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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It’s promising to be a bright, sunny morning here in Kansas – a perfect morning for sipping a cup of tea with the window barely cracked (it’s chilly!), just so I can hear the birds. There are lots of birds out and about this morning!

So, join me with a cup of something, and let’s meander through some needlework and embroidery newsy bits and pieces, shall we?

Needlework & Embroidery News

In no particular order, here are some goings-on, some bits of inspiration, and links to things that might interest you, if you’re interested in embroidery. Ready?

Needlework Supplies on Sale and Other Sweet Deals

You might remember that I reviewed the Stella task lamp a while back, and I gave one away. The gal who won it tells me she uses it Every Single Day and loves it. Well, if you’ve been thinking about a new task lamp, the Stella is on sale at Erica’s Craft & Sewing Center. I don’t know how long they’ll be priced 20% off, but they’re definitely worth checking out if you need a task lamp.

Over at The Crewel Work Company, Phillipa Turnbull has released a gorgeous kit called Jacobean Idyll. It has all the elements that make traditional crewel work so captivating – color, motion, life…and bunnies. They also have an exquisite bone china mug with the Jacobean Idyll design on it available – a perfect stitcher’s gift! If you happen to order the kit today or tomorrow (the deal ends tomorrow, I believe), you get the mug for free!

Some Inspiration

If you love crazy quilting, you are probably already familiar with Pam Kellogg at Kitty & Me Designs. She has two crazy-quilt related publications that will feed your need for inspiration available right now, and you’ll find them in the sidebar of her blog. One is the Spring Edition of her magazine, Crazy Quilting Quarterly (you can order a print version or a digital version – the digital version is free with the print version) and she has a really nice 2015 Crazy Quilting Calendar available, too. I always like to have a needlework-related calendar hanging in my workroom. It inspires me, but it also keeps me on task!

Speaking of inspiration, I’m in love with Elisabetta’s blog, Ricami a Mano. I await each of her blog posts eagerly, and I’m always excited when they show up in my feedreader. Elisabetta embroiders beautifully, in the finest tradition of embroidery, and her latest embroidered monograms are no exception. And her latest post on a needle painting piece? Well… Lovely stuff!

Soundweaving is all over the internet right now. I’m not sure if I should explain what it is, or just let you explore it and be surprised! Ok, I’ll explain. It’s a collaborative project between two Hungarians who took traditional Hungarian folk patterns (the counted kind) and turned them into music, by using the punch-hole method that reminds me of how music boxes, player pianos, and so forth used to work. And they produce music with embroidery patterns. It’s interesting!

Do you want to embroider gauntlets? You know, gloves with decorative cuffs? I came across this design for an embroidered gauntlet cuff at the Met Museum, in case that’s where you’re headed with your next embroidery project.

And speaking of 17th century embroidery, over on Lady’s Repository, she’s making teeny tiny stumpwork figures. They’re small! They’re fun! They’re really well done!

Speaking of Crazy Quilting (I know we weren’t just speaking of it…but this is how unorganized my list is!), have you ever seen Gerry Krueger’s hand painted antique buttons? I think they are so precious, and she has bunnies and chicks available right now for spring. I could definitely see one (or more!) of these on a spring-themed or garden-themed crazy quilt! They’d also make adorable needle minder magnets…

Over on the blog Calligraphy Pen (yeah, I know – it’s not embroidery…), there’s an excellent article on deconstructing (and reconstructing) vine work for calligraphy designs. Hey, guess what? It applies equally as well to embroidery designs! It’s good! If you like vines for designs, read it!

Oh, speaking of designs, are you familiar with the artwork of Cynthia Emerlye? She produces a lot of coloring book pages, and so many of them would translate into fantastic embroidery pieces! She has an Etsy shop with digital downloads, but you can also purchase coloring books from her, and she also has a blog where she announces what she’s up to, shows progress on her pieces, and so forth. Worth visiting, especially if you like grown-up coloring and interesting designs that can be adapted to needlework.

Oh, and speaking of designs again, Graphics Fairy posted two embroidery designs recently – this corner design that’s quite vine-y, and this double monogram frame design, that’s quite pretty – perfect for a wedding monogram, methinks. Or a Valentine. Awwwwwww….

And speaking of Valentines, I’ll leave you with this little bit from the Metropolitan Museum of Art – a cap with a traditional German folk design on it, worked in goldwork.

I think we should all wear hats like those, don’t you?

Go forth and enjoy the weekend!


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(14) Comments

  1. Speaking of colouring book pages – have you seen the work of Sue Coccia? Incredibly intricate “totem” animals – worth googling. Could be wonderful embroideries.


  2. Dear Mary

    There is a lot going on in the embroidery world, great news that Hedgehog Handworks is having a sale they are the only online store that sales decent linen. The soundweaving with embroidery patterns is interesting and I really like Ricamo a Mano embroidery really beautiful stuff and the Traditional German folk design is absolutely beautiful. thanks for sharing all the snip bits of embroidery really good to know whats going on in the needle world. I hope you have a great weekend.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  3. Hi Mary
    I have a question. I bought a lovely book about drawn thread embroidery. I spent most of the day today preparing the fabric and attaching it to the frame. Finally I began to stitch one of the flowers that form the top border. I immediately realised that the evenweave fabric wasn’t at all even. So my question is : is it because the fabric I bought was not the best quality. Or are all evenweaves not actually even? Can you advise me on a good one that would be easily available?
    Thanks in advance for your advice. Have a great weekend.

    1. If linen is sold as an even weave, it should be even. But some even weaves have thicker and thinner threads in the warp or weft, so that could the problem. You might try a Legacy linen through locally owned needlework shops that carry goods from Access Commodities. They have 30 and 34 count linens that are nice. If you’re looking for a higher count linen – something that might be suitable, for example, for Schwalm whitework or the like, Alba Maxima would be a good choice, but it’s not sold as an absolute even-weave. I prefer Legacy linen to others (like Zweigart, for example) because the warp and weft threads tend to be much more consistent in thickness. ~MC

    2. Thanks, I’ve just checked an inch square and the thread count is 28 one way and only 24 the other. I’ll try to find some legacy linen in the UK.

  4. The Soundweaving site is interesting particularly when thinking of embroidery and folk dancing. Links in with Marion Nichols’ description of stitch rhythms in her encyclopaedia of embroidery stitches.

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