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 (75) 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)

A Great Resource for Needlepainting Exercises


Amazon Books

A couple weeks back, we chatted about different resources that can help embroiderers (from beginners to advanced) take the plunge into needlepainting, which is often viewed as an advanced, hard-to-conquer technique.

Today, I want to highlight another really good resource for those who want to learn the art of realistic shading with needle and thread. We’ll take a quick look at the embroidery works (and instructional ebooks) of Emillie Ferris.

If you haven’t seen Emillie’s embroidery work, I think you’ll really enjoy it. And there are a couple points about her approach – and her project e-books – that I think make her work unique and worthwhile to use as a springboard for learning and practicing needlepainting.

Embroidery by Emillie Ferris

This is Emillie’s Emperor Moth e-book. I have several of her e-books, each featuring a different project.

According to her website, Emillie is “a self-taught artist who uses traditional embroidery methods to create contemporary embroidery patterns, hoop art and custom pet portraits.”

Her instructional e-books are beautiful in themselves – they’re brief but clear, they have a nice professional layout, and they take you quickly through all the steps necessary to recreate one of her lovely projects.

Each e-book comes with a separate pattern page that you also download. And this is where I realized that Emillie’s embroideries are a little different, in a way that makes them (I think) really suitable for learning or practicing needlepainting.

Embroidery by Emillie Ferris

Her designs fit just inside a 5″ hoop. Some have extra elements around them (flowers, foliage), while some (like the bee) stand alone.

The main element of the embroidery design is large and clear, making it ideal for focusing all your efforts on needlepainting that element – and working on a large enough scale that you can really see the details of what you’re doing.

Her e-books start off with a very brief overview of materials for the project and some embroidery basics (stripping floss, hooping the fabric, tracing the design).

Embroidery by Emillie Ferris

Following these basics, she presents a short but adequate overview of long and short stitch, and then goes straight into step-by-step photos that show the development of the project.

The step-by-step development photos give stitchers a clear and precise look of what should be happening on their own fabric as they work through the project.

Embroidery by Emillie Ferris

And because they’re in e-book format, we can zoom in on the photos and really see the details. This is one of the great advantages of an e-book, really. You can’t do quite the same thing with a printed book!

At the end of the e-book, you’ll also find instructions on how to finish the embroidery into hoop art, if you want to finish it that way. Frankly, with pieces this beautiful that will take a bit of time to stitch, I’d probably opt for a modern, and more permanent, frame! But that’s just me…

Embroidery by Emillie Ferris

Emillie’s embroideries have an open, clean, contemporary look, while employing very traditional techniques. Her artistic skills come across in every design layout and she translates the objects of her stitching into really beautiful renditions in needle and thread, in a way that looks natural and easy.

Where to Find

Emillie has a few different e-books available – a butterly; a fantastic toadstool; this emperor moth; a solitary, large bee; and a collection of pansies.

You can find them all available for instant download here in her Etsy shop.

So if you’ve been troubling over how to take the plunge into needlepainting, here’s another excellent resource to help you do just that!

And just think – with the instant download of an e-book, you can start your project this very weekend!

I hope you enjoy browsing through Emillie’s lovely creations and that you have a jolly weekend ahead!


Leave A Comment

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


(8) Comments

  1. Oh My Gosh! Her work is amazing, it has a certain enchantment about it! I love them!!!! Thank you for sharing her work with us!

  2. I’m a lover of things in nature. Probably why I worked with wildlife for 22 years. These are magnificent. The colors are so rich and beautifully blended. It’s amazing how she manages to choose just the right colors to look so realistic and give such depth. I struggle just to pick a coordinating color for words on a project. 馃檪

  3. Emille’s work is lovely and she makes it looks effortless. Ha! I know better. I will be following her Facebook page for additional patterns. Looking forward to seeing her future work. Mary, Thanks for the info about her. You always seem to find the most interesting people and sites to put in your newsletter.

  4. For more gorgeous silk-painting embroidery please check out Helen Stevens. Her designs and books are absolutely gorgeous. I have always wanted to master shading but alas I’m still a novice at this technique.

  5. Thank you, Mary, for this source. Another source of small, cute kits is Jo-Ann Jenkins of Woodland Threads (www.woodlandthreads.com).

  6. I have followed Emilie on Instagram for a while and I love her pieces. I have saved a few on my project wish list so thank you for such a thorough review of her ebooks, I will definitely be checking them out when my current project is completed.

  7. Hola Mar铆a! S贸lo quer铆a decirte que te has convertido en un gran referente para mi. Tu trabajo y dedicaci贸n son fuentes de inspiraci贸n, tu sitio web es magistral.
    Estoy comenzando en el mundo del bordado y es fant谩stico poder contar con tu sitio.

    Un mill贸n de gracias.


    Hello Maria! I just wanted to tell you that you have become a great reference for me. Your artwork and dedication are sources of inspiration, your website is masterful.
    I am starting in the world of embroidery and it is fantastic to have your site.

    A million thanks.

More Comments