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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56-Count: More than I Thought!


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Since the last time I updated you on this 56-count silk gauze project, I’ve progressed on it a lot more than I realized.

This means one of two things: Either, 1. I’ve had a whole lot of 15 minute stitching sessions; or 2. Those sessions have been a whole lot longer than 15 minutes.

Miniature Tree of Life on 56-count silk gauze

It’s a combination of both, I think. Plus, I’ve taken to stitching on it when I know I have other stuff to do, but I just can’t seem to settle on what to do next.

Every have that problem? I suspect I’m not the only one! I call it “Holiday Dinner Dishes Syndrome.” It happens after every holiday dinner, when it’s time do the kitchen, and the mess is pretty extensive, and you just don’t know where to start. The only thing for it is to plunge right in!

But instead of plunging in lately, I’ve paused to think at my embroidery frame.

It’s a good place to think! But it’s hard to tear myself away from it when the thinking’s done!

So I’ve almost finished the panel on the right side, which features an eagle swooping towards a running rabbit. In retrospect, I might have changed out some of the colors, to enhance the rabbit a little bit, but what’s done is done.

Besides, on this particular project, I’m not too keen on swapping out too many colors, as I don’t want to risk running out of threads.

On projects where I have the same type of thread on hand, I don’t mind switching out colors. But on this project, not only don’t I have this particular thread on hand, but it’s an over-dyed thread. I’m not sure how separate batches of color would turn out.

The background on the eagle panel isn’t complete, as you can see. My plan was to leave the backgrounds, anyway, for times when I need “mindless” stitching. I’ve needed a bit of mindless stitching lately, so I’ve been working on backgrounds, too!

Miniature Tree of Life on 56-count silk gauze

Hmmm…silk gauze is not the easiest stuff to photograph, but there’s a quick shot, anyway, of the whole thing so far.

Next time, I’ll set up a decent photo shoot with good lighting and a solid background, I promise!

More Information

If you’d like to read more about this project, here’s the list of articles I’ve written about it so far:

56 Count: Miniature Tree of Life – kit review, where you can find it

Setting up Silk Gauze for Embroidery – project set-up

Strategies for Stitching – working out some kinks in approach

Turning Corners & Keeping Things Straight – some tips on lining up the sides of the design to minimize errors in counting

The Peacock Panel – working on the left panel & some tips

If you want to find out what my “15 Minute Policy” is and how I apply it to projects, this post on managing time with embroidery might be of interest.

Stitching in the Wee Hours

In the interest of self-preservation, I’ve kept my frame set up this week so I can indulge in some quiet stitching time here and there, despite having 109 family members in town.

Nothing beats a bout of stitching in the wee hours of the morning, anyway, right? It’s a great way to start the day!

Hope your week’s going well! I will see you next Monday!


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(15) Comments

  1. Oh, it is coming along beautifully! Maybe what you “have to do next” is really just spend more time on this piece! I don’t think I really would have noticed the rabbit until you mentioned it; and now that you have, I prefer to see it as a pale ghost, some wishful thinking in the eagle’s eye, since we don’t want him to catch the bunny! In fact, knowing me, I probably would have eliminated the rabbit. Enjoy your reunion : )

  2. Dear Mary

    It’s great that you have had some stitching time with all your family members visiting the the panels on your project look lovely and you have progressed so much. Thanks for sharing your progress with us and I hope you are able to get more stitching done while you are busy with your family, I hope you having a great time it’s always nice to when family members visit, enjoy.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  3. You have made an amazing amount of progress on this. It’s magnificent. I adore the sun and pink clouds in the background of the eagle.

    I’ve read about your 15 minutes suggestion and like it. My problem for the last year is my lack of attention. It seems if I can’t finish a project within a week, I don’t want to start it. The idea of having the same thing lay around for months just gags me. I have 2 long term projects waiting, in the WIP stage, and they may stay that way for years. πŸ™‚ Perhaps you have a suggestion for staying focused on those long term items. My stitching bug has shrunk to ant sized and I need more of a rhinoceros beetle. LOL

  4. Hi Mary,

    “Holiday Dinner Dishes Syndrome” — familiar indeed. In our household we call it “creative procrastination.” We’re fond of a quotation from Robert Benchley: “Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn’t the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment.”

    Thank you for your recent set of posts on time management, finding time for stitching, organizing, etc. (Maybe you’ve always had them and I just didn’t focus on them). They’ve been hugely helpful (not just for stitching) and, yes, reassuring!



  5. This one is amazing – a real masterpiece! Your skills are beyond incredible! Thanks for photographing this stunning beauty!

  6. This is a really beautiful design Mary, and it’s amazing how much of the design you have completed. I can see why you keep coming back to it. It’s funny how some projects, which you prepare to be working on for the long-haul, seem to race ahead and overturn all preconceptions! Lovely to see progress on this very detailed work of art. πŸ™‚

  7. Wow – LOVE the snowflake on birch – quite beautiful! We use nature themed ornaments on our Christmas tree, so this post has got me thinking…

  8. I love your blog and have enjoyed your Tree of Life posts so much I broke down and bought the kit. Patiently waiting -I believe it’s shipping June 1st.

    I have a question–in one of your posts you talked about the stripyness of the grass in the center bottom medallion-you mentioned that you were going to rethink your stitching in those areas–may I ask what strategy you came up with??

    Santee, CA

    1. Hi, Deborah!

      Well, on the grass, I decided it really doesn’t matter so much, as long as you’re stitching horizontally – it sort of gives it that grassy layer look across the grass. If you’re stitching vertically, though, that’s where the problem comes in on grass. It just doesn’t look quite right.

      To avoid clusters of color from the overdyed threads in some areas of the design, try peppering them around an area, until the area is filled in. It uses up slightly more thread this way, but you don’t end up with clusters of the same color.

      Unfortunately, there’s one section of one panel where I didn’t pay attention to the thread color, because the change in color was so gradual and not really that noticeable when looking at the thread. After I stitched it up, the difference ended up being quite blocky. It was a yellow used in the eagle wings on the right side panel of the design, just to forewarn you! I think if I had used the “peppering” approach in that area, it would look better. Not every area needs it – and not every thread. It really depends on the design element that’s being stitched and the color change on the overdyed thread.

      I’m eager to get back to this project, but right now, I’ve got a couple things that need my attention more pressingly. I hope to get back to it in July!

    2. Thanks so much for your response–so nice of you to take the time to answer–

      I totally understand what you’re saying–I’ll keep it in mind when I get to the eagle wing which will probably be in a year–ha ha.

      Once again thank you for the tips.

      San Diego, CA

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