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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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Stitcher’s Christmas 9: More Books for Your Creative Library!

 

Amazon Books

Welcome to the last installment of A Stitcher’s Christmas for 2021!

The Last, you say? Weren’t there supposed to be ten?

Welllll… some unfortunate news: there were supposed to be ten, but the final give-away collection, titled “My Favorite Things,” didn’t come together as planned due to some shipping problems. I’ve waited as long as I could to announce this, thinking that by some miracle, a special package would arrive here by now. Alas, it didn’t.

No worries – I’ll try to revamp and run a special give-away in the New Year at some point. Maybe a “Beat the Winter Blues” give-away or something!

Don’t be sad! Today we’ve got another Big, Beautiful give-away from Search Press North America. And that’s worth celebrating!

I’ll also announce the recipient of the floche pack from Friday. Then, I’ll finish up with a bit of news, so you know what you can expect on Needle ‘n Thread for the next couple weeks.

Read on, read on…

Stitcher's Christmas: Creative Books

Oh, the floche pack! It’s such a gladsome and cheery collection of colors. I can’t wait to get that project launched for you!

The recipient of the floche pack from Friday’s give-away is Stephanie C! I’ll email you this morning, Stephanie, so please keep an eye out!

And now, the more books! A whole bunch of books for your creative library, or to give to creative friends and family. Here’s what’s on for today.

A-Z Reference Collection

First, a reference collection for the needlework enthusiast. The randomly drawn winner of this collection will receive six of the world-renowned A-Z series of needlework books, including the following titles:

A-Z of Goldwork with Silk Embroidery
A-Z of Crewel Embroidery
A-Z of Embroidery Stitches
A-Z of Embroidery Stitches 2
A-Z of Ribbon Embroidery
A-Z of Stumpwork

This is an excellent reference collection for all of these types of embroidery. The books feature step-by-step photos of all the basic (and beyond basic) techniques that will help you master each embroidery type. They’re beautiful books, too, and fun to peruse for inspiration!

Expand your Creative Skills Collection!

Second, we have something a little different. This is a “New Skills” collection featuring all kinds of creative books that you can keep to explore, to expand your own creative skills – or maybe you have family or friends who are looking for a creative escape? You can share the wealth!

In this collection, there are nine beautiful craft books published by Search Press, including the following:

Textile Artist: Expressive Stitches
Making Felt Hats
The Art of Punch Needle Embroidery
The Eco-Christmas Craft Book
Punch Needle Embroidery for Beginners
Mini Amigurumi Animals
Needle Felting for Beginners
Macramé for the Modern Home
Napkin Folding

What a great way to ring in the New Year, with the anticipation of learning new skills or sharing some crafting adventures with people you love!

Give-Away Guidelines

If you’d like to participate in today’s give-away, please follow these guidelines, including answering the question posed in #6.

This give-away has ended. Thanks to all who participated!

1. Leave a comment on this article, on Needle ‘n Thread. You can reach the comment form for this article by following this link. Your comment must be left on the website. Comments received via email are not eligible.

2. Please do not use the “reply” feature in the comment area to reply to someone else’s comment. Replies in the comments are not counted in the drawing.

3. Please leave a recognizable name in the “Name” line on your comment. If your name is Mary, for example, you might qualify it with a last initial or a nickname, so that, when the winner is announced, you recognize your name, and other people with the same first name aren’t confused when the winners are announced.

4. Please make certain your email address is entered on the comment form in the “email” line only. Do not include personal information like mailing addresses, phone numbers, or email addresses in the large comment box! Leaving public information on any website is a good way to end up with a lot of spam.

5. Please leave the website line on the comment form blank.

6. In your comment, please answer the following:

If you could learn or improve ONE creative skill well that you don’t already do well (and it doesn’t have to be embroidery-related), what would it be and why? What’s the one thing you’ve looked at and said, “Wow. I’d love to learn to do that well”?

For me, it could almost be a gazillion things, but I think if I had to pick one, it would be illumination and lettering. I’ve always been drawn to fine lettering, and although I’ve dabbled over the years, I’ve never learned either illumination or hand lettering really well. It’s never too late, though, right?!

7. This give-away ends on Friday, December 24th, 2021, at 5:00 am Central Time. The winners will be randomly drawn that morning and announced in the give-away for that day. The winners will also receive a notification via email. If your name is drawn for the give-away, you’ll need to reply to my email within three days (72 hrs). If I don’t hear from you within that time frame, I’ll draw for another name.

The give-away is open to anyone, anywhere. The prizes will be shipped from the business offering them. Please understand that any additional fees or import taxes or anything similar are the responsibility of the winner. Needle ‘n Thread is not responsible for lost or damaged packages. Winners should be aware that shipping may be delayed, and that there’s no guaranteed arrival time frame. Some prizes in this series will probably not arrive before the end of the year.

When you leave your comment on the website, it may not appear right away. Comments are moderated to avoid spam on the website. This means that I manually approve each comment before it is posted. Never fear! It will show up eventually!

Upcoming on Needle ‘n Thread

I’m taking some time off for the Christmas holidays.

Of course, you know I’ll be doing a bit of stitching in the background, but mostly at home in front of the fireplace (uh… the electric heater that I pretend is a fireplace), with the Christmas lights on!

The shop is open for downloads all the time, but for shipping tangible goods (there are some books, kits, and a few ready-to-stitch items still in stock), the last day for shipping this year will be this Wednesday, December 22nd.

I’ll be back on January 3rd, when I will share with you some plans for 2022. I’ll announce an exciting new series that I’ll be running here on the blog. I can’t wait to share it with you!

This Friday, December 24th, I’ll pop in with the winner of today’s give-away and my Merry Christmas wishes for you.

I hope you have a wonderful week! I’ll see you Friday!

 
 

(608) Comments

  1. One skill I would love to develop is the ability to create machine embroidery designs. It’s very easy to take existing designs and combine them for embroidering something special but being able to take a design from a concept drawing to digitizing each aspect to create a unique design all my own is something I’ve always wanted to do – or at least for the past 25 years.

    1
  2. I’d really like to improve my needlelace skills, particularly for detached pieces. I’ve been working the Harmony with Nature casket, and that seems to be the one thing that’s never looking quite the way I want it.

    2
  3. I’d like to improve my machine embroidery abilities. . .especially or with attention to lettering. Digitizing the letter takes so much time and there are so many places where challenges can occur; but, when it is right, the results are great!

    4
  4. Ohh I would love to learn stumpwork. I’m satisfied enough with my current level but I keep seeing all these beautiful creations involving stumpwork.

    6
  5. I would love to improve my drawing skills, I think it would help me with improving ideas for original embroidery designs. Getting ideas out of my head an onto cloth.

    Jamie

    7
  6. I don’t feel as if I do anything well, but I would love to do thread painting better, or at least improve my technique.

    9
  7. Mary, what a wonderful goveaway!

    The thing I would like to be better at is to view my work as others tend to. Not just as a process and pasttime, but as legitimate products that other people enjoy as well. I guess I mean, taking myself more seriously!

    I hope your delayed shipping issues don’t bungle too many plans!

    -C

    10
  8. I think it’s also calligraphy/hand-lettering for me as well! I’ve dabbled, but have not put in the actual practice to become “good”.

    (The “new skills” collection would be a welcome addition to my middle/high school library, should I win! Thanks!)

    12
  9. I’d love to learn Ribbon Embroidery. It lends a nice finish to projects such as pouches, book covers, etc as well as decorating blah purchased clothing. I’ve tried this before when I was younger, but didn’t have the patience needed. Now I just keep trying til I get it right.

    13
  10. I’d like to improve my embroidery skills. I’m mostly a cross stitcher, and I love it, but it would be nice to have more variety.

    14
  11. I dabble in many creative pursuits–my latest is soft pastels. I got my first set and am busy test driving them to see what I can do. There are many beautiful pastel paintings out there–I would love to gain some mastery over the medium in order to do some plein air painting in the spring.

    16
  12. I wish I could learn some drawing skills – to freehand a tendril or leaves, to know how to accomplish a realistic look with shading and textures. Imagine to world that would open up in my embroidery if I wasn’t dependent upon someone else’s drawings or instructions. And then to be able to pick threads/colors…(makes my heart alive just dreaming!)

    19
  13. I have tried to do Hardanger embroidery, but had a heck of a time keeping my stitches in line where they should be. I thought it would come easier to me because of my Scandinavian roots, lol…but that was not the case. I plan to try it again soon. I love the white on white look of it.

    20
  14. The creative skill I would like to do well is tatting. I have taken a few classes and have collected books/patterns but I’m far from comfortable making a project. Like you say…it’s never too late.

    21
  15. Oh, so many creative things I would like to improve, but probably first and foremost would be time management or just some way to add more time to my days so I could have time to be more creative and less time working. I would also like to improve my sewing skills and learn thread painting.

    22
  16. I would like to learn to work with wool. Either wool applique or needle felting would expand my creative options.

    24
  17. At the moment, the creative skill I would most like to improve is creative vision of putting together multiple components rather than trial and error. But many skills need improvement, including focusing on perfecting individual stitches.

    25
  18. I would like to get really good at shaded black work portraits of any sentient beings that pique my interest at the time.

    26
  19. I would love to perfect needle felting for three-dimensional characters. I have seen such beautiful creatures created. I think this would be fun!

    28
  20. I love the look of needle painting and have started doing it but I need lots more practice before I would consider myself skilled at it. In the meantime I will have fun practicing.

    29
  21. If I could I would love to learn bobbin lace. I just love how beautiful the pieces are when done.

    31
  22. I would love to learn to do silk ribbon embroidery well. I love the three dimensional look as well as the shimmer of the silk ribbon.

    32
  23. Wow, i would love to learn stump work. I live remotely and therefore makes it difficult to take classes. no one i know embroiders, the closest place which holds a stitch along once a week is 2 hours 45 minutes away.

    33
  24. I would really like to learn more stumpwork stitches and create an embroidered casket. thanks for the chance to win.

    34
  25. Looking forward to expanding my needlework skills as I retire early 2022! This would be a great roadmap to learning!

    35
  26. What else would a kdrama fan wish for…. to become suddenly fluent in Korean! In the meantime though I will continue to take Korean language classes 🙂

    36
  27. I would like to learn how to do small loom weaving. Several years ago when I substituted for an art teacher, the fifth graders in my charge showed me how to weave on a cardboard loom. I went from table to table and the students helped me get started. By the end of the week, we all had a finished work of art!

