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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Some Tiny Embroidery for Jewelry – with Free Patterns!


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I’ve started playing with some miniature pieces of embroidery to use in jewelry bases.

If you’ve been following along on Needle ‘n Thread for a while, this probably won’t surprise you too much, because I love little embroidery projects – and when it comes to embroidering for jewelry bases, well… that’s pretty little!

The fun thing about these little embroidery projects is that they take very little time to work up, if you’re not making anything too complicated. I’m not even talking about a weekend project – I’m talking about a morning or afternoon project!

It all depends, though, on how complex you make the embroidery.

I went with pretty simple. I still need to get some aspects of the whole process ironed out. I’ll tell you what went well, what didn’t, what I will change for the next time, and I’ll share resources and some free patterns with you, so you can stitch up your own little autumn embroidery bits, too!

Autumn Embroidery for Jewelry - free patterns
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Display Your Embroidery with Decorative Hoop Frames


Today, it’s all about ingenuity – and finishing embroidery for display…

“Hoop art” is a Big Thing these days. Many folks who love to stitch have discovered that they can display, albeit in a somewhat temporary fashion, their embroidery projects directly in the hoops they were created in.

After trimming the fabric, turning it in on the back, and covering the back of the hoop with other fabric or felt (some folks even use decorative paper), you can then hang the hoop directly on the wall or put it wherever you want – small hoops make great tree ornaments, for example!

It took me a while to get on the hoop art wagon, but now that I have a place where I can display lots of embroidery samples (as opposed to full-fledged, big, time-consuming projects that I’d be more apt to frame professionally), I definitely see the value – and the fun! – of using a hoop for display purposes.

Kacee Granke of Stitch Life Studio has taken the notion of the hoop art display a little farther and contrived an ingenious and attractive way to dress up hoop art. So, today, I’m going to show you what Kacee makes and tell you why I think it’s both fun and smart.

Decorative Hoop Frames for Embroidery Display
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Your Weekend Rabbit Hole: Therese de Dillmont’s Embroidery Books


Alas, this week I fell down the Proverbial Rabbit Hole again, exploring several of my old Therese de Dillmont embroidery books.

I really felt totally justified – I was, after all, organizing and trying to situate a few things in my studio.

But when you start to leaf through a favorite needlework book – and then another favorite needlework book – and then, well, why not? Another one…and another…and another – it isn’t hard to find a good portion of the day gone before you even realize what you’ve been about! That was me, yesterday. By evening, I was kicking myself. My To-Do list had one half of a tick on it.

There’s a saying that misery loves company, but in cases like this, I prefer to think of it as spreading the joy! Not only did the hours I spent sorting through some books provide me a heck of a lot of enjoyment, but they served as a pretty nice inspirational springboard. So many ideas! So many notes taken! So many pages marked! So many projects planned or questions answered!

Therese de Dillmont Embroidery Books
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Smoyg: Pattern Darning from Norway – Book Review


I love it when Yvette Stanton publishes another embroidery embroidery book in her ever-growing library of fine needlework instructional and projects books!

Though “whitework” often comes to mind when I think of Yvette stitching away down there in Australia, she actually does work with color, too, and her newest book is a very clear indication of that.

Smøyg: Pattern Darning from Norway explores a world of vivid color in geometric designs, worked traditionally in Norwegian costume but perfectly applicable to contemporary embroidery projects as well.

This is a project and instructional book, so in it, you will learn the history and techniques of Smøyg while working through a multitude of accessible and colorful needlework projects.

Let’s take a look at the book up close, so that you can see what Smøyg is all about!

Smoyg: Pattern Darning from Norway by Yvette Stanton
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Madeira Embroidery in the News – Beautiful Stuff!


I love it when hand embroidery that’s been carried on for generations and generations hits the news. I think it’s a good sign that we still appreciate – and have a need for – beautiful handmade goods!

Recently, Euronews published a small blurb and video on hand embroidery from Madeira, off the northwest coast of Portugal.

The video is definitely worth watching! It demonstrates the value of handing down needlework skills through generations.

Madeira Embroidery, handed down through generations
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Making it Work: A Butterfly & Some Stitchy Bits


Good morning, all! And a Happy Friday all around!

The last couple days, I’ve been picking up this little piece of stitching that I showed you on Wednesday (with the hollyhocks), and working a few stitches here and there, now and then, in a very laid-back sort of way.

And you know, I’m thoroughly convinced that this is the way embroidery for pleasure should be – you pick it up when the urge strikes, you stitch on it for as long as you’re enjoying the process and it gives you some pleasure or relaxation, and then you put it down until the next time. No pressure. Just enjoy it!

While I’ve been working on this little project, I’ve had to play the “make do” game. It’s a good game to play!

Embroidered Butterfly - Simple Design & Stitches
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Embroidered Hollyhocks with Buttonhole Stitch


Good morning, my friends! It has been a long while – the longest blogging break I’ve ever taken! – since writing something for Needle ‘n Thread. Hopefully, this streak is well and truly over!

I’m on the mend, and I can finally sit at a desk. I’ve summarized a small personal update at the end of this article, for those who want to read it. Thank you ever-so-much for the influx of well-wishes! When I returned from the hospital, there were over 1,200 emails in my inbox. I’ve read them all, and they cheered me considerably. I’m sorry I can’t respond to each individually!

While convalescing, I managed to do only a tiny bit of stitching this whole time.

I thought I’d share that with you, along with a couple tips on how to embroider your own hollyhocks.

How to Embroider Hollyhocks in a garden border
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