Mary Corbet

writer and founder


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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What’s Your Needlework Wish?


Amazon Books

We’re in the last month of 2013, and although I’m probably not the most organized person in the world, I do actually attempt to keep a semblance of order and organization in my life, by way of Planning Ahead.

I find that if I have some kind of plan to follow – some kind of long-term schedule and short-term schedule so I know where I want to go and what I need to do to get there – I’m a much happier person. And this is especially true here on Needle ‘n Thread.

Planning ahead is super-essential, if I want to keep Needle ‘n Thread alive. And I couldn’t do it without you. I would have no interest in keeping Needle ‘n Thread going, if I didn’t have such an interesting and engaging audience.

And that brings me to how you can help me do what I do, better than I’m now doing it.

I have some questions for you, and your answers may very well determine our direction on Needle ‘n Thread in 2014:

What do you need?

What do you want?

What’s your needlework wish?

Embroidery Topics on Needle 'n Thread

Tutorials, Techniques, or Tools? Oh My!

Ok, there’s more to it than that!

If you consider some of the major categories associated with needlework that we discuss here on Needle ‘n Thread, is there a particular category that you really, really love?

Embroidery Topics on Needle 'n Thread

Needlework Tutorials?

Do you like step-by-step tutorials?

If so, are there any tutorials you’d like to see worked out here on the website? Is there any stitch, technique, or method of work that you’d like clarification on? That you’d like to see worked out in pictures, with explanations and guidelines?

Needlework Tools?

Do you want to hear more about needlework tools? Do you like to know what’s out there in the way of tools that can make our embroidering lives easier?

Embroidery Topics on Needle 'n Thread

Do you need help with how to use a particular tool?

Would you like to see tool reviews or comparisons between different tools, to help guide your own purchasing decisions?

By tools, I mean any tool that is used at the embroiderer’s workstation – from hoops and frames to needles to scissors to stands, lighting, magnifiers, and miscellaneous gadgets.

Needlework Accessories?

Are you a lover of needlework accessories? Do you want to see more mention of accessories, how to use them, how to make them, or where to find them?

Embroidery Topics on Needle 'n Thread

By accessories, I mean all the little additional items that make stitching and organization for stitching more pleasurable – and are usually decorative in some way.

Needlework Book Reviews?

Are there any needlework books in particular that you’ve been thinking about purchasing, but aren’t quite decided yet, that you’d like to see reviewed?

Would you like to see more reviews of older books – even out of print books?

What about book comparisons? Would you like to know which books will help you most, in specific needlework tasks?

Needlework Techniques?

What about needlework techniques?

Are you keen to learn a new technique, but don’t know where to start?

Embroidery Topics on Needle 'n Thread

Would you like to see more information on specific techniques, and how to get started in learning them?

What techniques are you most interested in, and what do you want to know about them?

Needlework Video Tutorials?

Do you like needlework video tutorials and would you like to see more of them?

Needlework Topics on Needle 'n Thread

Do you need video tutorials on other needlework-related methods, aside from particular stitches?

What about particular stitches? Do you have any particular stitch that daunts you, that you need to see worked out?

Embroidery Projects?

Do you like watching embroidery projects develop step-by-step?

Needlework Topics on Needle 'n Thread

Is there any type of project that you would like to see develop step-by-step on Needle ‘n Thread in 2014? Usually, in these step-by-step projects, you’ll see tips and techniques explained, because that’s where I notice “teachable tips” that might help you along your own needlework journey.

Hand Embroidery Patterns?

Are there any specific types of hand embroidery patterns you’d like to see?

Hand Embroidery Patterns

Do you pine for specific styles of hand embroidery patterns? Do you want to see patterns that can be adapted to specific types of finished projects? Corner patterns? Individual embroidery designs? Repeatable motifs? Embroidery patterns for simple projects? Complex projects? Embroidery patterns for children’s projects? Monogram patterns? What are your pattern and design wishes?

Embroidery E-Books? Project E-Books?

Do you like embroidery e-books and would you benefit from having more e-books available?

Hand Embroidery E-Books on Needle 'n Thread

Do you want e-books that instruct on a variety of embroidery tips? E-books designed for the beginner? E-books that cover one particular project completely? Or e-books that make a multitude of projects do-able for you?

What’s Your Wish?

In short, I’m asking you to think a little bit about your needlework wish – what do you want to learn? What do you like to read about?

Blog Planner for Needle 'n Thread

By answering below, you’ll help me fill up my blog planner for 2014. I can’t cover everything, but if I have an idea of what you would like to see, you’ll be helping me create content for Needle ‘n Thread that’s relevant to your needlework life, too!

So, take some time, think about it, and help me out a bit! Don’t be shy – think of it as asking Santa for whatever you want!

And when you’ve thought about it a bit, leave a comment below with your ideas, suggestions, and wishes.

And then…we’ll see what 2014 will bring!

Thank you!


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(412) Comments

  1. Hi Mary, I love you blog and all the things you share, keep up the good work! What I would most like to see more of is featuring the work of other thread artists that I might not know, or workshops, or travel opportunities, such as the Lady Anne trip in England that looked so fabulous that I dreamed of going on for just one minute (!), websites, online classes, etc. You are such a clearinghouse of information, and these are things that I have trouble finding for myself. Thank you for your service 🙂 Lauren

  2. I’ve been reading you for less than a year, but have enjoyed nearly every post.

    Your book reviews are especially good — not compared to what else you do, but compared to any other reviews of needlework books.

    I’d be interested in some discussions/tutorials about cut work, including a brief history (I know it’s more than Hardanger, but that’s all I know).

    Ebooks are a problem for me as I don’t own a tablet. I have a kindle but pictures are worthless on a kindle. I have a Chromebook, but unless the ebook is a *.pdf file, it would be hard to read it there. I have a Win7 machine with a decent screen, but reading on that is a bit unwieldy. I like the idea of ebooks, but not all subject matters lend themselves to that media. Something downloadable to print, maybe, but taking a file to a color printer can be expensive. Just thinking aloud with a gentle reminder that not everyone has the latest techno toyz …

    I’d like to learn more about fabric and about needles.

  3. Mary – you are now doing just what I need. You have a good blend of everthing you mentioned. I am not
    an ornate embroiderer – I love your “fun” ebook which I have purchased and your stitch fun projects.- I guess I would say your videos and step by step tutorials are essential for me – I also love when you review the “new for you” threads – I LOVE ALL KINDS OF THREAD. You are a must for of us embroiderers out here – no matter what level or interest point we are at. Thank you so very much!!

  4. Dear Mary,

    I have found your video tutorials very, very helpful and can’t thank you enough for sharing them with us!
    As a beginner needlepointed who slowly, but surely is moving towards intermediate, I will find all the information about needlepoint tools and comparison very useful too.
    Thank you so much! Happy Holidays and a Wonderful New Year!

    1. I completely agree with Rita : smocking and more goldwork… hmmm, precious goldwork *imagine a Gollum glow in my eyes* My preciousss

  5. I love the variety of your articles. Each day is a surprise! I should really like to see something about ribbon embroidery and shadow work embroidery. Happy festive season,

  6. Mary – Your daily emails are amazing, inspiring and educational. I treasure every one. I especially love the tutorials and the excellent videos that teach us how to do every step. Your mix of subjects gives something for everyone. I love the step-by-step growth of a large project where we can follow the decisions you make along the way. In a nutshell, don’t change a thing. I look forward to each day because of the Needle N Thread in my inbox.
    Now, a new pair of eyes and endless energy for the years to come? I would love to be given that miracle under the tree this Christmas!
    Don’t forget….You’re the BEST!

  7. Dear Mary, my greatest wish is just one word! TIME. I still have so many projects lying in waiting, and sometimes I wonder if I will be able to finish it all. 🙂
    Lots of love,
    Elza Cape Town xxx

    1. Oh Elza – wouldn’t that be fantastic?! Mary, can you please box up and sell us some time? LOL
      Love, Mary in South Australia

  8. I feel like too much of a beginner to ask, and probably the answer is already on your website, but….
    When I see a line design pattern, I just don’t know what to do. I know that I can use what ever stitches I want, but I have trouble diving in and starting. I’d like help in choosing stitches, colors, and types of thread when starting with a simple line drawing.
    I love your blog every morning!! Thank you so much!!

    1. I second this post! I’m new to embroidery too and have learned EVERYTHING from your website – the stitch tutorials and discussion on accessories etc are priceless. I even undertook your gingham pulled thread project … on a smaller scale. it came out beautifully. I’d love to print out many of your line designs but need more guidance on stitches, threads, everything. I also love the e-books.

    2. I just love all the marvelous things you blog. I’m a beginner and really use all the equipment reviews. I also have difficulty with a line drawing and where to begin. You are a lifeline of encouragement and wealth of information that wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else. Thank you for sharing your knowledge so freely.

    3. I agree. I have practiced stitches and want to dive in in 2014, but getting started is the hardest thing. I’m 57 and haven’t really made anything since high school. I want to make little special gifts for my friends.

  9. I love the needlework video tutorials and find them very, very helpful. I found your site when I was searching Youtube for a lesson on how to embroider a particular stitch. Since discovering your site, I have been a frequent visitor to search for stitch suggestions and instructions. I have purchased two of your e-books and would buy another in a topic of interest, for instance one on Brazilian embroidery. I enjoy watching the development of projects and I occasionally incorporate some of your ideas into my own projects. Thank you for your blog! My needlework wish: MORE TIME.

  10. I am a beginner and would like advice on which stitches to use for a specific project – my husband’s coat of arms. I can send you a picture if that would help

  11. What I really like with your blog is the variety of topics you bring to us. I would like some technical information on which needle to use with which thread. Thank you for your blog. Merry Christmas.

  12. My wish….Counted cross stitch…canvas work…embroidery stitches…black work….reviews of books that are still available to purchase…how needlework was used in history…reviews of accessories….application of finished work in garments that we wear today…finishing techniques…care of needlework after the project is finished…

    1. I second that, finishing ideas and blocking as this can be expensive through a shop. Especially self finishing items and how to make them look more professional.

  13. I am having trouble couching fine gauge check purl. My couching thread pinches and deforms the thread but if I couch loosely, it does not lay correctly. I love you excellent photography and tutorials. I also am interestind in seeing you use whipped plate correctly

  14. Mary, I love your blog just the way it is. The book reviews are invaluable, reviews of both old and new books would be of interest. I find your comparisons of fabrics and threads really useful. I always read the explanations of different techniques, it leads me to try something new. Suggestions of suppliers where we can buy the hard to source items is useful too. I am about to start tambourwork embroidery (your fault!) so more on this please. I suppose I’m just saying “don’t change it too much” and “thank you for all your hard work – it really is appreciated”

  15. Mary,
    It’s a joy to have a bit of embroidery each day even if I don’t have time to stitch. So I enjoy everything you write and photograph so beautifully.

    The two areas that are the most valuable to me personally are the projects you are stitching and the book reviews. It is both fascinating and instructive to follow each embroidery’s journey and all the decisions that must be made about what thread, which stitch and determining when unstitching is appropriate.

    I live in a rural area so do not have access to a bookstore that offers embroidery books. You have called my attention to books I would otherwise never known about. Plus your very balanced reviews have given me the information needed to determine whether the book met my needs.

    Thanks for your wonderful newsletter/blog.

  16. I enjoy the wide variety of techniques you feature as well as the valuable information about threads and stitches. I would like to see more on the actual finishing of the work in final presentation form (framing, mounting, etc.) I have a website with references and bibliographies for fiber artists and am always appreciative to you for your books and book reviews.

  17. I enjoy following your projects. Keep adding historical notes, and universally beautiful things like monograms as you’ve been doing. The “fun” stuff is okay for some, I prefer the very disciplined needlearts. Thanks, Mary.

    1. I, too, love your historical notes. Thank you so much, Mary, for all the research that you do and share with us.

  18. Mary, You provide such a wonderful service. Thank you. My 2014 goals are to follow your long and short videos and learn needle painting. Also, I want to start working some crewel and some lessons set up the way the long and short lessons were done would be great.