    37
  28. I’d love to work on proper tension with my embroidery work. I’m working on a confession stole and I thought my stitches were even and fine but over time they seem to pucker the fabric so I’m wondering if I need to be ‘lighter’ on my tension. Happens on my knitting and crocheting but I can usually wash and fix the shape and over the last decade, my technique has loosened. I’m wondering if there’s something that will help me with tension for embroidery work now vs just time

    38
  29. The creative skill I’d love to learn well is how to successfully finish pieces. Often I make things, not necessarily following a pattern, but then I don’t have the skill set to finish them off/mount etc This skill would allow any work I create to look it’s best.
    I have always looked at silk ribbon embroidery and have wanted to learn that skill.

    40
  30. Hi, Mary,

    The creative skill I’d like to learn is how to draft sewing patterns that fit.

    Merry Christmas,

    Beth

    41
  31. I truly want to learn and improve my skills in ribbon embroidery. About ten years ago I made my cousin’s wedding gown and did ribbon embroidery around the neckline and bodice. She loved it. BUT, recently I have become enamored with the REAL ribbon embroidery and wish I had known how to do all of those stitches, and how to use the gorgeous ribbons available. I just can’t wait to order ribbons and books and to get started as soon as possible on this new craft. I hope you have some more ribbon embroidery features next year. And thank you for your wonderful embroidery lessons and ideas.

    42
  32. I am absolutely fascinated by the mini Amigurumi animals! So that would definitely be the one thing I would love to learn.

    Thank you so much for putting on this Christmas give away. I never win at these things but it’s a lot of fun to see who does! Thank you again and Merry Christmas Mary!

    43
  33. The one creative thing I’d like to do well is more like two things. I want to learn Spanish and continue to keep my brain engaged as well as learn to play the piano again. I think both of those things will boost my other creative skill sets.

    44
  34. The one creative skill that I want to improve upon is embroidery! The different stitches, color selection, and project selection are areas that I strive to improve upon every year.

    45
  35. I would really like to improve on doing goldwork. I also want to get better at collage composition. There are other areas also, but I really wish I could work much faster than I do!

    46
  36. The skill I would like to learn how to do really well is “finishing“. Both the technical aspects of finishing various pieces of embroidery and or quilting and developing the motivation to actually complete things I start. I am an amazing starter. Thanks for a wonderful series of giveaways Mary and have a very merry Christmas.

    47
  37. What a wonderful treat for a lucky winner! I would love to get better at the “finishing” stage of any project, from piping an embroidered cushion to binding a quilt and everything in between.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Mary!
    Eileen

    48
  38. The first one that came to mind is learning to play the piano well. I took lessons as a child but didn’t stick with it. I am now in my 70’s and I regret not being able to sit down at the piano and whip off a tune!

    49
  39. I would love to master satin stitches by hand. Your instructions make it look so effortless and your stitches are beautiful!

    Merry Christmas!

    50
  40. I guess if I could have a new skill it would be the ability to machine sew neatly my projects that need to be assembled when finished. Things like ornaments or pillow centers, I wish my machine skills were better and that I felt more confident in trying new machine stitches and using more skills to finish my projects neatly and prettily!
    I can sew, but it’s so basic that I shudder to think of ruining any project I put my blood, sweat and tears into and then potentially ruining it. So I have other people do my finishing. Think of the savings if I sewed better!
    Blessings and Merry Christmas from Merry Anne!

    51
  41. The creative skill I would like to improve on is crazy quilting. I think this embroidery involves ones own ability to be creative. I can follow a pattern but struggle to just be creative on my own.

    52
  42. Thinking about an improved creative skill – there are so many – where to start? At this time of year it would have to be present wrapping skills – they look such a mess, but then that is probably down to trying to get it all done as fast as possible! Then there’s how to bake bread properly so the crust doesn’t;t resemble a bullet, or how to do crochet the correct way as mine never looks that the image I am trying to copy! Don’t get me started on improving embroidery – I would love to be more consistent with my stitching so that I didn’t need to unpick quite so much, but that is probably partly down to doing it when I am tired – may be when I retire from work and have more time to do things so that I am not rushing so much?
    Anyway, have a lovely Christmas – I have enjoyed writing these comments!

    53
  43. I love all kind of handwork. I plan to work on improving my skills in thread painting, ribbon and hand embroidery in 2022.

    54
  44. I am fascinated with Brazilian embroidery and would love to learn this style. I have done embroidery, cross-stitch and so much more but never this style.

    55
  45. Merry Christmas! I always think I would love to paint well using oil paints. Embroidery provides art in so many interesting textures and techniques but I would also love to try oil paints as another medium for creativity. However, I think the last thing I need is a new hobby with lots of bits and bobs to stash away, LOL.

    56
  46. The one thing I would like to learn to do well is stumpwork. I’ve seen many beautiful pieces and would love to know how to accomplish them.

    57
  47. If I could learn or improve ONE creative skill well that I don’t already do well it would be making a Crazy Quilt. So much embroidery and beautiful fabric it just makes my head swim. They are beautiful and all individual .

    58
  48. I dipped my toes (or fingers) into the quilting world and would love to master Free Motion Quilting! Practice, practice and practice is what is needed, but my practicing is a total disaster!

    59
  49. If I could learn/improve one creative skill, I think that it would be crochet. I’ve been a knitter for many years but somehow crochet just doesn’t click for me, even though I’ve tried to learn several times. Conversely, my mother exclusively crochets and does not knit, so I think that it would be really nice if I could finally become proficient enough with crochet to help her with projects as she gets older.
    Thank you for offering this great giveaway!

    60
  50. I have a general area of creativity that I would love to possess and that is to think in pictures. I am a very decent technician, executing others’ designs and stitch suggestions. I am a language person rather than an image person, so I don’t ever “see” a design in my mind. If I did, I would design patterns and the stitches to go with them. Ah, a girl can dream. However, I am not sure how to switch my more dominant left brain to gain more access to the fluidity and images that feed the right brain. Until then, I am so very happy and content to create other peoples’ designs. Happy holidays everyone!

    61
  51. Oh, it must be tatting. I have tatting shuttles handed down from my mother, who tried and tried to teach me. I have more tatting shuttles from friends who are no longer able to use them, and yet…

    62
  52. I would love to learn to design as when I see an object such as a lovely view or a garden of flowers it would be so helpful to know how to draw and design it to have a favorite memory. I had a trip with my daughter into the mountains and what a memory that would have made if I had only had the design knowledge. Phyllis M

    63
  53. non-traditional Quilt making is something I would love to learn how to do. Quilts made of pieces of fabric that create a landscape especially.

    64
  54. There are so many paths on the artist’s journey.
    If I had to choose one less traveled I would pick jewelry wire weaving.

    65
  55. One creative thing I admire in others is the ability to read music, and hear and recognize notes, and sing them. Alas, I am tone-deaf and musically illiterate.

    66
  56. One thing I really want to learn to do well in 2022 is a daily art journaling practice. Too many ideas escape because I’ve forgotten them or I wrote/drew them on a scrap paper that I can no longer find!

    67
  57. Hi Mary,
    There are so many creative skills I’d like to get REALLY good at! I’d say the biggest challenge I face is in machine-piecing quilts. It’s so darned challenging to maintain a perfect 1/4″ seam so that all the seam intersections line up correctly and no points are hidden.
    I also am interested in perfecting Copperplate Calligraphy such as that seen in the Baltimore Album quilts. There’s a good book on this subject written by Dick Jackson, published by Dover. I need to spend more time with the exercises.
    Merry Christmas!
    June

    68
  58. I would like to learn free motion quilting. I use the presser foot for all my quilting.

    Happy Holidays to you and everyone.

    69
  59. I’d love to learn calligraphy. I took a course once, but have since moved and have found no instructors near me. I love the peace of the movement of the pen – very much like stitching

    70
  60. I have always wanted to learn to do gold work well. I even have some threads that I was gifted a couple of years ago, but I’ve not sat down to actually try the technique. New Year’s Resolution, here I come!

    71
  61. Since last summer when it was so wet (for Arizona) and we had so many weeds, grasses, and flowers, I have been “itching” to try ecoprinting. The finished fabric looks so interesting and like it would be a great base for embroidery.

    Yesterday after church, some of our choir went caroling to shut-ins. I hate to admit this, but I was looking at all of the shrubs and plants wondering how those would print!!

    But of course, I would treasure all the books in this giveaway because I haven’t done crewel or punch needle in several decades!

    74
  62. Bias strips and Celtic knots are a skill I wish I had. For Calligraphy I reached a stage of competency that I was happy with, but never found a good use for it other than addressing wedding invitations.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

    76
  63. I want to stitch a thread painted landscape like the one Judith Mantano did fir the juried pieces shown in the Needlearts Magazine that just came from EGA.

    77
  64. The skill that I would like to improve on it Stumpwork. I have done very little, which definitely needs improving. The main problem is getting the supplies. They are not available locally and have to be ordered on line, if you can find them, and then shipped.

    The “Wow” is beaded flowers. They look absolutely stunning on some projects.

    Thanks again Mary.

    Nona

    79
  65. I would like to free motion quilt – without a cheater foot to control my speed and stitches. There are such artists with the sewing machine needle and thread. I would love those books – thanks for the chance.

    80
  66. My list of “wish I could learn ” is long. Among those at the top is Japanese embroidery. The stitches appear simple but the results bring peace to me.

    82
  67. Merry Christmas Mary!
    I would love to improve/learn too many things. I guess Ribbon embroidery and Stumpwork are at the top of my list.
    Have a healthy and happy 2022!!

    83
  68. If there is one skill I would like to improve, it’s needle painting. I do Japanese embroidery but needle painting scares me XD

    84
  69. If you could learn or improve ONE creative skill well that you don’t already do well (and it doesn’t have to be embroidery-related), what would it be and why? What’s the one thing you’ve looked at and said, “Wow. I’d love to learn to do that well”
    I wish I could sing!

    86
  70. I would like to do gold work like an accomplished stitcher. I cannot chip. I do not cut the lengths right. I end up not finishing the project and I have had a good teacher.

    90
  71. Wow, as you said, Mary — so many things. I used to be a pretty decent pianist when I was young and wish I had a piano now to at least plunk out a few tunes. I’d also love to become really proficient on the mandolin. I enjoy playing it very much, but I’m not sure that people around me enjoy hearing it!

