my tastes. In my eyes, the Talliaferro is ever so elegant and lifts my soul and thoughts to the beauty of God, even if the design itself is not religious.

  91. I am a Talliaferro kind of stitcher! I love challenging projects and the elegance of these designs.

    Dawn C.
    Southcoast, MA

  92. Mary you ask the darnedest questions! LOL The Talliaferro piece speaks “Deerfield” to me, while the Wool & Hoop screams for a wooly CQ project. I would probably start with Paradiso (classic, iconic) & change the neutral leaves to yellows to match my decor. Each visit to your site conjures up more new ideas! In that regard–I neglected to thank you yesterday for the link to Wormspit. He’s posted some fun stuff that merits future visits. Saganishiki has been on my bucket list for awhile & his beaded stitch markers would make a good program for a guild meeting. So thanks for posting–there’s lots of free “good stuff” every day, even without winning a giveaway!

  93. I never tried my hand on wool. Really wanted to try for a long. But need to finish my other silverwork and another Or’ Nue. And the next one will be Crewel even if I am not lucky to win this.

  94. Mary,
    What an interesting combination…but nice. I think I’m more the Talliaferro Designs type person. Not into “funky.” I like the finer more polished items. Thanks again for doing the 12 days.

  95. I think I am more of a Talliaferro type of stitcher, though I try to pursue my own designs and colors which may put me heaven knows where. I super love to learn new stitches and use new threads. These kits look great and fun, thanks again Mary,

    Shelia in Oklahoma

    P.S. It’s amazing that you are receiving comments from so many places from all over the world.

  96. I love both, for different reasons. Wool & Hoop is closer to what I envision when dreaming to be an embroidery designer — playful and modern. Talliafero is awesome in their stitch selection and coloration, which is an area I am trying very hard to improve in. What a treat to have both in one offering!

    Interesting question — required a mug of coffee before I could figure out how to answer it.

  97. Hi Mary!
    I lean towards the Talliaferro Designs. They are beautiful. Everytime I see one of their designs I am stunned anew at the beauty. I would love the chance to work one. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Jen in Oregon

  98. Hhhmmm…….wonderfully whimsical or wonderfully beautiful ? One of the great things about being a woman in 2011 is that it is not necessary to choose…we can to/be all!

  99. Love love love crewl. I think I am somewhere in the middle. There are days when I am just in a funky mood and Wooly Hoops fits in just perfectly on those days. Most days I lean more toward the traditional designs like Talliaferro. This is so much fun Mary. I look forward to your post every morning. I start my day with your post and a cup of coffee.

  100. I’m more of wool and hoop person, but i’m starting to do more complicated projects. I do love both kits!

  101. I’m a Talliaferro Designs type person. I like the more formal designs with the curving leaves and petals. I have been desiring a Talliaferro pattern for quite a while.

  102. Hi Mary,

    I am a wool and hoop kind of gal at this time of my stitching life. I identify with the artsy look – – Not that I have given up on the traditional embroidery – I will always embrace that – but I guess what I am saying is that when there is a time to break free – I do.
    Imagine the “candle fire” with the silk thread
    that you offered yesterday. That would work!!
    I love to dream – sometmes they come true.
    Blessings – Jane

  103. My Grandmother taught me to knit. I remember feeling the yarn move through my fingers and across my hands. This felt so right! Later we moved to embroidery using the same yarns, so bold and powerful. I love that the giveaway swings between the ying and yang of crewal embroidery.The modern and the past are so nicely captured with these, my favorite is the contemory. For my grandmother it would be the Talliaferro.

  104. I love, love the Talliaferro Design piece! I am delighted to now know of their website. I have often been on the Wooly Thread site which I also love!
    Thank you!

  105. I have a hard time with the idea of choosing, but I’m leaning toward Talliafero. I like the blend of design and color with the example I saw.

  106. Hello Mary, The only wool I have stitched with is for the tapestry designs for cushions and piano stools in cross and tent stitch, I have not done crewel yet although I do have a book on it …………… and I study these books all the time. I am still trying to master silk thread painting and gold work. But having to choose it would be Talliaferro. The designs are quite wonderful

  107. I would say that I’m more of a Taaliaferro Designs kind of stitcher. I love the elegance, and the more regal feel of it.

