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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Weekend Stitching: Simple & Quick Embroidery Motif


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I’m a huge advocate of simple stitching.

This isn’t to say I don’t like to get involved in complex projects – I do! But I also like (I love) the notion that hand embroidery doesn’t haven’t to be complicated to be pretty!

Case in point, this wee floral sprig…

Small floral sprig in simple embroidery

Quick to draw, quick to stitch, this little bit of embroidery is rather sweet, and it teaches a good lesson in the value of simplicity.

Stitched in a three inch hoop, the floral sprig is just about 2″ from its farthest points in the design. making it a perfect little accent for … anything that needs a perfect little accent!

It could adorn the corner of a hankie. It could decorate the front of a hand-made greeting card. It could highlight a corner on a crazy quilt square. It could be the cover feature on a little needlebook. It could be set into a tiny remembrance frame. It could be part of a sampler. It could be incorporated into a larger garden scene. So many options – and I’m sure you could come up with many of your own!

Small floral sprig in simple embroidery

Two shades of green floss, two shades of purple. A scrap of fabric. A needle. And about 30 – 40 minutes. That’s all it takes to stitch up a little element like this!

Stem stitch and fishbone stitch mixed with sketchy straight stitches – nothing too formal in the buds, and nothing difficult about the stitches!

The Joy of Simplicity

Embroidery doesn’t have to be complicated. It doesn’t have to take forever. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.

And yet even the simplest embroidery can give a whole lot of satisfaction! There’s a real joy in simplicity – and there’s a well-earned sense of satisfaction in the completion of things, even if they are small and simple. Never underestimate the delight you can get from a well-stitched little thing!

The Series is Growing

This is the second in a series of growing little embroidery motifs that I’ll be sharing with you here on Needle ‘n Thread. You might remember this needlepainted flower? I’ve been doodling small elements for a while – and now it’s time to stitch them!

Much of my “in between time” this summer will be spent stitching up the whole collection. Down the road, I’ll put them together for you.

In the meantime, I’m going to share this pattern and the color scheme over on my Patreon page a little later this week, where I like to leak out little bits of designs in advance for my patrons. So if you’re a Needle ‘n Thread patron, keep an eye out!

Patreon is an online platform where folks can help support their favorite artists and craftspeople with just a small contribution each month. I add perks to my Patreon page when I can, to say thanks for your generosity and your support. If you find value in the content on Needle ‘n Thread, you can become a patron for as little as a dollar a month. If this interests you, feel free to check out my page!


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(7) Comments

  1. Miss Mary,
    I’m so glad that Patreon is an option for those of us that reference your blog and look for the emails as a bright part of the day and want a way to say thanks and support you. I often feel like I’m not paying you properly for the knowledge you were (and still are) giving me. Yes, I have purchased your products, but love this opportunity to do more. I encourage others to do this as well. It literally took less than two minutes to follow the link and set up my reoccurring subscription through PayPal.
    Much love- Mendy

  2. Dear Mary

    A lovely simple design it looks like a lavender sprig and it looks so easy to stitch, lovely piece and as you say it can be added to many other embroideries or as a stand alone project. It would be great to have a e-book on simple designs or simple small designs like the one above. Thanks for sharing with us your weekend stitching and for the photos it’s lovely.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  3. Mary, I was so very happy that you decided to provide an opportunity through Patreon to do a bit to thank you for the public service that you do in keeping the embroidery arts alive and sharing your knowledge. As already commented it was simple and painless to contribute. The designs you have shared with us have been so sweet. And a shout out to you. Just this week my sister asked you a question about lighting fir her newly developed sewing hobby and she was so grateful that you were able to give her good advice so quickly. Thank you for that. Another reason I’m happy I supported you. Unfortunately the Blue Max 70 watt floor lamp doesn’t seem to be stocked anymore. My sister is calling them today to get the scoop on whether it’s been discontinued and if so what it has been replaced with. Love mine so hope it’s just temporarily out of stock. Enjoy your kitting weekend.

    1. Thanks, Mary! Ahhh – I think they have a new version of the light. I haven’t tried it, but I am curious about it. If you hear anything about it, I’d live to hear what you discover!

  4. Thank you – I love this idea, of learning simple but beautiful embroidery that I could put onto scarves etc as presents.

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