    Most of all, just keep on doing what you are doing, it works for me!

  19. I can’t think of anything new. You have covered many of the the things I’m interested in and supplied information on books new and old. What I need is practice. Oh, maybe you can do a refresher on threads and fabric. What goes with what, how do we choose? I belong to an embroidery group but they assume that we know how to do everything including what supplies to use. Thanks, and Happy Christmas

  20. Mary, I love your blog and look forward to what interesting thing you will have on it each day! I enjoy all that you include and think that it is really a nice blend of topics. The only thing I would like to see would be more ideas for how to use some of the beautiful things you make. My mind only goes toward framing a project and hanging it on the wall. My walls are already VERY full! I just keep thinking about all the hours that go into making something and then having it donated to the Goodwill when the embroiderer is gone. 🙁

    1. Hi Mary,

      I second Carrie G’s suggestion. I absolutely love your blog and read it nearly every day. Innovative ways of finishing our works of art would be much appreciated.

      Thank-you for sharing your expertise with us!!

      Merry Christmas!

  21. I love your blog – I’ve read others, but only yours really lays out HOW to do quality needlework and shows how you get from start to finish. That’s really valuable to me.
    I would like to move from kits to non-kitted work, but whenever I try that, I find that the design process is really time-consuming, and then when you add colors, I spend so much time trying to choose pleasing colors that I wish I hasn’t started. I just bought Trish Burr’s book on color and think that may help, but if you wanted to talk about choosing colors someday, that would be great. I also like when you mention the materials you use – floche, linens, etc.

    1. I also like when you talk about the threads. I would be interested in more discussion about when to use specific types of threads — when to use floche, when to use linen, when to use a silk/wool blend, etc. BTW, I have been wanted to learn tambour work for several years, so I loved seeing that. Thanks for all your work.

  22. I appreciate the current variety. Seldom do I not read the entire article. It is my guilty pleasure because while I learn, I realize I could never reach your mastery. I can, however, with your tutorials, elevate my skills. If your work looks this lovely in two dimensions it certainly must be exquisite when seen in person.

  23. I look forward to every newsletter. I am particularly interested in crazy quilts and embellishing wool appliqué with embroidery. I find your video tutorials to be better than any of the stitchery books on my shelf. Thank you for sharing your knowledge, skills, and personal opinions.

    1. Oh, definitely YES on this one! I love detailed tiny embroideries and would love to try each of the stitches you used.

  24. My needlework wish(es) are for you to finish your instruction book using those fabulous alphabet letters you have been teasing us with 🙂
    I’m primarily a canvaswork stitcher but play with many other techniques and I enjoy everything you write.
    Thanks for a great year of resources! Merry Christmas and happy stitching in 2014!

  25. Hi Mary, I would like to see some more crewel patterns particularly for cotton as I am allergic to wool but I can’t do without your wonderful videos that have taught me everything I know so far. I am also interested in new techniques and I rely on your recommendation for any tools that I may need. I also like your step by step projects. But ultimately, what I need most is what you having been generous enough to date to share. Without your blog I would have struggled to learn embroidery and therefore would not be enjoying it as much as I am now. Thank you so much.

  26. Hi Mary, I enjoy watching you do all of the steps needed to complete a project from beginning to end. I also like to see what new tools are on the market. Thank you for your most inspirational posts. I really appreciate them. Have a merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.
    Happy stitching,

  27. I just love the balance you have between projects, stitches, how-to’s, tools, all of it!
    I wouldn’t change anything!!! Pat in SNJ

  28. Every morning I look forward to checking in with you to see what new tidbit of information you have for your readers, and I am never disappointed. I love your video tutorials, and use them regularly. I also love your stitch projects, such as the Mission Rose, for it is in pieces such as that that one learns how to better master the craft of embroidery. Well, I need to say that I really love it all. After your review this summer of the Premax curved-tip scissors, I mentioned to my children that the Premax was something I wanted to try out, and, for my birthday I received this very welcomed little package in the mail, and to date, they are my very favorite pair of scissors to use. I enjoy the unusual techniques in embroidery you offer as well, such as sheisa. Keep it up – maybe a few pulled thread tutorials would be nice, and also how to best plan out the direction to take in a blackwork piece.

  29. Dearest Mary–I love your blog. I look forward to reading it everyday. I go back and review your video tutorials all the time, they are such great help. I love thread, you love thread, please keep reviewing. I have bought a few of the books that you have reviewed, thank you. Introducing new techniques is always good, I particularly liked the tambour work. Okay I guess what I’m saying , your blog is just the perfect mix. Thank you for writing and sharing every day.

  30. Mary, I love your blog because you do a variety of topics. My favorite is when you detail a special project from beginning to end – including the missteps and changes of direction. I like your explanations of why you use which materials – what type of thread, etc. That helps when I try to tackle a project. I am particularly interested in ecclesiastical projects, but I most enjoy watching the progress on each project. If you could review other websites that cover topics close to yours, it would help me in knowing where to turn for additional information (though I can’t imagine anyone having the wealth of information you provide). Finally, I love the stitch library and your excellent tutorials. Keep up the good work for 2014!! I will be there reading!

  31. Dear Mary

    Everyday I get your newsletter, in my inbox. I look forward to it, not only have you shown me ways to improve my embroidery, making some designs easier with a different way to stitch an old shape, it looks more proffesional when I try a new method. You push the boundaries of our interests, goldwork, I bought the one book you reviewed. Inspiration comes in abundance. I would love to learn how to make lace, with the bobbins, just an idea. This year was the first time I used silk thread for applique, have never used it before. I smock, quilt, embroider, applique, candlewick, cross-stitch, when the life allow for it. I find it relaxing and relieve stress. Still have to progress to stitching with silk floss, that will be another new experience for my bucket list. Maybe some Brazillian embroidery? Love the tambour work, it is something I will be trying next year, chain stitch is one of my go to stitches.

    Merry Christmas.

  32. Dear Mary,

    Please don’t change a thing. I look forward to your wonderful information every morning. I learn; I wonder; I appreciate; I dream.

    I can’t begin to tell you how I am inspired by what you show us. The tutorials, the book reviews, the clear photos, the new tools…..the list his endless.

    Thank you so very much.

  33. My wish would be to stop procrastinating and finish all the UFOs that have accumulated over many decades!

    I want everything – all the gadgets – and have many – and kits and charts and hundreds of skeins of floss and perle coton – and even have 2 UFOs on frames – and one that only needs one more set of initials.

    Of course, there is also a lot of yarn and needles and crochet hooks and UFOs in each category.

    I love seeing all your accomplishments, Mary, and want to learn, in spite of knowing the chances of my finishing anything more.

    My husband gave me a wonderful mantra and it helps to know: You don’t have to finish, but you can never quit.

    1. Oh, that is lovely! Thanks to your husband and you!Yes, we outgrow old fiber dreams. The kids go to Goodwill and love the old stuff!

  34. I so happy, when I found you and your instructions online, I very interesting to try this technique, wich tambor hook, in 2014 I promise to try.
    Thanks the e-mail and instruction, and I hope you have Merry Christimans and happy new year. I am from to Brasil, sorry my english. Thanks again.

  35. Are you interested in “mixed media” or “multi-media” – I would be interested in this and I think it is becoming more popular with embroiderers who have done traditional embroidery. I am also very interested in beading on fabric… If my interests are out of your focus area, I understand – you can’t cover everything. You do a wonderful job Mary! Thank You!

  36. I really enjoyed what you did in Crazy Quilting. I would love to see more. On that same line some bead work would also be great.

  37. I love it all! I really enjoy reading your blog, seeing what you do. Your blog is a great resource for ideas and free patterns.

    I find that I spend most of my online crafting time looking for ideas, free patterns and tutorials for my own projects. Mind you, that doesn’t mean that I don’t buy patterns as well… But I do exchanges with an online group, and I often really, really need ideas for the project. Reading, seeing what other needle artists do gives me that spark of inspiration that I need to create that unique exchange gift.

    This coming year I will be the president of my EGA chapter, and although we have our major project picked out, a pulled thread sampler, we still need smaller projects in between. Finding projects of various techniques that are easy for beginners (new members), yet challenging enough for a more experienced stitcher (the majority of our members) is the challenge. Perhaps you might have some ideas…???

    1. Oh! I forgot my wish!

      My ultimate needlework wish is to take a trip to England and France… England to take a class at the Royal School of Needlework, and France to see the Bayeux Tapestry…

      I’d die happy…

    2. Hi Diane,
      Which chapter are you from? As President this year, I did all my planning last year. I am a member of the Cedar Valley chapter, Heartland Region. Here is a link for our chapter’s website if you wanted to look at programs we have done in the past: http://www.orgsites.com/ia/cvcega/


  38. I am enjoying everything you write. Right now I am in the middle of project and I am trying to figure out how to do the leaves. I know what I don’t want to do but can’t figure out what I do want to do.

  39. I love everything you show, your step by step instructions, hints that really work.
    I would love to see more of Brazilian Embroidery,the step by step of different flowers and leaves. I’d also love to see the beginners version of cut work and drawn thread embroidery as this is something I’d love to learn also a little more advice for left handed embroiders.

  40. My wish is to get a copy of Mary’s new book when it comes out – the one with the pretty alphabets.

    I’d love to know the secret of perfect satin stitch…

    And if you have room for it at any point, anything on heirloom sewing? A project on this?

    Love the blog!

    1. Good news! Somewhere on Mary’s extensive site, she has a how-to for doing the perfect satin stitch. I did a google search, and when Mary’s blog hit, I knew I would get good help. I just completed a little rework dove, complete with many tiny satin-stitch hearts–using Mary’s technique made all the difference. I received several compliments on the satin stitches when I entered that little dove ornament into our guild’s ornament exchange. Great, easy-to-follow directions.

  41. I would agree with what Linda G. said! I, too, see lots of line drawings and just don’t know where to begin. I have found nowhere on the web pictures of the line drawing vs. the finished project….like a “before” and “after”. Something to just spark the ideas flowing 🙂 Thank you for your website!

  42. I an consistently amazed at your photography, and would love to know more about your process. Do you use a special macro lens to get such clarity in close ups? Always shoot in natural light? I’d love a tutorial on this! Might be a little off topic, but perhaps not considering how many of us show our work online!

  43. I love your emails. I love embroidery. I love the step by step tutorials as your pictures of each poke into fabric with thread are so clear and inspiring. Thank you for your dedication to this website. I always perk up when I see you in my inbox. Have a wonderful Christmas. Blessings. Alice Hughes

  44. Season Greetings Mary, I am like everyone else that reads your emails – thoroughly captivated. Keep it up.
    I have been trying to work out layouts/designs for Pulled Thread Work. I have found simple shaped designs but really need the info how to implement the various patterns into a design. I have various books on the subject of the stitches. I really love the lacy stitches but found after using my initial old fine linen I could not find any of the same quality. Anyway I know it is not a popular embroidery anymore.
    Regards Lesley (from Australia).

  45. Your site is my ‘go to.’ I only discovered it a few months ago when I decided to pick up embroidery again; I’m 65 and haven’t done embroidery since my early twenties. That’s how bad my experience was.
    I’m creative; I enjoy mixing different techniques to complete my vision. This involves yarns as well as threads. I really like being shown unusual (for me)ways of accomplishing my goals. That means plenty of inspirational, finished ‘eye candy’ along with explanations of how to accomplish it.
    My main interest is birds: how best to show feathers, their lightness, etc. I make a lot of my own graphic patterns, much like Native American motifs. New and beautiful ways to showcase what I feel boils down to the beauty and essence of these splendid creatures.
    Keep it up, Mary. Love the site and the daily email I get that ensures I miss nothing.

  46. Yes, yes! All of the above! I do mostly canvaswork, of which I would like to see a little more, but I love your teachings and funny asides. Just lead us to where your inspiration would take us. It’s great to follow you!

