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 Gifts that Keep on Giving


Amazon Books

With only a few more days until Christmas, I hope you’re not feeling any of the typical holiday pressure that builds up this time of year.

I generally avoid Holiday Burnout by putting things into perspective. I loathe the notion that Christmas is just about giving gifts for the sake of giving gifts.

A gift, in my mind, should always be something thoughtful, something tailored for the recipient, something that will delight, something given out of love, to make someone happy – and it doesn’t have to be complicated! If it’s none of the above, well…skip it. Giving your time, your friendship, a shoulder to lean on, cheerful encouragement, help when there’s need – those are the best gifts, anyway, and they can be given at any time.

Still – it’s fun to receive prezzies! A gift that delights, that surprises, a gift suited perfectly to you, with real thought behind it – who doesn’t like that?!

If you’re worried about giving a gift to a fellow needlework enthusiast – or if you know that your children, your husband, your wife, your parents, your loved ones are in a state of consternation over what to get you for Christmas – here are some excellent gift ideas for creative people that can’t miss the mark. They’re gifts that keep on giving, and that can still be had without paying overnight shipping – or, better yet, without going on some crazed hunting frenzy in crowded shops late into the night on the day before Christmas.

Embroidery Subscription Box

The Broder Box

Did you know that there are some pretty interesting subscription boxes out there for embroidery enthusiasts?

I love the idea of a subscription box. It’s one of those things I’ve wanted to do through Needle ‘n Thread for several years, but I don’t have the space or the means to make it happen yet.

Still, I love the fact that other embroidery businesses do them! The concept is simple – it’s like the fruit subscription boxes that have been around for eons! You pay for a year long subscription (or whatever the terms are), and receive once a month (or whatever the time frame is) a package in the mail with a collection of “treats” in it.

Embroidery treats. What could be better?!

Chocolate treats are always nice. And fruit is nice, too.

But they’re gone before you know it!

But embroidery treats last and last and last. They morph into amazing things that last and last and last. They inspire creativity! They give you something to do! They give you a springboard for making things! Embroidery treats lead to Wondrous Things.

One of my favorite subscription boxes – I think it’s well done, creatively thought through, and affordable – is the Broder Box from Nordic Needle. Their 2017 box subscription is still available for a short time for sign-up, and it would make a great gift!

In the photo above, you can see their last box of 2016 – the turquoise box. In 2016, the Broder Box theme was “birthstones,” and December’s was turquoise, so everything in the box revolves around that theme. In this case, it’s color, and there’s a nice selection of specialty threads in brilliant turquoises, some beads, and a cute little pair of turquoise scissors.

Each month, you’ll find different things in the box, from tools to threads to embellishments. And along with the treats, you’ll find a card with log-in information to the subscribers’ section of their website, where they feature projects and ideas for the box contents.

It’s so fun! Every month, there’s something new to look forward to, and something special that you’ve probably not seen before or tried before, to delight in.

In 2017, the theme is the Zodiac. While I’m not really into the Zodiac when it comes to horoscopes and the like, I do love the constellations and the starry skies. Next year’s boxes promise some sparkly wonders, and I’m looking forward to seeing what they are!

So, if you’re looking for that kind of knock-me-dead-with-the-perfect-fun-embroidery-gift-that-keeps-on-giving… you might check out the Broder Box from Nordic Needle. You can read all the delectable details here.

Give the Gift of Online Classes for Christmas

Online Classes

When it comes to giving the gift of creativity, there’s no greater way to do that than to give the gift of knowledge first. It’s hard to get creative when you don’t really know where to start, or you don’t have the skills to start!

Online classes make a terrific Christmas gift, and there are different approaches you can take to giving them as gifts.

For very affordable, solid instruction in embroidery, the classes on Craftsy are a wonderful option. Craftsy has made it very easy to gift online classes this year, and you can read how to do that here.

Craftsy offers a nice line-up of embroidery classes, so you’ll definitely find something there for most embroidery enthusiasts!

Ultimate Online Embroidery Classes

If you’re looking for something a little more involved, a little more challenging, or a gift that would fulfill someone’s dream, you might consider checking out the selection of online classes available through Thistle Threads.

Any one of them would make a very special gift for a very special someone…or for you! For fine needlework enthusiasts, skilled needleworkers, artists who enjoy a challenge, or historical embroiderers, they would be the dream gift!

Other Online Options…

You can always give the stitching people in your lives e-books for Christmas!

I have a little selection of them available in my online shop – and they’re fun!

Stitch Sampler Alphabet is the most popular ebook in my shop, probably because it covers such a variety of stitches. It’s a great springboard for all kinds of creative endeavors!

But there are other ebooks and digital embroidery patterns out there, too. Etsy is full of them!

Several that I like especially:

Trish Burr’s digital shop – you can find lots of Trish’s designs available here for instant download in PDF format.

mmmcrafts – check out her “Twelve Days of Christmas” felt ornaments – they’re adorable!

And of course, there’s The Floss Box, which is just packed full of adorable, beautiful, and downloadable embroidery patterns.

Gifting downloadable PDFs is easy. You can either use the recipient’s email address as the delivery address for the download link (in some cases you can put in a different email address), or you can simply transfer the file to the recipient and delete it from your device. You can also load the file on a cute flash drive and give it that way. Remember, you can’t keep a copy for yourself and gift it – that would be dishonest, a violation of copyright, and just downright mean.

Settle Down and Stitch!

With the last few days of the pre-Christmas rush upon us, I hope you get some quiet time to settle down and do some stitching. It’s the ultimate form of relaxation for people like us, isn’t it?

