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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Great New Embroidery Resource – for Free!


Amazon Books

If you’re not familiar with Inspirations Magazine published by Country Bumpkin, you are missing one of the greatest needlework publications ever! I really LOVE their magazine! It is one of the few superfluous indulgences I allow myself. It is, admittedly, rather pricey, but each issue is really such a joy to read, browse through, and linger over. So I do subscribe to Inspirations. If you can’t afford the subscribe to the magazine, though, they do have some nice little offerings on their website. Read on, and I’ll tell you about them!

Before I venture too far in singing the glories of this Pinnacle of Embroidery Perfection that I tend to think Inspirations is, I should note (in case you’re suspicious of my motives!) that I’m not at all affiliated with Country Bumpkin, except for being a loyal customer for many years! I get such pleasure out of the magazine, that I can’t help telling other people about it…

Anyway, on with it…

Country Bumpkin is always trying to improve their website and build a really excellent resource for hand embroiderers and smockers. Working towards this goal, they’ve recently added some free “e-books” to their website.

E-books are electronic books that you download in PDF format. Country Bumpkin is presently offering two free e-books: one on Bullion Roses and one on Picture Smocking for Beginners. The hitch is, you have to become a member – but membership is free. And as a member, you can participate in their forum, where you can find inspiration and advice from other stitchers, and you can receive notification of sales and events. You can also go to their My Designs page and download several free embroidery designs created by expert needlework designers. So all in all, it’s a really good deal!!

If you’re passionate about embroidery, I think you’ll find at least a few things on the Country Bumpkin website that please you. And if you’d like a taste of Country Bumpkin quality, but are hesitant to swallow the price tag of their publications, do at least take advantage of their free offerings. As their site expands and they continue in their endeavors to create and maintain this wonderful online resource, I bet they’ll probably be offering more good stuff!



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(4) Comments

  1. Hi Mary

    I have just discovered your website tonight … & love it & think I will very quickly become addicted to it … if I’m not already!

    After reading your comments about Country Bumpkin & their Inspirations magazine, etc. I just had to share with you of my love of the magazine too. My claim to fame is that I own the full set of the magazine! 🙂 I can’t wait for each quarter to see my next issue to arrive. I was introduced to the magazine when I was bedbound for 8 years & was only able to turn the pages, even though I couldn’t brush my own teeth, or feed myself, etc. So, I was ever so grateful when a friend lent me a few of her Inspirations ?’magazines’? – they seem too good to call that … :-)) After spending so long reading her magazines … from cover to cover, I couldn’t wait to become well enough so that I could at least try to learn to embroider. I was fortunate enough to have a husband at the time, who made sure that I had each new issue as it came out, and he also gradually purchased the few issues the I had previously missed. Even when I can’t stitch occasionally nowadays, the pleasure I get from just being able to read the magazines is great value for any amount they may cost. The most beautiful pleasure I can enjoy is to just sit & read through the magazines – no matter how many times I’ve already read them. I’m even planning on giving smocking a try next year! 

    So after all that pleasure I experienced just by looking at the magazines …. as soon as I could hold a needle, I started to enjoy doing some of my own embroidery. I may even now, take 10 times as long as anyone else & undo more stitches than anyone else, it doesn’t deter me from trying to do my best. Besides, just a brief glance at a magazine, I’m completely inspired all over again!!:-))

    I’ve also stocked up on several of their kits by suggesting them when I’m asked what gift I’d like for special occasions. I enjoy collecting the kits for a few reasons. If &/or when I’m housebound, I won’t need to rely on others, especially bored non-sewers to source the requirements for a project. Been there, done that … & not at all easy! I’ve also lived in places where I just couldn’t source anything I needed closer than say, 500 klms. When they arrive, it’s like a delivery of beautiful flowers except that they last a great deal longer … & I also admit to drooling over the kits when they arrive. Another benefit of buying the kits is that it also saves me trying to source all the items I need for a project. When I tried it once, it took several shops to source all the project requirements …. & of course I wasn’t able to buy the exact colours of either the threads, fabrics, buttons, etc. ….. & then after a full day of shopping, it cost me almost double the price of the kit … & I stiiiiill needed the buy a handle for the lovely embroidered bag! …. but DID have sore feet & aching legs! All that because I didn’t want to wait the 4 days for delivery!

    I’d also recommend joining their free website as you receive a weekly email that gives you all the latest ‘Specials’, etc so that you can often buy kits, embroidery accessories, etc. at a good discount. You will also get to see what’s new coming out … as well as recommended books with previews of them, etc. If you actually subscribe to the quarterly magazines, not only do you save on the newsagents price, but you never miss out on your copy … & you are then eligible to receive 10% off anything you buy from their shop, including books, fabrics, threads, kits, etc.

    I would recommend everything from Country Bumpkin … all their books & magazines; Inspirations, Smocking … as well as their kits, website & their wonderful customer service. No, I am not affiliated with Country Bumpkin in any way …. except that I just love it … & anything to do with it.

    My dream is to save up so that one day I may be able to go on one of their needlework cruises, or their ‘Beat Around the Bush’ classes, etc. as I live several hours flying time away from their beautiful little shop. It’s kept me going on those slightly miserable days too …

    Country Bumpkin truly has/is a real life-line for me if/when I’m bedbound, or just housebound …. They just seem to be like a ‘family’, even though I’ve never been anywhere near their little shop, let alone met anyone who even works there.

    I have a feeling from your site that your site will also become ‘a close friend’ to me. It has a very ‘warm’ feeling about it.

    Thank you for a terrific site with sooo much valuable, helpful & very clear information …. of which much of it is new to me & had been looking for much of the information …. so I’ve really enjoyed now spending 8 hours on your site & writing to you!!  I especially enjoyed how that lady embroidered the spring flower table cloth … & then detailed how she had altered colours, etc. It was most enlightening.

    All the very best ….
    Wendy (from Australia)
    PS Satin stitch is one of the most difficult stitches for me to manage. I’m currently embroidering a forget-me-not tea cloth … but every flower is satin stitch. I thought that doing so many, that’s I’d have it down pat by the time I was half way through … not so! Do you have any full word & picture instructions on this stitch please?

    1. Hi, Wendy! Thanks so much for your comment and telling us about your introduction to, and your love of, Inspirations Magazine. What can I say? Me, too! It’s a beautiful magazine and a terrific resource! They set the standard in fine needlework, in my opinion – and their contributors are really amazing artists.

      Satin stitch – ahhhh. It’s a glorious stitch. I do have a bunch of posts that focus on the stitch, but they’re scattered hither and thither throughout the site. Your best bet is to type “satin stitch” into the search feature on the left side column, and then you’ll see all the posts that are available on it. There’s also a video under the “how-to videos.” I love satin stitch – it’s one of my favorites!

      Wishing you the best of everything in your stitching adventures!


  2. So nice to see a shout out for Country Bumpkin publications which, I agree, set the standards for both gorgeous projects and stunning photography. I, too, started purchasing Inspirations when I was ill and unable to do much stitching. The lovely photography carried me away, and dreaming about one day being well enough to stitch some of the projects helped me pass many difficult hours. That day has been slow to come but the “magazines” (I agree, an inadequate word) have remained a source of enjoyment worth many times their price.

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