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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Embroidering on Silk Organza: Tips, Resources, and Inspiration



One of the Many Wonders of hand embroidery is that it can be accomplished on practically any ground fabric (and even stuff other than fabric).

Lately, there’s a trend in full swing in the hand embroidery world to embroider on organza, which is a sheer fabric with a bit of body to it.

Embroidery on silk organza is actually nothing too new – it’s gone on in the clothing industry (especially in couture houses) for a long time – but working stand-alone, framable embroidery projects using organza as the ground fabric is pretty trendy right now.

To successfully embroider on something like organza, you have to keep a few things in mind. So I thought we’d chat about the whole concept of stitching on organza and I’d share some tips, resources, and inspiration with you.

Hand Embroidery on Silk Organza - Tips, Inspiration, Resources
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Festive Fall – Ready-to-Stitch Towel Sets are Available!


Well, this morning was not the morning I was supposed to be launching these ready-to-stitch autumn towel sets – but everything has piled up in a weird way this September!

So, to try to get ahead of some future events, I wanted to make these available and get them out to you, since I promised I would.

Besides, October will be here before we know it, and as you know, that’s when everyone goes Pumpkin Mad. We might as well have a head start!

Festive Fall ready to stitch towel sets
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Stabbing the Coral Stitch – Solutions for Hooped Embroidery


This morning, I’d like to share a little embroidery stitch tip with you.

If you like to embroider with your fabric taut* in a hoop, you may have found that some of the diagrams in stitch dictionaries are hard to imitate.

This is because most diagrams in stitch dictionaries illustrate the stitch in the most space-efficient way by showing it “sewn” rather than “stabbed” – by showing the needle mostly on the surface of the fabric, scooping up bits of the fabric to make the stitch, rather than being taken all the way to the back of the fabric.

If you’re not sure what the differences between stabbing and sewing a stitch are, you might want to read this article on stabbing vs sewing that I wrote a while ago.

“Sewing” embroidery stitches when your fabric is drum-taut* in a hoop or frame can be awkward and difficult. Sometimes, it’s just darned hard to scoop the fabric up!

And often, with some stitches, a sewn stitch looks significantly different from a stabbed stitch, due to the way the different methods cause the stitch to interact with the fabric.

Stabbing the Coral Stitch for embroidery with a hoop
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Embroidery Needle Facts: Three Points worth Knowing


On a website called Needle ‘n Thread, it probably isn’t too surprising that I’ve written a lot of articles about hand embroidery needles.

For those who are just getting into the hand embroidery world and just becoming aware of the Broad World of Embroidery Needles – and even for those seasoned stitchers who might like a little brush-up – I’ll include some further reading about needles for embroidery at the end of today’s article.

But today, I just want to mention three facts about hand embroidery needles that you might not know, that might help simplify your Stitching Life a bit when it comes to using, choosing, and organizing your embroidery needles.

Embroidery Needle Facts: Three Points worth Knowing
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Portable Lighting Solution for Needlework: Coast Headlamp


I’m always on the lookout for good lighting solutions for hand embroidery and other needlework. Short of your needle, I think the most important “tool” when you’re stitching is your lighting.

And while excellent lighting can be had naturally in a sunny window or sitting outside, the fact is, many people don’t stitch during the day, and even if they do, they don’t always have the right situation to take advantage of the sunlight.

So, yep. I’m always on the prowl for lighting solutions to share with you so that you can find your ideal light.

As the summer winds down here in the northern hemisphere, with the days getting shorter, good lighting is even more important. And with seminar and workshop season going into full swing, with holiday travel coming up, with football season kicking in, and all the other myriad reasons we might take our needlework away from home, easy, good portable lighting solutions are ripe for consideration!

Today, I want to show you my latest lighting acquisition. I bought this on the recommendation of a friend who hikes and knits.

Coast Rechargeable Headlamp with Needlework
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A Finish – Embroidered Table Runner for Fall


Before I launch any kind of embroidery design with a stitch guide, I like to test it in several situations.

Besides working my Festive Fall embroidery design (you know, the one with the pumpkin, leaves, and wheat that’s been sneaking onto Needle ‘n Thread lately?) on cotton towels, I decided to stitch it on a linen table runner.

I learned several things in the process.

Overall, I like the results! Here are some photos right after it was finished – nothing “staged” to show it off all that well, but it gives you an idea of how the design worked on this small natural colored linen table runner.

Festive Fall - pumpkin, leaves, wheat autumn embroidery on linen table runner
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How to Embroider Wheat – a Simple Approach


Today, I thought I’d share a quick overview of a very simple method for embroidering wheat motifs.

I’ve received several questions about the wheat on this autumn design I’ve been exploring, so I thought I’d share a quick look at how I’m embroidering the wheat on my pumpkin design.

Incidentally, I think I’m going to call the pumpkin design Festive Fall – Decorative Autumn Corners for Hand Embroidery. So if you’re looking for it when I finally get it out on the website, that’s how it will show up! A stitch & color guide will be available, as well as some ready-to-stitch pieces with the designs already transferred for you. Look for them in September!

So here’s a brief overview of a simple approach for stitching wheat elements on hand embroidered items. Feel free to give it a try!

How to Embroider Wheat - a simple approach
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