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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Have a Heart…Embroidered with Flowers & Goldwork


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Valentine’s Day is coming up. It’s that time of year when people pay special attention to their True Loves.

Ah, me! *Sigh*

Don’t worry, I’m most certainly not going mushy on you.

But I am going to get a bit gooey over some goldwork.

Goldwork! Now there’s something to sigh over. Doesn’t it just make you weak in the knees?

Ok, seriously, several years ago, I shared this embroidery pattern for a heart filled with flowers, and Barbara McNabb, a reader down in New Zealand, embroidered a lovely version of it. Her guild – a group of about 35 at the time – was doing a display with a theme of hearts, and the pattern was shared in their newsletter for inspiration.

I just love what she did with the embroidery!

Embroidered Heart with Flowers and Goldwork

Barbara enlarged the original Heart o’ Flowers embroidery design to about 4.5 x 5″ before stitching it.

Embroidered Heart with Flowers and Goldwork

The ground fabric is silk dupioni. The floss is DMC stranded cotton. And the embellishments include goldwork threads, spangles, beads, and an assortment of little crystals.

Embroidered Heart with Flowers and Goldwork

I especially like the combination of colors Barbara used on the piece, and the fact that the background is blue and not red or white or pink!

I think the blue really enlivens the whole piece.

Embroidered Heart with Flowers and Goldwork

The design allows for a lot of variety in stitching techniques, and Barbara really took advantage of that, using many goldwork threads and techniques, from Or Nué to chip work with purls, to couching and outlining with various types of threads.

It’s like a little sampler, all tucked away in a heart!

Embroidered Heart with Flowers and Goldwork

And the various crystals – many that are flower shaped – used for the centers of the flowers fit right into the theme. A brilliant touch!

I’d love to see this piece in person. I bet it glitters and gleams!

Embroidered Heart with Flowers and Goldwork

And the finish? It’s an exquisite sweet bag constructed in a semi-heart shape, with a hand made cord and a glorious tassel.

And it’s just beautiful.

Now, that’s what I call a Valentine!

Valentine’s Day Embroidery Patterns

If you’re wanting to stitch up something for your little lovey for Valentine’s Day, here are some free embroidery patterns that might do the trick:

Valentine – a scalloped, flowered heart (accompanied by my world-famous poem, Will You Be Mine?)
Heart o’ Flowers – the design Barbara used, along with an explanation of my corny name for it.
L-O-V-E in a Box – Since love is a four-letter word, it grids up nicely into a box!


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(19) Comments

  1. Quite impressive, Miss McNabb! The techniques are blended very nicely and all of the colours go very well together. Well done!

    I like this pattern, Mrs. Corbet. I wasn’t too sure about it when I first saw the pattern for it, but now seeing it stitched, I definitely see some stitching possibilities!


    P.S. Speaking of that poem – Will You Be Mine? – I think it is a great poetical work, Mrs. Corbet. I certainly had a laugh the first time I read it 🙂

  2. Dear Mary

    Barbara’s sweet bag is beautiful and all that goldwork and full of all different types of goldwork which blend in nicely with each other in such a small space, the cord and tassel are beautiful. My favourite is the Or Nue and chip work with purls beautiful. Lovely work Barbara. Thanks for sharing this piece with us Mary and for showing us the different goldwork techniques very inspiring, it’s interesting what you can achieve in such on such a small design.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  3. Thanks Barbara and Mary for sharing this, it’s lovely!

    I’m experiencing a several month ‘bald patch’ as far as interest in embroidery goes, but this is the sort of project (this and yesterday’s lovely book review) that holds a fair promise of re-invigorating me. =)

  4. My goodness that is just gorgeous. I love the gold work, and all the different stitches and embellishments. Thanks for sharing that, Mary. It is very inspiring. Thanks also for the patterns.

  5. Mary, can you recommend some resources (books, videos, articles, whatever) on incorporating beads into embroidery? I’ve got a niece-in-law whose favorite color is sparkle, and I’d love to make her something blingy!

  6. This is very beautiful Barbara. Thanks Mary for sharing it.
    I am surprised at how quickly you ladies work. It takes me more than a month to embroider this. Good for you. 🙂

  7. I am always amazed at what needle artists can create from a lovely line drawing! What a fantastic piece of art she created from yours! Sigh, heart o’ hearts.

  8. Congratulations Barbara. It is a lovely little piece of work. I am starting to feel as though I could be tempted into trying some goldwork – everything else I have seen has been too daunting but this looks so pretty. Thank you both, Barbara and Mary for sharing it with us.

  9. That’s a lovely piece! Like you Mary, I really like the blue background. I’m also especially enamored with the leaves; my eye is drawn to them like a bee to a flower.

  10. Wow, Barbara has done a really spectacular job on this! Flawless stitching, and she has used so many wonderful textures and materials. And I am impressed with the perfect finish too! Great job, Barbara, and thanks for the photos Mary!

  11. This is beautiful work, Barbara. I’m only starting to get my eye in to identify work – I haven’t yet spotted the Or Nue. Could you please point me to it and help my education?

    Thank you very much.

  12. I am a member of Barbara’s Guild, and I have seen the bag up close and personal. It is just exquisite, and beautifully stitched as all her pieces are. She is a craftswoman par excellence, and we are all very proud of her work.

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