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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Embroidery Update: Two Down, Two to Go


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Good morning, my friends! Today, just a quick update on my Jacobean Sea embroidery project. It’s been a while since our last update. And yes, you’d think I’d have it finished…

It definitely should have been finished by now, and, while I’ve managed the last two large “leaves,” I still have two small ones to go!

I’m not necessarily completely finished with these two large leaves, either. The base leaf is ok – I think I’ll probably leave it – but the side leaf is awaiting one more color of thread, and I’m not quite sure I’m satisfied with it. We shall see!

So here’s a very quick update just to show you where I am.

Jacobean Sea Embroidery Project

I’ll start with an overview.

This is not the orientation of the design in the frame. I often situate my frame sideways in my table stand, so I can manage stitching certain areas or in certain directions better.

Jacobean Sea Embroidery Project

The base leaf on the design is worked in satin stitch in the center, long and short stitch shading at the base, and stem stitch on the top part of the leave. I left white space on the leaves (mirroring the other large leaf) because it keeps things from looking to stodgy and thick.

Well, that was the plan, anyway!

The line of coral delica beads across the base was actually an afterthought, but I like it, so I think I’ll add it to the design.

Jacobean Sea Embroidery Project

This leaf… well, I put it in and took it out about six times, trying different stitch combinations with the colors I wanted to work with. If I stick with this version, there’s one more color I need to add in the lower section of the leaf.

I’ll try that today, and see if it is worth keeping.

This leaf is a combination of a whipped chain stitch, stem stitch, and straight stitch worked as a kind of alternating-color satin stitch, but I’ve shortened some of the stitches because I’m going to split them with another color. We’ll see!

In the meantime, I’ve been writhing with a jolly toothache, so until I get to the dentist today, I don’t know that my head can handle tackling the rest of this. Just two small leaves to go, but I know if I run into any frustrating bits, I won’t handle them well. Funny how a bad toothache can muddle one’s thinking, isn’t it?

In any case, I hope you have a wonderful Monday! I’ll be back and hearty-hale on Wednesday!

Looking for More?

If you’d like to read more about this project and see it develop step-by-step, you can find previous articles listed here under the tag Jacobean Embroidery.


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(22) Comments

  1. Hello Mary,

    Hope you feel better after your dentist visit. Toothaches are not fun.
    Your Jacobean embroidery is fantastic. I love it – the colors and all the different stitches. I can’t wait to see the finished piece.
    Take care and have a great 4th of July!

  2. Stunning as always. Love reading your ideas and reasons. The creative brain is indeed an amazing thing.

  3. On that leaf in the last photo, which you say you’ve taken out about 6 times, here’s a thought… I personally really like the effect of the long-and-short straight stitches as they are. It’s a bit different, and is so beautifully even that it looks like a finished stitch.

    But I think the whole leaf needs one of the coral shades – which is probably what you were going to use to finish that lower section? I’d like to suggest filling the white area at the top of the leaf with seed stitch in the medium coral (assuming you’re using 3 values). While I see you have a design motif of leaving some areas unstitched inside the outline, not all are like that, and using seed stitch would put that area halfway between the two approaches.

    Just a thought! I’m rather inexperienced with embroidery design, and often struggle to figure out what stitch I want to use, however simple the design. But I love the effect you’ve got in the bottom leaf in this photo, and also feel the leaf needs a bit of coral to make it sing in harmony with the rest of the piece. So, FWIW, this is my offering 🙂


  4. Yikes! Toothaches are miserable. I usually get them as part of a delightful headache that goes down into my jaw or from grinding my teeth at night.

    I hope the dentist fixes whatever needs fixing. Or, at the very least, gives you a reprieve from the pain. (You know you need to see a dentist when you want to see a dentist…)

    I shall include a Fun Fact: My maternal grandmother is 87 years old and still has her own teeth. Never misses an appointment. (I say, you’re 87. Miss all of your appointments. Show up when you feel like it. Old people can get away with so much! Enjoy it!)

