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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A Stitcher’s Christmas #7: Stitch Palettes for Color Selection!


Amazon Books

Happy Monday! Hard to believe it’s less than two weeks until Christmas and we are over half-way through with this year’s Stitcher’s Christmas series.

There have been some fabulous gifts in this year’s series, don’t you think? And there are more to come! A huge thank you to all the small businesses who have participated! Remember: your support of small needlework businesses is crucial to keeping needlework alive. These businesses rely on you to stay open. So please support them when you need needlework goods!

For today’s give-away, we’re going to look at a tool that will help you with the color-selection process for embroidery. Then I’ll announce the winners of last Friday’s give-away and share some news with you – so read on to the end!

Stitch Palettes for color selection in embroidery

Today, we’re turning to a digital service called Stitch Palettes. It’s a clever and helpful online services related to needlework, especially with an aspect of needlework that many stitchers find daunting: color selection.

Stitch Palettes for color selection in embroidery

I love Stitch Palettes! I wrote about the website here, if you’re keen to know more about it. It’s a website that presents color schemes based on (beautiful) photos, with the DMC (and other) thread numbers, plus RGB and HEX codes, in case you’re color coordinating digital or print media. It’s a handy, handy tool and quite inspirational when you’re seeking color ideas.

I can’t tell you how many times I access Stitch Palettes – either online, or using the PDFs on my phone – when I’m out and about thread or fabric shopping. If you like to design your own projects, I think you’ll end up doing the same thing!

For today’s give-away, three winners will receive the Seasonal + Christmas booklet bundle from Stitch Palettes. Please note that these are PDFs that are downloaded to your computer – they are not printed booklets.

Give-Away Guidelines

If you’d like to participate in today’s give-away, please follow these guidelines!

This give-away has ended. You’ll find the winners listed on the article for December 16.

1. Please leave your comment below, on this article on Needle ‘n Thread. If you are reading this in the newsletter, you can reach the comment form directly by following this link.

Comments left on any other post on Needle ‘n Thread or sent by email are not eligible. Please do not leave your comment as a reply to someone else’s. Replies cannot be included in the count. If you are unsure how to post a comment without replying to someone else, please just click the link provided above to go to the comment form. Thanks!

2. Make sure you leave a recognizable name or nickname on the Name line on the comment form. Anonymous comments don’t count. Please do not leave personal information like email addresses, mailing addresses, or phone numbers in the Comment part of the form. When you do, I have to go in and edit that information out – unless you want spam, or strangers picking up your phone number, email address, mailing address (which you don’t, I’m sure!).

…but please do make sure that your email address is entered correctly on the Email line of the form. This is not visible to anyone but me, and it is not used for anything except the purposes of this give-away (if you win, I need to be able to contact you).

3. You may only enter once.

4. In your comment, please answer the following:

I forgot to update the comment when this post went out via email, so you can answer this question, which I asked last week, too: If you had to pick one (and only one) favorite embroidery stitch, what would it be, and why?

Or you can answer this: In my family, we have certain treats that we make only around the holidays, like almond roca, biscotti, Christmas cookies, eggnog, and the like. What’s your favorite holiday treat?

5. Leave your comment by 5:00 am Central Standard Time, Wednesday, December 16th. The winner will be randomly drawn and announced on Wednesday morning, when the next give-away in the series takes place. I will also contact the winners by email.

Please note that your comment may not appear right away on the website. I review all the comments that go on the website, to keep unseemly content off the website. If your comment does not show up immediately, please don’t fret. It will show up as soon as I have a chance to moderate comments.

Friday’s Winners!

And now, the winners of Friday’s give-away from The French Needle!

The French Needle generously offered a large selection of #8 Au Ver a Soie metallics. They’re now carrying the whole line, in individual spools, and you can find them here under Au Ver a Soie on their website. These are the same metallics I use on my Snowflakes designs and on my Mini Sampler Stockings, so if you’re in the US and you’re looking for them, look here!

For the second place drawing, they offered a spool of this beautiful gold thread from Maison Noel, and a couple of these lovely needle threaders.

The first randomly drawn name (for the metallics) is Cathy in PA, and the second (for the gold thread and needle threaders) is Deb P. I’ll email you both this morning!

In Other News

If you’ve been waiting for the Vinterfolk ready-to-stitch towel set, it’s in stock now! In fact, I restocked all the other Christmas-related towels this weekend, too, but they’ve already sold out. I’ll be preparing more from mid-week on, this week, and hope to have some for you by Friday, so they can get in the post as soon as possible. Since I ship Priority, there’s a decent chance you could still receive them by Christmas, barring post office delays.

Let it Snow ready to stitch

I also put together a new set called “Let it Snow,” based on the “Let it Snow” design in the Christmas Cheer set. Since there are no specifically-Christmas design motifs in this set, you can enjoy it throughout the whole winter season! This set includes two towels with the 22″ long edge designs, and one with a modified 18″ design – featuring snowflakes, mittens, and a really cute snowman with a bit of a personality. I’ll have those back in stock by the end of the week – look for them, if you’re interested!

If you want any particular ready-to-stitch set that is not in stock right now, drop me a note and I’ll put you on the advanced notice list for the set you want. As soon as the sets are prepped and ready to ship, I’ll send you an email!

In the studio, I’ve been working on some new projects that will roll out in the new year. I can’t wait to share progress with you! I have so many plans for 2021 – I’m probably not the only one who wants it to be a stellar year.


(507) Comments

  1. Is this a trick? I thought I answered the same question last week. But OK, I pick a new favourite stitch: french knots. It took me years and years to figure out, and now I can almost do it in the dark. But it takes both hands.

  2. One of my favorite stitches is the Smyrna cross. I often use it to highlight one stitch, like the eye of a bird or the center of a flower.

  3. I love the French knot. Thanks for all you are doing. I’m new to your newsletter so this is a great review of wonderful products.

  4. Same question as last Friday and I’m sticking with my favorite embroidery stitch – the Chain Stitch. I just received a copy of “A-Z of Embroidery Stitches” and seeing that 6 pages are devoted to various forms of the chain stitch, I can’t wait to try them all.

  5. My favorite embroidery stitch is the stem stitch. I love it because it is great for so many stitching situations: as an outline stitch, as a filler–I’ve watched several of Mary’s videos on this stitch, all of which have encouraged me to use this stitch frequently. I also like it because it is easy enough to stitch up quickly and without using two hands.

  6. My all-time favorite embroidery stitch is the Rhodes Stitch. I love how versatile it is, how many different shapes it can become. It’s elegant and beautiful and so much fun to stitch. The Stitch Palettes site is amazing! I can’t wait to use it. Thank you and Merry Christmas!

  7. Mmm lots of favourites but one I use frequently because I like how it adds depth but also is a “tidy” stitch is the whipped backstitch

  8. Thank you for this lovely season of give-aways! Stem stitch (or outline) is my go-to stitch when playing with surface embroidery.

  9. My favorite embroidery stitch would have to be blanket because (besides cross stitch) it is how I started doing wool applique. I had bought a penny rug and thought, “I can do that!” I haven’t gotten too far past that, so I guess that would have to be my favorite since I use it so often. It makes me feel successful, at least.

  10. Hi Mary, what a great resource! Thank you for the information and link to Stitch Palettes. I’ve been designing my own projects, so that site will be very helpful.

    Andrea Needel

  11. A favorite embroidery stitch to use in wool applique is the stem stitch. It’s always rewarding to create a smoothly flowing vine.

  12. I desperately need help with color selection. I am an accountant (very rules driven personality), which is why I like cross stitch. It’s something that makes me feel artsy, but I still have the safety net of rules (patterns). Generally I will avoid a project altogether if the colors are not pre-determined by the author because I am so intimidated by selecting them myself.

  13. Stem stitch is my go to stitch. I use as a filler and to outline. My most consistent stitch. Reverse chain comes in a close 2nd. Merry Christmas and thank you Mary.

  14. My favorite stitch is the stem stitch because , to me, it is so versatile! It can be an outline or filling stitch!

  15. If I had to pick just one stitch it would be French knots. I love the way I can make them close together to fill an area solidly or make them randomly here and there! I used to love to make those pre-printed pillow cases with the girl on the edge wearing a huge skirt that I’d fill with French knots!

  16. Split stitch is my favourite stich – so useful – for lines, as a filling stitch, can be used with most threads to give various thicknesses.

  17. My favorite stitch right now is the X, or cross stitch, since that is what I’m all into. I’ve recently learned the Algerian Eyelet and Rice Stitch, and I think they are beautiful!

  18. My favorite stitch is long & short. I love how you can blend colors, shades, & tints to make such a realistic looking picture. I’ve known basic stitches since I was a teen, but learning long & short took my love of hand embroidery to a whole new level. Merry Christmas to everyone!

  19. I think for general embroidery my favorite stitch to use is the back stitch, but for pretty effects, I like the feather stitch.

  20. I have a particular affinity for the queen stitch (aka rococo stitch) and its charming little diamond shapes. Thanks for the giveaway!

  21. My favorite would be the French Knot, my grandmother taught me how to do this stitch after many attempts on my own.

  22. I love the stem stitch! I can get “into the zone” when stitching outlines or filling an enclosed area with it. It’s versatile, easy to manipulate angles and curves, easy to blend thread colors… It is deeply satisfying to see a project come to life quickly with a steady stem stitch. And so easy to do while listening or chatting! Happy Holidays, All !

