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 (123) 2016 (147) 2015 (246) 2014 (294) 2013 (294) 2012 (305) 2011 (306) 2010 (316) 2009 (367) 2008 (353) 2007 (225) 2006 (139)

Stitching & Listening: Entertainment Options for Needleworkers


By nature, I’m a moderately social, chatty type of person.

But by occupation, I’m a loner.

Despite some folks’ impression that I work with some kind of team, I don’t. (I answered that point in this article.)

It’s really just me on this side of Needle ‘n Thread, so when stitching, designing, writing, blogging, editing photos – everything I do that’s Needle ‘n Thread-related – I’m alone.

But for many reasons, I never consider myself alone. When it comes to the needlework world, I’m definitely not alone! And when it comes to my work, I never feel like I’m alone.

Sometimes, I choose to work in silence so that I can think about things. During those times, I often end up carrying on splendid conversations with myself!

But usually, I’m a listener, and especially when I stitch, I get in a lot of listening.

Embroidery and Listening: sources for audio entertainment while stitching
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That Color Splashy Embroidered Kaleidoscope Thing – Again.


Remember this embroidered paisley kaleidoscope design I’m playing with?

Well, I’m Still playing with it! As usual, you all chimed in with some great suggestions, encouragement and advice on the last article. I love it when folks leave comments that we can all interact with – it’s such a jolly way to share ideas and inspire others! So thanks for joining in!

Today, you’ll see that I’m still plugging along with it. While the color scheme hasn’t changed, I’ve tested the mild background filling that I had in mind. I’ve also pondered the design in general. There are a couple things about it that I’d change, if I were re-drawing it (which I will). So let’s chat about it!

Embroidered paisley kaleidoscope with colors and stitches
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The Essentials in my Embroidery Workroom


Earlier this summer, I took you briefly into my embroidery workroom during a bout of organization.

Organizational bouts are not a once-in-a-lifetime deal. The trick to staying organized is the daily habit of putting things where they belong and the weekly or bi-weekly habit of tweaking the system, cleaning thoroughly, and all that.

Admittedly, I preach this, but I don’t always live it! I’m no maven of organization, and I don’t pretend to be. It’s just not my personality. I don’t have a specific system that I adhere to fiendishly, as part of a personal challenge, lifestyle, or mental strategy. My workroom is functional more than anything else, and it’s a luxury insofar as it’s a dedicated needlework area, but it’s not luxurious.

After chatting about that bout of organization, a discussion opened about workroom essentials. I’ve put together my list of essential things in or about my workroom that help my workflow and keep me semi-organized. At the end of the article, I include a few little luxuries and some suggestion to think about if you’re planning your dream space for needlework.

Embroidery Studio Essentials for Organization and Workflow
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Embroidery Archeology: Revealing the Back of the Figure


Lately, I’ve been working in starts and stops on what I call an “embroidery archeology” project.

For those who are new to Needle ‘n Thread in the past few weeks, you can read the backstory on this project here, where you’ll find all the articles about the project so far arranged in chronological order.

Keeping in mind the whole point of this particular project – which is to salvage the figure embroidery off an old piece of ecclesiastical (or church) embroidery and to remount them on a new ground fabric – today, I’ll share with you the removal of the first figure, some considerations about how to tackle remounting it and some problems I foresee along the way.

Figure Embroidery on Church Vestments - Repair and Replace
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Splashy Colors on a New Embroidery Project


How about some splashy colors in hand embroidery to start your week off?

Fact is, I’m still not sure about the floss colors I picked for this embroidery project!

And come to think of it, I’m not sure about the embroidery stitches I’ve chosen so far, either.

In fact, I’m not 100% sold on the project in general – the design, the colors, the stitches – but…. I’m still having fun stitching it and testing out ideas!

Choosing colors and stitches on embroidery project
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