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: November 1, 2019


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Good morning, Happy Friday, Happy Weekend, Happy November!

I thought I’d share a bit of weekend reading with you today, in the form of a very brief News Snips article.

And yes, I’ll tell you where the tweezers are.

So pull up a comfy chair, pour your favorite morning beverage, and let’s chat…

Needlework News Snips for November, 2019

Let’s get business out of the way first:

My Tweezers…

Following up on Wednesday’s article and the “I Spy” photo, yes, the tweezers were under the two skeins of gold floss in the middle of the photo!

Good eye, for those who found them, and don’t worry – if you think they don’t look like tweezers, you’re pretty much right. They don’t. More later on those!

Embroidery & Healing

I mentioned last month that the San Francisco School of Needlework and Design’s current challenge has to do with Embroidery & Healing.

The folks at SFSNAD asked me to write a guest article on the topic for them for their newsletter, which came out yesterday. It was not quite an easy task, but for those who have been following along on Needle ‘n Thread for a while, you already know a little bit about my history and why the subject would be important to me.

So, if you want to know more about it – and a little more about me – you are most welcome to hop over to the SFSNAD newsletter for this month and read the article I wrote for them. It focuses on embroidery, healing, and community.

The Band Sampler Project

While you’re over there, take a look at their band sampler project. This is a world-wide group project, and it’s intrigued me ever since the day they first publicized it.

I’m going to take the proverbial plunge some time between Thanksgiving and the turn of the year and set up a band to work on. Anyone want to join me? You’ll find all the information to create your own band by following the link above. Think about it!

Crazy Quilt Quarterly for Winter

Pam Kellogg over at Kitty & Me Designs has the winter issue of her Crazy Quilt Quarterly out. For CQ fans, you’re sure to find lots to delight you there!

Rita’s Quilt

I liked this little story when it hit all the media outlets all over the place!

It’s the tale of Rita’s quilt pieces and the folks who finished the quilt. The gal who found the UFO at an estate sale bought the pieces for $6 and put a call out on social media for volunteers to help her get it finished.

You can find the story here on BBC news.

Colorfast Threads?

Oh, it’s a sad topic that comes up occasionally in the Needle ‘n Thread Facebook Community and that shows up in my email too often, too – and usually with a very gut-wrenching story to go along with it.

How can you tell if threads are colorfast? What I can do about bleeding threads?

There’s a good article on the Stitcher’s Paradise website on Bleeding Colors in Threads and essentially how to avoid them. The article is more about prevention rather than correction, and it’s worth reading.

Mitered Corners Tutorial

Luzine Happel is a wonder! I have been following her Schwalm website for years, and I love her books.

She recently published a beautiful tutorial on perfectly mitered corners.

If you make your own table linens, it’s a must to know how to miter a corner well!

While you’re at it, check out her tutorial on working a pea-hole hem around a corner.

Weekend Plans!

My weekend plans include some stitching, of course. I’m working on a table runner for winter at the moment. Think: whitework on icy blue. I’ll share that with you soon. As usual, I went overboard on the embroidery elements. I should have stuck with one or two – not 22.

I’m also going to spend some time hunting down a good linen in a darker blue – perhaps a Wedgewood-type blue or a maybe something a little more brilliant. I’m dying for some good linen in more lively colors. Anyone else noticing a dearth of decent colored linen for hand embroidery?

And of course, the snowflaking hasn’t come to an end yet!

Now that it’s November, if you’re thinking ahead to Christmas and want to get some seasonal stitching in, check out my Twelve Trees for Christmas ebook – they’re fun projects for adorning just about anything with holiday cheer!

I’ll have some holly & evergreen ready-to-stitch towel sets available in the next week or so, along with a new design set. So keep an eye out for those!

Have a marvelous weekend!


