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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News Snips: Textiles, Costumes, Needlework Travel & Winners!


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Happy First Saturday of June! Hard to believe it’s June, isn’t it?

This month marks the 11th anniversary of Needle ‘n Thread! I think I’ll have to do something special for you, come mid-month. Any suggestions?

I’ve had some fun gathering together some needlework news snips for your weekend perusal, and yes, the winners of last week’s silk thread give-away!

This week, it’s a bit o’ this and a bit o’ that. Travel seems to be on my mind lately, so there’s quite a bit on textile or needlework related travel.

Grab a cup of your favorite liquid indulgence – for me, it’s a creamy cup of beaten coffee this morning – and let’s go for a wander!

Needlework News Snips, June 2017

First, the business part of things…

Silk Thread Winners

A few weeks ago, we took a close look at Sajou’s Fil au Chinois #30 – a luxurious silk twist that comes on spools. Needle in a Haystack offered some for a give-away, and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to get the threads into some of your hands!

So, without further ado, the three randomly-drawn winners of the give-away for six spools each of their choice of colors, are Susan (momlady), Sandra Visser, and Ruth Scott.

Congratulations, gals! I’ve sent you each an email. I look forward to hearing from you!

Thanks to all who participated. I loved reading about your favorite color schemes!

Beetle Wings!

Beetle wings are a gorgeous natural embellishment that have been used in embroidery for centuries, especially in the Far East. In the 1800’s, they became a popular adornment for ladies’ dresses and other accessories.

Over on Angela Clayton’s Costumery & Creations, Angela is making up her own version of an 19th-century style dress adorned with wings and sequins. Take a look!

If you’re interested in beetle wing embroidery, you might enjoy these previous articles on Needle ‘n Thread:

Preparing Beetle Wings for Embroidery
Beetle Wings and Goldwork
Shisha with Beetle Wings

Time to Dream About Travel!

When summer approaches, the travel bug always bites. And while lately I haven’t had the opportunity to go far afield, I dream about travel – and needlework related travel is high up there on my Someday List.

If you’ve been dreaming about taking part in an extraordinary travel adventure where you learn needlework from highly qualified tutors, in unique and inspiring surroundings, you should definitely put Lady Anne’s Needlework Retreats on your list! They feature just about everything I desire in a needlework trip.

The folks at Crewel Work Company have recently posted their new retreats for 2018 and 2019, so there’s still plenty of time to save your pennies. I’m particular captivated by the All England Tour, Part I, which features Alison Cole as an instructor.

Someday. Someday. But if you can do it, do! And then tell me all about it!

Dressing Napoleon

If you’re into costuming and history, you might enjoy the podcast over on American Duchess, about dressing Napoleon. Fun to listen to for costumers!

There are lots of aspects of the Regency era that I like, including their textiles, clothing, and embellishments. If you’re into that era and you’re here in the US, and you’re thinking of a summer road trip, you might enjoy the idea of the Jane Austen Festival this summer in Louisville, Kentucky. It looks like there are a couple classes there that could be interesting, including one on making a reticule (or small draw string purse).

Summer Activity: Online Beginner’s Embroidery Class!

Craftsy has introduced a new online beginner’s embroidery class. It’s one of their “startup library” classes, for those who are just starting out in embroidery. It covers all the basics, as well as a bunch of stitches. You’ll also learn how to get started stitching commercially available embroidery designs and your own designs, how to implement embroidery on usable things (like clothing) and all kinds of information to get the very beginner started on the road to stitching.

I bring it up primarily because it’s almost summer vacation for schools here in the US. Summer is a great time to get youth involved in stitching, and I think this class looks like a good way to do that. If you want to learn to stitch, if you have kids who want to learn to stitch – wouldn’t it be fun to do it together?

Because it’s part of their start-up library, the class is a bit more expensive than most Craftsy classes. It’s also about twice as long, with thirteen video lessons and all kinds of downloadable class materials. One of the great things about Craftsy classes is that, once you’re in, you have access whenever you want, wherever you want. This is great for kids – they can revisit lessons over and over again.

If you’re keen to learn or you know someone who is, take a look!

