Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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The Crewel Rooster – Several Variations


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The Crewel Rooster is one of the step-by-step embroidery projects available on Needle ‘n Thread.

He was an experiment in combining various types of wool threads and various stitches, using whatever happened to be available, wool-wise, in my stash.

Since I’ve had lots of questions about the Crewel Rooster since he was born, I wasn’t surprised to receive a few contributions from readers in which he was featured.

The surprising thing is that all the rooster contributions arrived in my email on the same day, within a couple hours of each other! I’ve since proclaimed a National Rooster Day.

Each rooster below represents a completely different approach to the same embroidery design, so I think it’ll be fun to see them all on one page, demonstrating that an embroidery design can always be personalized with your own thread and stitch choices.

Crewel Embroidery: Rooster

Lynn’s rooster in all its glory! She used a terrific combination of stitches on this guy!

Crewel Embroidery: Rooster

I really like the raised stem stitch here! And the combinations of stitches within the individual tail feathers…

Crewel Embroidery: Rooster

And the flowers are super fun, with their outlines in chain stitch and what looks like a whipped buttonhole stitch. The combinations of colors in the French knots was a great idea, and I like the variation on the center petal, too.

One thing I love about embroidery – there are so many stitches and combinations of embroidery stitches, that the variety you can have with embroidery can never be exhausted!

Crewel Embroidery: Rooster

Sandy’s friend was setting out on a long road trip. So Sandy did what every good friend does – she compiled an embroidery kit with a piece of fabric with the design on it (in this case, the rooster), a whole variety of threads, and all that was needed to stitch up this little guy.

And then she sent her friend on her merry way, road tripping and stitching.

Crewel Embroidery: Rooster

When her friend returned, Sandy took the embroidered rooster square and turned it into a little quilt piece. She did all the piecing and the other background embroidery (in the running stitch), assembled it, and quilted it.

Collaboration is a Great Thing, don’t you think? Fun!

Crewel Embroidery: Rooster

Lois’s rooster proudly struts his vibrant tale and his terrific chest of feathers! I love the treatment of the beads on the chest, topped with those smooth black and grey stitches on the neck, and finally the contrasting white on the head.

I would have never thought of using beads, but I like the way they turned out – they’re black, but they reflect the light, so you get that little speckle of white in there with each glint.

And so, the Crewel Rooster lives on! And I’m so happy to see that he does!

It’s a fun project for playing around with all kinds of stitch combinations, and as you can see with the examples above, you’re not limited by particular stitches or threads – your own approach will yield your own personalized masterpiece!

For those just joining in, this is a continuation of series of articles that highlights embroidery from the Needle ‘n Thread community, especially needlework influenced by information, tutorials, patterns, and so forth from Needle ‘n Thread. You can find a call for contributions and an explanation of the series here, and you can see previous examples of embroidery-related reader contributions here.


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(10) Comments

  1. Beautiful and inspiring. Its lovely to see the rooster from different perspectives. Im really enjoying seeing all of the creativity flowing in from everyone.

  2. Hi Mary,

    I am loving these posts showing other people’s Needle ‘n Thread inspired work. I love seeing variations on a theme and the way that different people make a common beginning their own. Thankyou for collecting and collating all of these pictures and to everybody who is sharing – it is not always easy to put yourself out there.


  3. All of the variations are completely as different as different could be, but they all look wonderful nonetheless! Very nice work.

  4. Everyone’s work is so wonderful. I just love Lynn’s rooster, the flower is incredible. Talented ladies all around. This was a great idea, Mary, I am really enjoying all the interesting interpretations everyday.

  5. Dear Mary

    I’m glad the Rooster has come home to roost and I’m glad he lives on with all these styles and designs and different threads and beads they certainly show our Rooster in all it’s glory. All the readers posts you are showing Mary are very creative and inspiring. Lovely needlework Lynn, Sindy and Lois. Thanks for organising readers embroidery projects Mary and for sharing them with us.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  6. Great post – I really enjoyed seeing what others have done. I absolutely love all things rooster/(chickens too) so think this is a great project.

  7. I’m really enjoying all the pictures of projects stitched by others. The rooster has been one of my all time favorites so it was good to see his cousins appear. 🙂 I enjoy the color changes and different textures. I admire their ability to be so creative too. Mostly I just follow the directions. Not much fun in that. Well done everyone.

  8. I don’t know how many times I can keep saying “Wow” in my comments, but apparently I have at least one more time. WOW!
    Mary you have a variety of projects and stitches you share with us and I never got the feeling your work all looked the same. But to see the same pieces done in different ways — I am having so much fun seeing all the different works by your readers! You need to make this an annual thing. Even if it is just me that is having so much fun with this. Thanks!

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