Mary Corbet

writer and founder


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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Calling for Stitches! & News


Amazon Books

What stitches or hand embroidery techniques do you want to see available on video? That’s my question for today!

Hand Embroidery How-To Stitch Videos

I’ve been working on updating the hand embroidery how-to videos here on Needle ‘n Thread.

Hand Embroidery How-To Stitch Videos

And right now, I’m in the planning stages for expanding the videos. I’ve got a list of 30 new stitches staring at me, but I’m more interested in finding out what you want to know, or what you think would make an interesting embroidery stitch video.

Hand Embroidery How-To Stitch Videos

What do you want to know how to do? What do you think other Stitching Folk would like to see, worked up-close and explained step-by-step?

If you’d like to have some input, please do leave a comment below!

Important Website News

Needle ‘n Thread will be switching servers today around 2:00 pm EST. It is likely that the website will go down for a bit, but not for too long. If I disappear or strange things happen while visiting, now you know why! Don’t worry – we’ll see each other on the Other Side (where we’ll all enjoy the benefits of a dedicated server)!


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(67) Comments

  1. I just happened to check here yesterday for a counted cross-stitch instruction video. I know it’s not very “interesting,” but such a video would be helpful. I know that there are two basic ways of stitching, and any helpful hints you have would be great, especially as pertains to stitching on smaller count fabrics with overdyed or silk threads. Thanks!

  2. I love all the wonderful information, tips, and techniques you so generously share. Thank you!

    I would love to see a ribbonwork video for the extremely popular roses and flowers in the Victorian style.

  3. Hi Mary, I can’t tell you how much I value your emails each day. Here is my input: the video on the chain stich has such small stiching, I had trouble following it. Maybe it could include a larger chain stich? Also, I do not understand the long and short stich thing, how to start it, where the long is, where the short is, does one have to mark the pattern or how is it done? how do you keep it straight. I would personally appreciate help on this aspect if you can.

    thank you. I love everything about your site, your chats, your vulnerability, you extreme talent. Thank you.

    Lyn Procopio

  4. Hi Mary: I absolutely love your stitch videos and often refer to them when stitching. Your video of the colonial knot is the best I have ever seen. I wondered if you would consider adding to the group-different methods of marking a pattern on fabric (pencil/different marking products etc.)I cannot think Of anything more at the moment to add to your library titles-all I know-is please do not stop and please keep them on your website – Dee

  5. I read your daily news and live for the new stuff that you post. I’ve watched and rewatched many of your stitch videos. It’s the only way I could figure out how to do the stitches. I’d love to be able to add oyster stitches to my work.

  6. Hello, absolutely love your blog!! Refering to the offer to say what I would like to learn from your videos, I would like to know the names of all the stitches in the first color picture in todays blog, in particular, the lighter pretty pink stitch, and the blue/yellow stitch, as well as the ones behind these two.

    So many thanks for your enthusiasm and teaching!


  7. I would like to see the difference in a blanket stitch and a buttonhole stitch. Also, which threads are best to do a buttonhole with.

  8. I’d love to see an expanded version of when to use the stem vs. the outline stitch. Also, I have trouble keeping them consistent when going around a lot of curves – I always seem to have “pieces” (for lack of a better word) sticking out of the curves, so it’s not nice and smooth like it should be.

  9. I mostly do x’s, but I just love looking at your lovely work. Whatever others need explained is fine with me, I’ll continue to enhjoy the pix and if I ever get back into embroidery I’ll used your how0to’s for instruction. Pat in SNJ

  10. Dear Mary

    Like the other reader I absolutely love your how to videos and often refer to them. As I am starting gold work I would like to know more about couching the gold thread/how to plunge the thread to the back of the fabric/how to strip the gold thread at the back and sew it down at the back and how to use a lasso needle for plunging the gold. I can’t wait to look at the new stitches on video.

