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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An Embroidery Hodgepodge



Every year, I have this idea that January will be a quiet, calm, peaceful month. After all (at least in Kansas), it’s usually the doldrums – that part of winter that’s just gray and cold and not much is going on. It’s a good time to reflect, to calmly approach the year, to get one’s proverbial ducks all lined up.

But it never actually works that way. I think it’s a matter of ideas boiling over and that feeling that it’s time to act on all of them. Then, of course, I get into a bit of a frenzy, with loose ends going everywhere, and I find by the second half of January, I’m desperately trying to evaluate where I am and where I’m going. I have to slow things down, prioritize, organize, think things out.

And by the end of January, I generally feel a little more together.

This happens every year.

Today, I thought I’d share an embroidery hodgepodge with you. This mix represents a little bit of where I am and where I’m going right now and then heading into the next couple months. I’m at that point where I’ve put the brakes on and I’m prioritizing and working in a more systematic way to get things together! There’s no particular order to this particular hodgepodge.

I suppose that’s what makes it a hodgepodge.

Silk embroidery threads - color collection for project
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Project Progress: Changing Colors Midstream


Towards the end of last week, I tucked into my Sea-to-Stitch Monogram M project, to try to finish up the background color on the M.

I didn’t get as far as I wanted to (isn’t that always the case), because I found myself pausing the play with around with colors.

If you caught up with the project last week here, you’ll see that the water elements on the monogram were finished, and I was just starting to stitch in the background color. Today, we’ll talk about where things went from there, and why!

This is where I am now:

Sea to Stitch Monogram M: color selections
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Needle Identification and Organization… & a Morality Tale


We’re revisiting the topic of the ‘umble needle today – that little tiny, but mighty, little tool.

Truly, it’s the only tool that those of us into needlework really couldn’t do without.

Imagine if needles disappeared. Poof! No more needles!

It would be hard to indulge in this art that means so much to us, wouldn’t it? Sure, we could figure out how to make one to get by, but … it wouldn’t quite be the same. I want to be embroiderer, anyway – I don’t want to be a needle manufacturer!

So now and then, I like to talk about needles. I have a healthy respect for them, for many reasons. Today, I’ll recap some information on different types of needles and how to identify them, give some suggestions for organization, and to top it off, I’ll share a little morality tale with you.

Embroidery Needles: Identification & Organization on Needle 'n Thread
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A Project Update: Sea to Stitch Monogram


I’m determined that this monogram from A Sea to Stitch by Elisabetta Sforza (you can read my review of that project book here) will be finished before January comes to an end!

But then again, there are two more projects underway that I keep saying the same thing about. Oh dear.

Here’s a project update. I’ll tell you a few things I’m doing differently and share some whys and wherefores. Come, let’s take a look…

Sea to Stitch Monogram M, embroidery in silk on linen
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Needlework News Snips – Four to Explore


Good morning and happy Monday!

Normally, I gather up a more extensive list of needlework resources when I share news snips, but these four artistic, inspirational, useful, or informative topics are worth taking a little time over. I wanted to share them with you on a Monday morning to give you the opportunity to enjoy them during the week as you have time.

Sometimes, for me, Monday morning is my quietest time. It’s when I do my weekly planning, but it’s also about the only time during the week that I spend time reviewing online needlework finds. Maybe you’re in the same boat.

Go grab a cup of something warm and cozy, and let’s have a little browse together!

Needlework News Snips, January 2021
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A Week In: Completely Random Embroidery!


Golly! If a week’s worth of stitching on this yearly sampler idea that we talked about here is any indication of how my year is going to go, mildly chaotic would be a good prediction!

I need to pull in the reins.

Or not!

This week, my listening time was a little longer than it will be in future weeks of 2021, because I’m finishing up a series of lectures that I promised I would not fall behind on… that I fell behind on. So I’ve added those to my listening regime at lunch time, so I’m getting in a few more stitches on this project than originally planned.

Today, I thought we could talk briefly about random embroidery, just how random is random, whether or not random works for me (and how to know if it works for you), and I’ll try to mention a few helpful bits of information, too, for those interested in stitching this type of project.

Stitch Fun 2021 band sampler
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Creative Stitches for Contemporary Embroidery – Book Review


Good morning, and welcome to the first embroidery book review of 2021!

I have an ever-growing stack of needlework books on my book table at the moment – some fabulous bookish treasures have appeared in the past year! – but I really wanted to highlight Sharon Boggon’s Creative Stitches for Contemporary Embroidery right away for several reasons, not least of which is that Sharon’s was the first embroidery website that I ever found and followed (way back when it was called “In a Minute Ago”), before craft blogging was big. She’s been online for a long time, and of all the contemporary embroiderers out there, she is one of the most thorough and creative when it comes to manipulating the stitch.

Sharon heads an initiative every year called TAST (Take a Stitch Tuesday) in which she presents a stitch every Tuesday, highlighting variations, and encourages the participants to explore the stitch thoroughly, experimenting with combinations, variations, threads, colors, embellishments – all the aspects that can bring a different look and life to the stitch.

Predominantly, Sharon is a crazy quilter. But her embroidery goes beyond crazy quilting. She creates fascinating embroidered works of texture, color, and combinations, all hinging on getting the most out of each type of stitch she uses.

Creative Stitches in a Contemporary Embroidery is the natural outcome of Sharon’s explorations in stitch. It’s a book for embroiderers who love embroidery stitches of all kinds, from simple to elaborate, and who find fascination in the creative ways they can be employed.

Creative Stitches for Contemporary Embroidery by Sharon Boggon
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