  47. Hi Mary, WOW! Lot’s to think about. I love the tutorials on stitches. That is my favorite part of your site. Other sites just aren’t as clear as yours and some haphazardly done. I get somewhat confused on what fabric to use so perhaps more on linens and cottons. Thank you for all you do. Lorraine Connelly

  48. That pix of Colbert embroidery looked interesting. My current heartthrob is pulled and drawn work. I’d love to see YOUR take on it! Have a wonderful holiday, and I look forward to seeing you in my inbox all through 2014!


  49. You are most amazing! and very talented. I learn something from you everyday. I have come late to your blog but now I am a very faithful reader.
    If you ever get to Texas let us know – you will be entertained royally.
    Our embroiderer’s guild will be starting to stitch Home Sweet Home this year, I might be needing some help along the way.
    Cheers to the new year and learning new things.
    Thank you,
    Lynn B

  50. Hi Mary,
    The variety you have every week is magic, there is always something new. Would like to try Brazilian though, and would really like the basics of stumpwork.

    Enjoy the holidays.

  51. Mary, I wonder if you are aware of how much a part you are of the stitchers’ lives who look forward to your daily posts. You are a treasure and I thank you for being there. My friend Mike in Ottawa first told me about you and I have come to rely on your help for just about every project in some way.

    Keep doing what you are doing please! I am try interested in Italian needlework so if you expand your how-to’s to other nations I think it would be interesting.

  52. I love watching projects step by step. I would like to see more of the Brazilian Embroidery so many people don’t really know that much about it. I also enjoy the book and tool reviews.

  53. Mornin Mary, I would like to see a break down on a stump work project. Can never seem to wrap my brain around that technique. You explain things and demonstrate how to so well. I may even finish this bluebird stump work project I have one day. Ha HA

  54. Well, Mrs. Corbet,
    I like anything you post,really. But I especially like seeing projects develope and I’m interested in video tutorials of any kind.
    Maybe I’ll finish Holly and Joy today, I ran out of one of my colours of thread yesterday. At least I needed to go to the store anyway to get a few embellishments for my Christmas dress. (I sew, too.)

  55. I am new at this and LOVE your blog.
    I have bookmarked so many of the daily blogs my computer is full of them:)
    I would like to see more beginner projects.
    The step by step tutorials are so easy to follow.
    I LOVE IT! what more can I say

  56. I am very new to following your site and so glad I found it. Maybe you already do this, but I would love for you to make up a kit for a complicated sampler pattern, preferably in a traditional kind of embroidery, and we buy it and you do a stitch along with us and show us the stitches you use (you can just let us know you have the video). That way, we would get to see the products you would use, where to use them, how to do the stitch, answer questions we have at the time…

    I also like the idea of tools and techniques.

    Thanks for asking.

  57. What can I say? I want you to continue ALL OF THE ABOVE! I send on your blogposts to my chapter of EGA, some of whose members have now signed up to get their own copy, because we love the variety of what you offer.

    Most of all, please keep on with the closeup photography of your ongoing work. This is very instructive, not to say fun, too.

    And Happy New Year!

  58. Mary, I love everything you do. The variety is great. The stitch tutorial videos are wonderful. I do so enjoy watching projects develop. I have thoroughly enjoyed the book reviews, since I do not have an opportunity to look at such books before I would buy them. I think the e-books are good. You do such a great job of keeping us informed about the needlearts world. You have made me aware of so many things I otherwise would not know. I have bought several books you have reviewed and love my Needle Needs “Necessaire” stand and frame from England. I wish I would have had that a long time ago. Recently, I have really enjoyed learning about Tambour. I always enjoy silk and metal. How many followers do you have? You are amazing. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  59. I would like to see an ongoing project that we all could do. Like an online class that has one outline pattern that everyone uses yet has stitches geared for beginners and another set for advanced. With a supply list, or maybe a kit to buy. I would also like to see patterns from history, 12th century 🙂 Love your web site!

  60. Mary,
    It took me quite a while to think about what I wanted because I almost always enjoy what you do. I do have a few things..
    1. Needlework shows open to the public. I find them very inspiring, but seem to find out about them after the fact.
    2. I’ve only been reading about a year, so I may ask for duplicates. A needlepainting project. My goal this year is to actually stitch a needlepainting project. Maybe a stitch-a-long.project.
    3. Assisi work fascinates me.
    4. I have heard of a cross stitching project that looks the same on both sides. Does it really exist? I have seen Chinese embroidery that has two sides…how are these stitched.

    I really do depend on you and you site for new products and accessories. I suspect my Amazon wish list is in the same chronological order as your blog.

    I hope this helps.

  61. find the blog fascinating and enjoy hearing about books, tools, techiques. am really interested in learning to do whitework but without pulled or drawn threads…actually want to do white on beige linen

  62. I love it all. Everything you do is interesting to me. Your blog is the only one I read every day! The variety makes it interesting to keep visiting. Your stitch guides and tutorials are clear and helpful. The book reviews are informative and useful. I love watching your projects come to completion. I do have a couple of ideas, but if you don’t do them, it wouldn’t affect my reading of your newsletter one bit!

    Idea 1: I would like to know more about the care of needlework–particularly those pieces that have been passed down in the family and I’d like to preserve or display. How do I clean them, store them, mount them, use them? I have everything from needlepoint pillows and footstools/chairs to vintage linens, napkins, and tea towels. They are all precious and beautiful, but I’m not always sure how to wash them or reuse / repurpose them.

    Idea 2. Have you ever sponsored a week-by-week sampler project for readers to follow along? Something like a quilting block of the month but smaller and less time–like six weeks? I don’t have a lot of stitching time, but I would love to have you set a week-by-week goal that would result in something like the Jacobean sampler you did this year. Of course, I suppose I could have worked along with you on that one, but it didn’t occur to me until late in the process!

    Thank you, once again, for anchoring my interest in all things needlework! I love your newsletter.

  63. YES!!!
    All of it.
    I love your blog. Interesting, varied, thorough, lively and real. Real as in uh-oh, I don’t like what I just did and actually walking us through the de-constructing.
    More on tools, more ebooks AND I want to know what you do with all your work. Do you sell it? Is it commission work? AND it seems you schedule your needlework projects. Right? Based on what? Deadlines of your own, orders from others? AND finally, you seem to work on several things all at the same time.do you devote an hour for 1 piece and then switch to another one for any hour?
    Tell me more…..

  64. Oh Mary, where do I begin! I love it all! Your review of notions and books keep me up with all the new items and give me an honest evaluation; your tutorials whether video or snaps are an invaluable resource; and watching your projects is so much fun. Your ideas and work is an inspiration to me and I find I am much more daring (for me). Thank you for your generosity in sharing and have a wonderful holiday season.

  65. HI Mary,
    Merry Christmas and happy needlework to you!

    I would like to see some drawn thread work. I don’t remember you ever touching upon this side journey. Have you?

    Thanks for asking.

  66. Hi Mary,

    There is so much on your blog that is useful that I really want you to just keep doing what you’re doing. Given that you asked for specifics though, here are a few requests.

    I really enjoy watching your embroidery projects as they develop. Even when you make choices I disagree with, watching your design process is enlightening. Could you spend a blog posts talking about embroidery design, specifically choosing colors, using uncommon stitches, and blending textures in goldwork and whitework?

    Also, could you keep up the techniques and tutorials? I really like your stitch play series.

  67. Dear Mary.
    In november this year I I had a course of chinese embroidery by Margaret Lee.
    During that course we learned the double blending stitch.maybe you could learn this stitch to other people because this stitch can be used in lost of other embroidery work.

    Anna from the Netherlans

  68. Mary, I the best thing, the VERY best thing, about your blog is that it’s dependable and easy to find things I want to see again. Every week day I know I can go to your blog and see something about embroidery. I love the diversity and attention paid to the diverse facets of embroidery, book and thread reviews are a special treat – rural living limits one’s exposure you know. Also, your tutorials are great and I use them more than my “stitch books” because they are quick and visual. As you see, I am a pretty happy blog reader!

    So, what would I like to see more of? Well…. perhaps a bit more on history (I do love embroidery history) and lately beaded embroidery has taken my eye. I have had a needle in my hand for over 50 years and done many things, so expand my mind a bit and open my eyes to new ideas I have never thought about.

  69. Dear Mary,

    Your blog is wonderful! I especially love the FUN WITH STITCHES articles.

    I’m hoping that you’ll either offer a course in the beautiful alphabet embroideries with all the flowers or make an e-book to teach us to do them independently.

    Other hankie techniques, such as fine drawn or pulled work, would be fascinating, too.

    Thank you for all you do for us.

  70. I love all the reviews you do, whether books or tools, the down-side is my lack of funds and space to accomodate my wish list, which has grown considerably since I’ve started reading your blog.

    Ebooks – I’m waffling on them. I like to mark up my patterns, what’s done, notes about colors etc. I will also write in books as needed to clarify things. As long as I can print out pages to mark up…

    I’m still thinking on a wish list for techniques and tutorials.

  71. Hi Mary!

    I’ve always loved the look of Jacobean embroidery but I don’t have an idea of how to start a project. How to decide which areas to fill, what fillings to use, etc. I’d love to see the “basic elements” that make up a Jacobean design and how one might select them for a project.

  72. I love your daily blog. Everything is amazing, and I agree with Lauren below about other artists and travel/show opportunities. I also think it might be interesting to do an ornament or small project every other month, maybe something that requires less than 15 hours to complete, that could be given as a gift, using interesting fibers and stitches, possibly kitted so it’s easy to start?

  73. I love the Needlework tutorials and techniques lessons.
    Please continue them! When you asked what my Needlework wish is, my first thought was a trip to a workshop in Scotland. Wow what a gift that would be!
    Thanks so much for all your wonderful work and blessings for your New Year.

  74. I’m trying to learn Schwalm embroidery, but I don’t do a lot of embroidery, so although I’m a regular reader of your blog, I’m probably not representative. But, since you ask, my favourite is seeing your projects, step by step with all the whys!

  75. Hi Mary,

    Love what you do! You provide a wonderful variety of info that keeps me eagerly anticipating your email each day.

    Your video and step-by-step tutorials are, in my opinion, essential embroidery tools. I use them often and can’t even count the number of people I have recommended your site to.

    Your book reviews are superb and have allowed me to make more informed decisions on where to spend my stitching library funds.

    Watching your longer term projects developing is inspirational and educational. It really helps me to think about where each of my projects is heading and how to improve them. You have also made me appreciate rather than resent (most of the time) having to reverse stitch an area to make the whole piece work better.

    As far as a wish list goes for 2014? Number one would be to keep doing what you are doing. As for specific techniques I would like to see more on stumpwork, crewel, Brazilian, tambour and beading.

    An ebook on the embroidered alphabet you have been working on sounds wonderful. One request when it comes to ebooks. Is it possible to put something in the copyright section stating we can print one copy for personal use? My local copy store gave me a bit of a hard time about the Jumble Sampler book when I took the file to have it printed.

    Your hand embroidery patterns are wonderful. I have it on very good authority *wink* that Santa will be putting a tambour needle set under my tree. So, I have the “Joy” pattern printed out, transferred and ready to stitch once I have practiced some with my new toy.

    Thank you again for everything you do. Here’s wishing you and yours a happy Holiday Season and fabulous New Year.

  76. Mary, you are so wonderful at stitch tutorials, that your site is my “go to” for anything I need on stitching instructions, but I am dying to learn more about color and design – what “goes with” what, etc. This year, I am taking a design class, but I have no education in art and I think I need basic instruction on choosing colors, placement and balance. Keep up the fantastic work you do. It’s so very much appreciated! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  77. Hello, i wish Goldwork, step by step and Video tutorials- everything with goldwork, clerical designs

    Thank you very much!!!
    Kind regards

  78. Hi Mary,

    I would very much like to see some ideas for embroidery on clothing – especially shirts. I wear button up shirts and blouses year round and would love to dress them up with some hand embroidery. I do appreciate your videos and clear instructions. Reading your blog and having a cup of coffee is the best part of starting my day.

