Mary Corbet

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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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Tulip Festival Part IV – The Finish!


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Last time we visited Tulip Festival, which is an embroidered kaleidoscope I’m sharing with you step-by-step here on Needle ‘n Thread, we looked at how to stitch the tulips in long & short stitch and the two tiny borders beyond.

Today, it’s the final chapter! We’ll cover the embroidery on the outer layers of the kaleidoscope and any hints and tips along the way.

If you want to catch up with the project, you’ll find all the materials and beginning stitches in Part I here, the next set of embroidered layers, working outwards, here in Part II, and the tulips and two more bordering lines here in Part III.

If you’re working your way through this project, don’t hesitate to chime in with any questions you might have, using the comment form below the article!

Tulip Festival Embroidered Kaleidoscope, Part IV
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Cotton or Silk Embroidery Threads for Silk Shading?


Should I use cotton or silk for silk shading?

Is cotton a better choice for silk shading?

Since lately I’ve received a few questions about whether or not silk shading (needle painting, long and short stitch shading, soft shading…) should be worked in silk or in cotton, I figure there must be more people out there with the same query.

So today I thought I’d address the question, following up on last week’s article on my case for using silk in hand embroidery.

I think there’s more to this than just an “either / or” answer. So let’s chat about it!

Silk shading in silk on Burr rose stitched by Margaret Cobleigh
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The Art of Felting & Silk Ribbon Embroidery – Book Review


Do you like silk ribbon embroidery? How about felt? Do you like unique, textured backgrounds? Do you like a multi-media approach to your needlework? Are you looking for new avenues to explore in your artistic adventures? Or do you just love a good needlework book that’s packed full of techniques, ideas, inspiration, and instruction?

If any of the above applies to you, chances are, you’re going to like The Art of Felting & Silk Ribbon Embroidery, written by Di van Niekerk with Toody Cassidy.

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book, actually. But the title intrigued me! And of course, I’m familiar with Di van Niekerk’s sumptuous silk ribbon embroidery, and I had seen little hints and peeks at some of the projects in the book, so … what’s a gal to do? Of course I had to see the book!

Let’s take a look inside, shall we?

Art of Felting & Silk Ribbon Embroidery
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Tulip Festival Part III: Tulips & Borders


Good morning, and Happy Monday! I hope you enjoyed a pleasant weekend and had a chance to spend some time with your needle and thread! I got in zilch-o when it comes to stitching this weekend, but I did manage to prepare 12 embroidery patterns for printing. I can’t wait to show you what’s up with those!

We’ve been working our way through stitching an embroidered kaleidoscope here on Needle ‘n Thread – Tulip Festival, which we’ve visited in two parts so far. Part I of Tulip Festival covers the supplies, threads, set-up, and first seven rounds of stitches on the design. Part II covers the stitches for the the next several rounds.

Today, we’re going to cover the tulips in long & short stitch and a couple layers just beyond the tulips!

Whether you’re stitching Tulip Festival or not, I hope you’ll find some tips & techniques here that can apply to your own embroidery projects!

Tulip Festival - Embroidered Kaleidoscope - long & short stitch shading
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Needlework News Snips & Calendar Winners!


The weekend is upon us! YAY!

I’ve drawn the random winners for the Virtual Threads needlework calendars (with 13 free downloadable projects to work throughout the year), so I’ll announce those today.

I’ve also put together a little list of inspiration, ideas, questions, needlework news and whatnot, for your weekend explorations.

So… pour yourself a hot little beverage, pull up a chair, and let’s have a chat!

Needlework News Snips November 22, 2017
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My Case for Silk in Hand Embroidery Projects


If you can embroider it in cotton, you can embroider it in silk.

That is, if you can embroider something in cotton and end up with good results, you can embroider it in silk, and end up with equal, and even quite possibly, better results.

I thought we should have a chat about silk embroidery thread, since I’ve received a few questions lately about using silk on Tulip Festival, this embroidered kaleidoscope series we’ve been working through together.

I’ve also received a few questions about silk in other embroidery applications, but that’s an article for another day! I’ll be addressing a particular argument that’s been surfacing a bit in the needlework world, to see if we can overcome some hazy notions about silk in needle painting.

Today, though, we’ll just talk in general about silk. Hopefully, if you’re wavering between the cotton vs silk thread question, this will give you something to think about and perhaps, with some, it will overcome a fear of using silk.

Silk Hand Embroidery Thread - Collection of different types of silk
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Tulip Festival II: Embroidering Outward


On Monday, I shared the beginnings of Tulip Festival, a Hand Embroidered Kaleidoscope. We looked at the project set-up and embroidering the first center layers of the design.

Today, I’ll take you through the next several layers on the embroidered kaleidoscope, discussing embroidery stitches and colors. I’ll also talk a bit about thread substitutions, and share some tips!

Tulip Festival: An Embroidered Kaleidoscope - Working Outwards
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