  23. Oh, Mary, – just one stitch? If I had to pick, it would likely be a cross stitch, with its variants such as upright cross, smyrna, and rice. It can be done in lots of sizes, and with more than one color; placed in neat rows, randomly, or mixed sizes. (But there are so many stitches, and I have fun with them.) Design Palettes looks like a great site. I need to spend some time on it.

  24. Today my favorite stitch is the cross stitch. I like its simplicity and versatility. It is what I do when I need to calm myself, or when I need to make a gift, or when I want to play with color. It is my go-to stitch!

  25. My favourite stitch is turkey work. I just love the texture and it looks so effective when embroidering sheep! Handy as I now live in Wales, UK.
    Wishing everyone a healthy Christmas and looking forward to a better 2021.
    Love to all,

  26. My favorite stitch is a fishbone style. I love this stitch due to its intricacy and style that of a leafy flow.

  27. Christmas stitching brings me joy. Every year I vow to start in January, but am gently nudged when they announce Christmas in July! I then get serious in September. 😀

  28. My favorite stitch would be rice stitch. Not only different sizes and different arms crosses but also different weights of thread. It could look like a thick bump with a thick thread or with a thin thread it could look lacey.

  29. My favorite stitch is the cast-on because of its versatility. First there are so many variations in the cast-on family — single cast-on, double cast-on, up-down cast-on, and drizzles. Focusing on the single cast-on I have used it to make beautiful flowers. I gave also jumbled it together to make foliage and to make curly hair. It has also been seaweed. You can make it lie flat, or have it stand up. What a great family of stitches.

  30. OOF! I generally don’t enter when this question appears…it feels like picking your favorite child, or sister, or even color!! So…ummm…well scroll stitch is very pretty and a nice surprise every time as it unfolds…
    No! Wait….

  31. Merry Christmas and thank you for your stitching news! I enjoy embroidery and if I must pick one stitch, I think it would be bullion because their are so many pretty flowers or animals you can make with it. I just had finger surgery so sadly I have to wait until it heals before I can finish projects I started.

  32. Feather stitch is my favorite for the variety of ways I can use it. It can be very formal when worked in metallic on parallel lines or free form and casual in floche with various lengths for the arms. Layered lines of stitches show off the beautiful color combinations in some of the hand dyed silks. For a seam in a crazy quilt, a variation of feather stitch is always an option. If I were a better artist, I might go with satin stitch, but for us less talented people, feather stitch is my favorite.

  33. As a quilter working in hand applique, I was looking for ways to blend colors in fabric. Additionally I turned to hand embroidery to embellish my delicate flowers.

    There I discovered the long and short embroidery stitch. It is my favorite embroidery stitch as it allows me to blend colors and create perspective. I am working on Trish Burr’s Beginning book and finishing the blue bird.

    What fun!

  34. My favourite stitch has to be palestrina stitch even if I don’t get to do it too often. And why? I love the intricacy of the movements when you stitch and it produces a beautiful line, quite unlike anything else.

  35. What a lovely idea and service . Thank for sharing! I love chain stitch. It’s so versatile, for outlining, for filling solid areas, and has many useful variations.

  36. If I had to pick one favorite embroidery stitch, I would pick the outline stitch. I use it a lot as a filler as well.
    Merry Christmas everyone.

  37. Favorite : cut-out Christmas sugar cookies with decorated frosting. My large family are big fans; just have to figure how to get them all to them since we’re not getting together this Christmas. And I already went to the French Needle to order some metallics (couldn’t wait)! I’ve never used them before so this should be an adventure. Your multiple education notes to us will be very valuable – thank you.

  38. Hi Mary, Stitch Palettes is a gerat website! Right now I am immersed in couching! Happy Holidays to you and yours!

  39. The good old buttonhole stitch works for me in so many ways, as traditional edging on a wool applique, as roof shingles on a woodsy cabin, distorted as evergreen branches.

  40. It is hard to choose, but my favorite stitch would probably be the stem stitch, because of its versatility.

  41. My favorite stitch is the Smyrna Cross. I love the symmetry of it- a cross stitch with a plus sign over the top of it.

    Thank you for the opportunity to enter one of your Christmas give-aways.


  42. Uh–didn’t we just answer this question? Lazy Daisy stitch. A bit of stand alone curve. Great prizes. Thank you!

  43. I would choose basketweave, you can use any thread, can change color and texture to get different effects and it is very durable for footstools and pillows. I use a lot of different stitches but I think basketweave is the tried and true one.

  44. If you had to pick one (and only one) favorite embroidery stitch, what would it be, and why?

    Cross stitch is my favorite stitch. You can stitch it with almost any fiber, even fabric strips, make beautifully detailed art pictures to soft and squishy poufs to sit on while building your legos.

  45. I’ll answer both questions. My favorite stitch is the stem/outline stitch. It is so versatile and it’s really hard to mess it up. Use it all the time. Secondly, one of our favorite holiday treats is Walker’s Shortbread Cookies from Scotland. I buy one large tin each year for the holidays and we have to restrain ourselves from eating them all in one week.

  46. My go-to is the stem stitch. I can use it to outline, fill and shade areas. I prefer it to the backstitch because it has the heavier element on the surface of the fabric and so is a more defined line.

    Thank you Mary, this is wonderful!

  47. My embroidery stitch of choice would be Satin Stitch. It’s such a versatile stitch. It can be used open, closed, as laid work, differing lengths – to name but a few. Thank you for such a wonderful website laden with amazing information.

  48. My favourite stitch is the feather stitch because we have a love hate relationship. I love your site and all of your projects. You are very talented. Thank you.

  49. My favorite Christmas treats were from years ago. My grandmother would make a huge variety of goodies and send it in a tin to our house. My mother would have to hide it so the kids wouldn’t empty it in one day.

  50. My favorite stitch to use is stem stitch. Why? Because it is great straight, it curves, it fills and it can be whipped and over padding can be raised. With an arsenal of threads and thread types–it is really the only stitch you need.


  51. My go to stitch is cross stitch. It is the one I learned in a class to produce the back in vertical stitches. The method to achieve this, made sense to me. Cross stitch can be worked on even weave fabrics, or use a waste canvas to stitch on non-counted fabrics. It is very portable, unless a large project.

  52. I’m going to stick with the satin stitch as my all-time favorite embroidery stitch because of its lustrous sheen even when done with plain cotton floss.

  53. I absolutely love the French Knot Stitch. Combined with other stitches it can create flowers, hair, ground cover, rocks etc. Besides, it is super fun to make.

  54. My favourite embroidery stitch is the blanket or buttonhole stitch. There are so many variations of it to give texture and design to your embroidery.

  55. I enjoy making my family’s sugared walnuts.
    They are sweet with honey and make a special treat.
    We dyed them red and green for some Christmas flair.

  56. I love the lazy daisy stitch, since you can make all sorts of flowers with them. Flowers always bring happiness to all. You make them in all different colors, in singles, in pairs, in bunches, tricolor, etc. this stitch is a complete design within itself.

  57. Quaker stitch, ever since I read about it here. It is simple to execute and unfussy in appearance, but it has just enough heft to give emphasis to monograms or text.

  58. I like Palestrina stitch best because it’s so fun, but for regular stitching I use stem stitch the most – I love that it’s good for curves and straight lines, and it’s easy.

  59. If I could only use one stitch it would have to be stem stitch because it really is quite versatile. You can use as a filling stitch as well as an outline stitch.

  60. Still going with the Rhodes butterfly as my favorite stitch.

    These giveaways are lovely, and very generous of you. While of course I’d love to win one, I’m just delighted that so many fellow stitchers are getting such a beautiful gift. A little unexpected kindness during this very difficult year is a joy all of us can share in just by knowing about it. Thank you so much!

  61. My favorite embroidery stitch is the stem stitch. I find it so versatile for lines and filling and it works up easily and quickly.

  62. I love the two-part flexibility of the Pekinese stitch. A steady, even backstitch always brings me joy. Then I get the fun (and no stabbing!) of looping the thread through. Big loop, tight loops, singe color, two-color. Lots of ways to be creative with this stitch.

  63. That’s a hard one. I guess I’d have to pick cross-stitch because of it’s wide use, ease, and versatility. But I love working almost all of the specialty stitches. And I love variety!

  64. If limited to one, and only 1, embroidery stitch I think I would pick the chain stitch. Not that it’s my favorite, but I think it would be the more versatile and accomplish many different looks !

  65. My favorite stitch has always been the Lazy Daisy stitch because that was the prettiest stitch my grandma taught me when I was 8 years old. I’m 65 now & it has never changed!

  66. Favourite embroidery stitch – a second day with the same question means I think a little further. I believe that mine would be seed stitch because of it’s versatility. It’s been used for centuries and denotes texture and shading, and can be radomly strewn/sewn or doubled for impact. And it’s really easy – big or wee.

  67. Palestrina knot. I like the texture of the knots and how they differ based on the weight of the thread used.

  68. I love the stem stitch. It is simple to do, easy to make the stitch length consistent, and it provides a nice solid line. And it’s pretty!

  69. Only one stitch? I think for me it would be barbells. You can do almost anything with it. I like that you ca make interlocking, four-way and create images like flowers by changing colors. It can be used for water by using a small pattern in an overdyed thread.
    As the only stitch it has the advantage of being endlessly versatile and covering the entire canvas.