    Regards Anita

  11. Hi Mary! I love your site. I really appreciate how you share all the detailed useful information about stitches, related books etc. I haven’t checked yet, but would definitely like to watch the mirror stitch from India, which is also known as “Shisha stitch” in details with the combination of “Gujrati stitch”. I’m looking for its video on the net for a long time now, so would appreciate it very much.

  12. Hello Mary,
    I am going to be teaching students during their lunch or recess breaks how to embroider. I would LOVE IT! if you could give me some pointers. The children are mostly 8 to 12 and will have only their recess time to stitch. I was thinking of offering only redwork because it’s so much simpler since they won’t be changing colors and the stitching finishes quicker. Maybe I’m being too controlling, it’s just that they will have such limited time I want them to feel success and accomplish something. Do you have ANY words of wisdom. I have thought about this for awhile now and really want it to be a success.
    Possibly what stitches, projects? I need to keep it cheap since this is a school and as you well know, the funds are VERY strapped!
    Thankyou for any advice in advance.

  13. I love all of the stiches you have aready. I vitit them often and practice in front of the computer. I have used a lot of them. I started with the stem stich (my favorite) when I was 7 years old. That was almost 63 years ago. My mom passed her love of sewing and stiching to me when I was very young. I am a quilter and I sew or stitch everyday. I recently broke my leg, embroidery got me through two months of being mostly in a wheelchair. I have no suggestions of which stitches I would like to try but rest assured I will use whatever you offer. Thank you for your wonderful information. Your instruction videos are very clear and useful. I look forward to learning new stitches! Right now I am working on Palestrina snowflake blocks for a Christmas quilt. Because I work on several projects at one time I think it will be finished for Christmas of 2012. Love your enthusiasum! Regards, Leona

  14. Colcha stitch and Castelo Branco stitch, since they are rarely included in stitch dictionaries. I can email you diagrams if you need them 🙂

  15. Hi Mary: Thank you for providing such a library of videos, info and techniques. I refere to your site frequently. Do not remove any videos, however I’d be interested in any new videos. Your site is invaluable to me. I refere to it at least once a week if not more.
    Thank you, ana-Maria

  16. It’s not so much a particular stitch but ins and outs of making a stitch look professional. I especially liked your info re stem stitch points and going around curves. I’m currently working on an embroidered and pieced quilt that is all back stitch (boring) and having trouble keeping the fabric (cotton) from distorting. I have backed it with Pellon light, non-woven interfacing and also tried muslin but still having trouble. Any thoughts? Thanks for all you do to make us stitchers happy.

  17. I would like to see a video tutorial of working on evenweave, 2 over 2. I want to try this but am afraid I will mess up.


  18. Got a list of stitches that I have been asked to help someone learn, plus some that I have had to teach myself since they weren’t here…Ready?

    Cast-on stitch, Chinese knot, danish knot, crows foot, faggoting, granitos, net stitch, oyster, smocker’s knot, spanish knotted feather stitch, hem stitch, sprat’s head, zig-zag stitch, antwerp edging, armenian edging, beaded and non-beaded hedebo stitch, bonnet stitch, breton stitch, diamond stitch, double pekinese stitch, glove and french glove stitch, ladder stitch for seaming, pearl and knotted pearl stitches

    Mary asked for some stitches, so I gave her a list. (giggles)

  19. Mary, your stitch tutorials either video or pictorial are excellent. You have an intuition for where your readers will have trouble and you fill in those questions. They have been great tools in teaching my daughters. If I were to ask for yet another tutorial it would be to see how ‘all’ the traditional Hungarian stitches are done. I have wanted to work on some of the “Lilly’s Legacy” patterns , however I would like to do them honor with traditional stitches.


  20. Mary, I am looking for patterns and techniques to do white work. Remember the table cloths that had blanket stitched satin stitches surrounding cut work (both with and without bars) and eyelets. All done in white and usually on linen for table cloths. Have found a book- Ricami in Bianco but no translations. A-Z of whitework helps but would like additional visualization of techniques. Also do you have a resource for linen material suitable for tablecloths?

