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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A New Appreciation & an Old Motto


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Hello, my friends, hello! It has been almost a week and a half since we’ve had a visit. It has been Way Too Long – I have missed you!

Today, I’m really just checking in with you, to let you know I’m still functioning. I’ll share a little something that I’ve been sort of working on. And for those who are interested, I’ll fill you in on the details about how things are going with the Eyes. I’ve had many requests for more details, coming especially from those of you who are facing the option of cataract surgery. So I’ll touch on my experiences so far.

I’ve been debating about going into detail, as it’s not really On Topic – except for the fact that, without eyes, not too many of us would be enjoying handwork, would we? Talk about essential tools!

Glad Tidings Angel embroidery
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Linen Samples, Beads, Thread Tags, & Steam


Well, well, well! Happy Friday!

I was going to share a book review with you today, but I decided it would be hardly fair to the author, since photo editing isn’t happening at the moment.

Only five more days until Eye #2! Eye #1 is doing great – I can’t even imagine how wonderful it will be with both eyes equalized.

Even though detail work is put aside for the moment, other things are getting done…

Linen Fabric Samples
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Inspiration Books Back in Stock & News


Just a quick check in today. Yes, my eyes are still wonky.

Thank you so much for all the emails and comments of encouragement regarding the whole Eye Thing! I really appreciate it!

Unfortunately, I can’t spend much time on the computer, reading, typing, and whatnot. It makes me almost seasick. I have to keep one eye closed, move my head from one side to the other, and bring my face in and out to see anything. It’s quite bizarre, and tiring.

Next week, mid-week, I’ll have the second eye finished and things will equalize. I have high hopes that this will make a huge difference in almost everything that I do. I will keep you posted on how things go!

Inspirations Books: Willing Hands 1 & 2, A Fine Tradition
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Fly Stitch Couching & Some News


Goodness gracious sakes alive!

I have eyes, thank the Good Lord!

But they’re not quite working in sync right now. On Monday, I had cataract surgery and lens replacement in my right eye, due to rapidly declining vision over the past five years, post chemo. Wow! It will make a difference once it’s all finished, I have no doubt. But my eyes are going to be wacky for a few weeks. My blog posting may end up being irregular, because it’s pretty uncomfortable. So far, the most tedious thing for me is trying to see a screen.

Talk-to-text is a marvel on the phone, though. It doesn’t work so well with the computer, because it’s extra hard to make corrections – and you must correct talk-to-text copy for public blog posts, because you never know what the computer will spit out in place of your words!

Incidentally, verbal commands to my computer don’t work at all for photo editing. I tried. “Crop!” I yelled. But nothing happened.

I haven’t even tried to stitch yet. I’ll leave that for a couple days.

Last week, in anticipation of this week’s upheaval in regular scheduling, I started to put together an update on my Stitch Fun 2021 sampler, so I’ll share a portion of that with you today with a very simple tip.

Fly Stitch Couching
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Free Hand Embroidery Design: Floral Small, a la Dillmont


Good morning, and Happy Saturday!

I don’t normally pop in on you on a Saturday, but I wanted to share with you a little floral embroidery pattern that I recently adapted from one of the old Therese Dillmont DMC books.

If you’ve followed along here on Needle ‘n Thread for years, you know that I have quite a collection of old embroidery books and that I like the play with old designs. I rely on old books for inspiration and ideas, especially when my mind gets stuck. There’s nothing like browsing through old treasures to get the juices flowing!

Over the years, I’ve adapted many designs from these books that are now in the public domain, adding my own details and turning them into easily printable vector files to use for hand embroidery.

For the past year, I’ve been on a “smalls” kick. I’ve been drawn to small elements to embroider, and I’ve built up quite a collection of possibilities for future projects. By adapting old designs, or doodling my own new designs, or maybe expanding a little clip out of a larger design from an old publication, I’ve amassed quite a few usable smalls.

Here’s one of ’em!

Dillmont floral small hand embroidery design
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How to Embroider Grapes 5: The Last Grapes


Happy Wednesday! Midweek already – I’m not sure how we got here!

Following up on the previous grape embroidery session, it’s time to finish up the last grapes on the bunch in the How to Embroider Grapes series. We’re going to embroider the three final grapes, and they will go very quickly because they’re very simple. We’ve done all but one of the techniques before.

Because one of the grapes involves some goldwork thread, I’ll recommend some reasonable and more accessible substitutes for the sake of the tutorial.

I’d love to do this whole bunch of grapes in goldwork, to tell you the truth. It’s an idea that’s percolating with the millions of other project ideas that are constantly vying for attention in my head.

But in the meantime, let’s just keep it simple, shall we?

how to embroidery grapes - last grapes
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The Embroidery Book Shuffle – Treats Available!


Well, well, as it happens, I spent the weekend doing the Embroidery Book & Blog Post Shuffle!

It’s always a fun exercise, and a good way to keep me on my toes.

Today’s article is mostly a matter of getting some news out. If you’re not super interested in retail items (oh-so-lovely books!) available through Needle ‘n Thread, I wholeheartedly encourage you to give me a miss today.

Willing Hands and Willing Hands 2 on Needle 'n Thread
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