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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April Embroidery Stash Give-Away!


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Each month, I’ve been having a bit of a “stash contest” – giving away a little something from my embroidery stash to anyone who leaves a comment geared towards a specific subject mentioned on the post. So, here’s April’s embroidery stash give-away….

How would like some Gilt Sylke Twist? I know many have probably already acquired some, but I also know that lots of people out there who would try the thread are deterred by the price for a full 35 meters. So, this month, I’m giving away a meter of each of the colors I presently have: red, green, cream, pink, and light blue.

Gilt Sylke Twist for April's Give-away

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I really love this thread!

My question for this give-away is this:

What’s your favorite needlework technique and why?

I’ll draw names On Sunday, April 13th, from those of you who respond to the question in the comment section on this post. Please use a name in the comment, to make drawing names easier.

International readers are welcome to participate!! I’ll send the package by the least expensive air mail option.

So, comment away!!


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(32) Comments

  1. I am a big fan of blackwork – I just love the stark contrast and the geometric repeats. I however, will not be doing counted work ever again on 50+ count black linen.

    I am appreciating all the work on the Plimouth jacket and thinking of try that more colourful style of embroidery. I sent out for one of their embroidery kits!


  2. Mary You are generous yet again.
    This is a difficult question – I am absolutely fascinated by blackwork and how one can use it for tonal variations e.g. Maria del Valle’s angel – I first saw this kind of work in book by Pat Langford. Sharon Boggon’s Sumptuous Surfaces incline me towards contemporary surface embroidery with its incredible contrast and richness of texture. Then there is pulled thread work that is mostly so very precise – the manner in which one can alter a simply woven piece of fabric just by carefully placing the stitches and pulling tight is amazing! So I may I nominate three as I can’t choose between them (I can’t get bored!) please?
    Cheers Marg

  3. My favourite tends to be what I am working on at the time. I’m still at the experimentation stage and love trying out new techniques. So at the moment I am working on a stomacher in silk shading, so that would be my favourite.

    But overall I enjoy making colourful pieces of embroidery where there is a certain amount of “make it up as you go along”.

    I particularly enjoy working on designs from the 18th Century and from the Arts and Crafts movement. My stomacher is actually an adapted version of one of the Dillmont designs, as I couldn’t find an 18th century design I liked as much.

  4. Hi, I am a starting embroider, but I love the satin stitch. I think that it makes the piece look so much better then some of the other stitches. And people say that I do it very well for a begginer

  5. That’s an easy question to answer – embroidery – particularly anything pertaining to crazy quilting. It’s my passion, mostly because so many different techniques can be utilized. Love it!
    Mary Anne

  6. Mary,
    I’ve just found your blog and was loving your posts on the Gilt Silk Twyst!! My blog has been dormant for the past year and a half as I nursed my Mom who just passed away from leukemia. I will be starting my blog up again in the next few weeks and I hope you’ll come visit then.

    My favorite embroidery technique this week is couching japanese gold and goldwork. Here is a URL to a piece I finished…http://www.flickr.com/photos/playswithneedles/161884628/in/set-72057594077660439/

    I am currently doing more on another piece which I’ll feature on my blog in the coming weeks. I hope I win this great new thread because I can’t wait to PLAY with it. It reminds me of a thread we make in Japanese Embroidery, twisting metallic thread and flat silk together. Love your blog!
    Susan in Maryland

  7. Hi Mary, Its hard to narrow down but I enjoy surface embroidery the most,because it has lots of scope, especially Elizabethan/crewel style motifs. However, I am becoming increasingly drawn to stumpwork. I would love to win this draw – the thread look marvellous, and I have ben following your strawberry embroidery with interest. cheers, Paula

  8. Susan – beautiful work! I love the red background. I scrolled through your other photos on flickr as well – the fan is gorgeous, and of course I love the pansies!! And the purse is so beautifully finished.

    I’ll look forward to your blog returning to “up and running” status!

  9. I’ve been lurking here for a while now (and have learned so much!), but the GST was enough incentive for me to finally de-lurk! 🙂

    I’m a semi-beginner (but with high ambitions!), so I haven’t done a lot of different techniques myself, but I really love needlepainting. It is just so stunning when done well. Although my few attempts at it have been, well, a little frustrating. So maybe it’s my favorite technique when it’s finished, but not so much while it’s being worked. 🙂 I also echo Su’s comment on 18th century and Arts & Crafts. In terms of style, there is nothing more beautiful!

    Thanks for such a wonderful, instructive, useful, and fun blog!

  10. My favourite techniques are surface embroidery (crewel or floss), goldwork, and stumpwork. I am really enjoying mixing surface embroidery with goldwork at the moment and I look forward to mixing surface embroidery, goldwork, and stumpwork at some point in the future.

    Susan in Maryland: Your work is spectacular! The precision you have achieved is exquisite. I can’t wait to see more.

  11. i love blackwork and gold couching also cross sticth and crewel hmmm… i guess i could say i love all embroidery……keep up the good work Mary…..——macabrechaos

  12. After many years of doing all bits of things I have finally settled on Needle Painting as my favorite. Just seeing a piece of needle painting inspires me. The ability to make it your own because you know every piece will be different.

  13. Here’s another vote for needle painting, although it’s tough for me to pick one favorite. My first love was crewel – started that as a child. I really like to do any embroidery that has lots of textural interest.

  14. Hi dear Mary:
    My favorite needlework technique is the Blackwork. Because with this techniques I may put together two things that I love most to do. Needlework and paint.
    After finishing a job, on this technique that I’m doing; I would like to make portraits, figures and landscapes using Blacwork and color too.
    Also I say that you are very generous.
    A Kiss from Alicante Spain

  15. I have been doing a lot of redwork/bluework lately & just love it.My favorite stitch is the backstich. I have completed sunbonnet sue blocks using varigated pink floss, & various flower blocks using country blue floss. I turned these blocks into a baby quilt & a lap quilt.

