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 Browsing, or Avoiding What I Should Be Doing!


Ready to go browsing with me through favorite needlework haunts, blogs, shops, and so forth? When time allows it, I like to browse the online world to see what’s going on in the needlework field – and heck, even when time doesn’t allow it, I find it’s a great way to procrastinate! So – grab your coffee and come procrastinate with me!

I categorize my online browsing in my head this way: Needlework Inspiration, Needlework Supplies, and Needlework Desires and Longings (or what should more accurately be called, “The Danger Zone”).

Needlework Inspiration

There’s been a heap of inspirational stuff online lately. Lots of it is holiday-related, and I admit I’ve shied away from glutting on Christmas embroidery ideas this year. No, I’m not a Scrooge. I just haven’t had time to stitch on this particular theme, so the things that have really caught my eye have been entirely non-holiday-related embroidery items.

Plimoth Plantation Embroidered Jacket

First, there’s the big unveiling of “Faith” – the 17th century embroidered jacket – over at Thistle Threads for Plimoth Plantation. If you haven’t seen the pictures yet or read up on the last days and weeks before the project was presented to the public, do jump over to The Embroiderers’ Story and rest your eyes on an amazing and laudable achievement! Beautiful does not say enough about it! I remember first blogging about the whole project two years ago, after it had been underway for a good year – I was so excited about it and loved following along with the whole project! Now that it’s over, it seems to me that we have all benefited from the jacket project in a lot of ways – one tangible way is the fact that we have Gilt Sylke Twist available on the market. Lucky us!

Allie's in Stitches punchneedle ribbon flowers

Now how about something springy? Allison Aller’s been doing punchneedle ribbon embroidery on some CQ squares. Have you seen her results? Well, you should! It’s a great take on ribbon embroidery – and there’s nothing like looking at beautiful flowers when your feet and nose are frozen.

Gold n' Stitches Blog

Speaking of flowers, colors, and so forth, I introduced you last week to Sandy Vass’s new blog, Gold n’ Stitches. Uh. WOW. She didn’t crawl into blogging, here – she leapt in, and has put up some absolutely wonderful projects that she’s working on. I’m totally hooked, and I’m afraid I’m going to be drooling over her blog daily. Take a look at her latest Jane Nicholas project, and her circular Or Nue design! What think you of this? Doesn’t it just make you melt into a sea of gold and silk contentedness? I want to do what she is doing! And I want to do it Now! My green eyes are getting the better of me, as Shakespeare would say (or something along those lines.)

Embroidered Scarf from Needleprint

I keep up with what’s going on over at Needleprint, because, though I don’t do a lot of counted work, the kind of counted work I do like is this stuff with the historical twist to it. I really like the Quaker motifs, and I’m still fiddling with turning some more of them into Quaker Surface Motifs. In the meantime, though, Needleprint isn’t devoted just to counted work – oh my, no! There’s this gorgeous piece of needle painted art posted last week that completely bowled me over. The pomegranate in this piece is downright scrumptious looking. If I were Persephone, I’d not stop at six seeds…

Over on Coeur de Freesia, you must see this beautiful blue embroidery project that Elena has been working on. Scroll through all the posts, so that you can see this piece as it is developing. I love it! I want it! I want to make that. I don’t. I don’t have time. Stop.

Over on Maureen Greeson’s blog, Vintage Acquisitions, she’s been working up some ribbon embroidery flowers as well, like the ones in this vintage basket design (she’s got the pattern there, too, if you want it!). I love the flowers. They look like mums. While you’re there, she’s also got an informative post on using silk chenille for hand embroidery.

Threads Across The Web

Have you seen what Carol-Anne is doing over at Threads Across the Web? I love watching her Japanese embroidery projects unfold. They always looks so sharp, crisp, and beautiful. Her current project is particularly enchanting – I love the different patterns and colors of the cords!

Needlework Supplies

Bohin Needles for Hand Embroidery

Every needleworker needs needles. Needleworkers need needles. Say that ten times fast! There are needles, and then there are needles. Bohin needles are fast becoming my faves. I’d LIKE to find them in size 10, 11, and 12 crewel. But in the meantime, Sharon over at Threads in Bloom has a small shipment of Bohin Needles – Milliners, Chenille, and Tapestry – available in assorted sizes. Get them now, before they’re gone. And hope she gets more soon!

Are you looking for coton a broder in colors? You can find a set of #25 coton a broder (in 18 colors) from Vaune French Heirloom Sewing and Smocking supplies. I haven’t ever ordered from them, but this is rather enticing… I just wish they had a picture of it on their website.

The Danger Zone

The Danger Zone is comprised of things I’ve come across that I have added to a wish list. Some of them, I will probably never purchase. But some are definites for the upcoming year. Now, if you think you might succumb, and you don’t want to succumb, just stop reading now…. just move on. Click the X. Close your browser. Don’t let me lead you astray!