  21. My current challenge is the long and short stitch. I’m not sure what to do when I get to small angled corners – does it just end up looking like a satin stitch? Also, do any of your techniques change for L&S stitch when you are working with wool? The fuzzyness of the wool is making my project look not-so-smooth.

  22. Good morning Mary ~ You do really good tutorials – very easy to follow. It is so much better seeing the stitches done, rather than using steps in a book. Thank you for your tutorials.
    What is the pink stitch on the first sample ? It will make a lovely border.

  23. Hi Mary,
    I too want to thank you again for your site and your videos.
    As for stitches that I’d like to see, well…any! I love to try new ones, and I use your videos as a guide to what I’m going to use in a design. I look at the design then decide what KIND of stitch (line stitch, filling stitch, etc.) then I look at your videos and decide which I think might work best. I guess what I’m saying is, since I don’t know of any other stitches, I can’t ask for any but if they were there I’d love to learn them and use them! Sorry if that didn’t help!

  24. Hi Mary – I would love to see a stitch video or tutorial on queen stitch, I think also called rococo. I’ve seen it on some Elizabethan sweet bags – it looks a little complicated but creates such an interesting texture. Thank you for this wealth of needlework inspiration – it especially feeds the creative soul when I don’t have time to do needlework myself.

  25. your videi tutorials are very nice and easy going step by step methode any one can learn hand embroidery very easily by watching your videos

  26. Hi
    Thanks for all the great things that u share with us. Its really very useful some times even if i know the stich. Just looking at it gives me an other idea. Thanks again. I would appreciate if u share ribbon work roses. And bullion rosses with thread. Thank you

  27. Mary,

    I’m know these are very simple stitches, but I would like to see a video on how to do a hem stitch and a nun stitch(to use for finishing small items). I have heard people use each term interchangeably but I believe they are actually different stitches with different finishing looks. Thank you again for your wonderful sight – Kathy

  28. Hello and I just want to say thank you for the best site to look at each day and simply enjoy with my cup of coffee or tea.I love the instructional videos.I am sure I will enjoy any and all you share in the future.I am sure I will try many that are new to me and re-enjoy doing some that I am familiar with from my past,Judy.

  29. Hi, All – Thanks for your input! I’ll keep it all in mind, expand my lists, think out how some of your requests could be effectively shown on video, and see what I can come up with.

    The stitch in the top photo (the pink stitch on the blue felt) is braid stitch, aka “cable plait stitch”. There’s a video for it here:


    Judy – concerning the teaching of kids on their recess / lunch breaks, how about dropping me an e-mail using the contact form (link below) and I’ll get back to you with more details and questions. It’d be easier to bat ideas around that way!


  30. I would like to learn more about church embroidery. The patterns are so gorgeous, and I know nothing about goldwork. I totally enjoy your blog and all you do to teach us how to become better needleworkers. Thanks so much

  31. I read your site more than any other out there, and I read a lot. Variety is what I love about you. Your love of the art oozes from the seams (no pun intended). I am starting a crazy quilt block, and would love to see stitches that could be used that include beading techniques.

  32. Long and short stitch forever, dear Mary! I started learning this wonderful stitch with your tutorials, now I would like soo much to improve my skills in critical situation: filling complexe shapes, right directionnof the stitches in irregular shapes, working with more thresds for scattering the color across the row! Shadow stitch would also be very useful. Thank you for giving all over the world the wonderful opportunity to learn every day something new and get precious help when needed!

  33. Hi, Mary
    Thank you for your wonderful, informative website. It is a great help to many of our stitchers.

    What I would like to know is information on how you do such beautiful close-up photography. Don’t know if you have posted it previously, but information would be most helpful.

