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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Needlework Around the Traps


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Now that the holiday rush has come to a grinding halt and life is back to normal, I’ve had a chance to squiz around other needlework websites and do some reading and some viewing. It’s great fun to see what everyone’s up to! I looked, I lingered… and I made a list of the things I saw that I liked! Ready to browse?

There are different types of needlework and embroidery websites and blogs online that will cause me to pause, look, and read. Some, I pause to read because I enjoy the writer’s work and find the writing itself informative, fun, or refreshing. Others strike me because the pictures grabe me right away – there’s something unique or beautiful to look at. I’ll linger over others because they’re introducing me to a good idea or inspiring me with something new. And sometimes, I even stop to look because I find something that’s just … well, too far out. Whatever the case, there’s endless variety in browsing needlework websites. A good browse is like one of those vacation road trips, where I enjoy the regular route and the side trips, and I don’t even mind getting lost!

Katy of Kathryn Estelle made a darling monogrammed pillow recently. It’s embroidered in red on a white background, and has a little hanging ribbon attached. This isn’t really “shameless schilling” here – it’s true that she used one of the monograms from my monograms pattern page – but I just thought the red monogram on the white was so perfect! I love the idea of the hanging pillow, too – a perfect accent that would make a nice little gift for someone special.

Carol-Anne of Threads Across the Web has been working on some gorgeous beading. She’s working on a red background, with blue and goldish beads… I’m a sucker for red. And of course, her work is always gorgeous. I love the flowers, too – especially the fact that the petals are pointed. Nice!!

Sharon Boggan on her blog Pintangle has been documenting her band sampler and all the various stitches used in it. You’ll enjoy browsing each section of the band sampler so far, but the one that really caught my eye was Band 10, on lacing running stitches. I love the effect of this, and I think it would make a great fill pattern. While you’re visiting Pintangle, notice in the right hand column that Sharon teaches online classes. Her Personal Library of Stitches class begins March 4th. If you’re interested in really learning a variety of stitches and developing overall stitch know-how, this would be a terrific class! It’s offered through Joggles, for only $60, which is more than reasonable for a class like this. If you’re a crazy quilter, or just getting into crazy quilting, she’s also offering an Encrusted Crazy Quilting class beginning at the end of February. Either class would be terrific – I’ve heard heaps of happy comments on them! So if your New Year’s Resolutions included expanding your horizons a bit in the stitch world, you should check these classes out!

Gosh, I meant to point this one out ages ago! I may have mentioned them? But, if I didn’t, here they are – Romilly embroidered the camels I love. I keep going back to these, too. They’re on my list for this year. How soon? I don’t know – but I keep going back to Romilly’s blog, Stitching with a Shimmy, and contemplating them!

Have you seen Allie’s Cottage Crazy Quilt? This link is a little outdated – she’s made more progress on it since then – but it’s one of my favorite run-downs on the progress on this project! I love it! When she first started the cottage, I had no idea how such a piece would come together, but as she progresses with the embellishment, I find myself completely enchanted with the whole piece! Check out the waves and bubbles while you’re there, too.

For those of you who like counted thread techniques, cross stitch, and blackwork, you should check out Maria del Valle’s New Year’s Greetings post, where she includes a beautiful counted thread pattern for free. It’s a filigree heart, which would make a wonderful Valentine project. The chart is available in a PDF download below the colored graphic design of the piece. I was thinking about making a tiny version on 40 count linen, in pinks and reds…. I haven’t done any counted work in a long time, but I do love the filigree on this pattern! It would be fun for a little something different, don’t you think?

Megan on Elmsley Rose recently published a comprehensive post on Elizabethan embroidery stitches, listing several sources for information on Elizabethan embroidery. Included in the post, she has charted the different stitches she’s been experimenting with on her historical sampler. If you like Elizabethan embroidery, or historical embroidery techniques in general, you’ll find the resources Megan lists very interesting and informative!

