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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2018 (38) 2017 (169) 2016 (147) 2015 (246) 2014 (294) 2013 (294) 2012 (305) 2011 (306) 2010 (316) 2009 (367) 2008 (353) 2007 (225) 2006 (139)

Spring into Stitching – A Wee Weekend Sale



For those of you looking for some perfect little embroidery projects to help you spring into stitching, I’m running a short weekend sale on my instructional, project, and pattern downloads this weekend.

A couple things prompted me to run a sale on e-books this weekend – not the least of which is the current recurring question of needle organization…

Spring Into Stitching Sale
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Have You Tried Tulip Needles for Embroidery?


I succumbed to the temptation to try Tulip needles many months ago, despite what my Prudent Self told me.

And my first experience? It was bad, even before I took my first stitch. I’ll tell you about it!

But first, I’ll explain why I never planned to try them. Then I’ll explain why I did try them, my unfortunate first impression of them, why I gave them a second chance, and finally, a more balanced perspective about them after using them for many, many hours of stitching.

I’ll also explain a big problem that they solved for me. If you have the same problem, they might go a long way towards solving it for you, too!

Tulip Needles for Embroidery
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Weekend Stitching: My Leafy Tree Sampler of Sorts


Good morning, and a happy Monday all around! I hope you had a wonderful weekend and were able to spend some quality time with your needle and thread!

I got in quite a few hours of stitching this weekend, as I made haste to finish my Leafy Tree, which is a sampler of sorts, though not in the traditional sense. It involves many different stitches that I’m using to fill in a lot of leaves, using a lot of greens and yellow-greens.

It’s fun!

When I talked about this project a couple weeks ago, I was getting ready to re-start it. The first attempt was on an oatmeal / natural linen, and I regretted that initial choice. I switched to a white background for a couple reasons. I think it was a good decision, under the circumstances.

So far, there are a couple things that surprise me about this project, and a couple things that still need tweaking before I can make it ready for others to stitch, too!

Leafy Tree Embroidery Sampler - stitches and leaves
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Stumpwork Embroidery: Techniques & Projects – Book Review


Time to end the week with a book review!

I’ve been wanting to review Stumpwork Embroidery: Techniques & Projects by Helen Richman of Blue Bird Embroidery for a while now, but, after waiting for my order from the UK (it’s available in the States now), I still had to make my way through the book.

And once you see the book, you’ll understand why that took just wee bit of time!

If someone asked me to pin one descriptive word on Stumpwork Embroidery, it would be thorough

…and expansive… and fun… and detailed… and… well done!

If you’re a lover of embroidery in general, if you are stumpwork-curious or have already taken the leap into stumpwork, if you are into dimensional embroidery, historical embroidery, embroidery with texture, appliqué, or layering, if you just like a really good needlework book – well, you know what you have to do!

So, let’s look at the book close up, and then I’ll share a couple bits and bobs with you about resources and whatnot.

Stumpwork Embroidery: Techniques & Projects by Helen Richman
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On Thread Conditioning & Beeswax for Embroidery


Out in the embroidery world lately, there’s been a lot of talk about thread conditioners and about beeswax.

The topic surfaced when Thread Heaven – a silicon-based “thread conditioner” – went out of production, and since then, I’ve read and heard a lot of talk on thread conditioning for embroidery. And I’ve received a lot of questions in the old inbox!

So, today, I’m going to address a couple points addressing thread “conditioning” and the use of beeswax in embroidery.

Beeswax and embroidery threads
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All About Real Thread Color Cards


Real thread color cards – if you don’t know what they are, you should find out! Because I’m telling you, they’re the best thing since packaged chocolate.

You think I exaggerate? No, no!

A real thread color card is The Answer for needleworkers who like to design their own pieces or who like to reinterpret other designs and need to know what colors and shades are available in a specific line of thread.

For those who don’t have needlework shops on hand, real thread color cards are a much less expensive way of viewing the shades and colors in a thread line, in real life, without purchasing the whole collection of a particular thread.

If you’re not familiar with real thread color cards and how they work, never fear! Today, I’m going to show you what information you can usually find on a real thread color card, and the various ways you can put them to work for you.

For my model, I’m going to use DMC’s latest real thread color card, recently published, which includes their newly released colors.

DMC Real Thread Color Card - how it works
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Party in Provence: The Little Medallion


Happy Friday, folks!

If you’ve been following along with Party in Provence, an embroidered kaleidoscope that we’ve been working through step-by-step here on Needle ‘n Thread, you might find it hard to believe that we’re Almost Finished!

Today, we’re going to add a very little touch to the kaleidoscope – it’s the tiny medallion between each arm of the design.

Even if you’re not actually stitching Party in Provence, the tips below for the techniques used on this element can be applied to your own embroidery projects.

So…here’s the little medallion for you.

Party in Provence embroidered kaleidoscope medallion accent
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