  108. Mary, I am a more traditional type of stitcher so the Talliaferro is the one I am drawn to. I love to kow the background of certain types of embroidery so this is much more intriguing to me.
    I am loving the give-aways. Lots of fun.
    Kathy Rowell

  109. I do not normally work with wool thread, however, The Persian
    Blosson is one I have been wanting to do as my daughter recently married. Her husband is Persian and I would like to work this kit as a gift for them.

  110. I think I’m more Talliaferro–but am willing to try anything. Thanks for the chance to win this great gift.

  111. Hi Mary and thanks for another contest!

    I like both types of stitching styles. For me it’s all about the process. It’s fun to work on different styles of stitching or with different materials.

    Jan B. from Florida

  112. I’m much more a Talliaferro type. I don’t really like the primitive designs.

    Thanks again for another WONDERFUL giveaway.

  113. I love this giveaway, because crewel embroidery is one of my favorite types of embroidery. I took your class, The Nesting Place, which was done with such wonderful D’Aubusson wool that I just had to order a whole collection of it.
    As to what kind of stitcher I am, I would have to say that the Talliaferro would be the one. I have been watching to see when some new designs would be available that I would like to do and here it is. I would just love to be able to stitch Paradiso, I like the fun of the the Birthday card also,
    Sharon K.

  114. I’m definitively an Talliaferro Designs person. I like classical and elegant designs. Being a fan of Jane Austen, it’s not surprising! I would LOVE to stitch that chart! But it would be fun to work on the other too! Thank you again for the giveaway!

  115. Dear Mary,
    I am most definitely a Talliaferro Design person! I love the design, colors and classic look. I don’t know if that describes my character or style but I tend to be more traditional than contemporary.

    Thanks for all these wonderful giveaways! What fun it has been each day.

  116. I am fairly new to needlework and I love the idea of a kit. Honestly, both design styles really appeal to me. The contemporary Wool and Hoop looks very whimsical and non-intimidating to my beginner mind but the detail and shading of the Talliaferro is really stunning and one I’d love to try as well. Thanks for the chance at the give-away ๐Ÿ™‚

  117. I guess I am a Talliafero girl, I haven’t done much crewel work,(but would like to learn, that is the one that speaks to me.

    Dolly in Niagara Falls, Canada

  118. I am more of a Wool and Hoops type stitcher, but I aspire to Talliaferro. I am getting more patient, which is all something more complicated needs. Beautiful!

  119. wow how interesting, love the look of both of them, although I am more traditional I love the fun designs..thanks for the opportunity.RebeccaK.

  120. This is an unusual giveaway… I have a small stash of Appleton wool and would love to use it. The Talliaferro Designs are very attractive, I think that would be my first choice but I will try anything… it is the spice of life isn’t it.
    Thank you Mary,
    France from Canada

  121. I’ve done crewel work since I was 9… I would LOVE to get back into it again a few (ahem!) decades later!

  122. I think that I identify with both styles to some extent – there’s a little bit of funky fun in me as well as a bit of the more serious and fancy… I would have a hard time picking which one I would identify more with because they are both beautiful in their own way!!

  123. I love the complexity of the Talliaferro design and the simplicity of the Paridisio. Mary, I’m the kind of stitcher who has several projects going at once, as I’m sure many of your readers do. I live the complex ones for when my brain needs stimulating and the simple ones for lazy times. I do a lot of needlepoint and I love working with wool. My daughter has a birthday coming up and the Wool & Hoop card would be fun to make for her. I really appreciate your articles and save many of them for future reference.
    Robin Smith

  124. Hi Mary, sometimes I like the big, bold, funky designs. I am attracted to (and would like to be) more of the devil-may-care type that is often embodied in these designs. In some ways the more refined designs are easier because you know how it’s supposed to look and when you’ve achieved it. It’s harder to work on something that allows more self expression and letting-go. But, The colours and design of the Tallioferro design is what is most attractive to me, all that being said!

