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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Needle ‘n Thread – Backward & Forward!


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Happy New Year, Everyone!

For 2013, I wish each and every one of my readers a year of blessings, joy, happiness, peace, success in all your good endeavors, and good health!

Embroidery Projects, 2012

2012 was an adventurous year on this side of Needle ‘n Thread. My greatest needlework accomplishment of the year was the Medallion Project, which I finished in May. Since then, all my other embroidery projects have seemed very small in comparison. In fact, did I actually accomplish much of anything with my needle after May? I’m beginning to wonder!

Backward-Forward List

1. At the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012, my first online needlework classes made an appearance, and they went well. They taught me that online classes in embroidery are definitely doable, and are probably, in fact, the new paradigm in embroidery instruction. More classes are on the horizon for 2013!

2. In February of 2012, the “Stitch Fun” series took off, and over the year, about 25 stitch tutorials materialized in that series. I plan to continue the series in 2013, and expand it a bit.

3. As an off-shoot of the Stitch Fun series, some Stitch Printables came to be. These are printable e-books that explore in-depth a few complex stitches, including interlaced herringbone stitch, cast-on and double-cast on stitch, and plaited braid stitch (the easy way). More in 2013? You bet!

4. During the summer of 2012, some embroidered Little Things made an appearance. These were intended to morph into affordable project e-books that instruct in finishing small embroidery pieces into some useful little embroidered items. In 2013, the instructions will make their little debut.

5. In the second half of 2012, I updated all but 14 of the embroidery stitch videos on Needle ‘n Thread. The rest are coming in the first part of 2013 – along with a few more, and a surprise!

6. This past autumn, I experimented with a new thread called silk gimp and embroidered an autumn tree. This turned into developing some designs for future projects, at least one of which is slotted for 2013.

7. During the last three months of 2012, I embroidered a project for inclusion in a book (authored by Jessica Pigza) to be published in 2014.

8. And during the last two months of the year, the Hungarian Redwork Runner project came into being. This is my grab-‘n-go, stitch-when-I-can project that will probably last through the first couple months of 2013.

New Year Resolutions

I make resolutions. I try to make very specific resolutions each year, because the more specific a resolution is, the easier it is to stick with it and to be accountable for keeping it.

That being said, admittedly, I don’t always keep my resolutions, and I rarely keep them exactly as they were written. I often tweak them as the year progresses, to keep things realistic.

Sheep on a Sunny Hill

I’m always an optimist at the beginning of the year. Everything is sunshiny at the start of a new year – a fresh start, a new year with no mistakes in it (no mistakes in it, yet!). Catch me two months into the new year, and I may be chattering to a different tune!

Two New Resolutions

This year, I’ve added two new needlework-related resolutions to my list.

Embroidery Design Sketch

One involves a sketchbook.

Stitch Tutorial

The other involves creating tutorials.

On my list, I’ve written them like this:

I resolve to produce a Sketch a Week. I will spend at least half an hour each week, doodling up something in the sketchbook. Reasoning: this will push me to develop more design ideas, will give me an archive of idea starters, and will keep the juices flowing.

I resolve to develop Five Tutorials a Month. I will schedule time to work up at least five needlework-related tutorials per month. These can be related to anything needlework. I will photograph and write instructions for each, and either publish them immediately on NNT or keep them for future website content. Reasoning: this will keep me focused on instruction and will provide solid instructional content for NNT.

There they are. Let’s see if I can keep them – along with the rest of the resolutions on the list!

So, what about you? Do you have any needlework-related new year’s resolutions?

My very best wishes to you and yours for a Happy 2013! Thank you for all your inspiration, encouragement, and enthusiasm over the years. Needle ‘n Thread would not be the same without YOU!


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(43) Comments

  1. merci et bonne santé et plein plein de belles et bonnes choses pour vous. Ce sera toujours un très grand plaisir de vous suivre.

  2. Hi mary,

    Thanks for ur wishes and i wish the same for u and ur family. Love all what u have done for us, readers of ur site. Thanks again and i like ur new year resolution, mine is to complet all the embroidery work i have started and to follow ur site throughout the year, last year due to some problems i missed out a lot of posts on ur site from may 2012, i came only in december to find u had started stitch fun and i’m having fun trying them now. Thanks and lots of love. Happy 2013.