  5. Mary, first of all: ouch, I’m so sorry you’re dealing with a toothache! So not fun, and I hope the dentist gives you some fast relief! Secondly, I really love this design. I mean, I love all your designs but there’s really something about this one. I’m a fan of Jacobean style, but when you add these colors, the just-enough-but-not-over-the-top beading and the variety of stitches…well, I’m just REALLY diggin’ it.

  6. Morning Mary
    I have loved following yours and Anna’s stitching of these designs with all their ups and downs, it’s been really educational for me with the why’s, wherefore’s and do-overs. Also gone back and looked at some of your other projects, especially the rooster with the different stitches used, very inspirational.
    I know exactly what a bad toothache can do to your ability to deal with everyday things. No dental coverage and mine was on-going for more than a year, finally got so bad that I went to the emergency room for anti-biotics and prescription strength pain relief a month ago. Now have 6 less teeth and some bone loss but everything is healing well and wonder of wonders no more pain. Course I can’t chew anything because there’s only 2 molars that meet but another month and that problem will be resolved too.
    Also excited that after 4 months of isolation I can tentatively go out again. Face mask on and sanitizer wipes in my holster. First stop will be Threadneedle Street in Issaquah to pick up some Appleton and maybe linen twill if I like what she has otherwise I’ll order from Needle In a Haystack. Then I’ll be jumping in to try my hand at crewel embroidery with a pattern leaning towards Jacobean.
    Happy stitching and be well soon – Brenda

    1. Hi, Brenda – Yeah, they pulled it. First time for everything, I suppose – but I hope I never have to do that again. The tooth split and was infected. I’ll look into an implant or something in a few months. :-/

      I love Threadneedle Street! I visited there years ago – what a great shop! Enjoy your day out!

  7. This is just beautiful! I love seeing your progress on it. I can’t wait till it’s a pattern I can buy!

    As a side note, I’m starting to get into goldwork and hoping to add some silk embroidery at some point, and your site has been invaluable. I’ve gone through all your blog posts that mention silk embroidery, and I created a list of each type of silk thread you mention, whether it’s flat or filament, the color options it comes in, and what type of embroidery/stitches it’s best for. It’s so useful! Thank you for your dedication to teaching others!

    (If you have any tips on Japanese embroidery, I’d love a post about that. I’m really eager to try it, but it seems very mysterious and tricky and hard to find good info about.)

  8. G’day Mary,
    I’m so sorry about the toothache and wish you well asap.
    Yes, this Jacobean embroidery is delish. Love the beads.
    Cheers, Kath

  9. Mary, it looks wonderful. I never would have thought of leaving white space – but it really works.

  10. Hi Mary,
    Your embroidery, as usual, is beautiful! Mary, about 2 years ago I won a Trish Burr kit from you. Right after that I had a stroke & was (& am still) unable to start or finish it. I hate to see it go to waste. Could I return it so you can get it to someone else? I also have some brand new hoops. Thanks, Sheila

  11. Bummer on the tooth pulling, but I’m glad you’re feeling better now. I’ve been fortunate not having many dental issues of the functional sort (appearance is a whole ‘nother story :-/ ) – just enough to know it’s Not Fun. DH on the other hand – we’ve got thousands in his mouth even with insurance.

  12. I think the empty part on the leaf on the left is standing out to me. It needs filled in with something light–not a heavy stitch and nothing bulky or bead-y. Maybe a little bit of orange would balance it. Possibly just a line of orange, like in the bottom leaf.
    I’m not sure, but I agree that it needs something.

    1. Hi, Judith – I don’t sell retail supplies at this time. If you’re in the States and you’re looking for embroidery linen suitable for needlepainting, you might contact Needle in a Haystack or browse through their fabric selections. The linens from Access Commodities are excellent quality. Look for high count (40 – 60) or for general purpose.

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