  70. I enjoy the blanket stitch: versatile, relatively easy, fun to stitch.
    Ha… holiday food. Memories of my grandmother’s homemade candies: fudge, black walnut divinity, peanut brittle, peanut patties. Her dressing that was only made at Thanksgiving and Christmas. My kids love their dad’s ham gravy at Christmas. And ’tis the season for pumpkin pie!

  71. My favourite stitch is feather stitch and the multitude of variations of feather stitch. This stitch is so perfect for branches, for the base of wreathes and garlands and for outlines. it can be “decorated” with french knots and beads and multiple layers of feather stitches.

  72. My favorite embroidery stitch- now that is a hard one. The easy answer is whatever one I am doing at the moment. I do love chain stitch because the loops can be made in different sizes. Also, chain stitch can be stitched along curves as well as along straight lines giving a variety of ways to use it. Steph

  73. Oh my, I think I really I would choose the stem stitch, like the texture, is versatile and love the way it looks.

  74. My favourite stitch is the cross stitch. I know it is not a complicated stitch but for me it is so versatile. It can be used on many different foundations and expresses for me a sense of something home and hand made and a bit nostalgic. I recently found chicken scratch embroidery suing cross stitch on gingham fabric. Magic.

  75. I love French knots! Added elegance, if used sparingly. Lots of fun if crammed together for texture. I nice way to add surprise to a bit of needlework.

  76. Hi, I love the colors in embroidery more than the stitches. I like the way you can take a simple stitch and change it by using metallics or not using metallics. Probably my favorite stitches are pulled stitches as a group. I love the lacy effect you can achieve with them. Anyway Merry Christmas!

  77. My favorite stitch is the Lazy Daisy Stitch. I like it because it is such a happy and cheerful stitch. Plus it is the first stitch I could do well. Why, I honestly don’t know. Thank you for this great giveaway.

  78. Thank you Mary for sharing this gem of a resource – I have used the website several times since you posted about it earlier this year, it is a great help to the colour-challenged such as myself! As for holiday treats, we now have a tradition I started when I was 12 years old and just starting to cook; I found a recipe for sweet potato kugle in my Mum’s cookbook – I only made it because I thought the word kugle sounded funny but I now make it every Christmas, and only at Christmas ! Happy holidays to all, stay safe!

  79. Oh, I finally got your leafy tree ebook the other day & worked a sampler to try some of the stitches. I really like the battlement couching

  80. I love Stitchers Palette. That’s a great article.

    My favorite stitch is the satin stitch. I love the way it feels smooth, though it’s probably better not to touch my work. It reminds me of how I would run my fingers over satin when I was a child. 😉

  81. Hi, Mary,

    What a fun question! My special holiday treat is Buche de Noel, the cake roll decorated like a log.

    Beth B

  82. So interested to see your stitch pallets! It gives me inspiration to change some of my ornament patterns up a bit!
    Please enter me in your contest- Here are my answers-
    My favorite stitch is a lazy daisy because there is so much you can do with them.
    My aunt married a Greek man back in the 50’s, and she had many fantastic Greek recipes. Our Holiday tradition is to make her Greek Sugar Cookies, called Kourabiedes. The longer they sit the better they taste! So yummy!
    Happy Holidays to everyone!

  83. Figuring out how to shade the long and short stitch when you want to add another color is really difficult at times. For example, taking an autumn leaf from green to gold or a peacock feather from green to a blue-purple. Any product that would help determine the correct intermediate colors – and which company produces those threads would be awesome.

  84. Favorite embroidery stitch currently is the stem stitch…it fills in so nicely and makes a long running stitch look very full.

  85. My favorite Christmas treat are German gingerbread cookies imported from Germany. They are that good.

  86. Thanks so much for share about the web site Stitch Pallets. I have so much trouble deciding on color combinations. Having the DMC numbers is so helpful.

  87. I love the outline stitch as it is so very versatile, I can use it as a fill in stitch, outline and accent a tiny flower, and so much more. It was also among one of the few stitches taug to me as a baby beginner!
    Thank you Mary and STAY SAFE!

  88. My favorite embroidery stitch is the blanket or buttonhole stitch.
    In addition to using it for wool applique, it can be used in many more ways, as the wagon wheel, a border stitch variation, and leaves. It is very adaptable.

  89. Picking one stitch is hard! I choose the stem stitch, reliable old stem stitch. Not fancy, not glorious, but functional! With one stitch option, I could still manage to embroider just about anything and any pattern, design…

  90. Oh my! Color palettes! On my own I struggle to put different colors together. Finding a company that assists with that is awesome!.

  91. The outline stitch. It works well with a multitude of threads. You can use it for writing, outlining, filling in space, highlighting…. on and on…. I love it!

  92. My favorite stitch is the chain stitch. I like how I can use it in a variety of ways, as an outline, a flower, large, small, etc.

  93. My favorite needlework stitch is the chain stitch perhaps because that is the first stitch my grandmother taught me that was different from a straight stitch. I love how I have seen it used as an outline stitch, flower petals, filler stitching, and as a base for weaving other colors through. A help with color choice would also help organize fabric choice when I quilt! Thank you and Merry Christmas!

  94. A homemade, non alcoholic version of Ginger Wine first made by my great grandad who passed the recipe down thru the family. It’s spicy, warms and tingles and nothing says Christmas to me like this taste.

  95. If I had to choose one favorite stitch it would be the French knot. I’m a tatter and quilter and love to add embroidery to my quilts. I think it gives an extra demention.

  96. My favourite stitch is Chain Stitch because of the many variations that can be achieved, making a magnificent display of colours, beading and as many ideas as you can come up with. I love it.

  97. I have studied color, read books, and continue to struggle with color selection, these pallets should be a great help.

  98. Probably the chain stich. It has so many variations – straight or curved lines, single stitches, whipped, silk ribbon or thread, and so much more.

  99. Hi Mary,

    My favorite holiday treat is Italian meatball cookies, just like my grandma used to make. Can’t wait to make and eat some.

    Thanks for the give away.

  100. I like the pedal stitch because it looks good any where. It is quick and easy to add to any design
    In this time of covid it makes me smile don’t we all need a smile some time they appear to be in short supply.

  101. Satin stitch – no matter how many stitches I experiment with the satin stitch always draws me back especially when using a thread with luster

  102. Our family holiday treat is my grandmother’s “Potato candy” . Being very poor as a child this was her only treat. Made with a potato and powdered sugar. Being very sweet I do add some peanut butter. You wouldn’t know it’s made from a potato.

  103. I suppose I would have to say the French knot. When I was learning stitches, I had a lot of trouble with this one. It turned out too flat or too floppy. I was so thrilled when I finally mastered it and they came out right every time.

  104. I am a new stitcher. However, I’ve been going at it quite a lot because of the stay at home pandemic. There are so many stitches that I am learning, and they all are great. But so far, the one that I have use for so many purposes is the split stitch and the whipped split stitch.

    I am working on the projects in Trish Burr’s book and she uses split stitches quite a lot, and I love that it takes time, patience and

  105. Just one stitch!?! If it had to be just one, I would have to pick the cross stitch, that plain old little x that I use all the time in samplers and other counted thread pieces.

  106. Christmas is the only time we seem to save for traditions, and we have many.
    Decorating: begins with a lovely nativity set given to me by my aunt when I was first married, and a ceramic tree my mother made when I was a kid.
    Cookies: We have one cookie that is always called “Christmas Cookies.” Other people call it Brown Sugar Spritz, made with a cookie press. Yum, yum.
    Dinner: begins with ham and raisin sauce.

    And that’s just some of our traditions.

  107. I would probably select the Stem Stitch because it is so versatile and can be used with all mediums of needlework.

  108. Oh, this is a tough one! Who uses only one embroidery stitch? I started out as a cross-stitcher, though now I prefer other techniques like Hardanger and pulled thread. But they use more than one type of stitch, so if I am forced to choose, I guess I would go back to the lowly cross-stitch. After all, nothing beats it for pictures! But I feel cornered! (I guess backstitching those pictures isn’t allowed!)

  109. I would love to win the book bundle in today’s give-away. Such beautiful materials. Stitch Pallet looks like a wonderful tool. Thank you.

  110. I think my one favorite stitch – and one I use a lot – is stem stitch. It’s easy and relaxing to do and serves many purposes – outline, filler, stand alone. You can whip it for a different effect or combine it with other stitches in close companionship for still another effect. It’s a truly versatile stitch.

  111. I love the blanket stitch. It’s my favorite go-to stitch for my embroidery. I use it in many applications like edging a finished piece, outlining a design or appliqué or free-stitching a pattern. I can make it very even in size and spacing or I could vary it in any manner of ways-long and short, close together, various spacing or a combination of any and all those! I also use it to make different shapes like circles, triangles, squares, random geometric shapes. It also looks different in different kinds of threads, especially on different types of fabric. When I’m at a loss as to what stitch to use, I invariably use it with great results. I use just about anything that I can get into a needle and through fabric and blanket stitch doesn’t disappoint me in use or look.

  112. My favorite stitch is probably the backstitch. It is so easy to do and it usually provides the little extra that will make your stitched pieces pop.

  113. I would say my favorite stitch (most useful) would be the stem stitch. I use it for outlines, embellishment and fill.

  114. I thought this was the previous question. ONE stitch??? Stem….. (can I “whip” it sometime, too?)

  115. In my family, we have certain treats that we make only around the holidays, like almond roca, biscotti, Christmas cookies, eggnog, and the like. What’s your favorite holiday treat? – My husband loves holiday eggnog, even with his cereal for breakfast.

