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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A Banner Day!


Amazon Books

I don’t usually gush on about good days, bad days, and the like. Pretty much, I have relatively even days – but today was a banner day, for a number of reasons, and I’d like to tell you about one reason and show you the other!

First, the telling:

You know my embroidery stash contests and book give-aways? Well, I recently fell behind on mailing. So, if you are waiting for something in the mail from Needle ‘n Thread, guess what? It’s finally on its way! Our post office has strange hours. It is never open when I’m not at work. But today I was off early, so … I finally made it! I was one of those last-ten-minutes-of-the-day customers with-lots-of-packages-to-mail, all of which had to be fit-into-the-right-sized-mailer and then addressed-at-the-counter, after which I had to fill out customs forms. Oh boy. I kind of felt bad. But if they would change their hours…..!!!!! However, in a spirit of great congeniality, I chatted with the lady behind the counter, and all got safely posted. I feel as if the burden of the world has been lifted from my shoulders (a slight exaggeration, but it is nice to have that off my mind!)

And the showing:

The day after I went thread shopping for the first time in eons, I placed an order for some threads, and today, they arrived! Now, you may be thinking that’s a heck of a long time to await an order, but in all fairness, most of the order was made up of special orders. So once they were all in, Needle in a Haystack sent the order out in good time, and here is what will be my Last Purchase of Embroidery Goods for a Very Long Time.

And because of that, I shall revel and rejoice and enjoy my socks off with this shipment of goods. So let me show you what came today that has me all Giddy with Excitement.

Embroidery Supplies: threads, threads, threads, and THREADS!!!

This is the whole shipment. Ok, ok. So it doesn’t look that thrilling. Well, let’s look individually at the items, and see what they all mean.

Embroidery Supplies: threads, threads, threads, and THREADS!!!

This is a heap of white thread. Cordonnet and Cebelia in a vast variety of sizes, along with several sizes of coton a broder. For whitework? Well, some of it, yes. For needlelace? Well, yes, some of it. For filet lace? Oh, yes. That’s the exciting part. I’m going to rope my dear mother into following through on her initial interest in “perhaps trying” filet guipure. And since I have the threads – and I have a goodly supply of netting of the knotted and unknotted variety – she will just have to succumb.

Needlework in the company of others is always fun, I think, don’t you? So I’m looking forward to that. We’ll probably argue quite a bit. I can’t wait!!

Embroidery Supplies: threads, threads, threads, and THREADS!!!

Then there are these few new threads to try, which I will tell you more about later, after I try them. I don’t want to horn-honk on any thread until I try it, but I sure do like the colors! Behind the thread, you see – yes – Q-snaps. I have succumbed to peer pressure here. Generally, I like wood. I know people out there may think that’s really rather narrow-minded, but I like wood frames, wood hoops (the good ones), wood slate frames, wood stretcher bars, wood scroll frames… wood. Using plastic for tension does not tickle me. BUT – peer pressure won. So many people have recommended and raved over Q-snaps that I decided to give a set a try. I’ll try them and let you know what I think of them. I don’t want to offend anyone, but the truth is, if I don’t like them… I’ll probably say so! But that sounds so negative. As Alfred P. Doolittle would say, I’m willing to try them. I’m wanting to try them. I’m waiting to try them.

Embroidery Supplies: threads, threads, threads, and THREADS!!!

And then… aaaaaah…. see that pile of blue? That, my friends, is a pile of blue Impressions, for the background of the Pelican. I ordered larger hanks, all the same dye lot. And once my current goldwork project is finished, I launch into the Pelican for a good bit. Joey – if you’re reading – no, I haven’t tried them yet, but I will soon!

Embroidery Supplies: threads, threads, threads, and THREADS!!!

And finally, this is the Needle in a Haystack Stitching Has Its Rewards card. Oh, golly. How long have I been ordering from them, and I never knew about this? I finally started reading their newsletters and blog, and low and behold… I got a card. This means that I can build up rewards points that equal cash off my next order. Unfortunately, I won’t be placing another order for a while. But hey. Some day I will. And gosh, I just feel really good about being an official card-carrying stitcher.

So that was my banner day.

