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

Contact Mary

Connect with Mary



2024 (52) 2023 (125) 2022 (136) 2021 (130) 2020 (132) 2019 (147) 2018 (146) 2017 (169) 2016 (147) 2015 (246) 2014 (294) 2013 (294) 2012 (305) 2011 (306) 2010 (316) 2009 (367) 2008 (352) 2007 (225) 2006 (139)

Bloomin’ Poppies… & Other Addictive Embroidery


Amazon Books

I almost feel like I’ve been suckered into embroidering these motifs from Elisabetta’s wheat field alphabet. They’re just too addictive to put down.

My Project Wall is feeling rather neglected (I’ll tell you about my Project Wall some day…) and my eggs are stagnating. I’m embroidering some eggs of a sort – I’ll share them with you soon!

The poppies are The Most Fun Ever. They make me laugh.

Hand Embroidered Poppies

I hate to tell you why these little embroidered poppies make me laugh, because once I tell you, you will never see them the same way again.

But it’s inevitable, and it happens Every Time I work with cast-on stitch.

I think the cast-on stitch (and it’s double, the double cast-on stitch) is a wonderful stitch! It’s fantastic for adding dimension and texture to a piece of embroidery. You can do a lot with it. If you’re not familiar with cast-on stitch, you’ll find my video tutorial for it here, and a step-by-step tutorial for a cast-on rose here. I’ve also got a cast-on and double cast-on stitch printable available here, with little projects to help you practice the stitch.

But there’s always, always something about this stitch that makes me chuckle… and this is it:

Hand Embroidered Poppies

Do you see it?

I can never see two of these stitches together in embroidery that they don’t somehow configure themselves into lips in my mind. And they always make me chuckle.

Two lips, on poppies.

I mentioned the other day that I switched out the colors for the poppies and some of the other flowers on these projects.

With the red and coral that I switched to, I combined one of each thread in the needle when stitching the side-view flower in the center of the photo above. I also used coral on some of the cast on stitches that form the curling petals on the upper half-open flower, to lighten them up a bit. I used DMC 349 and 350 for those.

I took some liberties on the designs and didn’t stitch four cast-on stitches for the buds. I just stitched whatever seemed to fit reasonably, so two in one bud and three in the other.

These little floral motifs out of the booklet I reviewed here on Monday are excellent little stitching exercises! They don’t take long, they’re very pretty, and they’re awfully satisfying!

Other Addictions

I’m stitching on some wool felt experiments. I’ll show you those next week, if I can get them together. They might be something you want to do for Easter, as they are super simple in concept.

This weekend, I will make my final decisions on the whitework project I started last month. I’m pretty certain I’m changing ground fabric. I changed the design up quite a bit, too. Sometimes, you just don’t realize what needs adjusting, until you start to stitch something. Then you have to consider the first foray completely experimental.

What are you working on this weekend? I hope it’s something fantastic that makes your heart sing!


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


(10) Comments

  1. I saw the lips straightaway. Don’t know why, but they remind me of the Little Shop of Horrors. That’s not to say that your poppies are horrible, LOL, au contraire! They’re very nice, elegant and somewhat … well … sensuous. 😀 I would like to stitch Elisabetta’s plants myself.

    Unfortunately, my hope of a singing heart weekend didn’t fulfil. It would if I could go on with my Colbert embroidery sampler, but it’s three and a half week now that I’m waiting for the threads to arrive.
    I will keep stitching my needlebook project then, but this is not exactly a Singing Heart Project. I like it (and I need it), but working with felt is not right up my alley, I’m afraid.

    Have a sunny weekend in every sense!

    Angela from the Ore Mountains

  2. Oh, you’re right. I’ll never look at them the same way again. I love them! I don’t know if I like the coral mixed in as that was the first thing I noticed. I’m a die hard red poppy person. Just my personal preference, you did a wonderful job and kudos for trying something extra! I can’t wait to see the wall.

  3. Mary, I saw it right away and got the biggest chuckle. You’re right, I’ll never see those stitches any other way .
    Well, I was interested in the book but now I’m certain I gotta get it. Maybe the alphabet book too, they do look so lovely.

    This is off topic but I was wondering if you would guide me to some books or other sources that teach children to embroider. My 7 year old granddaughter is interested in learning how to sew and I really don’t know where to start. She is very keen so I want to make it a happy positive experience.
    Any suggestions,
    Cheers, Robbin

    1. Hi, Robbin –

      Well, it’s a little harder for kids, when it comes to recommending books. There’s a cute one called The Amazing Stitching Handbook for Kids – I’ve moved it to the top of my amazon recommendations page here. It lets them make fun things out of their embroidery and needlework stuff. It’s a nice introduction, I think, that makes embroidery something fun to do, because they see it finished into things. It can also give you some ideas – you don’t have to use all the same materials she uses, etc., but it’s a starting place for trendy kid designs and for making and finishing small enough projects to avoid discouragement. There’s a lot to be said for that feeling of accomplishment when a child finishes something!

    2. I started actually embroidering when I was about nine years old, and sewing when I was six. The first embroidery book I had was called Doodle Stitching. It is a fun book with lots of projects ranging from small embroidered pouches and bookmarks to larger blouses and quilts. It primarily uses 6 or 3 strands of floss in its designs, so there isn’t much delicate, easy-to-mess-up work. It includes a full basics section and at least one little feature showing different interpretations of the same design (that was very eye-opening for me). I would say it is a pretty good embroidery book for kids.

  4. With just a little slimming down it could still be an egg. Or you could you could definitely run with the onion idea! Sew those green shoots on top and you have a spring onion – how seasonal! Or I could see transforming it into a head of garlic – another happy accident! Maybe you are planning an Easter basket for a cook or a gardener?

    I knitted and felted some bags meant to transport a bottle of wine one year at Christmas They were striped and when completed they looked like something the Cat in the Hat would use to transport his wine. The bags appear to still be in use so I’m calling them a happy (or happy enough) accident.

    1. Hi, Rose – I just added you on this end. Please check again for the confirmation email. Also, check any “promotions” or “social” folder you might have, too. Could show up in those. If it doesn’t work for you, contact me at mary(at)needlenthread(dot)com and I’ll take another look!

More Comments