Mary Corbet

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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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Needle Painting Again – A New Little Project


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If you’ve looked about on Needle’NThread, you’ve probably noticed I like needlepainting techniques. I’m no pro, but I find that if I take advantage of the expertise of certain designers, I learn a little bit more with each project and the whole technique isn’t daunting at all.

Tanja Berlin is certainly a favorite. I’ve worked a couple of her kits, including this little needle painted bird, and I’ve got a couple more waiting to tackle. I thought, in fact, that three of them – two birds and the current flower I’m working on, if framed to match, would make a nice Christmas present for my folks. So that’s my plan.

I’m working on the Peony-type Dahlia from Berlin Embroidery Designs right now. I’m going to follow it up with the Robin on a Berry Branch, if time allows.

So, here’s the beginning of the dahlia:

Actually, that’s not a very impressive photo. I just took the shot so you could see the concept of the stretcher-bar frames, which I elaborated upon when telling you about one of those handy-dandy gotta-have embroidery tools, the EZ Tack-it Kit.

Here’s the photo of the kit, and the buds underway in the background. One thing I did absolutely notice in this particular kit of Tanja’s is that the greens on the cover photo of the kit and the greens inside the kit (the actual color of the floss provided) do not really correspond. The floss is much darker, and the contrast between the shades of green is not as obvious. Still, it looks good.

And here they are up close.

So that’s what I’m working on casually. My silk work sampler is still getting attention, though I still have an ugly mistake to pick out. I’m just not in the mood for that this weekend, though!


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(7) Comments

  1. Is this plain satin stitching or will you be putting and underlayer of something to give the stitching some dimension? We did this woth the poppies we needlepainted in Guild and it turned out nice, though initially I thought it was a waste of time and effort.

  2. The majority of the effect is obtained by long-and-short stitch worked in various shades of the same color, although some satin stitch is used as well, and so is stem stitch, worked in different shades. I’m not quite sure what you mean by “underlay.” The dimension is achieved by varying the shade of thread. In the photos above, you can see it especially in the bud on the left, underneath the leaves, where the dark red gives a shaded look under the leaves on top of the bud. Right now, I’m working on the greenery, and I’m almost finished with it. I’ll post a photo. The flower is next!

  3. In our project, we would stitch an area in white perl cotton (same as fabric) and then completly cover it with other stitching – the result being a raised area.

  4. Hello again mary I see you must be feeling better and back to your embroidery again and your stitching looking just as lovely as ever. Have you been doing embroidery for a long time?
    Can you tell me what sort of frame is that you have your work on, I have never seen one before. Also Mary I have a cloth I would like to do of sweetpeas but am not sure on the colours to do it in is there any way I can send you a picture of it and maybe you could help me with the colours for it if you have the time
    Many thanks and happy stitching

  5. Hello again mary I have found on your site what the pins are your are useing I must get some they looking like it is just what I need
    Regards Joyce

  6. Hi, Joyce –

    The creepy-crawly-crud is slowing crawling and creeping away! Thanks!

    I’ve been embroidering since I was a kid, pretty much. I’m in my (gasp) mid-30’s.

    The frame is a stretch bar frame – but I see you found that info…

    Feel free to e-mail the picture of the sweetpea project, and I’ll see if I can give you hand! You can e-mail me at mary[at]needlenthread.com

    When trying to decide on colors, it’s super-helpful to have access to real-thread color charts for different lines of threads. Let me know what line of threads (DMC, Anchor, etc.) you plan to use.

    Be in touch!


  7. thank you Mary I really must read over what I write before I hit send I do make a lot of mistakes LOL my mind is going faster than my typing I am a one finger typer LOL I will try and get a picture taken of the cloth today. I brought it off a auction site and it had no colour chart with it and I am not much good at picking the right colours I use mostly D.M.C cottons but I also have a lot of Anchor
    I am in my early fifties I have only been doing embroidery for about 12 years now, mostly self taught but I love doing it
    Thank you for your help
    Have a great day
    Regards Joyce

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