    91
  72. What a great prize, and love your blog! I’ve tried to master gold work but alas it just never turns out right.
    I love everything I’ve seen online and think that I can do just as well, but alas gold work beats me every time

    92
  73. I, like Mary, would love to be able to hand letter better. Though people have me write for them, or make their signs, I’d do like to be fancier.

    93
  74. Thank you for The Stitcher’s Christmas, Mary. It’s a lot of fun! I would love to learn more about quilting, especially crazy quilting. I have made two quilts, one for each of my grandchildren, but would love to do more.

    95
  75. Block printing! After finding the Lino block my daughter cut into a rabbit in grade school (and did an excellent job BTW) it got me interested in trying it myself.

    96
  76. I was going to say figure skating, as I am about to take to the ice this Wednesday after a gap of 15 years, but then I saw “creative”; I suppose putting together a routine is creative, but I am far from that sort of figure skating! So I’ll go for appliqué – I have done a little, and I like it, but I am very much a beginner and would like to learn to create the sort of designs I have seen fellow RSN students work on in class.

    97
  77. The skill I would like to develop is drawing. I took two art classes in college and I wanted to take more but my parents talked me out of the idea. They didn’t think that I could make a living in art. I have been sketching this past year but I could use some help.

    98
  78. What a timely question. As I’m currently trying to source silk ribbon for an OOP Mirabilia pattern, I would have to say that I’d love to learn silk ribbon embroidery. The pattern is English Roses and it’s the only Mira that I’m aware of that incorporates this skill. I’ve seen a completed piece and the ribbon roses are the icing on the cake in this design. So – silk ribbon embroidery for sure.

    99
  79. The one creative skill I would love to improve on is spinning for crewel embroidery. It’s going to take a little research to determine which fibers in my stash are best suited for this purpose. Oh fun!

    100
  80. I want to learn goldwork and or nue. I got a couple of kits and the RSN course for Christmas which will help me figure it out which I’m looking forward to! Or Nue is what my final goal to learn is!

    101
  81. Although I’ve tried to teach myself, and I can do a tiny bit, what I’d like to learn to do well is crochet. I love needle arts, but crocheting has eluded me. Thanks for the chance to win some awesome books!

    102
  82. Thank you for your blog. I learn so much from you! I would love to learn more about punch needle. I have the supplies but not the motivation to get started. Happy holidays.

    103
  83. Merry Christmas, Mary.

    I would like to learn how to do mosaics. Small pieces, maybe glass tiles.

    My grandmother made cache pots covered in shards of crockery and china. Some have survived to this day, over 60 years. I would like to do something along the same lines.

    Again, thanks for all you do to keep the creative juices running! Best of the year to come to you and yours!

    104
  84. so many things! One thing I would really like to do better is needle painting. It looks so beautiful and I would love to be able to do that!

    105
  85. I would love to do needle painting well. I think it is so beautiful and I have seen some amazing pieces using this technique

    108
  86. Creativity and the confidence to use it. I have a great eye for color and good ideas about stitches and placement but I waste a lot of time second guessing myself. I think more practice and just “going for it” is the answer but maybe it’s just my personality. 🙂

    110
  87. Wow! what an awesome giveaway. One thing I have always wanted to learn is stumpwork. I have seen some amazing works of art. Merry Christmas.

    111
  88. Another great collection of books and another difficult question!
    I really would like to learn how to make figures in stump work,I have some books and I just need to take the time to play and learn .I have been holding out for an in person class but that isn’t happening anytime soon .

    Sue

    114
  89. For me it has to be Mountmellick and getting each stitch position perfect; painting with a needle even though it is white work – the stuff of my dreams.

    115
  90. I’d llove to learn Japanese embroidery. Finding a teacher, online or in person, is impossible. JEC is unresponsive.

    116
  91. There is so much that I want to try!! I want to weave silk scarfs like my grandmother did. I can only manage cotton napkins now. Out of also want to paint with silk thread on the Japanese style. I am practicing my long and short stitches.

    117
  92. I learned how to spin as a teenager, but haven’t done it since. Which is too bad because it was such a peaceful, meditative activity. I still remember clearly how soft my hands felt afterwards because of the lanolin in the wool!

    118
  93. I would love to become proficient in machine quilting. I purchased a tabletop frame and a new machine to quilt with, so hopefully I can accomplish this goal in 2022.

    120
  94. Tatting. I have tried and tried to learn this art and simply have had no success. I love all things tatted and it looks so relaxing and portable! Great for waiting rooms… but no… just can’t seem to get the hang of it. I even signed up for an online tatting course. Hmmmmmm… I’ll just keep trying. But that felting book looks pretty interesting, now doesn’t it?
    Thanks so much for all the exciting Christmas surprises, Mary and especially the way all the comments can be accessed!
    I’ve listened to a LOT of Christmas music I’ve never heard before and it was wonderful! Bless you Mary et al!

    121
  95. Oh my, it’s Hazel Blomkamp Embroidery. I have a couple of “kits” that I’ve put together and I have her books, but I haven’t started them yet!

    123
  96. Drawing! As well as I can follow directions for needlework, I would like to be able to “conceive” the image in the first place. Thank goodness for internet images and other sources to trace a design from!

    124
  97. I want to weave learn the krokbragd better on rigid heddle loom. Also knit socks and I want to learn how to stitch with ribbon better.

    Thanks Mary- I learn so much from your posts!!

    125
  98. The one thing I really would like to do better at is transferring patterns to fabric.
    It keeps me away from stitching some beautiful things because I don’t want to
    transfer the pattern. Also learning how to draw my own designs so I don’t need
    to transfer. I guess I need to buckle down and start practicing. Thanks for the
    give-aways. Such a nice thing for you to do.

    126
  99. Doll making – I love all those beautiful fabric dolls that I see and for some reason, mine just don’t come out as beautiful. One good thing, though, I’m getting better at the faces, some painted and some embroidered. But I keep practicing. All of my friends are having grandbabies, so maybe by the time I have my own grandbaby, I will have improved my doll making skills. Thank you Mary and have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

    127
  100. I love a good stitch guide to use when I am doing an embroidery or needlepoint hand painted canvas project. BUT I would like to hone my own creative ability to choose my own stitches and choices for threads and colors. I get stuck doing the same five or six stitches. I want to expand my own creative horizons – maybe 2022 will be the year!!

    128
  101. I would love to do mixed media art really well. I love all the art I see on Instagram and just love it. I’ve taken some course’s and am enjoying it so much.

    129
  102. If I could learn or improve ONE creative skill that I don’t already do well it would be drawing. My sister inherited this skill and she is an interior designer. BUT I would love to be able to draw out my ideas to create into patterns to stitch instead of looking like a child drew it out! It’s crazy how real you can make things look and sometimes it’s easier to stitch when drawn out.

    130
  103. I would love to paint with watercolors. I love watercolor paintings and appreciate the skill to create shades of colors with just using simple water to dilute the intensity.

    131
  104. I am trying hard to improve my needlework finishing skills. I wish I had started this quest a long time ago. Think of the $$ I could have saved, to spend on more stitching projects!

    132
  105. Definitely needle felting. Watched a demonstration and the result was incredible.
    It seems you can make anything you like with this method.

    133
  106. I’d love to be able to draw. It would be so useful in creative pursuits from embroidery to applique, stained glass work to beading.

    134
  107. I’d like to master the Satin stitch. It looks beautiful when done but I feel I’m “fixing” more than stitching properly.

    135
  108. Good Morning,
    What an easy question to answer: I would like to learn the basics and be more comfortable with design/color selection. In my needlework I often change the design or color selection of thread/linen. I spend so much time agonizing and stitching samples before deciding. I must say I am ususally satisfied with the outcome.
    When it comes to my home, I am terrified. I have hired a designer to get me started and guide me. I would like to make a few more changes – will call the designer!

    Lois

    136
  109. Generally drawing/design. I’m pretty happy with my embroidery skills, not that they are exceptional but sufficient for my purposes.

    137
  110. Thanks for putting all of these give-aways together, Mary. I have often thought I’d like to learn to crochet – not to make a large item but for some small items that I could add to my other projects in embroidery and quilting.

    Merry Christmas and stay safe!

    138
  111. While there are MANY skills I would love to improve, the long and short stitch is the one stitch I am still working on. I have stitched for 50+ years (since I was 12) and have grown the most since I retired 7 years ago. I stitch every,
    single day and have improved my skill set greatly but the long & short stitch eludes me. I am improving but have a LONG way to go! I am NOT giving up!

    140
  112. I would like to learn to do stumpwork well. I have tried some of the techniques and would really like to improve.

    143
  113. Oh, so many things to improve on. I think shading and highlighting would be a good goal. They add so much depth to a piece.

    144
  114. Thanks for this giveaway! I would like to learn to crochet – the modern yarns and patterns for crochet are wonderful!

    145
  115. I find goldwork to be fascinating but have not tried it. It looks so rich and unusual. Not something you find in stores. It is on my list of things to learn.

    146
  116. Would love to be better at drawing. I am working on a stumpwork casket and would love to be able to redesign some of the panels.

    147
  117. To be fearless when deviating form the pattern, whether it is the color or the stitches used or how things are arranged. I can do it sometimes, but would love to be confident and fearless when I what to change things up.

    148
  118. I have been a bread maker for eons but have yet to master a really tasty, airy sour dough. I have grown a wonderful ‘starter’ but try as I might, the combination of techniques has eluded me thus far.
    Like so many skills acquired, practice, practice and practice seems to be the appropriate mantra.
    Judith

    149
  119. Lace making, seen it only once done by a elderly lady in Tonder – Denmark shopping street many years ago.

    150
  120. I would like to improve my satin stitch. I am new to embroidery and I think it takes time to lay the stitches beside each other and have a smooth edge.

    151
  121. As a person that has been sewing and doing textile art for so many years, I still haven’t managed to really explore the hand needle work area. I know that sounds strange as I do follow Needle n’ Thread but I just have not had the time or more correctly the courage to follow through on my wish to explore embroidery. Hoping that some of this down time caused by Covid will help with this. Thanks so much for all of the wonderful postings.

    152
  122. As a newcomer to stitching I am thankful for finding needlenthread. I would love to win the books. They would greatly enhance my abilities in stitching, and be an asset to my needle craft library.

    153
  123. One thing I would love to learn/improve is various types of whitework embroidery- such as mountmellick, Portuguese whitework, Frisian whitework, etc.

    154
  124. I’d love to master using my Cameo Silhouette machine, that I haven’t touched since I bought it. There’s never enough time LOL!

