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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Tambour Beading by Hannah Mansfield – Book Review


Amazon Books

Week before last, I resurrected the topic of tambour embroidery, revisiting the tutorials, books, and projects that I’ve written about in years past.

I have a tambour embroidery project that I want to start working on soon – just a personal project that I’ve had percolating in my head for a while – and so I thought it would be a good idea to re-introduce the topic here on Needle ‘n Thread.

I also knew this book we’re going to look at today was hitting the market this year (it’s out in the UK, but won’t be out in the US until this autumn), and I wanted to review it for you. With high hopes for the book, I ordered a copy from the UK so I could show it to you up close. I’m glad I did!

Tambour Beading: Techniques and Projects
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Some Fishy Questions – On Stitches


Last summer I released Something Fishy – a ready-to-stitch towel set featuring some very stylized tropical fish.

I know summer must be nearing, because many of you are stitching Something Fishy again, and I’m getting a few questions on stitch choices and other inquiries.

So I thought I’d pop in and share a few tips again for embroidering these ready-to-stitch projects. Even though I’ll be specifically talking about the fish I stitched last year, the concepts can be applied to any similar projects. So whether you’re stitching tropical fish on Something Fishy, or any of the floral or Christmas ready-to-stitch towel sets, or even an Aunt Martha transfer that you’ve pressed onto your own flour sack towels, hopefully you’ll find some tips and ideas here that will be helpful.

Something Fishy: Embroidered Tropical Fish Towel Set
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Revisiting Voided Monograms: Building with Color, Stitches, Texture, and More


It’s been a long time since we’ve looked at the various voided monogram projects that I’ve indulged in here on Needle ‘n Thread!

The whole idea of “voided” embroidery is fun – it’s such a great way to explore colors and textures and stitches in free-style embroidery.

The idea behind voided embroidery is that the central focus – whether it’s a letter (as with monograms) or a silhouette shape of practically anything – is blank, devoid of any stitchery, while the background around the focal point is practically solidly encrusted with embroidery.

Revisiting Voided Embroidery
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Monday Madness: Five Tries to Find the Stitch


A couple weeks ago, I shared this sneak peek on an upcoming embroidery project featuring one of my favorite flowers, the cornflower.

It’s a funny thing. It’s not like the design is that complex, and my approach to stitching it is certainly not complicated. But sometimes, when you’re trying to work out just exactly how to stitch an element in a way that other people will be able to understand and do easily – without getting complicated! – I sure know how to get complicated.

cornflower embroidery project
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Revisiting Tambour Embroidery


It’s been about 10.5 years since we’ve explored tambour embroidery here on Needle ‘n Thread. I’ve brought it up now and then, but we haven’t looked at it in-depth in a long, long time.

Shortly, I’m going to bring up the topic again in a little more depth, but for those who are new to Needle ‘n Thread (and I use the term “new” pretty loosely!), I thought I’d touch on tambour embroidery and give you a little background before it comes up again, seemingly out of the blue. That way, you’re not wondering what the heck I’m talking about or scurrying around to find out!

And it will also allow me to be a little less wordy (and I use the term “less” pretty loosely!) when the time comes.

Revisiting Tambour Embroidery - tambour bird project
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