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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Historical Embroidery All Around!


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Good morning and Happy Weekend!

For your weekend entertainment, a little historical embroidery for you – from two different places. So let’s talk Opus Anglicanum and then a little crewel work!

I even have a discount code for you, for some gorgeous crewel embroidery kits…

Opus Anglicanum embroidery video

Over at the website for the Victoria & Albert Museum, you’ll find a nice little article on Opus Anglicanum, featuring a video demonstrating the techniques involved in this type of medieval embroidery.

The article is titled The Making of Medieval Embroidery. It’s short and sweet, and the video is rather mesmerizing to watch!

Historical Crewel Embroidery

If you’re a lover of crewel work – and historical crewel work at that – you just might want to know about a gorgeous new kit available from the Crewel Work Company.

Crown rose and thistle crewel work embroidery kit

The Glamis Rose, Crown, and Thistle crewel work kit is a new addition to the ever-growing line up of crewel embroidery kits offered at Crewel Work Company. Because it’s a new addition, it’s priced a little lower for its release – right now, it’s £199, through November 13. After that, it’s £250, so if it’s something on your Christmas list, now’s the time to get it!

Speaking of crewel work…

I set up my Mellerstain Firescreen kit that I showed you earlier this year. It’s one of my “winter kit projects” for the upcoming months. I figure it’ll take me through this winter…and next…and probably the next.

I’ll be sharing progress on that as I go, along with some organizational tips, since it’s rather a doozy, with lots of thread!

Crewel Work Company Discount Code

The Crewel Work Company is offering a 10% discount code to Needle ‘n Thread readers through the whole month of November. The code is NEEDLEN and there’s a place on the checkout page to add the code for an automatic discount.

So if you have a crewel work kit on your Christmas list – or any of their fabrics or tools – get it in November!

Coming Up on Needle ‘n Thread

I’ve got several things in the works for you. For one, I’ll show you what I’m working on – too many things, actually!

I’ve gotten stuck into two new pieces that I don’t want to put down. They’re better than a good book! (How do I get myself into these things?)

And I’m playing around with a relatively new-to-me thread. So far, I just love it! So we’ll have some thread talk coming up. I’m working with the company to get you a good deal on them, if you’re interested in trying them, too.

Well, I’m off to do housework and laundry and a little bit of cooking so I can stitch guilt free the rest of the weekend. Here’s hoping you’re having a wondrous weekend, too, wherever you are!


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(8) Comments

  1. I haven’t done crewel work in years. I found it so forgiving in terms of my mistakes. 🙂

    I’m anxious to hear more about your thread adventures. I have quite a hodgepodge of threads myself, many of which have no labels so they’re mystery fibers. But my friends are so generous in sharing their odds and ends of skeins they won’t use any time soon. I’m fine with that. I get out my threads and it’s like taking a trip over the rainbow.

  2. Dear Mary

    The Opus Anglicanum video is really good and would make a lovely kit to embroider, the Glamis Rose is also lovely and its great they have a discount at the moment. I can’t wait to see your new pieces of embroidery and the new thread you are working with that will be interesting. I hope you get all your housecleaning done so you can concentrate on your embroidery. Thanks for sharing with us the Crewel Work Company discount kits and for the link to the video very interesting.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  3. ‘The Making of Medieval Embroidery’ video is very slightly annoying in that it cuts away just as the couching thread is about to pull the gold to the back of the fabric – which is the crucial bit of underside couching!

    1. Yes, I thought the same thing when I saw it! I wonder if the embroiderer might have run into a little snag at that point, and it was easier just to edit that out. :-/ The other annoying thing is the superabundance of ads on the video. It’s not like the V&A will make much from those ads – is it really worth it, on such a “pretty” video, to ruin it with the ads? But overall, I think it’s worth watching. Seeing the work up close, you realize that each stitch doesn’t have to be absolutely perfect to create a nice effect!

  4. Mary, will be anxious to see you get started on the Mellerstain Firescreen. I purchased the kit last year and it’s one project I am afraid to jump into! I pull it out every so often and stare at it and think,,,someday! It’s such a beautiful piece.
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  5. Thanks for the link to the video clip, Mary. I find watching someone else sewing almost hypnotic! We had a programme on TV recently on the history of Embroidery with lots of references to Opus Anglicanum, and I’m awestruck at the quality of what they could achieve in the light available and without magnifiers, I presume!

  6. Loved seeing the video (thanks for sharing!). How wonderful to be in the tradition of such beautiful art. I’m looking forward to what you’ll be sharing with us on threads. I’ve been experimenting with using different threads (on Yumiko Higuchi designs) with Aurifil Lana wool, Nancy’s hand-dyed threads (from Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe), DMC, Cosmos 2-stranded (LOVE this thread; it comes off the spool in 2 strands, so no need to separate; but I’m not sure they’re making this particular type anymore), and Appleton’s. It’s so interesting to see how different the same design looks in the different threads. I’m actually beginning a linen scarf with all-over wool embroidery, so it’s been very helpful to do some experimenting with the various threads before I decide on one type to use, at least for this project. I also bought myself an early Christmas present of “His Eye is on the Sparrow” cross-stitch design from HeartstringSamplery (have you seen this chart? It is amazing! Stitch Count is 435 x 363). I figured this would be a good one to apply the 15-minutes-a-day rule for stitching! I love the needle arts and all their attendant accessories. Such a soothing way to sit in the world. Thanks again for sharing, Mary

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