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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Computer Life: The Floral Heart Project


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Wouldn’t it be great if Needle ‘n Thread were only about needle and thread? I imagine our days would be spent stitching away, creating beautiful things, experimenting, enjoying a bit of stitch fun here and there, finishing this project, starting that project – life wrapped up in Only Stitching.

It doesn’t really work that way. Even if you’re not into needlework as a business, it doesn’t work that way. You know how it is! We all have lives outside of stitching! And hopefully, they are lives that we love!

But for those of us who are pretty enthusiastic about needlework, needlework is always there. It’s our carrot. It’s The Thing that gets us through less pleasant bits because we have something creative to look forward to. It’s our relaxation, our entertainment, our creative outlet – it’s part of those aspects of life that contribute to our happiness.

Here in our little cozy studio in Kansas, there’s another aspect of Needle ‘n Thread that goes on every day. It’s what I call Computer Life, and if you’re in business these days, it’s unavoidable. Luckily, I don’t hate Computer Life. I like it! Maybe not as much as the stitching part of things, but still. I like it! Otherwise, whoa! “Work” really would be Work and it would be a Major Slog.

My Computer Life right now consists of this:

Floral Heart Computer Life
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Goldwork Altar Covers – Project Index


Time to do a little house cleaning here on the website!

Whenever I work a long term project that I blog about, or whenever we have a stitch-along of sorts, I like to create a project index. With a project index, you can easily navigate the various articles written about the project.

You’ll find this index – and many more – listed under Tips & Techniques in the main menu on Needle ‘n Thread. Project indexes are listed in the first section under “Hand Embroidery Lessons & Step-by-Step Projects.”

If you’re ever looking for some follow-along embroidery projects with loads of tips that you can apply to your own embroidery – or maybe you just want to browse for the fun of it – feel free to check out that list of the many projects and tutorials that have developed here on Needle ‘n Thread over the years. There’s lots of ’em!

Goldwork Altar Cover Project Index
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Ready-to-Stitch Sets are Back … and a book!


Now that we’ve gotten into the hang of working in our new space, we’ve been able to turn our attention to getting some ready-to-stitch goods back in stock.

For those who aren’t familiar with our ready-to-stitch towel sets, we offer flour sack towels in sets of three, with coordinating designs already printed on them so that, when you get them, they’re ready for stitching. Some of the sets have the same design on all three towels, and some have variations of the design, or of a theme, on each of the tree towels.

Ready to Stitch Garden Party towel set
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Murder & Mayhem, The Emperor’s New Clothes, and Overdyed Linen


Well, I have a piece of linen that came to me from origin unknown. It’s a Mystery!

I like mysteries. I’m pretty sure this one involves murder and mayhem, based on the piece of linen.

I’m curious about the linen and what people think of it. And apparently, so is the original owner of it.

I have a feeling I’m going to be sticking my neck Way Out and ruffling some feathers here. It’s not my intention.

Let me clarify: I don’t know everything going on in the needlework world. So if this is some big project out there, social media thing, mystery stitch-along, or what-have-you, well… beats me. I don’t know all the details!

But I can give some thoughts that occurred to me about the linen, since that’s what I was asked to do.

And since the question of using overdyed linen comes up a lot in my inbox, I figure I might as well take the opportunity to write about it. I’m going to do that in a meandering way, so bear with me! There’s a point in here somewhere.

Overdyed Linen questions
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Goldwork Inspiration


Goldwork has been much on my mind lately, as we continue to work our way through the lettering on this major goldwork project that’s been underway here at Needle ‘n Thread since last summer.

Our time is running out. April is coming. And yet, we can’t seem to find more time! So we’re a little under the proverbial gun here, and I’m starting to feel a bit sweaty-in-the-palms about it.

I’ve been on the hunt for fringe that will finish off the edge of the cloth the letters are going on. And while searching for the fringe, I took a good look at the blog of Sebastián Marchante Gambero, a goldwork embroidery workshop in Spain which features gorgeous ecclesiastical goldwork.

Sebastian Marchante-Gambero-goldwork-embroidery
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Answering Common Questions about Floche & Other Threads


Here on Needle ‘n Thread, I’ve talked a lot about cotton floche, because it’s an embroidery thread I really love.

A lot of people aren’t familiar with floche, and newcomers to our little community here may not have had the opportunity to learn about it or see what it can do as a unique embroidery thread.

I’d like to highlight some details about floche and answer the most common questions about the thread. I’ll be linking you to previous articles that will take you into further depth, if you’d like to know more. If you’ve been around here a while, this will be a little refresher, and if you’re new, it may open up a whole new world of thread for you!

Cotton Floche Embroidery Thread
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Problem Solving for Stitchers: Needles without Nickel


When it comes to embroidery, it would be nice if all the supplies, all the tools, all the fibers, all the fabrics, all the lights, all the stitching aids, all the *everything* that we like and use with our needlework were universally usable for every single person, no matter what.

Often, it’s simply not the case. Allergies, sensitivities, physical difficulties with vision, with motor skills, and more – all of these things can hinder the pursuit of needlework.

Sometimes, many who love embroidery, who find happiness, a sense of calm, relaxation, or alleviation of stress with needle and thread, end up giving it up altogether because of some hinderance that is hard to overcome.

They lose something beautiful in their lives.

But what if it didn’t have to be that way? What if they were able to find solutions to their difficulties, that would keep them stitching?

These are topics I’d like to address more frequently on Needle ‘n Thread. I would love to hear from fellow stitchers who either have a solution to a specific hardship that would have kept them from stitching, or from folks who are looking for a solution to some difficulty that’s keeping them from stitching.

I think it’s important to address these challenges and to share the solutions to them! And we can do this best when we all put our heads together! Please feel free to contact me if you have some experience and input on the topic!

Needles without Nickel
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