  79. I love your blog and read it every day – every bit of it. The bit that don’t interest me right now I keep on file and read it later or when needed.
    What I would like is to bring back some of the old and maybe forgotten techniques. I feel very strongly that we should not forget those.
    Keep up the good work, there are lots of us that don’t have access to all the stuff over the counter or whatever so you fill us in on what’s new and what’s hot. And more importantly where to get it.

  80. Hi Mary! I’m thinking of starting a bead embroidery project, and it would be wonderful if you could talk a bit about this technique.
    Greetings from Colombia.

  81. Oh my, much to think about. Your step by step tutorials are the best. I’m a hand embroidery person, like dish towels and blocks for quilts. The lattice sampler would be good to do on a weekly basis. I’m a hand quilter so I’m always doing that. I enjoy seeing your articles time and time again. I love seeing new techniques new and old. We forget them so seeing them again is O.K. Love to see how some people use their tools,even is they are not made for a particular stitching project.

    My wish, a way to store my floss & threads, and not in those plastic bags or those plastic boxes they sell at JoAnns. Hope this helps.

    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

  82. Hello Mary,
    I’ve bee following your website for over a year now. Your website has been a an inspiration and a wealth of information about everything that has to do with embroidery. You are doing a fantastic job . Keep up the good work and thank you

  83. Hi Mary,
    I have read you every morning with delight for years now. I’m struggling to fulfill a project dear to my heart — marrying my grandmother’s lace with embroidery to create framed wall art — would you have any design or ‘how to’ suggestions along that line? I don’t see the combination very often but I have a lifetime’s collection of beautiful old lace that I would like to honour with delicate embroidery, for my grandmother. Thank you so much for all you do for us, every day! Catherine in Chelsea, Quebec

  84. I love your web site, so much information, and I have learned a lot just reading it everyday. I am at the point in my embroidery where I need to work from a kit with the design already stamped onto the linen. This limits me greatly because so few vendors in the United States carry kits. Most of the vendors are outside the U.S. I wish there was an easier way to purchase and receive these kits. I had excellent service with Berlin Embroidery but I did pay $20 dollars in shipping charges. I ordered one of the crewel work companies kits, Mellerstain Parrots, from a vendor in Illinois back in October and I still have not yet seen it. I just wish more U.S. companies stocked these beautiful foreign kits. Maybe I just am not aware of all the U.S. sources for kits. Perhaps a goal for me would be to try designing my own project but right now that feels overwhelming. Thanks again for your informative and wonderful web site. Mary Sue C

  85. Mary, I love reading Needle n Thread. Thank you so much for writing it.
    I have been investigating how to do the “diaper” or filling stitches in blackwork embroidery. There are very good directions on how to do the back stitch, stem stitch, etc, but no real, clear instructions on how to figure out the pattern filling stitches. A tutorial would be great.
    Best to you in 2014.

  86. Mary, I’m new to your site so happy I did. Love all you have. If you want to add on more omg,please do.I can’t wait if you do. Please let me know if you do. Thanks much, Jann

  87. Mary, I think you do a fabulous job on your blog, covering all bases. I love the video tutorials, different stitches, reviews, tools. everything really. Although I’ve been doing drawn thread work for years, I’d love to see something about starting and ending threads as in the antique pieces I’ve seen; never quite been satisfied with what I’m doing. Long and short stitch is another area I’d like to delve into more as well.
    Your blog and all you offer is such a gift. Thank you!

  88. Mary I love your blog! I enjoy everything you write about. The give aways are fun. Your tutorials are so well done, so easy to follow. I always find reviews interesting. In fact, I would like to see more reviews of tools, acessories, etc and maybe even some articles with comparisons of items. For example, articles comparing various frames or stands or lights, including their similarities and differences, each Inez’s best feature and pros and cons of each. Those types of articles really help me find the best frame (or whatever) for my specific needs.
    Also, I would love to see some articles on needlepoint. I don’t know if you even do needlepoint (& I don’t mean just tent stitch, but pieces with loads of different stitches and techniques).
    Your blog really is one of my favorites, your articles are so informative and educational and enjoyable.
    Have a happy & healthy new year and thanks again for all your hard work!

  89. Dear Mary, all the areas of your blog are helpful and fascinating. Keep them all going! My only particular wish at this point is a tutorial on two-hand embroidery. Perhaps a little video… Thank you, and happy holidays!

  90. Hello Mary,
    I still continue to follow your blog on a daily basis. But often do not take time to leave a comment. But today, I’ll do !
    I really really loved following step-by-step projects. And I am interested in book reviews. Your advice is so valuable to me.
    And as others, you let me discover goldwork, and I love it !!
    Thansk for all the things that you share.

  91. Hi Mary, I look forward to your daily e-mail. I think you have the mix about right. With tutorials reviews and projects that we can follow or use for inspiration. So please keep on doing just what you already do! Cos you do it so well!!!!

  92. I love everything that your do! I don’t know how you can have the time to do all the content of your blog and get projects actually stitched!!! I originally found you because of the embroidered eggs,,,fenominal! I also had never heard of a tambour needle and that kind of embroidery. Your tutorials and videos are the best….I have learned so much. Keep up what you are doing…you inspire me to do more.
    Thank you…Wendy

  93. Keep doing what your doing! I check your site every morning, and have been making use of many of the things you show. I would wish for a longer life (about another 100 years) to manage all the beautiful stitching out there, but will try to follow your example and fill what time I have with beautiful stitching. What fun!!

  94. I pretty much love everything you do here. But in reading others posts I guess I do have some “ideas”.
    I also would love to see ribbon work and Hardanger type things. I love your step by steps videos. Love your book reviews (they are BAD for me tho. I’m a book nut and love books, end up buying a few.) Would also love to see more on the thread painting. And yes, I LOVE the tools. When this is all fairly new other than the basics those tools are GREAT for ideas on what may work for a newbie.
    Another newbie gave me the idea that a series on just how you mentally go about choosing what stitches, colors, etc. would be great. Your “thought process” on that. Just that alone I bet could take up several months. LOL.
    Thanks so much for these daily emails. They are such a bright spot in my day.

    1. Have a very merry and blessed Christmas. May you have a wonderful new year. I love the tutorials; the e-books. One of the things that I miss in embroidery is (Old England) Christmas designs — all of the Christmas flowers/foliage, etc. I have wanted to do a crewel work style Christmas tree skirt and medium/large stockings that would go well with the skirt design. I would like the skirt to be able to be adjusted for people with small to medium trees as well as a large tree. I really don’t think there is any reason to have a skirt that you cannot see the design. I live in Pennsylvania and I really would love to have a workshop in the Philadelphia area. Please keep your imagination and your beautiful art coming. I don’t know of anyone who does not appreciate them. Sincerely, Carol

  95. Hi Mary! I very much enjoy and appreciate your blog. I know it takes a ton of work to be so comprehensive. I’ve used all the different categories that you have at one time or another, but the one I use the most are the video tutorials. I’m somewhat of a beginner and the videos make the stitches super easy to duplicate. Much easier to understand than written instructions (even with pictures.) More of these would be appreciated.

    Thank you!


  96. I am a greedy person, I want it all. I love reading all the posts but I must confess I use the video “how to” the most. Any time I’m wanting to learn a new stitch, I go to your wonderful videos. If I haven’t used a stitch in some time, I go to your videos to refresh my memory. So please, more videos. But then again, you have introduced me to several new tools. On the other hand, your explainations of various needles has been quite helpful. Oh, and then there are the patterns. I have used a number of them not only embroidery but in my pottery as well. It looks like I like everything! Thank you for all the great posts.

  97. Mary, I think you have a very good mix of all things needlework. There are times when a certain topic does not interest me, but far more often, I enjoy what you have. It’s great to see how projects progress and take part in your struggles to come up with just the right stitch/thread, etc. You help to broaden my needlework mind. If there are other needlework destinations in the world, I would love to hear about them. I will try to make it to Wemyss one of these years.

  98. You are doing great! I look forward to it every day. Please teach smocking. And painting with thread like Trish Burr’s birds.

    Thank you. Happy Winter Solstice and Merry Cheistmas.

  99. Mary, Your web site is, as it’s titled, an awesome blend of everything that involves a needle and thread! And your writing is as if we were your best friends….thank you so much for what you do!

    I’m sure I have “worn out” some of your tutorials when I have forgotten a stitch pattern. I like the your articles on blending/combining different stitches.

    Someone wrote about stitching a family coat-of-arms. With only one painted copy at the family home, a copy in thread will be a great project for me to try.

    Thanks again. Anne

  100. I love your blog and the variety in the posts. But if you are asking about the ones we like the most, I like learning about different needlework techniques and where to start. The Tambour embroidery was fascinating. I also like the Needlework book reviews. Thanks so much for all your hard work on this blog.

  101. I would like more of everything!! I LOVE this blog. I am always learning something from this blog and I enjoy all of it. If I had to pick one thing it would be more free patterns. I have been doing hand embroidery since I was a little girl and it is still my favorite. Thank you for all you do to keep the art alive. Merry Christmas!!

  102. I’ve really enjoyed the Stitch Play series, and I always enjoy following your projects. I don’t currently have the time or resources to do a lot of stitching, so I get a lot of vicarious enjoyment in watching your projects progress.

  103. Hi Mary –
    My answer to all questions is YES! Love it all, love the variety, love the projects, the stitches, all different types of needlework . I’m very grateful for you sharing all you do, and teaching – so thank you!
    I would like to learn how to properly stretch and frame needlework,
    particularly the heavier pieces, such as crewel,beaded, and stump work.
    And I love surprises! My favorite this year was the Indian style embroidery with the tiny mirrors – I haven’t seen that since the “60’s, and always wanted to know how to do that. And anything historical – methods and stitching brought back to life. (Just what IS the Bayeux stitch?)
    And because it is your blog, whatever you really enjoy – which makes it enjoyable for me. Your enthusiasm is infectious.

  104. Mary: I have just started embroidery again after 30 years. I was self taught. I’ve joined an embroidery guild and am learning lots. I love your blog. I know that this might not be helpful but for a beginner. I really am! Everything you’re talking about is interesting to me. I love to learn new stitches and the video’s and the instructions are great. I am a quilter also and I love notions and anything that helps me organize better. I love your blog and it’s so nice to be able to learn something new whenever I feel like it. Thank You and Merry Christmas

  105. My needlework wish is probably very small compared to those who do fancy needlework. But there are times when I wish I knew more. One of the things I would like is a list of books. This does not have to be a long list but a few of the best for simple embroidery stitches and possibly when they can be used to the best advantage. It is most difficult to purchase this type of book while at the computer. I have been given a book on gold work, but again it is not for beginners. I would love to invest in gold work but it would have to be very simple instructions that would also include the types of gold thread and how to use them. Maybe there are more “out there” who are homebound who would appreciate this type of wish.

    Thank you for allowing us to be heard.

  106. Wow – what a blessing to be asked what my wish is for Needle n Thread! Thanks for asking.
    [thinking…….. thinking……. reading list again….]
    Yes. To everything. All of the above. Please.
    Thank you.

  107. Wow Mary, that’s a lot to swallow. First off I must say you are doing a fantastic job already. Your decisions in covering certain techniques, etc. has been excellent. At this time I have no requests, but if I think of something along the way I will let you know.

  108. It appears that all your fans agree that you really have left no needlework wish un-granted! The educational nature and incredibly high quality of your blog is astounding. There is little left to ask you for! I have bought any number of books and tools entirely on the basis of your reviews and have been completely delighted with them all. Your detailed instructions and illustrations are fascinating, even on projects and techniques that I will never pursue myself. Information about needlework exhibits and collections is also much appreciated, even if the only visit I might make is electronic. Perhaps of least interest to me are e-books but only because I haven’t really determined how to use them effectively myself. I much prefer paging back and forth through a book but certainly appreciate that electronic formats make much material affordable and accessible to a wide audience. Thank you again for all of your efforts on your readers’ behalf. You’re doing a marvelous job!