I’ve been working away on a few projects in quiet moments. I’ll be sharing progress with you after Christmas. One of the projects, I haven’t shown to you yet. I’m finding it horribly absorbing! It’s hard to tear myself away from it. This could be detrimental when it comes to getting anything else accomplished!

Tomorrow’s the last give-away in A Stitcher’s Christmas, featuring another nice set of books, so keep an eye out for that! I’ll also be announcing the winner of Trish Burr’s cardinal kit. There’s still time to join in on that one if you haven’t yet!

Hope the rest of your week is quietly splendid! See you tomorrow!


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(12) Comments

    1. Hi, Connie – it looks like they were ending up in the spam filter. I’ve taken care of that, so they should show up now. Not sure why they were ending up there!

  1. We here at The Wooly Thread have a subscription of sorts that we call our Appleton Club. It has been going for more than 10 years now and members get 35-36 skeins of Appleton wool embroidery threads every month and by the end of the year they have all 423 colors. It’s been working out great and I see no end to it.

  2. Dear Mary

    Long time no reply. Thanks so much for all the lovely give-aways they were/are lovely. I agree with you on the needlework subscription I wasn’t aware they existed, but I love the idea and I would love a present like this in my Christmas stocking. I’m looking forward to hearing all about the projects you have been working on. I hope you achieve some quiet Christmas stitching and enjoy the run up to Christmas. Thanks you for sharing with us all the different needlework subscription ideas.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  3. Dear Mary, just wanted to take this opportunity (while the Comments section is a bit quieter!) of sending you a big ‘Thank You’ for your inspiration and help throughout the year. It was finding your site that put me on the road to expand my interest in embroidery, and show me that there are so many different fascinating forms. Have a lovely Christmas and I hope all goes well in 2017.

  4. I learned as child that gifts are generally disappointing. Most years now I get no gifts for any occasion.

    For a number of years I would buy my new work appointment book ($4.95) in December and husband would give me that as a gift. Then I switched to a Palm and computer (which I still use). Then for awhile there were bear figurines which I liked – $10 and less each – and we would buy some when we went away as they were not sold locally and he would “sell” some to family to give to me. The figurines were discontinued about 15 years ago and that mostly ended my getting gifts. Occasionally when we are at Colonial Williamsburg there will be a greatly discounted book of interest on history, needlework or such and we will buy it and I will put it away to get for Christmas.

    I convinced my family not to trade gifts among the adults due to the fact that no one knew what to get any one else – I was convinced (correctly) that each year I would buy a sweater for my sister with the gift card I received from returning the gift she gave me the year before, from Sears, while she did the same with my gift.

    Our budget when buying gifts for family used to be $40 per person. It is now $25 for each of his two young nieces and $25 checks for my 3 twentysomething niece and nephews. Nothing for anyone else in the family.

    If he sees something which catches his eye – generally discounted DVDs or CDs at Costco or Walmart – he will buy it. This year there is a surprise for him – I saw a pen which is also a level and a ruler for $4.95 and bought it on the one day a month I am out without him.

    And I am getting a gift this year too. We were at a farmer’s market out of state and a booth there again, after an absence of a year or so, had the hair clips I use and buy from them, at the usual price – 4/$1 and I bought 4. I am just not sure if I will wrap each separately to make him happy that I am opening things or just wrap them together.

    Most of our holiday is the decorating. We are now up to 5 trees – all artificial. The main, large tree is assorted ornaments. Some decades ago teddy bear ornaments were taking over the tree and we used the top of an older tree for a short teddy bear tree which has since developed into a surrounding teddy bear figurine village also. We had purchased and uses a shorter tree due to circumstances for a couple of years about a decade ago. I now use this for some of our handmade ornaments as they were taking over the main tree also. I divide the handmade ornaments between the two and set this one up in our studio. Similarly we are donors to Colonial Williamsburg for some decades and the lovely brass ornaments they send each year were becoming a bit too much of the tree, so last year we bought a small tree and almost all of the CW ornaments go on it, some duplicate ones also go on the main tree. Lastly there is a beaded tree I made decades ago. It has the advantage that the ornaments stay on it and I only need to replace the ones which have fallen off.

    We also decorate inside the house in the 18th century style (around all this modern stuff) with greens (again artificial) over the windows and on the stair rail, as well as an assortment of modern items collected over the decades. The decorating being most of our holiday.

    Outside only a few light strands on bushes and a wreath on the door.

  5. If you are giving away Trish’s redbird, I definitely want to be in that drawing. Her work is beautiful and I would love to win the kit. Kay H

  6. Hi Mary,

    This is a great article. I was so inspired, I signed up for the Broderi Box at Nordic needle. They happily took my money and assured me they send internationally (I am in Australia). Order confirmation stated late December as shipment date.

    Naturally, because of the holidays some delay can occur. I waited for nearly half of January and sent them an inquiry. After a few days silence, I was told it will be sent on the first or second week of January. At the start of week 3, I inquired again and was given this excuse:
    “Since the Broderi box Subscription was opened at two different times for sign up because Mary Corbit mentioned the boxes, it opted for more people to sign up. Truthfully, we did not have enough supplies to complete all of January Subscriptions. You will receive shipping notification when it ships.”

    There is no name or surname on their responses. They took a lot of money from me and are now hiding behind these excuses.

    I gather you deal with them regularly and they appeared trustworthy. However, my experience is the opposite and should be shared as well.

    1. Hi, Zoe – I’m so sorry to hear that! I think the boxes will all arrive before the end of January – here’s hoping. I haven’t received mine, either, but the shipping notifications just went out, so I’m hoping for it this coming week.

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