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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A Stitcher’s Christmas, 2018: Needlework Tools for Two!



Good morning, and a Happy Monday all around!

Time’s a-ticking, and this week will see the end of A Stitcher’s Christmas!

Today, it’s all about tools – and a wonderful array of them, too!

Imagine toddling down the stairs on Christmas morning at 5:07 am in your fuzzy sleeper, your blanket dragging behind you and your bunny slippers scuffling along. As you rub the sand from your eyes, suddenly you behold, in the glow of the Christmas tree, your Christmas stocking, bulging with embroidery treats!

Well, you’ll have to supply the stocking (and the blanket, the fuzzy sleeper, and the bunny slippers), but Needle in a Haystack is supplying the embroidery treats – a whole collection of useful and fun tools for the stitcher. In fact, for two stitchers, as I’ll draw two winners who will each win a collection!

Embroidery Tools for Two from Needle in a Haystack
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Holly & Evergreen: Details, Free Patterns, and More!


I know we’re getting a wee bit close to Christmas, but if you have it in you to stitch something Christmassy over the next week or so, perhaps this project will tickle your fancy!

Remember last week when I showed you the holly & evergreen design that I had altered and started stitching?

By way of an early Christmas gift for you, today I’m going to share a few tips with you on how I stitched the design, along with a thread and stitch list. I’ll give you three versions of the design – the full version, a light version, and an ultra-light version.

I’ve also added a little something in my shop for those who don’t like transferring designs and who want to launch into stitching without the hassle of transferring.

And finally, at the end of today’s article, I’ll announce the winners of Monday’s Book Bundles from A Stitcher’s Christmas!

Holly & Evergreen Embroidery Design - Free Pattern & Stitch Tips
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A Stitcher’s Christmas, 2018: Wool Thread Collections!


If you’ve been embroidering for a while – or even if you’re just recently indulging in the practice for the first time – you’re probably very aware that, these days, there are innumerable threads for hand embroidery!

But when it boils down to the actual fibers used to make hand embroidery threads, in the natural fiber arena, you have four main contenders: silk, wool, linen, and cotton. Lately, it’s true, there are some upstarts (like bamboo fibers), but those four are the widely used natural fibers in the embroidery (and actually the entire textile) world.

Today’s give-away focuses solely on wool thread, specifically crewel wool hand dyed at Renaissance Dyeing, where they use the traditional dyes and mordants available in the 16th century to produce their colored embroidery wools.

Read on, and I’ll tell you a bit more about today’s give-away and I’ll also announce the winner of last Friday’s installment of A Stitcher’s Christmas, which included some beautiful silk and scissors from Tres Chic Stitchery.

Crewel Wool Thread from Renaissance Dyeing on Needle 'n Thread
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A Stitcher’s Christmas, 2018: Themed Needlework Book Bundles!


I’m a needlework book fiend. I love good needlework books, both old and new!

One thing I love about today’s needlework books is that we can really enjoy the details of embroidery, up close and personal, in glorious color, in lovely formatting, and accompanied by clear and extensive instructional diagrams or photos. These days, excellent instructional books are accessible and affordable, bringing greater possibilities of needlework knowledge straight into the hands of anyone who wants to learn.

Search Press is a big mover and shaker in the craft book industry, and they publish a fantastic line-up of all kinds of needlework books, as well as books for other crafts, too. Their website is worth exploring for anyone who loves craft and hobby books. It’s organized by topic and sports a terrific search function, so you can find books that interest you or the crafty people on your Christmas list.

Working with the folks of Search Press North America, we’ve put together a fun and interesting line-up of four themed book bundles, each for a different winner of today’s give-away.

Themed Needlework Book Bundles from Search Press
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A Stitcher’s Christmas, 2018: Sajou Silk & Scissors


Today, it’s all about some of a stitcher’s Favorite Things: thread and scissors! Silk thread and scissors!

There’s nothing quite like luscious colors of silk and beautiful scissors to make my little heart go pitter-pat.

(Well, that, and chocolates…)

Today’s installment of A Stitcher’s Christmas comes to you courtesy of Tres Chic Stitchery, the US distributor for Sajou threads and other Sajou needlework treats.

Before we get to this give-away, I’ll announce the winner of Monday’s give-away (gorgeous overdyed threads from Colour Compliments). Then I’ll pass on the details about today’s give-away, along with the guidelines for entering. Read on, read on…

Sajou Silk and Scissors, A Stitcher's Christmas 2018
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Holly & Evergreens: A Stitching Break – and a winner!


Sometimes, you just need a stitching break!

Now, don’t get me wrong. By stitching break, I don’t necessarily mean a break from stitching! I mean a project that’s a stitching break. It breaks up more demanding projects; it’s relaxing; it’s comfortable; it’s fun. And it might even serve a good purpose!

That’s the kind of project I’m working on right now. It’s my stitching break, between some more demanding needlework. It’s very simple. And the finished embroidery will make a terrific addition to a Christmas gift basket.

So let’s take a look at my “stitching break” project! I’ll tell you a bit about it and why it’s perfect for this time of year.

I’ll also announce the winner of last Friday’s Stitcher’s Christmas give-away at the end of the article, so read on through, because it just might be you!

Holly & Evergreens Christmas embroidery corner design
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A Stitcher’s Christmas, 2018: The Four Seasons in Thread!


Happy Monday!

It’s hard to believe we are already into December and onto the third installment of A Stitcher’s Christmas, a series of pre-Christmas give-aways here on Needle ‘n Thread.

When it comes to What Embroiderers Love Best, I think I can safely say that we love embroidery thread. The more I embroider, the more I love thread – all kinds of thread! When I see thread, I see possibilities. Don’t you?

Today’s give-away, courtesy of Colour Complements, involves a gorgeous collection of hand-dyed threads in a glorious four-season array of color.

Four Seasons in Thread, a Stitcher's Christmas, 2018
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