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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Autumn Variety – Ready to Stitch Set Available Now!


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Here in Kansas, Autumn is spreading over the landscape pretty quickly. The trees are changing color, chilly nights are the norm, and Fallishness is showing up everywhere!

To celebrate my favorite season, I’ve put together another collection of ready-to-stitch autumn towels featuring maple leaves, oak leaves and acorns, and, of course, a pumpkin. The new set, called Autumn Variety, is available now in my shop.

It’s a fun set! The designs are a little less complicated than the Festive Fall design (which is also in stock right now) and they work up pretty quickly. You’ll have them adorning your autumn kitchen before you know it!

These sets are definitely embroidery for relaxation, and now that the darkness falls from the wings of night a little bit earlier each day, it’s a perfect time to cozy up to this type of stitching.

Let’s take a closer look at the set, and I’ll tell you a bit about my color choices and stitches.

Autumn Variety ready to stitch towel set

The designs on all three ready-to-stitch towels in the Autumn Variety set are transferred on the center lower edge of each towel. There are no corner designs in the set, as each design is arranged in more of a linear layout than a corner cluster.

Autumn Variety ready to stitch towel set

Like the other ready-to-stitch sets sold on Needle ‘n Thread, these designs benefit from a simple approach to stitching. On the samples, we used a combination of chain stitch, stem stitch, some Palestrina stitch, whipped chain, whipped backstitch, fly stitch, seed stitch, and the like.

In short, there’s nothing complex about the stitching!

That said, you can choose your own stitches, and you can go as simple as you want or as complex as you want!

Autumn Variety ready to stitch towel set

You can see that the designs transfer clearly, with easy to see (and easy to cover) lines.

With my interpretation of the pumpkin, because it is somewhat large, I used four strands (from the six) of DMC embroidery floss, and I chain stitched the main design lines. Then, I used two strands and whipped the chain stitch. This gave me a heavy outline for most of the pumpkin.

I achieved the shaded look with the whip stitching on the chain stitch. After embroidering all the outlines in the same orange (with four strands of floss, in chain stitch), I used the whipped stitches to give the pumpkin some depth, whipping the chain stitch on the front sections in a lighter orange, then the next sections back in the same orange as the chain stitch, and then I used a darker orange on the back sections of the pumpkin.

For the “highlights” on the pumpkin, I used two strands of DMC and stem stitch in the lightest orange.

Autumn Variety ready to stitch towel set

For the stem, I mixed browns and a variegated green-yellow-brown combination and worked it in stem stitch, filling just the top of the stem with stem stitch worked in close rows. The tendrils are Palestrina stitch, worked in the variegated green-yellow-brown.

These are just ideas of how you can stitch the pumpkin – or any other elements in this set. They’re not explicit instructions.

The idea behind this type of embroidery is that you have the opportunity to use the colors you want to use, the stitches you like, and so forth – don’t feel tied down to someone else’s interpretation! These projects are a great way to practice choosing and combining colors and choosing stitches that will work well to interpret simple designs.

Autumn Variety ready to stitch towel set

With some of the leaves on the maple leaf design line, I did the same thing. I used chain stitch or back stitch as the foundation along the outline of the leaf, and then, to give the impression of a changing color, I whipped the stitches with variegated autumn colors, or with lighter golds, oranges, and reds.

Autumn Variety ready to stitch towel set

The inside veins of the leaves are stem stitched with two strands, and I often used two different colors in the needle at once to give some good variation to the veins.

So, for example, on the gold leaf in the photo above, I used a darker reddish variegated thread and a gold and brown variegated thread, and threaded one strand of each in the needle to stem stitch the veins.

On the outline of that leaf, I worked a regular chain stitch (not whipped), mixing three different colors of thread in the needle.

Color Choices

When it came to choosing colors for this particular set, I went through my DMC threads and pulled out autumn colors that I thought would work. I arranged them all in a tray, and just used what I wanted, as the whim struck.

Autumn Variety ready to stitch towel set

I used a combination of solid DMC 6-stranded cotton and DMC Variations, which is DMC’s line of specialty variegated (over-dyed) 6-stranded cotton floss.

These are the colors I used, but you won’t necessarily need them all! If I were buying threads for this, I’d randomly pick out autumn-colored threads that I like and I’d just mix things up as I went. But if you want a workable list to start out, here it is:

DMC Variations: 4070, 4073, 4124, 4128, 4129, 4130, 4135, 4205

DMC Solids & regular variegated (sold with the solids): 90, 321, 420, 741, 742, 781, 898, 947, 970, 971, 3852

Get Your Towel Sets!

If you’d like the Autumn Variety towels, you’ll find a limited quantity available here in my shop right now. If they sell out, drop me a line to put you on the Advanced Notice list for the next batch.

Each set includes three white cotton flour sack towels, approximately 27″ x 27″, hemmed on all sides, with a hanging loop in the corner. One of three of the different designs in the set is pre-transferred at the center base of each towel.

The transfer will wash out after laundering, significantly after the first laundering and after that, it will fade with subsequent washing. For the best results, cover the design lines with embroidery. Additional fabric tips are included with each towel set.

The towel sets are available only in the US at this time, due to international shipping costs, constraints, and hiccups. The towel sets are mailed via Priority mail to US addresses normally on the day the order is placed, if ordered before noon Central Time.

To expedite the shipping process, when you place your order, please make sure your shipping address is entered correctly.

And that’s that! A new set, that I hope you will enjoy stitching as much as I enjoyed it!

I have a bunch of ready-to-stitch designs available at the moment – you can find them all listed here. Might be a good time to combine several sets to save on shipping, especially if you want to stitch some up for Christmas, or to give as gifts throughout the year!


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(7) Comments

  1. Mary, I love these! Fall is my favorite time of year. Do you have any plans to make this design – or your Festive Fall design – available as a downloadable pattern for sale? I have a couple of tablecloths I’d love to use these on.

    1. Hi, Jan – I plan to put all my ready-to-stitch patterns together in one publication for download. I would like to have done that by now, but I’ve had a few holdups this year. Hopefully, soon.

  2. Hi Mary, I’ve recently found your website and have enjoyed all of your beautiful projects. I’ve also been enjoying your tips and techniques. Being rather new to embroidery your site it a great place to go for information. I do have a question about your towels. Once they are finished being stitched do you cover the embroidery work on the back with something?

    1. Hi, Karen – No, with most hand embroidered household goods (actually, with most hand embroidery!) the back is not covered at all. But especially on things like table cloths, towels, handkerchiefs, and so forth, the back is not covered with another layer. There really isn’t a reason to. Just pay attention to the “path” your embroidery is stitched along, and try to keep the back knot-free, and it will be fine. I cover these types of tips in my Floral Corners ebook – how to move from area to area without carrying threads across the back, how to start and end threads in a way that keeps the back tidy, etc.

  3. Dear Mary

    I do love autumn colours they are so rich and lovely and I like your colour thread selection. Thank you for sharing with us your new supply of ready to stitch autumn projects they are lovely. What I like about them is that they a simple designs and easy to stitch, good luck to those who are fortunate enough to buy them. Shipping is so expensive these days it’s a shame.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  4. Mary I love the fall leaves and acorn designs. I got the fall pumpkin ebook and was hoping to be able to get these other designs. Will they be available in the future, soon!

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