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 Good, the Bad, and the Utterly Amazing: Needlework News Snips


Amazon Books

This morning, let’s have a quick little chat about some needlework-related news bits – some information, some inspiration, and a little instruction, too!

It’s not a big list this time, just enough to get you through a few swigs of your morning brew.

Glasgow Bedspread Crewel Embroidery Project

Let’s start with the good news!

The Glasgow Bedspread Crewel Embroidery Kit

Way back in March, I ran a give-away for a Crewel Work Company embroidery kit. I posed a question about what kind of historical crewel kit you’d like to see come out next from Crewel Work Company, and the overwhelming response was a kit for the Glasgow Bedspread.

Glasgow Bedspread Crewel Embroidery Project

Now, the Glasgow Bedspread is an epic piece of crewel embroidery – and undertaking a project like this is epic, too, but The Crewel Work Company has indeed produced the kit!

There are several different options available for this kit, from a full kit with all the threads, a half kit with one color of each wool thread needed to complete it, linen and instructions only, and linen only. The piece is pretty huge – 75″ x 55″ – and the design is hand drawn on the linen twill for you.

Right now, there are only three full kit options left at the introductory price. After these three full kits are spoken for, the price on this particular piece with all the wool threads needed to complete it will jump up quite a bit, due to an increase in supply costs.

If you’re game to undertake something this epic and you want to read more about the project, it’s all right here on The Crewel Work Company website. If you want to create this heirloom piece, now’s a good time to sign up for the full kit, before the price increases by about £140.

Farewell to a Great Resource

And now some bad news. Sniffle.

And I can’t even link to the place to tell you it’s gone! Or tell you to go take advantage of it before it goes!

I have several favorite online resources for old embroidery books and patterns. By far, the best one out there now is Antique Pattern Library.

But once upon a time, in the not-too-distant past, University of Arizona had a whole database of documents relating to weaving and other textiles, and it included some real gems in the embroidery sphere.

It is, alas, no more.

On the bright side, you can find many of the U of A PDFs available through Antique Pattern Library. So you might take advantage of that and really browse the catalog at APL to find your favorites and download them.

Funny thing about the internet – you just never know how long the wonderful things we become accustomed to will be available (let alone, for free!).

Some Good Beady Instruction!

Ok, enough bad news!

If you’re keen on embellishing your embroidery projects with beads, you might enjoy reading this very informative article on beads put out by Nordic Needle.

The article explains about all different types of beads, their differences, their sizing, how they’re used – it’s really good reading, especially if you’re new to the bead scene or you’ve just wondered about sizing, shapes, uses, and so forth.

And some Utterly Amazing Inspiration

I saved the inspiration for last, so you can face today with a warm, fuzzy, happy feeling!

The embroidery work of Chloe Giordano is delicate, tiny, beautiful, realistic, adorable, detailed, perfect – there are so many adjectives you could use to describe her work!

Here’s a lovely video featuring Chloe and her embroidery story. It’s thoroughly enjoyable and well worth watching!

Chloe Giordano Embroidery

Just click on the photo above to go directly to the video on Vimeo.

You can visit Chloe Giordano’s website, too, to see more of her work. She also has a sort-of blog on Tumblr, where you can follow her process and see more of her work in progress.

Go Forth…

…and stitch! I hope it’s a good weekend for you to spend some quality time with your needle and thread!

Here in Kansas, Autumn is finally thinking about making an appearance. We woke up this morning to some gorgeous outdoor weather! Now, if only the flies and mosquitos would take the hint and go away…

This weekend, I’ll be working on a couple little projects to share with you. But first I have to go get some bookshelves for the big September Overhaul of my workroom. Eventually, I’ll share the whole Workroom Kerfuffle with you, too. And what a Kerfuffle it’s been. Golly!

Enjoy your weekend!


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(37) Comments

  1. Good Morning Mary! I almost had a heart attack when I read your post about the Univ. of Ariz, I just visited cs.arizona.edu on my iPad & found the website that I think we are discussing. No difficulty opening three random documents. Am I missing something?

