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: video tutorials

Lace Making, Drawn Thread Work, Embroidery – for the weekend!


There are very few needlework / thread-related arts and crafts that I haven’t tried.

At least once.

They don’t all click.

There’s one thread-related art that I’ve tried to teach myself many times over, and that I’m still determined, some day, to get the hang of, and that’s bobbin lace-making. I don’t want to be an expert at it. I just want to be able to flip some bobbins about with semi-confidence and end up with some kind of ordered pattern showing up on the board in front of me. Is that too much to ask?

In any case, I feed my desire to learn that particular lace-making art by reading about it, watching videos now and then, and even, occasionally, sallying forth with the same beginner’s kit I’ve had for umpteen years.

And then, a day later, embroidery takes over my life again, all the bobbins go back in their bag, and I concede that “it isn’t going to happen this year.”

Lace Making, Drawn Thread Work, and embroidery videos in Italian
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A Great Way to Learn Crewel Work!


When it comes to learning a new embroidery technique or improving your skills in a technique, I think one of the best ways to learn, short of private classes, is to work a kit designed by an expert in that particular technique.

I never hesitate to recommend stitchers to various designers around the world who provide excellent instruction through their embroidery kits.

When it comes to authentic crewel work, Phillipa Turnbull’s Crewel Work Company, located in the UK, produces beautiful, historical crewel kits replete with all the right materials and excellent instructions.

During May, Phillipa is offering something special to readers here on Needle ‘n Thread – an excellent way to learn crewel work, with an extra component beyond a kit. Read on, read on…

The Crewel Work Company
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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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Knotted Pearl Stitch Video


The knotted pearl stitch used in hand embroidery is one of those fun, rhythmic stitches that works up fairly quickly.

The knotted pearl stitch is a lot like the Palestrina stitch, but it differs in two ways: 1. the direction it is stitches is reversed, and 2. there are two knots created in this stitch, rather than just the one knot created in the Palestrina stitch.

So the knotted pearl stitch ends up just a bit more “knotty” than the Palestrina stitch. Often, you’ll see the knotted pearl stitch called the “reverse Palestrina stitch,” but in fact, it isn’t actually the Palestrina stitch reversed – it has one additional step to it.

Knotted Pearl Stitch Video
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More Video Updates on Needle ‘n Thread!


I’ve updated a few more embroidery stitch videos here on Needle ‘n Thread lately – not as many as I would like to have updated by now, but there will be a few more revised videos and some new stitch videos rolling out again in the near future. These are the recent revised videos and new additions that have been added to the collection. I hope you find them useful!

Bullion Knot Video Tutorial
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