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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Schwalm Whitework Embroidery – with a Twist!


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It’s midweek – a perfect time for a little burst of inspiration for you!

Over on the Needle ‘n Thread Community on Facebook, members are treated to incredible amounts of inspirational embroidery each week.

For the past couple weeks, one member – Cathinka Hoff Strønstad, from Norway – has been sharing her exploration of Schwalm whitework embroidery, which she is learning thanks to the excellent tutelage of Luzine Happel, in Germany. If you’re not familiar with Luzine’s beautiful Schwalm embroidery books, you should take a look at them!

As Cathinka worked her way through one of the projects designed by Luzine, she shared her progress. And then she showed us what happens when you become familiar and confident with a technique, and your mind starts playing with possibilities.

Schwalm Whitework stitched by Cathinka Hoff Strønstad
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10 Hand Embroidery Stitches for Stems & Branches


Stems and branches – you’re bound to run into them at some point in hand embroidery!

Whether it’s tree branches, wispy herbal shoots, curly vines and tendrils, heavy stalks, or stylized stems on stylized flowers, it’s highly probably that at some point in your embroidery journey, you’ll have to make a decision on the stitches to use to interpret these types of growing things.

To help you make just such a decision, I’ve put together a list of my favorite 10 hand embroidery stitches to use for stems and branches, with information on how they can be used and links to tutorials.

10 Hand Embroidery Stitches for Stems & Branches
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Kids’ Embroidery – The Last Installment


I promise this is the last installment on this year’s summer embroidery classes for kids!

I just wanted to share a few more photos, insights, and learning experiences from the recent round of kids’ classes, for those who have written in to ask questions and for those who want to teach children to embroider, too.

Here are a few progress photos and a few more finishes, then, with some commentary along the way. I hope you enjoy seeing what the kids have accomplished over their three week embroidery adventure!

Embroidery in progress on flour sack towel
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Embroidery Classes: Some Results & Insights


Today, our kids & youth embroidery classes wind down for the summer.

We’ve had two 1.5-hour daily sessions with different age levels of kids over the past three weeks, and it’s been a lot of fun!

And the results have been good! I think all the kids enjoyed the classes. There were only a few who were there because they were sent, rather than because they wanted to go, but even these participants worked steadily (perhaps chatted more steadily than they worked!), learned a bit of stitching, and had a good time.

Kids' Embroidery Classes: Simple Monograms project
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Figure Embroidery: A Salvaged Saint


Happy Wednesday! Halfway through another week of summer!

We’re almost finished with the kids’ embroidery classes, which end this Friday. I’ll share some photos – along with a discussion of what worked, what could have worked better, what we learned, and what we’d do differently – once we get things tied up.

In the meantime, today, here’s a nice piece of figure embroidery for you. It’s a “salvaged saint” – a piece of church embroidery that survived, when the vestment it was on didn’t. While I was in New England earlier this year, I visited a convent, where this was hanging in their “embroidery room” where they house all their machine embroidery supplies and tools.

I like her! She is St. Hedwig.

St. Hedwig Figure Embroidery
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