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 News Snips – July, 2018


Amazon Books

It’s been a long time since we’ve taken a little browse together through bits of needlework information, inspiration, and instruction populating the online world.

This weekend, there’s quite a line-up of Interesting Stuff for you.

Before we get started, though…

A Website Notice

This coming week, from Sunday, July 8 – through Sunday, July 15, I will not be able to answer emails.

I have a few articles scheduled for you, but I will have comments turned off on those just for the week. I’ll turn them back on when I return. I’ll be completely unplugged while away. I’ll explain more at the end of today’s article, for the curious.

In the meantime, grab your favorite beverage – this summer, ice water sounds pretty good! – and let’s go for a stroll!

Needlework News Snips - July 2018

Needlework Tours & Cruises

Ever dream of going on a needlework-centered vacation, where you can kick back in luxurious surroundings with some of the world’s best tutors, learn new techniques, explore new places, eat good food, make new friends, and enjoy the company of other enthusiastic stitchers?

Sounds pretty dreamy, doesn’t it?

Well, Needlework Tours out of Australia (but catering to people worldwide) conducts luxury needlework tours all over the world.

Right now, they’re taking expressions of interest for an India tour in 2020! If you’re keen to go to India and see the textile world there, accompanied by knowledgeable tutors and attentive hosts, use the contact form on their website to express interest and receive more information.

They’ve also got spaces still available on their more immediate tours in the UK, in France, and in Italy. If you’re pining for a luxurious get-away, this would be a great way to do it!

Maureen and Simon Laughlin have been conducting needlework tours and cruises for over a decade, and I’ve heard really good reports about travel experiences with them, from tourists and tutors alike. They’re extremely attentive to their guests and arrange everything with your utmost comfort and enjoyment in mind.

If you’re planning your dream vacation and it involves stitching, visit their website and see what they’re all about! And thank you for supporting the small needlework businesses that advertise here on Needle ‘n Thread!

The Shaggy Dog – a Fantastic Stitching Tutorial

Over on her blog at Di Craft, Di Van Niekerk has shared the most adorable Shaggy Dog Tutorial, if you’re interested in stitching a shaggy dog. It’s too cute!

A New Floss – and Kits

Looks like The French Needle is introducing a new embroidery floss to the market – one with a little sparkle to it! You can read about Tonkin floss here.

And for Bayeux Tapestry fans, they’ve added a slew of Bayeux Tapestry embroidery kits to the site, too!

Free Embroidery Books Online

I just love browsing through all the public domain embroidery books that are available for download (for free) in various places online. Two of my favorite spots to browse are Antique Pattern Library and Internet Archive.

Here are a couple gems I’ve come across lately:

Embroidery Hints from 1910 – you’ll find some neat pattern ideas in there, especially if you like early 1900’s embroidery.

This Dictionary of Needlework from the early 19th – early 20th centuries is packed with information and illustrations.

And for those of us who are kind of needlework-history-geeky, I think this history and description of needle making is pretty fun!

New Frostings Club for Thread Lovers

I mentioned this yesterday in my goldwork article, but for those who might have missed it, Thistle Threads has announced their latest edition of the Frostings Club, Frostings #3.

It’s a box of 46 limited-run, beautiful specialty threads in usable lengths. Once it’s gone, it’s gone, so if you’re keen to get in on the collection, best to sign up now! They offer several payment options.

Beadwork & Embroidery on Printed Fabric

I really enjoy Margaret Cobleigh’s blog, The Sharp Needler. Lately, she’s been working on some bead embroidery and regular embroidery on printed fabric. It’s well thought-out, full of color, and fun!

For some great inspiration and tips, check out her latest post on the bead embroidery project she’s working on!

Crewel Kits with Great Color

For those looking for crewel embroidery kits that are small, manageable, colorful, modern, and traditional – yes, I know, that’s a lot of options! – you might check out Anna Scott’s Etsy shop, called Fine Stitch Studio.

Her kit Scarlet Glory caught my eye recently – I just love the colors! It’s a modern interpretation of a fairly traditional type of design.

