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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Boo! And Give-Away Winners!


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Would you like a trick, or a treat?

How about two treats? First, some gingham embroidery with a Halloween theme, followed by the winner’s of last week’s Bohin needlework tools give-away.

No tricks, I promise.

Gingham Embroidery - Black Cat

Yes, today is Halloween. At the risk of sounding rather Halloween-Scroogy, I don’t really get into Halloween. I’m a boo-humbug sort of gal, I suppose! Oh sure, I give out candy to the trick or treaters, and I like carving pumpkins. Errr. Rather. I like watching the kids carve pumpkins. But that about does it for me. I guarantee you’ll never see me dressed up like a ghoul on October 31st!

Though, come to think of it, the other 364 days a year might be a different story…

Still, I’m always impressed with clever seasonal embroidery projects, and this gingham embroidery (chicken scratch!) black cat stitched by reader Anya Gray is cleverly done! Cute, isn’t it? And the double rick-rack edging is a great idea, too. It’s two colors of rick-rack, interlocked, so that the finished effect looks like a striped rope. I like it!

Gingham Embroidery - Black Cat

Ooooooooooooo. And spooky green eyes, too!

If you’d like to learn a bit about gingham embroidery – also known as chicken scratch, among other things – you can check out the links in the gingham embroidery category here on Needle ‘n Thread.

Thanks, Anya, for sending the photo!

Bohin Needlework Tools Winners!

And now – two winners for last week’s Bohin needlework tools give-away!

The question was “What’s your dream tool for needlework and what’s so great about it?” There were heaps of fun answers to read – some 800-ish! Here are the two winners and their responses:

Winner #1: Jane from MA, who answered the question thusly:

My favorite side-kick dream tool is my pair of Machingers – Little knit gloves with grips on them – They are great for hand quilting, embroidering, machine quilting, machine free motion embroidering – They help grip that stubborn needle, that slippery fabric – and acts like a quasi thimble sometimes. If they are clean – they can keep the skin oil off fabric. Can you tell I think they are pretty special?

See. You learn something never every day! I’ve never heard of Machingers. I wonder how that’s pronounced. Is it Muh-SHEEN-gers? or MATCH-in-gers? or…? Anyone?

Winner #2: Kathleen Gordon. Her dream tool must certainly everyone’s dream tool!

My dream tool would be a magic wand. When I want to sew, I would wave my magic wand and all the mess in my sewing room would jump back into its proper place!

If anyone has a source for these, please let me know. I want one for each room in the house.

Congratulations, ladies – please contact me with your mailing addresses as soon as you can, so I can get the goodies out to you.

And thanks to each and every one of you for participating! If I could send you each a package overflowing with dream tools, I would – that’s my dream!

Wishing everyone a happy day, wherever you are, whatever you are doing. To all friends and family in the Northeast especially, I’m thinking of you!


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(21) Comments

  1. G’day Mary,
    Oooohh, love the ‘puddy tat’.
    Congratulations Jane and Kathleen. You have Christmas coming early this year. What fun to open your goodies.
    Thank you Mary, cheers, Kath.

  2. Congratulations ladies. Love the magic wand idea. Where do you get one? Would also like to wave it when I want to sit and work on a project and so many others things need doing. Do I embroider or do the other work????

  3. I am also not a Halloween-gal. My parents had a rule that once we were 12 years old we were too old to dress up and go get candy. I do like carving pumpkins (I also handmake wreaths at christmas) and we do give out candy, but Halloween for us is just the time the stores start stocking christmas items. We do not put candles inside either, we buy either the candle sized LED lights or the snap and glow sticks, that way everyone is safe.

  4. Congratulations to the winners! I am also a non-halloween-er. Have a wonderful day Mary with unexpected outburst of love from family or a friend and a perfect stitching day!

  5. Mary,
    I am right with you on the subject of Halloween. I don’t understand the hype my daughter’s generation has given it. Decorating every room? The money alone spent on a holiday(?) that worships……I just don’t get it. I do think your Gingham Lace is cute. If you do Ric Rac in red and white like that it looks like a candy cane! Sorry for spouting off.

    1. Hi Terry Sue. I agree with you and several others about decorating for Halloween, although I believe the original purpose had something to do with scaring the real ghosts out of homes etc. Rather like the spanish “Day of the Dead”, (Cinco di Mio?)

      I do love to decorate in the fall with pumpkins, chrysanthimuns and corn stalks. New England living just begs to bring the color inside. Nothing goulish or creepy thank you!

      Because I do stiching for my own satisfaction I like to work on seasonal themes during the season I’m in. So, after Thanksgiving I will be working on some Christmas projects. Mind you, they are never finished in time but that’s OK. I end up with UFP’s that I can pick up when the next season arrives. Some day someone may find a real treasure of hand stitched items. In the meantime I will never run out of something to “put needle and thread” to.

      Is there anyone else who stitches just to stitch?

      Doreen from Maine

    2. Yes Doreen, I stitch just to keep myself sane-ish (haha). I do a Jack O’lantern or two for the kids that come for candy and that’s it. The pumpkins never have mean faces, just cute or funny etc. No creepy for me either. I don’t do seasonal items so to speak, that way the items can be enjoyed year round, but I do embroider year round, nearly every evening.

  6. Congratulations to the winners! I must say a magic wand would be great – although I’d use it so that Poof! the housework, cooking and laundry was done so I’d have more time to work on things like needlework and sewing.

    And that Halloween kitty is cute!

  7. Congratulations to Jane & Kathleen–have fun with Bohin goodies! Thank you Mary for posting Anya’s cat–very clever. There are additional resources for this technique known as “broderie suisse” in Europe. There are lots of patterns & explanations on various French blogs–just hit the translate button or rely on the graphs. You can never have too much gingham!

  8. Congratulations to Jane and kathleen I’m sure you will both enjoy the lovely bohin goodies and thanks Mary for the give away. I’m also not a Halloween person as the day is all saints day not a spooky day. Love the gingham design Anya.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  9. Congratulations to the winners! They must be thrilled!

    I love the double rick-rack in Halloween colors! I have used it before to make candy canes for Christmas (with lots of starch and pinning to get them curved like a candy cane) but never for other holidays. What a great idea! And the cat is so cute!

  10. Hi – I would like to know what drawing programs or applications people use for designing motifs or patterns to embroider? Mary has kindly offered a couple of lovely different pdf’s which she has made on her computer and I started wondering how I could do that too. I do not use Mac, just PC’s.

    1. Hi, Jo –

      I use 2 different programs, depending on my mood, the complexity of the design, and whatnot. One is Adobe Illustrator, which is rather pricey, and the other is Inkscape, which you can download for free online. Inkscape is easy to learn, and fairly user friendly, so you might start with that before investing big bucks in Illustrator.

      Hope that helps!


  11. Thank you, Mary, for organizing this give-away and all the others you have. How you do it *and* do all the handwork you illustrate in your mailings … well, it just amazes me. Anyway, thank you!

  12. Congratulations to the winners!
    Chicken scratch has never been one of my “things”, but I think this kitty might get a spot on my to-do list.

  13. Wow! That cat is fab. I’d say I must remember to try that for next year, but I think that’s planning too far ahead and my memory just isn’t that good anymore!

    Congratulations to the winning girls!

  14. Great work, Anya, on the gingham black cat! So many fun things you can do on gingham! Thanks, Mary, for showing it!

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