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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Commissioned Embroiderer Sought


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Are you a skilled embroiderer who has considered the possibility of taking commissions? Commissions are often a good way to supplement income while doing what you love. If the thought has occurred to you, and if you are skilled with the needle, here’s an opportunity you might want to pursue.

Gardiner Hall International is seeking a skilled hand embroiderer (or group of embroiderers) in the United States to work a commissioned ecclesiastical embroidery project. The techniques employed in the project may include (but may not be limited to) needlepainting (including the side profile of a face) and goldwork. If you are a capable embroiderer and are interested in commissioned work, you can contact Gardiner Hall International through their website and communicate with David Gardiner. You should probably be prepared to provide work samples in appropriate techniques.

If I had the time right now, I would pursue acquiring this commission (it doesn’t necessarily mean I would get it, though!). The piece is already designed and quite beautiful, but I cannot commit to any commissions right now because of the school year. If you have the required needlework skills and have wondered how to go about getting commissioned work or wanted to make contacts for aquiring commissions, here’s a chance to try.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with either the company or with any commissioned embroiderer. Should you choose to pursue this opportunity, all negotiations or agreements will be made between the company and you. This is simply a “public service announcement” for those who have the necessary needlework skills and who are interested in taking commissioned work.

If there is a big interest in discussing commissioned work, I might write a post on my experiences, the pros and cons, considerations in negotiating payment, and so forth. I haven’t discussed it in-depth before, because it can be a sticky subject, but if there’s interest in it, maybe I could write something about it from my perspective.

Have you had experience in taking commissions? Would you be interested in hearing about this subject? Leave a comment below to let me know! You can also contact me if you have any specific questions, but please understand that I cannot discuss or recommend specific financial information for the commission mentioned above.


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(9) Comments

  1. I'm no where near proficient in embroidery to apply for this commission, but I'm very interested to see how many of readers are! This seems like a wonderful opportunity for a skilled embroiderer.

  2. Yes, please write about commissioned work. I have done this occasionally and always been conflicted about what to charge. Is there a formula for figuring it out?

  3. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic as the business side of needlework is always interesting. It preserves a bit of our craft that isn't normally visible online, too.


  4. Hello Mary, I am Chloe Patricia, a thimble maker, whose blog you kindly visited and left a comment yesterday and I just wanted to say thank you. I haven't read any of your posts yet but they look interesting as I do embroidery, too. Look forward to your next post. Thank you. Chloe Patricia

  5. Mary was kind enough to give me help and advice on this topic off-list, so (if she's willing!), I think a post giving a few pointers on things to bear in mind when going for a commission would be very useful indeed. If I can give one suggestion myself, it's not to undervalue yourself. I think that embroiderers as a breed are quite self-effacing, and we don't do ourselves justice. Think of how people regard a sculptor, say, or a stained glass artist – why should we be considered any differently? But if we don't value our work, both intrinsically and commercially, then no-one else will either.

  6. Hello Mary,
    I found your site a while back and began exploring it in depth recently. I'm so thankful that you're willing to share your expertise with us – you're right when you say there's something lacking when you copy stitches from a book- and would be very interested to hear what you have to say about the commissions you've had. Your tutorial on satin stitch has been indispensable for me – you put into words all the problems I was having i.e. overlapping threads, twisted multi-strand thread. I constantly caught myself saying, "Oh, that makes so much sense!"
    Thank you, truly.
    Keri B.

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