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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Embroidery Stitches by Name, from A-Z


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Yippeee! I’ve wanted to do this for So Long! And now, it’s finished: there’s now an alphabetical index of embroidery stitches here on Needle ‘n Thread for your convenience while searching for stitches by name.

This is where I’ve put it, in case you’re ever looking for it:

Embroidery Stitches by Name

If you click on How-To Videos in the main navigation across the top of the website, you’ll be taken to the page where all the embroidery stitch videos here on Needle ‘n Thread are indexed. They are divided into five sections: Line Stitches & Bands; Chain, Fly, and Buttonhole Stitches; Detached Stitches & Knots; Filling Stitches; and Miscellaneous Embroidery Techniques.

For easy navigation, in the top left corner (highlighted in the screen shot above), you’ll find a sub-navigation menu that can help you move quickly to the section of the page that you want to visit. At the end of the sub-navigation menu, you’ll see a new category called Embroidery Stitches by Name, from A-Z. This will take you to the alphabetical listing of embroidery stitches, which is found towards the end of the page.

(There’s also a direct link under the main title at the top of the page, for folks who don’t use the sub-navigation menu.)

Embroidery Stitches by Name

When you click on the link to the section Embroidery Stitches by Name, from A-Z, this is where you’ll end up (pictured in the screen shot above). To navigate easily from letter to letter, there’s an alphabet in large type, and each letter is a link to the section of stitch names beginning with that letter.

I’m sure there’s still a little bit of work to do in editing and arranging, but the skeleton of the alphabetical index is up, and I hope you find it useful!

Alternate Stitch Names

I cross-checked the stitch names through a stack of about 10 well-known and well-respected stitch dictionaries (old and new) to find alternate names for some of the stitches. If you go through the list on the website and find any alternates I missed, do feel free to drop me a line or leave a comment below. I’d appreciate it!

While cross-checking the names, I learned a lot. For example, the bullion knot has a long and strange list of alternate names, the most vivid being “slug stitch” and “worm stitch.” I suppose they called ’em as they saw ’em!

This should end technical announcements for a while.

Over and out.

(Whoops. Sorry, Dad. I know, I know. “Over and out” is incorrect. It’s either “over” or it’s “out.”)



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(34) Comments

  1. Oh Mary, just when I thought you could not do any more for us than you already do, you go and top that again. This is so FANTASTIC. I am so excited to have this alpha info. of stitches at our fingertips.
    “Thank You” just seems so inadequate for all the wonderful info. you put out there for us.
    We appreciate it all so much.
    You are the best!

  2. WOW! This is fantastic! Thank you so much for your hard work and for sharing your talents in such an amazing, educational way. I love your thoroughness and attention to detail. Thank you thank you thank you!

  3. Thank you for doing all this. I have found it to be a tremendous resource, even as a seasoned stitcher. I’ve already referred several quilters to your site.

  4. Thank you so much……when I need to find a stitch diagram in a hurry, I am running all around the house looking for my favorite book, but now I can just run to my computer and find the stitch AND a video of how to execute it. I loved the comment to your dad – my daughters might say the same about me…….

  5. Hello Mary

    All the thank-you’s will not be enough to tell you how much I appreciate your help. You make it so easy for us !! You have no idea how much I have benefitted from all of this. In my embroidery ventures, whenever I have had trouble with a type of stitch, I just click onto your embroidery video…observe it carefully and viola …I have it. Thanks a million.

  6. Oh Mary, you have completed a wonderful resource for needleworkers everywhere. Thank-you so much!

  7. Mary, thank you! You do such awesome work and have been very helpful in my “spreading my wings” in venturing out into new areas of surface embroidery. I love your site!

  8. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Could you do one on Bayeux stitch, please. (Honestly… some of us are never satisfied)
    I spend many happy hours just looking, admiring and planning projects – 99% of which never get done!
    Thank you. You are better than the telly!

