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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Call Me Naive


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A couple weeks ago when I posted my last miniature stitching update, I naively asserted that I wanted to have this Cluny tapestry piece finished that week. Oh boy. I always under-estimate the amount the time it takes to put stitches in, no matter how furiously fast I try to get along on a piece.

Still, little by little, I’m getting a lot – a LOT – closer to the finish! All the major elements are in, and now it’s just a matter of stitching a bit more foliage and some background.

Miniature Embroidery Cluny Tapestry

When last we spoke about the project, I was just finishing up the stitching on the Lady. I was in a quandary about her left side (the side closest to the organ), because I had miscounted slightly on the second section way back when, and I was afraid that the difference would really show between the Lady and the organ. However, after playing around a bit with the idea of extending her arm over there, I decided that the least done, the best mended. (Justification with clichés is my forté). In the original design, there is one line of red stitches between the Lady and the organ.

Now there are three.

And I’m not changing it!

I decided to set a goal in (semi) concrete: FINISHED by the end of the day, Wednesday, May 18th. That gives me one week and two days. Can I do it? I’m sure going to try!

This project was my 15 Minute project that I started in January, at the beginning of the spring semester – snatching 15 minutes or so here and there to stitch on it, using it as my “carrot” to get other things done more efficiently so I could devote another session to it, and also using it as my transportable project, to work on when I had to wait for appointments and so forth. I’d love to have it finished on my last day of classes this semester (not counting exams), so that is my goal.

And I promise you, if I finish it, you’ll be the First to Know! Wish me luck!

Enjoy your day!


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(17) Comments

  1. Not changing it, huh? We’ll see! In the years of being a fan of yours, I have seen you eat those words!
    From the picture, it looks like that band of red is dead-center to the whole scene. Maybe after you are fully finished, it will look fine right at that particular discrepancy. It is still a magnificent piece of work, Mary, not something that everyone can do.

  2. Mary–You have created a (green-eyed) monster! The Lady & Unicorn are a delight & it’s only a question of when (rather than if) to order the kit myself. To add to the conundrum, a friend has “kindly” pointed out that hand painted Honiton bobbins with the Lady/Unicorn theme are now available. Oooh, hand stitched box top, bobbins lined up on velvet inside—way cool. Looking forward to your finish.

  3. I think your “error” may actually have improved on the original. I like that she’s got a little space between her and the organ.

  4. Mary, if you hadn’t mentioned the lady’s left side, I never would have noticed it. That’s the way it is, I guess. We notice all the “mistakes” in our own work, but most of the time no one else does. Looks wonderful! Hope you finish it by your deadline.

  5. This is one of those errors that will only bother you, Mary. If I hadn’t read that the count was wrong, or had the original side-by-side, I would not have known. I think that extending her arm would play havoc with her porportions.

    Now had it been me stitching this, I might consider adding another pipe to the organ, if the stitch count would allow it. And then I’d make a royal mess and put it back the way it is now.

  6. I think the red area is fine. I’m guessing the area to the left of her will be red as well so it will balance out nicely and look like a normal background. I agree – only you will remember those few extra stitches. Anyone who sees this piece will focus on the other details in the organ, the clothing, the trees. I wonder if it will be difficult to block into shape. The threads are so delicate, it seems they would distort easily.

  7. I think you did a great job compensating for your early miscount. I don’t think most of us would have known if you hadn’t pointed it out. Good luck on finishing by next Wednesday! It’s good to set deadlines because it keeps you focused on finishing a specific project.

  8. Mary I just have to say that as a beginner I am relieved not to be alone in underestimating time/stitches needed for a project! The work looks lovely and I am looking forward to celebrating its completion with you ^_^

  9. Here is the thing Mary … when I was around your age and life was coming at me from all sides, my aim was getting things done well, but as fast as I could.
    So I understand your sentiment of being eager to finish.
    Nowadays I can give myself more time to enjoy the process itself and savoring the moments while looking forward to see it all finished.

    This little masterpiece of yours is coming along great!
    As I’m looking at the left side of the lady I feel that when it’s all finished, those extra stitches will actually work to it’s advantage. Visually it will give a little more space between her and the organ, making it less crowded. We will see if that is so when all finished.

    Don’t hurry, just enjoy! We can all wait 🙂

  10. For a good many other people – this would be the ambitious project that gets tossed to the back of the line, only to resurface with a good clear-out. It is so beautiful. Will you frame it or do something else ?

    1. Hi, all! Thanks for your comments! I’ve been itching to get back to stitching this today, but right now, I’m between classes and… well, supposed to be doing paperwork. But here I am, playing on the website! Ah well. Procrastination and I seem to be getting along a bit to well these days!

      Vicki – yes, I’m going to frame it. I was contemplating other uses – a book cover, maybe the top of a box – but in fact, I’m certain I will frame it. I already have the frame idea floating about in my mind!

      Back to work!


  11. Dear Mary, Your work is wonderful even with your little (errors) that the majority of us would not even notice. Every little change is evolution not a mistake. I am glad you mentioned the framing. I wondered whatyou do with all your projects as I have a few that the stitching is finished but have done nothing with them and it makes me wonder…….?????
    cheers Lois

    1. Hi, Lois – well, I generally give my needlework away, and unless it’s a monogrammed towel or handkerchief or an embroidered tablecloth or piece of ecclesiastical work made for a specific purpose, I invariably frame my pieces. In doing lots of little pieces, this could get expensive, but most of my pieces are more time consuming, so I don’t frame very many in a given year. This year, I might frame two or three, tops. Hope that helps! ~MC

  12. Mucha suerte María, este tapiz es una verdadera obra de arte.

    Good luck María, this tapestry piece is very beatiful. We’ll see on 18 May.


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