  109. Hi Mary, I simply love your blog and the things you share. My wish for 2014 would be – more patterns for hand embroidery and projects. Thank you

  110. Keep up the great work Mary, I read your blog every day. Your work inspires me. I use your references all the time. I recently started hand quilting which offers great opportunity to use your embroidery stitch guide.

  111. Dear Mary,

    The one thing I love the most is the ’embroidery porn’. You know what I mean! 😀
    Honestly, if you keep the gorgeous pictures and witty texts coming, you’ll have my attention forever. 🙂
    Your choices for subjects have been awesome all these years, I don’t think you need anyone’s advice on what to do with your website – but that was very kind of you to give us the chance to meddle!

  112. Dearest Mary, I want all of those things and cannot tell you what a blessing you are to me. I am awed by the amount of work and the clear, clear tutorials you put out. I most want 2 things: time (to do the work of my hands) and health for you (so you can continue to inspire and teach us). Thank you, thank you for all the time and effort you put towards your incredible craft. Sincerely! Joan Jeffers

  113. Oh May where do I start!!!!!!
    I like all things embroidery and I really like it when you review a book – I prefer ones I can actually get rather than the old ones that are out of print. I have gazed longingly at your black work fish and I would love a feature on that and how you go about planning a space into that fab stitching. I have a picture drawn by a friend of mushrooms and have dreamt of being able to transform the design into embroidery – could I? I am also a gadget freek so any tools or good websites would be magic. I could go on for ever! Thanks for all you do for us and roll on your next instalment.

    1. Hi, Donna – Aren’t they great?! They’re reviewed here: https://www.needlenthread.com/2013/05/needle-tins-store-your-needles-in-style.html and I buy them through Hedgehog Handworks, here: http://www.hedgehoghandworks.com/catalog/TLSNDLTIN.PHP They’re the perfect little stocking-stuffer-little-Christmas-present-thingy for needleworkers, too! And they work for storing other small things, like precious little buttons and so forth. I love ’em!

  114. Well in fact, I enjoy reading about the whole variety of things you cover in the newsletter, even if I never try them. I even bought one of the books you reviewed, paged through it and donated it to the library. They were thrilled to have it. I’ve kept an e-file of all the tutorials and bought 2 e-books and will try the stitches ‘someday’. I enjoyed learning about tambour work even though I’m not likely to actually try doing it. I’m taking a Tanya Berlin blackwork class in February because my daughter gave me a Marion Scoular blackwork project that I really want to do. And I’m looking forward to the EGA National Seminar in Phoenix in October. This will be my first and since I live in Arizona, how could I pass it up.
    So ok, to answer the question: I want to learn chicken scratch. It looks easy, but I’ve tried a little and I think I need to see the step by step process. I’ve collected some really lovely ‘samples’ on Pinterest and tried to figure out the process by looking at the pictures, but that didn’t work. It’s one of those ‘someday’ things and I’ve got a lot of that kind of project in my notebook. I’d like to do them all but at the age of 69, it’s not very likely. Therefore, I enjoy it all vicariously via your newsletter. ‘Thank You’ doesn’t even come close to the appreciation I feel, and I have no doubt your other fans will concur.

  115. As a former teacher I know that when blanket praise such as “everything is wonderful” is given then the student might wonder how carefully the instructor looked and thought about the product. So when I say everything is wonderful, please don’t think I haven’t explored, enjoyed, and utilized the many features of your site. It just is terrific. Currently I’m at that stage in life when all of my nieces, nephews, and children of my friends are reproducing (at times it seems like rabbits), and I like to craft baby gifts for them. New ideas in this area would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

  116. Mary, I love it all!!! – – my top 3 are – – Needlework projects No. 1 – book reviews No.2 – Needlework tools review No.3. Have a great Christmas – hope this is useful. Wendy

  117. Like everyone else has said, I love everything you already offer. I don’t have much time to work so your site is my little hit of it every day. I especially love when you look at an old piece of embroidery, or show pictures from an exhibition. My favorite techniques are canvas work and crewel, so any time you feature those it’s great. –Kristin

  118. Hi Mary–
    First, before I forget, I hope you have a Merry Christmas! It looks like we’re in for a white Christmas here in Ohio this year…unless some warm air decides to blow in before next week.
    Second, I want you to know how much I enjoy your blog. It seems like you’re always finding just the right piece of information to answer any given, left-field questions that pop into my brain. (for some reason, my mind tends to focus on random, archaic bits of trivia and/or minutia.)
    My wish-list includes more info about Brazilian Embroidery, Crazy Quilting, and Drawn Threads (to list the top 3). I also love, love, LOVE, your stitch library and stitch tutorials. As I am a mostly self-taught stitcher, I can really relate to these. And your photography and cinematography are top-notch!
    I also love the projects you show us step by step. I especially like the way you don’t hide your mistakes; but instead, when you explain why you’ve decided you don’t like the way a project is progressing, I learn as much from your mistakes as you do. The example that comes to mind was the time you took putting the project on a different frame (what project was that?). By explaining why you took the time to un-lace the project and put it on a different frame, I could understand the pros and cons of 2 different options. (I just can’t remember the project!)
    Thanks for all you do. I look forward to what you have planned for us next year.

  119. I am a fairly new follower of this blog. I simply cannot choose. I love every single post and have benefited from the tutorials, ebooks, and tool recommendations. I would love the ebook of the alphabet that you have been working on. I can only say “Thank You!!” Please keep doing this work.

  120. My two favorite kinds of newsletters are book reviews and your projects where you allow us to follow your process and progress. That’s not to say I don’t love all the rest as well – maybe not accessories – but, hey, there has to be something for everyone!

  121. YES!! I just really enjoy all that you do. I have learned so much even tho I don’t embroider, but just needlepoint. Your critiques on accessories and threads are quite useful but I also love to watch one of your creations come together. I have a small Tudor Rose canvas and I have been studying your Tudor and Mission roses for hints. Thanks for all that you do and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!

  122. Hi Mary, Thought I would throw in my two bits. LOVE your video tutorials – would be great to see more. Tutorials – canvas, crazy quilting, brazilian. Patterns – monograms and variations.
    Book and product reviews – great. LOVE the articles on learning opps – workshops, travel etc.
    Enjoy the holiday season and all the best in 2014.

  123. Hi Mary

    I live in berwick upon tweed which makes it difficult to access both needlework materials, equipment and courses. I visit your web site everyday as it makes me feel connected to other people in the world who love needlework.

    Would you consider settIng a monthly challenge to which we can all respond. For example, to create a small sampler using a particular technique or stitch. We could then celebrate each person’s contribution on your website or say on pinterest or Tumbler.

    Anyway just a thought.

    But thanks for all your hardwork each year.

    Kind regards


  124. I love most of what you do. I am a crazy quilter so find information about most techniques helpful and adventuresome. I do not care for videos, e-books, and e-patterns. I like a book at hand as opposed to a computer.
    Thanks for your website!
    Barb W, MO

    1. I forgot to mention in my response, I also do not care for the e-books. Totally won’t work for me either. I’m a “book junkie” I guess!

  125. hi Mary. Thank you for asking. Filling a calendar can be daunting!! Of all the things you listed, I love ALL that you do. And I like that you don’t fall into any ruts — you mix it up! One day is a review, another a stitch, and we can check in on your project. It keeps it fresh and I always look forward to “what’s new”. Mary’s world! Of all the suggestions you made, I noticed that I would like a your explorations with Assissi embroidery and how to keep it neat and crisp looking. Happy Holidays. Love checking in with you everyday! I’m looking forward to 2014.

  126. I LOVE the step-by-step tutorials. I am a new needleworker, so your step-by-step instructions are invaluable to me. I refer to them just about every time I’m working on something. I also really love the videos. Since I’m such a beginner, while I was working on some stem stitch, I literally replayed your video over and over to get the hang of it.
    I love everything you post, so keep on doing what you’re doing, and I’ll keep coming back again and again.

  127. All of it is wonderful! My projects include some lettering—proverbs, sayings, etc. Finding fonts the right size and style to print and then transfer to the fabric is more of a challenge. Then, of course, deciding which stitches to use takes so thinking and trial and error. I have a sewing machine that can do the embroidery, but hate all the computer time required to set it up when I could be stitching while watching a movie! Have a happy Christmas and thanks for sharing this wonderful craft with all of us.

  128. Good Morning Mary,
    YES! I want to learn it all, I need to retire so I can just do my needlework. I only found you in September this year and I can now complete stitches I dreamed of doing because of your clear videos. I return to them constantly for new inspiration and let’s face it, because I forget how to do them, sigh.
    Please continue to teach us new stitches, the videos are so helpful, love the projects laid out, love the tools, I would never have attempted tambour but it is on my holiday wish list. The review of products is super helpful too.

    While the trip to England is nice, I have very modest means and my goal would be coming to a week of retreat with you instructing and sharing.

    I used your book list this month to order books and supplies from your recommendations as well, still looking to get silk gimp from a store in Portland, Oregon that sells it and I need to drive up there when they are open.

    I have purchased all of your ebooks, they are super helpful and clear, the drawings were great to use for patterns.

    Ok, the one area I am SUPER interested in is: Victorian Crazy Quilt stitches. There is a lady on the picture board that has a million of these and she is driving me crazy with how beautiful they are, I am completely drooling over her work and would love to learn all the stitches.

    Thank you!!!!

  129. Your blog always has something interesting and often time the subject is applicable to different types of needlework. I have recently fallen in love with smocking and creating Wee Care Gowns. I would like to see a tutorial on smocking and the different smocking stitches. I have noticed smocking techniques in ready wear clothing…maybe it is making a come back. I would love a bolt of Swiss Flannel ivory in color to smock some beautiful gowns to donate to a local hospital.
    Thank you Mary for your time and effort in keeping us informed on all aspects of needlework.

  130. Mary – looks like you have a lot of suggestions to help you with 2014. For 25 years I did ONLY Brazilian Embroidery; not wanting to get started on anything different, for fear it would take time from my BE. Well, I have ventured into many other needle arts in the past 5 years. In part – that is all your fault ( that is a compliment ) I am still unsure what fabrics I can use for the many different arts; and what threads are most appropriate. Example – I know for Huck (Swedish Weaving ) I use Huck fabric or Aida; for Hardanger, there is Hardanger fabric…but what other fabrics can I use? What different needle techniques can I use Lugana….. I keep telling my self I am going to make cross reference index cards – but haven’t done that. There must be other stitchers asking my same questions.
    I always go to you first when looking for instructions of a stitch, or just looking for a different stitch to use on a project. Your tutorials are the best. I have gotten all of your ebooks. They are at the top for ideas and instructions. I have them all on my i-pad, so convienent to have with me all the time and to use at my place of stitching. The price is very reasonable for all the work you have put into them.
    Even the ongoing projects that I am not particularly interested in what you are stitching, but always learn from them.
    The out of print books are nice to see, but very disappointing to not have them available.
    Everyday I look forward to seeing what you have for us – it is always something good
    Thank you so much. I would love to meet you some day – you are an inspiration.

  131. Well, Mary, You have offered entirely too many choices!! I want almost all of them. It would be easier to tell you what I’m not interested in: cross stitch, gold work, and canvas work, but even these are informative and therefore I welcome them! I decided not to attend the Calloway School of Needle Arts in January for a number of reasons, and already I’m mourning the loss of that 2 weeks of learning and comradery. So, I’m looking forward to any thing you offer.

  132. I love your blog and the mix of posts you do.

    One thing I really enjoy reading is your book reviews. As for future book reviews, everything is of interest. Old and new, print or e-format, in english or any other language (you don’t always need to know a language in order to enjoy and have practical use of an embroidery book).

    One of the latest book added to my wishlist is Little Flowers in silk and organza ribbon by Di van Niekerk and Marina Zherdeva. Not out yet, but I’ve very curious and will be looking for reviews online next year.

    As a beader since many years before rekindling my love of needlework, I of cause can’t get enough of beads and bead embroidery so anything on that theme is very welcome. Other areas of interest is everything almost. Blackwork, chicken scratch, ribbon embroidery, gold embroidery, smocking, shibori, stumpwork, sashiko, tambour, landskapssömmar, sequins, pulled thread, tin thread, modern mixed media and unconventional choices of materials. Most of which I’ve either never tried or just dabbled a little in. So how-tos and inspirations are always wanted.