  125. I’m definitely both! I love Elizabethan designs and really enjoy older crewel, but the new stuff is really fun too! My ultimate goal is to design my own designs in more of the fun style! ๐Ÿ™‚

  126. I am a Talliaferro Design type of stitcher (I like the traditional look), but I am always open to new temptations ๐Ÿ™‚

  127. Mary, I like both designs. Sometimes a quick fun project is just what a sticher needs to get a break from that piece that’s been in progress for who knows how long. But the design and colors of the Talliaferro design are gorgeous. Not much of a crewel person, both of these would be a great introduction to the technique. Thanks!

  128. My Christmas present to myself was to finish the Talliaferro Royal Persian Blossom. I loved every second of working on the piece. I was never bored as the constant change of stitches, thread colors and design sections kept it interesting. It was the first time in my life when I did not get the “I want this to be finished feeling when I was about 85% done.” Now that it is finished, I miss working on it! I love the more traditional crewel designs but have found it is good to try different things now and then just for the experience of doing something out of my comfort zone and learning something new.

  129. Good Morning Mary,

    I am not sure which of the two I am or feel closest to. I never did Embroidery before but I would love to give them a try. Thank you for the chance to enter in the give-away.

    Jennifer G.

  130. I guess I am a “both” person. I love the Talliaferro designs. Elegant and technically challenging, suitable for a long, slow and delightful endeavor. However, sometimes I just don’t have the time or the patience, so the quick and easy kit, like the one from Wooly Thread would just fit the bill. I know the Wooly Thread is contemporary, but for an old embroiderer like me, it also reminds me a lot of the the 1970’s designs. In a good way of course.

  131. Over the years, I have tended to be attracted more to traditional designs like those produced by Talliaferro Designs. Lately, I have been loosening up a bit and drawn to the the funky side of stitching and quilting. Maybe, I am finally learning how to have fun.

  132. Personally, I prefer the Talliaferro Designs, but I also enjoy “wool and hoop” especially when I’m looking for a quick and not so carefully executed project. Every time I put needle to fabric I’m happy! Thank you again, Mary, for this 12 days of fun!

  133. I am more the Talliaferro Designs type of gal, the simple elegance of the designs really speak to me although I also like a little whimsy here and there in our home.

  134. I’m definately a Talliaferro Design person. This new one is very pretty and would look wonderful on my bedroom wall. It would also be a challenging project to enjoy!

  135. I am definitely a Talliaferro Designs kind of stitcher having just about finished a crewel work picture for the first module of the Certificate course with the Royal School of Needlework in the UK. I would love to do another design and this one looks like lots of fun to do.

  136. I would have to identify with the Talliaferro Designs kind of stitching. It would be wonderful to win these. It has been years since I have done any crewel and I don’t know why. Thank you Mary for the opportunity you are giving all of us with this wonderful 12 days of give aways.

  137. I am definitely a wool and hoop kind of stitcher because I tend to sew while waiting on the kids activities and this is the kind of stitching I can do on the fly without a ton of concentration but I am always up for a challenge of learning a new to me way of sewing!

  138. I’ve done more crewel along the contemporary line in the past but would love to revisit crewel with the more traditional look of the Talliaferro pattern, it is so elegant1

  139. For a long time I would have said I’m a Talliaferro type – and for the most part I am preferring traditional designs. However, lately I’ve tried a few modern, whimsical designs and have really enjoyed those too. So… I would have to say I’m both!

  140. I think there is a bit of both in me. I love doing small simple designs, especially when teaching my two granddaughters the delights of embroidery. I also love the challenge of a difficult piece, learning new stitches, and the elegant look of the finished piece. Would certainly enjoy this give-away!

  141. It would definitely be theTalliaferro Design kit, Paradiso I. Anna’s designs, colors, and web site, stand alone.

    Thank you,
    Maria VF

  142. Hi Mary,

    I am more a Talliaferro type of person, but occasionally I enjoy the less formal pictures of the Wooly, especially for small things like birthday greetings or children’s pictures to teach beginners.