There are some books coming out in 2010 that look intriguing – Country Bumpkin’s Flowers for Elizabeth is on my list. I always get in trouble when I start wandering around the Country Bumpkin website!

Going back to the subject of colors, Hedgehog Handworks has added “Silk Collections” to their website. These are packs of different types of threads, grouped by color. They include silks and metallics, and they all look pretty sumptuous. The prices are reasonable, too. They range from $18.50 – $25-ish, depending on the number of thread types in the pack (some have as many as 10 different types of threads grouped together). You can also find that Thread of Threads Beyond Compare at Hedgehog – Gilt Sylke Twist – in all the colors that are currently available, at the most reasonable online price you’ll find. I’ve got to get some of that Gawdie Grene. I don’t have that color yet, and the name intrigues me. I think I should put it in my Christmas stocking. As a stuffer. From me. (Pathetic, isn’t it?)

Ok, enough?! For now, yes! I have over-procrastinated! I hope I didn’t distract you too much from what you should be doing, too…!!

Have a great day with your needle and thread!


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(17) Comments

  1. Carol-Anne's project seems a very creative and beautiful way to showcase Needlepoint stitches. Different than the old-fashioned method of using brick stitch for a brick house picture, etc.
    The Plimoth Plantation jacket is beyond gorgeous. It is breathtaking. And of course, proves to us that we cannot wear that kind of clothing anymore! Or can we?

  2. I saw the jacket yesterday, and it is just stunning. I've been following it loosely for a while, and I really would love to make something like that. I'd love to do the Beatrix potter jacket some day, but I don't think I could get my man to put it on 😉

  3. Hello Mary,
    I am flattered by your interest for my blue embroidery. This will certainly motivate me to finish it !!! Thanks for the quote.
    For Bohin embroidery needles in size 10-12, I am not sure it exists. But if I find them, be sure it is for you ! Have a nice evening,

  4. Yes, you have distracted me a little bit and I thank you for featuring me to the world 🙂

    (and two blogs to join the list – the others you've already introduced to me…)
    Carol-Anne cords are a BEAUTY, aren't they?

    And listen! that so well called Multi-Lingual Picture Stitch Glossary (hard to translate…)IS YOURS too as well Elena's, Luzine's and Giana's!
    We all work on it! Again Thank you!

  5. Dear MentorMary…..the 17th century jacket is absolutely YUMMY and I'd really love to dig my head/hands into something like that. It's ANYTHING but boring crossstitch. (Not to naysay those who love crossstitch.)..but I revel in a variety of textures,thread, yarn,stitches, etc. I continue to use you as my "without a doubt GURU"…There's so much out there and having you "field" the "good stuff" for me is lazy but effective!! Have a Merry Christmas ….. Wesolego Bozego Narodzenia Swiat!! (Polish)…..With warmest regards..Judy in Pittsburgh

  6. Thanks, Mary. You greatly shortened my procrastination time! 🙂

    I've eagerly watched the Plimoth jacket take shape (no pun intended), but it really came to life for me when I saw it on the model. It's so beautiful. I hope I can see it in person someday.

    Bohin needles: yes! I'm a fan, too. They're so smooth.

    I'm also waiting for 'Flowers for Elizabeth'.

    I love all the links to everyone's wonderful projects. Well done to all of you!

  7. Beautiful Jacket! I admit, I have to make sure all my work is done, the house is clean and I've returned all phone calls before I check the sites for "just a second". I can spend hours and hours (and have!) just browsing. I know myself well enough to know "a second" isn't going to happen! LOL

  8. Thanks — I think! I just spent over $100 on goldwork patterns/kits (the gecko and Jacobean tulip) after reading the Gold 'n Stitches website. I heard that Australian postage is going up again in January, so I had to act now to save money :].

    I especially appreciate seeing the websites of stitchers from non-English-speaking countries since I don't usually stumble across those on my own.

  9. Gosh, Mary, you have put me with some highly rarefied company….!!
    Thank you so much…and for the hour's worth of delightful net cruising too (love the Danger Zone) with my morning coffee.

  10. I have spent the last 2 hours happily wandering through the sites you mentioned in this article. Not that I didn’t have many other things to do! I particularly liked the Gold ‘n Stitches site. Do you know of anywhere in the US where I can purchase the Stitches magazine of the UK embroiderer’s Guild? I loved the work that she had done from the No 32 Dec Jan 2004/05 issue but I haven’t been able to find that issue anywhere, nor the No 49 Oct/Nov 2007 issue. Any suggestions? Thanks again for all of your wonderful information. It is now time to water (already hot and dry here in CA Sierra Nevada foothills) and do my paperwork! Joy

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