Mary Corbet

writer and founder


I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Tag: how-to

Embroidered Book Cover: Assembly


Yesterday, I shared the embroidery process for this embroidered book cover with you, and today, I’ll show you the really (and I mean really) simple way I put it together.

There are certainly more complicated ways to go about making an embroidered book cover, but this way is fast and very easy. It isn’t perhaps the most “finished” of finished book covers, but it is finished enough to serve for a long time.

Here’s how I did it!

Making an Embroidered Book Cover
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Tambour Embroidery How-to Video: The Basic Stitch


We’ve been talking a lot about tambour embroidery recently, and since I promised a tutorial for you, here’s a video on the basic stitch!

The very best way to get familiar with tambour embroidery is just to do it – that is, sit down with a hook, a piece of fabric in a hoop, and some thread, and try it. Work your way through the basic movements of the stitch, until you understand how it works. Start by stitching in one direction – the direction that’s most comfortable for you – and keep practicing in that direction, until you have the movement of the hook down.

From that point, it’s just a matter of practice. And more practice. And even more practice!

Practice until you’re comfortable with the hook. Practice until you can stitch in all directions with it. The more you practice, the more the stitch makes sense, and the easier it becomes to stitch in all directions.

To get you started, then, I’ve worked up a how-to video for the basic chain stitch with the tambour hook.

Tambour Embroidery How-To Video: Basic Chain Stitch
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Stitch Fun: On the Edge with Palestrina Stitch


The whole idea of Stitch Fun is to explore some of the more obscures stitches or to explore more obscure – but fun! – ways of using common stitches.

Today’s Stitch Fun is a more obscure way of using a fairly well-known stitch, the Palestrina stitch.

Palestrina stitch is one of my all-time favorite embroidery stitches. It creates an interesting line with texture to it, thanks to the knots formed by the stitch. It’s also lots of fun to work. It’s got a great “stitch rhythm,” and once you get going with it, it works up quickly into a really attractive line.

If you haven’t added Palestrina stitch to your embroidery repertoire, I encourage you to try it out! For even more fun and more texture, you can even try beaded Palestrina stitch.

Palestrina Stitch Edging
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Stitch Glitch: Hungarian Braided Chain Starts & Stops


Stitch Glitch” is a little series of articles here on Needle ‘n Thread, where we look closely at certain aspects of particular embroidery stitches that are sometimes difficult to figure out. For example, in past Stitch Glitch articles, we’ve explored how to work isolated French knots (method 1 and method 2), how to invisibly join chain stitch circles, how to take sharp corners or make scallops with stem stitch, how to restart new threads in the middle of a line of Spanish knotted feather stitch, and a few other similar topics.

Most of the topics in Stitch Glitch are reader-generated. Normally, these articles come about because a reader wants to know “How do I…?” and a photo tutorial is generally the most helpful way to answer.

Today’s question was posed over on the Ask & Share forum here on Needle ‘n Thread, and it has to do with Hungarian Braided Chain Stitch.

Hungarian Braided Chain Stitch How-To
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Stitch Fun! Lattice Filling – Griffin Stitch


Time to play with a stitch and have a bit of Stitch Fun!

This stitch is particularly fun, because it’s colorful, it’s a little complex, but it still works up fairly quickly.

Griffin Stitch is a lattice filling used in hand embroidery, counted work, and canvas work. As with most lattice fillings, it’s easiest worked on an even-weave fabric, but it can also be worked on a plain weave fabric, and I’ll talk about that as we go through this tutorial.

Let’s make the stitch. Ready?

Griffin Stitch Lattice Filling
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How to Set Up an Embroidery Hoop


An embroidery hoop seems like a pretty basic piece of equipment, doesn’t it? Something that doesn’t necessarily require explanation? But setting up an embroidery hoop correctly is often the key to better end results in your embroidery, so I think it’s worth covering!

I often see beginning stitchers using hoops without a clear understanding of what the hoop is supposed to do for them. The hoop is not simply there to give us something to hold onto. Its purpose is to supply tension on the fabric. But how much tension is enough tension? And how careful are we to ensure that the tension does not change significantly through the course of an embroidery session?

So let’s look at how to set up a hoop, and talk about some different aspects of using a hoop for hand embroidery.

How To Use an Embroidery Hoop
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Pounce Transfer Kit, Part 2


Yesterday, we looked at making your own pounce for embroidery design transfers. Today, we’ll look at the pouncer itself.

There are many, many ways you can go about making your own pouncer for your pounce powder. You can use just a simple piece of rolled up felt, for example. It’ll work fine, and if you have scraps of felt lying about, it’ll cost you nothing.

But since I’ve got three colors of pounce powder, I like to have three different pouncers, one for each color. This is how I made mine.

Pounce Pad for Embroidery Design Transfer
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