  34. i was wondering , in addition to the wonderful videos, can you provide without too much trouble written instructions? I dont know how to save videos to my Harddrive to learn later
    or when I am in the “mood to stitch” LOL

  35. Shisha stitch! I’ve come across several photo tutorials, but it’s one that I could sure use a video tutorial for. Have asked at my local EGA meetings, but no one does that stitch.

  36. Hi Mary!

    Fun stuff!! I would like to see caston stitch, bullion eyelit flowers, buttonhole wheels, various braids, embellishments, pulled and cutwork, blackwork, lacework, fillings, more goldwork and Couching, weaving, adding beadwork to stitches, making flowers with stitches, Or Nue, I like to look at your stash and projects, new threads and braids and ribbons and lace, um, yeah! I live ornate stuff and how different stitches can come together to do bigger things.

    Sorry if this list is weird.

    Question…if I get a stitch dictionary, like a to z, does number 1 have different stuff than number 2? Would you recommend getting number one first then number two, do they overlap?

    I have been having fun looking at different stitches, as I only had used a few basics before. Oh, the Algerian eye is fun to see too.

    I will play in your stitch tutorials, have plans to make a fun collage one of these days to help me learn.

    Thank you Mary, you keep me inspired, excited, and energized!

    One more question. What keeps YOU going. You do so much for us, it would be neat to hear what keeps you going and inspired. Besides the love of stitching of course which I think we allude have lol.

    All the best!

    Mindi Hammerstone

  37. Hello Mary
    I’d like to learn some basic stitches. If you could have some of those in your video it will be a great help for beginners like me.
    Thank you very much for your great efforts.


  38. To the wonderful generous Mary …….

    Anything left handed please. So many left handed tutes encourage the left hander to work over their work – ouch – and that’s just not ‘on’ So pleasssssse …….. lol

  39. Mary, I just love trying new stitches so any videos will be helpful. Your videos are very easy to work from. Sometimes I just like looking at ones I know just to have updates and tips.
    Could you also give some suggestions as to use of the new ones.
    Thank you for your work.
    Heather Langford

  40. Hi Mary….ur web site is so inspiring and i’m so grateful to u for publishing those videos so clearly.Could you please do some videos on Brazilian embroidery as well? I think u have done several stitches used for this embroidery technique,e.g. bullion stitch. if u could do a few more it would be really great.

  41. long &short with the ends flipping (sunflowers) long chain stitch. bamboo stitch, one that looks easy the seed stitch.
    A stitch that will produce lovely understated perfect rose or the most gaudy rose Sometime I feel like a nut sometimes I don’t
    . I still love to do needle work even though I had 6 yes 6 detached retina in one eye & the vistrious gel in my other love to float So maybe some tips for the older or damaged eyes

  42. Got a list of stitches that I have been asked to help someone learn, plus some that I have had to teach myself since they weren’t here…Ready?

    Cast-on stitch, Chinese knot, danish knot, crows foot, faggoting, granitos, net stitch, oyster, smocker’s knot, spanish knotted feather stitch, hem stitch, sprat’s head, zig-zag stitch, antwerp edging, armenian edging, beaded and non-beaded hedebo stitch, bonnet stitch, breton stitch, diamond stitch, double pekinese stitch, glove and french glove stitch, ladder stitch for seaming, pearl and knotted pearl stitches

    Mary asked for some stitches, so I gave her a list. (giggles)

  43. Well, it looks like that pink stitch in the first photo is a coveted one! I too would love to see the how-to on that one.

    ALSO, I am fascinated with the paisley like pattern on your felt needlebook. I am wondering if you could possibly turn this (or similar) into a pattern for downloading. I have tried to sketch up a paisley pattern but not very pleased with the results.

    I cover foam rubber covered cubes in wool felt to use a “shelf sitters”. This paisley pattern would be so perfect for that application.

    Thanks Mary!

    It is a rare and wonderful quality to want to share your vast knowledge with us!


