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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Preparing Kids’ Embroidery Classes for a Monday Start!



Happy Saturday, and a Happy Weekend! What are you stitching this weekend?

Here in Kansas, where the temps are topping out in the 100’s and things are pretty sticky, I’m working on last minute touches for the first round of summer kids’ classes this coming week.

We’ve divided the kids into age groups and planned our projects accordingly. This year, there are two projects on the table – a stitch sampler needlebook and another hand embroidered flour sack towel.

Stitch Sampler Needle Book
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Christmas in July? You Can Start Stitching Now!


Christmas in July.

It’s just a bit overdone, isn’t it?

I know it’s a marketing ploy. And it bugs me in a number of ways, on a number of levels. I like my seasons – and the holidays that go with them – just as they are. I like them to show up when they’re supposed to. And I’m not too keen on the marketing trends that play havoc with them.

The only instance that “Christmas in July” makes any sense to me is when it comes to embroidery and other forms of arts and crafts that require time to develop.

Embroidery, after all, is a slow craft. You can’t just snap your fingers, press a button, and voilá! A hand embroidered gift pops out, ready to deliver.

So, while I tend to be a bit of a cynic who looks askance at “Christmas in July” as just another marketing gimmick, I have to admit that, when it comes to embroidery, thinking ahead to Christmas-in-December while sweating away in July does make sense.

And to that end, for those who want to get ahead on Christmas needlework, here are two ways you can do that…

Christmas in July for Hand Embroidery
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Weekend Embroidery: Stitching the Trunk, Floche, and Changing my Mind


I’ve made a little more progress on the Jacobean Blues embroidery that I showed you last week, but as usual when I first set out on an embroidery project and start exploring stitch options, I’ve had a few Moments of Pause.

I’ve changed my mind once.

And I’m pretty sure I’m going to change it again.

Today, I’ll show you what I’ve done so far, talk about the thread a bit, show you an element that got stitched & removed, and share my thought processes along the way, for whatever they’re worth.

Jacobean Blues embroidery project
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A Great Resource for Needlepainting Exercises


A couple weeks back, we chatted about different resources that can help embroiderers (from beginners to advanced) take the plunge into needlepainting, which is often viewed as an advanced, hard-to-conquer technique.

Today, I want to highlight another really good resource for those who want to learn the art of realistic shading with needle and thread. We’ll take a quick look at the embroidery works (and instructional ebooks) of Emillie Ferris.

If you haven’t seen Emillie’s embroidery work, I think you’ll really enjoy it. And there are a couple points about her approach – and her project e-books – that I think make her work unique and worthwhile to use as a springboard for learning and practicing needlepainting.

Embroidery by Emillie Ferris
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Jacobean Blues – Just a Bit of Embroidery


Quite a while ago, we talked about this Jacobean-ish embroidery design that I keep toying with.

I set the design up on new fabric (a natural-colored linen), and collected threads for it.

Finally, the other day, I started some stitching on it.

Today, I’ll show you some minute initial progress as I work my way through the beginning of the project; I’ll tell you my thought processes; and we’ll talk about gradual shade and color changes when you’re working with solid colors in linear stitching.

Blue Jacobean Embroidery Project
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Weekend Stitching: Finishing Up a Bright Garden Scene


Happy Monday!

This past weekend, I put the finishing stitches in this little embroidered garden scene that I showed you a couple weeks ago.

This is the scene we’ll be using for kids’ classes this summer. What I like about it – besides that it’s a bright, cheery summer scene – is that it doesn’t look as basic as it actually is!

And there’s plenty of room to make it even simpler, or to dress it up and make things a bit more complex, all depending on the level of the embroiderer or the amount of time the embroiderer wants to put into the project.

I’ll explain what I mean below, sharing some tips for simplifying or dressing up basic embroidery designs like these.

Embroidered Flower Garden Scene for Summer
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Embroidery Kitting Adventures – On Boxes and Thread


This week and last, and probably all of next week, there’s one thing on my mind: getting The Leafy Tree embroidery kit and the instructional e-book finished and ready for you!

A couple weeks ago, I showed you my fabric sticks for the Leafy Tree kits. All the components are now arrived and ready to package into kit form – with the exception of half of the boxes…but more on that below.

So now the fun part! When the fun part starts – that is, the assembling of everything – there’s not much room for anything else to go on in the studio. Kitting pretty much takes over the work area, especially with this particular kit, which contains an abundance of embroidery thread.

Leafy Tree Embroidery Kit
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