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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15 Minutes Stitching Update: Creeping Along on Miniature Cluny


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I’ve noticed a Saturday trend here – this seems to be the day that I update my progress on the miniature Cluny tapestry project that I am crawling along on. The 15 Minutes approach works, albeit slowly. And lately, I haven’t had (or haven’t been taking, I’m not sure which!) as many short spurts to devote to this piece.

Miniature Embroidery Cluny Lady & Unicorn Tapestry

To recap, I have several projects going – the Wool Pomegranates, the Silk Jumble, and this Cluny piece – but they aren’t all conducive short bouts of stitching. The Wool Pomegranates and the Silk Jumble both require me to “get into” the project a bit. There are certain types of stitching (for me, anyway) that require working up a kind of “rhythm” of stitching, and getting the feel of the piece again (and the threads and the fabric) after being separated from them for a while. Plus, on those two projects, since they aren’t kits and I’m not following anyone else’s directions, I also have to test my way through them. This micro-Cluny project, though, is counted work in one stitch (tent stitch), following someone else’s pattern and color scheme, so I don’t really feel as if I have to “connect” in the same way with the piece every time I sit down to it. Do you know what I mean?

The Cluny project, then, is my 15 Minute Project. Even on busy days when I wouldn’t normally get in a longer stretch of stitching, I can at least grab it for a few minutes in between things and add a few stitches. Not only does this help rejuvenate me – I find embroidery relaxing – but it also serves as a carrot. I get other things done more efficiently when I want to squeeze in 15 more minutes here and there.

Miniature Embroidery Cluny Lady & Unicorn Tapestry

There is one hitch in this project, and I think that’s what’s slowed me down lately on it, but I’ve finally worked through it. I miscounted in the section right below this, between the organ and the lady on the left, so when those two elements met up above (the lady has her hands on the organ keyboard), I had to do a little adjusting to get things to work out right.

I also ended up adding a couple flowers under the organ against the black background, since that area ended up being larger than it is supposed to be, and it looked somewhat blank compared to the rest of the flower-bespeckled background.

But now all of that is over for a while (I’m sure there will be a little more adjusting in the next section up on the chart, but I’ll face that later!), so I should be able to make better progress on the project this week, if I use my time wisely!

First up this coming week on Needle ‘n Thread, I’ll go over how I made these fabric, paper, and embroidery gift boxes. Then I’ve got a couple (old) folk embroidery booklets to show you, and hopefully some monumental progress (ok, that’s a stretch!) on the Wool Pomegranates. A free hand embroidery pattern or two might sneak in there, as I’ve had some requests lately for some things.

I hate to mention that the super-sanguine part of me is wanting to start a whitework project that’s been brewing in my head.

Ok, forget I said that….


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(5) Comments

  1. Off three threads or not, it is coming along beautifully. You inspired me to get one of my own. Now, I need inspiring to get the gauze mounted. I’ve never mounted it between mats board before. I always just sewed on some muslin strips. Is mounting between mats better? It is what the company that provided that kit recommended.

    1. Suzanna – I’m glad you like the added flowers, too. I just thought the space looked to large and black without them!

      Joan – You’re RIGHT! You must use muslin strips on this. Mat board only works for little tiny pieces that don’t take all that long, but this piece is a long-haul sort of piece (well, it certainly is for me, at the rate I’m going!) so what I did was line up the gauze with the grain on a good piece of muslin, then, using the sewing machine, I zig-zag stitched all around the gauze, then cut out the muslin behind the gauze, and mounted the piece on stretcher bars. In the kit, I don’t know why they didn’t specify that for these projects, given their size, they need to be mounted on a frame (or in a hoop) after attaching muslin. It’s practically pointless to try mounting something that is this “large” (relatively speaking) and solidly stitched with tape on mount board. So yes, add muslin however you like to do it, and then I’d use stretcher bars (I’m using an evertite frame). Hope that helps! ~MC

  2. Hi Mary, You have done a great job on bringing the design together after the miscount!

    I actually like the extra little flowers you have added, more so than if the black space was smaller without the flowers as it was originally designed.
    It makes the black background more “together” if you know what I mean.

    Looking forward to see it progress …
    Have a great weekend!

  3. Hi Mary – I so enjoy the daily newletter that I get every day! I agree with your word about getting back into the needlework once it is set aside for a while. As a crazy quilter, I know that I must always finish a seam when I start it, as; if I put it down for a day or two; I too, lose my rhythm, and the stitches never look the same. Funny how our emotions affect such things.
    Thank you for all the information that you share with all of us – and yes, a whitework project would be fabulous!! Keep on track with that; I am sure I am not the only one that would love it!

  4. Hi Mary!
    Great news about a possible whitework project coming up…opps we weren’t supposed to hear that. I got the A-Z of Whitework for Christmas from a good friend and I’m eager to get a project going.

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