Mary Corbet

writer and founder


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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Mini Sampler Christmas Stockings! I couldn’t wait…


Amazon Books

Over the last many years, I’ve tried to put out some fun designs and projects to stitch for Christmas. This year, I had six ideas floating around in my head.

But only one really emerged. And once it did – well, it became an obsession! I kept coming back to the notion of little projects that combine fun stitches, a bit of sparkle and bling, and an easy finish into something usable … and these little mini stockings are what developed.

I’ve been dying to share them with you! You’ve seen a few sneak-peeks now and then, but I didn’t want to go all out until I was sure that I could do with them what I wanted to.

But they’ve been So Much Fun to stitch and to develop into finished ornaments, that I just can’t wait any longer. I haven’t even taken Christmassy photos of them yet – I just want you to see them now!!

Mini Sampler Christmas Stockings

There’s nothing quite so fun as sampling stitches and threads and making something usable at the same time!

Whether you’d use these for gift-giving or for decorating your own tree, you really can’t go wrong with this kind of hand stitched ornament!

My goal was to make little stockings in very accessible designs for beginners and beyond, incorporating a variety of stitches, some sparkly metallics to add to the festive flavor, and of course, some beads to liven things up even further!

And then, as an added little finishing touch, a little dangly charm seemed Just the Thing.

Mini Sampler Christmas Stockings

The front of the stockings are stitched on a fabulous linen – which easily helps establish a guide for straight sampler lines and even spacing, without having to mark up the ground fabric with a design.

At the same time, though, the stockings could be stitched on plain weave, cotton, or other types of fabric. (Tips and ideas on how to do that are part of the project e-book.)

Really, your imagination is your only limit when it comes to this type of stitching! You can combine colors, threads, beads, stitches – from simple to complex – in myriad ways, and each time, you’ll produce a unique little ornament. The e-book will have a step-by-step photo guide for embroidery stitches and ideas for working the decorative sampler bands.

I love the fact that the simplest stitches work so well on these little things! But at the same time, I love the fact that I can get all fancy-schmancy with stitches, too, if I want. Anything works!

Mini Sampler Christmas Stockings

Even the finishing on these is fun. They require only a few supplies to finish them, they’re completely hand finished in a simple way, and they come together in a jiffy.

Mini Sampler Christmas Stockings

And of course, they’re stockings… so they open! You can slip in a note, a mini candy cane or two, a little treat or tiny gift, and hang them up. They’re so wonderfully functional!

If you can’t tell, I’m a little over-enthused about them!

It’s funny. When I put together the Twelve Trees for Christmas designs a few years ago, I thought, “What could be more fun than this?” I really enjoyed stitching that set of designs!

And then when we did these Snowflakes last year – adding a bit more bling with the Au Ver a Soie metallic threads and a lot more beads – I found they were possibly more fun than the trees!

And then I started working these stockings and I found myself thinking, Gosh, where have you guys been all my life?! Could there be anything more fun than this?”

I will admit, I love my job.

Thinking, Sourcing, Kitting

Because I know it’s sometimes difficult to gather together specialty fibers, fabrics, beads, and the like, with these stockings, I thought a kit might be a good idea.

I had to think long and hard about that, though. I didn’t even know if the threads would be available, or if I could source everything in time to assemble kits before Thanksgiving weekend, which seemed like a logical deadline since I missed the more reasonable deadline of, say, mid-July.

Plus, there’s the investment. Kitting requires a pretty large front-end investment, and I hesitated at first about taking the risk.

But then I realized that the kits could bring you quite bit of joy, too! And that thought made it worth pursuing the possibilities.

So I took the leap! I’m going to launch my Mini Sampler Stocking kits on Thanksgiving weekend – and I’ll let you know exactly when as we get a little closer.

As usual, I only sell what I have in stock and ready to ship, so I can’t take pre-orders. I guess I just don’t have a very good business sense, but I can’t see taking people’s money if I don’t have something in my hand ready to mail. So that’s always been my policy.

For those who can’t do the kit, no worries – an e-book will be available separately, too.

So that’s one of the Very Exciting Things that’s been going on behind the scenes here in my absolutely-freezing-cold-this-morning little studio.

I’ve also been working at night on some other Christmas stitching that I’ll show to you soon. Just some casual, cheery stuff for gift giving that keeps me occupied in the longer evenings.

It’s been a very busy last several months – a very good and necessary kind of busy.

I’m so grateful, every day, for my needlework and for all of you who share it with me! It really is a balm for the soul!


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(39) Comments

  1. These are so adorable!

    They look like the perfect thing to pick up when you have a few minutes and stitch a line or two.

    I like the variety of stitches and the beads.

    Hard to decide whether the green & red or the blue is cuter.

  2. Can’t wait for the ebook!
    Could you put more picture of close up so we can see the stiches (I am not very good with imagination or technics yet!)
    Thank you, this is SOOOOOOOOO cool

  3. Lovely idea. But I guess again, you will only send those kits to your American customers…

    1. I will open these up for international shipping, via priority mail. For those who wish to skip the high international shipping rates, though, the ebook will also be available separately.

    2. Dear Mary

      Oh thank you for thinking of us poor UK stitchers who are missing out I will definitely purchase a kit if I can get in quick.

