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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How to Embroider (Blank): Project Index


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This year, we’ll be working our way through a series of tutorials for embroidering (blank) – that is, a number of different embroidery subjects.

We’ve already worked through how to embroider wheat five different ways, and we’re on our way through strawberries at the moment. You can see in the image below a sneak peek of what’s coming up after the strawberries.

How to Embroider (Blank) - tutorial series

Right now, there are six projects planned, from a list of possibly eight.

The series focuses on small projects with elements stitched using different approaches, to give you ideas on how to incorporate various techniques into your own embroidery projects.

Accessible for Beginners & Beyond!

The projects are suitable for beginners and beyond.

As the project unfolds on Needle ‘n Thread, I link to appropriate tutorials and tips that will help you achieve a successful finish. I provide the design for download and a list of materials that I used, although you can always substitute your own materials from what you have on hand.

Project Index

This is where I will keep the project list and a list of the articles in each project. You’ll find a link to this index under “Tips and Techniques” in the main menu on Needle ‘n Thread.

1. Wheat Five Ways

This project focuses on how to embroider wheat in five different ways, from easy to more complex. The final project looks like this:

Wheat Five Ways tutorials

Here are the articles in the series:

Part 1: Design & Materials

Part 2: Quick & Easy Stalks

Part 3: Texture with Bullions

Part 4: Last Stalk & Leaves

2. How to Embroider Strawberries

This project focuses on five different ways to embroidery strawberries, from highly stylized to more realistic. The project is currently running. This is what it looks like so far:

Embroidered Strawberries Tutorials

Here are the articles in the series:

Part 1: Design & Materials

Part 2: Simple Strawberry & Blending Colors

Part 3: Burden Stitch & Woven Picots

Part 4: Lattice Work over Surface Satin Stitch

Part 5: Strawberry in Battlement Couching

Part 6: Last Strawberry & Blossoms

Part 7: Finishing Touches!

3. How to Embroider Daisies

This series will focus on the ‘umble but sweet daisy, and we’ll look at a few different ways to embroider them. The design combines stylized and realistic daisies.

How to Embroider Daisies

Here are the articles in the series, in chronological order:

Part 1: Materials & Design

Part 2: Simple Petals & Stem

Part 3: Stems, Leaves, Corrections, and Daisy #3

Part 4: Long & Short Stitch with Turkey Work

Part 5: Satin Stitch & the Finish

How to Embroider Grapes

This project focuses on a number of ways to embroider grapes in a bunch. We will look at many approaches all in one design, so that you can decide what approach you like and maybe apply that approach to the entire design. The initial grape bunch will end up looking like a sampler.

How to Embroider Grapes

Here are the articles in this series so far:

First Foray into the Grapes – Design & Color Consideration

Part 1: Design & Materials

Part 2: Three Basic Fillings

Part 3: Outlining instead of Filling

Part 4: Structured Fillings, Shisha, and Overcast

Part 5: The Last Grapes

Part 6: The Finished Grapes – Tendrils & Leaves

How to Embroider Dragonflies

In this series, we’re going to embroider two different dragonfly projects. The first is the basic dragonfly, so you get a sense of how it’s done. The second is another version in different colors, with a bit of a setting behind it.

How to Embroider Simple Dragonflies

An Introduction to the Projects

Part 1: Design, Materials, and Set-Up

Part 2: Embroidering Wee Bodies

Embroidering the Wings

Embroidering the Rest of the Dragonfly

Dragonfly #2: Design & Materials

Dragonfly #2: Stitching Tips

How to Follow

The tutorials are published here on Needle ‘n Thread and are free for your personal use.

The best way to keep up with them as soon as they are published is subscribing to my email newsletter, which is essentially each article delivered to your email inbox.

Patreon Members

If you’re a member of my page on Patreon, you can download a PDF version of the tutorials (sometimes with a little more detail and accompanying stitch tips, and sometimes with the next step of the project already included), so that you can save it to your computer and print it easily for your personal use.

Not Interested?

The projects often contain good instructional content and tips that you can apply to your own projects, so even if you don’t want to stitch them, you’ll hopefully pick up a good tip or two!

But we’ll also be continuing with regular Needle ‘n Thread content between installments, so you can still expect plenty of variety on other needlework topics and projects.

If you’re looking for this Index on the website, you’ll find it listed here under Tips & Techniques, in the top section under “Hand Embroidery Lessons & Step-by-Step Projects.”


