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 Inspiration, Information, and Procrastination


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More evidence that I’ve been procrastinating lately – I’ve collected some needlework, textile, embroidery and whatnot links that I thought I’d share with you. If you’re in the mood to procrastinate, come along!

Over on Moonsilk Stitches, you’ll find some interesting info developing on hem stitching. Be sure to check out her finishing work on a piece of Hardanger – really pretty finished product! You also must check out her first finish of 2010 – it’s a little crewel work pillow, and very pretty! On that post, you’ll also see her brilliant crewel chatelain.

A reader sent me a great link lately for a website called The Calligraphy Pen. Now, you might be wondering what this has to do with embroidery, but if you take a look at the creative process of designing borders for calligraphy, I think you’ll find some concepts that cross over really nicely to needlework applications. Besides the details in the simple ink and gold border, take a look at the post on simple scatter borders, and then think “stumpwork.” You might also like the post on full spiral borders – combined with embroidered lettering, this would be a great way to immortalize your favorite saying with needle and thread. This is a nice resource for design – thanks, Karen, for the link!

Over on The Textile Blog, there’s a terrific article about May Morris, daughter of William Morris, along with a nice picture of one of her embroidered tapestries. Beautiful stuff! While you’re there, you might want to check out the post on Finnish Embroidery, especially if you like to study regional or ethnic embroidery techniques.

If you’re into canvas work (needlepoint), over on Possibilities, Etc! don’t miss her latest information on gingham and plaid needlepoint designing. A couple years ago, a friend asked me to stitch a family crest (ahahahahah – ok, never mind – I won’t laugh at him) in goldwork and surface embroidery, with the clan tartan as a background. As soon as the “plaid” idea crept in, I stopped considering it. I didn’t want to figure out how to figure out a plaid! Well, if you follow along on Possibilities, Etc!, I think you’ll have better luck than I did conquering plaids! You’ll find her “Project in Plaid” Egg delightful – it’s over on her website Freebies.

Here’s a neat idea for artisans in any field out there – whether you’re an artisan yourself and seeking a place to advertise your art, or you’re looking for an artisan to create something for you. Laura Bullinger has established an arts and crafts site for those who are seeking or doing artistic things! The site is called LUXXEE, and on it, you’ll find all kinds of arts and crafts categories. I think it’s a neat idea, and it would be exciting to see the concept take off.

Have you seen Margaret Land’s new website yet? She’s an embroiderer and designer, and she’s set up her own website to market her custom embroidery. She makes some beautiful embroidered pillows, but the really interesting thing is that she is willing to design and compile custom embroidery kits. I think that’s a neat idea, too!

This one’s from quite a while ago, but I just HAVE to point you to it – Jo in NZ stitched this really pretty embroidered postcard, and I love it! I love the sea and the flowers. Really nice! Go look at it. I think you’ll like it, too.

Over on Agulhas da Meri, you can find Meri’s finish on the Trish Burr Poppy kit she won from one of my give-aways last year. I think she did a beautiful job!

If one of your New Year’s Resolutions was to learn how to embroider better, or if you’ve been hankering to take a class in embroidery, but can’t find one locally, have you considered the option of online classes? It sounds a bit strange – online classes for something that is such a tactile pursuit – but there are some on offer around the traps. For those who want to learn how to loosen up and get creative with their embroidery, and especially if you like textured embroidery, you might consider Sharon Boggan’s class Sumptuous Surfaces. Sharon’s classes are very reasonably priced, at $60 for six weeks. They come with extensive supporting material, and students have access to a forum where they can troubleshoot, post pictures, and get feedback the whole time the classes are running. It’s an excellent value! And a great way to “meet” online stitchers, too. If you’ve seen Sharon’s work over on Pin Tangle, you know that the classes she offers are quality instructional classes!

For those who are interested in historical embroidery, goldwork, silk, and so forth, you might consider an online course through Thistle Threads with Tricia Wilson-Nguyen. She’s one of the people behind the Plimoth Plantation Jacket, and she has recently launched some online embroidery courses in what I would consider more advanced forms of embroidery for very serious embroiderers. I say serious, because the classes are definitely an investment! Right now, registration for the first class has been closed, but the second class offered – a goldwork master class – is still open for registration, as is the third class presently offered. The classes extend anywhere from 6 months to 18 months in length. I haven’t experienced them myself, but considering the quality of the various projects coming from Thistle Threads, I would imagine that they will be very well done! Again, they’re an investment – they aren’t inexpensive, but they’re set up so that the student can pay monthly. The goldwork master cl
ass, paid monthly over 18 months, comes out to $645. All the supplies are included, plus an animated stitches CD (computer animation). The goldwork class looks interesting – but the overall price tag is a bit beyond me, plus 18 months is a long stretch for a class. A lot can happen in a year and a half! But if it’s something you are interested in, and you don’t have access to these kinds of classes in person, this just may be the way to go if you can afford it!

And that, my friends, is enough browsing and procrastinating for one day, don’t you think? I’m sure there are things out there I meant to share, that I’ve let fall through the cracks! But for now, that’ll have to do!

Enjoy browsing!


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(8) Comments

  1. Thanks for the links. My credit card is still steaming from the books I bought at Hedgehog Handworks, but I know I'll love them.

  2. Thanks for these Mary…I've had fun browsing and was delighted to discover that Berlin Embroidery is Canadian.

  3. Thanks for all the eye candy !

    I placed a Pony needle order from
    Hedgehog's site (they have them up on the site now… gold eye pony crewel needles in sizes 9,10,11,12) and they are included in the sale !

    PS (non related: Mary… I've heard about how wool preserve embroidery needles .. I was wondering if wool yarn will do the same, since it is easier to find wool yarn locally than in sheets.
    Thanks in advance !)

  4. Hi, all – glad you like the links! The sale at Hedgehog is quite handy right now, isn't it?

    Bambina – I'm not sure about using wool thread. I don't know how you would store needles in it? I use wool felt. It's usually available at fabric stores and some craft stores. I suppose if you knitted up something nice and tightly with wool yarn, and then felted it, it would make a good needle case…? Why not? To felt something crocheted or knitted, you just have to stick it in hot water and rub it hard…

    Hope that helps!


  5. Wow, thanks for mentioning my blog and the lovely compliments. I'm blown away! I've cruised the other links and now I'm on my way over to Hedgehog to buy some of that Legacy Twill and crewel needles. Thanks for the tip on the sale!

  6. My oh My! Where did the day go? I usually sit down at my computer in the morning with my cup of coffee to see what update or information you have posted. Well, today flew by without me (well most of it anyway). I really enjoyed going to some of the sites that you mentioned and of course some of them offered links for more info which offered links to more sites with more info. I LOVED IT! Thanks for sharing it. Liz

  7. Thank you so much for taking the time to provide so many links for us! (I guess I'll be spending the next few hours at my computer, checking them out…)
    Happy stitchin'…
    An encyclopedia of needlepoint stitches…

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