      Regards Anita Simmance

  4. I was wondering what size and then I came to the photo of you holding one. So Adorable. Can you use a 28 or 32 count linen they sell for cross stitch? I just bought the set of mini stocking patterns from Blackbird Designs that was out of print and they re-printed them this year. I’m always late so I know I won’t get a kit 🙁 I just received my beautiful book “A Sea To Stitch” so I’m so happy you took pre-orders just in case you got more in. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! I have a lot of x-stitch supplies, beads, over-dye threads but no silks, etc so I prefer a kit but do you think you would offer an e-pattern for this like the snowflakes for those of us who are always late?

    1. I just re-read the newsletter slower and see the E-Book will be available if I miss the kit. I always scan through your newsletter quickly-just in a hurry to read all the goodness, then I go back and slow down so I absorb more details.

  5. Thank you Mary! Looking forward to the ebook. I have many threads and other supplies that will fall into this lovely air of possibility. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your passion and skills that you use to encourage us to take that first scary step.

  6. So, do we have to wait all the way till Thanksgiving for the E book?
    This looks so much fun, and I have an empty hoop. Really! An
    empty hoop.

  7. Dear Mary

    We are grateful for you you always think of something different and exciting. I love love these little stocking and I wish I could purchase the kit but I will have to settle for the e-book instead. Really looking forward to it they would make lovely gifts and decorations around the house on the Christmas tree. Thanks for your inspiration please hurry and bring them out soon. Thank you for sharing these lovely mini Christmas stockings with us and for creating kits and an e-book for us to create them as well can’t wait to begin the project. Thanks

    Regards Anita Simmance

  8. LOVE these! I’ll be especially thankful when Thanksgiving is here & you make the kits/ebook available! You are a fabulous resource & inspiration.

  9. Oh my gosh, we will have to keep a close watch on your Thanksgiving Week emails! These are going to be a huge hit! I’m in for sure–can’t wait!

  10. Were your Christmas stocking beautiful!!!!
    I look forward to the ebook.
    Congratulations, Angela do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  11. Oh my Mary! I cuuerntly have 5 quilts to bind, 2 ornaments to finish, 8 floor pillows to make covers for and I just cut out 15 ornaments to embroidery for next year. Oh and I forgot, 1 crazy quilt Christmas stocking to finish for this year. And, by the way, I own a shipping, toy and gift shop and it’s November! I DO NOT NEED ANOTHER PROJECT!!! Yet, all Ican think is “I want to start on one right now! Just for me because it will be fun, relaxing and oh so satisfying.” I will be buying the kit, so please give us a heads up as to when they will go on sale so I can set an alarm!

  12. These look perfect to make some quick gifts! I hope to snag one of the kits, but if not, I have plenty of floss and beads. Beautiful design!

  13. Hello Ms Corbet,
    I’m having a challenge in getting the threads for example, metallics, silk and perle. I live in Jamaica and I’m not seeing them here. I have sown some of your work myself. But my work is dull without those threads. I’m glad that I’m apart of your patreon group.
    I already have my beads they are easy to get. Can you help me source the threads please. Do you sell them or can you give me trusted site I can buy from. Thank you.

  14. Those are absolutely wonderful. I am teaching embroidery classes to foreign students. I would love to order kits for us to work on. Thank you!

  15. I love these, Mary! I know I won’t get the kit because I’m not in the US, but I wonder if you would write up a list of supplies that will be needed before the kits/ebook goes on sale? We’re on lockdown in the UK so anything I need will have to be ordered online. And there aren’t all that many weeks until Christmas to get these made up!

    1. Hi, Ros – Thanks for reaching out! I’m planning on releasing these kits for international shipping to some limited destinations, with a few stipulations, for those who want to spring for the kit (and international shipping). The supply list will be available with the instructions.

  16. Happy Thanksgiving! I enjoy your daily emails very much. I have the Christmas tree pattern from year before last in my “do this soon!” stack. If you’re starting a list for people who want to buy a KIT for the stockings, put my name on that list.


    Amy Houser
    Charlottesville, VA

  17. Dear Mary,

    What is the name and thread count of the linen in the mini sampler stocking kit?
    The linen is beautiful.



  18. Hello, I can’t remember if I signed up for the mini stocking list. If not I would like to sign up for 2 if its not too late.

    thank you

    1. Hi, Nina – thanks for your comment! If you’d like to be on the advanced notice list for the mini stockings (which is an email list), please drop me an email. I can’t add to the list from the comment section on the blog. Thanks!

  19. Hi Mary, I can’t remember if I signed up for the advanced notice for the mini stockings or not, so I decided to just ask you again to put me on the list. I hope this year I can get a kit!
    Karen Marichal

    1. Hi, Karen – thanks for your comment! If you’d like to be on the advanced notice list (which is an email list), please drop me an email. I can’t add to the list from the comment section on the blog. Thanks! 🙂

    1. The original kits were sold as a bundle with the e-book. Unfortunately, in the past year, the cost on everything has gone up, as well as the cost of shipping to get the supplies here (plus I’ve added the extra threads, interfacing, etc), so the kits will probably be in the same ballpark as the original bundle – around $68-69 – but the e-book instructions have to be purchased separately.

  20. Hi. I hit the mini sticking kit. I don’t know how to find the pattern and guide. Can you help me? The kit is gorgeous by the way

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