  9. Dear Mary

    Another fantastic blog thanks you so much for all your hard work on the How to videos, I’ve just had a look and its great, wonderful and so clear. I shall have fun playing around with the page.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  10. Sherry said it beautifully and I heartily second her sentiments. Thank you, Mary, for all the hard work. We appreciate it!

  11. Mary, thanks,
    your amazing. I am speechless at all the awesome stuff you do for the stitch world!!!!

  12. God bless you for all your sharing! Making your valuable teaching resources so accessible is another of your great gifts to us. Thank you.

  13. Thank you, Mary, for being such a great teacher who gives us valuable resources! You know, you must have thousands of students, but thankfully, there are no exams in this course! Seriously, I don’t believe I would have learned to embroider had you not provided the videos of these stitches.

    When you run out of other stitches, how about a couple on needle weaving (woven bars,etc.)?

    -Sharon in France

  14. Wow!!! This is FABULOUS!!! Thank you sooooo much!!!! This is WONDERFUL!!! I just found your site a few months ago and can’t wait for the next “episode”!!!! Just reading a book and looking at pictures doesn’t do what these fabulous videos do. I tell everyone who is interested in embroidery about your site!
    Thanks again!!!

  15. Remarkable Mary! That was a lot of time, effort and work. What a treasure for us to use in learning to stitch and to use as a reference tool. Thank you so much.

  16. Hi Mary

    This is about bullion stitch. When my mother taught me this stitch it was to add roses to baby clothes when I was pregnant with my first daughter who is now 41years old.
    Technically it is a comment not about the stitch itself but the name of the finished flower, we always called them grub roses. Funny now when I think about it, we would have used any needle etc. but they turned out fine. I guess I wasn’t worried about it, just did it.

    Thanks so much for all you do for all of us.
    Sandy Australia

  17. As usual, Mary, another fantastic piece of work. Thank you.

    I did manage to find a little boo-boo, just a baby one, so insignificant as barely to rate a mention. I believe your computer refused to print the ‘l’ you undoubtedly pressed when typing ‘Drizzle Stitch’.

    And Sandy, my mother always called them grub roses or grub stitch roses – her eldest child is 63 (me) but I seem to have lost the habit. I know what they are though when people talk about grub roses.

  18. At a stitch-in yesterday, I suddenly heard your voice! When I looked up, three of my friends (who are working on Hazel Blomkamp’s footstool) were watching your “how to do the coral stitch” video on an iPhone. It’s ALMOST as good as having you join us for the stitch-in. Of course, if you’re ever in South Carolina…

    1. That’s hilarious, Janet! Gotta love those iPhones! I’m glad to hear that, though – so nice that the videos are used!

      Thanks for telling me!


  19. Congratulations Mary!

    It must feel so good to have this stuff finished. I spent my day rewriting lesson plans and am glad that I will now be able to get back to the fun of stitching and quilting. I love the alphabetical listing, but I must admit I felt a little sorry for the letters that didn’t have any stitches, they seemed so lonely. Maybe some of your readers could try new combinations and name them until we fill in the alphabet! TTFN!

  20. Hi Mary, I have used this site for a long time and its amazing! Quick question for you if you have time. Is there a marking tool that you like to use when pre-marking dark material for embroidery? I’m currently working on a quilt that has white and black sections, and I’m getting creative about how to mark my patterns. Any thoughts? A white fine sharpie or chalk of some kind? Thanks!

  21. Mary, I don’t see (simple) Cable stitch listed… As I recently discovered thanks to your forum it is used in Hardanger, and I’m sure in other types of embroidery too. It’s a decorative one… I’m just curious about it :}

    Thank you for your work ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Actually, ‘over’ is used to indicate the end of a transmission. ‘Over and out’ indicates that the conversation is done and the person saying ‘over and out’ is shutting off the radio as well as being done with the conversation.

    At least, that’s how I learned it! ๐Ÿ™‚

    The stitch list ROCKS!

  23. The first page I went to which Google search listed and everything I need is here! Thank you so much Mary. I am hoping to make a sampler cloth book of stitches during the winter months, so this will be an enormous help.

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