    155
  125. Hoo-boy, I’d love to have that A-Z collection! When I read your question to answer today I couldn’t think of anything in particular. Then I read your statement about lettering and illumination. Hadn’t thought of it in years. 20 or more years ago there was a local woman who taught French Illumination at our Arts Center. I wanted to learn it but didn’t have the time or the means then. Now I have the time and the means but the teacher moved away! I probably wouldn’t sign up anyway because I simply don’t need another set of tools and supplies. My embroidery supplies fill my studio. 🙂

    157
  126. Hi Mary,
    I would love to improve the back of my work, I feel like it could be neater. I now, I try to follow the advise that I read from your blog in one of your newsletters and do not over think it but I still have a bit of a problem.
    Have a nice Holliday dear.

    160
  127. I would love to learn now to do needle felting. I think those animals are so cute. I also would love to become more proficient in quilting. My quilting stitches leave a lot to be desired.

    161
  128. One skill I would like to learn is basket weaving, in part because I love baskets, but also because I like the idea of using materials from nature directly in a craft.

    162
  129. I have decided I would like to learn pyrography. I really enjoy needle painting and want to experiment with fine lines and shading on wood!

    163
  130. I would love to learn goldwork and combine it with another needlework technique. The possibilities are endless!

    164
  131. I would love to learn to draw/ sketch well. To me, it is an essential skill for any artist. I would like to create my own embroidery projects and sketching them first is a necessity!

    166
  132. The skill I’d like to do better is painting fabric for special effects such as rocks. I’d use these fabrics in my art quilts

    167
  133. I would really like to learn pulled thread white work embroidery. It is so elegant and fascinating to me!

    168
  134. I would just love to learn how to make shoes! I can sew almost anything, but I have never attempted shoes – yet.
    Merry Christmas!

    169
  135. I really wanted to learn calligraphy. I had a book and supplies but I was raising two kids and running a business at the time. I just didn’t have the time to dedicate to it. It’s a beautiful skill that I still would like to learn!

    170
  136. Well, there is a 94 year old stitcher in our Guild who makes pansies (especially) look as soft and velvety as in real life – her stitching is exquisite – yes, you Mary L! I continue to practise and hope that I can get close to her degree of exceptional, some day.

    171
  137. The one new skill I would like to learn is how to insert zippers especially invisible ones. I was given 3 boxes of Liberty of London furnishing fabric swatches that would make great cushions.

    172
  138. Mary,
    I want to win the books so I can share them with my students. We love books! I think I would love to learn how to make glass beads. I tried it once and liked it. It would be fun to make my own necklaces and earrings. Merry Christmas Mary and everyone here.

    173
  139. The skilll I would like to improve on is managing my time better!

    Thank you for the give aways! So generous!

    174
  140. I would love to become a master Calligrapher. The art has always enticed me but I have never taken the time to learn it. I am told it takes magnanimous hours of practice to master…..
    And then I remind myself I would rather be stitching or sewing.
    Merry Christmas

    176
  141. I would love to be able to draw. I want to draw cityscapes and landscapes, decrepit old barns and dilapidated firehouses. What it really takes is practice, so maybe I would like to be better at accepting that all things take practice.

    177
  142. I love flowers and have a nice collection of photographs I’ve taken of flowers. I’d like to add pieces with flowers made with ribbon embroidery. I’ve admired other peoples’ pieces for years but it looks complicated. I’m ready to tackle ribbon embroidery and think the A-Z book would be and excellent starting place.

    178
  143. I would like to embroider with silk. I think I would learn more from any of the books. My main reason for buying books is to learn n improve my skills.
    Rita F.

    179
  144. I’ve been watching youtube videos on lefkara embroidery and would like to learn how to do this. It’s beautiful and works up differently than hardanger, in that you cut and then weave.

    180
  145. There are so many skills I would like to learn. I’ve always wanted to learn lacemaking- I think that is one I would love to try.

    182
  146. I would like to improve my painting skills. It applies to so many areas in fabric and other fine arts. Attention to color and shading seems to make all the difference in a wonderful piece!

    183
  147. The “skill” I would like to improve is being able to “choose a stitch” whether in a needlepoint project or hand embroidery. I know many stitches but deciding which would be appropriate in an area is not so easy. I want to expand beyond using basic tent in needlepoint or cross stitches or straight/ stem/ chain stitches in embroidery.

    184
  148. I would love to give myself more time to improve my skills in making embroidered journals. I can do the basics but there are so many elements that can enhance them.
    Thank you for these fantastic newsletters and your generous giveaways.
    Have a wonderful Christmas

    185
  149. I’d love to learn punch needle embroidery. I have supplies but have never actually tried it — that’s something I would love to be good at!

    186
  150. Oh, what a wonderful giveaway!

    I would really like to improve my skills with tatting. I have dabbled a little bit, but I need to put in some real practice to perfect the skill. I started learning on the shuttle, but now I am trying to only do needle tatting. Of course, finding the hours to practice tatting means that I would have to put my embroidery down… now that is the real challenge!

    189
  151. I would love to learn punch needle embroidery. My aumt did a whole baby quilt (every other small square) with a tiny baby animal. I marveled at the details and have wanted to try that ever since. It’s been many years and she is long gone from this world, but still my wish remains.

    190
  152. I would like to become better at making gifts, with fabrics, fibers, wood, natural things. Thank you for the chance to have these wonderful books.

    192
  153. There are so many skills I would love to be able to do that choosing one is difficult. Maybe draw. I can’t draw a crooked stick man. My mother and both my children are artists, but it definitely skipped me!

    193
  154. I would like to learn stump work. The Tudor boxes and pictures look so beautiful; truly 3-dimensional embroidery

    196
  155. I think it would be fun to learn to play a musical instrument. I have dabbled a bit in the past, but was always distracted by other things that I already knew how to do. Everyone in my family plays an instrument, and they are all very good at it. They all learned in their youth, and it almost seemed easy for them.

    198
  156. One skill I would like to improve upon is measuring fabric when quilting. It seems to be the hardest part of quilting for me! I have the correct tools, But just one interruption when I have my ruler and rotary cutter ready and I have to start over and remeasure! Maybe it’s just my perfectionist tendencies taking over!

    199
  157. Pam C
    I’m always looking to improve my hand stitching as well as my sewing machine stitching. When you stitch something lovely, you need to know how to put it together and finish it off! ie: pillows, clothing, etc…

    200
  158. I love “how to books”. And like you there are a bajillion te hniques that I want to learn and even perfect, but this year there are two things I want to work on. I have several projects that I want to ‘finish’, and for a new project I want to do some black work. It’s a technique I have never attempted but it has such a light airy feel to it but can be adapted for shading too I love it’s ‘atmosphere’.

    201
  159. I love fancy crochet lace, but I’m not much interested in simpler crochet that would let me get to that level of skill. Someday!

    Also, for fancy lettering – I highly recommend Inga Dubay’s books on Italic hand. She’s an excellent instructor.

    202
  160. This may sound crazy because it is just a basic stitch, but I’d like to improve my stem stitch. I don’t use it often because I mostly do counted work. So that means practice, practice, practice.

    203
  161. Finishing! I want to learn how to finish my pieces so they looks as good in real life as they do in my head.

    206
  162. Oh, my, there are so many things I can’t do, but I would most love to master calligraphy. I once took a class, but have no aptitude, perhaps the key is practice, practice. Ha.

    207
  163. I would really like to improve my bobbin lace skills. I have some basics but would like to learn more and try different types. Happy Holidays!

    208
  164. I would love to improve my surface embroidery skills. I cross stitch alot but would like to branch out.

    210
  165. If you could learn or improve ONE creative skill well that you don’t already do well (and it doesn’t have to be embroidery-related), what would it be and why? What’s the one thing you’ve looked at and said, “Wow. I’d love to learn to do that well”? – Sewing – so I could finish things better

    211
  166. If I could learn/improve any skill right now it would be gold work. I would love to sign up for a RSN class but outside my budget. I am a bookaholic and purchase whenever I can. I use all my books as reference for stitch ideas and more.

    214
  167. If there was only one skill that I could learn or improve, it would be transferring embroidery patterns to cloth. For some reason, I end up with hand-done transfers that are too light or too shaky to use easily. I have tried printing on the sticky paper, which works for smaller transfers, and I’ve tried a bunch of pens, pencils, and papers. Some work better than others, but none like the iron versions — at least, for me. While I love to embroider and do it a lot, I think I also don’t like to branch out too much from my favorite stitches — I think I’d try to branch out a bit more with more interesting threads and techniques.

    215
  168. I would learn how to paint! I love watercolor paintings and have very little skill in it. Not enough time in the week. Needle felting would be my second choice.

    216
  169. One thing I’d like to do better is to “fear not” I’m so paralyzed in creating by fear of criticism… but skills…. I’ve always wanted to make small art quits with embellishments.

    218
  170. I would love to dance more gracefully. I like to do aerobic dance classes for exercise, but I always feel like I have two left feet. Some of the other women make the same moves so much more artistic!

    219
  171. Drawing – on my list of things to do when I have more time is to take a class in drawing so that I can capture my embroidery ideas, refine them then stitch them.

    220
  172. I would love to be able to perfect the long and short stitch! It has always been a difficult stitch for me.

    221
  173. Something I have always longed yo do is make hats. I remember wearing a hat to church each Sunday with gloves. I have tried making a felt hat but they turn out wonky.
    I am always trying to improve my embroidery and your site has taught me so much. Thank you for the gift of your kindness, Mary.

    222
  174. The one skill I’ve always wanted to become expert at is painting – oils, pastels, water color, acrylics – doesn’t matter. I admire those artists who can recreate their world and ideas in some sort of painting medium. Like you with lettering, Mary, I’ve dabbled but never took the time to master the talent – it just didn’t interest me enough to favor painting over the many other hobbies I feel like I have mastered.

    223
  175. For me it would be calligraphy, I started learning with my daughter but we’ve put it to the side. We are drawn to beautiful lettering too!

    224
  176. Even though I wish I could paint well, I think the most important skill I’d like to master is time management and focus. I get so caught up in all of the ideas that I have such a difficult time really sitting down to DO.

    225
  177. If I could have one new creative skill, it would have to be weaving a rug using a loom. My grandmother wove a number of rugs using a various themes doing the design work herself! I have always wanted to be able to master this very creative and wonderful skill !