  116. Bargello I love this Stitch it is so relaxing when I’m into a design. You can do so many different variations with this stitch.

  117. My favorite stitch is the outline or stem stitch because it is very versatile. It’s the first stitch I ever learned (now long ago) and I find I can do so many things with it. If you put two rows of either stitch very close together they make and interesting stitch and provides more dynamics to the picture. I can do many other stitches but those two are my “go-to” ones in may projects.

  118. Mary,
    My favorite embroidery stitch is the stem stitch. You can have use it for so many things and it always looks neat.

  119. If I could use only one stitch it would be running stitch. I am interested in sashiko which uses only running stitch. Alternatively, I would pick straight stitch. You can do a lot with straight stitch in all its forms!

  120. Years ago a friend shared a recipe for Old Dutch Caramel Corn. I’ve made it for family and friends every year for the past 30 years. I get requests and raves and so easy to make!

  121. My favorite stitch is the long stitch. Perfect for color shading in a fill.

    Thank You. Merry Christmas.

  122. Struffoli (also called honey balls) are an Italian treat originating in Naples, my grandfather’s birthplace.
    They are made by rolling sweet dough into balls (about the size of marbles), then fried & drained onto paper towels. Honey is heated slowly with your choice of, i.e., orange juice, grand mariner liquor, and poured over the balls. After tossing throughout, the balls are sprinkled with rainbow nonpareils.
    Every Christmas we look forward to eating this treat from a pyramid shaped tree, piled high with crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside honey goodness!

  123. My favorite stitch is still cross stitch because it is easy for anyone to do and there are so many patterns that use it.

  124. Another great giveaway – thank you! To answer the Christmas treats question – I would have to say that shortbread is one of my favourites. My aunt is notorious for making her chocolate fingers (which involve dates, chocolate and peanut butter) and I’m ever hopeful I’m on the receiving end of some of those!

  125. The colonial knot! It adds so much texture and is faster than beading. Using a variegated fiber adds to the fun when covering a large area.

  126. My favorite stitch is the Nobuko stitch. It is great for filling in large backgrounds especially for snow on a Large Christmas stocking. It provides a stunning effective texture when you use a shiny sparkle thread . Carolyn

  127. My favorite Christmas treat is my mother’s homemade caramels. They are labor-intensive so she stopped making them when the task became too much for her as she aged, but the memory of that once-a-year treat is precious to me.

  128. Love the rice stitch. One of the first specialty stitches I learned. Showed me how you could make something other than an X. Loved with perle cotton 12 Just Nan Angel series).

  129. Thank you for this information. I must have missed your earlier post about the palettes. I do think that this could be very helpful. I will go back and read the previous article and investigate palettes.

  130. I’m currently in love with the trellis stitch. Done in silk thread, or varigated thread it just sparkles and shines.

  131. My favorite stitch is the backstitch because I can easily to it and there’s actually quite a lot that I can do with that simple stitch. I can weave through it. I can put several rows together with different colors. There’s lot of things I can do with the backstitch.

  132. My favourite holiday treat is mincemeat. My mom made it for years, and now my sister has taken over. You know it’s Christmas when you have mincemeat pie!

  133. What a useful sounding website. I have spent hours trying to create a palette of colors. This will save so much time.

  134. If I had to pick one favourite embroidery stitch, it would be stem stitch! You can do outlines, fill with it any forms and shapes. It is versatile!

  135. My favorite stitch is the chain stitch. I use it often for a filler in my embroidery pieces and when I use yarn in other art work. I like the way it looks and it is very forgiving.

  136. Oooh!!!! Thank You so much, Mary, and Thank You to The French Needle! I did indeed receive your email this morning, sent you a return email, and am SO delighted!

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all,

    Cathy in PA

  137. Laid stitch–love the gradation of colors when using shades next to each other and the sense of dimension built

  138. The one treat we only make around the holidays are kiss cookies. The peanut butter cookie with the chocolate kiss on top. So good!

  139. Satin stitch is a great favourite for me. It is not easy to do well but has such a lovely sheen, especially when polished with an aficot.

  140. I love all things Christmas! Especially quilts, embroidery and beading. I have included all three techniques in some wall hangings. Fun!

  141. Thank you for these wonderful giveaways, Mary! My favorite stitch — the one I’d choose if I could only have one — is stem stitch because it is SO versatile. I even use it as a filling stitch quite often. Happy holidays to you and yours!

  142. My favorite stitch is the French Knot. I can make it as small and dainty as I like, or fatter and sturdier. I also like it in the Crewelwork as with the yarn it can again be made whatever size I need.

  143. I am new to hand embroidery, I took it up earlier this year with the pandemic. I have been using your you tube videos to help me with the different stitches. My favorite stitch is the bullion stitch. I like the raised dimensions the stitch gives. I have been making face masks, and stitching flowers, bees, and other designs on the masks for my Great Granddaughter. She told me her teachers are alway complementing her on the pretty masks.

  144. I would have to choose counted cross stitch.
    It was one of the first stitches I was taught and with so many designers creating so many different types of patterns and using so many different types of threads it captures my attention.

  145. My favorite stitch has over time become the back stitch. I feel as if I should be listing something fancier, but I really love this stitch. I often find it a practical way to begin and I can embellish it in various ways.

  146. One stitch…AARRGGGHHHHH!!!! Okay… if forced to choose, I’d go with palestrina stitch. It’s my absolute favourite knot stitch, I absolutely love it – but I don’t know why I love it so much!!! You can do quite a lot with it, make it a solid line, make groups, space it out, stretch it out to vary its appearance. It’s actually more versatile than I realised, until I started experimenting with it.

  147. Oh, this one’s easy. Roast chestnuts. Not sure we’ll get them this year since we’re avoiding shops like the plague, but everything’s different this year.

  148. My favorite Stitch is the very simple yet versatile STEM STITCH. Alone or in combination with other stitches it is a very pretty stitch.

  149. The absolute traditional holiday treat where I live, in the German Ore Mountains, is the Christmas stollen, a large sweet bread made of heavy yeast dough, with real butter, enriched with sultanas, candied lemon and orange peel, buttered and coated with powered sugar. It is said to symbolise the swaddled Christ Child, though the name (Stollen) itself rather suggests an adit, the entrance to an underground mine, which makes sense in a centuries old mining region. By the way, the two themes – mining and faith – also meet in the two Christmas figures, traditional for the Ore Mountains, the miner and the angel (with candles in their hands), which generally appear as a couple.

    I can’t claim to love stollen, at least anymore, since today most of those you get at the supermarket are too dry. However I remember those good moist stollen from my childhood in the house of my grandparents. According to the custom, every housewife prepared the dough herself, and then they all fetched it to the bakery, because the normal ovens at home did not produce the appropriate heat needed for such a heavy dough. (That is why hardly anyone still bakes them today; the bakeries don’t offer such a service anymore.) Every family would have got several stollen to be eaten for breakfast and for afternoon coffee throughout the advent period and beyond.

    The most famed Christmas song from the Ore Mountains (and the possibly longest Christmas song in the world ;D), “Heiligobndlied” (Christmas Eve Song) states in one of its countless verses:
    “We’ve also got 16 butter stollen, long as the bench by the stove,
    and when they will be eaten up, we will all be sick.” 😀

  150. Our favourite Christmas treat in our family is a delicious homemade fruit bread which we toast . Second to that is the family recipe of a Christmas pudding.Cheers!

  151. Merry Monday, Mary!

    Eggnog (non alcoholic) is my favorite only at Christmas time treat. Rich, creamy and with lots of nutmeg. My husband laughs that is why I love it–for me it is a nutmeg delivery system. Yum!

  152. french knots. I love the little swirl, and the texture. they can be eyes, or hair, or the pistols on a flower, or the buds on a tree.
    If I could pick a second one, it would be lazy dazy stitch. the first “fancy” stitch my grandma taught me. I also worked in a Morgue, and when I had to sew the bodies back up I used to tease the pathologist that I was going to use lazy daisy stitches because I was much neater than the prior morgue technician. Gross, but funny.

  153. I have thought about this question a lot! And I think my favourite surface embroidery stitch would be Stem stitch as it is so versatile.

  154. Hi! If I have to do an entire embroidery with just ONE stitch, that would be stem stitch: is can be used as a filling, it provides great texture, it’s fantastic for curved lines and lettering, and it’s so much fun to do!

  155. Hi Mary,

    I would pick the chain stitch. You can make it skinny or fat, long or short, or twist it. It’s a great filler.

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  156. My favorite holiday treat are my Mum’s Christmas Cookies. She makes them only during Christmas and they are a king of a ginger cookies. She decorates the tree with them. When we were kids we were allowed to start eating one or two a day starting after Christmas Eve Dinner 🙂 My Mum lives about 500 km from where I live so she sends me some every year 🙂 And yes, they keep for several weeks 🙂

  157. It’s summer at Christmas time in Australia, so a favourite treat is cherries – fresh or brandied, either is fine!

  158. I think the most versatile stitches are the back stitch and stem stitch because they can be used for so many things and I wouldn’t want to do without them. But my favorite stitch is the buttonhole or blanket stitch because I do a lot of wool appliqué. And when done neatly, it adds such a nice touch.

