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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Some Embroidery & a Hodgepodge


Amazon Books

I love the word hodgepodge.

Today’s a little hodgepodge of stuff embroidery related. I’m going to show you some small progress on my needlepointed flower and explain why the progress is so small and a dilemma I’m facing with it.

And, because it’s Memorial Day weekend, I’m going to share with you some information about Memorial Day sales that have to do with needlework.

And I’m also going to plug the fact that my Floral Corner flour sack towels with the pre-printed designs are back in (limited) stock. Oh, and all my e-books are on sale briefly this weekend, too! You can check all that out in my shop. Yay! Set yourself up for some summer embroidery projects!

And I’m going to share a fabric find with you.

Ok, back to the needlepainted flower…

Needlepointed Flower from the side

My dilemma with finishing the embroidery on this flower is the leaf. I had a plan for it, and it made sense. But I messed it up.

What you’re looking at right now is a very fine stem of stem stitch from the base of the flower, in the darker green used in the little receptacle below the petals. Initially, that stem was wider, worked in three colors of green, but it looked clunky, so I reduced it to the one line of stem stitch.

The leaf, which you see outlined in a pale green, has been stitched once, and all the stitching has been removed again.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: linen – good linen – is a magical fabric! If I had worked this on cotton, you would be able to tell very easily that I had removed a bunch of stitching!

In any case, I wanted kind of a painterly effect on the leaf, in long and short stitch, with a range of shades of green. It ended up looking like animal fur. It’s back to the drawing board on that! I might skip the painterly effect. I might just go for something a little bland.

The leaf is a weird shape, anyway. What was I thinking?

The pattern and the color selections for this design are available right now for my patrons over on Patreon, if you’re interested in giving this flower a try right away. The design will be available a little later this year in a collection I’m putting together. More on that this summer!

Memorial Day Weekend!

Memorial Day Weekend always marked the beginning of summer for us when I was growing up.

In the US, Memorial Day is the day we remember and pay tribute to the heroes of our armed forces who have died. In small town America, usually in the morning or early afternoons, there are still parades, services at cemeteries, and the like – and then in the evening, there’s a lot of picnicking and grilling and outdoor gathering going on.

This year, we’re a bit soggy in Kansas, stuck in a pattern of on-going severe weather and flooding, so it isn’t likely we’ll be kicking off summer in the outdoors.

Sales, Instead!

Instead, I’ll kick it off with a Memorial Day sale in my shop – all my e-books are 10% off this weekend, so that you can kick off some summer embroidery projects with a little break in the budget.

Memorial Day Embroidery E-Book Sale

The Floral Corner pre-printed flour sack towel set is available here, too, for those who want to launch into some relaxing summer embroidery without the hassle of transferring designs. I’ve refined my method of transfer and this batch – though small – is the beginning of a new approach for me. The towels came out great, and the designs will still eventually launder out.

Colour Complements

Colour Complements is also having a Memorial Day Weekend sale – so it’s a good time to stock up on some really beautiful over-dyed threads! Threads with colors like this:

Colour Complements Thread

If that doesn’t say Summer, I don’t know what does!

A Fabric Find

I went to Kansas City a few weeks ago and visited a real, fair dinkum, no-kidding art store. We don’t have one of those closer than a couple hours away, so this was a real treat for me.

While there, I was able to purchase – for about $32 – a yard of raw Belgian linen canvas, sold for stretching your own artists’ canvas. It is 70″ wide.

That’s a lot of really good, heavy duty linen for $32.

If you’re looking for linen canvas – say, to make things for reenactments, to make tote bags, to make anything that’s heavy duty – if you have a real art store in your area (not a big-box craft store) that sells raw canvas for stretching your own canvases, see if they carry raw Belgian linen.

Natural Linen Canvas

You can get a sense of the canvas in the photo above – it’s the background fabric behind that pile of thread. Keep in mind, the color may be slightly different on your monitor. It’s a “natural” color, kind of warm and honey-like more than grey and oaty-like.

It’s not anything I’d use for fine embroidery, but for rustic embroidery, for constructed items (such as totes or bags or items for historical reenactments and the like) made out of linen canvas, for book covers or box covering when you want a rustic, hearty look, for sails on your sailboat (!) and hammocks to sleep in (!) – it’s perfect! Good Stuff!

Next week, I’ll show you what those blue threads in the photo above are for and I’ll show you the finish on the needlepointed flower.

I hope you have a terrific weekend!


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(6) Comments

  1. Which art store? I was just looking at a very old tote of mine and mourning the fact that I didn’t have access to that nice, heavy canvas. I know my treadle sewing machine can handle it. I use it to repair my son’s heavy winter overalls LOL.

    I can’t wait to see what you do with your blank canvas (apology for the pun)!

    1. Hi, Karla – it’s called Artist and Craftsman Supply in Kansas City. They have a website, but the minimum online order of the Belgian raw linen canvas is three yards. Otherwise, at the store, it’s about $32-$33 / yard.

  2. I’m pretty sure you meant needlePAINTED rather than needlePOINTED. Gotta love spell check, don’t we?

    Cris in MT

  3. Hello Mary,
    Wishing you a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. My question is this, what do you do with your finished embroidery? You teach and you create but what do you do with the rest of your work? There is only so much you can give to family and friends. Maybe this was asked before.
    Thank you for bringing beauty to the world.
    Judy Kocsis

    1. Well, many of the sample pieces that I make – for example, if I’m making something to demonstrate how to embroider that particular thing – I save in a sample box, to use for demonstrations. It used to be a three ring binder, with the finished sample tucked into a clear sleeve, but I ran out of room there. So now I have a sample box. But even a lot of those, over time, end up being dug out and used for gifting in one way or another – a friend’s birthday, weddings, housewarming gifts, family gifts, and what-have-you. It really just depends. I don’t keep a whole lot of my own embroidery, as far as “big projects” go. They end up being given away as gifts, usually.

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