  3. Happy New Year to you also. Looking forward to learning much more from you. As I look back on 2012, I am grateful to have found your blog and thank you for all your do!

  4. And Happy New Year to you as well, Mary!!

    I love your specific resolutions for the New Year. i have been thinking of some very specific needlework resolutions myself. One is to learn the interlaced herringbone stitch. I downloaded your tutorial yesterday and practiced last night. It was a struggle but my first and second attempt were not to shabby. I definitely need more practice. I always think I am a better stitcher than I am, thinking that I can just learn a new stitch on the fly, on my actual project. What I am learning from you, is that practice is important! A good and valuable lesson. I have other resolutions floating around in my head that need to be committed to paper!

    Thank you for all your great tutorials and videos and blog. I reference your site often.

    Looking forward to 2013!

  5. Thank you so much for a wonderful year.
    You have kept a lot of us very busy.
    Bonne Année and we wish you to stay in good health for all of us…shelfish isn`t it.
    Thanks for everything Mary.
    France from Québec, Canada

  6. Mary,
    your resolution sound exciting for all of us. How lucky we are to have you. You’re such an excellent teacher.
    I’m looking forward to online classes as well as your other resolutions.

    All the best for the New Year!!!!

  7. Wow! What a great list of wonderful accomplishments! And so generously shared…you are a treasure! You are such an inspiration… I wish i had a smidgeon or your talent and organization!! And i hope for the new year to find my needles and thread and finish my Buffalo embroidery which i started in 1979….. :-).

  8. Hi Mary,

    It’s certainly been a very productive year on Needle ‘n Thread. I began subscribing to your newsletter in June and have thoroughly enjoyed reading your reviews & tutorials. I feel that I’ve learned so much in the last six months and I’ve bought quite a few books on your recommendation. The purse is lighter and the bookshelf is heavier, but that’s all good!

    I’m with you when it comes to specific goals for the year ahead rather than vague resolutions. I’m resolved to make up several completed embroideries into cushions (perhaps you might call them pillows):) I find it so much easier to start an exciting new embroidery project and tend to procrastinate when it comes to getting out the sewing machine. But then the embroidery sits reproachfully in the cupboard and I miss out on the pleasure of finishing an item. So … that’s all going to change from now on! I’ve made a start on the first cushion: a pulled work panel I finished a year ago … eek!

    Thanks for all the inspiration and needlework guidance over the last year, Mary. Take care.


  9. Happy New Year! Just took a break from my New Years morning ritual
    Of re-organizing my projects and stash. I like to start the year somewhat
    Organized. my goal this year, as always, is to learn a new technique,
    Finish any projects left from 2012 and start some new ones!!! I am sure some
    Of those goals will be met through your wonderful site. Now, back to work!

  10. Wishing you a blessed New Year Mary!

    Thank you for all the time you devote to your craft. Stitchers all around the world are touched by your passion. It is thanks to you, and people like you, that stitching will flourish for generations to come.

  11. My goals for this year: finish the 2 baby quilts I started, make a 3rd for the new grandchild due in March. Mostly I would like to spend more time just stitching for fun. I tend to commit myself to projects for others and am then forced into a time frame. This year I want to stitch for absolute fun and learn at least 10 new stitches.

  12. Good morning, Mary
    Glad to hear everything’s sunshiny 🙂
    and probably ‘crispy snowy’ too…

    My resolutions… well, there should be very few, and only concerning very important things… about karma, about being a better & wiser person… ehh

    Thank you for this site. It has a pleasant peaceful atmosphere, I’m glad so many people who care about good & beautiful things gather here… It is nice of you to prepare and share more and more with us and create such legacy for all the stitchers 🙂

  13. Hi, Mary
    You included a picture (1st row, 3rd from left) in your Forwards and Backwards posting that I would like more information on the pattern and stitch, if you can provide it, please.

