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 Crewel Finish!


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Oh, these tiny crewel embroidery kits are wonderful! They make me feel so accomplished! So on top of things! So capable of finishing something! Yesterday, I introduced you to one of the Tristan Brooks “smalls” – which are literally that: small crewel embroidery kits, that result in a small finished product (about 4″ x 4″). Today, I’ll show you the finish.

This little crewel embroidery kit is easily finish-able in a weekend, and on top of that, it’s really fun to work! One thing I like about crewel work is the variety of stitches used in it. This little project, for example, used a total of eight different stitches, all in about 4″ square. You can beat that for variety!

Crewel Embroidery: Charleston Small by Tristan Brooks

I made a few adjustments in the whole plan of the kit, substituting a few stitches here and there. For example, inside the blue flower in the original design there are some scattered French knots. I opted for seed stitch. The yellow tendrils are supposed to be plain stem stitch in Heathway, but the Heathway seemed a bit bland as a plain stem stitch, so on the top left tendril, I whipped the stem stitch with Gumnut Poppies, and for the lower right yellow tendril, I stuck with Gumnuts poppies for the plain stem stitch.

I set up another small right after I finished this one. They’re so …. small and manageable! Which is great if you’re pressed for time, still want to stitch, and want to enjoy that feeling of actually finishing something!

This week, besides regular blog upkeep, trying to catch up on e-mail, sneaking in some work on these smalls, and finishing up the lingering needlebook (!), I’m working out in the studio, which has been decommissioned for quite a while due to storage difficulties, household rearranging, and so forth. Once things are in order out there in my frigid workspace, I’ll be setting up a project, taking pictures for various upcoming posts, and hopefully filming stitches. There is so much I want to do during my short break between semesters – I have to be careful not to turn my vacation into a pressure-cooker! After all, this is supposed to be fun, right?!

Enjoy your Monday!


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(16) Comments


  2. This turned out really pretty Mary. I did some crewel back in the 60's and I'm so glad to see it's coming back. I always liked the look.

  3. Mary, thank you for doing this little piece of crewel work, it's just so beautifully stitched. I am looking forward to your planned postings and information in the New Year. You always go the extra mile to show people the enjoyment of stitching. I have not done much crewel and will look forward to the feature you plan.

    Thanks again,

  4. Mary, congratulations on finishing! I adore crewel, it's my first embroidery love. I am looking forward to hearing what you think of the threads. I used the Heathways on a little project earlier this year and enjoyed working with them very much.

  5. Thank you, Mary, for always making the subject fresh and interesting! I can imagine you are an exciting and well-loved teacher by your students.

  6. gracias Mary el 2009 te e seguido,
    aunque no puedo traducir… pero mi vida de bordadora ,a cambiado e aprendido maravillas que de a poco voy aplicando.
    los libros increibles ,,ojala este año pueda lograr traducir para, seguirte en alguno de tus hermosos proyectos
    ojala tengas un 2010 de mucha alegria y bienestar
    un abrazo

  7. Mary,

    We were looking for a Crewel tutorials and information just as your site offers and we’re now linking to it from our blog. Since we love to know when people link to us, we thought we’d share the link with you so you know your design is presented in a positive light and for a positive reason.


    Our blog reaches a community of textile artists and volunteers preparing for a live auction event to raise funds for and awareness of Action Breast Cancer of the Irish Cancer Society. Again, we appreciate your post and hope you’re having a great day!

  8. hola amiga que bellesa las que haces , tengo cerca de un ao en estar buscando la tecnica del bordado crewel , en mi pais no lo conocen , es mi gran sueño bordar cuadros ya que amo bordar , dime si me puedes ayudar que Dios te bendiga amiga soy de costa rica

  9. I wanted to write a “fan” post somewhere and your About page says you prefer comments to emails.

    I just LOVE your site. Thank you so much. I have learned so much and I am just in awe at how beautiful and exquisite and perfectly made your work is. It is such an inspiration!

    All of your posts and comments about technique and stitches are just invaluable to me. I really love crewel work and lately I have decided I wanted to be more formal about it and try and get a more careful and well-made look. I needed to improve my technique and your site has just been so helpful.

    You are a true artist!

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