    Mary Jane

  16. I like Brazillian embroidery. I am just learning but What you get from just a little work is impressive. I need to get back at it though…
    Melisa Bakos

  17. I’ve tried a lot of different styles of embroidery but I think my favorite is stumpwork. I think what I like best about it is the puzzle of figuring out how to make something look as real as possible. Another plus is that you can incorporate favorite techniques from other styles.


  18. My favorite technique is cross stitch, it’s my passion because I see that I can create beautiful things with the needle and the thread to decorate my home mainly and because it relaxes to me much. Pardon if I do not express myself well, I am using translator.

  19. Hi I would love to win your stash to build up my own stash. I am brand new at embroidery, and am learning thru your little stitch videos. So far I love doing the little x’s and satin stitch. I have been working on blocks for a childs quilt. Kathy in ozarks

  20. I really enjoy making something with satin stitch and long and short stitch. It gives a look of a painting but with thread. I also like to use various embroidery stitches which gives a nice texture to the embroidery.
    Mary, I’m curious to know what your favorite needlework technique is and why :))

  21. Hi Mary,
    I’ve been thinking of sending a most generous “thank you” to you…you have no idea how you have influenced my newest love for embroidery. I am Alicia, a fellow school teacher by profession, a die hard artist by true Self! I first found your site by searching for the ever dreaded “french knot”…and watched your video….over and over again…I needed the french knot for some crochet dolls. Since then I have french knotted my way around the current Inspirations magazine and have worked bullion roses and french knots until my heart’s content! I have since abandoned All patterns and have decided to stitch my own creations! I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE surface embroidery! Any thread…any surface…any stitch…the world through thread! An artists dream! I will send you another email at my next chance to write to let you know how much you have truly inspired me to pick up the needle and thread to culminate all my art endeavors into One presentation. Thank you so much for your time and dedication to this site. You’ve changed my life! smiles, Alicia in Hawaii

  22. Wow, Alicia! Talk about enthusiasm! I’m glad you find the site useful and interesting and inspiring – that’s everything I hope it to be! And I’m glad you’ve found a creative niche. There’s nothing better than having a hobby that you’re really passionate about!

    Meeta, that’s a great question! I think I’ll save the answer for when I announce the winner! It’s actually kind of a hard question, so I need time to think about it. Of course, I didn’t seem to mind putting readers on the spot! 😉

  23. I love to embroider and experiment with different stitches. Chain stich is one of my favorites. I used to cross stitch and do candlewicking years ago. I am a little ashamed to admit I’ve never heard of many of the techniques listed here. I’m curious about needlepainting and blackwork. I’ve never heard of either!

  24. Hi Mary

    I love all types of embroidery that involve my crazy quilting. This is what led me in the embroidery direction. I also like Brazilian Embroidery and have a few pieces in the works.

    I am a big fan of your blog and could not do some stitches until I saw them on your videos. Thank you for spending so much of your time helping others.

    Freda Butler

  25. Mary, I’m enjoying your blog so much, especially the raised work strawberry posts lately. I’m what you’d call a lazy stitcher, I tend to stitch for a specific purpose eg to make a sample for a kid’s class, take a workshop or class… but when I DO stitch, I enjoy the more traditional techniques. I love crewel embroidery, blackwork, and lately needlelace has been a strong favourite (guess who’s doing a 2 monthly workshop, LOL) I wonder if the Gilt Twyst could make some contemporary style needlelace? Thanks for sharing your stitching with us all, it really makes my day !
    Christine in sunny Sydney Australia

  26. From a design perspective, the only modern work I do (which equates to me loving it) is Long and Short Stitch.

    I’m more into historical work – 16th-18th Century. Goldwork, Stumpwork, and the surface embroidery used then.

    I’ve been reading all the comments and seen lots of people commenting that have the same interests as me.

    I don’t know if you all have “following comments” switched on, or come back and read, and see this comment – and this is naughty of me because it’s Mary’s blog, not mine …..

    If you are from a ‘foreign’ blogger, or can’t be clicked through to from the comment you’ve left here for some reason – I’d love to meet you, and see the work you are doing, if that’s ok.
    You could always put the information in my blog, to save poor Mary getting “double comments”, tho she may very well be interested too!

  27. Name: Erin Ivie
    Hi! I just discovered your site and I love it!
    Anyways, I think my favourite technique, even though I haven’t been able to do it myself yet, is lace work. It’s so pretty and delicate. I’m just afraid I’d destroy it if I tried. One of my friends is undertaking a lace work project and it’s so beautiful!

  28. I really love hardanger, I find I can do large bits of it without having to keep looking at a chart, which is useful if I’m also trying to watch tv!

    Michelle P

  29. That’s a toughie – I love silk shading, I think it can produce some really beautiful results and it’s not something I’ve done much of..
    I also love crewel work – elizabethan patterns and amazing wools..

  30. I guess I am too much of a beginner to have a favorite. I have long admired the eastern european styles of colorful embroidery and just purchased a gorgeous book on Hungarian embroidery. It’s not particularly instructional but very inspirational.

  31. Painting a picture with threads.

    I have done all sorts of other stitching, of course, but I really love the look of filled in work done with thread. My dad painted with a brush [on canvas, not houses], mom painted with pen and ink, I paint with needle and thread.

    I also do my hand quilting with embroidery thread, and big stitches, because I want it to show up!

    Interesting looking thread, I must google this….

  32. I love cross stitch especially samplers with specialty stitches. I enjoy freestyle embroidery but there is just something about recreating what was done in years past by young girls that captures me.

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