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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Felt & Floche – Embroidery to Nowhere


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It’s true. All the things I Should Be Doing as far as embroidery is concerned, I’m Not Doing. Not a rebellious streak here, not negligence, not lack of motivation. Just the simple, everyday problem of priorities! Work is keeping me busy. And it’s a busy time of year! So if I get to any “real” needlework at all the in the next week, I’ll be doggone surprised.

But in the meantime, the Felt & Floche Embroidered Chaos I started a couple weeks ago has served a really good purpose. Because it’s uncomplicated, because it involves only a needle, a little bag of random thread (in this case, a hodge-podge of loose floche in a ziplock), and a piece of felt – no hoops, no tools, no frame, no stand, no pattern, no instructions, no books, nothing beyond the basics – I can leave it out and grab it in an instant. It is “simplified” needlework. And this type of year, methinks it is good to simplify.

Embroidered Wool Felt with Floche

Though “simplified” in the sense of not requiring much on hand to work on it, the felt & floche project still satisfies that desire to Embroider Something. Fifteen minutes here, ten there, waiting for this or that, it’s been a good project to pick up and put a few little stitches in when I can, and to tote with me on the go, which is how the whole thing started in the first place.

Embroidered Wool Felt with Floche

Though the piece looks like there is no real order or plan to it, there is one overall rule that I set for myself when I started it, and I have only broken from it once. Only stitches that involve catching the thread in a loop of some sort will be used. The types of stitches I’d include in that umbrella are chain stitch and variations, buttonhole and variations, fly stitch and variations, feather stitch and variations, cretan stitch (which is really just a vertically short feather stitch, or a wonky buttonhole – however you want to look at it….), and stitches like that. Loop stitch, Vandyke stitch, Ceylon, Pekinese – all of these would work.

My two “favorite” stitch treatments are in the photo above – the green and the blue. The green is Spanish knotted feather stitch outlined with buttonhole, and the blue is a couple variations of buttonhole, along with fly stitch and chain.

Embroidered Wool Felt with Floche

Another treatment I originally liked, but like less now that those hairy legs are developing all over it, is this pink circle, worked in rows of chain stitch topped with buttonhole stitch. Yes, and the yellow thing down the middle – that’s fern stitch, and it’s the exception to the loop-stitch rule. I’m not too fond of the yellow fern stitch, anyway, as it makes the pink circle thing look as if I were trying to make it look like a baseball, which I wasn’t.

So that’s what I’ve been stitching on, and it’s not exactly what I want to be stitching on, nor is it what I should be stitching on, but right now, it’s what I can be stitching on. I’m sure you know what I mean!

With Thanksgiving coming up next week, and a whole slew of out of town family beginning their arrival patterns starting tomorrow, the crunch begins! However, I’m determined to plow through – and there’s a lot I want to show you in the upcoming days. For one thing, I succumbed to the wonders of magnification, and I’ll tell you about that. Another, I’ve got a give-away a la Trish Burr around the corner (thank you, Trish!), so if you’ve wanted to try needle painting and would like to win one of two kits, keep an eye out for that! I spent my nights this week cleaning up my work space and setting up some new equipment, so I may give you a peek at that (depends on whether I can keep the space presentable long enough to take photos!), I’ve several videos on the burner, and four patterns in development, so those are slotted for the future, too!

In the meantime, it’s Friday morning – I’m off to work – and looking forward to the weekend! I hope you have a great one!



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(9) Comments

  1. I misread your heading, and thought it was “Felt and Cloche” – and perhaps that’s where this one should go, if it’s possible to without too much reshaping. A nice colourful hand-embroidered cloche hat… I’d wear it :-}

  2. I guess everyone’s been there at some time or other!

    However, I bet being able to pick this up, if only for brief snatches of time, has had a soothing effect.

    I love this design. So colourful.

    Is the intertwining circles a Freudian slip ….. does your sub-consious feel you are running round in circles 🙂

  3. Mary,

    I like the look of the chain stitch topped with buttonhole stitch. Is there a photo available where we could get a closer look at exactly how you did that?

  4. Hi Mary,
    I understand and sympathize with your time crunch! And when I’m the busiest is really when I need to be stitching to slow down and focus my mind…This is the perfect thing to be doing and it’s also a joyful jumble of color and texture. You must smile every time you pick it up!

  5. This sampler is absolutely useful, for the curve effect of loop stitches. Please do label the stitches somehow for future generations.

  6. I have been browsing your sight and I love what I have seen so far. My question is how do I decide what type of stitch to use? Is there a book or magazine with designs and recommended stitches for the design? If not I think its something you should look into. I definitely would appreciate it

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