    226
  178. Oh…..books….my fave! To answer the question of the day, I would have to say I would like to learn how to sew clothing that looks hand made as opposed to ‘homemade’ (if that makes sense!). My clothing sewing skills are very sadly lacking.

    227
  179. Goldwork is one type of needlework that I have yet to explore. For over sixty years I have loved learning about so many needlework skills so the next needs to be a project using gold and silk threads. Thanks for your fun needlework event at this time of year.

    Have a Merry Christmas, Mary

    228
  180. Goldwork is one type of needlework that I have yet to explore. For over sixty years I have loved learning about so many needlework skills so the next needs to be a project using gold and silk threads. Thanks for your fun needlework event at this time of year.

    Have a Merry Christmas, Mary

    229
  181. I would love to learn to cook at 62. Yes, that is right. When I try, things turn out dry, over cooked or burnt as in the “house almost catches fire.”

    230
  182. I want tol improve my technique of the basic stem stitch. I mostly do counted work so I really just have to practice.

    231
  183. I would love to learn how to do a much better, smoother looking satin stitch, especially little circles.

    232
  184. I would like to learn how to crochet. My grandmother did a lot of crochet and my mother was a knitter. I guess I should learn both. Happy holidays! Stay well!
    (Had a small problem..hope this does not appear twice.)

    233
  185. I really want to get good at leather. Leather is hard! I have done some small things and plan for more over this winter break. The jump between small things and larger things looks like a huge abyss at this moment!

    234
  186. So many to choose from, but I’d like to (vastly) improve my poor crochet skills. My grandmother crocheted and want to honor her memory through crochet.

    236
  187. It would be tatting! I love to do crazy quilting. Tatting just makes it prettier!
    Merry Christmas
    Robin

    237
  188. Oh, I would LOVE to learn how to embroider lovely lettering. So far all my attempts have been pretty sad. I need to learn a few new skills.

    238
  189. I’d love to learn how to sketch or draw or sketch and have recognizable pictures instead of stick figures or cartoons! Perhaps Covid will ease one day and I’ll find an adult learn-to-draw class to get me started.

    239
  190. I would like to improve my ability to edit and print photos for use in fiber arts. My best to all for happy holidays and a great new year.

    241
  191. Book, books, oh and books! I love books, especially needlework books. Those provide the choices to the answer to your question for the books give away. I gaze at needlelace and wish I could learn it. It is so gorgeous. I tat but those pieces of lace that you weave with the ba-zillion needles is drool worthy.
    Merry Christmas everyone, wishing you peace and happiness this season.

    243
  192. I would really like to improve my stranded knitting!
    Locking in floats in particular, my fingers are no where near nimble enough to manage that (yet?).
    🙂

    244
  193. I would love to learn to make bobbin lace well. I tried teaching myself with a beginners kit about 15 years ago, but I couldn’t get the hang of it.

    The other thing I would love to learn to do well is to design my own embroidery, cross-stitch, and blackwork patterns.

    245
  194. Tatting and other lace making techniques. Or spinning.
    I can knit, crochet, embroider, design, rug hook, make fabric baskets, sew, dye, …
    Thanks for your regular emails. I check out each one.
    Happy Solstice.

    246
  195. I’d love to learn woodworking. Mostly I want to make small stuff, like boxes to hold my stitching stuff and other tresasures. It would be lovely to have perfect-size storage containers for the smaller stuff we (have to) accumulate for the creative projects we do, and to have it be sturdier than paper and more eco-friendly than plastic.

    247
  196. I would like to learn to crochet; specifically, I would like to learn to do a fine thread scalloped crochet edging. My mother knew how to do only that crochet stitch/pattern but she embroidered beautiful pillow cases (and my jean shorts) with added crocheted edgings. I would like to add such an edge to my dishtowel projects. I am sure I would come up with lots of other things to edge too and was just researching online resources this morning. 🙂

    248
  197. Tapestry! I love weaving tapestry but would love to jump past beginner stage. I would love to just be able to weave what i envision and have all the confidence and skill just therein my fingertips!

    249
  198. I would like to be able to create more of my own designs instead of always using those that others have created. In other words, I wish I had been given more of an artistic talent. Combined with my enthusiasm for stitching, I could do amazing things!

    250
  199. I would love to learn how to shuttle tat. I’ve tatted very basic with a needle but have not gotten the hang of the shuttle. Of course, like many of us, there are so many things to try and I would need a couple of lifetimes…..

    251
  200. I have many skills I would like to improve upon, but one I would like to revisit and learn anew is crocheting. I was taught as a child to crochet, but I wasn’t taught how to properly hold the hook and yarn. As a result, my hands tire easily. Hope I win one of your books!

    252
  201. The one thing I would like to learn to do really well is quilting. I mean the actually quilting. I do it now and would call myself a decent quilter but I’d like to get really good at it, free motion or rulers.

    253
  202. I would like to learn watercolor painting in order to put onto paper the flowers growing in my garden that I love so much!

    254
  203. I think the embroidery world is so wide that there is always room from improvement. But I had always wanted to learn how to sew, even of it’s basic projects. I think it’s a very useful skill to have.

    255
  204. Drawing. I cannot draw and yet I have so many embroidery ideas in my head that if I could only draw, they would all be realized.

    257
  205. I’d like to be better at needlelace for stumpwork. I’m planning a casket with a lot of stumpwork, but am kind of intimidated by the needlelace elements. It’s probably just a question of sacrificing some pearl cotton and just doing it, I suppose. . .

    258
  206. Hi,
    There is so much in that gift, that you should have divided it in two or three to make two or three happy persons instead of only one. I think that I will share if I win.
    I would like to master bobbin lace. I started leaning it more than 35 years ago. I would like to go back to it, learn more and develop more skill. But I still have more to learn in embroidery too.
    Merry Christmas to all and stay safe. Joyeux Noël!
    Louise

    259
  207. ONE THING? REALLY!!! There are so many. Among those that come to mind immediately… tambour work. the ability to more effectively draw out the ideas that occur in my mind – when plotting and planning a needlework project. freehand. how to translate an idea into something that (I imagine) would come out of the Glasgow School of Art (circa 1900)…. An artist! I wish I could be an artist!! In the meantime, I can copy, trace, draw, and translate stuff that other people have already drawn!

    260
  208. The skill I’d like to master is calligraphy. I have a friend who dashes off the most gorgeous calligraphy and I’ve always envied that skill. Merry Christmas!

    262
  209. I love stitchery and could always learn more. My other love is jewelry making and I would love to feel more comfortable with soldering.

    263
  210. Tatting, tatting, tatting!!! I’ve tried and failed miserably but refuse to give up! I love lace of any kind and aspire to learn different ways of making it.

    265
  211. I’ve bought 2 books that Mary recommended and both were excellent! You can definitely trust her recommendations.

    So many things I’d like to try… currently working on learning lace-making, but quilting is next on my list.

    267
    1. Forgot to say why … I love lace because it’s so beautiful, and I’d like to learn quilting because my great aunt made a hand-quilted quilt that had beautiful designs in it. I’d like to do something similar.

  212. I would love to explore and master doing padded stitches. Adding dimension and texture to my projects is my passion.

    269
  213. You’ve hit on my greatest regrets- craft related, at least!) I can’t knit. At all. And before you knitters start thinking you could teach me, others have tried. Family, friends, yarn shop owners, and even a paid private tutor. I don’t understand. I do many other crafts, and I’m usually a quick learner. But I can’t get even tension on the yarn. The loops will be so tight that I can’t get the needle through it, or so loose, they fall off. I’ll start with 60 stitches and have 62 on the first row and 57 on the next. It’s such a portable craft compared to others that I do, that I crave to be a knitter. Who knows, maybe 43 times is the charm!

    270
  214. I would very much like to spend some intense time properly learning Schwalm embroidery. It looks so delicate and precise and I’ve seen some finished designs that are so beautiful.

    272
  215. Mary, what a superb collection! Like you there are so many things I would love to be really good at doing. Probably the thing I would most treasure is to be able to design my own art work well. I do some, and my skills could definitely be better. Nancy C

    273
  216. I knit, crochet, quilt and embroider, but I’d love to learn how to make lace. It is so beautiful and quite an art.

    274
  217. Mine would be outside of the embroidery world, but it would certainly help with having more time for embroidery. I would love to improve my time management skills and organizational skills for crafting and embroidery supplies. It just seems that ‘life’ requires more of my time management and the embroidery end suffers. If only there were a way to get by without sleep. 😉 I am hoping 2022 allows me more time to have an organized craft room.
    For embroidery, it would have to be more timely finishing of projects and also improving skills to have more varied pieces. I love completing the embroidery itself, but it takes forever to finish a piece whether it be turning it into an ornament, pillow or framed piece.

    275
  218. I have done some hardanger but I am very much a beginner. I hold my breath each time I have to cut the threads. I would love to take a class or stitch with someone who is proficient and become more confident and learn from them. I love the intricate, lacy look of hardanger.

    276
  219. I just picked up crochet this week, so I’d have to go with that. There are so many wonderful projects I want to try!

    277
  220. I left a comment about hardanger – I omitted that I’d love to receive the A to Z books.
    Merry Christmas!

    279
  221. I love to embroider and do Stumpwork but I would love to learn in-depth on cross stitch. I am a little hit and miss and really have to concentrate on a project no watching TV or I go wrong. Also it would encompass the type of Linen to use and numbers.

    280
  222. I would love to learn to tat with a shuttle….about the only craft I haven’t been able to learn on my own.

    281
  223. Greetings! I would love to learn to enhance my quilting and stitchery by painting or coloring on them. Also, free motion machine quilting, of course!

    thank you and Merry Christmas, Mary
    Barbara

    282
  224. I would like to improve my technique for basic stem stitch. I mostly do counted work so the solution is practice.

    283
  225. Hello! Oh, books are some of my very favorite things!!!

    If I could learn to improve one thing and learn to do it well, it would be stumpwork. I’ve tried and managed some passable flowers, but I’d love to learn how to improve my skills.

    Thank you once again for fabulous give-aways!

    284
  226. If I could improve just one thing it would be my drawing ability. That would be useful in just about any creative endeavor!

    285
  227. I think that the creative skill I feel the most wistful for not having would be writing fiction. On the other hand surface embroidery is the skill I’m currently working on expanding past the very basics as previously I’ve mostly done cross stitch and blackwork.

    286
  228. One skill I would like to improve is framing finished pieces myself and using pieces in other formats besides frames.

