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, June 2020


Amazon Books

Howdy-ho and good morning! It’s been a while since we’ve browsed together through online needlework resources for inspiration, instruction, and interesting resources!

This morning, that’s what we’re going to do. You might savor delving into some discoveries over the weekend, too! There’s plenty here to explore, especially if you’re looking forward to a wet and rainy weekend like I am!

So, get comfortable, grab a cup of your favorite morning libation, and let’s have a bit of a wander together…

Needlework News Snips - June, 2020

Thread Painting Basics

Over on The Sharp Needler, Margaret Cobleigh has detailed the development of some beautiful thread painting on stems and leaves. Definitely an article worth reading, if you want to explore needlepainting!

Pay special attention to the veins on those leaves. They just set the leaves off perfectly.

Margaret is a needlepainting genius. I’m always in awe of her meticulously perfected skills.

Schwalm Sampler from Around the World

For fans of whitework, you won’t want to miss the “Global Schwalm Sampler” that Luzine Happel has been sharing on her blog. The most recent update features four exquisite Schwalm pieces – one from the UK, one from France, and two from Australia. While the techniques are traditional, some of the motifs have a little more of a modern zing. All of them are exquisite.

Luzine is an expert in Schwalm whitework embroidery and her books and blog are an invaluable resource for inspiration and instruction. Another blog worth exploring in depth! This series has been especially fun to watch develop.

Ecclesiastical Embroidery

A Few Practical Hints on Church Embroidery is an interesting, short pamphlet.

I like the sketches at the very end. There are some nice, close-up details that are useful for embroidering these types of motifs.

It’s a super short little pamphlet.

The Ladies’ World Embroidery Book

And speaking of old books, The Ladies’ World Embroidery Book is worth a short browse. There are some design bits in there that could be enlarged.

I also like the cover!

Old Fashioned Monograms

And speaking of old books with design bits, L’Art dans la lingerie : dessins de broderie is packed full of classic French monogram styles. Nice!

Online Workshop for Couching

This year, a gazillion (ok, that could be a slight exaggeration) needlework designers have turned to online platforms to make up for the cancellations of face-to-face workshops.

Natalie Dupuis is offering an online workshop on couching (she’s very well known for her couched goldwork embroideries). If you’re interested in taking the humble couching stitch just a bit farther and seeing how much you can actually do with it, you should check out her workshop. You’ll find registration links and an introductory video on her website here.

Needlework Accessories & Gifts

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to review in depth a few needlework tools and accessories that I’ve come into contact with lately. This is just a quick mention of something that I think is kind of fun, if you’re looking for something different for gift-giving for your needlework-loving friends.

I like to wine while I stitch

I know a lot of stitchers like to meet for “stitch and sip” groups, or like to relax with a bit of wine while stitching with friends. While I’m not really a drinker, I think this particular tumbler is a lot of fun and would make a great gift for someone who likes to wine while stitching. It’s insulated, and it has a lid with a kind of gasket around it, to reduce the possibility of spills or splashes.

You’ll find this (and other styles) at this neat little family business out of North Carolina called Joseph’s Workshop. It’s not just needlework stuff, but there’s a needleworker in the family, so there’s a wide selection of needlework-related accessories and gifts available, as well as some kits. Lots of wooden needle minders, too.

No affiliation – I just think some of the products are fun!

New Jersey & Embroidery

Earlier this year – before Lockdown 2020 – I travelled to New York City and saw, on the Jersey side of the Lincoln Tunnel, a banner about New Jersey being the embroidery capital of the US, or something to that effect.

A little research, and next thing I knew, I was digging into the embroidery industry in the US during the early 20th century and running up to the 1980’s. This is the tale of the industrial, machine-embroidery business, not hand embroidery. Nevertheless, it’s an important part of textile history here in the States, and as such, I found it increasingly intriguing the more I dug about.

For those who want a brief overview, I thought this article on the industry – and the machines – was pretty interesting!

An 18th Century Pretty Thing

This is a very pretty example of late 18th century embroidery worked on a dress and petticoat of very fine Indian muslin.

Embroidery on an 18th Century Silk Apron

Check out this article on learning embroidery by studying the embroidery on an 18th century silk apron.

Sort of embroidery-history-geeky stuff, but I love it!

Beaded or Embroidered?

Nancy Lawrence is an author of Regency-related novels and such. I’ve never read her work, but, on her blog, I came across this article that I thought was pretty darned fascinating!

If you like historical costuming, the Regency period, and so forth, you might find it interesting, too. It’s a Regency-era linen gown that, at first, looks embroidered. Then she discovers it’s not really what we picture as traditional Regency-era embroidery.