    Thanks again for these beautiful items. If nothing else they are giving me lots of ideas for what to do in the New Year. Debbie Thompson, O’Fallon,IL

  143. So which am I? I would definately say Talliaferro appeals to me more. I think that is the kind of embroidery I have always dreampt of being able to do. I learned the easy stuff as a young girl, but stopped for a long time, now you have inspired me to try to master things like the design on the Talliferro design. Thanks again for the inspiration and the how-tos!

  144. I would like to say I am both, but never seem tohave time for “quick” projects – too much deadline pressure, I guess. I tend to be a Talliaferro kind – long, complicated, involved and engrossing – that get given away “sometime” when they are done!

  145. i am a talliaferro designs type. the wool and hoop design is quirky and would probably be fun to stitch up. i like the challenge that the talliaferro would offer. i’m sure i would enjoy them both. what a nice giveaway. thank you for the chance.

  146. Merry Christmas!
    I think that currently I am a Wool & Hoop sort of stitcher, but I have hopes and dreams of becoming a Talliaferro sort of stitcher. By that I am mean that right now I do mostly simple and quirky but its the richer, more elegant work that makes me want to keep learning.
    Thank you for all your inspiration and teaching (oh and for remembering the real 12 days of Christmas!)

  147. Mary,
    What a lovely gift this would be. I’ve never worked with wool before so the Wooly Thread package would be great for getting started. But I think that I’m a Talliaferro Designs person – the designs are so elegant and the coloring is wonderful.

  148. I am very much a Talliaferro person. The traditional style and colors appeal to my romantic side, whereas the Wool and Hoop kit reminds me of ’60s and 70’s design patterns.

  149. Hola Mary!

    This gracious giveaway shows the range and evolution of embroidery!

    Call me a Talliaferro type, though I’ve been known sometimes to try a less traditional approach. Thanks for the contest!

  150. I canยดt stay away for yoiur 12 Christmas Day!!
    This time I am like more Tagliaferro … is my kind of embroidery … I work with wool/hoop too … but …. Paradise I catch me!! .. I am in love today!! Thank you!!

  151. Mary I feel like I relate more to the talliaferro designs…love them both but definitely the talliaferro. By the way it is a beautiful design!
    Susie Jarosz in OMaha

  152. I do love the elegant but everyone needs a pinch or two of whimsy. These almost look like punch needle. I have to look through your site and see if you have any posts regarding punch needle. I would like to try it but I am unsure which needle to buy.

  153. Hi Mary,
    I am definitely part of the Talliaferro part of the group…. I have been ‘thinking’ about the Royal Persian Blossom for a very long time now but have not ordered it so far because there are just too many projects “in the works” … time for all things seems to be my biggest issue lately…. even with the best of efforts my WIP pile and deadlines etc. never seem to go away…
    If we could all figure out a way to make more time… I am already pushing my “day” to the ultimate!

  154. I know that I am definitely a Talliaferro Designs kind of stitcher. I love all things classic and elegant. Mary, I must once again thank you for running this series of giveaways. There are going to be some very lucky stitchers when the winners are announced!


  155. I haven’t done a lot of the crewel work, but what I have done I really like. I did a seashore scene with lots of little sea shells and it came out very pretty. I would like to do more crewel work and maybe, if I’m chosen for these kits, it will get me started.
    I do like the Royal Persian Blossom the best. I’m not much for “whimsical” when it comes to creating with threads.
    Thanks again Mary for having these 12 days of Christmas giveaways. It’s been fun!

  156. My taste is for the more elegant and complex designs of Talliaferro, but my experience and skill level is probably more suited to the Wool & Hoop designs. Perhaps they are a good “warm up” for the Talliaferro pieces.

  157. I like the fun and modern feel of the Wool and Hoop, AND the elegant elaboration of the Talliaferro. I’m a very eclectic person and like a little of everything! I think the Talliaferro wins out, though. I would love to be able to stitch that up!

