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: Hungarian Embroidery

A Long-Overdue Finish: the Redwork Runner!


There are times when I think I really should rouse myself from my photo-taking lethargy and aspire to be of those Really Awesome Bloggers who knows how to stage every photo perfectly, with the embroidery perfectly situated in a perfect setting, perfectly finished and perfectly perfect.

Instead, I usually grab my needlework finishes in pictures at about the moment of finishing. It’s the excitement, the relief of reaching the end of a project, I suppose.

With the Hungarian Redwork Runner, I had dreams of setting a beautiful table, replete with flower arrangements, candles, good dishes, and – down the middle in all its redwork glory – the Hungarian Redwork Runner, starched and pressed and pristine.

Instead, I draped the piece over my trestles with a bunch of other projects and snapped some shots. Then I flung it on a piece of furniture and snapped some shots.

And that’s what you get today!

Hungarian Redwork Embroidery Table Runner - Finished
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Remember the Redwork Runner?


When I finished the Secret Garden Hummingbirds a little earlier this spring, there was yet One More Project hanging over my head, nagging me.

Relatively speaking, this Hungarian Redwork Runner embroidery project has been the longest lasting project that’s ever dragged on and on and on here on Needle ‘n Thread!

Part of the reason for this is because the project was always meant to be a grab-and-go project – the type of embroidery project that I could take with me traveling, or that I could just grab and work on, whenever I wanted something easy and convenient to stitch. I never had a real deadline set for the project, even though I set several (unmet) deadlines along the way, in brief moments of naive optimism.

In short, I never saw it as a project that I had to complete by a certain time – just as a project that would always be there.

Well, it’s not going to be there much longer, I’m very happy to say!

Hem stitching on an embroidered redwork table runner
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Redwork Runner – Beginning the Hem


Well, I’ve not gotten very far on the Redwork Runner hem – but I’ve started withdrawing some threads.

Withdrawing threads for a little drawn thread hem stitch around the whole hem of the runner takes a lot of time! It’s fiddly work, and admittedly, it’s not the most exciting part of any embroidery project. Besides, it always makes me a little nervous, to start cutting and pulling out threads.

If you haven’t seen it yet, you can take a look at the finished embroidery on my Hungarian Redwork Runner here. It’s a lot of embroidery! Wouldn’t it be just a crying shame to cut the wrong threads in the hem work?

I’ll show you how I go about preparing for this type of simple hem – it’s really a fool-proof method, so there’s not too much to be worried about. The key is taking your time and looking two, three, four, or ten times before you snip the first threads.

Hungarian Redwork Runner - preparing for a drawn thread hem
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Throw it in the Wash! Redwork Runner – the Next Step


Moving towards the finish here with the Hungarian Redwork Runner!

I hope I’m not going to shock you, but after finishing all the embroidery (even the last couple bits I mentioned the last time we visited the project), I tossed the runner in the washing machine.

Yes, red embroidery, white linen, and the washing machine. Oh, and a bit of detergent.

I didn’t really pause to wonder if it was a bad idea.

Redwork Runner Embroidery Project
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Hungarian Redwork Runner … It’s… It’s….


…it’s almost finished!

Howdy ho, friends! I’m in a jolly mood this morning, because I get to share with you The Big Milestone in an embroidery project that’s been going on since October of 2012.

In my excitement to share this milestone with you, I betook myself and the Hungarian Redwork Runner outside in the post-dawn blue light of a chilly, early morning, laid out some towels on the driveway, and put the runner down so I could get a bird’s eye photo.

Incidentally, while I was going back and forth to my workroom, that’s the one thing I was a little wary of – the birds. I wasn’t so worried about dirt – the wind was still, there was no Kansas dust swirling about – but, since it was early morning, the birds that weather the winter in Kansas were twittering about, flying overhead. Dirt would be nothing, compared to the damage a bird can do!

But they were kind, those birds, and though probably a little appalled that someone was messing around in their backyard at that hour, they stayed away.

And here you have the redwork runner, with the embroidery finished:

Hungarian Redwork Runner, Embroidery Finished
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Stitch in Time, Stitch in Time! My Nightmare


Remember a couple weeks ago, when we looked at progress on the stalled but not forgotten Hungarian Redwork Runner?

My plan was four hours of stitching a week. It hasn’t really happened. But I have made progress on it, and I’m pretty sure the stitching will be finished by the end of November, according to plan.

Unfortunately, every time I pick up this particular piece of embroidery, a nightmare unfolds.

Hungarian Redwork Embroidery Table Runner
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Redwork Embroidery – Stalled, but Not Forgotten


Remember this redwork runner? Oh yes, it’s been a long time since I mentioned this particular embroidery project!

This past May, it reached the point where all the chain stitch on the runner was complete – the Hungarian braided chain stitch is all that’s left to do on the unfinished portion of the runner.

The project’s been nagging me lately, in a quiet way.

Hungarian Redwork Embroidery Table Runner
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