Multi-Language Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches

Over on My Aunt’s Attic, the Dutch blog of embroiderer Lilian Kok, you can find a wonderful multi-language dictionary of embroidery stitch names. You can download the document and use it as a great resource when you’re exploring embroidery in a language other than your own.

The dictionary features a picture of the stitch, with the name of the stitch in Italian, Dutch, English, French, German, and Spanish.

Lilian has also put together a dictionary of other embroidery terminology, too, definitely worth downloading!

You can download both files from her blog here. If you’re English-speaking, scroll down to the second half of the page to read about the dictionaries.

They’re very handy to have and a wonderful resource! Thanks, Lilian!

Speaking of Crewel: Talliaferro

Speaking of crewel, Talliaferro is back to work, with a new pattern (and kit) out called “Oaks of Woodlawn,” featuring intricate oak leaves for every season, entwined. The design can even be broken down into smaller individual leaves. It’s quite an exuberant piece! It’s available through Wooly Thread.

Needle Lace Video

For those who like needle lace and are on Facebook, I came across this needle lace video on Facebook recently. Fascinating to watch this kind of stuff!

Speaking of Lace: Carrickmacross

For a little more lacy information and inspiration, here’s a nice article on Carickmacross lace!

Heads Up! A Book by Famous People!

Hazel Blomkamp and Di Van Niekerk have joined forces on a book that involves embroidered “mandalas” (yes, it’s the kaleidoscope concept again!), and it promises to be a colorful one, full of exciting stitch combinations!

It’s called Freestyle Embroidered Mandalas, and you’ll find it available for pre-order now, right here on my Amazon Recommendations page.

If you like the coloring book approach to embroidery patterns (similar to my Kaleidoscope Patterns e-book), you will probably enjoy this one! I’m excited about it!

Old French Book on Goldwork

Back in February, I wrote an article about this exquisite piece of goldwork and silk embroidery.

If this style of goldwork interests you, you might enjoy browsing through this French book on embroidery.

Go to thumbnail view to look for images, and you’ll find lots of patterns. Click on the thumbnails to see the patterns in closer detail.

And I’m Off!

So, I’m going away for a week. I’m heading down the road about five hours to a retreat center. It’s not a retreat of the stitching sort, though – it’s more of the spiritual sort.

Those who have been hanging around Needle ‘n Thread for a while might remember I did this last year, too. I used to do it more frequently many years ago, but until last year, it had been some 12 years since I went on a retreat. After my recent bout with cancer and whatnot, I decided I would make a better effort to keep my life prioritized.

A retreat like this is a time to re-order priorities, pray and meditate in total silence, and completely disconnect from the rest of the world for a bit. So I won’t have a computer or phone or anything. For me, it’s the best way to keep Life (and what’s most important in it) in order, and to recharge at the same time.

Incidentally, the youth embroidery classes I’m hosting locally start on Monday, the 16th… so I’m recharging just in time!

Hope you enjoy the articles I’ve lined up for you this coming week!


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(22) Comments

  1. Dear Mary, may you reconnect with your inner self and find peace there and then return full of health and vitality!

    My thanks and appreciation to Lilian for all her effort in compiling and sharing the dictionaries, they are most appreciated! And to you for sharing the info!

    Angela from the Ore Mountains

  2. Thanks for this post with all this lovely information! I can easily spend many hours exploring all the links. I’m so glad you posted about Margaret Cobleigh’s blog, I embroidered her pomegranate years ago and met her at a class hosted by her EGA chapter, Muchas Manos in San Diego.

    I hope you have a happy and peaceful retreat.

  3. I hope you have a lovely, peaceful time at retreat and return refreshed and ready for all those youngsters!

  4. Thanks for these snips, Mary. I downloaded both oldies, and especially enjoy the Embroidery Hints. I want to duplicate almost everything I see. Well, except for the miniscule size of the women’s waists. Maybe this century is better after all.

    Blessings on your retreat. I pray the Lord will draw you close and fill your heart to overflowing.

