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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Bead to Floss & Bead to Bead Conversions for Stitchers


While I’m not an expert (by a long shot) in bead embroidery, it’s something that I enjoy exploring. I love to dabble with beads and add them to my stitching when they make sense.

“Beads for the sake of beads” doesn’t always do it for me – they really have to fit in with the project I’m working on. So I don’t add them to everything I stitch, and in fact, I stitch without beads more often than I do with them.

But on certain types of projects (Party in Provence, for example), beads make perfect sense. They’re fun, they sparkle, and they work with the design.

If you’re interested in adding beads to your own needlework projects, you might find these bead conversion charts that I’ve come across online helpful. You’ll find conversions for beads to beads (one brand of bead to another) and conversions for floss to beads (choosing beads to match embroidery floss colors).

Bead Conversion Charts for Stitchers
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I’ve Been Eclipsed – to Your Advantage!


I’m almost embarrassed to say
What I’m doing today.
With all the hype around here
(‘Cuz the sun’ll disappear)
The topic is almost cliché!

It’s true. I’m eclipse watching today. I contemplated packing along some needlework, because I’ll be stuck away from home for about seven hours while the sun and moon are not really doing anything too different from what they normally do…

…except for that 2 minutes and 38 seconds of daylight darkness!

But the dirt, the humidity, the sunscreen and the sweat that coincide with the Midwest in August – coupled with crowds of Celestially Enthusiastic People, the chance of thunderstorms, and no real bathrooms – isn’t all that conducive to embroidery. I’m leaving the stitching behind.

Sheep on a Sunny Hill in an Eclipse - Embroidered Little Things
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How to Make Printable Hand Embroidery Patterns


Over the years, I’ve had many, many queries about how to make hand embroidery patterns.

The question of how to make embroidery patterns isn’t usually directed to the drawing or doodling part that’s done with a pencil, but rather how to take a sketch, painting, photo, or doodle and transform it into a clean line drawing that can be enlarged or reduced in size, printed, and used as a pattern for stitching.

So, today, let’s chat about a technical topic that’s somewhat related to embroidery, even though it doesn’t have to do with the actual Stitching of Things.

We’ll look at what you need to know to create a line drawing that’s smooth, scalable, and prints a clear, precise line drawing suitable for an embroidery pattern.

How to Make Printable Embroidery Patterns
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Embroidery Project Progress: Likes, Dislikes… & Lots of Texture!


Remember the finish on this embroidered kaleidoscope project, Party in Provence, that I shared with you last week?

Well, I’ve been working my way through a variation on the theme, which is supposed to end up as a pocket on a tote bag. If you’ve been hanging out with me a bit on Needle ‘n Thread, you’ll probably recall this discussion on twill and duck for embroidery, following this discussion on some preliminary explorations of poor choices in linen.

The last time I showed you progress on this project was here, where I was just beginningto sample the embroidery on the cotton twill.

As I’ve worked my way through this little design excerpt on the cotton twill, I’ve discovered a few things – some likes and dislikes, some things I’d probably do differently if I were to start over, and the recurring joy I find in stitching certain stitches!

hand embroidery for the pocket of a tote bag
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Fancy Floral: A Free Hand Embroidery Pattern!


Good morning, and a Happy Monday all around!

Today, just a quick little freebie for you! This is a pattern I’ve been playing with off and on for a while, with the hopes of stitching it. I even got as far as picking out threads and colors, but I’ve never actually gotten to the embroidery. Who knows? Maybe one day!

It’s not on my current list of stuff to get done, though, which means it won’t happen too soon, so I thought I’d share the pattern, anyway. Maybe it’ll tickle your fancy, too!

Fancy Floral - Hand Embroidery Pattern
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Inspiration from Inspirations


You’ve probably gathered that I have a tiny weakness for good needlework books. I really do. And I’m weird about them, because, whether or not I use them as they are intended to be used – i.e. to stitch a project from, to learn a specific technique – I always read them.

I like to read needlework books like other people like to read novels. I read needlework books from cover to cover. And I get a lot of pleasure out of doing so. I also learn a lot.

There’s always something to learn from a needlework book, and reading one from cover to cover is kind of like a treasure hunt, wherein you gather up little morsels of knowledge, little surprises about approaches, techniques, designs, color choices that you never considered and that make you say, Wow. What a neat idea! or Golly, why didn’t I ever think of that?.

Inspirations Magazine Issue #95
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