    I also like to read about and learn of less common stitches, perhaps because they’re local/provincial or because they died away (how many embroiders with fish scales or straw today, for example?). As well as read about the history behind stitches with interesting stories attached to them (do you e.g. know the story of how the anundsjö stitch, aka swedish split stitch, was — probably unintentionally — invented by an woman who sew cloths to earn her livelihood when she got old).

    Other than that? Well, as a “thread addict” I also love your reviews and other posts on various threads. New, old or just interesting or unusual ones.

    By the way, after once mentioning my tin threads, which are used in sami-style tin thread embroidery and braided bracelets, I keep getting questions about where to buy the thread — which is common here in Scandinavia — in the US. I have no idea so if you or anyone else in the US knew or could find out it’d be a great post, which I could refer those asking me to.

  133. I have been patiently waiting for another e-book to come out that you mentioned at the beginning of September in this post: https://www.needlenthread.com/2013/09/end-of-the-summer-end-of-a-project.html

    In May, I bought 4 packages of handkerchiefs with 3 in each package. For Christmas, I have monogrammed 11 of the handkerchiefs for my family as well as my husband’s family. A friend who is getting married at the end of March saw me working on them and asked for one, but instead of using the free patterns (Thank you!) that I used for the rest of my family, I wanted to use the letters from the post above for my final handkerchief.

    As a beginning embroiderer, I most often used your how-to video tutorials and love them, as well as all of the patterns you have available. I have enjoyed learning new stitches, so I would definitely like to see more of those, but the number one thing I’m asking for is the e-book! Thank you!


  134. I would love to see something on how to hem tablerunners. I made one for my son’s wedding with Ukrainian embroidery on it and had forgotten how to do the square looking hem stitch that I learned many years ago. In desperation I hand hemmed it. However I believe that there are many decorative stitches that could be used for hemming.

  135. Hi, Mary! I love everything you do! You have a vibe, a frangrance, and if you were to do something I don’t usually like — monochrome needlepoint in shades of beige — ugh? — I would still enjoy your presentation. That said, I dress my dolls and enjoy pretty blouses and nightgowns. I’ve taken pattern drafting in design school. Well, many of us know how to tweak a sewing pattern. I am very confused with smocking. A well-known teacher has only made it more confusing to me. When I’ve had the money for a pleater, I spent it on French magazines or travel or anything else! I would like to get an understanding of how much the fabric can be drawn up — whether pinwale corduroy or poly-cotton batiste or silk georgette. And if there’s a standard spacing for the dots and what it is. I know this work goes way back in England. The well-known teacher has high-jacked it, however. I’ve searched her instructions in vain to learn how far apart to make my dots, etc. . . . I love to think of all the women who made beautiful things with just scissors, pins, cardboard from cereal boxes, old newspaper, and a pencil and ruler. So I would love to be empowered to simply spread my pattern pieces, transfer the dots, do all the preparation, and finally have something pretty. I suspect it’s like knitting or beadwork where the equipment and materials have guidelines as to size, i.e., you don’t put Size 10 seed beads all over a dress — way too heavy! And you don’t make socks with bulky yarn and Size 1 needles. I don’t know how many strands of floss I’d use for classic smocking. And then . . . for the wrists of a corduroy jacket with the released fullness making a ruffle, how about No. 5 Pearl cotton? Once we have classic guidelines, how could we break out from them? I know there are books,and they usually work for me. Anyway, I’ve always wanted to smock. Next in line: Brizilian embroidery such that I didn’t have to depend on the few patterns in order to do my own designs. What makes it Brazilian? Many thanks!

  136. Mary, I love everything you do. So I can get behind just about anything you do. But since you asked, my wish would be more chicken scratch, Mary’s style! I know it’s suppose to be simple, but so many sites are either too old or hard to follow. Then I would love to learn how to design my own patterns. So chicken scratch, 1st choice,then more cut work and simple patterns, for my second choice. Then have you ever done or would you consider doing an EAL (EmbroiderAlong)? Or a sampler block of each style to give us an idea of each type? I personally enjoyed and purchased your e book on the sampler for stitches. Thanks for asking for our input and Merry Christmas!

  137. Hi Mary. I’m interested in ideas for surface embellishment on patterned fabric. Something to bring out elements of the design and add extra texture.

    I’ve been following your entertaining blog for a while and always enjoy it. Thank you for all your work.

  138. I love just about all you do. The only technique I would like more of is crazy quilting. Happy holidays.
    Carolyn Everly

  139. Aloha Mary,
    I love reading everything on your site. I really appreciate all the time you take to do everything step by step. Wish list for 2014, would be shading on a face, any stitches in old embroidery books that are not prevalent today and gold plate would be cool.
    Many thanks for all your hard work but very inspiring work.

  140. Mary,

    You do such a wonderful job with your website, it’s almost impossible to improve. Now of course I do have my favorites. I simply love when you do your reviews on needlework tools. Because of you, one day a Needlework System 4 will be mine, oh yes, it will be mine. I have also discovered all kinds of functional and just plain funky tools because of you.

    I also don’t know how many times I haven’t pulled out my tablet or phone to pull up a video tutorial of yours to re-remind myself just exactly how to do a stitch.

    I also just love seeing what you’re doing lately. Your website is a treasure and I refer fellow needleworkers to it often. Thank you for all of your hard work!

  141. Mary…….Your site is a constant inspiration to me…I have gone from a beginner to an Intermediate Embroidery artist … Thanks to your beautiful site…anything one needs to find is here!

    I have a LOVE of Silk Ribbon Work and would like YOUR take on that…. You are responsible for getting me hooked…lolol…..(no pun intended) on Tambour Embroidery and I plan to try some bead work with it…Maybe a tutorial with the tambour & bead work?

    Thank You for sharing your craft with us all.

    Roxann Cox

  142. I am in U.K. and have only been following your website since November so have not seen everything in your archives but I love it. I have bought a tambour needle after reading your blog so would like any more information on this technique and I would also like pictures (as opposed to patterns) in blackwork. I like your step-by-step teaching especially solving problems and mistakes. I found your de-construction of antique padded goldwork very interesting so more please. I love needle painting, Japaneese and Chinese embroidery but I keep diverting to something new when I see it.

    Kind regards


  143. I’m sorry, I won’t be much help for your planning purposes: I love everything you post! I have learned so much from you this past year, and I’m enjoying doing a new skill! Thank you so much for your blog.

  144. Hi Mary! Reader survey time, huh?

    Here’s my input. Your site is a great go-to for so many things. I personally look up book reviews more than anything and I often like to see how your WIP is coming along.

    My needlework wish? That would be to have enough energy and strength to work all the projects I have in mind. Sadly, that’s something one can’t find on N&T, but it’s a good place to come for eye candy when ooomh is lacking.=)

    Thanks for all your work and I hope turning the site into your full time job has been rewarding for you and that you’re managing OK.=)

  145. Mary, I’m happy, just keep doing what you have been doing so very well, a little of everything. As they say “variety is the spice of life. I love reading you newsletter!

  146. Oooh what a question haha ^_^ I’d honestly love to learn about chinese su embroidery and I have horrible eyesight so any info you can find about affordable, strong magnifiers would be great! I do have to say that I love your embroidery projects and seeing how you use different techniques in new ways.

  147. Bonsoir, j’aime tout ce que tu fais et ce que tu proposes, surtout lorsqu’il y a des tutoriels, cela m’aide beaucoup dans mes travaux. Tous tes conseils me sont très précieux. BONNES FETES DE FIN D’ANNEE!!!!

  148. I love all the tutorials of stitches, I can’t see enough of them! My goal next year is to start ( and finish) a large project about the sky( I got pictures in my mind about it, but I can’t find words for them). I would like ideas and suggestions about how to plan and organize bigger projects. By bigger I mean bigger than 30 x 45 centimetres. And I love step by step descriptions of the works you make. And happy new year to you and your family!

  149. Like so many others, I love what you are doing now. I am always up for your clear tutorials and appreciate your recognition that many of your followers are not from the North American continent. I also appreciate that your blog is not full of ‘stuff’ which is expensive so that I (and probably many others) feel included and that we too can afford to try most things…maybe not goldwork, but I enjoy watching your projects grow and how you resolve problems you strike on the way. I can no longer afford to go to workshops so it is a joy to be able to extend my repertoire through your excellent teaching. Thank you. I wish you a blessed and peaceful Christmas.

  150. The crewel rooster did catch my eye with all its beautiful colors. Would love to try something like that. Also the lattice jumbler fun sampler. As a matter of fact, they are all interesting to do. Merry Christmas to you!!

  151. I like it all but if I have to choose:-
    Line and band stitches,Techniques, Tutorials,
    Embroidery Projects are interesting,
    New Techniques.

  152. I would love too learn blackwork. I do counted cross stich but would like to try blackwork. Beverly from Indian Trail, N.C.

  153. Tutorials along with the video, techniques, your embroidery projects, and the give away are my favorites. Nevertheless all the information in your blog is very interesting, I read it every day.

  154. Dear Mary
    please keep going as you have been I love everything you put up. Just keep doing the same I love all your work. Love the tools and e books are great.

  155. I would like guidance on selecting fabric for crewel. Next, which size needle for which fabric? Do certain fabrics work up better with yarn or floss, or a different thread? Also, I would like the information about crewel grouped together as you do for the tutorial section. How about a crewel sampler (of stitches) as a project? Mary, thank you for all your advice, tutorials, projects, etc. I find your site very helpful: You are my go to for help and advice. Merry Christmas

  156. Oh, that’s SO easy to answer. Step-by-step projects (like Mission Rose???). I really don’t care about tools and frames and all that because my local stores don’t usually carry those things. But I just love following you along on your projects – any of them. But I think you are a lot like me and leave things when they are just close to being finished. More please. I love to follow you.

  157. Mary, I completely agree with everything Karen O. from Minnesota said. Don’t change a thing. Your variety and thoroughness helps everyone at some point and the wealth of information in your “archives” is priceless. Thank you so much for your daily newsletter! Although I have spent a few extra $$ on some of your recommendations 🙂

  158. Hi Mary – don’t change a thing. I look forward to reading your email every day and find I always get something from them. Your website is user-friendly too.

    A technique I am interested in learning about is Naversom Embroidery (Swedish whitework, I think)and any other unusual form of embroidery technique.

    But as I said – keep the same informative, interesting and indispensable emails coming!!


  159. I want it ALL. But more than that, I want the time to do it ALL! A thousand thanks for everything you share. Merry Christmas xx

  160. I would like to see any hints you have about converting a cross stitch pattern to another medium, such as Or Nue’. I hope to offer such a project to my guild members in 2014, and would appreciate any hints you can provide. I have a tiny apple blossom pattern that would be great done in an Or Nue’ type medium, maybe couched over a white metallic braid instead of gold.

  161. Mary,
    I would just like to be a better embroiderer. I would guess more time and practice would see that happen.
    I have noticed lately here and in Australia there is an increasing trend to combine surface stitching with patchwork fabric and/or wool (see Wendy Williams Quilts at http://www.flyingfishkits.com.au/ so I am voting for tutorials and uses of stitches such as you showed us with the lattice sampler.
    I wish you and your readers a peaceful end to the year and a wonderfully productive new year.
    New Zealand

  162. I would love to learn more about goldwork and/or silverwork? Thanks so much for asking! I love your blog and all your designs, however, most of them are beyond my understanding, except for counted cross stitch and embroidery. So thanks for all your helpful instruction with most all types of needlework. Incidentally, I also do simple knitting.

  163. Mary, I visit you blog often and like every thing you offer. Because you want input, below is my list in order of like that I read most:
    tutorial, techniques, embroidery – step by step projects, hand embroidery patterns, book reviews, videos, tools, accessories and e-books.