    287
  229. I would love to learn how to improve doing the long and short stitch, hands on, from an experienced teacher

    289
  230. I just finished Brian the Bee with needle lace. Whoa. I do need to perfect the technique. It was a real challenge and what I did is OK but not near as good as it could be.

    290
  231. Needle lace would be my desired magically-acquired skill! But all the options in the New Skills collection look super intriguing!

    292
  232. I admire the felt figures completed by such talented ladies. I would like to learn how to do this.

    294
  233. Merry Christmas. I have been looking at classes on natural dyeing and also encaustic printing. I would love to learn some other skills and work on creating multimedia art.

    295
  234. There are sooooo many things I want to learn and improve in the creative fields. In addition to the various embroidery skills, there’s also drawing, painting, tatting, knitting, calligraphy, working with polymer clay, and with resin, to name just a few. To choose one, it would have to be fashion designing. Being able to take fabric of any type, drape it on a dress form, and create something completely new and beautiful to wear would be a dream come true for me. I’ve been sewing for decades. I can alter patterns, and have started playing with drafting basic flat patterns. But I get lost when draping the fabric and just creating something new.

    296
  235. Oh how love to be able to draw! God has blessed me with ability to do many things that I have set my mind to, but I never have been able to make it happen with the drawing.
    Merry Christmas!

    297
  236. I would like to improve my applique skills. It always amazes me when you don’t see the stitching and my efforts fall short of that mark…many times!

    298
  237. The one thing I thought I’d spend lots of time doing when I retired was play my dulcimer. But for some weird reason, I haven’t . I need to spend more time learning and playing my hammered dulcimer in 2022. I could do it in between sitting and stitching which would give me a chance to stand and move around a bit – a little exercise wouldn’t hurt!

    299
  238. I really wish that I had kept up piano lessons as a child, how lovely it would be to be able to sit at a keyboard and play something to reflect my mood.

    300
  239. The one thing I’d love to do well is finishing. I prefer to mount and frame my own embroideries to save money and I always get wrinkles or something that doesn’t turn out right.

    303
  240. I’ve always loved to learn more about goldwork.it’s always been a technique that I would love to master

    304
  241. Golly like Mary loads of things!!! but I guess needle felting I would love to do ..I dabble but I’m not great .

    305
  242. I would love to do bobbin lace. Every time I see either the work or its result, I am inspired. It’s wonderful.
    Thank you for doing these giveaways!

    307
  243. One creative skill I would love to learn – or have it come naturally – is Cooking. My Mother didn’t me in the kitchen so with the help of “Joy of Cooking,” I have muddled my way this far. However, needing to lose weight and wanting to lose it comfortable – and in “good taste” – it would be great to know my way arounda kitchen for more than dishing up cat and dog food!

    308
  244. I would love to improve SO MANY SKILLS, but one that I wish I could do better is sketch and illustrate. The software available these days is amazing – and I am a graphic designer, for Pete’s sake! But I have never developed that side of my skill set beyond rudimentary sketching.

    Thanks for the thought-provoking question!

    310
  245. So many things, Mary! I would like to be able to design my own canvases. There are so many ideas in my head, but getting them done eludes me. When you are constrained by having to use rulers and compasses, those ideas just have to stay in my head.
    Thank you so much for all the great give always this year and in years past. And your generosity in sharing is the greatest gift of all.

    311
  246. I would love to learn wet felting. All that fuzzy fleece transformed into beautiful pictures. Seems magical that something so messy can become so beautiful.

    312
  247. What I’d love to perfect is making my own patterns. I did one for my granddaughter and it would not be something I would give to someone else but it was good enough for me to figure everything out.

    314
  248. One creative skill I wish I could improve on is drawing. Since it’s the foundation of so many crafts I think it would improve all sorts of things I do. Someday perhaps

    315
  249. The one creative skill that I would love to improve is my colour co-ordination. Ask me to choose my own colours for something and I panic. I don’t feel confident about my colour choices and nothing will get done.

    Thanks for running these contests and I wish you and yours the best holiday greetings no matter how you celebrate.

    316
  250. I like your idea of taking time off, but not from stitching. Needlework is never a chore!
    It is the best way to relax, unwind, and find joy!

    317
  251. What I have the most trouble with and what I wish I could do well is pick colours for a project. I always get overwhelmed with the sheer number of possibilities so am always second guessing my choices.
    Thank you so much for another fun year of emails and contests.

    319
  252. One skill I would love to master is thread “painting”. When I see the beautiful images of birds and flowers done, I am so envious. I don’t think I could find the patience for such meticulous stitching, but some day I may try.

    320
  253. Thank you, Mary, for another wonderful chance to grace our craft bookshelves! Several of these are on my wishlist – would be wonderful to share with friends and family as well.

    I’ve never been a crafty person, except for occasional embroidery and some sewing as a young person (my Mom was a wonderful seamstress but I realized it was *not at all* pleasant for me). I do love music to the depths of my soul – and have played an instrument since 7 years old. About 3 years ago, during a bout of inflammatory arthritis that affected my hands, I had to give up playing my ‘cello. Playing again and regaining lost skill would be so wonderful!

    Merry Christmas to you and yours, all of you!
    laura

    321
  254. I would love to learn to do surface embroider well! I have a project that I have put off and would really like to do it!

    322
  255. For years I have had one skill on my to do list that has intrigued me, amazed me, and bewildered me but I have yet to try it: Goldwork. Partly because it is costly and my budget is limited, and partly because I have yet to find a class in it that is close enough for me to attend. I’m putting it on my list again for 2022 and hope for a windfall that will enable me.

    324
  256. The one creative pursuit I would love to learn to do well would be tatting. I just love the lace and designs that can be created should one know how. I think a tatted snowflake would be just lovely to have this time of year.

    325
  257. I have most all of the A to Z books and truly enjoy & use them. I would like to be more proficient in macrame. Happy Holidays, God bless you and yours, & thank you for all your help through the years. joan

    327
  258. Unrelated to crafting, I would love to learn how to play the guitar. I took lessons as a teenager, but never took it seriously.

    Related to crafting I would love to sculpt OOAK dolls.

    331
  259. I would like to learn to knit well – I can knit and purl back and forth, but can’t make anything other than a scarf or potholder.

    332
  260. I’d really like to learn marquetry – like stained glass in wood. I’ve never worked in wood but am always intrigued by these pieces when I see them at craft shows, especially the wall art.

    333
  261. I would have to choose bobbin lacemaking. My skills could use a tune up and practice. But, I have a lot of skills that need improvement.
    Happy Holidays to all!

    334
  262. Hands down, its stumpwork!! I’ve been lovingly gazing at beautiful stumpwork pieces, bought books about it, but have not dipped my toe in yet!!!!

    335
  263. I’d dearly love to improve my needle lace skills. Previous attempts have had very sub-standard outcomes with uneven tension, and while my brain tells me it’s a matter of practice, practice, practice… my heart says ‘eek!’.

    336
  264. The one thing I wish I could improve on is making my stitches more regular and neat. Since I don’t work on an even weave I have to judge each stitch, and when I work on wool, which hides the ends of the stitches, it’s particularly difficult to get them all the same length.

    337
  265. Thank you for making this giveaway available. Wow, there are so many things I’d like to learn, it is hard to narrow it down to just one! I would like to learn how to design 3-dimensional objects (birds, for example) out of fabric.

    338
  266. I would love to become more proficient at silk ribbon embroidery! I have tried a couple of projects and finished to completion, and they even turned out well. But I think it is such an elegant art and would love to create more beautiful pieces with more confidence.

    339
  267. I’d love to learn drawing and painting. The idea came to me when I started embroidering a few years ago… Sometimes I dream of shapes, colors, movcments, it’s great!

    340
  268. I’m with you Mary, there’s a whole lot of things I’d love to improve on! If I had to pick one, it’d have to be my ability to turn embroidery corners with different stitches. As a perfectionist, it would be such a plus for my mental health .

    This is not a creative skill, but I’d also love to improve my ability to win contests!!!

    342
  269. Hmm this is a hard one because I don’t even have enough time for all the stitching I want to do. I did inherit all of my sister’s knitting as supplies so I should probably learn to knit. Have a great holiday.

    343
  270. a skill i would love to master is crochet!! To be able to crochet for my dolls would be great. And for embroidery it would be a really great satin stitch and a better bullion rose. I will keep practicing on those two. Your tutorials have been so helpful.

    344
  271. I took piano lessons for while when I was a child, but really didn’t enjoy my teacher — the feeling was probably mutual and I doubt that I sparked joy for her either 🙂

    This year Santa is bringing me a basic electronic keyboard, and I would love to learn to play well enough to plunk out tunes. Not aspiring to be a virtuoso, just want to be able to bang out a recognizable song or ten……

    345
  272. I would love to try my hand at needle felting. I’ve seen so many lovely projects and have even put together a box of supplies, but haven’t taken that next step to actually doing it. Maybe that’ll be my 2022 goal???

    346
  273. The creative skill I would most like to master is to learn to play a musical instrument – not fussy about which one, but maybe not bagpipes!

    349
  274. I have been learning Brazilian Dimensional Embroidery stitches and love them, would love to do better at them, some seem very complicated and involved. Love the results of the Stump Work as a form of BDE. The results of these stitches are gorgeous and I am so envious of people that do them so well. I realize that “practice makes perfect” and these people ARE NOT beginners. The work just facinates me and I am so drawn to it.

    352
  275. One thing that I have been wanting to try and just started a small piece this week is Whitework. I have been looking at multiple magazines and just love the beautiful designs and want to do a small table runner at some point.

    Merry Christmas and a very Happy and Healthy New Year to all!

    Betty

    354
  276. One thing I would like to improve would be bobbin lacemaking. Expanding my designs from Torchon to Honiton or Duchess or Brussels lace. Just need to find time to practice.
    Merry Christmas!

    355
  277. I would love to make and decorate amazing gingerbread houses! A few years ago I was on a work trip around Christmas time, and my hotel foyer had a stunning display of gingerbread buildings… houses, a cinema, candy shop, etc. I was blown away!

    356
  278. I confess: I am a bibliophile. I really treasure my craft library; most of it deals with aspects of quilting — about quilting, not just patterns. I was first attracted to embroidery when I came across a book by Helen Stevens. I was totally mesmerized. I have continued with many forms of hand work but I have always been intimidated by embroidery. I love looking at a very neat, perfectly stitched item — it is so beautiful. So, that is the one thing that I would really like to master.

