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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Taking a Break!


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Well, it is inevitable. Something had to give, and I’m afraid it’s this week on Needle ‘n Thread.

I mentioned last week that my mom was in the hospital. She was discharged a week ago Saturday and ended up back in this past Wednesday. I’m the designated visitor. Only one visitor is allowed, and it has to be the same visitor for the duration of the patient’s stay, due to recent health regulations. You can imagine what this does to the rest of the family, how exhausting it is for the designated visitor, and what it does especially to my 90-year old dad, with his wife of 65 years wondering where he is and not understanding why he can’t be there with her.

It’s not exactly a fun situation, and it’s a little stressful. But I figure where there’s stress, there should be handwork. It can at least help alleviate some of the stress.

So I’ve been taking my hexies with me as my companions in distress. And they’re holding up well…

Hexies in the Hospital

This was my view for a couple days – that’s the Topeka capital building in the background. It was a beautiful day that day, and the lighting was great for stitching.

There’s not always a lot of stitching time when you’re sitting in a hospital room, but when your patient finally falls into a decent sleep, that’s a good time to make progress on your project and take your mind off your surroundings.

Hexies in the Hospital

I got some outdoor courtyard time in one day, while mom was toted off to for scans and whatnot.

Strangely, it’s been lovely, sunny weather here in Kansas – it’s below 80 degrees at the beginning of August. Truly a marvel! So I was happy to be able to take advantage of that one afternoon.

When last we talked about my hexies and their organization, I received an email from a reader who mentioned that I must carry a gargantuan purse, if I tote around in it my pencil-turned-sewing-case and one of the boxes I keep the basted hexies. (Those are both explained in the previous article.)

It’s not a gargantuan purse, but it’s a great purse for these kinds of situations. It’s the Baggallini “Everywhere” bag, and it is roomy, while being just enough compartmentalized to keep things organized. I added it to my Amazon recommendations under “Tools & Accessories” because I definitely count it as one of my favorite “stitching accessories” – I always have something tucked in it that I can work on when stuck somewhere. And yes, mine is red – but they have plenty of other colors, too.

I just figured I’d share that with you, in case there are others out there wondering just how huge my handbag must be! It’s not huge, but it’s not small. It’s light, roomy, and great for travel.

And so now I will bid you farewell for this week. I’m going to take the week off from the blog – unless I magically end up with more time than I think I will have – or unless a miracle happens and mom is home sooner than I think she will be.

I won’t be able to answer email until things settle down, unless it has to do with orders or download help. If you have general embroidery questions, please use the search feature on the website. Thanks.

I still have the Goldwork Masterclass books coming in, for those who have inquired. Hopefully, I’ll have them available for you within the next week or so.


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(61) Comments

  1. When my mom was sick in the hospital, stitching projects were such a good way to pass the time (and avoid watching day time television, which became rather dreadful after a while). Listening to a book helped us both pass the time, and if she slept, I could catch her up pretty quickly (chose a book w/a movie you’ve already seen or a book you read a while ago helps in case you both take a nap 🙂
    I am glad you are taking a break, and spending time with you Mom. Sending lots of prayers for her quick recovery, and your wellness while you are there with her.

  2. Blessings to you, Mary! So glad you are there to take care of your Mom. I have been there. Praying for you and your whole family.

  3. You will be in my prayers. Family always comes first. From a Lab Tech working in the thick of this, TAKE CARE OF YOU AND YOUR MOTHER FIRST. Your regular posts will be sorely missed, but I think I speak for 99.9% of us when I say we understand.

  4. Good luck and best wishes to your mother, Mary. I’ve been following your blog for years now and depend on your wonderful videos. Recommend them at guild meetings whenever I do a show n tell.
    Take all the time you need now.

  5. Mary, wishing your Mom good health so she can return home soon. You also take care of yourself. Glad you are taking the week off 🙂

  6. Dear Mary,
    Your Mom, you and your family are in my prayers.
    I know what you are going through.
    Take care.

  7. You give us so much. Please take all the time you need and more, our families always come first. May the Blessings Be

  8. My heart and prayers go out to you and your family. It was sock knitting that kept me going through similar circumstances in hospital rooms over the course of many years.

  9. You can’t do everything and this is the logical spot to let things slide.

    All the best to you, your mom, and the rest of the family.

  10. Hi Mary I will be thinking of you during this difficult time having been there I know just how exhausting it is, having some embroidery to do makes all the difference sending you my heartiest good wishes


  11. Morning Mary, A difficult and stressful situation to be sure. Thank goodness for close family and handwork though, keeping an open line of communication with her medical staff and the family is more important than ANYTHING else right now. I appliqued a floral wreath on a cushion cover while mum was recovering from open heart surgery so I know what you mean about keeping busy but not having time for anything at the same time. It was hard to focus.
    Wishing you all well and your mum a speedy recovery.