    Patricia C

  164. I love everything you do. But one of the things I find most useful is something you didn’t mention. I like hearing about threads. What do they look like, how do they perform, where can you get them. I’ve learned so much about thread since I started reading your website and it makes me feel braver about trying new things–or even knowing that things exist! I won’t spend the money if I really don’t know what something is and without seeing it for yourself, hearing your review is the best thing out there. So more about thread!!

    I also sure would like more about frames and hoops too. You have a lot of good information, but I still haven’t gotten brave enough to use anything but an embroidery hoop. How to thread up projects is something I want to see more of.

    Thank you!!

  165. First, thank you for your wonderful website! I have no complaints. I love what you are doing. I love being exposed to stitches I’ve never heard of, tools & books I didn’t know existed, & patterns I’ve never dreamed of! I find the step-by-step tutorials very helpful. I’d like a just little more time spent on organization. I am terrible at mixing up needles by size, especially when interrupted during my stitching for any length of time! And are there any ideas out there for making work on embroidery projects more portable?

  166. I teach the hand work classes at our quilt shop and I always give my students your blog to get helpful hints on the embroidery stitches and designs. I enjoy your helpful hints, your reviews on books and gadgets plus your free designs. Keep up the good work. I think if I could I would love to take classes at the Royal Academy. That would be heaven.

  167. Mary, I just want to thank you for all that you do and all that I have learned and continue to learn from you on your web site. I love everything you do and I really do like to see your pieces develop and I like to know that you also make mistakes and pick stitches out. I thought that only happened to me. I want to see everything that you have been doing continue. You provide a great resource for all of us.
    Keep up the good work. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  168. My first wish would be to have more time to learn and do the needlework that fascinates me so but since that is not a wish you can give I would like to see more stitch techniques and how and where to use them. Patterns are of course always welcome. Since so many of the books are not available and must be ordered the book reviews are a must. I personally enjoy complete kits since it insures I have all the materials to do and learn with. You didn’t ask but I could do without the ebooks, I avoid them whenever possible.

  169. plenty of time and an interesting project.
    I have plenty of materials and tools.
    ideas and patterns would be very welcome
    Happy Christmas

  170. I live everything you do, snd especially your video tutorials.
    One thing I have a lot of trouble with is choosing
    the right thread for a project. I keep buying different
    kinds of thread, but I still never feel that I have
    the right one. So choosing threads us a biggie
    for me.

  171. Dear Mary
    Just don’t know where to begin in conveying my appreciation for all you do for our global embroidery community. Your tenacity and goodwill is apparent to me and I am sure to all of us each day we open your email.

    My wish is that you have an ongoing group of local supporters in your home town who sustain you each week. I am also hopeful that your submission/tender for start up funds for moving your enterprise to a more sustainable future is successful. Have you heard? Share this information with us as I am sure we are all wondering. We are also hanging out for your alphabet book and wonder how that is going. So my wish is that we have the opportunity to continue to enjoy your goodwill.
    Annette, Brisbane, Australia

  172. Being new to the needle world, I like it all. I find the video tutorials invaluable. It is so much better than seeing on flat page. I really like seeing how you do projects because everyone may do differently and I see ideas I haven’t before. I didn’t realize there were so many tools either. What it comes to in all honesty is that I am greedy. I want it all.hhahahahhaha

  173. Mary,

    Your website is one of the things I look forward to each day! I love it all!! Let me distill my favorites in order to help you a bit with your direction. The things that dazzle me the most are: the stitch patterns, followed closely by the tutorials. My most favorite projects have been the Zentangle Fish and Lattice Jumble. These opened many doors for me in coordinating patterns and textures! New stitches and how-to’s are food for me. Furthermore, the accessibility of these stitches are amazing. If I have forgotten how to do something, all I have to do is to go thru your easy-to-find appendix of projects and stitches.
    All other topics are welcomed and enjoyed. I also love your personal touches and comments. Sort of a self-depricating style you have of making us all feel better about messing up.
    I have a bit of a thirst for contemporary designs. I suppose if I had to select a want-for-more item, it would be in the contemporary design area. This is not to say that I am not interested in other projects. Love the Jacobean, Japanese, historic and rustic styles also. Ecclesiastical projects are my least favorite as a project I would choose to tackle, but still enchanted with the techniques used and the building of the design.
    Thank you for sharing such a wealth of knowledge!!

  174. Mary- I am a sort of beginner. I recently finished your JOY pattern both vertical and horizontal. Have learned SO MUCH from your website. I just found it a month or so ago.
    I love the needlework tutorials. Pls. Have more of them.
    The patterns are great,too.
    It is fun to watch your continued needlework projects.
    E-books sound wonderful,too
    I like hearing about products for needlework and books.
    Thanks for your great website and wonderful teaching. I am so excited to find somewhere to learn more about embroidery. it seems to be making a comeback and I think it is because it lets us slow down and relax. Then, we are proud to see what we accomplish. Best wishes for a great holiday and Merry Christmas. Looking forward to many new things in needlework in the new year.

  175. Mary,
    I love everything thing you do, keep up the variety! I love seeing projects you are working on, and threads and what not that you are using, and seeing how you work through hang ups. The tutorials, pictorial and video, and the book reviews are very helpful! I also like your product reviews, I have yet to invest in expensive tools, frames, lights, etc. but if and when I do I will know the pros and cons from a skilled stitcher!
    Thanks for all your hard work!

  176. Hi Mary,I enjoy getting your blog each night. Normally arrives just before midnight here. What do I need for my stitching?-TIME.Have a wonderful Christmas and please continue with the informative blogs in 2014. Georgina

  177. I haven’t done embroidery in a long time. I always used iron on transfers. I can’t draw so how do I get the patterns on the internet to my project or where do I get iron on transfers? Thanks, Sandra

  178. Hi Mary! I would love a tutorial/stitch-a-long like you did for the long and short stitch sampler (we posted progress pics on Flickr, summer 2009) but for traditional padded monogramming. If this were available in e-book format or as a paying class to be joined I would be in it in a heartbeat! I’d love to create a cipher and learn how to stitch it but I just don’t seem to be motivated by the scads of books I’ve already bought. Your approach to learning is very motivational and encouraging and somehow you make it okay to make mistakes and you show us how to learn from them. I enjoy all other aspects of your blog so keep doin’ what you’re doin’! All the best of the Season to you!

  179. I’d love to see some tutorials on hemstitching. And drawn work. And pulled thread.
    Your step-by-step pictorials are fabulous!

  180. Sorry, I’m not going to be much help. I love what you do and look forward to reading your blog every day. I would say that I particularly like it when you feature tools, books, and other products. I have made a number of very happy purchases of things I would not have known about but now can’t do without thanks to you!

    Keep up the wonderful work!

  181. Hi Mary,
    I was wondering if you get notifications of major museum exhibits displaying needlework. I love to look at antique needlework. A feature once and a while as to what is out there to see would be great. Keep up the great work. I can’t tell you the number of times I have searched your database for how to when working on a new project.
    Thank you for your hard work.

  182. Hi Mary,

    I taught myself embroidery from your videos – they are great. I love seeing new stitches and how you use them, the lattice sampler was my favorite this year. I like any articles with good pictures in them. The best thing about your site is the technical aspect. You have so much good information about the correct way to do things, good working habits etc that I feel I am learning how to do things properly (even if I choose to cut corners).

    Thankyou for a wonderful site and have a great Christmas.

  183. hard to answer your questions because i love most everything you do and how you do it. i’m not so much into following you step by step on a particular project (i’m being honest here) but do love seeing video tutorials. they seem to spark more interest for me than just seeing something in picture form. you do a terrific job in all the areas you asked about and i think the variety is good as different things appeal to different people. thanks for sharing all that you do.

  184. I particularly like your video tutorials, they are the best! I would like to know more about different needlework techniques. such as crewel and canvas work. I like the patterns you have posted and would like to know what stitches to use for the monograms, for example. I enjoy the projects you post step by step. Book and tool reviews are less important, but reviews of older books are fine with me. I like older books! All in all, you do a great job Mary and I am eager to look at your posts every day. Are the monograms coming up this year? Looking forward to that!

  185. Mary: Here goes: 1.Step by step tutorials, definitely!!! I especially like it when you say something that sticks in my head as I’m making an unfamiliar stitch (example: colonial knot when you said, “make a backwards C”….that stuck in my mind and was extremely helpful.2.Crazy Quilting: I’m doing two crazy quilts and would love to see your take on stitch bands and other embellishments for that genre. 3. Videos….more, more, more! You are such a good teacher and sooo very patient (LOL) as I rewind and rewind your video to learn a particularly difficult (for me) stitch. I have the feeling that you are right there in the room with me. 4. Step by step embroidery projects (like the needlebook!) 5. e books….I can’t wait for that e book on embroidered letters comes out so I can finish another of my projects with my initials in your embroidered letters. Lastly, I wanted to tell you that every day I try to find something beautiful to notice and something to be grateful for. Some days you and your work fulfill those two goals. Thank you so very much for making such a huge amount of information available FREE to all of us. (And for being such a lady when some crude individual complained that you were spending too much time on something she wasn’t interested in….thank goodness there are more people in this world that are like you and not her!) May you have a wonderful Christmas, a very happy New Year and a healthy, happy year to come.
    Gratefully, Linda

  186. Hi Mary,
    I enjoy receiving your email every morning and I have found lots of help and information from your website over the years. I appreciate all that you do. I have taken your advice and made some purchases that have increased my enjoyment of needlework…books, Needlework System 4, magnifying light etc. I like everything you do right now but I would like to make some wishes since you asked us. More step-by-step tutorials, needlework tool reviews, current book reviews and comparisons, videos, a stitch along showing all the how to for a Jacobean project in cotton (not wool) and I would be happy to purchase an E book project. I would like you to look at 16th & 17th century stitches in techniques like pulled & drawn thread including needlelace also raised embroidery/stumpwork. My most important wish is for you to show us things that bring you joy…I think that way you will be happy to continue doing all the wonderful things you have been doing for many years.
    Wishing you a happy Christmas and a year filled with your favourite things in 2014.

  187. Mary, I especially love your tutorials and book reviews. I don’t have any specific issues or suggestions (sorry!), just more of them. If there aren’t many new ones, what about expanding a bit to textiles in general?

    I would also like you to explore more about HOW you make your choices–threads, colors, stitches, and projects. You’ve been doing that a lot lately with the latest projects and I appreciate that. Especially when you are mixing stitches, what goes through your head in deciding what would look good?

    Unfortunately, I’m not excited about goldwork, but, as you aptly say–It’s your blog.
    Debbie D

  188. Hello Mary, first and foremost thank you so much for all your time and effort to share with us this wonderful gift of yours giving us the opportunity of seeing and learning everthing about embroidery. I love all embroidery, Crewel,Crazy Patch, bead Embellishing and Ribbon embroidery being my favourites. Seeing all the topics you cover from needles to fabrics and the availability of it and patterns and books to read, I would say you have covered it all, thank you once again for being such a wonderful Teacher of Embroidery. I dont have the newest Technology but get to see most of your work in the News letters. I wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas Season and New Year.

  189. Dear Mary, I adore everything that you have done. It is a great inspiration and has added much to my knowledge. I really enjoy the tutorials. I have been using a needle since I was quite young and always need a refresher. I live in rural Maine and need to do ordering to get the yummy things. Please keep up your good work. Thank you, Sarah

    1. So agree I live in Queensland Australia and we don’t have anyone like you here at least not doing tutorial and all the rest you do on a blog zit can be a challenge to get all the supplies you use as well . But thank you for all you are doing and Happy Christmas to you and your family and everyone reading these comments

  190. More time, more skill……………Every day I wait in anticipation for your email, when I see what you have done I go for it too (not quite the same perfection) but that then gives me so many projects on the go at one time. Just like a kid in a candy store. A couple of times a year I punish myself by not starting anything new and finish all of them. Then with clear conscience I start again. I think I have an embroidery obsession. My embroidery wish is to go do some workshops in England at the Royal Society of Embroiderers or with other like experts to give me some of the wonderful technical tips I so lack. Being retired form the workforce allows me time for my garden and embroidery.

