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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Sea to Stitch – Finished Monogram!


Amazon Books

At long last, here’s the finished embroidery on my Sea to Stitch monogram designed by Elisabetta Sforza and available in her book by the same name – which, if you’re interested in procuring a copy, is out of stock at the moment but you can drop me a line to be put on the advanced notice list when new stock arrives.

My blog publishing schedule and correspondence will return to normal by Monday. I’ve been on hiatus for a week, and without regular internet, but I’m back, catching up, and things should settle into the summer routine of moderately smooth sailing now, with only a few small schedule blips for a couple upcoming events. Thanks for your patience!

Sea to Stitch Monogram on Needle 'n Thread - finished embroidery

I really enjoyed finishing the stitching on this! There are a few things I changed along the way – you might remember, for example, my experiment with one of the seashells.

While I’m still not perfectly satisfied with that shell, I am leaving it as it is. There’s a lot that I like about it, and they outweigh the couple things that I’d change if I had time to experiment further.

Sea to Stitch Monogram on Needle 'n Thread - finished embroidery

Perhaps my two favorite aspects of this design: the Palestrina knot ropey swirls, and the birds!

Originally, I planned the work the ropes with Soie Perlee – a silk perle thread from Au Ver a Soie that is really beautiful. But the knots looked too tight and the ropes to sparse and skimpy. So instead, I switched to three strands of Soie d’Alger and worked the Palestrina knots.

The three strands of Soie d’Alger gave me nice, full knots and a much smoother rope, I think.

The seagulls – so simple to stitch (I just used random split stitches in different lengths to sketch them in) – are essential to the design, in my mind. They make the seashore aspect real by adding movement and life. They were the last elements I stitched (besides adding some scattered beads), and once they were added, I was thoroughly happy with the piece.

Sea to Stitch Monogram on Needle 'n Thread - finished embroidery

We talked about the starfish here when it was in the works.

I really love the texture on this accent. I’m glad I went to the extreme of full coverage with the French knots! At first, I wasn’t really sure it was a great approach, but now that the piece is finished, I like it a lot.

Sea to Stitch Monogram on Needle 'n Thread - finished embroidery

When the monogram was completely finished, I pinned it up to damp stretch it.

You can see here, before it was misted with water, the hoop rings and wrinkles in the fabric. They magically disappear with damp stretching! You can read about damp stretching in the following two articles. The second article covers my favorite supplies for the process and a few tips that make it easier:

Damp Stretching & Blocking Embroidery

Damp Stretching Embroidery – Easier on the Hands

Sea to Stitch Monogram on Needle 'n Thread - finished embroidery

After misting it, I had some fun with the macro setting on a new little point-and-shoot. It’s great for macros and close-ups!

There was something rather enchanting about seeing the whole piece misted with water – like an early morning by the seaside, as the sun bursts up to burn off the morning fog.

I use the misting spray bottle I talked about in this article when I damp stretch. It is fabulous for putting down the lightest layers of misted water, so that I’m not soaking any one particular place on the cloth. I love it! And I love the way the water sits so lightly on the stitching. Eventually, it soaks in, of course – but in the meantime, I like the way it looks!

Sea to Stitch Monogram on Needle 'n Thread - finished embroidery

In the original design, French knots are scattered around the sandy areas of the design. I decided to use beads. As it worked out, the only beads I had on hand in appropriate colors were Miyuki #11 delicas.

I had a mix that I had picked up from a bead shop and they were the perfect colors. I just wish they were #15 seed beads rather than the larger delicas. Still, I like them!

I’m a sucker for the bit of sparkle that beads can add to embroidery!

Now that it’s damp stretched, I’ll work on the plan that’s swirling around in my head for finishing and framing. We’ll see! It’s an experiment!

Looking for More?

If you would like to read about the development of this project, from the book review through the choice of materials and troubleshooting along the way, you’ll find all the articles about this project listed here in the project index for A Sea to Stitch.

You’ll find the book available here when in stock. If it’s not in stock, I’ll have more in stock soon. You can drop me a line for advanced notice if you like.

If you’re looking for the cork tiles, the misting bottle, and many other stitch-related accessories that I like to use, you’ll find those on my Amazon Recommendation Page here, under Tools & Accessories.

