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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Reader’s Embroidery: Flowered Tablecloths


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A few readers have recently sent me some photos of their own embroidery work, and coincidentally, they’re all table linens of some sort! Hand embroidery has been used to embellish items for the home for ages, and I love to see that it’s still done for that purpose. Marlena sent along photos of two table cloths she’s done – one is complete and the other is in the works.

The first embroidered table cloth Marlena completed, she framed! Because she has little kids, she figured it was a good way to preserve it from paint and dirt.

Hand Embroidered Table Cloth: Flowers

I love the colorful ring of flowers, don’t you? Daffodils have always been a favorite of mine!

Hand Embroidered Table Cloth: Flowers

Here’s the piece framed up. I would have never thought of framing a tablecloth to preserve it – it’s a good idea, since she still plans to use it in the future. In the meantime, she doesn’t have to pack it away in a box and can still enjoy it.

Hand Embroidered Table Cloth: Flowers

Here’s the second flowered tablecloth. I love the shades of blue! I meant to ask what type of floss she’s using (sorry!) and how many strands, so Marlena, if you read this, do let us know!

Hand Embroidered Table Cloth: Flowers

Here’s a close-up on the embroidered flower. Very nice!

Hand Embroidered Table Cloth: Flowers

And the work progressing in the hoop!

I was really happy to receive these! Thank you for sending the pictures, Marlena!

One of the reasons I find it delightful to see embroidered table linens right now is because I am STILL in the throes of preparing my summer classes. I hope to take a few days off work before they start, so that I can devote some concentrated effort to patterns and stitch directions. We’ll be working on some household linens, too – the kiddos are doing kitchen towels at one point, and the adults have some monogrammed guest towels on their list.

The way things are turning out, I may end up with a theme of posts this week on embroidered household linens! Margaret sent along a tablecloth embroidered with strawberries, which I’ll have up for you to admire, too.

Thank you again, Marlena! Congratulations on your very fine work!


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(11) Comments

  1. How pretty! I love the colours and the quality of the workmanship appears to be very good.

    I’d be interested to know if these are kits or transfers or ??? Also, how big are the tablecloths?

  2. I love handstitched household items. I remember growing up and seeing at my great grandmothers, the chairbacks that had been hand embroidered. I have some tablecloths in my stash to do, and am looking forward to seeing the finished items.

    All the best for the summer schools

  3. As for the thread it is 4 threads of stranded cotton. Cloth size is 80x80cm 31×31 inch. I got them in a kit that included the threads, but I changed the colors on the first one so it would have a pattern of light and dark colors around the circle. It took about 18 hours total to get it finished. If you want to know anything else feel free to ask away.

  4. Sweet! Both are very pretty! I’m totally in love with the ring of flowers.

    That motif would work really well for embroidering something special in the middle of it, like a birth or marriage announcement, or a favorite quote.

    Well done, Marlena!

  5. Actually it is funny that you would say that, because that is exactly what I was thinking of doing once our daughter is older and has an occasion like graduation or something. The second on is a square shape with blank center and I really want to put a Lily there. lol.

  6. Would you be willing to share the name of the daffodil kit and where you got it? It’s beautiful…….

  7. Does anyone know of classes in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. I love this feminine, delicate work. I could teach myself but would also be nice to see other people wotking and meet them.

    Beautiful work, inspiring.

  8. I have been given a linen tablecloth to finish, but i have no idea what the design looks like, it is cross stitch marked on linen, it is a Myart design C.K1462, would anyone have a picture of this design, so I can complete it?
    Regards Jan

  9. I have a large hand embroidered cloth I would like to frame. I was wondering whether I should iron interfacing on the back before taking it to be framed?

    1. No. There’s no reason to put interfacing behind a framed piece of embroidery. If you feel it needs some lining behind it – maybe the ground fabric is fine and it needs a heavier layer of solid color behind it, or maybe you just want something soft behind it – then just use a piece of plain fabric, but don’t interface, fuse, or sew it on. It would be mounted along with the embroidery on the mounting board.

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