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(30) Comments

  1. Dear Mary

    This is a great way to follow a project that you want to stitch in the future. It’s easily indexed under tips and techniques. I really enjoy these How to Embroider small projects I am learning such a lot from them. Thank you for sharing with us the index of the small embroideries projects and for all the work you have put into these tutorials and the photos, this is very useful and I’m sure I will use them in future projects.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  2. Morning Mary – This is an excellent series and I’m enjoying it very much. Your ‘Stitch Fun’ and ‘Stitch Dictionary’ are two of my prime places to discover how to work a stitch and also what can be done with a combination of simple stitches so I’m happy to see you expanding on this theme with actual projects.
    You have taught me so much over the years and in your archives I can find the answer to just about any question I have and very often segue into other interesting posts. Each one opened in it’s own tab to where I can have 15 tabs up there and can’t even read what they are any more.
    Thank you for all you give us. Brenda

  3. I love these, and am truly appreciative. I’m stitching the wheat now on a kitchen towel. It is turning out beautiful
    Thank you!

  4. I love this series! May I suggest butterflies, pears, pussywillow or violets? There are many wonderful things to learn to stitch!

  5. These are such cute projects! I love them! I like to design embroidery patterns for myself, and these really help me think through different design concepts and enlarge the variety of stitches I feel comfortable incorporating. Thank you so much!

    C. L. Fingristion

  6. Mary I am enjoying these embroidery blank projects. Though I didn’t work up the wheat I learned slot as I read along. The strawberries look like alot of fun and who does not like daisies.
    After the past year these projects are a boost to the my embroidery out look. I look forward to all the future has in-store.

  7. Really appreciate the organisation of your site. So much easier to find things than on many blogs when you don’t know the term to search for.

  8. Mary, these have been great. I love them. I wish you would add a part 6. Embroidering these simple elements with a challenging thread or background fabric. I would love to do wheat in gold work. What about strawberries on silk fabric. What would you do differently? Always so much to learn.

  9. Hi Mary, I just wanted to say how much I enjoy your work (I can’t wait for the daisies) and how often I turn to you and your sage advice when I find myself stuck. I’m in the midst of my C&D course study at the RSN and have turned to your archives so often to watch tutorials and review stitches that I feel as if (and if I’m honest, wish) you were teaching the course. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us…you are a treasure!!

    Kindest, CJ

  10. Thank you, Mary. I’m still working on my wheat, but I have my strawberries printed out and ready to start as soon as I finish my wheat. I’m looking forward to the whole series.

  11. Thank you Mary for showing where to find this list of projects (although this is where I would have guessed they’d be). I’m enjoying this series immensely even though I’ve yet to take a stitch. Seems every time I read one of your stitch posts I pick up something new and I absolutely love laid and lattice work. Looking forward to the daisies I caught a glimpse of the other day and have been wondering how they’d look as black-eyed Susan’s or some other colored daisy type flower like echinacea or even wood anemone. I can definitely see making a butterfly garden out of that one out of a nice big piece of linen or smaller squares as you’re doing and then patchworked together.
    Happy sewing – Brenda

  12. Thank you so much, Mary! I appreciate so much all your kind , accurate instruction!
    I could never hope to do the beautiful work you do. However, I “profit” very much by your instruction! And enjoy it, too!!

    Im am embroidering some flour sack towels now and having so much”fun” I most likely will want to stitch some more of them for gifts when I finish these!

    Judy in Tallahassee, Florida

    Judy Lawrance

  13. I love your site, I have been following you for so long now and enjoying all the little tips you give us.. I am now a member of your Patreon page.. love your “how to embroider blank” tutorials.. just love them.. i have learned so much.. cheers

  14. thank you for these tutorials, i’m working on a crazy quilt for my grand daughter and just using embroidery stitches and silk ribbon and i’m really wanting to try the tutorials you are teaching. i’m almost finished with the album then will start. Thanks again for the encouragement.

  15. Good afternoon Ms.Corbet: I am and always will be an admirer of your ART and the way you describe and explain the projects you share with us. I can repeat comments of Brenda Campbell on 03/20/21. I feel just like her. God bless and good health always.

    1. I don’t have a tutorial on shadow work that isn’t a monogram, but of course, you can adapt the method to whatever design you want that’s suitable for shadow work.

  16. Just thought you would like to know that many many years ago my mother and I had a small in home gift shop. we also had the name of Needle and Thread Gift shop. Wishing you all the luck and success possible.

  17. Thank you for your kindness and those wonderful tutorials. You are always coming up with something new.
    God keep you under His wings. We all love you so.

  18. I’ve just discovered your website and wanted to say: wow!!!! so much expertise and generosity on offer here; a true treasure and my husband and I are grateful to learn from you in our new budding handwork obsession. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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