The link to my Amazon Recommendations Page is an affiliate link which means that any purchased you might make through that link result in a small commission for Needle ‘n Thread at no extra expense to you. Thanks!


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(29) Comments

  1. My name is Shelly and I am a Cancer, so I am enthralled with this project! Its soo fun and I love all the textures! I look forward to your emails in my inbox, I’m not a huge stitcher (I prefer knitting and crochet) but I read EVERY SINGLE ONE of your news letters!

  2. I have the book but haven’t ventured to try the designs. But a great big thanks for the tips about the cork tiles and misting bottle. My completed projects look so professionally done using your damp stretching instructions!

  3. This piece is absolutely gorgeous!! There are so many things I love about it, I can’t list them all…though the starfish, the water & seagulls, and the wave-like blue stitching on the far right leg of the M are amazing. I also really liked the misty effect of your sprayer. By the way, I’m very curious to know what point and shoot camera you’re using for these photos…most excellent shots.

    1. Hi, Terri – It’s the little red Olympus that’s on my Amazon Recommendation Page here: https://www.amazon.com/shop/marycorbet under tools and accessories. (It comes in black, too.) It’s a great little camera for so much, but I really love its macro setting, which is what sold me on it in the first place. It has lots of great features, but I like the macro and I like the color quality on the images. Great little camera!

  4. I really love this Mary.
    At first sight, the black seagulls were a bit startling, but then of course white ones probably wouldn’t go well with the white background and they do fit with the whole thing. I’m looking forward to seeing it framed.

    1. I had thought about doing a black and grey combo for the seagulls. But when seen from afar, you don’t really notice the color scheme of seagulls, as much as just a little blip that they are there.

  5. The monogram is beautiful.

    When you add extra elements to a purchased design, how do you decide where to place them and which threads/colors to use?

  6. Mary this is so elegant! I’m with you—beads are the “sprinkles” that make the sundae. Plus this design is tied together by those subtle, sinuous, swirling Palestrina ropes. Beautiful stitching—thanks!

  7. Dear Mary

    Your project The Sea to Stitch is just breathtakingly beautiful and I love the design and the way Elisabetta Sforza has created the monogram series using beach and sea elements. My favourite has to be the starfish all those french knots on top of padding remarkable, it must have taken ages to complete, but beautiful. My second favourite aspect of the design are the shells they are beautiful and I love the different colours of the shells you have used. Thank you for sharing with us your completed Sea to Stitch project I hope you are really proud of the work you have put into this design its lovely.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  8. Awesomely precise and very beautiful. Really adore those blues, too.

    How would you stitch the misted effect, I wonder?!

  9. Hi Mary. That monogram came out amazing! I will have to add it to my already-too-long list of projects 🙂 I have a question that maybe you can answer on the blog: What do you do when your even-weave turns out to be uneven? I purchased some from a craft shop, already cut it, and now it looks like it’s either not quite even or is off-square. My thoughts are to use it for small projects like bookmarks, but I was wondering if you had any other ideas? Thanks for your blog; it’s always a bright spot in my day!

  10. Dear Mary — I love your newsletters and always look forward to them. The Sea & Stitch Monogram reminded me I had a question. I bought Sea & Stitch, and another similar soft cover book months ago, but have not stitched anything from them yet.

    My question is about stitching monograms, because I wanted to do a Victorian monogram on some pillowcases, but I’m not sure which threads are the best ones to use for a project like this where the pillowcases would be washed, so I think silk threads would be the preferred choice? I would value any suggestion you might have for me.
    Thank you so much —- Rhoda.

    1. Hi, Rhoda – I prefer cotton threads for anything that will go through the laundry. DMC cotton, or any good quality cotton embroidery threads, hold up fairly well to the wash. Just be sure to wash in cool water, and to use the least-harsh detergent available.

  11. I am trying to get hold of the A sea to sew by Elizabetta Sforza. Can you please let me know when it will be available, cost and shipping to London, England. Many thanks.

    1. Hi, Patricia – I stock A Sea to Stitch by Elisabetta Sforza, but unfortunately, I don’t ship to the UK at this time. But – good news! – Jenny Adin-Christie carries it, and it looks like she has it available right now on her website, here.

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