  12. My thoughts are with you, Mary. I did your walk for several years in and out of the hospital with my folks, some expected, some emergencies, some with hope and other times, not so lucky with news of any hope for better health.
    My parents never failed to show gratefulness and love to me for my help. That was worth it all, and , yes, my exhaustion-mentally and physically was a character builder, but I’d do any day over again if I could. Be strong and know that you are loved deeply for your care and compassion as your parents perhaps now are experiencing the winter of their lives. These are the days that you’re able to sincerely ‘give back’ to your parents for their many years of great parenting during their loving marriage. Bless you for your good heart. I admire you. Take all the time you need. Your parents and family are first We, in the sewing community of Needle ‘N Thread, have you in our hearts.

  13. Hello Mary,
    Prayers for your Mom and for you as you spend time with her in isolation…happy stitching and hang in there!

  14. Mary, you and your family will be in our thoughts this week. Take care and thanks for the years of great stitching advice❣️ Teresa in Sac

  15. Thinking good thoughts for you and your mother. We’ll manage to survive a week without your lovely stitching.

  16. Oh Mary, I wish you and your parents healing and a return to normal. I went through this years ago with my parents and it is so painful to see their sadness. I am sure you will cheer them up as much as possible! Stay strong, and I am sure you know you have so many friends praying for you and your loved ones. With affection, Lauranne

  17. Merci pour tout,
    J’espere que votre maman ira mieux tres bientot.
    Thanks for all,
    I hope your mother will overcome the sickness soon.

  18. Take care of yourself and your family.

    I know you have thousands of hexies left to stitch up, but everything you’ve shown so far is beautiful.

  19. Dear Mary,
    So sorry to hear about your mom. We all have to remember to put family ahead of work at times. If you get a bit of stitching caught up with your hexie project to lower the stress wonderful, but helping keep parents calm and family apprised of the issues is more important right this minute. Thanks for the reminder that sometimes we just have to own our issues and set work aside. I’ll keep your family in prayer as you manage this situation. You are a blessing to so many, now it is our turn to offer support to you.

  20. Mary,
    Oh dear! I am so sorry to hear about your mother. These are certainly trying times as our parents age. I will keep you all in my prayers.

    Of course, you do not need to respond to my comment! I understand how this is… been there; done that. Very stressful!

    Just FYI: Sue Daley is the guru on English Paper piecing. She uses a glue pen & it goes much faster. I realize that you WANT something to do with your hands, but I thought I would be remiss if I didn’t share. Plus, her Australian accent is just lovely!

    Best of luck during this trying time.

    1. Hi, Diane – I use a glue pen on part of the basting approach, but, since this is such a long term project, I prefer to baste them, too. But the glue pen helps me keep the paper situated without shifting. The basting goes very quickly. Thanks for the link! I love watching how other people do things like this! So many good ideas out there!

  21. Boa tarde! Sou do Brasil, região Sudeste do país, Minas Gerais, numa cidade chamada Santa Luzia. Estou na fase inicial do Bordado Livre e gosto muito da pintura de agulha. Cheguei ao seu blog através de um comentário no Pinterest a respeito do post Or Nué Blossoms – Detalched Petals . Usei a tradução do Google e fiquei encantada com as suas explicações para a pintura de agulha e vou colocá-las em prática. Aproveito e quero agradecer sua disponibilidade em ensinar. Quero também desejar a voce e aos seus familiares muita paz interior e sabedoria nesse tempo de enfermidade. Lúcia Helena Moreira.

  22. Hi, I hope you are working on getting the rest and care that you need. As I recall from your past posts, you have had serious health issues. No need to respond, just please know so many of us care and look forward to your return.

  23. Dear Mary,
    I hope so much that your mom will soon be well again. It is certainly a difficult time for you but the thankfulness of your mom is certain and also the thanks of your family – I believe. – Let me thank you here for your so very good blog posts, informative and interesting. I wish you a good time with your hexies and stay optimistic and well, you too.

  24. No need to reply, but I did want you to know that I am wishing the best of health for your Mom so that she can be back home with her family, and you too can get some respite. I am glad you do find bits of time to stitch.

  25. Good thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Thank you for all your hard work and wonderful lessons.

  26. I am glad you are taking the week off from the blog, even though I will miss your posts. I hope all goes well with your mom.

  27. Mary,
    I’m so sorry about your mom, and I hope she makes a speedy recovery. Hang in there and sew away! I have knee surgery in two weeks, and I can sew hexies while on painkillers. But that’s about all.

  28. I hope your Mom has a Speedy Recovery. That is odd the way the hospital personnel won’t allow any other visitors – it is bordering on the inhumane.

