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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Home Sweet Home & White Linen Sampler


Amazon Books

I’m so excited that Inspirations Studios decided to print a 10th Anniversary Edition of Home Sweet Home by Carolyn Pearce!

This is a fantastic book – it was when it was first published ten years ago and it is even more so today. The new edition features a few changes. I’ll tell you about those below.

I’ve also been putting together the next offering of embroidery linen samples, the White Linen Fabric Sampler Pack. I’ll tell you all about it below, too. It is… oh golly! It contains a little bit of everything I love about beautiful, crisp, lovely white linen! If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to stitch on the type of linen used to make those time-tested antique linens used for fine whitework, monogramming, ecclesiastical use, and more, read on!

Home Sweet Home: 10th Anniversary Edition

Ten years ago, I reviewed Home Sweet Home here, and since then, I’m still as enthusiastic about the book as ever! The original book went through a couple re-printings, and for a while, it’s been hard to come by.

Thankfully, it’s been reprinted in a fresh new edition, and – yay! It’s even been expanded a bit!

Home Sweet Home: 10th Anniversary Edition

The 10th Anniversary Edition has three new accessories in it – a scissor keep, a pinwheel, and a bodkin (or a laying tool or awl) cover.

The exciting thing about Home Sweet Home is the instructive value of the book.

Within, you will learn how to finish embroidered items into beautiful accessories in clever and accessible ways. You’ll learn how to make useful things. And you can apply that knowledge to future projects with your own designs, for your own unique take on constructed embroidered things.

It’s a real treasure trove of how-to content that will serve you well!

Home Sweet Home: 10th Anniversary Edition

In the book, you’ll find instructions for embroidering and constructing a dozen needlework accessories, plus the delightful cottage box to store your favorite tools and notions in.

You can stitch it all! Or you can pick and choose! You can use your own threads and favorite colors, relying on Carolyn’s sample as a guide, or you can make use of her extensive and detailed materials lists to recreate the project as shown in the book.

Available Now

I have a limited quantity of the new 10th Anniversary Edition of Home Sweet Home available now, ready to ship. If you’re interested, you’ll find it in the shop!

(This book is another of those that I’m carrying because 1. I love it; and 2. it makes it easier for you to acquire a copy – ie, it’s not available through Amazon, unless you want to pay $100+ for the previous edition.)

White Linen Sampler Collection

For those of you who have always dreamed of stitching on exquisite, high quality embroidery linen, but you’ve not been able to find it, or you’ve not wanted to invest in large quantities, my second linen sampler pack is now available here on Needle ‘n Thread, and I am super excited about it.

(I know many of you are still awaiting the rest of the Natural Linen Fabric Sampler packs. I just have one more piece of linen to arrive, and those will be ready again. If you’re on the wait list, you’ll be notified as soon as they’re ready!)

White Linen Sampler Pack for Embroidery

This second linen sampler pack focuses on white linen. Beautiful, crisp, bright, clean, white linen!

Oh me oh my! This is the type of linen that stitching dreams are made of.

I know it sounds corny, but really, my mouth waters when I think of these linens.

I’ve used three of the four types in projects here on Needle ‘n Thread. This pall and this wheat tutorial are embroidered on one, Jacobean Sea is embroidered on one, and this goldwork rose is embroidered on one, and I’m excited to be able to share them with you!

The fourth type of linen is the ground fabric for an upcoming project that I’m working on now. The linen and the project are both somewhat unique – I’m venturing outside of my normal stitching realm with it, and I’ll be sharing it with you later this year.

White Linen Sampler Pack for Embroidery

So, just like the natural linen sampler pack, this group includes four specially curated white embroidery linens, each with different characteristics and all sublimely suited to hand stitching.

These linens are special. They are European linen, made from flax grown in an ideal climate for the plant. They are masterfully woven. And they are reminiscent of the lovely linens of ages past, where high quality meant longevity and sustainability. They are the types of linen that you would want to stitch on, when you want your work to survive the test of time.

White Linen Sampler Pack for Embroidery

Here’s a brief description of each type of linen:

The first is a very high count, closely woven, plain-weave lightweight linen with a fine, smooth hand. It has a solid white surface. Think of “antique linen” or “antique whitework” and this is the type of linen that comes to mind. It is perfectly suited to every kind of fine surface embroidery and heirloom sewing. It can be used for contemporary whitework, cutwork, light goldwork (backing recommended), ecclesiastical embroidery, silk shading, monogramming, historical whitework, and more.