  5. I was thrilled to see the mention of my latest TALLIAFERRO design, the Oaks of Woodlawn, mentioned in today’s newsletter–thank you so much! The pattern is available directly from the TALLIAFERRO website (www.talliaferro.com) on the “To Order” page.

  6. Thank you; great links.

    I’m headed off for handbell camp during the same time period, but you’ve reminded me that I’m overdue for a spiritual retreat as well. I hope your retreat center is somewhere cooler, but if you’ll still be in the hot, humid Midwest, may you find refreshment for the soul, if not the body.

  7. Thank you Mary for mentioning a french book ! They are so much unknown because of the language.
    I wish you a peaceful and restful retreat.

  8. Hi, Mary! I have nothing to do with Neiman-Marcus except to drool. The embroidery connection is what designers are doing with embroidery. I’ve long loved the brilliant peasant look of Johnny Was. This morning I drooled on what look like somewhat snug and definitely not tunic length cotton plaid long-sleeved shirts. Except they’re embellished with seed beads and embroidery. Priced a tad under a thousand. The designer is Libertine. Fun. Have a wonderful retreat!

  9. Hope this retreat soothes your soul and brings you peace. Sounds like something we should all do!

  10. Dear Mary, may the retreat enable you to refresh and renew your spirit. You give so much of yourself that of course you need to step aside, or step back, from time to time to find your still centre.

    When you return to the Real World and pick up the pieces again, I hope French Needle will have sent you a sample of their new thread so you can do all the hard work of test-stitching it for us!

  11. Thanks for all the fun things to look up. (Gee, I wish I were going with you on that retreat. That would be my favorite thing to do. God bless your time there and safe travels too!!)

  12. Hi Mary. I hope you enjoy your retreat. I went on one once and it was wonderful.

    I know you are aware of the online Antique Library, but I came across a lovely find for you. It is the Anchor book of Transfers. I am writing down the link for the page where it is found. It’s the 7th entry down the page. I hope you enjoy it.

    Linda P.

  13. Dear Mary

    I’ve just come back from Cornwall and it was busy but great. I do hope you have a peaceful spiritual rest and that you feel energised on your return and ready for your children’s classes. Thanks for all the news snips very interesting.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  14. Ah the trusty flower sack.
    My Mother bought a fish shop after WW2 in a northern country town in Australia.
    Unlike the USA we in Australia had just a white fabric with an indelible label on our bags.
    My Mother was a very no throw, give it a go type of women. Waste nothing.
    Working in the fish shop was greasy and smelly. (not from the fish but the fat they were cooked in.)
    Mother had collected the flour bags turned inside out and washed them in cold water then boiled. Still not useable she worked on the big black sign. Very inventive all 5’3″ of her.
    We suddenly had more bags to cover Tasmania.
    Mother made herself uniforms, for the shop. Fitted sleeveless bodice with a 4 gored skirt attached. Apron as an extra. Caps for her head. Never quite got rid of the smell etched into the skin but bearable.
    My sister and I had dresses, shorts, shirts, petticoats. We were not as white as Mother as she dyed the bags. We would have ribbon sewn on, pleats and tucks and a lace.
    We had table cloths with crochet inserts and dresser covers with crochet edges, table napkins (no meal if a napkin not used) and hankies. My Mother used to say that we were not that heathen like that we never had manners.
    She got so good and making flour bag items, her eye turned to the potato sacks. Heavy hessian, brown and dirty. All in the wash(not boiled). Then came the tufted mats. Studded with strips of the coloured flour bags. Platted flour bag strips then sewn onto the potato sack.
    Nothing wasted and when we lived with other people disrupted by a war we sure were doing well. We still had rations but that never stopped my Mother. Flour bags and parachute you could have a wedding dress to show up Versace. Mosquito net veil starched to give a tad of body. Where there is a will there is a way.
    What was the best thing about my Mother that she would share. She would ask if anyone could crochet, knit she would do a deal. That way the women got stuff they needed and Mother what she needed to finish some items.

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