  159. My favorite thing to stitch is the feather stitch. You can be very precise with size and spacing or go wild zip zapping all over and adding lots of creative things on the points. Crazy quilting is my passion so this is good but so are many other stitches.
    Phyllis in WV

  160. FLY stitch,
    so versatile: regular, patterned ,random, overlapped or filling shapes,
    large ,small, long legged or short, symmetrical or purposely not, single, random or densely worked.
    Constance Howard said something about not needing to use many stitches but using
    those you dowell, Fly stitch is definitely on my repertoire.

  161. It’s hard to pick a favorite stitch, for sure.
    But I have fondness for the blanket stitch. 🙂

    Before I ever had a sewing machine that included the blanket stitch, I used to applique my quilts by hand & I was very good at it! Lol

  162. Hard to pick a single stitch that I love but probably the french knot! It is such a simple stitch and yet can make your stitchery pop!

  163. Hi Mary –
    My very favorite stitch is the Mosaic stitch. It’s a perfect background stitch, versatile working with colors and various treads. Love it!!

  164. I was raised in Puerto Rico, and grew up enjoying its wonderful food and drink.
    Every Christmas season my Mother would make and gift “Coquito,” which is something like a coconut eggnog. The secret to its success is to add lots of rum!
    Another tradition was to make “Flan,” comparable to a caramel egg custard.
    Although I do not frequently make Coquito, Flan is my go-to desert recipe throughout the year.
    Thank you, Mary, for these great opportunities!

  165. I love the lazy daisy stitch. This was one of the first stitches that my mom taught me. So when I sew this stitch it always brings back many wonderful memories.

  166. I would have to say the bullion. It is such an elegant stitch & although I don’t always hit it spot on, I love it.

  167. My favorite stitch is the Continious Chain Stitch. I like the end results and to me it is easier than the Lazy Daisy stitch, for some reason, don’t know why, the last straight stitch is always hard for me I can never get it straight (it just might be my vision).
    I really enjoy the Continious Chain stitch and use it whenever I can.

  168. my favourite stitch is Buttonhole stitch for its versatility but i really love so many that it is hard to choose.

  169. My favorite stitch is the backstitch. I feel that I am able to control the stitch length best and also the line of the stitching.

  170. Again i can say that my favourite stitch is Buttonhole stitch for its versatility but i really love so many that it is hard to choose.

  171. Only one embroidery stitch? Stem. It can outline or several rows can fill. Short/long/thick/thin/whipped/laced – so many ways to change the look.

  172. For the last giveaway I mentioned the Lazy Daisy stitch. Today I will pick my next favorite back stitch – it is a great stitch for red/black/blue stitch projects, but also for circles & applique enhancer.

  173. My favorite Christmas treat are rum balls. I only make them at Christmas and they have always been my daughter’s favorite.


  174. Several favorite treats I always look forward to making AND eating . . . sweet potato soufflé, cranberry and pistachio fudge, and red velvet cheesecake. Yum!

  175. My favorite embroidery stitch is the French knot. I like to use it for beards, hair, fur, flowers, etc.

  176. My favorite embroidery stitch is the bullion. Some call it the bullion rose stitch. I find it very versatile creating not only roses but leaves, animals, whatever you can dream and stitch. It is fun to learn, although challenging but I find that challenge to be part of my passion for stitching.

  177. Last week,
    I answered this with the reverse chain stitch, but there is another stitch that I enjoy doing — fly stitch leaves, and not the tiny ones you have a video for, but I’ve found fly stitch makes nice looking regular sized leaves — not as heavy/thick as fishbone, but pleasing with a nice vein down the middle. I look forward to leaves that will work well with fly stitch — it’s just easy and pleasing to work.

    Thanks for your give-aways!

  178. My favorite stitch is Wheat Stitch because it is a composite stitch. It looks like a feather stitch & chain stitch but is one stitch.

  179. Currently my favourite embroidery stitch is interlaced chain stitch because it makes a very pretty pattern to fill a shape and you can use different colours to highlight parts. Its hot here in Australia, at the moment, but we are enjoying making gingerbread houses for our Christmas celebrations.

  180. On Christmas morning, we always have sticky buns and this is the only time each year we have this treat. So, this would be my favorite holiday treat.

    Thank you so much for all of the great information and useful tools you provide on your site. It has been especially helpful and inspirational to this newbie to needlework! Have a blessed holiday and new year!

  181. My favorite Christmas treat was the Spanish Crème my late dad made for every Christmas night meal. He died in 1995 and have had it only once since then and it wasn’t the same but the memory of it is always with me at this time of the year.
    LA of NZ

  182. Oh! Such an unfair question! I have a different choice for every day of the year! Let’s just say ‘Embroidery & all the stitches are good for the soul and I love them all.’

  183. My favourite stitch is stem stitch. It can be used for fine lines, used close together to fill big spaces or raised to give texture.

  184. My favorite stitch remains the French knot, because it is versatile, and, even more, because it is fun to make!

  185. Oooo, Christmas treats! My husband’s family always made Popcorn Balls, my Mom was known for her Christmas Fudge, and we always make Chex Mix – although, we call them “Chipmunks”, as mu granddaughter called them that as a 3-year-old and it stuck (she’s 12 now!)

  186. Definitely the chain stitch – it fills large areas – flowers can be created – also an outline stitch – double chain stitch in various colours looks lovely.

  187. My favourite holiday treat is Oliebollen. These are Dutch doughnuts, filled with fruit, deep fried, and rolled in powdered sugar. They are a very traditional New Years Eve treat, and I have really happy memories of enjoying them with my Dutch relatives when I was a kid.

  188. We have so many holiday favorite treats that we have to pick and choose each year! Yule Log, trifle, Black Forest Cake, scores of cookies and a table full of vegetables. But the essential, can’t do without element is what we call simply Brown Sauce. It begins with a gallon of homemade rich beef stock, reduced to a syrup, simmered again with good red wine and more seasoning and finished with a swirl of butter. Our Christmas feast in a spoon.

    I love love love Stitch Palettes. Please sign me up for your drawing.

    Merry Christmas!

  189. My favorite has to be cross stitch! With different types floss you can make pieces of incredible variety and depth with just a silly little x.

  190. fabulous range of giveaways. But being an overseas follower POSTAGE is prohibitive. So am entering today to the PDF prize. Keep up your great work.merry Christmas to you and your family
    Coral Smart

  191. I make poppyseed and nut rolls for the family. It’s a recipe I got from my mother in law over 40 years ago. It’s nice to pass on family recipes to my kids.

  192. I’ll pick the cross stitch, since that is my go to stitch. I must have done millions by now.

  193. Palestrina! A very satisfying stitch. It gives great result with very little effort and is so versatile.

  194. My favourite stitch is the ordinary, everyday, all-purpose cross-stitch. Because that’s my preferred stitching addiction. My second favourite? The Holbein stitch.

  195. I love the texture of the plaited braid stitch It is a wonderful filling stitch and looks great in varigrated Broder thread

  196. If I had to pick one stitch it would be satin stitch. It fills in things wonderfully. I love doing it.

  197. Once a year at Christmas, we make my favorite turtle cheesecake for dessert—chocolate graham cracker crust, cheesecake filling, caramel and mini chocolate chips and toasted pecans for topping. Soooo good, but soooo many calories, so we only have it once a year. I can hardly wait! Happy Holidays!

  198. We have so many seasonal treats — my mom and I have long dipped our own chocolates at Christmas, which is a lunatic project but super-yummy. Then there’s the weird 50s Jello salad from my grandmother that no Christmas table is complete without. And a selection of special cookies — pinwheels, chocolate crinkles, cherry kisses… mmmmm.

  199. G’day there Mary,
    Back Stitch is my choice. Besides it being useful as a sewing stitch, to sew pieces of fabric together, and an outline type stitch, it can be laced and whipped in a number of different ways which are very effective in Crazy Patchwork.
    Cheers, and thank you.
    Kath Grabham

  200. If I could only pick one embroidery stitch as a favourite, it would be satin stitch. It fills a space so beautifully, and highlights the lustre in different types of thread. So many different ethnic embroideries use only satin stitch, and depending on what colourways are chosen, look so bright and cheerful, or sombre and regal.

  201. My favorite stitch is the French knot. It can be a little tricky at first but when you get it you can’t stop. It’s like tiny little flowers.

  202. My favorite stitch is the French knot. It is the first stitch that I could do well, and also, it was the stitch I was able to contribute (as part of a tree) to The Shenandoah Valley Tapestry – A Journey Through Time “Take a Stitch” program. The public was invited to various lectures and exhibitions about the tapestry before it was completed, and were invited to “take a stitch” on a select section of the actual tapestry.

  203. Springerle cookies. I make these with a rolling pin that has been in my family for over 100 years. It’s getting really worn now and the images aren’t as clear, but I really don’t think I will ever replace it. They are pure sentiment for me.

  204. My favorite stitch is the stem stitch because, once my rhythm is good and my stitch spacing is even, I can write in cursive and outline all sorts of shapes 😉

  205. Would have to go with the simple cross stitch due to its great versatility if I could only do one stitch –

  206. Quite hard to choose only one stitch. My favorite lately is stem stitch due to its versatility.

  207. We make Italian cookies for Christmas, a recipe handed down to me from my husband’s Grandmother!

  208. Fruit mince pies, not too sweet and not too bland. We no longer make them as there are excellent commercial ones available and their prices plummet after Christmas.

