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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Embroidered Bicycle & The Punch


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Home again, home again, jiggity-jig, as the nursery rhyme goes! I’ve been away from the studio for a little while, and now that I’m back to work, playing among fabric and threads, things are beginning to move again at a snappy pace.

One thing that didn’t happen at a snappy pace – in fact, it barely crawled – was progress on any stitching over the past week and a half. I thought I would have the bicycle that I showed you here finished… but alas!

As I work through my inbox, I’ve noticed a few questions about the last installment of the grapes project tutorial, so I’m going to answer the most prominent one – what is a 1/2″ mylar punch and where do I find one? – below.

So, today, just by way of catching up, here’s the progress on my casual stitching (the bicycle) and an answer to The Punch, so that everyone can be prepared for The Punch.

Embroidered Vintage Bike - Summer Wheels on Needle 'n Thread

There’s the progress on the vintage bike, which is part of the Summer Wheels collection I’m trying to get together. It’s a slow process! I wasn’t able to stitch when I was away – which is actually a good thing (more on that below) – so I didn’t finish.

Guess what I’m doing this evening? Uh huh. The bike! I can’t wait!

When you do anything full time, whether you love it or just sort of tolerate it (in my case, I’m a pretty big fan of embroidery), it’s good to take a complete break from it now and then. Otherwise, over time, the pursuit becomes stale. A break can be a good source of better perspectives, new energy, and more enthusiasm.

So I don’t regret not getting any stitching in. There wasn’t a chance, so I had a good break.

For those who have asked about the Summer Wheels series – so far, I’ve shown you the camper and the bicycle – I promise they’ll be out as soon as I can get them out!

And now, The Punch!

Grapes Embroidery Tutorial

When I published the last embroidered grapes tutorial, I also posted the printable PDF for members on Patreon and in the printable, I included a list of materials that, so far, are part of the sample that we’re going to work through.

I didn’t mention all the materials on the original article here on Needle ‘n Thread, because I intended to present different options for less commonly available materials. I offered instead the starting list of colors that I pulled for the project – which you can find on the first installment with the free pattern.

The lists are not necessarily complete, because I’m still working through the grapes. Some of the colors may not be used, and some of the other incidentals may have substitutes that are more easily available.

That said, there was an overwhelming curiosity about The Punch, so I’m going to address it here, so that those interested in stitching along on the grapes can keep an eye out for something similar.

I called it a 1/2″ mylar punch, because I didn’t really know what else to call it.

I probably should have called it a 1/2″ piece of round, shiny confetti from the inside of a balloon, because that’s exactly what it is. When we get to that point in the tutorial, we’ll talk about substitutes, just in case you don’t want to hunt down a confetti filled-balloon that sports a rather fine collection of 1/2″ round pieces of shiny confetti in purples, blues, pinks, and golds.

It’s funny the things we salvage in the name of needlework, isn’t it? Those little shiny disks were just too good to pass up.

And now, back to our regular programming. Today in the studio, that includes replacing a dead printer, cutting lots of fabric, ordering threads for a kit, working through some computer catch-up, and finishing that bicycle!

It promises to be a busy and beautiful day – and I hope it is for you, too!


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(4) Comments

    1. That’s about it. Either size would be close enough. I’d probably go for the larger ones. It’s ok if they overlap the circle a bit, but if they fall short, it’s more difficult to hold them in place. But you can also use something as simple as paper or gift paper or card stock, etc., recycling from what you have lying around. It doesn’t have to be a bought thing.

  1. I really love this cheerful little bicycle and it’s companion piece, the caravan. And I seem to remember you saying there is a third design in this series? I’m looking forward to seeing that too when it’s ready. Yes, a break – even from things we love to do – is refreshing. I know I come back to my projects with new enthusiasm after a change of activity.

  2. Dear Mary

    Welcome back I hope you had a great holiday and feel ready to go and inspire us. I love the vintage bike and what you are stitching up on it, it looks great and fun. I love you mylars they look fun, never seen one in a balloon but when I do I know what to do with them. Thank you for sharing you progress on the vintage bike with us and for explaining what mylars are. I’m sure you are glad to be back to stitching.

    Regards Anita Simmance

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