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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Here’s Your (Embroidery) Sign!


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Here’s a quick post updating you on what’s going on in my needlework world. I’m making a sign!

This summer I’m teaching kids’ embroidery classes again – 3 classes for different age groups. I’ll tell you all about them once I finish getting them together. In the meantime, I’ll start advertising them on the bulletin board, so I thought I’d dress up the sign.

Here’s my sign!

Hand Embroidered Embroidery Sign

The photographic quality isn’t so good – I’ll give you a better picture when I make some progress on it! (Too busy – or is that lazy? – to set up the equipment for pictures right now…)

Coming up this week, I’ll have the May embroidery stash give-away (lots of reasons why I haven’t done it sooner), and I’m going to review a new floss from DMC, Satin Floss, which I mentioned a couple weeks ago. I’ll also tell you about making your own paper embroidery patterns (for cards, gift tags, scrapbooks, etc.).

I’m facing a hectic two weeks, so bear with me!


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(8) Comments

  1. Wow! How are you placing your pattern on your fabric, or is that paper? Are those dots made with pencil? And how do you get it so perfectly straight? The calligraphy is so perfect, it blows my mind!

    Oh, I wish I could be a fly on the wall at your house, Mary! I just can’t imagine how you create your pattern so flawlessly straight and so properly and symmetrically placed. – Jeannine <-- in awe as usual.

  2. Hi, Jeannine –

    It’s actually on paper! I’ll be covering that later this week. I’ll show you how to turn a font into a paper embroidery pattern for cards and so forth, as well as how to make simple paper embroidery patterns, with variations limited only by one’s imagination!

    Well, ok. That’s promising a lot – I’m going to show you the basics, anyway, and let you go from there!

    Thanks for the comment!


  3. Hi Mary, am I right in thinking the give-away will only be available to people living within the USA?

    The internet is a lovely thing for teaching and reaching out to others, but so often the websites that are not located in the same country as the user restrict the participants in a competition to residents of the country in which the website is located.

  4. Mary I asked this question the other day, but you have been so busy, that I thought I might ask again.

    “Betty asks about the age of a child to begin embroidery. I have a niece with a congenital cataract in one eye (retina, I think) and she has asked many time for me or her mother to teach her cross stitch, but she is just not able to ‘see’ the holes in the Aida cloth properly.

    She now wears glasses, and I have yet to suggest another go, but what can I do to stop any bad tempers when she can’t get it right?

    I think that for the forseeable future (no pun intended), and operation to correct the defect is not likely, although it was suggested, many times, that this might be an outcome, but the doctors deferred because she was so young. She is now 10.

    I look upon this as a challenge as I have previously taught a girl with intellectual disabilites (and her teacher’s aide at the same time). The girl in turn taught her mother and both women now cross stitch and this craft has bought mother and daughter closer together.”

  5. Hi, Marian – Sorry! I think I misunderstood your original comment. I didn’t know it was a specific question regarding instruction of children!

    Are you talking about stopping HER bad temper when she can’t get it right, or YOUR bad temper? If the former, if she’s having a temper fit, perhaps another hobby would be more suitable. Embroidery isn’t the best hobby in the world when one has an eyesight problem, although there are some ways to overcome the difficulty. There are some helpful magnifying tools out there, for example, that could help her with seeing the holes – you might want to look for a needlework magnifying glass for her. If she has a temper fit because she can’t get it right, but she still wants to learn, you should probably teach her the necessity of practicing patience and self-control. Mistakes are all part of the learning process. The students I teach make mistakes. They know that when it isn’t right, they have to take it out and do it again – and instead of seeing that as “bad,” or as “impeding” their progress, they understand that it’s just part of embroidery. What does a child do when learning to play the piano? Go back and play the piece again and again… and again… and even again, until it’s right. Same thing with an embroidery stitch….

    If the case is the latter and you are afraid of losing your patience, since you are an adult, it is up to you to practice patience and teach patience to her by your example. As adults, we teach best by example. Self-control and the deliberate practice of patience in adversity is good for the adult as well as the child. Children learn valuable lessons through the good example of the adults in their lives!

    I’m not exactly sure how else to answer that question. I don’t mean the answer to sound blunt – I encourage you to try with her. You can but try — and if either of you has a problem with patience, think of it as an exercise in self-control and a good learning experience for both of you!

    The monthly stash contest is open to anyone. I will ship the package to the winner via the least expensive airmail method. Two winners so far have been from overseas – one to Australia and one to Hungary. I don’t mind sending packages overseas – I think it’s kind of neat, actually…

    Hope that answers the questions!

  6. For a child with seeing difficulties I suggest starting with macrame using cord. After basic knottings, then move onto plastic canvas and X (cross stitches) I have done this for a blind boy and he loved it. After this is accomplished, use plastic canvas to make arrowheads using shoelaces with the firm tips. Finally, gradually move into canvas. But you may need to teach hook rug or wool needlework on open canvas.

  7. Dear Mary, thanks for your well rounded reply. Actually my niece’s problem is that she wants to learn but gets it wrong because she cant see the hole in the Aida properly, then gets upset because she feels it is an enjoyable hobby (practised by quite a few ladies and gents in the family) that is ‘lost’ to her because of her cataract. I will ask again.

    Now she has glasses, which are similar to mine, she may have better luck, but I will also buy a magnifying glass and tell her I use it when using 22 count Aida and that she can ‘borrow’ it.

    Thnaks for your help.

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