  209. My favorite stitch is the Herringbone stitch because I have found so many ways to change the look of it

  210. Dear Mary,
    When I was growing up the list to choose from would have been very long. Dark fruit-filled Christmas pudding studded with silver sixpences, Christmas Cakes (some for giveaway to family and friends), stollen, fruit mince pies, gingerbread men, mulled wine, pâté, and special preserves just for staters were only made to celebrate Christmas. Now it is just my partner and I, and we, sadly, buy in our goodies. The last traditional treat I made was a gorgeous little gingerbread house. It took ages to make but I loved it. My favourite, if I still made it, would be a very difficult choice, perhaps the green pepper pâté. Thank you Mary for the trip down memory lane.

  211. My favourite treat at Christmas is shortbread! My granny always made it and passed the recipe
    on to me.

  212. I love the chain stitch because it can become so many different things – a line, leaves, petals of a flower, insect wings, etc.

  213. The stitch palettes are a great idea. I will def look into these.

    Still a fan of the chain stitch. Short & long stitch is growing on me too, as I’ve recently done a lot of it.

  214. My most favorite embroidery stitch is chain stitch because I have found it so variable and versatile in so many designs.

  215. I love to use smyrna cross stitches. There is so much dimension and texture to add to your design.

  216. so many stitches to love! once I learned how to make a fail-proof French knot, I really began to love them. I struggled to get them right and after I learned, I put them everywhere. They are very versatile stitches.

  217. Favorite family Christmas traditions in food include crab dip, pecan pie and Christmas Eve homemade lasagna! yumyum

  218. Oh! I sometimes have trouble feeling confident about my colors choices – the Stitch Pallettes materials would be very helpful.

    Mary in MN

  219. Oh – forgot the question! Our holiday family treat is spiced/candied nuts. Don’t know why we don’t have them at other times – but they sure are delicious!

  220. My favorite stitch is the rosette chain stitch because of the way it curves around a circle and for its lacy effect.

  221. I thought that was the last question too. Anyway my favorite stitch right now is the Palestrina stitch. Chris Schaudel

  222. The stem stitch is the stitch that I probably use most often when stitching names and dates in christening gowns. Jane C

  223. My favorite stitch is the French knot as it’s so fun to make and adds a punch to the design.

  224. Thank you for sharing this information about Stitch Palettes! I’ve subscribed and am looking forward to seeing new color recommendations. Every Christmas breakfast–a real must are homemade cinnamon rolls! Yumm! I’ve made these most every year since 7th grade and the was a while back.

  225. Or you can answer this: In my family, we have certain treats that we make only around the holidays, like almond roca, biscotti, Christmas cookies, eggnog, and the like. What’s your favorite holiday treat?..

    My favorite was a german icebox cake which was not a cooked cake. Many sweet, sticky ingredients held together by condensed sweet milk. Very, very rich.

  226. My favorite holiday treat would have to be pie. There are several pies that we have regularly at different holidays. Key lime, cherry or pumpkin are our go to pies! We don’t really have pie the rest of the year.

  227. What a fabulous service! New to me and I’m definitely going to check it out! As for my favorite stitch? I’m torn between the versatility of the back stitch and the pure joy a lazy daisy gives!

  228. My favorite holiday treat is a cookie I make only at Christmas: Russian Tea Cakes. They are made of flour, butter, chopped walnuts and confectioner’s sugar- instantly addictive! My mother made them for many years and they are my fondest memory of Christmas treats.

  229. In our house there is always the crunchy kiwi pavlova with plenty of whipped cream and summer berries on top. Yummy.

  230. No fair, Mary, making us pick just one. Don’t you know they’re like Lays chips!! I suppose I’ll have to pick the twilling stitch. It is easy and looks good in a variety of areas. It can stand alone or it can outline applique. Merry Christmas!

  231. One of my favorite stitches is the running stitch for the memories of it. When my granddaughter Lauren was about 3, I was sitting and doing embroidery at their kitchen table. Lauren decided she wanted to do it too. I loop threaded a needle, gave her a piece of cotton backed with thin interfacing in a small hoop and let her try. I soon learned to pin the extra fabric away from the hoop so she did not get it caught in her sewing. She drew an l on the fabric and did her own running stitch on it. She proceded to print the rest of her name and embroidered it. I added a border to it and made a little pillow she stuffed. Over the next few years she printed other people’s names and made them pillows. Then came Alexandra and Kaitlyn when they were about 5. They started out with the first letter of their names. Allie gave up on the big A she had penciled in, and asked me to draw a heart. This started the twins to fill in their embroidered pieces with hearts, butterflies and stick people as well as their names. I did a lot if drawing on their pieces. All of their embroidery was completed with varying lengths of the running stitch, of which I have such wonderful memories. Running stitches for me are stitches of memories.

  232. If I only have 1 stitch I think I will go with a chain stitch. Cheating a bit because I can detach, wrap or weave it. It’s a good line stitch or filler.

  233. my favourite stitch is laid and couch work as it looks so incredibly 3-dimensional and is so wonderfully versatile….and covers quite fast!

  234. I would say that the only thing we eat during the holidays in my house is vitello tonnato, a dish that is typically from Italy

  235. On New Year’s Day we have fortune cookies to see what the coming year will bring. They’re one of my favorite desserts.

  236. My favourite stitch is coral stitch. I love the texture that it adds to so many designs, great for outlining leaves and stems in my Crewelwork.

  237. I really love long and short stitch because you can make such lovely color shadings with it. I’ve been working on it for decades.

  238. Chez nous ce sont des beignes a la levure et des biscuits sablés. Ma mere a 88 ans fait encore ces douceurs pour nous.

  239. It’s not a snack, but we have a baked mac and cheese recipe that has been handed down for generations in my husband’s family. I have tweaked it, as I imagine have the women before me, so it has become less recipe and more feeling. We only make it for holidays and special occasions and we call it “Grandma’s Mac and Cheese”.

  240. Holiday favorites in my home are Hungarian nut-filled cookies, panettone, and chocolate date-nut bread.

  241. My favorite stitch is the chain stitch. I outline most appliqués with it and also use its many variations.

  242. Favorite Christmas treat is stollen (from our local bakery, not the packaged kind) closely followed by lebkuchen.

  243. If I had to pick only one stitch, it would have to be the basic running stitch. It would allow for the most versatility overall. I’d be sad about not having any bumpy stitches though!

  244. I’d say the versatile stem stitch. I like the clean, smooth line for outlines and for quick stitches like tea towels.

  245. My favorite Holiday treat is when Ghiradelli Chocolates comes out with their Peppermint Bark Squares. My whole family rushes to buy bags of these for December..

    A homemade Christmas treat is making Spritzer Cookies. I use my Grandmother’s cookie press to make little Christmas trees and tiny stars.

  246. My mother always made a cookie called Sand Tarts at Christmas, basically a pecan shortbread cookie rolled in powdered sugar. Love them1

  247. My favorite stitch is really the one that gives me grief….petit point! I love the look of it but wow, it’s truly painful if you make a mistake. I also find it the most forgiving because it allows for you to really “paint” your design and make it your own.
    As for family treats and traditions, I just like having my grown kids over, in their pjs, laying on the couch eating whatever I’ve decided to make!
    Merry Christmas!

  248. I am afraid my favorite needlework is the one I am working on at any given time. Quilting, appliqué, crazy quilting. Count thread, canvas work etc. I love, love it all!

  249. My favorite holiday treat is Christmas Eve supper of Dungeness crab, salad and French bread. This made it easier on my mom to enjoy the candlelight service later that night.

  250. My favorite Christmas treat would be homemade sugar cookies with buttery cream cheese icing. These from scratch homemade cookies bring back so many childhood memories. We chose from a variety of cookie cutters and added food coloring to the icing to make the most beautiful and delicious cookies. My husband and I are now making these same memories with our 5 grandchildren. Our 4 year old grandson is coming this Friday to help make memories and cookies with us.

  251. My favorite treat for any holiday is seeing my family. This year I have actually “seen” more of them because we do Zoom get-togethers for each holiday this year. It’s been great fun since my family is all around the world.

  252. If I had to pick one stitch? Basket weave – at least then I could still use all of the fabulous threads in the design. One “fancy” stitch? Diagonal scotch (the cheat would be “and all variations thereof”).
    Our Christmas tradition is ginger cake with spiced (and spiked!) apple cider.
    Happy Holidays!!

  253. One stitch?? I would have to pick “ long and short” soft shading. It would give me endless opportunity to create embroideries from realistic thread painting to more fantastical designs. I would miss all of the other wonderful stitches, though, so I hope I never actually have to pick!!

  254. Only one stitch is hard! I am a needlepointer so my favorite stitch is not one commonly used in embroidery, I don’t think. I really enjoy stitching a herringbone stitch because once my hand gets the pattern, the stitch just flows along. I don’t need to change the angle of the piece or my hand as I am going. Please, though, don’t ask me to turn a corner!

  255. My favorite holiday treat is a chocolate log. Our tradition is that I make one for Christmas Day every year and, after breakfast on the 25th, my sons go out for a walk together to get sprigs of holly with berries to decorate it. While they are gone, my husband and I have half an hour or so for last minute prep or, now the boys are late teens, a quiet coffee!

  256. One of my favorite holiday treats is peanut butter blossom cookies. And oatmeal, black walnut cookies.

  257. My favorite stitch is a French knot. I love the texture.

    Thank you so much for doing this. Stitching with beautiful threads is a soothing activity during these times.