  29. Dear Mary,
    This post shows once again your dedication and care to your readers and audiences. I can see why you would be the designated visitor! And while I’m sure there are a myriad of reasons for this choice, it makes sense from afar. May your mother heal and feel better soon so that she can go home and be in her familiar and more comfortable setting. Best wishes!

  30. Mary – I realize that it may be awhile before you read this.

    My best wishes for your mother’s quick recovery.

    I know that this is like. My mom is 91 and before the shut down husband and I were the dedicated schleppers of mom to various doctors as we both work very part time.

    Mom is currently living in an assisted living facility – of course visits were not allowed until July and then she would be outside in a chair and family – up to 4 once a month – on the other side of fence away from her. My sister who lives near her has seen her. Mom was also just in the hospital for the 2nd time since the shut down here (March). First time no visitors, this time, same as you, one visitor – same sister went. Mom is now back at her residence, but needs surgery and will shortly be back in the hospital again. It is all so much harder and sadder for her and us when she has to go through most of this alone.

    Again, I hope that your mother is soon well and home again.

  31. Hi Mary,
    I’ve only commented before to enter giveaways, but I wanted to send you good wishes and prayers during this stressful time. I LOVE your website and will be happy to have you back at it, whenever that time comes!

  32. Mary,
    Thank you for sharing. I hope your mother is soon well enough to go home. Stay well. All the best,

  33. So sorry your Mum is poorly, you and the family must be especially worried about her in these difficult times. Please make sure you take all the time necessary to make her comfortable and ensure you are not taking on too much – I’m sure I am not alone in saying we will look forward to your return whenever you are ready.
    In the meantime, best wishes and fingers crossed, hoping for the best.

  34. You don’t have to respond at all, but I know how you feel. I am also the only visitor allowed to see my mom in Australia during these unprecedented times. The only good news was I hadn’t been able to see her because her nursing home was on lockdown too so when she ended up in hospital I was at least able to stay bedside, being a nurse that helped the staff and my mom. My mom had just fallen and needed surgery so recovered and went back to nursing home, but I got to sit with her with sun coming in through the window and stitched a bit on and off. It gave me peace while my mom drifted in and out of consciousness. My understanding is with you and I hope you find peace.

  35. Dear Mary – Best Wishes to you, your Mom and your family during this difficult time. I’ve been in similar situations and it’s always uncertain, stressful and tiring. Take all the time you need ❤

  36. I’m sorry to hear that your mom is in the hospital. That must be very sad and stressful even without the corona restrictions adding extra problems. Please take all the time you need; we’ll be here when you have the time again.

    I hope your mom gets better.

  37. Hi Mary, just a note to hope that your mother’s doing better and that all is going okay, and to thank you for the heads-up about taking a break! And for the helpful professionalism and excellent organization of your blog in general.

    I don’t think bloggers really “owe” us readers anything beyond letting us read whatever they feel like posting whenever they feel like posting it, but when we find a current blog that we really enjoy, we tend to make it a regular part of our internet-browsing habits. So it’s very thoughtful when a blogger continues to post fairly regularly, and lets us know when the typical posting schedule has to be suspended for some reason. All best wishes, and thanks again!

  38. Dear Mary,

    What a very stressful time for you, I hope your mum will be home very soon.
    Take all the time you need, and also time for yourself.
    Keeping you and your mum and family in my thoughts and prayers.

    Judy Sheppard
    South East Queensland,

  39. sorry to hear about the hear about your mothers health. Take care of yourself and your mom will be in mine (and may others, I am sure) thoughts.

  40. Sending along my continued Good wishes to your mom and your family for continued improvement in her rehabilitation and a return to peace and good health.

  41. Dear Mary
    I just popped on here, as sometime ago I saved some amazingly helpful, well written and produced posts from you for the day I started giving embroidery a go, as I have always wanted to.
    I thought that day maybe today, arrived to find your posts were as wonderful, actually more so, than I remembered. And to find you with your mother in these difficult times.
    I am so glad you have craft and family, I hope your Mother comes through with you and your poor father as simply and painlessly as possible for you all. It is such a rollercoaster of highs and lows, spread between tedium and uncertainty of what ifs, what next? and what day is it, being in hospital with someone you love.
    I am glad you have sunshine, it is wintery where I am in Coogee Sydney in the Sth Hemisphere, with rain blipping, while I think about learning to embroider hearts.
    No reply is necessary at such time, I hope you the sun keeps shining for you all there and you have beautiful colours, tactility and work to soothe the senses.
    Best wishes, Heidi

  42. Sorry I missed this at the one. I’m not such a diligent blog rider these days.

    Best wishes to you and your family, esp. your mum, who I hope is much better now. 🙂


  43. Thinking of you. I’ve been there and you are right, some sort of handwork saves the day. Thank you for sharing so much with us. The Quaker stitch is new to me! Good luck and hope Mom can go home soon.

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