Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Little Embroidered Bits


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Every now and then, I liken certain pieces of embroidery to candy.

Lately, I’ve been working on the step-by-step instructions for a few of the little elements on Key to My Heart, this small, colorful embroidery project from last year.

Little pieces of embroidery always make me happy!

Little Embroidered Bits - isolated floral elements

These are little isolated floral elements that populate the heart design. They also show up in my voided monograms – a design collection that will come out as soon as I can finish all the variables!

The fun thing about little elements like this is that they aren’t relegated to any particular embroidery design or type of design. If you need a little accent on a piece of embroidery, these work!

And they’re fun to do!

Size, color, thread type – they’re open for any variation you can concoct.

Little Embroidered Bits - isolated floral elements
The only thing you shouldn’t do with them is snip them off the fabric and pop them in your mouth.

Even if you want to!

I’m not saying you can’t do it… but it would be a little weird.

Little Embroidered Bits - isolated floral elements
I love how the simplest element of embroidery can be so dang cheery.

And I love how something so little can be so dang satisfying!

Little Embroidered Bits - isolated floral elements
Often, little bits in one project move me to add them to another.

After working on these photos, I found myself adding similar elements to my Stitch Fun 2021 yearly sampler. I’ll share the results of that with you soon. It involved a bit of lettering, so we’ll talk about that, too.

So, yes. Little bits of embroidery! Don’t underestimate them. They may be small, but they’re mighty!

If I could ask you to pull one idea away from today’s article, even though it seems like I’m blabbering about nothing, it would be this:

If big things seem too overwhelming to you right now, do little things.

Sometimes, you might not be ready or inclined to invest mentally, emotionally, time-wise, financially, or any other number of ways, into a Big embroidery project, but you might still have the itch to be doing something stitchy. Do little things. They can be a great source of satisfaction!

Every single thing that you do does not have to be a Magnum Opus. In fact, it shouldn’t be. You’d wear yourself out! It’s ok to do little things!

Little Embroidered Bits - isolated floral elements
On that note, here’s another little thing going on in the studio. End of the day, darkness falling – perfect time to snatch a teaser photo of an obscure something. Hint: We’ll get to it when we finish the wheat tutorials!

Happy Monday!


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(15) Comments

  1. Dear Mary

    These look really nice and would make tantalising sweets. I really like the little embroidered pieces they are so colourful and I like the various stitches you are using. I agree little isolated embroidery are just as satisfying as the big projects and look lovely. I really like in the dark strawberry design at the end and look forward to you showing us your new project. Thank you for sharing with us the little embroidery pieces and to the voided monogram design collection.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  2. Love it! Love it! LOVE it! I was just thinking about doing some of Elisabetta’s shells on a practice piece, and some of your bullion stitch instructions. Now there are flowers, too. Mighty sweet….
    You are so right about feeling a bit overwhelmed by the idea of committing to a large piece right now. And it’s February already.
    Having said that, I am really looking forward to some strawberries after the wheat

  3. Mary, Thank you!!! Your words about doing small things if you can’t do something really big right now means so much more than you even intended! It has impacts beyond stitching into many things in life! I am going to make it a mantra… I really needed to hear that today!!!!
    Thank you again, Kim H.

  4. “If big things seem too overwhelming to you right now, do little things.”

    I needed to hear this today–and not just for needlework. 😉

    This is the first time I’ve commented here (I’ve been following for a few months now). Thanks for putting together such a beautiful and helpful site. Your needlework is amazing!

  5. Oh, thanks for this one today. It’s turning out to be one of “those” days and the reminder to work on little things was timely. 🙂

  6. Sorry if this is a duplicate – my computer glitzed.

    Wondering how you padded the little blue and gold flower.

    Thank you,

  7. Oooh Mary, thank you so much for the trip down memory lane today! Your Little Embroidered Bits remind me of the (much loved!) mille fiori candy of my childhood. I also saw some strawberries growing on your frame so I’m looking forward to those as soon as they are ready to be picked. Yesterday I stumbled across Queenie’s Portuguese Clover Stitch that can be converted to a raspberry. Between the two of you, it’s a wonderful week to be an embroiderer!

  8. Hello Mary.
    Thank you so much for the delicious stitched candy! I think I’m so conditioned to think that only a “large” project has merit, it is good to be reminded the beauty in a small object. I recently (last weekend) heard about slow stitching/stitch meditation, the purpose being to enjoy the act of stitching. Your small projects remind me to enjoy the process. I’m sure you have heard of this idea, I’m usually out of the loop or in this case the hoop. Hopefully it will remind me the joy is in the stitching journey and not necessarily the big payoff. I’ve enjoyed your ideas and creative projects for so long, a belated thank you for all your help! Have a great day, Toni

  9. Hello again

    Can you tell me what system you are using to hold you stitching with the strawberries? The white looking head? It looks interesting. I understand how you have stretched your linen, just wondering how you are holding it steady?

    Thanks again,


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