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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2017 (93) 2016 (147) 2015 (246) 2014 (294) 2013 (294) 2012 (305) 2011 (306) 2010 (316) 2009 (367) 2008 (353) 2007 (225) 2006 (139)

Embroidered Cats: Hiroko’s Style – Book Review


Brace yourself for a Cuteness Overload. And some incredible embroidery!

Whether or not you’re a cat lover (or a dog lover), if you’re an embroiderer and you appreciate meticulous embroidery, I think you’re going to be twitterpated with this book

Now, this is The Thing (full disclosure here!): I’m not a cat lover. I like the idea of cats. I’d like to like cats, but, thanks to the horrid allergy that plagues me whenever I’m around the little beasties, I try to avoid them at all costs. It’s a matter of being able to breathe, you see. I get a little testy when I can’t.

That said, I love looking at them from a distance. There is something rather regal, majestic, adorable, endearing about cats. And looking at them through the artistic renderings of an embroiderer makes these particular cats that I’m going to show you even more enchanting!

Embroidered Cats: Hiroko's Style - Book Review
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Embroidery Archeology: First Things First – Visual Documentation and Close Examination


Welcome to Wednesday! Woohoo! I’m back home from a much-needed break – and glad to be here!

A few weeks ago, we looked at this piece of embroidery that I’m taking apart, to salvage the figures on it to put them on a new background.

This was the perfect project to turn my mind to yesterday, after a Most Wonderful, quiet, peaceful break – concentrating on it got me back into the swing of things in a very pleasant way!

A funny thing about this project: I was going to say no when asked to undertake it, but I’m so glad I didn’t! I love this kind of exploratory work. It’s enlightening, intriguing, and absorbing.

Today, we’ll look at some First Things First. Before really digging into a piece like this, there are a few preliminary steps to take and a few tools to line up.

Embroidered Vestment Repair: Silk embroidered figures
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14 Treasures to Download for Textile Enthusiasts & Needlework Historians


If you love needlework history, if you’re a textile enthusiast, an embroidery history buff, a bibliophile… but if, like me, you’re needlework library might be a little out of control, and you might be thinking I just don’t have space for One More Book…then you’ll appreciate this list!

There are many places online where we can access old embroidery books, download them onto our computers, and learn from them. I’ve often spoke of Antique Pattern Library, Internet Archives, and similar places where you can find instructional and pattern books for all kinds of needlework and embroidery techniques.

But what about scholarly works that have to do more with the history of embroidery, needlework, and textiles? Even more recently published whole books, articles, and bits that can give us insight into the history behind the embroidery we love so well?

Thanks to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and their vast download library at Met Publications, we have access to quite a few excellent works of historical significance that are worth reading, if you love the history of embroidery and needlework, or if you want to know more about specific eras of needlework history.

Free Downloads for Embroidery & Needlework Related Books
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Opposite Faces: A Few Good Laughs in Embroidery


Did you know my embroidery workroom / needlework library / household storage room enjoyed a Complete Overhaul earlier this summer? Well, it did!!

In June, with the help of my dear darling niece Anna – who is a doggedly determined little gal, with an amazing amount of sticktoitiveness – things got re-organized out there. I’ll show you the results later on (please don’t expect some kind of Pinterest-perfect crafting space, as it isn’t that at all!), with some nitty-gritty tips on organizing and ideal storage vs. making do with what you have and what you can afford.

In the meantime, though, while we were ferreting through some of the older Stuff in the place, we came across a pair of pillow cases that I embroidered a long, long time ago, when Needle ‘n Thread was pretty young…and when my “fancy” camera was a 2 megapixel point and shoot!

Amazingly, the pillowcases are still in fairly good shape, though they have gone through the laundry at least once. For those who haven’t seen them, or who want to see them in more detail, here are my Opposite Faces Pillow Cases, along with some information about them, how they were stitched, and why you’d want to stitch something like these, anyway!

Opposite Faces Pillow Cases - a few good laughs with your embroidery
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Midweek Inspiration: Incredible Embroidered Eggs!


A few years ago, I got into embroidering on whole egg shells, and, much to my continuing disappointment, I’ve never gotten back to it. I keep telling myself I will, and now, after seeing these embroidered masterpieces from Christine down in Tasmania, I’m dying to revisit the whole egg embroidery scene!

Keep in mind, we’re talking about egg shells that have been emptied and that are whole. The backs are not cut out, there are no large holes in them. Through a series of passing the needle and thread back and forth to different sides of the egg, in on one side, through a hole on the other and back through the same hole to go out a different hole on the opposite, you really can embroider a whole egg shell!

If you haven’t read about the whosits and whatsits of embroidery on eggs, here’s my collection of articles on the topic, with some tips and information on how it’s done.

Hand Embroidery on Eggs - Raised Embroidery
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Free Embroidery Pattern: Silk Sampler – and Some News!


Last week, I shared the backstory behind this silk sampler, an embroidery project I undertook years ago and … ummm … never quite finished.

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person in the Stitching World who has an unfinished project hanging around. (If truth be known, I actually have more than one unfinished project hanging around!)

In any case, many of you asked for the pattern for this sampler, so I thought I would share that with you today, and then let you in on a couple deep, dark secrets that are totally unrelated to the sampler pattern…

Silk Sampler for Hand Embroidery - Free Pattern
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