Mary Corbet

writer and founder


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 & Thread Winner!


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Good morning, my friends, from a very chilly, sub-freezing Kansas!

Today, I’ll announce the winner of the thread give-away from last week and take a short browse through some needlework newsy bits.

So…pour yourself a nice cup of something warm and toasty, pull up a chair, and join me for a little meander!

Needle 'n Thread News Snips for October 28, 2017

First, the business of the morning – the thread winner! Last week, courtesy of Colour Complements, a hand-dying thread studio located in Canada, we had a really fun give-away of 5 skeins of embroidery thread of the winner’s choice.

The randomly drawn winner is Yvette Henry, who answered the question I posed thus:

I like #191, it reminds me of pumpkins. It would make a great fall sampler with pumpkins, leaves, acorns and mums with some really dark green leaves. I need some spiced cider.

Congratulations, Yvette! I’ve sent you an email. And I’m with you on the whole spiced cider thing!

Inspirations – More Inspiring than Ever!

For those of you who are not subscribed to Inspirations Studios weekly newsletter, it’s definitely something you want to subscribe to. The newsletter comes out every Friday, straight to your inbox, and it’s generally packed with pretty darned inspirational stuff! You’ll find stitching stories, works by other embroiderers around the world, questions and answers (I love the ones that focus on needlework shopping recommendations in distant countries!), and all kinds of other embroidery-related goodies.

You can sign up for the free newsletter by scrolling to the end of their home page, here.

If you’re already subscribed, you might have noticed this bit of news in this week’s newsletter: Inspirations (the company behind Inspirations Magazine) has consolidated their brands into one brand – Inspirations Studios – and launched their new website to go along with it. There, you’ll find the magazine (current issues, back issues, individual issues for ordering), and all the kits that go along with the magazine, as well as their books, patterns, electronic downloads, all the back issues of their newsletter, and lots of other wonderful stuff!

One of the new features of the website is that embroiderers far and wide can now purchase the individual project downloads of the projects in current issues. So even if you’re not a subscriber, but you are enchanted by, say, one project in the current issue, you’ll find that project available for purchase as a download on the new website.

Definitely a company to keep an eye on – not only as a source for your own stitching inspiration right now, but in the future, I suspect we will see some exciting things coming out of Inspirations Studios!

If you’re not familiar with Inspirations Magazine, and you love beautiful needlework, it’s the best embroidery magazine out there. Each issue is a project and instructional book unto itself, jammed with gorgeous needlework for all levels, and full of good reading for the stitching enthusiast.

The magazine is offered in two formats, print and digital.

The large glossy print version is delivered to your door and will quickly become a ritualistic pleasure! When mine arrives, I pour a cup of tea, plop down in my favorite chair, and escape into the world of embroidery while I devour the thing from cover to cover. I always learn something from it! It always inspires me to better embroidery and it connects me with stitchers around the world who love the art of embroidery.

The digital version, which I reviewed here, is perfectly portable on tablets and mobile devices, and the patterns are printable on your home printer.

With Christmas coming up, place a subscription on the top of your Wish List! You won’t be sorry!

A Blog to Keep an Eye On!

Here on Needle ‘n Thread, I’ve featured the embroidery of Margaret Cobleigh quite a few times. For example, you’ll see a selection of just a few of the pieces she’s embroidered in this article. There’s also this article, on changing up and improving the color selections in commercial kits, where you’ll see her version of an Anchor embroidery kit. She also designed this Golden Pomegranate project that I stitched ages ago.

Margaret is an avid embroidery enthusiast and a crazy-good stitcher. She launched her own website not too long ago and she’s been adding her past and current projects to it.

Her blog is called The Sharp Needler. Go give it a browse and add her to your feed reader!

Old Patterns, Scrollwork, Florals & Borders

Over on Antique Pattern Library, you will find a plethora of enjoyable needlework related books in the public domain available to download for free. You can get sucked into the rabbit hole of their embroidery offerings here.

For those who like scrolly borders, knotwork, elaborate florals, and other 16th century pattern styles, check out this PDF of Christian Egenolff’s Nehewercke und Stickens. Lots of neat designs there that can be adapted to contemporary embroidery projects, too!

If you’ve ever enjoyed Antique Pattern Library and taken advantage of their vast resources, you might consider donating to them. They are a non-profit endeavor and they provide an amazing resource for the stitching world. Even if you can only donate a couple dollars, every bit helps them keep that resource available for us. It helps them expand to bring us even more publications from decades and centuries past that we would never have access to – let alone for free!

You can donate here. If you can manage it, join me in giving them at least a little bit to keep their work going strong!

Octoberfest & Threads

The thread packs for Octoberfest! arrived at Akonye Kena last week, so everyone who ordered their threads should pretty much have them by now.

