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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It All Starts with Thread


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I’m a little late to the New Year’s party, but now it’s time to kick off 2020 here on Needle ‘n Thread.

Happy 2020, my friends! I hope it is a fruitful year for all of us in every regard!

Over my short holiday (holidays always seem short to me… I wonder why?), I started lining up projects for the new year and assessing my carry-over projects from previous years (of which there are several).

While I was milling about, mulling over this project and that, I kept coming back to thread. It seems that every idea that’s brewing for Needle ‘n Thread at the moment comes down to thread. I have designs. I have fabric. I need to make thread choices.

Overdyed floche hand embroidery thread

I’m going to start the year off fairly easy, working through some designs that I’ve had lingering for a little while, that involve small, manageable projects.

It’s a series similar to this voided monogram in concept, and it includes both monograms and small designs without monograms.

For the thread question, I decided to use floche for the series.

Using floche has its pros and cons, but the point that pushed me over the edge in making the decision for floche is that Colour Complements is now offering an assortment of overdyed floche.

Floche is already a favorite thread, and the idea of using overdyed floche – with all its subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle variations – put me all a-twitter!

I can’t wait to incorporate these into a new project! I plan to mix the overdyed threads in with solid colors, to give a good, thorough range of brilliant color.

Overdyed floche hand embroidery thread

This time of year, through January and February, color is crucial for me.

Once the holidays are over, life settles into a nice, low-key hum here in Kansas. But it’s generally a grey hum. There’s not a lot of color in the landscape. The skies tend towards grey more than blue. The fields are bare, dank, and sleepy.

It’s a great time to stitch, and it’s a great time to incorporate a lot of color while stitching!

Overdyed floche hand embroidery thread

Thread often inspires me to move forward with a project. Do you ever notice that?

For example, I might have a design idea floating about in my head, but it’s vague and sometimes stagnant. I don’t necessarily have any real enthusiasm for just a design by itself.

It usually takes playing with embroidery thread to get my head around the design and turn into something enticing to stitch.

Embroidery thread ignites my enthusiasm!

Overdyed floche hand embroidery thread

That’s exactly what happened when I started playing with this floche. I wasn’t sure which project to tackle first for 2020. I wanted to start the year off softly, stitching something I love that wasn’t too intense. But I wasn’t really fired up about any project until I started playing with thread!

Then, things started falling into place. I took out some sketches I’ve been trying to translate into doable designs. And as I worked on finishing those up, all the while imagining threads and colors and stitches on them, a certain antsy-ness to start stitching took over.

Today, I start! And I will show you the results as we go along together into the New Year. We’ll talk about tips and techniques and I’ll share progress with you.

And as the year unfolds, you’ll see a few other projects coming to light in the first several months of the year. For example, this Fantasia in Silk will show up again! And so will a little Jacobean piece that’s been languishing.

I have, in fact, many plans for 2020 and Needle ‘n Thread, and I hope that you will join me on the journey and find a lot of inspiration along the way!

May 2020 blossom into your best year yet!


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(12) Comments

  1. Happy 2020 to you Mary !
    I am looking forward to your new projects – especially Fantasia and the Jacobean piece.

  2. That, I’m looking forward to! I love those types of posts that show off threads! The pics here are great looking! Thanks Mary!

  3. I get stuck when it comes to choosing colors for an embroidery project. I love them all, which makes it hard to choose specific hues or shades with which to stitch. Maybe I need to have a project going in each of several palettes? Hmm, hadn’t considered that until now.

  4. That is some beautiful thread. I ordered 5 skeins. Some I wanted were already sold out. I loved the deep red so maybe they will get it in again soon. I can’t wait to see how you use it. I think I am a thread collector but you can never have too many colors.

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