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

Contact Mary

Connect with Mary



2024 (39) 2023 (125) 2022 (136) 2021 (130) 2020 (132) 2019 (147) 2018 (146) 2017 (169) 2016 (147) 2015 (246) 2014 (294) 2013 (294) 2012 (305) 2011 (306) 2010 (316) 2009 (367) 2008 (352) 2007 (225) 2006 (139)

A Great Way to Learn Crewel Work!


Amazon Books

When it comes to learning a new embroidery technique or improving your skills in a technique, I think one of the best ways to learn, short of private classes, is to work a kit designed by an expert in that particular technique.

I never hesitate to recommend stitchers to various designers around the world who provide excellent instruction through their embroidery kits.

When it comes to authentic crewel work, Phillipa Turnbull’s Crewel Work Company, located in the UK, produces beautiful, historical crewel kits replete with all the right materials and excellent instructions.

During May, Phillipa is offering something special to readers here on Needle ‘n Thread – an excellent way to learn crewel work, with an extra component beyond a kit. Read on, read on…

The Crewel Work Company

First of all, there’s the kit component. If you’re looking for crewel embroidery kits, you’ll find three levels of crewel embroidery kits available at The Crewel Work Company, for beginner, intermediate, and advanced stitchers. If you haven’t visited the Crewel Work Company website in a while, you’ll be delighted by some new designs, too.

The Rabbits! above are my favorite in the beginner level kits. The design includes many different crewel stitches, some nice sections of long & short stitch shading and lattice work, some chunky acorns, and two little chatty rabbits with bright little beaded eyes. Some nice variety for the newcomer to crewel!

Lady Anne's Flowers Crewel Work Kit

But my favorite crewel kit at The Crewel Work Company right now is this explosion of color and growing things called Lady Anne’s Flower. It’s found under the intermediate level kits. I love the vibrant colors and the shading, the sheer abundance of the design, and those cute little strawberries in the front of the foremost hill. I think it’s lovely and downright fun!

Free DVD

So, here’s the deal on a Month of May promotion for Needle ‘n Thread readers, for stitchers who want to learn crewel work:

During May, with any purchase from The Crewel Work Company in which you mention “Mary Corbet” during the checkout process (instructions below), you will receive, for free, one of these:

Crewel Work Company DVD

This is Phillipa’s level one instructional DVD for crewel embroidery, formatted for Region 1 DVD players (that’s the US & Canada). The DVD covers getting started, equipment, materials and how to use them, use of the frame or hoop, the six basic stitches of beginning crewel work, blocking your work, and handy hints. The DVD also includes the story behind the crewel bedspread that Phillipa embroidered for the Queen Mother for her home, Glamis Castle.

Here’s a clip from the DVD, as a little taster. Keep in mind that the image will be much larger and much clearer on your own home entertainment system or computer.

E-mail subscribers can view the crewel video clip here.

So, if you’d like to learn crewel work or brush up your crewel embroidery skills, the month of May is a great time to do that with a kit (or any other purchase) and free DVD (region 1 formatted) from The Crewel Work Company.

By they way, for those who have contacted me recently about seat frames with hoops – the Crewel Work Company carries those, too.


For the free DVD to be included in your purchase, add “Mary Corbet” in the box titled “Where did you hear about us?” on the standard checkout page.

If you check out via Paypal, in the section where you confirm your shipping address, right underneath your shipping address, there’s a line that says “Note to seller”. Click on “Add” and mention “Mary Corbet” in the comment box there.

And that’s all there is to it!

So if crewel embroidery has been on your bucket list, there’s no time like the present to indulge in a kit and get a free instructional DVD at the same time, from one of the world’s foremost crewel embroiderers.

And now I’m going to go contemplate that Lady Anne’s Flowers kit again….

I swear I hear it calling me…


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


(15) Comments

  1. Thank-you for the information about The Crewel Company, Mary. I actually began my embroidery odyssey with crewel work back in the 60’s, with a small Jacobean pincushion. I have loved Jacobean designs ever since, but have some difficulty finding them. I will definitely consider making a purchase!

  2. Mary,
    Many thanks for this information, Crewel embroidery is my favorite embroidery.I buy with your tell royal persian with site wooly thread. I prefere other wool but I buy with wool for the colours.It is not expansif shipping for France with website american. And perhaps, I go with this Crewel company, it is really magnifique.

  3. G’day Mary,
    This is of particular interest. Thank you. Lovely to join in again. After 5wks in the bush seeing to the grandchildren while daughter-in-law nurses a bad back, I kinda feel a bit out of things. Didn’t take laptop. Went for a week in which time her back was injured. 5 full wks later…
    Lovely to watch 5mth grandson grow but surprised how much Dad has failed back home here in that time.
    I’ve got lots of posts to catch up on, but first tomorrow is to look up these kits. Great stuff.
    Cheers, Kath

  4. I have done a couple of Phillipa’s kits, got the DVD and seat frame and been on her workshop at The Viking Loom in York ! All brilliant.

  5. Thank you Mary. The DVD looks excellent! Yet another thing to add to my wish list … I think I need at least 4 lifetimes to do everything!

  6. Wow Mary, thank yhou for directing us to this website, I shall certainly be placing my order as I love Crewel embroidery.


  7. Dear Mary,
    I visited Phillapa in her home last Sept. as I was in the area and wanted to purchase quite a lot of items from her. Have done one of the level 2 kits and directions are very clear. Also there are an abundance of wool skeins in her kits. Have tons of wool to do other projects.
    My pillow is sitting gloriously in the corner of my dining room.
    Glad you called attention to the new items in her shop. She showed the item which she copied for the scarf. Loved the pattern!

    1. Barbara,
      How lucky you are,Me I want too. Never, I never could get live during embroidery except my grandmother, but from September I’d love Scotland. But I found Needlenthread and never, I never would leave Mary Corbet. You learned what? Do what? In real life. Your work has he progressed?. Share with us!
      Thank you Barbara

  8. Ages ago I won a kit from The Crewel Work Company (via your website) and I keep on not doing it because I’m too afraid of messing something up. (I haven’t finished my Nesting Place project either because I kept trying and picking out and trying and picking out the second bird and got too frustrated and afraid of ruining the fabric! I kept telling myself I’d come back to it “next” month, but never have.) So anyway… this was a good reason to pick up one of the (rather less intimidating) Beginner kits – maybe one day I’ll be able to tackle those parrots without being so tense about it.

  9. I think crewel work was one of the first needlework forms that I attempted – probably back in the early 60’s. I’m glad that it’s still available and I just might have to re-visit it!

  10. Lovely post! I actually bought the rabbits at the stitching show in North London last year ad have yet to start it, but I’m still very excited to do it 🙂

  11. Mary,

    I followed your suggestion and purchased a kit and got the DVD. It arrived yesterday and was like opening a gift. With no embroidery experience, I found the DVD to be very helpful. I look forward to starting this tomorrow.

    I am so very pleased with the service but also the kindness in the email correspondence. The order took about a week to arrive to the US.

    If anyway wants to try crewel work, I encourage you to check out the site!


    PS. I ordered the seat hoop and was very pleased as well.

  12. Hi I recently purchased your seat frame and was scrolling thru your videos looking for some guidance when i saw this video. I know this is a very old video but would like to get one if they are still available. thank you I would surley appreciate it.

    1. Hi, Marrita, I don’t sell seat frames, so I’m guessing you’re probably looking for Crewel Work Company in the UK (who also produced the above kit). Hope that helps!

More Comments