And speaking of Elizabethan embroidery, Jeanne on Just String has made beautiful progress on an Elizabethan motif that includes plaited braid stitch. This is one stitch I’m determined to master this year, and in fact, early this year. I especially like the look of Jeanne’s stitch, which is slightly different from other varieties I’ve seen. Notice the center of the vine, and how it has a kind of openwork pattern to it. I really like that!

Speaking of Valentine’s Day (I seem to be jumping around!), there’s a pretty little heart and bird embroidery pattern available for free on Andrea Zuill’s blog, Badbird’s.

Before she left to go camping (hard to believe, when I’m sitting here in Kansas shivering my teeth out), Jo in NZ posted some really nice samples of her crazy quilt post cards for this year. Having only briefly ventured into crazy quilting recently, I am prone to stop and ponder all seam treatments lately. These seam treatment
s on Jo’s crazy quilt postcards
are so precise and pretty! My favorite’s the second one down….

Deepa on This and That recently posted a picture of a beautifully embellished Indian outfit (skirt and top). It’s stunning – I love the fabric, the colors, and the embroidery. Do look at it! While you’re there, check out Deepa’s various stitch tutorials – she’s got some excellent Indian embroidery stitch tutorials on her website, including this one on the Chinese knot used in Indian embroidery.

Pat Winter, on Pat Winter Gatherings, recently made beaded Kumihimo cords (bracelets) that are fascinating. I’m a big fan of kumihimo, but I don’t take the marudai out often enough to become proficient at making cords. I use it here and there for smaller projects that need a touch of cord on them, but I’ve yet to make cord for cord’s sake… The beaded cords here are pretty neat!

For those of you who like canvas work, check out Barbara Bergsten’s Create Needlepoint! website, where you’ll find a nice glossary of needlepoint stitches with clear diagrams and photos of the finished stitches. I recently discovered this blog and added to my RSS feed right away! I thought her latest post on Nobuko stitch was really interesting, as I hadn’t seen this stitch before.

Di Van Niekerk has a new book out called Flower Fairies. For those of you who enjoy silk ribbon or dimensional embroidery and sweet little fairies and flowers, you’re certain to enjoy this book! It looks like a lot of fun. Along with the book, you can order thread and ribbon packs for the various projects in the book. Don’t be put off by the prices – they’re listed by South African rands, so the exchange rate is about 10 to the US dollar. Incidentally, Di van Niekerk also offers downloadable ribbon embroidery lessons on her website. The first lesson that’s available features little chickens in a barnyard. If you’ve ever seen any of her books, you know that the author is very thorough in instructional techniques – the lessons are bound to be a terrific way to learn silk ribbon embroidery.

And, finally, I couldn’t help it. I paused on this one! The Wooly Thread blog is the blog connected with Wooly Thread, which is a great resource for Country Bumpkin’s A-Z books, all kinds of wool for needlework and sewing, and satin ribbon binding for blankets, among lots of other things. The blog is used to update readers on specials and current events at Wooly Thread. Well, I just couldn’t help chuckling over the heading “Needle and Nibble,” announcing a needlework gathering that centers around… well, chocolate. If you live in the area (Seattle, Washington, and Surrounds) and you like needlework and chocolate, you just might want to look up this event! It sounds kind of fun! (I mean, really. What’s not to like?)

Well, that’s not exactly an exhaustive list, but those were my website wanderings this week. It was an exercise in procrastination. I don’t really need a lot of practice in the fine art of procrastination, but now and then, I do like to make sure I’m still in shape! Now, I must get back to work. I hope you enjoy wandering as much as I did!


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(6) Comments

  1. Mary,
    Thanks for sharing all of these wonderful sites, and for including mine in them!

    Please note: I only used plaited braid in the leaves at the top of the peapods. The vine is open Ceylon (also known as ladder stitch) with a backstitch line running through the center that works to bunch the rungs together in groups of two.

  2. Thanks Mary!!
    By the way,when I first saw the gaghra with the goldwork I thought about you and the “Pearl purl”.I seem to connect anything gold with you now-that is the effect of your goldwork.

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