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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Variegated Embroidery Thread & Ribbed Wheels


Amazon Books

Woooohooooo! This is me, in a good mood. Why? Not because it’s Tax Day. No, no! It’s better than that!

(Well, that wouldn’t be too difficult, would it?)

Yesterday, I reached a Milestone in the preparation of my Stitch Sampler Alphabet e-book that will launch on the world in the not-too-distant future.

I printed it for proofing. That’s practically Monumental. It means I’m almost there.

Stitch Sampler Alphabet is a hefty little instructional and project e-book, printing at about 120 pages. Lots of detailed stitch instructions! Lots of fun stitch combinations! Lots of color! Lots of samples!

And lots of work!

While it was printing, I was damp stretching this:

Embroidered Monogram V

The letter above was just an experiment.

I was playing around with variegated embroidery threads. I used the ribbed spider web stitch all the way down one side of the letter, with each little ribby thing (I guess you could call them flowers) being no more than 1/4″ in diameter, and some a bit smaller.

I worked all the foundation stitches in yellow down the side of the V, first. Then I took two pieces of variegated embroidery thread (in this case, coton a broder #25), a pink variegated thread and a purple variegated thread.

Starting at the top of the V with the purple variegated thread, I wrapped the first ribbed spider web. Then I started the pink thread and wrapped the next one (it’s the big pink one you can see at the top in the photo above).

I didn’t end the threads. I just kept working down the line, alternating colors sometimes, but not ending the thread until I was out of thread.

This provided me with a number of shades of the two colors – pink and purple – without having to change my threads out for each flower!

Embroidered Monogram V

As I moved down the line and realized that some of the shades would be too close to each other, I would skip ahead a couple flowers, and then come back to the skipped one. This way, I would reach new shades on the variegated thread, for flowers situated right next to each other.

You can see my favorite effect with the variegated thread on that larger purple flower right in the middle of the photo above. I love it when the shades change noticeably on this type of stitch. You end up with a little more depth of color and interest, thanks to the slight shift in shades in the thread – and without having to work for it!

Woven Wheel Stitch

You can see the same effect going on in the sample photo above from the woven wheel stitch video.

Never underestimate the power (and convenience) of variegated threads, even when used on the simplest of stitches!

In the meantime, I’m plugging away on the Stitch Sampler Alphabet e-book, and I’ll let you know the release date soon. It’ll certainly be before the end of April.

If you want to see some samples of the letters from the Stitch Sampler Alphabet, you can find plenty of photos in the following articles:

D is for Doing

25 Stitches & Combinations, and a Goal

End of Summer, End of a Project

Buds on a Vine – a Stitch Fun Tutorial

Stitches and Colors and Letters, Oh My!

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(20) Comments

  1. BEAUTIFUL! GORGEOUS! SO ready for this pattern to come out and will be one of the first to purchase Miss Mary! My bank card is quivering and on ready! LOL!
    Thanks for all you do –
    Barbara in TN

  2. I am so excited that the alphabet sampler is close! I have been wondering and didn’t want to bug you 😉
    I like variegated threads in moderation; I especially like the ones (harder to find) with longer transitions so they avoid the striped look.
    As always, thank you for the inspiration!

  3. The more you have talked about this sampler the more I have wanted to do one of my own, frame it, and put it up on the wall of our new apartment. I may! I just may! ‘Course, that will mean my other projects fall the wayside. 🙂

    1. Hi, Maureen – The letters are a heap of fun! But keep in mind, it isn’t a “sampler” in the sense of a whole alphabet sampler. It’s a stitch sampler alphabet – individual decorative letters with a whole sampling of stitches.

  4. So glad you’ve reached another milestone! Keep on, Mrs. Corbet! You can do it!

    How is your ‘feather a day’ coming on the SGH?


  5. Just beautiful, Mary. I am so looking forward to the release of your Alphabet Stitch Sampler and will purchase it as soon as it is available. Have a grand day. Louisa

  6. Adding to Sarah’s post…. oh yes exciting and there is such a sense of ‘relieved’anticipation because we already know that it’s going to be an incredibly instructional book without having to cruise the net for reviews or pray that Amazon has enough of a sample to see what the book is truly like. I love the topic too….Monograms! Can’t wait Mary and congrats on the milestone!

  7. Dear Mary

    Woohoo nearly ready I can’t wait so excited and 120 pages wow that’s a lot and plenty to browse through and I can’t wait for the detailed instructions, I’ve been waiting for this for so long it’s great news. I love the way you have used the spider web stitch in the letter above and I like the alternate colours of the thread you have chosen which also look lovely. I like variegated thread as well and I like the way the colour changes as you stitch with it, it’s so nice. Thanks for sharing this exciting news with us and for showing your experiment with variegated thread.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  8. Just to enjoy the beauty of these letters I went back and reread all your posts about this eBook. I am patiently waiting for you to finish. No really, I am not at all impatient. Yes, my fingers are getting itchy, and notions about the letter M and aggressively intruding into my thoughts. (We are expecting little Matilda,our first grandchild to arrive any day.) As a crazy quilter I see these lovely letters appearing in my CQ projects for years to come.

  9. Hi Mary:

    I’m so excited about the new book. My birthday is this month so i’m going to treat myself if the price isn’t too dear!! can’t wait.

  10. I love variegated thread, I have recently done some smocking with it and it looks lovely.

    Also love the woven wheels – and used a variant of this for one of the motifs in my RSN certificate crewelwork piece which I am working on.

    Love both the thread, and the stitches 🙂

    1. Just a follow up question…and hoping you can answer. Do you have any idea on the price yet? The reason I ask is so that I can figure it into my needlework budget.

  11. Hi Mary,
    Thank you so much for all the effort you have put in to this e-book. I join the long list of those who ‘can’t wait’ till it’s ready. Definitely on my list to purchase!

  12. Great news on the book!

    I’m wondering why, if it’s an ebook, are you printing it out? Or are you like me, you can look at an error in spelling or format, or unclear instruction for days without seeing it, but the minute it hits paper, see it like it’s in huge red letters?

    1. Hi, Gail – Most people who purchase my e-books tend to print at least some pages out, if not the whole book, since they’re instructional books. So I need to know how it looks in print, whether I need to make changes in layout, I need to have an idea of eye appeal, text flow and so forth, when printed. This is just the first time I’ve printed the whole thing out, but chances are, I’ll print at least one more copy – and probably two – before the ebook is ready.

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