    Thank you Mary and I wish you and yours a wonderful christmas and look forward to more of your wonderful work in 2014

  191. Well this is the first year I have followed your post and I have loved every moment. You have given such great information and I love the teaching. I guess I am not the one to say what else I would like because I really can’t think of anything that you haven’t tried to supply. Having said that–I would like to learn more about Brazilian embroidery. Thank you for all the work you have done for our learning and pleasure.

  192. Love love love all the amazing information you provide. The embroidered eggs are fabulous but I am having trouble following the directions. Would love to see a video on how to do them if possible, thank you.

  193. I like it when you refer us to your tutorials and other parts of your web site. I actually have not sat myself down and explored how much information is there. The more you tell us what tutorials you already have, the more we are pointed to the information. You have an excellent blog. We all are inspired by it.

    Thank you

  194. Yes yes yes! Keep writing about EVERYTHING! Mary, please keep all of the items on your list of things to write about in2014!

    I read your message in my email everyday. I have learned so much in the past year…about things that I had no clue were a part of surface embroidery…that you have written about! I don’t want you to focus on some one or two things…please keep the diversity of your ideas. I really enjoy your incite!

    I have purchased a number of books/accessories/thread/etc. based on your in depth writing about them. I had no idea that I needed/wanted the books/accessories/thread/etc. because I did not know that they existed until you wrote about them! Please keep writing about everything!


  195. I would like Hardanger 101. Also my mother used to do cutwork tablecloths, napkins, hankies… Silk threads and beautiful material. She bought the fabric with a like blue stamping of the pattern on it. Do they still make these pieces? I have never completed a Hardanger piece because I am always afraid to cut the threads.

    Put this on a wish list

    Debbie Beam

    1. If you want to learn Hardanger, you might want to check out the Nordic Needle web site. The owner of the store is passionate about Hardanger. Among the oodles of Hardanger projects, clubs, patterns and books is a line of bookmarks specifically designed to teach Hardanger techniques to novices. Can you tell that I would love a set.

  196. Hi Mary, let me begin with a big thank you for your blog…I love it and have learned a lot. I want to make a crazy quilt, so my primary wish is to learn how to do the various stitches…step by step. That said, I appreciate all of your work and am happy with whatever you put forth.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

    1. Shirley, you may also want to join CQEorNewbies. It is a very good group for beginners and for long time CQ’ing people.

      There are basically only about 20 stitches, but the number of possibilites is infinite. A lady, Carol Summers, quite a few years ago viaited museums and private collections copying each different that the CQers of old used in their work. Her book is out of print, but the rumors suggest that it will be reprinted. She has put many of the possibilites together to get a nice set of more than 10,000 stitch combinations.


  197. Hi Mary,

    Love your work!

    My wishes would be:
    1. Some tips on ribbon embroidery
    2. tips on using silk for silk embroidery, especially the kind made famous by Chinese embroiderers like Margaret lee
    3. Any chance of learning a bit about stump work?

    Thank you and have a safe and merry xmas!

  198. Would love to see some Blackwork. I like the variety you’ve had, I think your doing great. Some finishing tutorials/videos would be great (ornaments etc.).

  199. Mary,
    I love your blog and all your suggestions of things to share in 2014. One you did not mention is how you take such good photos of you needlework! I’d be interested in what camera you use and how you get such good close ups as well as any lighting tips as you always seem to have really good photos to share with us. Merry Christmas and all the best for the coming year!

  200. Mary
    I love all the things you share on here already. I would like to see more pulled thread embroidery techniques and stumpwork and brazilian embroidery. I liked those embroidered real eggs too. Thank you Mary I love reading your emails everyday. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and new year.


  201. My wish is for you to come to my house and give me personal, hands-on lessons! lolol
    Seriously, though, just more of what you are doing.

  202. Dear Mary,
    We all love what you do. I have learned so many things from you. I would like to learn some edging stitches . I have seen some that look like buttonhole but they are grouped together such as in hem stitching. You do a wonderful job and I look forward to every day and your email I have given your website to many of my stitching friends.

  203. Firstly, I’m extremely grateful for all the time, thought, organisation and effort that you put into this wonderful resource. Thank-you so much. Having just recently retired, I’m in the lucky position of now being able to put more time into embroidery.

    I’ve particularly valued / would value more of:
    • Discussions about embroidery fabrics. Some of these are expensive, so reading reviews and comments has hopefully allowed me to spend money wisely on some good fabric for my favoured techniques.
    • Finding ways to incorporate embroidery into everyday practical items, and the decisions re fabric & threads that will accompany the choices. Wall space is limited;I don’t wear embroidery (though that may change) and don’t (yet?) have grandchildren to embroider for, so am always on the look out for practical items to embroider that fit comfortably in a casual, mostly male household. I’m favouring a set of natural linen cushions for each season, with appropriate seasonal designs… plus some robust, natural-look table linens, but I’m sure others would have some great ideas.
    • Techniques: I particularly like drawn thread work, pulled thread work & Schwalm. (I have some of Luzine’s books lined up for a Schwalm project after first reading about them on Needle’n’thread).
    • I’m also very drawn to landscape embroidery and would love to know more about some of the layered, landscape embroidery techniques such as those used by artists like Judy Wilford & Glenys Leske (Aus) … and the USA artist you highlighted in a previous post whose work reminded you of your own rural area (Sorry – can’t remember her name & can’t find the post at short notice). A tutorial or two on these artist’s techniques would be just wonderful.
    • Love reading about new tools, new threads, organisational ideas, pattern resources, etc.

    I have found value in everything you produce. Even if I don’t choose the style of embroidery, it’s valuable to learn from your thinking and decision making…and I love your friendly, conversational style. Also love reading others’ comments – so much inspiration & knowledge out there!

  204. Tutorials, please. Though, it would seem like showing different techniques, and how to use the tools definitely falls into that category.

  205. I must say that I like everything about your blog, Mary, and I have been enjoying it for a few years. If I were granted a wish, it would be for some articles on fabric. I embroider, but I do not have much experience in sewing, and I would like to understand fabrics and feel more confident in choosing for a project, such as a tablecloth. Thanks for all you do.

  206. Dear Mary,
    I have been following your blog for several years and I look forward to it everyday. I have learned so much about needlework. I really enjoy watching projects progress,even the type that I know I will never attempt. I would like to understand how to select which stitch to use. For instance when I see an unworked crewel pattern I don’t know which stitch would work best to fill in the space. How do you choose? I would also enjoy an article about stitching on heavier fabrics such as wool and velvet. I like to do crazy quilting with wool and have difficulty with hooping.

    I think ebook tutorials would be wonderful.
    Keep up the hard work and have a great holiday and new year. Ahelley

  207. Hi Mary, you are my inspiration and I am so glad I found you …… I am really grateful for all you share ….. the one thing I would like to learn from you is white on white embroidery ….. the stitches used ….. and the kinds of threads that can be used ….. thank you so much for everything ….. God bless

  208. Hello from Australia – it is 39 degrees C outside and I am HOT! Not really the best weather for embroidery so I am here to read about the lovely things you have in your blog. I have to say I thought long and hard about what I need/want – and really I love this pretty much as it is. Your step by step instructions with photos are so clear, I enjoy hearing about the project decisions you make – especially when you tell us what did NOT work! Such a relief that things don’t always work for a professional. Anyway I am interested in Japanese and Chinese embroidery, particularly how to work with flat silks (untwisted)so if you have any more about this I would love it.
    Have a lovely Christmas – and think of us sweltering down here!! Patti

    1. Patti…

      Here in the USA we still are on the “old” Fahrenheit measure for temperature. When you said in your message that your temp was 39 degrees C I got very curious and did some mathematical calculations. I found out that your temp is the equivalent of 102.2 degrees F! Wow wow wow! No wonder you said you were sweltering!

      In the middle of last night when I walked my doggies it was 6 degrees F outside — which converts to -14.4444 degrees C! So please think of those of us who are freezing in Northeast USA!

      Merry Christmas!


  209. Dear Mary , Am an avid reader of your blog every day. I belong to Embroiderer’s Guild in Australia & am now in my 70’s & have been embroidering since I was a young girl with my Gran & later at school where I had a great teacher . Especially love the stitch techniques & video tutorials as I learn something new each time & they are a wonderful reference source .Love reading book reviews also but as I have so many & can’t fit any more on my shelves I try to show restraint in that area [doesn’t always work ].Love it all , even mistakes ,it makes me feel better knowing even experts can succumb to unsewing occaisionally .Thank you & Happy Christmas from down under . Doreen .

  210. Sorry to not be of much help. I LOVE everything you are already doing.
    Its so nice to have variety. Colors, couching, designs, how to’s, video’s.
    I love it all.

    Great job. Look forward to the new year with you.

    Thanks for being you. Christine, Redding, CA

  211. Mary- I am an avid needlepointer doing little>no embroidery, & thoroughly enjoying learning from you. I enjoy tools, books, including old & out of print ones, and your ecclesiastical gold work. I oo-d & ah-d over the Medallion, & enjoy your great photography. Any needlepoint info appreciated, but I follow other blogs for it. Just keep up your great work.

  212. Dear Mary
    Many thanks for all the effort you put into your blog. I have been following you for about a year now, and really enjoy all your work, so would appreciate you continuing with those topics.
    I would like to also read about embroidery related travel and courses across the world. Like Lauren Strach I enjoyed reading about the Lady Anne retreat, and I have had the chance to do a course at the Royal School of Needlework, Hampton Court Palace in the UK. I love to travel, and to combine it with an embroidery course would be ideal for me.
    We have lots of courses in New Zealand which may interest people. Each year in March there is Otago Embroidery School in Wanaka on the South Island, and the Great Escape in Auckland on the North Island. Perfect for travelers to NZ.
    Other readers might be able to provide information on courses in their part of the world.
    Finally I’d like to hear how your business application went.
    Looking forward to reading your blog in 2014!
    Happy Christmas to you and yours,

  213. I like hand embroidery patterns,
    Projects and step by step tutorials
    You have done a great job so far
    I wish you the best in the coming year

  214. Sibby December 18,2013, at 5:19pm

    Hi Mary,

    Just love all your work.
    Have no know idea how to start or do Triangular Ground, could you tell and show me ,please?What do you know about “double decker triangular ground”, or is that just a joke?(bobbin lace stitches). Help with counted cross stitch,….e-books.
    Thank you for all your wonderful help.

  215. Hi Mary, one of the tings that I value the most are your book and magazine reviews. I have purchased several on your recommendation and have been very pleased with them. Living here in South Africa we are out on a limb regarding the availability of many things related to embroidery, so we need all the help we can get. My own speciality is Needle painting, for which I have developed a curved stitch so that I not only shade by colour but follow form and shape too.I enjoy teaching this method to other interested pupils. Please do continue with your newsletter even if you don’t manage to put it out daily, we need you. Best wishes for the Festive Season Jenny

  216. Mary, like other I love reading your blog whilst not being as active as I’d like in my own craft!
    One longtime goal of mine is to make a crazy quilt with my mothers lovely fabrics (and a few of my grand mothers!) and using some of my fathers ties. Could you help with that please?

    In the meantime Happy Christmas – as we still say in England! – to you and all your readers.

  217. Mary, like others I love reading your blog whilst not being as active as I’d like in my own craft!
    One longtime goal of mine is to make a crazy quilt with my mothers lovely fabrics (and a few of my grand mothers!) and using some of my fathers ties. Could you help with that please?

    In the meantime Happy Christmas – as we still say in England! – to you and all your readers.

  218. Hi Mary, I live in Australia so some of the products you survey arn’t available and that is why the links are so important.I am a ‘crazy’quilter and you are to blame. Everything that I have learned has come from yourself but I do thank you for the obsession. I would like more ribbon, Brazilian anything like that. In fact keep doing what you are doing, I’ll be happy.

  219. Hi Mary,
    Your website is full and fascinating and contains so much. It is difficult to think of something else. I am g