  2. The weaving / textile resources hosted by the University of Arizona are still there. You can go to or to search for books on virtually all textile-related subjects, including embroidery.


  3. Clarification–I found the Digital Archives via a Google search link. When I visited cs.arizona.edu independently, it was a completely different page.

  4. I was just looking at Chloe Giordano’s work last night and was amazed to see her working with sewing thread, not floss. Then I seen the thimbles placed so you could tell the proportion of her designs. I never thought of working with anything other than floss type threads. Someone asked why I still buy books and magazines (I really don’t have the space for them) when you have the internet….well, this is a point in fact. I do have files crammed full of downloadable items but remember to transfer to a flashdrive or something because when my computer crashed I lost all my downloaded files. I just love real books when it comes to crafts. I use Kindle for reading books but I just can’t see buying craft books for it. All the work that must have been put into creating that database of patterns makes one wonder why they just got rid of it or did some technical blunder do away with it.

    1. Sandra, I have used the same type threads as I see in her photos for some of the tiny details/areas that I embroider and it works very well for me. It gives me just that “one more detail” I am looking for to enhance my work. 🙂 Good luck.
      I’m with you on the book thing too. I love books, somehow, a techie item just doesn’t do the same for me as “book in hand”…

  5. The article by Nordic Needle, while useful, gets off to a strange start by dividing beadwork into 1)loom weaving or 2) peyote work (which is NOT necessarily — not usually — applique work)! Fuzzy thinking! There are any number of surface embroidery techniques for applying beads to fabric or leather. “Lazy squaw” is only one! [And there is no such thing as a lazy squaw!”] Loom-woven beads are usually applied to a backing for strength and used for hat bands, belts, chokers, trim on garments or blankets, etc. Much joy can be found in stringing tiny beads on pre-stretched nylon thread and taking the needle back through to make — oh, my goodness! — all kinds of things: earrings, other jewelry, pots and whole dolls and other structures. Peyote is only one of the stitches used for this — and there are variations on peyote — not just one kind of peyote! This is the daisy beading little girls learn. There are sophisticated patterns practiced in Africa. I think it’s important to consider the thread used. Polyester is probably best for sewing small beads onto fabric. And a garment loaded with Size 10 beads will not be wearable. Better to sprinkle tiny beads or put just a small design. . . . I’ll have to try one of those Mill Hill kits someday.

  6. Your blog is so dangerous. I love your recommendations and BUY. So
    Now I have ordered the Glasgow bedspread. It was that or a conference trip.
    So now I must clear the calendar and set a determined work schedule. This will be a fabulous legacy gift as to “what is Aunt Darcy sewing again?” This and the Tristan casket should keep me busy. Oh the temptations!

    Many thanks, Darcy Walker

  7. All is not lost. I’m still able to access the U. Ariz. site, but 10 years ago, before the founder of the site died, he asked handweaving.net to incorporate all the U. Ariz. information on the latter site, and it has been maintained and updated ever since. See:

  8. I, too, am always sad to see good digital resources disappear into the ether. Have you tried looking at the Way Back machine to see if any of the resources are still available? I’ve managed to find some ‘missing friends’ through this site.


  9. How sad that the Arizona website has gone. It had many good books and articles. I wonder if APL or another group will be able to make some more of them available in due course?

    Chloe Giordano’s work is beautiful and very inspiring – thank you for that link, Mary.

  10. When a favorite website has been taken down, it’s always a good idea to go here:


    and plug in the old URL. Esp. for something hosted by a Univ., it’s likely the web archive will have taken a snapshot of the page. They usually go at least 1-3 layers deep. So all may not be lost. I’d appreciate your sharing the old URL as I’ve enjoyed your links to a variety of sources and sites over the years.

  11. Thanks Mary. BTW, how are you doing? It’s been awhile since you’ve notified us of your health status and what you’ve been up to lately in that regard. Please send this info as we remain concerned and involved in your well-being. Thanks again Mary.