Boy’s Embroidered Waistcoat

Speaking of historical embroidery on clothes, this overview of a boy’s embroidery waistcoat caught my eye. Snazzy!

The End

I’m sure there are many other things I’m supposed to mention to you right now. I had a list. But my cup is empty – long empty – and the day begs for work to begin.

I didn’t finish my Jacobean Sea piece last week, but I’ll finish it today, hopefully. We have a big family wedding this weekend, so I probably won’t get much stitching accomplished.

I’m still plugging away on a few design collections and a project e-book for you. I’m not plugging very quickly, though, am I? The voided monograms and heart design are still in the works. I’ve also got some floche collections ready to go with them, so that you don’t have to seek out threads.

You’ll still find a small trickle of ready-to-stitch towels in the shop, while I work through the remainder of my towel stash.

I’ve also been working on putting together a limited supply of ready-to-stitch linen tea cloths (30″ square) that can be used as accent cloths on a table. It’s a fine, beautiful linen fabric, and I’m planning to make them a special order item that allows you to pick the design you want. So that’s coming up!

Finally, I’ve been piddling with my Thousand Flower designs that I mentioned on Wednesday, charting a new design that – once it’s stitched (probably next millennium) – I’m going to make into a small treasure box. It’s just an idea that’s been eating at me for a while! So I figured I’d set it up…

Too many ideas, too little time!

Enjoy your weekend!


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(13) Comments

  1. Hi Mary,
    Enjoyed today’s news and snips, particularly the embroidered waistcoat, I have one of my own, acquired 10-15 years ago. The embroidery is very delicate, and the pockets have flaps that have also been embroidered and have buttons to keep them closed.
    I’d love to send you a photo of it, but I can’t find a way to do that here.
    And thanks for the info about Joseph’s Workshop, I like to support small businesses and I know I’ll find something I just have to have….

    Thanks for all you do! You are such a valuable resource

  2. Mary, thanks for this wonderful sampling of embroidery delights. My favorites are the beaded dress (just thinking about how the weight of those beads on the hem would affect the elegance of movement in that dress has my head spinning) and the thread painting tutorial. I am trying to teach myself thread painting and just got Trish Burr’s book for beginners and watched her online tutorial. By combining your always wonderful tutorials with Trish’s book and video now this new one today, I feel like I’m making good progress.

    It’s always a treat to see what you have to share and watch your progress on whatever project(s) you currently have going.

  3. I adore your blog. Your writing never fails to bring a smile to my face.

    I’ll admit one day I’d like to be able to copy an 18th century embroidery piece. In fact, that’s what led me to finally talk are an embroidery workshop. The rest, as they say, is history. I’m nowhere near that skill level yet, nor have I found any patterns online, but it’s nice to have goals, right?

  4. G’day there Mary,
    Will I, or won’t I? Maybe I will, it’s fun.
    Years ago the dad of a USA friend was visiting us with her. I was waiting for him to finish with his cup. “Oh, you’re wanting my cup and here I am piddling with it”. The friend rushed over, whispered to the dad and they both went off looking embarrassed. In Australia we say fiddling. Piddling is doing a wee, like is there a toilet here, I’ll be piddling in my pants if I don’t hurry!
    Thank you for all the info and reference sites Mary. All of interest.
    Cheers, Kath.

    1. Thanks for the heads up, Kath! We say fiddling, too, but in some areas of the country, we also say piddling. I grew up on “piddle about” (as in, let’s go to the bookstore and just puddle about for a while). It’s a mom-ism.

  5. Thank you so much for all these wonderful links. I enjoyed the article on embroidery machines of New Jersey as I’m from that area. And all those gorgeous embroidered gowns of the 18th century! And the seemingly simple linen gown that was beautifully beaded! This was a sweet treat for me to enjoy as we head into yet another weekend of semi-isolation. Thanks again and keep well.

  6. I love discovering new ways of sharing and stitching. These news snippets are a joy and even gave me a means of explaining Historical home arts as a source of teaching market economy and world trade routes. I will also teach how to do stitches too. Guggenheim who knew?

  7. I truly enjoy your site and how well and how much I’ve learned from you.
    May I ask about the “big family wedding” you said you were attending this weekend? With the COVID-19 infections increasing, how is this wedding taking place? I’m just curious as there are so many weddings that have been postponed. Is your big family wedding handling this in a way to prevent more transmissions? Maybe this wedding is a good way to inform others how it is being handled.
    Thanks, Mary. Just wondering.

    1. Different states have different levels of restrictions in place, and different counties within states have different levels of restrictions in place, so of course, anyone planning anything should check with their own state and county requirements.

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