  14. I don’t make New Year resolutions, but as a year is a good period of time, I like to set a series of goals for the year. If I complete many of them, that’s great, but if not, it doesn’t matter. I may, or may not, carry them forward to the next year’s list.

    Today I posted my recap of the year 2012 embroidery-wise too and then shared the needlecrafts section of the whole 2013 goals list. If anyone’s interested, clicking on my name will take you to my blog.

    All the best with your goals, everyone!

  15. Wow, that’s ambitious! My only resolution is to try to keep better track of my needles. My family tends to walk around in their socks.

  16. Hi Mary,

    Wishing you a very happy new year. I am from India and have been a very regular visitor to your website. I just love it and have learnt a lot. Thanks much for all the useful tutorials….

  17. A very, very happy new year to you, Mary! Finding your blog was one of my highlights of 2012. I’ve been so very impressed by the quality and quantity of the things you show us. Here’s to more in 2013!

    Good luck with the resolutions. I have one this year, and it’s going to be very, very hard to keep: No new threads, no new fabric, no new embroidery books (no, not even downloads from the Antique Pattern Library)and no other craft, art or stationery bits until Easter. I’ve got to reduce the massive stash I’ve already got here somehow, so it’s time for harsh measures.

  18. Happy New Year, Mary! May it be a good year for you and thank you for everything that you do for the stitching community, I think we all appreciate your tutorials, discussions about needles, threads etc. Looking forward to everything you will share with us this year.

  19. Happy New Year, Mary! You accomplished a lot! I certainly benefited from all your embroidery lessons. I know your classes will fill up fast when they get offered and it will be really fun to see your growth in design. 😀 Just imagine what you’ll be chronicling on Jan 1, 2014!

  20. Happy New Year to you too! I very much enjoyed your year-end wrap up and the resolutions you’ve made for yourself. I don’t make resolutions but get a lot of stuff done during the year now that I’m retired. Your work is beautiful and your blog so inspirational. I read every one! The video tutorials are extremely helpful. If you need an idea for a video (I looked but didn’t see one there already) I’d like to see the Spiral Trellis. I don’t seem to be getting the fullness needed to make it as beautiful as it should be. Thanks for all the work you do and share during the year.

  21. Mary, thank you for all the wonderful stitching tutorials, and the Stitch Fun, which I love. Looking forward to anything you share in the new year.
    To you and yours, a wonderful new year filled with all good things!

  22. Happy New Year Mary! and to your family too! WOW! I envy your time spent with stitching. 🙂 I have 3 goals regarding my embroidery: To finish quilting my redwork quilt, complete my “Winter Wonderland in Blue” blocks wall hanging and make a sampler using your videos to learn new stitches each month…but first I have to try and organize my stash just a little better so I can find things. 🙂 I am a clutterbug by nature and that is definitely a hurdle for me. Look forward to all of your new ideas in 2013.

  23. Dear Mary

    Well 2013 sounds exciting on Needle n Thread can’t wait for more online classes and all your ideas for embroidery thanks for all your hard work on Needle n Thread your continue to inspire me with your creative mind, I hope you have a good year and I look forward to another exciting year with you.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  24. happy new year mary,all the best for you and your family.since i am new to embroidery my new years resolution is to learn new stitches to help finish a crazy quilt in am working on,and your site is the perfect place to learn.

  25. Mary
    Thanks for the fab web-site which I do read every day. And for taking over Stitchin’ fingers which i look at when time allows. I enjoy accomplishing things and usually make resolutions that are specific-sometimes I’m good, sometimes not so good. Here are a few that are stitching related.
    -to practice drawing 2 hrs/wk( I ‘m not good at drawing , never practice, hence never get better….but this I think I can manage.
    – to clean out the next “corner” in my studio-one section gets a thorough going over each year.
    -finish 3 big projects for a show in Sept and several( note the absence of a number) for 2 other small shows.
    To say NO more often to others who want to impinge upon my time-this is getting easier, but is still hard.

    Be well everyone

  26. Happy New Year, Mary, and fellow followers of the best needlework site on the Internet. Mary, what wonderful plans for 2013, and how much we will ALL benefit. I cannot wait for the additional tutorials. And classes! NNT is woven into the fabric of my life, and I am so thankful to you.