Do You Love Lace? And Italy?

Over on the website Beautiful Now, there’s a colorful and interesting article about lace-making in Burano, Italy.

If you want to read more about the lace of Burano, you might enjoy Burano Lace: A Brief History on Laura Morelli’s website.

If you’re not familiar with Laura Morelli, she’s an historian who writes travel books that focus on artisan works in different parts of Europe. She offers advice on where to find artisan works (from textiles to perfume to soap to chocolate to gondolas!), where to find workshops to see such things being made, what to buy, what not to buy, how to avoid getting ripped off.

You can find many of Morelli’s books available on Amazon, in Kindle editions, or you can find most of the books used if you want a real book. Made in Venice is still available new through Amazon, and it covers carnival masks, textiles, Venetian lace, glass, paper, and, yes, gondolas. (Of course!)

They’re interesting guide books that make great gifts for makers who are travel enthusiasts.

Charting Designs for Self-Published Books

As many of you probably know – but for those who don’t and want to know! – Yvette Stanton authors some darned excellent books on different types of needlework.

What you might not know is that all her books are entirely hers from start to finish, no publisher involved. This means she not only does all the stitching of all the projects, takes all the photographs, researches and writes the content, but she also does all the graphic, layout, and design work for each book. That’s a Monumental Undertaking!

Recently, she shared information on what she uses to make her charts for her books. It’s technical, but it’s good reading! If you’re curious about that kind of thing, take a look!

For Sampler Enthusiasts!

If you love to stitch historical samplers, you might be interested in the give-away going on at We Talk Fiber. That’s the FiberTalk podcast page.

On their latest mid-week chat from this week, they’re giving away a copy of The Old Scott sampler chart from Hands Across the Sea Samplers.

How’s it work? At the end of the podcast, they pose a question to answer in the comments under this week’s mid-week chat article on the website. Leave your answer, and you’re in for the drawing! Simple!

I know I’ve mentioned it before – but really, it’s a fun podcast! I’m really enjoying “meeting” all the folks they interview and hearing different perspectives on stitching, designing, marketing, and all the other little bits and bobs discussed on the podcast.

Embroidered Casket Chronicles

Janet Brandt is at it again, working on her elaborate embroidered box (or “casket” as 17th century hinged boxes like these are called). It’s a whopping myriad of needle lace and stumpwork, tape work, and color!

It’s a modern twist on the 17th century embroidered box – check it out!

Crazy Excited! Crazy Quilting!

Sharon Boggon’s new book on crazy quilting is coming out very, very, very soon! It’s called The Visual Guide to Crazy Quilting Design, and it looks sumptuous.

Sharon’s exuberantly embellished crazy quilting style has always been inspiring and fun. So if you love crazy quilting, you might get in on this one pretty quickly. I have a feeling it’s going to be popular!

So, how soon is it coming out? Well, in the US it’s released this coming week (yay!), on June 7th. You can find The Visual Guide to Crazy Quilting Design here on Amazon in the US for pre-order today. I’ve had a copy on pre-order for a while, so I was happy to see it is coming sooner than I originally thought.

For worldwide stitchers, it’s also available on Book Depository here, with free delivery worldwide. The release date is just under a month.

Cute, Cute, Cute!

Now that it’s June, it’s time to jazz up your summer shoes! Lorraine over at Colour Complements shares an embroidery project by Kerry, who stitched some adorable canvas shoes using overdyed threads.

You’ll get the info, including how she did it, so you can try it, too! It looks like a fun way to a totally unique-to-you pair of shoes.

I think I’m going to have to try it…

…because I just don’t have enough projects going…


That’s pronounced ssss-ffff-ssss-nad, but it’s better known as the San Francisco School of Needlework & Design.

Happy Birthday, SFSNAD! The school is one year old now – and a huge asset to embroidery in the United States and worldwide. In their first year of operation, they’ve had participants at the school from over 25 countries and they’ve offered over 100 on-site classes! That’s quite an accomplishment!