The second is a 53/63 thread count, plain weave linen, also with a very smooth hand, slightly heavier in weight than the first. It has a close, but visible, weave, and is suitable for all kinds of surface embroidery techniques, including whitework, fine drawn thread work, ecclesiastical embroidery, goldwork, and historical embroidery.

The third is a 38-count even weave linen, closely woven in a medium weight, with a smooth hand, suitable for fine counted work, some whitework techniques, drawn thread work, historical needlework, and many types of surface embroidery.

The fourth linen is probably the most unique in the bunch, compared to what we are used to, linen-wise, these days. It is a semi-transparent, quite sheer, ethereal linen, very fine and light in weight. It is suitable for delicate embroidery techniques, fine monogramming, shadow work, whitework (especially layering and combining different grounds in modern whitework), needle lace foundations, heirloom sewing, and more.

A Note on Cost

When I launched the Natural Linen Fabric Sampler pack, I heard some claims that we could buy whole yardage of linen for a fraction of the cost.

You can, it is true!

But you can’t buy full yardage of linen of this quality for a fraction of the cost anywhere, let alone in the US (where we don’t grow a flax crop or produce linen).

Exquisite linen for needlework is pretty rare and it is simply not available at the average fabric store or through discount fabric outlets online. This type of linen is produced in small runs, and it is made for a relatively small market by linen manufacturers who have been producing high quality linen for a very long time.

I can’t apologize for the cost. The fact is, it is expensive linen. The linens in the white fabric sampler range from $90 – $250/yard, retail. Most, of course, come in wider widths than standard fabrics (thank goodness, considering the cost!). But still – the cost is something significant to think about. I’ve done my best to keep the sampler packs as affordable as possible.

My goal with the sampler packs is to give you the opportunity to try several types of very good linen, to get the cloth into your hands so that you can feel it, see it, stitch on it, and know what it’s all about. Very few of us live close to a source for fine embroidery linen, so the sample packs are meant to provide you with the opportunity to learn more about linen and experience the joy of stitching on Really Good Linen.

Each pack comes with a 12″ x 12″ square of linen, cut by hand on the thread so that you don’t have to worry about waste or wonkiness, clearly labeled so that you know what it is you’ve got in your hands and so that you can order it if you want more of it, with a description card that includes tips on preparing linen for embroidery. With each cut, you can stitch four very small projects by dividing the pieces into 6″ x 6″ squares, or you can embroider a medium sized project designed to fit on a 12″ square piece.

Think of it as four excellent foundations for your embroidery projects.

The white linen fabric sampler packs are available now in my shop, in a limited quantity. If they sell out, you can request an advanced notice email and I’ll let you know when I’ve got more prepared.

The fabric sampler packs won’t ship until Thursday (tomorrow). Still tying up the red & white twine today!

So that’s the news on this end! Busy week!

I hope you are having a little more luck spending time with your needle and thread than I am. Oh, but I have been playing with threads, and I’ll have results to show you on Friday!

So stay tuned for some thread talk – it’s an organization project involving power tools. Woohoo!


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(30) Comments

  1. I am so excited that I was able to order your White Linen Sampler Packs and really look forward to working on these beautiful linens. Thank you for offering them to us, Mary.

  2. I ordered the book and can’t wait to get it. It sounds like so much fun. Even without having seen it, I’ve already got some ideas for an entirely different project inspired by the house. That’s what a good project book should do, right?

  3. Hi Mary,
    Thank you both for carrying the book and creating the sampler packs for us. I will have to go on the waitlist for the white linen pack too because it’s already sold out.
    Anyone complaining about the cost must be used to buying the quality linen that you can get at big box stores or places like 123stitch online. Folks, if that is the extent of your experience with linen, don’t judge this sample pack as expensive. Those linens and the types that are included in this might as well be different fabrics because they are so different one from the other.

    1. Thanks, Alessandra! Please drop me an email for the advanced notice list, and I’ll let you know when they’re in stock. More linen arrived yesterday, so I’ll be cutting all weekend!

  4. Apparently all that chatter about the justification of cost wasn’t really necessary … … it sold out before I could even get to the website! Guess I’ll be on the let me know next-time-around list.

    1. Hi, Janis – If you’d like to be on the advanced notice list, just send a request by email. I got more linen in yesterday, so I’ll be cutting all weekend! 🙂

  5. As usual, I got the blog post and the White Linen Sampler is already sold out. Maybe you should have a sign up list and then plan for those as well as stocking your shop.

