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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Neat Needlework News of Note on the Net


Amazon Books

Sorry. I don’t know where that post title came from. I had a writing instructor once who warned us of over-using alliteration. He said it could often come off as a Cheap Ploy. And in this case, I’m sure it does!

Since it’s Saturday, and since I know we’re all (I am) avoiding those things we tend to do on Saturday – like running errands, doing laundry, getting the house in order – I thought I’d give you an excuse to relax with a cup of coffee and browse through some neat needlework stuff.

Hungarian Embroidery Examples

I’ll start with this because it’s so colorful – perfect for a Saturday morning wake-me-up. On Facebook, there’s this wonderful album by Magyar Kincsestár labelled as Hímzésminták, which translates as “Embroidery Pattern.” Definitely worth visiting! If you don’t have a Facebook account, you might have to sign up for one (unfortunately), but if you like folk embroidery, you’ll find it worthwhile!

Hungarian Embroidery Examples

Big news in the needlework and art and auction world! Over at Sotheby’s, the Betty Ring Collection of samplers went on auction last week, collecting enormous prices. The catalog is still up and able to be browsed (you can zoom in on the images and get a good look at them), but who knows how long it’ll be online – so if you have a hankering to see the samplers up close and personal, this could be your last opportunity! Definitely worth browsing, especially if you have any interest in historical embroidery & textiles, samplers, or American history.

Embroidered Reliquary

Up in Buffalo, NY, a hidden treasure has been unearthed, in the form of an elaborate reliquary, and unlike most reliquaries seen in churches or museums, this one is embroidered. The goldwork and embroidery that makes up the reliquary is quite stunning, and the design – incorporating a calendar of saints for all 365 days of the year – is striking.

Golden Orb Spider Silk woven cape

If you’re out and about this weekend and can pop into the Victoria & Albert Museum in London (if you can, you’re a lucky duck!), take the opportunity to see the world’s largest piece of cloth woven from the silk of the Golden Orb spider. The cloth itself is beautiful. From now until the 5th of June, you’ll find the woven and embroidered silk cape and brocaded shawl made solely from spider silk on display. And if you can’t get to the display, do at least watch the video on the Golden Spider Silk Cape – that’s where you’ll see fantastic close-ups. And all from (eeeeeeeewwwww….) spiders!

Well, as much as I’ve enjoyed this Saturday morning chat, my tea cup is empty, the laundry calls, and I must answer!

I hope you have a terrific weekend!


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(13) Comments

  1. Mary – it is truly interesting – if you look at the Sotheby’s site and look at the sampler in mainly blue by Susannah, I think, the alphabet does not contain the letter “J”… The girl who made the sampler was 12 and if you consider the design and time it took for her to do this work in 1766 it is amazing. All of them are – more amazing is the prices paid for these samplers – WOW

  2. Hi Mary,

    Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful web sites… wow… so inspiring and amazing… The samples is so beautiful in every piece you see the Love these people put into thier work… Thank you for the heads up on the discount… just might use it

    Jennifer G

  3. Aloha Mary,
    House is waiting/wanting a cleaning but… why clean when I can look at spiders on line?
    Before the 15th century (or 16th) there was no letter J in the alphabet. “I” was used for both. The bane of my life is my monogram “JI”.lol
    All the best.

  4. I live in NYC, so I actually got to see the Sotheby’s needlework up for auction in person. Really wonderful, skilled work – so tender and earnest and touching. I did notice that many of the pieces sold for considerably more than expected. The highest sold was over a million $$. Imagine that. It’s more than many famous paintings fetch at auction. And that is rather satisfying, don’t you think? Woman’s humble handwork is worth more than “high art!”

  5. Thanks for the time killers I mean eye candy, Mary!

    Those samplers are awesome, and it’s so interesting to see the styles and letters change over the years. It’s hard to remember we didn’t always have i AND j. or u AND v. And what ever happened to the long s. Those changes took place so long ago…. Not to mention the possibility of designers choice as to what to put on the sampler, or what to leave off.

    I’ll need to keep the Hedgehog Handworks sale in mind.

  6. G’day Mary,
    I too gazed awestruck at those wonderful samplers. The mind boggles at the timelessness of such things. I love the designs and layouts, the ‘old’ colours, the fact that they are still here and the attention they are receiving. At those prices we are assured they will be very well cared for and valued. I wonder if any went to family connections?
    I’m not on facebook but clicking on the link allowed me to go to the page and enlarge the individual photos on the wall. Also to look into other sections from the page. The ’tiles’ you pictured are so tantalizing, I was thrilled to have a closer look and also to find the embroidered costumes from the same page.
    I’ve marked the spiders for a proper look later. Don’t want to just buzz around it! Seems really interesting.
    Thanks Mary, Cheers, Kath

  7. The Victoria & Albert video showing how the Golden Orb spider silk cape was woven, embroidered, stitched, and modeled is fascinating! I loved visting the V&A when I lived in London – I went to see the Faberge collection many times – and this exhibit ranks right up there with that one. Janet.

  8. Hi Mary:
    Thanks for all the links and “neat” stuff to check out. I didn’t do too much web-surfing this weekend, so I’ll be able to parcel out this post, linking a little at a time all week. Gee, I’m busy enough this week that I won’t be able to get to the V&A Museum in person…..

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