If you’re interested in finding out all about the San Francisco School of Needlework & Design (a 501c(3) non-profit organization), drop by and visit them online here. You can also donate to help them achieve some pretty impressive – and attainable, with your help – goals. How about a little birthday present? I think they’ve done a great job for their first year of operation and deserve a mighty big congratulations!

If you’re interested in taking classes at the school, you’ll find a list of upcoming classes here.

Some notable upcoming classes: Lucy Barter is teaching this 3-day goldwork sampler class later in June, and this Design Your Own Crewel Work Animals class in July sounds pretty fun!

I was discussing the SFSNAD with a fellow stitcher, and naturally, the question of expense came up. A couple tips:

1. They offer scholarship seats in some of their classes. It’s worth inquiring about those if you are on a tighter budget.

2. If you don’t live in the area and need accommodations, why not try AirBnB? Hotels in the downtown San Francisco area are pricy, but you might find good accommodations on AirBnB. I’m not affiliated with AirBnB, but I’ve used their service and so have many of my family members, and usually, the accommodations are super satisfactory. We’ve had a few flops, but for the most part, it’s a great way to find accommodations, to meet locals, and to experience real living in a place away from home. Just be smart in scoping out possible places to stay.

St. Louis & the EGA!

I was excited to see that St. Louis is hosting the national seminar for the Embroiderers’ Guild of America in 2019. I know it’s a long way off…but being a Midwesterner, I like St. Louis! And I find the proximity quite enticing. (Anyone want to meet up for coffee in my part of the world in 2019?!)

Apparently, there’s a contest for stitching the logo of the 2019 seminar. The information for that is in the June, 2017 Heartland Region’s newsletter. You find it on the Heartland Region Website here, linked to in the left column. I don’t know if the contest is just for members in the Heartland region, or if it’s open to members everywhere. But if you’re in the Midwest and a member, why not have a go?

If you’re interested in attending the seminars of the EGA (national or regional), but you don’t have a chapter close by, you can do what I do, and be a Member at Large. You’ll find information on becoming a Member at Large here on the EGA website.

And That Does It

I’ve overstayed my welcome!

Have a terrific weekend!

This article contains affiliate links for Craftsy & Amazon, which means that Needle ‘n Thread gets a small kickback when you use them. It’s a great way to help support Needle ‘n Thread without costing you anything! Thanks a bunch!


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(9) Comments

  1. Thanks for all these lovely, enticing snips and links, Mary! I’m so sad I didn’t win the silk threads — ah well. I hope the winners do something marvelous and you get to post it. But my biggest question from today’s post is: what exactly is a “cup of beaten coffee”???

    1. Ahhhhhh. Beaten coffee! It’s a creamy, luxuriously thick and foamy “treat” coffee. There are different ways to make it – sometimes it’s made cup by cup, but I make the “base” in bulk and freeze it, to have it on hand for company. You start with espresso powder, sugar, and hot water. You beat it with a mixer until it’s light and fluffy like merengue (glossy and thick, with stiff peaks) then you scoop it into a container and freeze it. When you want a cup of creamy, thick, foamy (and admittedly sweet) coffee, you warm milk, scoop two spoons of the base into a cup, pour in the warm milk, and stir it up. You end up with a thick, foamy, creamy, yummy coffee! It’s my weekly treat, usually on Sunday morning. But today seemed like a good day for it!

  2. Holy Cow, Mary! Thanks for all the good loot today!!! A feast for the eyes and lots of new blogs and products to check out. You’re my favorite go-to gal. I tell everyone who loves embroidery about you. Blessings on you!!

  3. Mary, you can never overstay your welcome! Especially when every line is an invitation to review or learn a technique. I had to consult O Great Google on the matter of “beaten coffee,” though. What a delight! Your freezing method seems perfect! Thanks for sharing everything from stitches to beverages! Have a beautiful June, hopefully with an abundance of strawberries and cream ❣️

  4. What a fabulous collection, Mary! And oddly enough, I’m reading this in the morning with my head on a Burano embroidered pillowcase! My husband and I went to Venice and visited the island several years ago. It is burautiful, with multicolored houses and lots of textiles for sale. Our bedding set was quite affordable too!

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