    357
  279. Crochet, especially those little Mini Amigurumi Animals, are my Achilles heel and I have long since wanted to perfect them. I also enjoy exploring other techniques and ideas. This collection of books would be an ideal reference library to add to my extensive collection of embroidery books.
    Merry Xmas all.

    358
  280. I would LOVE to learn how to make lace, especially bobbin lace. I love working with fibers and think lace is just amazingly gorgeous. It seems like such a complicated mysterious process to actually make it. I’ve seen some stunning examples of the ways lace can be used and I would love to know how to make it myself.

    359
  281. I’d like to take a drawing course. I had a great midlle school art teacher and I think with practice it could become a really great hobby.

    360
  282. I have always been fascinated by Japanese art forms. But Sashiko is a kind of embroidery I would really like to try. Perhaps in the new year I’ll give it a whirl.

    361
  283. I would love to be more confident in needlepainting/long and short stitch because whenever I see anything that requires this form of embroidery I am never confident it will look right – I always use a different stitch to get around it.

    362
  284. I am planning on learning to tat in January. For embroidery, I just don’t do satin stitch very well and I love seeing it well done.

    363
  285. Once a cross-stitcher I have recently fallen in love with Jacobean crewel embroidery and needle painting. The one thing I would really like to improve is the long and short stitch as I am in awe of the beautiful shading and blending of colours. I am a perfectionist by nature so perfecting this stitch will make me truly satisfied.

    364
  286. I would like to make friends with my sewing machine – or anyone’s sewing machine – fear of flying I suppose. But it’s time. Lately I have become inspired to do some finishing work for my own projects rather than sending them out. I have had success with the needlebooks which are my current craze and with that would like to venture out more. I began as a quilter back when machine piecing just coming into vogue. Friends left me in the wind. So I turned to linen cross stitch and embroidery, framed work now for more walls than I have room for. All stitching was interrupted for a number of years and now that I am back I am finding joy in smaller projects but they must all have a purpose. So my hopes for this New Year is to move past detest for machine work and find joy in the work that they do.

    369
  287. The big thing I would love to learn to do well is free motion quilting. I love the beautiful quilting designs made by so many free motion quilters and I would like to be able to do that too, but it is so difficult.

    371
  288. I continue to practice my FMQ (free motion quilting) and add new motifs to the ones I’m able to do. Quilting is my main retirement hobby. I like the combination of embroidery on quilt blocks too so thank you for your help with that!

    372
  289. Am excited to see what you have in store for us in 2022! Many more beautiful projects, I’m sure.

    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and safe, healthy, and Happy New Year.

    374
  290. If I had to choose a skill to do well it would be cake decorating. I love all the beautiful cakes and wish I was able to do as beautiful job on my own creations.

    You know the term “Nailed It” then you show a picture of the your creation versus what it was suppose to look like? Well mine never looks like it is suppose to.

    You know what they say, practice makes perfect so I guess I will have to keep on trying.

    375
  291. Hi Mary,
    A skill I would love to learn is Goldwork or fancy Stumpwork. These will be extra special as I can envision so many presents.

    Thanks

    Melinda

    376
  292. I’m pretty sure you asked a similar question last year. I said I really wanted to learn a variety of new stitches and take part in Sharon Boggon’s Take a Stitch Tuesday. Well, I learned one new stitch. Oh well, so it goes. I will retire soon, so I am going to set the same goal. Learn a variety of new stitches to incorporate into crazy quilting and free form embroidery.

    377
  293. I want to improve on bobbin lace. I am slowly collecting the necessary items but it will probably be end of January before I start. I want to be able to make those beautiful lace pictures/images and know there is hours of practice. I won’t have a tutor so it’s learning from books for me.

    378
  294. Sketching because I love Thread painting embroidery and would love to design my own landscapes to stitch.

    379
  295. For me it would be wet felting, I am dabbling but it seems like it is a lifetime of learning, I love it. And a mid-winter “beat the blues” giveaway sounds fantastic!

    380
  296. I would love to improve my skills in assembling and finishing off things I have embroidered. I struggle with putting together finished articles especially when it involves machine sewing

    382
  297. The A to Z collection would be a great addition to anyone’s stitching library, I wish they were in mine.
    I would also enjoy endless hours ‘inside’ the other collection, but I don’t know anything about them.
    I would be joyous to have either collection.

    Merry Christmas to you!

    383
  298. Both of these collections sound like wonderful fun.

    If I were to improve a particular skill, I think it would be quilting. I’ve not been doing it “that” long. I am very slow and not as proficient as I would like to be.

    384
  299. I love embroidery BUT I seem to have a mental block about long & short stitch it never looks right I .I needca good book to show me how,Thank you Mary. Happy Christmas.

    386
  300. I would like to learn ribbon embroidery. This past summer I was able to get a bunch of ribbon spools in various sizes at an estate auction. It would be really nice to use them in some creative projects. Thank you for offering this giveaway! I’ll keep the A-Z Ribbon Embroidery in mind.

    387
  301. I would absolutely love to learn to tat! Tat, you say?? Yup, the little loopy lacework so many of our grandmothers made. I’d love to learn how to do this because I am always looking for new and unique ways to embellish my applique, tatting could add such a delicate edge to fans, flower petal, borders and frame around an applique block. The list goes on and on… but yes, I’d love it learn to tat

    388
  302. Hi Mary, I guess my improvement would be similar to yours. I learned calligraphy in art class in high school and really enjoyed it. I did some projects at the request of friends and they were pleased with it but I felt I could do better. I even took an adult calligraphy class at a vocational center but I don’t feel I have practiced enough to improve. I wish it would just flow out of these aging hands. I love to watch videos of people doing decorative writing but I seem to do other things that interest me. Merriest of Holidays and continued success

    389
  303. G’day there Mary, and thank you for the competition gift.
    Oh how I’d love to be able to cook!
    Mum wasn’t so good at baking but the Grandkids used to say that Grandma’s cake flops were the best cakes ever!
    To be able to, within reason, easily put together appetising hot meals and fill the biscuit and cake tins with items that look and taste as they should would be wonderful.
    My one escape is only having guests for a meal in summer because oh boy can I get together a mean salad!
    Cheers, Kath

    390
  304. I think metal thread work is the area where I would most like to improve. I’ve done a few pieces in classes, but with a lot of oversight and instruction. I’m also very interested in learning Or Nue work, a subset of metal thread. Perhaps not coincidentally, metal thread work was my mother’s favorite form of needlework, so I inherited a large amount of metal threads from her.

    391
  305. I would love to become accomplished in shading. I have taken several classes and have received instruction from several teachers, but I have not managed to end up with a good shading on my embroidered piece.

    392
  306. I’d really like to master crochet – I can knit quite well, do embroidery of all kinds(cross stitch, needle paintings, gold work) but have never quite got my head around crochet! There’s so many cute patterns out there that I’ve had to rule out because of it and so one day I really should give it a go!

    393
  307. Oh how I would love to be able to draw. My drawing is like that of a 4 year old. (Sorry kids, I don’t mean to insult anyone. ). Once I learned to draw, to add watercolor would be wonderful. But first Drawing.

    394
  308. If I could improve one skill it would be choosing colors. I’ve worked on this, and improved a bit, but I have so far to go and it is so important.

    This is a great giveaway. What would we do without Search Press?

    395
  309. Dear Mary,

    Oh, what a wonderful collection of books. There will be two very lucky winners who will have an added joy this Christmas.

    Felting is something I would like to master. Every Christmas I think about making a Nativity Scene with Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, and the donkey, sheep, and cows using felting as a base.

    Thank you.

    Best regards
    Louisa

    396
  310. I would love to make an Elizabethan casket or a Sweete Bag. I feel I have probably left it too late but I drool when I see a completed one.

    398
  311. Mary, you ask interesting questions. One creative skill I’d like to learn/improve is finishing my stitch projects, especially finishes other than framing (I leave that to the pros, for the most part). I wonder how much is practice, and how much is something more than that.

    Another wonderful give-away — “visions of sugar plums” for stitchers.

    399
  312. I would like to improve my bread making skills. A craft in itself, but one made even better by being able to eat the results (as long as all goes well).

    400
  313. I wish I had a better eye for colour. I am really not good at choosing or matching colours, even using a colour wheel. Some people seem to have a perfect eye for colour – but not me!

    401
  314. The one thing I would like to do well is improve my memory recall. Sometimes I get stuck for a word. The worst one was when I went to introduce a friend of thirty years and I had a memory blank. Luckily my friend could see the humour in it.

    402
  315. Hmmm, one skill I would love to have, it’s gotta be drawing….that way if I stitched something say like a bee …..It would actually be recognizable as a bee ….and not look like a blob.

    404
  316. Oh so many things I would love to learn – music, languages, calligraphy but like you, Mary, I think illumination of lettering would be the main one. I have copied some illuminated letters using watercolour and acrylic paints but to do the actual real gilding would be something else.

    405
  317. I would love to improve color selection/shading. Some people have a natural talent of knowing where the light is coming from and how to choose colors to create more realistic pieces. Or just being able to chose colors that compliment each other or really work well for that project. I’d love to be one of them.

    408
  318. Thank you Mary, and a Merry Christmas to you and your family.
    Gosh, thanks to you, I’d love to learn gold work, ribbon, stump work. I never knew about these methods.

    410
  319. My goal is to improve my embroidery and knitting skills. I would like to learn thread painting and brioche knitting.

    411
  320. I would love to learn how to do weaving/macrame/hooking pieces like I’ve seen on Pinterest. They are so gorgeous they make me drool! The ones that look like coral reefs or gardens, Yum!
    Merry Christmas Mary. May the coming year bring you many blessings. Hugs from Arkansas

    412
  321. One skill that I wish to master is clay jewelry making. But time! I’d need another day every week.

    413
  322. I would love to learn how to do ribbon embroidery. I have only attempted once and it didn’t turn out too well. There are so many lovely things out there to make with ribbons. It would be great to learn this craft.

    415
  323. If I could improve any one skill it would be my handwriting. I’ve worked with calligraphy or Spencerian handwriting since I was twelve years old. My standard writing is decent but to write with all the flourishes and curlicues in such perfect lines would be awesome. And all my myriad penpals would greatly enjoy it. Thank you for the chance.

    416
  324. It would have to be stumpwork.. Everytime I have looked at the pictures of it, I immediately think “How did they do that?” Inquiring minds want to know.

    417
  325. I love to watch people knit, and the patterns are so beautiful. I haven’t learned how to knit…yet!

