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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Needlework News Snips!


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This morning, it’s a cup of cocoa while browsing through some needlework news snips for this last Saturday of November!

Please don’t remind me it’s already the last Saturday of November!

Did you hit the stores and shop this weekend? I didn’t venture out for “Black Friday” (I’m not a huge fan of the whole atmosphere that surrounds the day after Thanksgiving here in the US). But I do like to take advantage of some of the sales this time of year, especially on needlework things that have been on my List for a while, or items or services that I wanted to review here on Needle ‘n Thread.

So, below, I’ve included some browsing links, and also some good sale links for today. All of them are of things I’ve actually purchased myself. Some include affiliate links, which means I get a small kickback, which helps support Needle ‘n Thread.

Needlework News Snips - Cocoa

Whitework project tutorial

This week, Luzine Happel posted a nice tutorial for a Schwalm embroidery Christmas ornament. There’s still time, you know!

I’m writing on Craftsy

Speaking of whitework embroidery, last week, I published an article on Craftsy titled “Whitework 101: From Stitches to Patterns.” It’s a general overview of whitework embroidery with lots of really good photos! Stop by and read it, and feel free to comment on it if you like.

Hand embroidery related classes on Craftsy

Speaking of Craftsy, they have a huge sale going on this weekend on classes. They have a few hand embroidery-related classes available now, and I’ve gone through them all. They’re a good way to get the basics. And they’d make a great Christmas gift, for yourself or for beginners (and beyond) in your life. Here’s a list of the hand embroidery classes you’ll find available on Craftsy right now:

Stitch it With Wool: Crewel Embroidery
Embroidering with Ribbon
Embroidering Texture & Dimension by Hand
Design It, Stitch It: Hand Embroidery
Crazy Quilting with Allie Aller

I’m giving a couple of those classes to my nieces for Christmas this year. I think they’ll enjoy them! And this weekend is as good a time to get them as any.

Searching for inspiration

I spent abut five hours doing some research last week and searching for pieces to view in the Metropolitan Museum of Art Online Collections. They have a wonderful collections section on their website, and it’s easy to search with key words. You can zoom in on the images and see some nice detail.

If you’re just wanting to see some historical embroidery from a certain era or of a certain technique, use their keyword search and enjoy the browse! It’s the next best thing to being there!

Speaking of history…

I wrote about medieval books mended with embroidery a long time ago, but a reader brought it to my attention again, so I thought I’d share this article on parchment mended with embroidery for those interested – it’s got some glorious photos!


The Embroiderers’ Guild of America has their Seminar 2015 classes posted on their website. There are some fantastic classes listed for next year. Gary Clarke’s classes look fantastic!

If you’re not a member of the EGA, you should consider becoming one! It’s a great support group for stitchers, a wonderful way to make stitching friends, and if you’re not close enough to a guild, you can always be a Member at Large. Along with the other benefits of membership, you’ll receive their publication, NeedleArts magazine, several times a year. The most recent issue includes an interesting article on Michele Carragher, who embroiders costumes for movies and TV.


With Christmas fast approaching, you might consider the Royal School of Needlework as a great place to shop for gifts! Even if you’re not in London, you can visit their online shop.

They have some day classes coming up in April of 2015 in San Francisco. If you’re interested in hearing about those, sign up for the RSN newsletter.

Other Sales

I’ve received a slew of requests lately about finding Aunt Martha Iron-On transfers, so if you’re looking for all of the Aunt Martha transfers – including state flowers, state birds, and so forth – you’ll find them at Colonial Patterns. They’re having a 10% off sale this coming Monday. It isn’t much, but it could cover the cost of your postage!

Interweave Press is having a very big sale on their website through this coming Wednesday.

I picked up a copy of Mollie Makes: Embroidery for just $10. It’s a fun little book, and will make a perfect gift for one of my nieces. If you have a crafting ‘tween or teen in your life, it’s a good way to entice them into needlework.

The Red Embroidery Patterns collection from PieceWork – ok, I did get the digital version of this, and no, it wasn’t Christmas shopping for someone else. Darn it. It’s red. It’s Folky. And it has embroidered shoes in it. What’s a girl to do?

You can buy individual issues of PieceWork Magazine right now, too, for a good price. I’ve had my eye on a particular copy from May-June, 2001, which features a beautiful padded Mountmellick embroidered frame in it. I lost (or lent!) my copy of this issue, so it’s nice to be able to replace it.

And the PieceWork digital collections are on sale now, too. I like some of the older collections of the magazine that have a strong focus on hand embroidery. The 1998 digital collection of PieceWork, for example, is particularly good.

Stitching Inspiration…

This just showed up in my feedreader…

If you haven’t been following along with Tracy Franklin’s Crathorne Bug project, you should check it out! She’s working on some really nice block shading right now!

Over to you…

And that is that for this weekend. I hope you have a nice, quiet weekend. I’ll be stitching on a little project today, which I’ll share with you down the road!

If you’ve been blogging about a particular needlework project and you’d like to share it with us, feel free to tell us what you’ve been up to and to leave a link in the comments below. Or, if you’ve stumbled across something embroidery-related online lately that you think is worth sharing, feel free to tell us about it and share the link in the comments below.


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(24) Comments

  1. And the new Threads magazine, with your article on Shisha embroidery of beetlewings, is also on newsstands now (picked it up last night!)