  12. Hi Mary!

    Wow! ChloĂ«’s work is stunning – especially given how unplanned it us and how it’s done with one strand of sewing cotton! I’m thoroughly cowed!!! Having said that, I’ve done flowers in one strand of Pipers silk floss, so maybe I can after alll…

    Looking forward to your workroom photos. I love to look around fellow stitchers’ workspaces.

    Hope your health continues on the up!

  13. Oh, Mary, thank you, thank you for the bit on Chloe!!! She is a girl after my own heart. I wish I could actually meet her. I have to spend more time looking at her blog, etc. What fun.
    Also, thank you for the update on you!!! the other day. I always am so glad to see them. And so very glad the news is good. I keep you in my prayers. And will continue to do so.
    I’m sure you get tired of hearing this (LOL) but thank you again so very much for all that you do to teach and inform us, and for the lovely morning chats. I always look forward to them so much.

  14. I loved the Chloe Giordano video! I am just in love with her artwork, and I watched the video 3 times. Thank you for sharing that beautiful video! Wishing you a wonderful day…

  15. I think you may be looking for the list of patterns U of A made available. I saved this bookmark many years ago. You have to open and look at each source individually, but I can tell you that the DMC books are absolutely delightful.
    This is not the link others have provided. This is a very long list of individual documents in pdf form.


  16. I wonder if the files for the U of A site still exist, and if they’d allow them to be hosted on another site. No idea how large the entire site was, though. It might take up acres of space.

  17. Mary, I can’t get into the bead article on the Nordic needle site. I get an error message telling me it’s forbidden.

    1. Hi, Eileen – Hmmm. The link is working from this end, so I’m not exactly sure what to advise. Maybe try a different browser? Or maybe they just had a momentary glitch and if you try again, it will work?

  18. I am looking forward to hearing all about the Great Workroom Kerfuffle of 2016. Your blog is always a pleasure to read but I love seeing photos of your workroom!

  19. the good – that’s a gorgeous bedspread, sadly I’ll have to pass. there’s no way I’d get it done in my lifetime, and even if I did, I don’t know that I’d want to put it on a bed due to pets and others who would not treat it with care. Maybe it could be a wall hanging or curtain though?

    the bad – is there a chance there’s just some reorganization going on at U of A website and links are broken for now? If it’s gone, yes, I think I’ll try some of the ways others have gotten there so far and download what I can. This is an excellent example of why I hate to simply bookmark information on the internet.

    the amazing – Chloe’s work *is* amazing, it’s probably a good thing I can’t get to her blog from work for some reason.

    I’m looking forward to the Workroom Kerfluffle!

    1. You’re right, and that would be just the very top, with no hang over the edges. I wonder if it’s intended to be more a decorative piece draped over the foot of the bed?

  20. Re-Glasgow Bedspread. I would like to do it in D’Aubusson wool. Is there a conversion chart for Appleton wool colours to D’Aubusson?
    Or is there a colour chart for D’Aubusson without any conversion?
    I have used D’Aubusson in your Nesting Place course and absolutely loved it. Do you think it would be too fine? What about Rennaisance? I have never used that wool. I have read your review of crewel wools.

    1. Hi, Isabel –

      I don’t know if there is a color conversion chart anywhere for Appleton to D’Aubusson. I’ll have a look and around and ask, and see what I can come up with, but initial searching hasn’t yielded any results. Of course, you could always do the bedspread in your own choice of colors…

    2. Many thanks. I could buy the semi kit with one skein of each and then choose from the D’Aubusson colours the closest if I could get a chart for D’Aubusson colours.

      Would you say Rennaisance or D’Aubusson? I do not know Rennaisance, but your review is good.

    3. Thank you for all the information. I have now purchased the bedspread only in its linen, instructions, needles, form. I have been unable to find conversion charts, but have ordered the colour swatch for D’Aubusson from France, and will be buying the Appleton colour cards in the UK. There seems to be a boxed version online. D’Aubusson seems to have 120 colours, which is quite a lot. I may be able to order them through someone in the UK, or, if not, I will order directly (and slowly) from France.
      So good you featured this bedspread in your post.

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