There are still a few available, last time I spoke to the folks at Akonye Kena, and you can find the listing for them here, where they’re still on special.

Keep in mind, you don’t necessarily need specialty threads to stitch Octoberfest! – for example, you can combine your favorite fall DMC colors on the project, too, if you want to stitch from what you might already have on hand.


I’m taking input this weekend on requests for stitches you’d like to see worked out on video. I’ve got a pretty extensive list that I need to work through already, but it looks like I’ll have space for recording a few more stitches than those on my list.

If you have any particular requests for particular stitches, feel free to mention them below! If I can manage them, I will!

And if all goes as planned this coming week, I’ll have a large stockpile of new video that I’ll be adding to the how-to video collection here on Needle ‘n Thread. Some old videos will be replaced with new ones, and a bunch of new stitches will be added to the library in upcoming months!

‘Bye, now!

On that note, alas! Our short stroll together is over! My tea is cold. My feet are cold. And Saturday morning housework beckons.

I hope you have a jolly weekend, and I will see you next week, during which many exciting things will happen! See you then!


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(12) Comments

  1. Dear Mary

    Congratulations to Yvette I hope you enjoy your prize. Thanks Mary for the give-away very generous of you. I really like Inspiration Magazine so I shall definitely put my name forward for their newsletter. I’m really looking forward to the new videos you are creating it will be interesting to see the new stitches and try them out. Thanks for sharing with us the news snips and for the links to the various web sites. I hope you have a great stitching weekend.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  2. Don’t have any requests, but I wanted to thank you for your videos, because they are awesome. I used them to learn to embroider a few months ago, and my four-year-old daughter has been watching them with me. Recently she decided she wanted to try, and she’s now finished one embroidered cushion and is working on another! She needs me to help her hold the hoop and manage the working thread sometimes, but she is really doing the stitching herself.

  3. I’d like to see the shisha stitch in video. (Although it’s probably more of a technique than a stitch.) Sometimes I just need to see the whole needle and thread movements to do a stitch. Your videos are the best!

  4. I once sent a note to Country Bumpkin website and backordered an old issue of Inspirations. That copy arrived and it has been read and re-read many times over the years. One day I skimmed through the letters to the editor. There was my note transferred from website into print, into that exact issue which was backordered, and I unknowingly passed over it for the seven years gone since it first arrived!

  5. Hi Mary
    I would love to a video on the Maltese Ceiss stitch. It’s so pretty but try as I may, I cannot get the lacing right.
    Thanks for your great blog. I learn something new from you every week.

  6. Hoop Hoop Hooray

    Congratulations to Yvette…enjoy those threads! And Mary, I always love the tea and tours…this week the Egenolff designs are the intrigue of the week for me. Thanks!

  7. I so enjoyed reading this post and checking out the photos on this a ta chilly Sunday evening. I work hard to make sure that Sunday is a day of rest! I love having a chance to catch up on interesting reading (your blog) and it was fun to see all the different projects from the different designers. I’m glad I had time to truly relax and enjoy.

    In the past week I found, and of course bought, some floss called Royal Society I believe in different colors and most of the colors in multiple skeins. It looks to be a bit like Perle cotton #5 maybe. Unlike these days, the labels back then had minimal info on them. Has anyone run into the floss and knows what would it have been used for? I love finding these old bits and pieces at thrift stores. My son is planning on taking me to a thrift store that I haven’t been to yet on Tuesday so looking forward to finding treasures there.

  8. I would like to see a video tutorial on the Indian Filling Stitch used in Mountmellick embroidery, as well as the scalloped blanket stitch. Thank you for your great tutorials!

  9. The stitch I would like to see, I think is called a confetti stitch. The ones I have seen aren’t quite what I am looking for. This is a stitch that is one thing scattered all around the fabric, such as stars or fireworks in the sky. No other stitches around it. How do you begin and end a stitch like this without using knots on the back for every one, or else leaving a lot of threads crisscrossed all over the back. I did a Santa scene that was cross stitched (not counted) that had one-stitch snowflakes all over the sky. I never finished it because I just don’t know how to work those isolated, single stitches. Thank you for your help!

  10. Dear Mary,

    Just a quick note about the Egenolff book – the title is “Modelbuch aller Art Nehewercks und Stickens”, i.e. “model book of all kinds of sewing work and embroidery”. The shortened title makes no sense because of the case endings in German. This is a very minor quibble with your excellent website – I feel the need to write this because I work in at a university cataloguing foreign language books and this is the kind of thing that confuses students all the time!

  11. I wish u had more flower tutorials and just saying you are amazing!!I wish I could keep up with your videos.im trying it’s not as easy as you make it look!!!

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