  27. Happy New Year, Mary. I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed your website this year. I only found it in mid-2012; now it is a site I check almost every day.

    I applaud your very ambitious goals! Five tutorials per month is a lot. I’m tempted to take your first goal as my own. I find it very difficult to force myself to sit in front of a blank piece of paper and sketch. And yet, few of my creative aspirations will happen if I don’t do just that. Hmmm You have given me something to think about.

    Thanks for everything you do and share!
    Susan in Texas

  28. My only New Years Resolution related to Needlework was to put Needle to thread at least once a day no matter how little I get done. I want to be more faithful at keeping up with the blog. I enjoy reading your site and refer to it often for new ideas and to see what you are stitching. While cross stitch is what I do the most I am getting back into handwork and enjoy reading your notes. Thanks so much.

  29. Mary,
    Thank you for another great year of learning and needlework adventure here on Needle ‘n Thread! I think your resolutions for the New Year are fantastic. They mirror what my design teacher told us to do years ago – always keep a note/sketch book nearby, and devote some time to it on a regular basis.

    My resolution for the coming year – pull out a book from my library, keep a page open, and read about a particular stitch as I’m working on my project. Also, check here for stitch directions, watch more of your videos, and read more archives on projects.

    Looking forward to another great year of stitching.

  30. Happy New Year to you too, Mary, may it bring you all that you wish for yourself and a little bit extra as well.

    I too would like to thank you for all your hard work through the year and for your unstinting efforts aimed at helping those of us who need help, and all for no money to boot (not that I want to put ideas about charging for access to your blog or anything).

    As for resolutions – I am simply not organised enough for specific resolutions, nor can I predict what tomorrow will be like to carry through on them even if I did make some. I would like to get my studio sorted once and for all – get rid of all the stuff that I have tried and not liked, or not been able to do: eBay sale coming up perhaps.

    And then I want to do some real embroidery like the grown ups do – something like Mary might do.

  31. Happy new year Mary,
    You are very good example along with all the other ways that you demonstrate your superior teaching ethos. Thanks again, sincerely. I like the idea of very specific goals for the year. I will have to set some of my own.

  32. bravo pour ces bonnes résolutions!
    je suis une nouvelle abonnée… merci pour tous vos articles si intéressants!

  33. Hi Mary
    Wishing you a great new year. I am looking forward to an exciting year of stitching in 2013, and seeing what everyone else is doing too.
    I intend to complete a piece of work that is in the style of Rebecca Crompton that I have designed during last year in a class similar to City and Guilds without an exam. I also intend to resurrect my website depicting my progress.
    I intend to complete a square of the month that is underway.
    I intend to make some clothing that will have embroidery on it somewhere.
    And lastly, I intend to learn as much as possible trying out new techniques and stitches.
    Phew!! That should keep me going for a while.
    Happy new year everyone!!!

  34. Mary –

    Posting here a few days after the fact but was determined to come back and do this as I believe by writing this down I might actually get some of these items done.

    First off, let me say I love needle arts – all of them. I don’t do them all but I have some favorites and some I’m want to learn more about. Currently, I’m working on crocheting an overlay medallion that I will be putting on the spare tire of our travel trailer. My husband thinks I’m nuts but I’m so excited to do this! Next, again with the crocheting, I want to learn Irish Crochet and I’ve acquired some books from the Ukraine that have absolutely stunning designs. The trick here will be deciding on one and actually starting it and also deciphering the language and charts.

    I will be stitching a blackwork sampler as a table runner and a sunny daisy table square as well. I’ve already got a good start on those and just need to finish.

    I would also like to try to learn from your postings and practice some of the stitches from your video tutorials. I haven’t done embroidery for quite awhile but I would love to try my hand at it again. I love your smalls by the way.

    I read your posts everyday and I look forward to seeing more this year and rekindling that love of embroidery.

    Thanks so much and Happy New Year to you!

  35. I just want to say that after many failures, I am finally able to make a beautiful French knot every time thanks to your video on YouTube. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

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