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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Hungarian Redwork Runner: Some Progress, but Not Much!


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In the days leading up to Christmas, I didn’t have a chance to make much progress on any needlework! To those of you who gave hand embroidered gifts for Christmas and finished them all up on time, you have my enduring admiration. As for me, I’m afraid I was a bit of a slug in that regard.

Still, I did manage a wee bit o’ stitching on the Hungarian Redwork Runner. Not a whole lot, but at least some.

Hungarian Redwork Embroidery Runner

In fact, I’ve added tentacles to it.

You can see that my 15-Minute Stitching Philosophy took me only so far. But – that’s part of the 15 Minute Philosophy: when you’re life is busy, if you can only grab 15 minutes here or 15 minutes there to add just a few stitches to a project, you will make progress. And some progress is better than no progress at all.

The other part of the 15 Minute Philosophy is to use stitching as a carrot: If I get all this finished, if I accomplish this little goal (whatever it is – grading that stack of papers, writing those thank you notes, outlining next week’s blog posts, cleaning the attic, cooking dinner, washing the car, mowing the lawn, shoveling snow…), then I will spend 15 minutes on my embroidery.

This approach works really well for me, and I find that I get a lot of other stuff done, and done on time, if I use needlework as my carrot.

Hungarian Redwork Embroidery Runner

To get this 15 minute embroidery fix each day (or perhaps several times throughout the day) it helps to have either a grab-and-go type project on hand – a project that’s easy to pick up and easy to pack up – or a project that’s already set up in a dedicated space. This way, you don’t have to mess with dragging everything out, setting everything up, and cleaning everything up, which can easily eat up all 15 of your hard-earned minutes. This is why I like this Hungarian Redwork Runner project. It’s simple to get out and even simpler to stuff back into its bag!

Hungarian Redwork Embroidery Runner

One thing that I’ve discovered about this project is that, while it is not really a huge test of skill, it will definitely be a test of perseverance. This isn’t to say that I’ve grown weary of it. On the contrary, it’s rather addicting and I’d like to spend more time on it. But it is a lot of the same stitch in the same color. And it’s a lot of starting and ending threads!

If I’m a Really Good Girl this week and I get all my work done, I plan to spend some intense time on this project over the coming weekend. Next time you see it, you should be able to see a recognizable advance in progress!

Tomorrow, I’m going to share with you what I think is an amazing and fun embroidery project by a reader. If you haven’t settled on any stitching plans for 2013 and you need a little facelift to your house decor, you’ll enjoy this! Then, I’d like to introduce you to a treasure of a rare book that I found. And there are some interesting things going on around the traps that you might want to hear about, so I’ll be sharing some Needlework Happenings and Things of Interest with you down the road, too.

If you haven’t signed up for yesterday’s coton a broder thread give-away yet, don’t forget! This is probably the most difficult give-away I’ve ever done. Parting with a whole set of threads is definitely sweet sorrow – sweet, because I’m sure it will make someone else out there quite happy, but nonetheless sorrow, for obvious reasons!

Hope you get to enjoy some time with your needle and thread today!


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(10) Comments

  1. Dear Mary

    Like you I haven’t done any embroidery over the Christmas period because of Christmas things and I caught the dreaded virus thats going around at the moment so I have been recuperating over the Christmas period. But I hope to get back to needlework in the next few days. Love what you have done so far with the Hungarian Redwork runner and look forward to your New Year blogs.

    Regards Anita Simmance

    1. Hi, Anita! Oh dear…. I hope you’re feeling much better! I’m so sorry you were sick over the holidays. It’s been circulating around here, too – I keep ducking, hoping it won’t hit me! 🙂 Do feel better soon! ~Mary

    2. Thanks Mary I am feeling better and hopefully be fully recovered by to celebrate the New Year. I hope you don’t catch it.

      Regards Anita Simmance

  2. My gifts were finished on 23rd… it was hectic and exhausting… and still more ahead… :{ I don’t know how other people manage!..

    But when *I* want to sit down to work… only preparing fabric or cutting/untangling threads and other petty things take me these *15 minutes* ! :0)

    See, we all need more time… I can’t imagine how you find time for everything… and now this give-away… that adds you even more work…

  3. Hi mary,

    the work is not only lovely, as u said it may be slow & steady, it is very neat and neatness is very important in embroidery. Luv it. Waiting to see how it is once you finish it. Take care.

  4. Hi Mary,
    I love your progress so far. I really like the way old cross stitch samplers look and have always wanted to do one. The only problem is that I’m terrible at cross stitch. I’m best at freehand embroidery, so I found a sampler that I liked and designed (for the first time!) a free hand embroidery sampler. I figured why can’t I showcase the stitches that I have mastered and use the colors I love the most? It’s pretty cool looking. I usually follow or use a kit and the freedom to do what I want is liberating. Thank you for your dedication to this wonderful site all year. You wouldn’t believe how many days I was able to get going just because I received your email.


    Melissa Bird

  5. G’day Mary,
    If each of us, who have commented for the giveaway so far, contributed a mere USA 35c we could buy you a set of those threads! Wish it could be done. : ) Maybe that should have been my daydream.
    Saw a cross stitch design saying ‘Needlework doesn’t take patience, it teaches patience” …mmm. ‘Spose. Love the Hungarian redwork you’re doing anyway, and your dedication.
    Cheers, Kath.

  6. Oh, Mary!

    This looks amazing. It really looks beautiful! Everyone is going to be green with envy when they come to your house and see that marvelous piece of needlework on your table.

  7. I really like the way you build up the different elements rather than just work across the whole thing blindly. Enjoying the individual shapes that make up the whole.

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