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(20) Comments

  1. Dear Mary

    I really liked your article for SFSNAD on illness and embroidery very emotive and very true whenever I feel insecure or let down by people I certainly find needlework therapeutic and soothing and after a while I forgotten all about the problem. I wouldn’t mind joining in on the band sampler project this would be great for when I am away and need something to occupy my hands. I’m looking forward to hearing about your table runner. Yes good linen is so hard to come by especially in the UK, good luck. Thank you for sharing these news snisps with us and for the links to the sites. I hope you have a great weekend with plenty of good therapeutic stitching.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  2. Your article for SFSNAD was wonderful and so inspiring. I’m very intrigued by the band sampler and am toying with the idea of participating! And–tears whilst reading–thank you for Rita’s Quilt story. Some days it just really helps to know there are good things and people out there in our chaotic world. Great start to November, Mary!!!

  3. Loved your article on SNAD
    Yes to Band Sampler
    As always, Luzine is Amazing

    Bleeding thread – What I’ve purchased from Valdani has not bled. What I’ve dyed myself has not bled. As someone who has been dyeing thread for 20 years, I think a lot of the problem does lie in failure to rinse. It’s so much easier for manufactures to skip this step. It saves them money and water. Not all dye bleeds from steaming. Some dye sets by steaming. As always, avoid the heartbreak and anything that must be washed, test, test and test again. There’s no point in spending hours embroidering a blouse that bleeds when you wash or iron it.

    Wool from Renaissance Dye works also does not bleed.

    I found a nice blue in Belfast Linen.
    Woolgathers.com carries Hoffman linen. I really like this fabric and they have a lovely blue. Their linen dish towels are the best.
    Finally, I’ll sing the praises of Sotema, Italian linen again. Worth every dime! I bought 3 meters of Assisi Linen. It’s count is 11 per cm. Or roughly 28 count. It’s fabulous and comes in gorgeous colors. Its not just great for Assisi, but pulled thread as well. Hazel…I’m on my way! There goes my allowance.

    1. Thanks for the tips, Holly. Yep, I love Sotema’s linens. I’ve been a huge fan for years, but it’s only recently that they’re being regularly stocked in the States. Not all, but at least some of them. Great linen!

      I’m not a huge fan of Zweigart’s Belfast linen, but I will check out the blue that they have, since it’s been recommended a couple times.

      And I love Wool Gatherers. They’re right up there in Wisconsin, not too far from where my family up there lives. Next time I’m up there, I’m popping in for more linen toweling! I want to see their linen yardage, too. Maybe this would be a good excuse for a road trip? LOL!

  4. Loved your article. I have found needlework to be the same for me as I have faced health issues. It is encouraging to hear how the same has helped so many people. Thank you for being transparent!

  5. Wonderful article you wrote about the comfort and healing stitching can bring. You have a gift for needlework and a gift for words. I’m sure you’ve touched the hearts of everyone since each person has a story or 2 they could tell about the pain in their own life. Thank you for the encouragement.

  6. Mary you wrote a wonderful article for SFSNAD! I agree with everything as I have seen for myself the calming and meditative effects embroidery and other needlework has had on improving my own health, as I battle several autoimmune diseases. Creating grounds me, and helps to melt away the stresses of my life, which can exacerbate the effects of my diseases. Wishing us all many more happy years of creating. Thank you.

  7. thank you so much for the link to the story on Rita’s quilt – I had not seen that on the news and as an old nurse myself and a crafter with boxes of projects — well it was heart warming to know that Rita’s Quilt will be finished by un-known friends. I bet Rita would have loved this ! And so much appreciation to Shannon Downey who had the heart to make sure Rita’s quilt was made complete.

    Chris in San Francisco

  8. mary, I can’t imagine how you kept on stitching
    during chemo, A friend of mine seriously conciderated suicide. But, like you, the stitching gave her something to work for, I can’t tell you how proud of you I am and how Impressed I am with your struggle.

    1. The Vermeer blue is a very very very very pale with a greenish tint to it. There’s too much yellow in it to make it a blue-blue. It’s a pretty color, but not quite what I’m looking for!

  9. Hi Mary, Needle in a Haystack offers a 32 count Zweigart (Belfast) linen in a color called Blue Spruce that may work for your project. I have a piece of it, and it is a lovely medium blue. (Also, as you probably know, the Belfast line has several colors, including other blues, if the 32 count is a fine enough weave for the project. Some of the colors also appear in the 36 count Edinborough line.). For a deep, golden-toned cream in a very fine weave, they have a Legacy Linen (53 count) called Sycamore Seed Pod.

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