  258. My favorite Christmas treat is Cheese Spread using my husband’s great grandmother’s recipe

  259. I like cookies as a holiday treat. Especially oatmeal with black walnuts or peanut butter blossom cookies.

  260. Good morning Mary,
    I still say stem stitch is my favorite. I am stitching your new Christmas towels now and guess what stitch I started with! I love reading everyone’s answers to these questions. It’s so much fun finding out how others started stitching and what all their favorite stitches and projects are. Spending this time with other stitchers is the best Christmas gift! Thank you for all you do.

  261. My favourite holiday treat is Christmas cake with marzipan under the hard icing.
    we sometimes make this, but lately we have been ordering it from England (marks and spencer’s original)


  262. Our favorite holiday cookies are the sugar cookies in all shapes and decorated with icing in a rainbow of beautiful colors, from pastels to bold primaries! Kind of like these stitch palettes!

  263. I look forward to receiving your Stitch Palettes. They are a terrific tool for understanding my choices of colours for my needlepoint designs. Thank you

  264. Our favorite Christmas treat is that on Christmas morning we have waffles with strawberries and ice cream!! Delish! And a fun start to our day!

  265. My favorite Christmas treat as an adult is the peppermint flavor coffee creamer. I only use it during the month of December…maybe into January if there is some leftover. Mind you, it is even better if you add a home made Christmas cookie to the menu!

  266. Thank you so much for your wonderful giveaways!

    I’ll answer the favorite treat question: as my family celebrates Hanukkah, there may not be as many treats to pick from. But one thing that only gets made at this time of year are Hanukkah cookies. Now, these are nothing more than a basic sugar cookie cut in the shape of a dreidel, a menorah, and a Jewish star and then decorated, but it seems like every year goes by and there is never any other reason to bake regular sugar cookies except for this time of year. So, there you have it – my favorite special treat!

    Stitch Palette website and posts and newsletters and such are fantastic!

  267. At Christmas, we have a traditions with cookies,(peanut butter, sugar, and shortbread). I add different desserts I wanted to learn to make, tiramisu and baklava. They are now our tradition and cookies. I like to find cookies that different family members love and add them also.

  268. I like the smyrna stitch. It’s dead easy, can be tweaked for variation, and is so useful on Christmas festive pieces, where it can be worked in any number of glittery threads.

  269. Favorite treat is pferneuse cookies, a small spice, iced cookie traditionally popular in Germany.

  270. The Algerian stitch-I like the flow of movement around the square, making such a lovely stitch. Thank you!

  271. In South Africa, my homeland, where Christmas is in the middle of summer and it is HOT, my favourite Christmas table treat was Christmas pudding ice cream. It is my husband’s home made almond ice cream recipe, but with all the traditional Christmas pudding dried fruit and nuts and candied peel soaked and folded into it, before it is set. When I turned it out I sprinkled it with gold food colouring powder and decorated the top with marzipan Christmas motifs, and served it with a brandy sauce. In Ireland where I live now, I will have to find a new winter treat!

  272. My favorite holiday treats are called fruit balls … I only make them at Christmas because they are so addictive.
    On my list to do next week.

  273. As a kid, we knew that it was Christmas when my dad would make ‘Tom & Jerry’s’ – a type of hot eggnog cocktail.

  274. My favorite holiday treat is my grandma’s fudge. I’m the one making it now and I love it as much as I did when I was younger

  275. My favourite holiday treat is lots of uninterrupted stitching time – preferably in a lovely, sunny environment – as I don’t usually get too much of that.

  276. Last week I said the fly stitch but this week I am going with the oyster stitch. Fun to do and a great filler stitch.

  277. My favorite holiday treat is a Christmas wreath ‘cookie’ made with cornflakes&melted marshmallows, colored with green food dye. We make these into wreaths, then put cinnamon-y red candies on them.

    My children loved making them and now their children help make them.

  278. Hi, my favorite holiday treat is :

    Christmas holidays :CHOCOLATE

    Other holidays : “TAGADA” Strawberry. It’s a french sweet !!! N° 1 in France

  279. What’s your favorite holiday treat – why Russian Tea cakes of course! Those tender round morsels of nuts and powdered sugar that gets all of your clothes! It’s hard to sneak them because the evidence is very clear. Well not that clear because it’s white.

  280. Christmas is my favorite time of year, so I love all of the treats, but it’s essential to have my great grandma’s Scottish shortbread every year! Making it feels like mom and grandma are in the kitchen with me, and eating it is heavenly!

  281. I love to embroidery and color selection is a very big problem for me. I think these color charts will help me. Hope I win!

  282. My favorite holiday treat is my Mother-in-Love’s Hot Chocolate. I love her recipe, and even though Nonna shared it with me, I can’t quite match her flavor. Adding a peppermint stick gives it a fun zing, too.

  283. M Y favourite holiday treat is choosing gifts for my daughter She is so clever at choosing gifts I try to be as good

  284. My favorite treat for the holiday is Red Velvet Cake. It has an almond hidden in it and whoever finds it, gets a Christmas gift. This a take off on a Scandanavian tradition.

  285. A Stitcher’s Christmas #7 introduced me to the wonderful website for Stitch Palettes, which I wouldn’t have discovered otherwise. Thank you!

  286. Favorite holiday treat but they’re a pain to make is cream cheese spritz cookies with and aged (from the 70s) electric cookie press

  287. My favorite Christmas treat is fruit cake from a recipe that has been handed down in my husband’s family for at least 53 years (this is how long we’ve been married).

  288. My favorite holiday treat is butter tarts and homemade cinnamon buns. The only thing my oldest daughter wants for Christmas are butter tarts. We make cinnamon buns the night before and bake Christmas morning. This has been a family tradition for many years.

  289. What beautiful color palettes. I’m not great with color, so I do appreciate all sharing of tips and tricks for color selection, as well as color coordinated kits. These are yummy.

  290. My favorite treat isn’t a food, an old movie or simply having my shopping done. It’s having the time and the peace and quiet to stitch while looking at the lit Christmas tree. Simple, but oh so fulfilling.

  291. My favorite stitch is the bullion. You can make so many things with it from flowers to bugs and it is so dimensional.

  292. My favourite holiday treat is time to look at nature ,taking photos and drawings that l can then use for embroidery.

  293. I think the Hungarian braided chain stitch is my favorite. I guess it’s because I can move quickly with a rich looking chain stitch without to much fuss. It’s quick and adds a lot of texture to a piece. There are a lot of stitches I like but the Hungarian braided chain stitch really stands out.

  294. My mother-in-law’s Graham Cracker coffee cake is my favorite Christmas treat.
    She is gone now, so I’ve taken the challenge and bake it every year for Christmas morning.

  295. I couldn’t help but I want to answer both because ones not enough. My favorite stitch is the French knot. You can do them small or large and they give a texture feeling and it give a look like it coming off the item. I just love it. My favorite holiday treat to do it make cookies with son and sit them out for Santa ( which he doesn’t know it his papa) but he loves eating cookies and love seeing the smile on his face.

  296. A favorite holiday treat was the special breakfast prepared by my mother for me, my sister and niece on Christmas morning! She treated us to this breakfast up til the year she died at age 90!

  297. This is a very nice website/blog. It’s wonderful to have a place to go when a stitcher needs color help. And I always seem to need color help.

    My favorite Christmas treat is my mother’s old fashioned apricot filled cookies. The recipe is in an old 1946 cookie cookbook, and we still use the recipe today. My mom’s gone now, but we still love making her cookies.

  298. If you had to pick one (and only one) favorite embroidery stitch, what would it be, and why?
    I would pick the straight stitch. You can do any shape and outline and fill any area with this stitch.
    My family’s favorite holiday treats are Christmas cookies. When my kids were little we decorated them together. Great memories were made also.
    Have a great Holiday all.

  299. Back stitch, because it can be outline, stem or split. But you can sew anything with a back stitch.

  300. I like to make cookies my German Grandmother used to make every Christmas since I was a little girl, called Zimtsterne, or Cinnamon Stars. Made with egg whites and ground almonds, they are so good!

  301. In my family, we have certain treats that we make only around the holidays, like almond roca, biscotti, Christmas cookies, eggnog, and the like. What’s your favorite holiday treat?

    Years ago my mother had a cleaning woman from Quebec who gave her a recipe for Montreal Slices – a pan cookie with a chocolate/graham cracker base and vanilla cream frosting topped by a thin layer of dark chocolate. My sister makes this every year for our family Christmas dinner get-together and it is everyone’s favorite treat. FYI, I learned many years later that it is very similar to Nanaimo Bars (they have coconut added to the base, I think).

  302. My favorite stitch is the queen stitch or Rococo. It takes patience to make the stitch but it’s a beautiful effect giving the piece a lovely texture. Think strawberries.
    I visited the Stitch Pallets website. Their service provides a great help in choosing color a color pallets especially having a DMC thread match. Splendid

  303. Hmm, that is a hard question. With so many fabulous embroidery stitches to choose from. I think my favourite that comes to mind is the satin stitch; because it covers so very well and defines that part of the image.

  304. Our family always makes a large batch of shrimp dip at holiday time: Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. We also enjoy Grandma’s spiced, candied pecans.

  305. In our family, we make several batches of chocolate pecan fudge every year for Christmas. It’s our favorite family Christmas Treat bar none! Happy Holidays to everyone!