  158. I have stitched a couple of Wool&Hoop kits–I like their modern style. It’s deceptively simple. (I tried to design my own in that 50s modern style and was not at all successful.) The kits are great with plenty of thread and good instructions. But I really love Talliaferro designs and Ms Gosier’s unique color sense that really makes them pop. When I first saw her designs my jaw dropped. My problem right now is settling on a design to stitch. And, as an addendum, Wooly Thread is the best. I’d be lost without Jan-Marie.

  159. What great designs. I love them both. The Wool and Hoop design is adorable and one that would be great for my granddaughter to stitch as a first project. She is 12 and is just starting to get interested in stitching. She crochets with grandma, but this would be great for a first project; and I love the Talliaferro design. The colors are wonderfully soft and bring out the beauty in the design without overshadowing it. Great picks Mary. Love your newsletter too!

  160. Crewl embroidery is beautful in either style. I would say the Talliafero is the one with which I am most familiar. As a gift, I would be truly blessed with either of the projects.

  161. Crewel work is definitely on my list to try, I have bought a couple of books on the subject recently and would love to give it a go.

    The Talliaferro design is definitely my favourite but the Wool and Hoop kit looks like an excellent place to start.

    Thanks for the opportunity….

  162. Hi Mary, I think the Talliaferro Designs are absolutely gorgeous and they definitely resonate with me. I love the more classic designs and see lots of history in them. The colors are lovely as well. Both kits would be fun to do and present a learning opportunity. Thanks!

  163. Thank you so much for these give-aways. What a nice thing to look forward to in the morning – just like your newsletter!

    I am definitely a Taliaferro design person, rather than a wool/hoop person. So far, I’ve only done ecclesiastical embroidery with silk, and Trish Burr embroidery with DMC. I have been wanting to try crewel, and a kit that requires a variety of stitches, not just the satin and stem stitches that I usually work with.

  164. Wool and hoop for me! Just this summer I started (and more importantly, finished) a wool sampler. The wool took a bit to get used to but I really enjoyed it!

  165. I think I’m more of a Wool & Hoop kind of girl. I love the Talliaferro (it is stunning) but if I have to pick I am W&H.

  166. I like both styles. They’re a lot like me. Somedays I’m in a funky free form kinda of mood and then other times I’m totally structured and traditional.

  167. I’m more for the Talliaferro Design type than the Wool and Hoop. I like the elegant look and the intricate designs. The candles would make a nice B-Day card though – for a special “funky” person.

  168. What great kits! Such a good idea to have both of them together too. The first one is so cute and doable – you could finish it and refresh your skills working with wool and then move onto the Talliaferro Design one! I am drawn to both – the first because it is fun and would be more likely to be finished. The second one appeals to me though too because it is more complex and looks like more of a challenge.

  169. I think I would be considered a combination stitcher. I definately enjoy needleworks from all areas. I’m drawn to the blue design but I think the birthday design looks like it would be a fun project.

  170. I have done a little wool and hoop things but i am a beginner. I haven’t done the Talliaferro yet but it is gorgeous. The colors on the design I saw would look great in my bedroom. I love the folks at Wooley Thread.
    Carolw, Windsor, CA

  171. Both kits are unique in their own way and for different purposes. The Talliaferro Design is more challenging and traditional. That would be the most like me. The Wool and Hoop is fun and youthful but, alas, I am only moderately fun and not even moderately youthful.

  172. This is so beautiful, you would think you were walking in one of Londons fine museums. I could spend days going over all the wonderful designs like this. This kit is worthy of many hours of pure enjoyment. Candy

  173. I love crewel work. It’s my favorite type of needlework. I love the Talliaferro design, but the wool and hoop looks like so much fun. Perhaps I can interest one of my daughters in learning to do crewel work!

  174. I’m a typical Pisces, swimming in opposite directions. Though I prefer the Talliaferro design most of the time, I am not immune to experimenting with funky, happy designs.

  175. I lean more towards Taliaferro but get in the Wooly Hoop mode too. I like a quick project and I have a niece who would love the card. The Taliaferro design and colors are wonderful. In fact, I have a little design that is the last square in a large sampler. I couldn’t decide on the colors and now I have them. Thanks for these fun giveaways!

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