It was un-banner day in the fact that I didn’t get a post published this morning (sorry), and I didn’t get the write-up finished about my concept of long-and-short stitch lessons, and I didn’t get the face transferred. But I did dig out this:

Soie d'Alger in Flesh Tones

It’s my flesh tone package of Soie d’Alger. Did you know you can order a whole set of only-flesh-tones of Soie d’Alger? I’ve had these for two years. I’m finally going to use them!

Thank you all for your good advice on the face. I will take each bit of advice and try it out, and let you know what actually ended up working out best!

I hope your Monday was a banner day, too! See you tomorrow!


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(12) Comments

  1. All very exciting! I love receiving an order in the mail too, and who wouldn’t? It’s like Christmas. I’m a little concerned about your plan to stitch with your dear mother though. Hmmm, you’ll have to let us know how that turns out! Although, since she is YOUR mother, I am sure she is a dear!


  2. Where did you order your flesh tone set of Soie d’Alger from?
    I’ve just had a quick Google with no luck – and I looove the colours

  3. Yep – it is a bit like Christmas, MGM – with one exception. I paid for it! 😉

    Megan – I think I got them at Needle in a Haystack. If you look at their Soie d’Alger page (where they have all the individual skeins listed by color number, with pictures), towards the end of the list, you’ll find a group called “Flesh Tones.” I don’t remember if this is where I bought them, but I’m pretty sure it is. I think they may have been selling them in a pack back then – two years ago – as “Flesh Tones” but now you’d have to check off each color and order them individually.

  4. For sure, that was a good day! With the post office still open, as a treat. We are starting to experience the same inconvenience here. Now I have all orders sent to my office, but when I have to mail something, I have to find the right time 🙁

    All those threads are very exciting! I love Soie d’alger. Enjoy yourself.

  5. Mary, that IS a banner day! That pelican is gorgeous, and makes me want to do more canvaswork. Maybe I should dig out my big piece soon… Of course, I just started a huge counted sampler… oh so much to stitch, so little time!

  6. Hi Mary – looks like my idea of a heavenly day!! I am a Q-snaps devotee but have to say it took me a while to realise I needed to bind the frame with something to keep the tension. In the end I used up some first aid tape (can’t remember the name) – its like rip-wrap for animals but a bit more substantial – works a treat. I have used them with G clamps for hands-free.

  7. Mary, it's been awhile since you wrote this, and I'm wondering if you ever got around to trying filet guipure. Perhaps not, since you haven't added a heading for it. I have a couple of questions I was hoping you might be able to answer since I'm experimenting with filet myself.

    One, which threads do you intend to use for this? I'm using two sizes of perle, but I've stumbled on a really good deal for Cordonnet size 100. Is that one of the sizes you bought intending to use it for filet?

    Second, I've encountered a difficulty with going around corners using the blanket stitch. I know how to do corners with buttonhole or blanket in Hardanger or another technique in which the thread travels over several meshes of fabric. But I've looked in every source I can find and nothing that addresses this stitch when used on netting.

    I guess I have a third question, which is what sources or patterns you intend to use to teach yourself. I've been gathering up every source I can. I'm starting with a simple practice piece to work on the darning and blanket stitch, and then plan to adapt one of the filet samplers in The Open Canvas.

    Thanks — Janice

  8. Hi, Janice –

    Well, I never did rope my mom into that. But yes, I have done some filet guipure. In fact, that is the only ever "embroidery" or needlework class I've ever actually taken – and I quit after the first lesson and a half. I'm afraid the instructor wasn't quite what I expected. It was just a bad experience. I had done some filet work before that class, and I knew the basics, so I figured I could learn a whole lot more from books than I could pulling my hair out through six weeks of that class.

    Anyway, it really depends on the size of netting, the types of stitches and so forth, when it comes to what threads you choose. 100 is pretty small, but it is good for some stitches on a small net ground.

    Perle cottons in 5, 8, and 12 are good for larger net grounds, I think – changing the thread for the type of stitching.

    Hope that helps!


  9. What bad luck that the one face-to-face class you've taken turned out to be a bust! And it must have been really wretched if you left in the middle of the second class. It's a good thing you're able to pick up so many techniques through self-study. I'm surprised to hear that you even found a class in filet since not a lot of people do it.

    I've been using 5 & 8 perle for my practice piece on 6 ct. mesh (the 5 is couched). I guess I'll go ahead and invest in the cone of ecru Cordonnet 100 I found on craigslist, just in case. Maybe I can use it for needle lace, too.

    Thanks again!

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