    1. I’m getting a little better about gauging quantities – these took over three hours to sell out, from the time it was published on the blog. If you’d like advanced notice of the restock (which should be pretty soon – more linen arrived yesterday, so I’ll be cutting all weekend), just drop me an email and let me know. Thanks!

  6. Oh, my goodness, that little cottage box is just ADORABLE, as are the accessories! I’m not surprised the book is already sold out in your shop!

    1. Hi, Debby – can you drop me a line for the advanced notice list? It’s an email list, so I need an email to reply to in order to let you know when they’re back in stock. Thanks a bunch!

  7. I have had a fabric shop and people often do not understand quality, so it is good you are explaining it. I think your price is very fair for what you are offering so no apology is needed. Happy Stitching and sewing and creating! from Iowa

    1. Yes, they’re on their way right now! If you drop me a line and request advanced notice, I’ll send you an email when they’re back in stock!

  8. Hi, Mary. In your post, you referred to the beginner gold work rose project you and your niece had worked up last summer. When you last reported on the project, you were working on sourcing the supplies. I was wondering how that is coming? I have wanted to try gold work, so have been waiting for this project to come out. Thanks. Patty

    1. I have the kits already prepared, Patty. All the supplies are sourced and ready to go. I just need to re-stitch, and write the instructions. 🙂 It’ll be released this year at some point!

  9. Ordered this sampler when I read the post on Wednesday and received it today! Wow that was quick! A neat and pretty package too, and the fabrics look lovely.

  10. Mary,
    I have to agree with you about the cost. I’ve prices and shopped around in the U.S. for a good linen fabric for embroidery. What I’ve run into is that if you go pure linen (real) the threads are full of stubs/slubs (not sure what the technical term is) that are thick and unsightly, as well as lumpy.

    I finally found a couple of good source for high count evenweaves for hardanger, but again it took me a few years to find sources that are reliable and consistent. Your resource suggestions were a big help.

    I did find a great quality muslim on Amazon that is woven and sold by the same person. It’s a heavy fabric with a very tight weave and I’ve enjoyed doing embroidery on it. I bought it for backing, but it proved to be of higher quality than my chosen fabric.

    Compared to quality evenweaves for hardanger your price isn’t as outrageous as it may seem. I can’t wait until I can order a package.

    Thanks so much for thinking of it and making it available to all of us.!

  11. Dear Mary

    I’ve been away to Weymouth in Dorset this week, so missed this week’s blogs from you. Great news that Home Sweet Home is in publication again it looks a lovely book and beautiful projects. The linen’s sound beautiful it’s so hard to obtain good embroidery linen in the UK so your linen samplers will be wonderful to own because I know they will be good quality linen. Thank you for sharing with us the news of the 10 edition of Home Sweet Home and for the linen sampler packs.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  12. Mary I received my two orders of your White Linen Sampler Pack and the linen is beautiful and well worth the cost. I don’t mind paying for quality linen. I would like to be on your Advanced Notice Email list for your Natural Fabric Sampler, also. Thank you for being these lovely linens to us all. Sincerely, Louisa

    1. Thanks so much, Louisa! Can you email me directly for the advanced notice list? I can’t add blog comments to the advanced notice lists, just emails. Thanks! 🙂

  13. I stumbled on your website and fell in love. The tutorials are wonderful and the patterns are grand. Looking forward to the Home Sweet Home book . ….Simply beautiful. A far cry from the old pillow cases my grandma used to embroider. (though her work was impeccable..the front and backs were perfect)

  14. Mary — Just received white linen pack — awesome fabrics — and plan to work a letter from your Stitch Sampler Alphabet (will be so much fun to learn these stitches)

    Question: As a newbie I prepped TAILOR’S CHALK per your directions but wonder does this (or others in sampler pack) fabric have a “right side” and a “wrong side” on which to stitch?

    Enjoying your site and tutorials very much. Cheers, Eleanor

  15. Hello,
    I wondered if the 4th linen would be suitable for a handkerchief? I’m making my sister some neck-kerchiefs for revolutionary era ensemble and wanted to do an embroidered, possibly with some drawn thread work kerchief.
    Thanks Leslie

    1. No, it’s not handkerchief linen. For a hankie, you need a close weave. This is almost gauzy, and would never support the…… uh …… job that handkerchief is meant to do.

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