    Thanks Mary, it is a rare and wonderful quality to want to share your vast knowledge with us!!


  44. I would love to see more Brazilian Dimensional Embroidery stitch videos, especially the detached buttonhole stitch and the cast on stitch.
    I love all your videos and am looking forward to new ones coming up.

  45. Hi Mary, Thanks for all the interesting articles and stitches you share with us. I would like to see a video of the sheaf stitch, the one with the foundation stitches. No matter how well it is described, I find it very intricate. It is a lovely stitch to use.

    kind regards

  46. Probably 40 odd years ago, my Grandmother and I were busy making very involved crewel pictures that are still quite bright and beautiful,and still hanging on my walls, out of sunlight, I might add.
    However, after watching your numerous tutorials, I now find that all the trouble and time taken to make sure the satin stitches and couched, etc. stitches behaved and covered as they should, could have been done in a much easier way.
    Thank you and especially for my renewed interest in the beautiful threads and colorways now available. I also wasn’t aware that hand surface embroidery was as popular as it seems to be. It seems that machine embroidery is currently most popular around me now.
    My perfectionist Grandma would be so pleased even tho she never read instructions, just looked at pictures and copied what she saw to see such beautiful work being done, I know I am very happy.

  47. Thank you for the superb videos. Another main strength is the accessibility through indexing. I can easily LOCATE the stitch video for which I am looking! What a wonderful library!

  48. Gosh, Mary.
    Mehtinks you got more suggestions and ideas than you bargained for. I think everyone felt like they held the lamp with the embroidery genie or goddess..i forget which. 😉
    I’d like some tips on ribbon embroidery. I think I get the ribbon, appropriate needle and fabric wrong.
    But whatever tips you’re ready to share is more than welcome for most of us.

  49. You’ve gotten quite a list of stitches to work from! I guess one thing I’d add is not even a stitch – it’s a video showing how tight your fabric needs to be in the hoop or frame for various types of needlework. I realize sometimes a hoop/frame is not used based on stitchers preference, but others seem to need the support and all the instructions say is “tight”, if anything. I struggle with that – do they mean just so the fabric isn’t floppy in the hoop or do they mean “bounce a quarter off it”?

    And I’ve tried to keep multiple needles threaded with the different colors going. It turned into a mess fast. Maybe something showing how to handle that?

    Something else might be show what happens when you remove your fabric from the hoop and the stitches can relax and the puckers form. Maybe show how snug you can pull the stitches to avoid such woes.

  50. Hi Mary,
    All the information on your site is amazing!
    If I could ask for something it would be a how to of the Plaited Braid stitch; I still can’t get my hands around it. Plus the knot stitch used in the Plymouth jacket.
    Thanks Mary, you’re great!

  51. Hi Mary,

    A stitch I am sruggling with now is the “Closed Buttonhole” stitch. It the design it is be used to fill the entire areas. Heart type flower in the middle with 2 petals on either side. I am definitely a visual person. Diagrams just don’t help very much.

    Again I want to thank you for this wonderful website which you certainly put a lot a work and thought into. I don’t know what I would have done without your support. I guess I wouldn’t be doing crewel embroidery.

    Well, I’m still pluggin on. LOL

    Thank you much, Jeannette

  52. Mary
    Just love all the information I recieve from your e-mails!
    I am into Brazillian embroidery right now so would love to see any new Brazillian embroidery stitches on video.



  53. Thanks for asking! are you still taking requests?

    For me, I’d like to see Faggoting stitch (is this a variation of Cretan? Open Cretan, perhaps?)
    Basque Stitch
    Basque Knot Stitch

    I also have the same problem “Erin” (reply post #9) has with stem/outline.

    A video on making circles would be really fantastic.

    Thank you for all the tutorials :^)

  54. A tutorial for nun’s stitch.
    I have a fair idea how to do this but am on holiday without my library.
    Love your work.
    Kind regards

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