  2. Hi Mary. I just wanted to say thank you for the link in one of your blog posts to the History Blog article which mentioned the St Paul’s Cathedral altar frontal, embroidered by injured British and Commonwealth soldiers during the First World War. It came at a perfect time when I was looking for inspiration for a short play to write as part of a production we were putting on in our village to commemorate World War One and as a result, I did a piece based on the frontal and telling the story of Louise Pessel, the embroidery teacher who organised it and how the embroidery was lost and rediscovered.
    Following on from that piece of serendipity, my husband who is a governor of our village school, was talking to one of the other governors who is a doctor, just before the production. She told him that she travels to London (from her home here in the Cotswold Hills in the S. W. of England) to act as a volunteer guide at St. Pauls every week and she was present when they rediscovered the altar frontal. She has offered to give us a guided tour any time we can make it to London so if we do, I promise to take some photos!
    I bet you never thought your blog would end up inspiring a short play as well as stitching!

  3. Dear Mary

    I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving day with your family. Black Friday here in the UK apparently the Police were called out in some places as shoppers went crazy in the sales. I shall have to browse through all these Needlework snipers at leisure. Thanks for sharing the above information on the needlework world and I hope you have a quiet sticking weekend. I can’t wait to see your little project looking forward to that.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  4. Hi Mary,
    Yesterday I stumbled upon a wooden mellor that looks very interesting. It is from Laurlalin in the UK. The links are near the end of my post from yesterday:

    Has anyone every used on of these and how does the wooden mellor compare to the metal mellors? Either one might make a wonderful Holiday gift for a stitcher.
    Happy Thanksgiving.
    Carrie R

  5. Hi Mary, the Crafsy link you mentioned in todays email doesn’t work. So, I searched Craftsy for you and whitework, but no luck. How do I find you article on Whitework: 101, from Stitches to Patterns?
    Jo Darby
    Durham NC

  6. From reading your columns I’ve learned about a number of needlework magazines that I previously did not know existed. It would be wonderful if one day you did a column on all the magazines that you think are especially useful with a short description of each.

    I’m in total admiration of the amount of work that you do and that you are able to write an article every day. You must be incredibly disciplined!

  7. Mary,

    I am not sure if you have ever reviewed or had a chance to see the Quilt of Belonging. Here is a link to their homepage http://www.quiltofbelonging.ca/home.htm

    It is a 120′ quilt of various textile art techniques that is truly amazing. Take a look if you haven’t seen this before.

    It does go out on tour and if you ever have a chance to view it you will need to visit many times to truly begin to take it all in. It is amazing.


    1. Have just had a look at this on YouTube. How beautiful, and the first embroidery to be focused on is Australia!
      A cultural conglomeration that melds humanity through an age old medium, stitching.
      The butterfly wing clothing in the Central African Republic embroidery is interesting. My Uncle, in New Guinea during WWll with Australian Forces, made Mum a delicate belt from the beautiful butterfly wings found there. They were encased in tiny squares (about 1/2 cm) of a durable cellophane type stuff. Must have been in strips because it was woven and about 2 & 1/2 cm wide all up. Sadly, it’s no longer about. My parents had to leave their home suddenly and a few things I loved poring over as a kid have just gone.
      Thanks for the reference to The Quilt of Belonging.

  8. G’day there Mary,
    I’ve been wondering what this Black Friday thing that’s been coming through net sites was all about. To me it’s a Friday the 13th. But, I Googled it after reading your post. It’s a bit like our Boxing Day sales, but moreso, like, only in America!
    Have enjoyed looking into all the interesting sites you’ve posted. I’m very tempted by some of those Craftsy courses you’ve mentioned and also the Photo Shop one.
    I love fiddling with photos and achieve quite a lot with just Picasa but Photo Shop would be quicker and less frustrating as I always tend to want to step over the line that regulates an ordinary box!
    Thanks Mary,
    Cheers, Kath

  9. I only just found craftsy a few days ago!! I should have known you’d be on there! You are an expert indeed and I appreciate you.

  10. Re-online classes, how does one go about getting the kits for the classes and where are the prices for those. They do not seem to be included and I can’t find a link to them. Am I overlooking something?

    1. Hi, Isabel – if you’re asking about Craftsy classes, they don’t always have a kit associated, but if they do, it is sold separately and is usually listed on the main page for that class.

  11. The links that did work were great! Love your links! The one to Metropolitan Art led me to the most interesting article on parchment! Thank you so much for your time and effort in sharing with us.

  12. Thank you for all the information you provide. I save every email for the wealth of information each provides.
    Thank you again.

  13. EGA workshops and Garry Clarke: I took one of his classes at ‘Beating around the Bush’ in Adelaide, Australia and thoroughly enjoyed the class. I stitched the frog on Organza and he is now finished and looks great! I recommend Garry’s Class, he is a very good teacher.

  14. Gingham Embroidery eBooks on Sale 30% Off until Dec. 15th! You may print a copy for your own use, or to give as a gift. An office supply store can spiral bind them, or, as Mary suggested, save them to a flash drive and give them that way.
    The Guide to Gingham Embroidery has step by step photos teaching you all the basic stitches. There are four projects that make great gifts and are quick to stitch including a Christmas tree ornament or card, bookmarks, and a tissue box cover. On sale now for just $8.39 as an instant download at MarmeeDear and Company. http://tinyurl.com/GinghamLearn
    Or, two more eBooks, Gingham Inspirations, Book One and Book Two, have hundreds of photos including close-ups of gingham embroidered aprons, tablecloths and more. Just $9.09 each available for you at this price until Dec. 15th. http://tinyurl.com/GinghamInspire

  15. Mary, many of the links in this blog, I suspect the ones that give you the “kickback”, are not working and give a message about setting up web connections. Just an FYI

    1. Hi, Beth – if you’re trying to access them through the newsletter in your email, they don’t work. If you visit the blog post on the website, they’re all working. I mentioned that in Monday’s newsletter, and above in the comments. Just made some mistakes in coding before that newsletter went out. Sorry about that!

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