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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Never Underestimate the Simplest Tools



When you go about finishing your embroidery projects into something-or-other – whether it’s into a Christmas ornament (that’s what I’m doing lately), a needlebook, an elaborate box, or myriad other things – you’re going to need a few helpful tools.

I have one favorite tool that I could not live without during the finishing stages of any embroidery. But when it comes to making ornaments, this simple tool – rather ubiquitous in any sewing or needlework-related craft room – has to meet certain criteria.

Finishing embroidery into ornaments - tools
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Fascinating Embroidered Book Cover in the Works


Good morning, and happy Wednesday! I hope you’ve been able to enjoy some time with your needle and thread this week so far – and that, wherever you are, your stitches are just right, and you are safe and sound and comfy!

It’s been a wild several weeks on this side of the Needle ‘n Thread screen! November is flying by too quickly. I’m exceedingly thankful that Thanksgiving falls a bit later this year!

Each day gets me a little closer to finishing the snowflake collection we talked about Monday and even preparing some more Festive Fall and Holly & Evergreen ready-to-stitch towels (and a new line of ready-to-stitch Folky Flake towels, like the examples I talked about here). All of that should be ready for you by the end of the month, and perhaps sooner, if things go well.

Today, I’m sharing a super enjoyable video with you, though I expect it will go around online with all haste and you might run into it elsewhere. Remember this book:

Chloe Giordano book and a link to her video
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Needlework News Snips – November 8, 2019


Happy Friday! Most people call it the weekend – I’m calling it the workend. Lots to do this weekend with needle and thread (and scissors and glue and pins and batting and…), because I’m finishing up some ornaments. Yay!

Over the past week, I’ve built up a dandy little list of online bits related to needlework. There’s a little bit of instruction, a little bit of inspirations, some news – a whole conglomeration of things that popped up in front of me off and on all week and I thought worth sharing with you.

They’re in absolutely no particular order.

So grab a cuppa and let’s go for a meander, shall we?

Needlework News Snips November 8, 2019
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Slate Frames by TFWoodcraft!


If you’ve been embroidering for a long time, or if you’ve been following along with me on Needle ‘n Thread for years, you know what a slate frame is.

But if you’re new to embroidery and new to Needle ‘n Thread, there is a chance you’ve never come across the slate frame.

The slate frame is a very simple but effective tool for embroiderers. It’s been used for centuries in its most basic form, and in recent years, it’s enjoyed a renaissance of popularity.

I like to hunt down slate frame makers. Most of them are individual woodworkers who have found a niche in the needlework market with wooden tools. There’s nothing quite like a good wooden tool made by someone who knows wood and knows how to bring out the beauty and functionality in a good piece of wood!

TFWoodcraft has been around for a while, making wooden tools and other products for the historical reenactment camp and for other enthusiasts. I’d heard of them from several readers who recommended their products, so I thought I’d take a look.

For those of you looking for slate frame options in the US, then, here’s one to put on your list. Their frames are slightly different from the traditional slate frame, and they are beautifully made.

TF Woodcraft Slate Frames - Review
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Embroidery Hoops, Excess Fabric, & Huggers!


It’s funny how a single needlework topic comes up repeatedly in several different venues all at the same time.

For example, over the past couple weeks, I’ve had no less than six emails asking about how to control excess fabric when you’re embroidering something in a hoop. The topic has come up on Facebook three times in the past week.

When this happens with an embroidery technique (i.e. “I’m having trouble with plaited braid stitch, can you help me?”), I assume that folks are involved in a stitch-along or a class, or that a kit involving the technique has recently hit the market.

But when the topic comes up about something like how to control excess fabric when working with a hoop, I just figure there are a lot of people out there stitching who are being annoyed by excess fabric hanging off their hoops.

So I’m going to show you my solution, which I adopted probably about a year ago now, after perusing the notions wall at a locally owned fabric shop.

Spool Huggers for controlling excess fabric on embroidery hoops
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