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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New Jersey – Embroidered!


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Here’s a bit of embroidery inspiration for you from Judith, a reader here on Needle ‘n Thread. I love this, and I think it’s a terrific idea for a hand embroidery project.

New Jersey Hand Embroidered Map

As a Christmas gift for her daughter and to commemorate their home state of New Jersey, Judith embroidered this towel with a map of the state, which included all kinds of special-interest details on it.

New Jersey Hand Embroidered Map

You can see the Tappan Zee Bridge there in the background – love it!

New Jersey Hand Embroidered Map

There’s the lighthouse at Cape May! And in the water just off the eastern shore – I think that’s the official New Jersey Mermaid.

New Jersey Hand Embroidered Map

Central New Jersey is marked out with notable places, like Princeton. And Mom’s!

New Jersey Hand Embroidered Map

Judith is organized and diligent when she works a project! Here, you can see all her sketches, along with her thread color card.

New Jersey Hand Embroidered Map

She even keeps thorough notes on each project she works. This note-keeping on embroidery projects is a good, good lesson. It makes recreating a project (if you ever want to) much easier, and good notes can often serve as a spring-board for other projects.

Judith’s best tip on embroidery projects: when you’re finished with a project, take it somewhere and have a full-sized color photocopy of it made. That way, even if you give away the project, you always have a clear record of it. You could also use a good digital camera and have a large high resolution print made of a good photo of the project – just as long as you have something tangible to put in with your record of the project.

I thought you’d enjoy seeing this project, because it inspires on several levels: 1. the idea is great – a personalized map of a significant place in one’s life would make a very special gift; and 2. the organization and method behind the project is a good lesson for all of us!

Thanks, Judith, for sharing your photos! And congratulations on completely such a fun and fabulous project!

You can see many examples of Readers’ Embroidery Projects here on Needle ‘n Thread. If you’ve finished a project recently and would like to share photos, drop me a line – it’s so much fun to see what other stitchers are up to!


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(23) Comments

  1. I’m amazed at the detail – and it’s beautiful! Judith, thank you for taking the time to share it and Mary for sharing it with us. What a beautiful idea for a gift. It sure gets the ole wheels turning for future gifts! I am constantly amazed at the ideas for embroidery – there’s no end!

    1. Thanks for your lovely compliments. My daughter really loves the piece. It took a couple of months to design, but it was fun to think about what would be a significant place or thing to represent. She has not hiked the Appalachian Trail, NNW corner, done in one thread, but I’m hoping she’ll go find it now! Judith

  2. Very cute, Judith! I really like your whole idea and implementation. The notes are a great idea. Thank you for sharing. 😀

  3. I love this Judith! It’s amazing! I love that you designed it and the finished product. Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I admire your organization too!!

  4. Charming details. A lovely gift for a daughter. Admirable organizational skills. Mine would end up a UFO for sure.

  5. I love it! Projects like this are perfect for learning the geography of a place … creative and practical too.

  6. This ex-West Windsor, New Jersey girl thinks New Jersey never looked so good ! Inspires me to map out my favorite travel across the globe and mark the beloved sites. Bermuda and the Sizzle Inn anyone?

  7. I love this! I was thinking of doing something similar. There was supposed to be an embroidered map of China (it’s been cited in books but never unearthed) made by the wife of Sun Quan, King of Wu. I was thinking of recreating it. Judith, you’ve given me a starting place and some great tips! 🙂

  8. another good idea to document the work you’ve made, especially if you are gifting it, is to start a scrapbook. i include snips of the thread, fabric etc.

  9. I love this! As a former Jersey girl this is just wonderful – really. I would be impressed with the work itself, but the organization of the entire project is even more impressive and I plan to take a leaf from your book in terms of not only project planning but saving information about each project.

    Very inspirational! Thank you so much for sharing.

  10. I forgot to ask – are you considering doing this as a kit or a pattern for other Jersey afficianados and residents? I think kits would sell like hotcakes (you can sign me up for one) and I for one would love to work this map of Jersey. Ambitious stitchers could add their own places of signifigance.

  11. That is a wonderful piece of work, Judith, congratulations. Nobody else has asked and nobody has told: does your daughter like it?
    If I were your daughter I would love a gift like this … I wonder whether my daughter would …

  12. WOW. What more can I say? Wow. I need to make a prize for our biannual family reunion, we all meet at my grandparents homestead place (family still owns it even though they are long since gone to Glory) and make apple butter together. Now the wheels in my head are turning. maybe do the outline of the home place and then do things around it (basket of apples, kettle, family faces…)

  13. I absolutely love this and am inspired on a number of levels. First a home state map project is infinitely customizable– I want to do one.
    But the notes and color chart are a revelation. I keep some notes but not nearly so thorough or organized. Thank you for sharing this!

  14. What a great project, and so customizable! I admire Judith’s note taking ability, she is so thorough. I especially like that she put in Irene. We were in Connecticut and got out about eight hours before she arrived, although my son got to meet her.

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