  306. I thought I answered this last time, but I know the giveaway was different. Oh well, the answer is the same – feather stitch. After I learned it I was doing a little underwater scene, and I found I could weave the feather stitch around. (it makes great seaweed) Then I found I could make it look different when I didn’t make everything even. It is still my favorite stitch and I manage to work it into almost every thing I do.

  307. My holiday treat would be to get up in the morning have breakfast of fresh New Zealand fruit and the rest of the day being able to pick up and put down my stitching as I please and not have to think about what has to be done, who’s to be feed, what animals are needing attended to and generally doing my own thing , stitching and skimming up my next projects which I no will never happen (I have so many unfinished I guess a few more won’t be noticed) WILL THEY ???

  308. Every Christmas we make Rugelach cookies as part of our cookie boxes. They are my favorite yet I don’t make them any other time. Hmm. I should rethink that. Merry Christmas!

  309. My favorite stitch is the French knot. I like the way it looks when they are all pack in a tight spot!


  310. Our family has many traditional holiday treats (iced sugar cookies, Spritz, “English” toffee, and eggnog) however, I always treat myself to a box of chocolate covered cherries because, as a child, I always looked forward to the box that appeared annually at Christmas.

  311. Hi Mary
    My choice would be satin stitch. I’m not great at stitching this but if I take the time and care it produces a stunning effect
    Merry Christmas & stay safe

  312. M favorite Christmas treat is sugar cookies cut out with lots of different Christmas theme cookie cutters and then generously sprinkled with green and red sugar crystals. We made them every year and now my daughter makes them with her children.

  313. My very favorite Christmas treat is white-chocolate covered cranberries. The tart “pop” (literal and figurative) of fresh cranberries is countered very nicely by the mild sweetness of white chocolate. They’re simple to make, but they don’t last long, so I always make an entire bag of cranberries when I make a batch. A bit time-consuming, but so worth the effort! YUM!

  314. My favorite holiday treats are called buckeyes, or chocolate covered peanut butter balls. They are amazing when my mom makes them every year! 😀 Thanks for the giveaway!

  315. My favorite Christmas treat is my grandmother’s caramel recipe. We have been making it for 4 generations now, and depending on who is there, hiding it so it will last to Christmas Eve.

  316. My favourite Christmas treat is Nanaimo Bars. They taste amazing and taste just as good frozen as they do just made. So delicious!

  317. My favourite stitch is the feather stitch. I like the various effects that can be achieved by varying the length of the arms of the stitch.

  318. My favourite stitch is cross-stitch. I’ve never gotten into other embroidery at all. Just all those little x’s in rows or blocks soothe my soul and make me feel calm and smooth.

    My favourite Christmas food (which often comes out during the rest of the year) is home mead shortbread. The recipe came from my mother-in-law, which came from her cousin’s father-in-law, which came form his mother, so it’s a round-about trip, but the family will have nothing less.

  319. My son in law is a home brewer. Most of their presents are alcoholic. I look forward to his home brew version of Irish Creme. That’s my seasonal treat.

  320. Dear Mary :Thank you to you and Krisztina for this wonderful prize. I love to open the Stitch Palettes email and see all the fantastic photos and the colours which were chosen. I’ve been stitching for 70 years and enjoy new challenges but my favourite stitch is still the lazy daisy. That was easy to learn as a child and always looked pretty to me!!

  321. Thank you for sharing about Stitch Palettes! It looks like a fun tool!

    Our family makes special cookies, we must have spritz cookies and pecan tassies or it doesn’t seem like Christmas!

  322. ” What’s your favorite holiday treat? ” Traditional Christmas cookies. With royal icing or sugar crystals. I love the variety of cookie cutters!!!

  323. My favourite holiday treat is the Christmas pudding we make every year smothered in cream and a big dollop of ice cream

  324. Smyrna Cross for sure! It is easy to work up, provides texture wherever it is used and always looks good!

  325. My mother always made a lot of different cookies for Christmas and I like to carry on that tradition but this year, because it will just be the two of us, I’ve decided to just make my two favorites. The first is a recipe I received from an Austrian friend for “Vanilla Kipferl”. The second is a cookie that’s actually made like a sheet cake and then cut into cookies after baking called “Berliner Brot”.
    Let’s hope next year we can all get together with friends and family for the holidays!

  326. Thank you Mary and Stitch Palettes for this lovely opportunity.

    My family’s favourite treat is my traditional Christmas cake, made with lots of different types of dried fruit & nuts, and well matured with good whisky.
    I used to make two big cakes; one for Christmas and one for New Year. Nowadays I have to make three or four as my children live far away but they still want to have Mum’s Christmas cake 🙂

  327. I wouldn’t really call it a favorite stitch but I do love the backstitch. It’s magical how it makes such a difference to your stitching. Your project looks good without out it but BAM when you backstitch it just comes to life. It’s not always fun to do but boy it is worth it.

  328. I’ll answer BOTH questions since I just found your blog.

    My favorite stitch is the smyrna stitch. I learned it about 20 years ago and love the way it looks.

    My family’s favorite treat is sugar cookies. They are all adults but still love decorating and eating them. I, of course, am responsible for making them.

  329. My favourite stitch would have to be Elizabethan plaited braid stitch. Why, because it gives a lovely raised effect when stitched especially when worked with gold thread, looks opulent and there are several variations of the stitch.

  330. Have used the palettes to select various colors to do different projects and they work for me do to the fact that I can’t really choose colors for various projects

  331. Hi Mary,
    When I was growing up, my Mom used to make all sorts of Christmas cookies. All different kinds, shapes and colors. My brother and I would take them to school for teachers, to neighbors, and of course, to family. My favorite cookie was Spritz. They are a delicious, fine, butter cookie made into all sorts of fun Christmas shapes by using a hand cookie press. My Mom spent hours making these and decorating them…a true labor of love! I wish I had one right now! Merry Christmas everyone!

  332. My favorite stitch is the queen stitch – I love its texture and that it can be lacy (or not) depending on how hard you pull the thread.

  333. Cookies! Definitely cookies! Any and all kinds of them, but I must admit anything with chocolate gets top billing!

  334. My favorite Christmas treat are the German anise cookies my mother makes every Christmas. I gorge myself on them as they only come around once a year.

  335. I love so many stitches, but to pick one I will pick the satin stitch. I just love the look of it, when it’s stitched right.

  336. I never heard of a stitch palette before! I’d love to be the winner and take my stitching to the next level!!
    I love Nobuko stitch!
    My family tradition for Chanuka is Potato Latkes/Pancakes- fried in oil and nice and crispy!!

  337. I make different sweet treats every year so I don’t necessarily make the same favorite every year. But… what I do make every single year at this time are Potato Latkes, and I love them. I make pretty good ones and I prefer mine with sour cream and I do not make them any other time of the year. So, my favorite “treat” would have to be my holiday potato latkes.
    Okay, I don’t mind enjoying them with a glass of Old-Fashioned Egg Nog… just saying.

  338. Especially during this pandemic choosing a palette is daunting when you can’t visit your LNS. This ebook sounds like the perfect solution during covid quarantine. My favorite stitch is the round bargello. it makes for wonderful clothing, backgrounds and so many other purposes. Our favorite at home seasonal treat is Panettone. I learned to make it from my grandmother and I adore the way my house smells while it is baking.

  339. My favorite Christmas treat is cookies—all the varieties of the pretty decorated cookies that I only get at Christmas time.

  340. My favorite holiday treat is Kentucky Burbon Cake.

    Don’t know why everyone is giving their favorite stitch, but mine is Rhodes.

  341. I’m Mexican so an annual holiday treat that really is made only once a year in our family is tamales. It’s a family tradition and they are well worth the work and the wait. We also make a pecan candy that has been my favorite since childhood. My dad is not usually cooking unless it’s on the BBQ but he is a master of the pecan candy which really is a skill. And grandma’s cornbread stuffing is high on the list. Now I’m hungry for all three!

  342. My favorite holiday treat is lace cookies (also know as florentines). They’re so lovely and delicious!

  343. I also love Stitch Palettes. Such a great resource.
    At this time of the year we have a couple of real treats. Fresh cherries are only available for the month or two across Christmas. They are beautiful.
    My sisters make rum balls, stained glass window cake and shortbread. All our festive favourites.

  344. My favorite stitch is stem stitch because it is easy and can be used as a shading stitch by doing rows of it side by side in graduating shades of a color.

  345. My favorite and what I think is the most versatile embroidery stitch is the outline stitch. In addition to outlining large or small areas you can use it as a filler stitch. The size of this stitch can vary depending on where you are using it. One can also use either variegated or different color threads together in the needle to add dimension to your design, for ex., when used for stitching a tree trunk.

  346. My favourite embroidery stitch is probably the whipped backstitch. I love the neat lines it creates and how versatile it can be used – from embroidering animal origami designs to lettering, it always looks smooth and it is easy to learn too. What more would you need?

  347. Favourite Christmas treat is Pavlova an Australian specialty, meringue made with a bit of vinegar so that the inside is marmallowy and the outside is crisp. Best decorated with whipped cream, topped with strawberries and kiwi fruit!!

    I made this for my workmates at a party in Virginia USA, and they loved it so much they ate it before the main course!!!

  348. My family’s favorite holiday treat is krumkake, a Norwegian delicate cone shaped waffle cookie. This year, because of Covid, we are making it with our Mother’s telephone directions only. But we can all still enjoy it separately.

  349. My favourite stitch would be be stem stitch because it is so versatile and can be used in many ways.


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