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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Hungarian Redwork Runner – Coming Along!


Some embroidery projects – even relatively simple ones – have a tendency to develop really slowly.

This particular project is no exception. Although I’m happy that I’m making progress on it, there are times when I look at it and think, “Gee. Shouldn’t I be a bit farther along?”

But that’s the nature of hand embroidery, and really, of anything made by hand. It is generally slow. And isn’t this slowness, in a sense, one of the reasons we like hand embroidery? It is for me! I like meandering along on something and seeing it unfold as I go – it’s like watching a flower grow, or watching snow build up during a soft snowfall. It’s slow, but it’s nice.

Hungarian Redwork Embroidery Project

If you were to trace every single line of embroidery in this piece so far, you would undoubtedly notice that they are not all “perfect.” The spacing is not exact between every element, the curls are not perfect mirrors of each other.

In some types of embroidery, precision is a Very Big Deal to me, but in a folky embroidery piece like this, I don’t go for absolute precision. In fact, I go a little bit for the opposite. In the layout of the design on the fabric – yes, precision is very important because the layout of the design on the fabric will definitely affect the finishing of the piece. But in the design itself, I’m not as concerned about precision. I don’t want this to look too mechanical, or too exact.

Golly – doesn’t that make for an easy project?!?! I can make mistakes and claim they were intended!

Hungarian Redwork Embroidery Project

The supplies for this project are pretty minimal, but I already know I didn’t buy enough thread. You can see one small ball of perle cotton #8 there, almost gone, and the remainder of one skein of coton a broder #25. I bought 5 skeins of coton a broder #25, and four balls of perle cotton. I think the four balls of perle cotton will hold out, but I suspect I will need more than 5 skeins of the other – I’m guessing I’ll need to order three more skeins before all is said and done. Could be wrong – I’ll wait until I reach the half-way point to see where I stand on supplies.

The perle cotton is easy enough to come by – I can pick that up at a shop. But the coton a broder has to be ordered online, which means paying extra for shipping. Most online needlework stores are very good, though, about adjusting shipping for small thread purchases. For example, when I ordered the five skeins of coton a broder, the shipping was initially $6, but the shop owner contacted me to let me know that she adjusted the shipping rate to $1.25, the cost of mailing it in a letter sized envelope.

Hungarian Redwork Embroidery Project

Packing this project up for easy transport is a breeze. I’m using a mesh zipper project bag, and all I have to tote around is the linen, the threads, a small pair of scissors (in a sheath – very important when scissors are loose in a project bag!), and a little needlebook with two of each size needle (just in case I lose one).

Deep down in my Innermost Me, I knew this piece wouldn’t be finished before Christmas. But there was a little part of me that was hoping that I might be surprised, and that the project would work up really fast. Well, so much for that!

Still – it’s a great project for snatch-n-go embroidery, for quiet evenings, for 15 minutes here or there. I’m enjoying it.

I hope you’re enjoying whatever projects you’re working on these days, too!

If you’d like to follow along with this project from start to finish, feel free to visit the Hungarian Redwork Runner project index, where you’ll find all the articles related to this project listed chronologically. They include all the information you’ll need if you want to work up this project or something similar.

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(10) Comments

  1. G’day Mary,
    Looking really good.
    So…you’ll have it done by Christmas, but did you say which one?!
    Christmas is up in the air enough without having to push something you enjoy doing so much. Please keep enjoying the stitching journey and let Christmas take care of itself. We don’t worry too much with Christmas festivities but I only have to go down the street for everyday groceries etc, at this time of the year and I get caught up in the panic mode. Doesn’t suit me. “Keep calm and carry on stitching” must be a good motto for this time of the year.
    Cheers, Kath

  2. Dear Mary!

    One tip I have for you for when you are home stitching this in your stitching nest–find yourself a large-ish pin cushion and thread up multiple needles of each type of thread. You will find that by just doing that simple step, your stitching will fly!!

    Merry Christmas!!
    Linda Mc L

  3. Your table centre is working up really nicely. As for the slowness, well, what a lovely festive-looking piece of stitching you will have to work on over the holidays! And NEXT year….

    Happy Christmas, Mary, and thanks for all the wonderful blog posts you’ve shared with us.

    1. I’m not Mary LOL, but the mesh bag she is using can be found at any LNS or on line. They come in many different sizes from 6×6 to 13 x16 in. They hold up very well and are not expensive at all. I could be wrong on the sizes. Nordic Needle is where I got mine and love them.

  4. Trying to enjoy the Journey too! Love to hear your snippets of life through embroidery. Gifts are abounding and almost finished over here. Can’t say that about cookies, yet.

  5. Mary, yes it will get done…enjoy the process…the relaxed stitching. Christmas comes every year so it will be done…eventually. Besides that, this table runner could be used throughout the winter season…at leaast thru Valentines day and would look lovely. Have a Very Merry Christmas…HE is the reason for the season.

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