    419
  326. Thank you Mary for all you do for us during the year and having this give away. Right now I am working on creating bonsai trees. I have one and it almost died under my care. But I learned a lot and good news, it’s getting new leaves. I want to be surrounded in tiny trees while sewing, it’s my goal.

    420
  327. I would love to learn more about choosing threads, stitches and colors for embroidery projects. I am just not quite there yet experience wise. It would be so nice to plan a project and charge right ahead and plan it from start to finish with total confidence!

    421
  328. The next craft skill that I would like to hone is needle weaving. I look at the work of Hazel Blomkamp and drool. I would love to acquire one of her kits in the new year and set out learning this new skill set.
    Merry Christmas to all!
    Beth R

    422
  329. Oh! I would LOVE Jacobean embroidery. I have seen such truly gorgeous pieces done with that style of needlework. Florals with metallic threads which really bring the piece to a higher level. just beautiful, how it is done.

    423
  330. I would love to know and understand how to use my sewing machine properly! I need someone to sit with me and give me a one to one lesson!

    424
  331. I would love to learn to do gold work! I have never tried it -and have been hesitant to try to dive in due to what seems to be a rather large investment in threads and equipment.

    Merry Christmas, Mary! Thank you for your eagerly awaited newsletter as well as for a fun Christmas give-away. May all the joys of the season be yours, now and in the year ahead.

    426
  332. I love the look of stumpwork when it is done well and there is an area where I plan to take more classes. I have worked a few pieces with detached elements but there is so much more to learn.

    427
  333. Long and short stitch shading – to properly blend the colours to make the icon look real and dimensional.

    431
  334. Oh, there are so many things I would love to learn or get better at! However only being able to choose one it would be cooking as eating is something we need to do, and doing it well leads to a wonderfully joyous life.

    432
  335. I’d like to be able to do watercolor painting. It looks so delicate and soft.
    My genre is fabric —sewing, quilting, purse making -a more tangible medium!!

    434
  336. I would like to learn and improve my beading. My knowledge is limited but learning more. Some of my friends are awesome beaders creating many bracelets, earrings, 3D little characters beaded stars. I am envious. My goal is to lear nfrom these experts while I still can.

    435
  337. The one skill I wish I had was the ability to do hand drawing well. My daughter can do it, my son could earn money with it, but my drawings are on par with most kindergartners. Actually, some of them probably draw better. Whenever I need something drawn, though, I can count on my kids, so maybe it’s not so necessary.
    Mary, thank you so much for making these give-aways possible each year. Even though I haven’t won, it’s always so much fun to participate! I hope you enjoy your holidays in front of your “fireplace” and wish you a very Happy New Year!

    436
  338. I would love to improve on my thread painting skills. I’ve tried to get it right, but it always looks so “off” to me. It’s my plan to work on that in the new year. I’ve loved thread painting ever since I saw pictures of Trish Burr’s work online, and I fell more in love with it when I also discovered Emilie Ferris’s work.

    The one thing I’ve looked at and would learn to do well is calligraphy, I have all the paper, inks and the nibs and many holders, I just need to practice.

    437
  339. Oh Mary, that’s easy, it’s calligraphy. I’ve loved the idea of it since I was a child and have tried and tried to learn, but I’ve never been able to get past being left-handed and every stab at calligraphy I’ve tried has floundered. Well, it’s time to focus on what I CAN do well and admire the work of calligraphers from afar.

    438
  340. Beautiful books are a lifetime reference. I love books and these books would be really cherished in my home.
    Chris Cheesman Life long sticker.

    439
  341. I would love to learn goldwork. i have dabbled in some of the other ‘difficult’ embroideries, such as stumpwork, but goldwork is my illusive shiny, right now.

    440
  342. Thanks so much for all you do Mary! I hope to win this set to further my knowledge and stretch my stitching options. Merry Christmas to you!!!!

    442
  343. Needlework is my thing. All kinds, especially quilting and embroidery. I would love to increase my skills in crewel embroidery. I am very new at it but love doing it.

    443
  344. I would to learn hand lettering and blackwork. I’m going to try. Blackwork stitch along in 2022 so I hope it will help. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone

    445
  345. I’d like to be able to sketch…I want to be able to draw sketches of clothing I’ve designed, and draw my own embroidery designs.

    446
  346. One skill that I would like to learn and do is goldwork. The beauty of the metallic threads, texture, and of course, bling, make goldwork so appealing! It makes the ordinary look extraordinary, as long as it is done well. Working with the occasional metallic thread in surface embroidery and needlepoint makes me realize how expert one must be to ,do goldwork well, as it can be very frustrating to try to do neatly, so I would have to learn it well.

    448
  347. If I could do one thing well, it would be to draw. They say you need to practice, and practice some more. But if you do something wrong, you will continue to make that mistake until someone corrects you. I’m not sure how to practice something you don’t really know how to do.

    Mary, thank you so much for running this series! It is so interesting, even if you don’t win anything. I had never heard of some of the threads people said were their favorite, so I will have to check them out! I LOVE finding out about new embroidery books.
    Thanks again, Mary…

    449
  348. …pottery glazes: I used to be good at slab-building, and half-ok with wheel-turning, but never good with glazes, regardless of the firing method; pottery displays always impress me, so I would like to find time and space to pursue this craft again.

    450
  349. One creative skill I wish I could do well is drawing. I’d love to make portraits and creative drawings, but also for practical purposes I’d love to accurately sketch things on the spot, like quickly draw stuff in nature journals, and easily sketch out ideas for projects (embroidery, quilting, etc.).

    453
  350. I’d love to brush up on my drawing and watercolor skills so I recently signed up for classes on Domestika.

    454
  351. I’d like to be a better cook. Actually, I don’t think I could get any worse, so there’s nowhere to go but up.

    455
  352. If I could continue to expand on my knowledge of a creative skill it would have to be printmaking. I like the idea of starting a creative skill from the very beginning in this case the idea, or drawing and carving out the idea on wood or linoleum or whatever comes my way and then inking and actually using a printing press to create the final artwork. It could just be a simple woodblock or a multi key block for many colors. I’ve done old fashioned cars before and I think I would like to creative some more of those prints.

    456
  353. I wish I could draw better. It would give me more confidence to design my own pieces.
    Thanks again for these amazing giveaways

    457
  354. Feeling comfortable with a sewing machine and construction. I feel like a student driver at th le helm and only weeks out Covid masks because of the plethora of you tube videos. But can’t even hem pants or construct a tote bag. Maybe someday.

    458
  355. So many things to choose from but I would really love to learn how to do miniature paintings. Whenever I see miniature portraiture keepsakes that were painted hundreds of years ago, I’m in complete awe! The same goes for Persian and Mughal miniatures – the intricate details are a feast for the eyes!
    Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!!

    459
  356. Weaving. I spin my own wool and own a loom but I have yet to put it into action. I look at all the lovely things that can be woven and say “when I retire I will learn to weave”.

    460
  357. Toss up between tatting and spinning as a prelude to knitting and weaving
    Tried to learn tatting many years ago with no success
    Have a spindle but have not tried it yet

    461
  358. The thing. I would love to learn how to do is cook. I can sweat pipe, build a closet, run gas pipe, electrical, I’ve gutted and rebuilt bathrooms, bedrooms and even created an artist retreat from a shed in the backyard, but I can’t cook. My husband loves to tell the story of the 15k lamb chop….needless to say we eat out so often we’re restaurant celebrities……lol

    465
  359. If I could have one new creative skill I would love to be able to machine sew (competently).

    Paternal grandmother quilted and exclaimed that “once you learn to sew this will be easy.” All the sewing I do is by hand. I want to machine sew. Being able to quickly patch a hole, repair a seam or hem line, add much desired pockets, create my own garments (that fit) would all be wonderful.

    Not holding my breath. Embroidery offers me the sensation of sewing with the joy of colors and unique stitches to keep my attention. Older, I believe in being grateful for what I do have, everyday.

    466
  360. I would love to learn how to do water colour painting. I’ve tried several times and my paintings never turn out, but I find the experience to be very enjoyable.

    467
  361. The one thing I would learn to do well is French knots! Yes French knots. No matter how hard I try, nor how long I practice I cannot get them right. I end up switching to colonial knots jut to get it done!

    469
  362. One thing I would like to work on improving is my consistency! Whether it’s consistency in the spacing between my stitches, consistency in length and height of my stitches, or consistency in the tension of my stitches…. the execution of my stitches is consistently inconsistent!

    470
  363. I would like to improve my artistic skills. I love embroidery, but don’t feel I am artistic enough to excel in the craft.

    471
  364. There are so many things I want to try but I would certainly love to learn stumpwork and continue to explore black work and crewel.

    472
  365. Gold work, my next frontier in handwork….scary and beautiful so worth the work!

    Thank you for this chance on a great set of books. I own one of them and they are great.

    475
  366. I wish I could be better at shuttle tatting. The lace is so delicate and the shuttles can be so diverse and beautiful! Reading the patterns and knowing how to hold tension and uniform picots…it’s an art I want to master. Looks like I need to be self taught since no nearby teachers. I keep saying to myself, “I can do this with practice!”

    476
  367. The creative skill I’d most like to learn to do well is finishing needlework projects, particularly ornaments of any kind: round, square, whatever! I’ve learned some techniques from a very good stitching friend, but I need a good dose of creative ideas and lots of practice!

    477
  368. Needle-turn applique. I have a friend who makes the most amazing quilts with this technique. I tried once but have no talent for it. It will take a whole lot of practice for me to get this one.

    479
  369. The creative talent I wish to learn/perfect is a combination of a few things. Transferring my colored pencil coloring skills (blending of colors, color themes, etc) to embroidery. But I also need help deciding what stitch to use where.

    480
  370. I would like to learn how to do punch needle embroidery this year. I have always wanted to learn this craft from the past and recently saw a pattern that I would like to do. It’s always fun to learn something new!

    481
  371. Getting over the fear of designing my own original embroideries. I think that I would like to be able to combine all the techniques I have learned over the years to make a design that is truly mine. Thanks.

    483
  372. I want to learn to play the autoharp well. Music and stitching go together for me. Both are lovely and go together well to produce something lovely.

    484
  373. I have always wanted to learn to knit socks using the “magic loop” technique. I have read the instructions and looked at a bunch of illustrations, but it’s just not clicking with me. I would also like to learn how to do fair isle knitting. I signed up for a class at the local community college but it was canceled for lack of interest

    485
  374. I wish I could knit. Watching friends knit a hat in a morning, then complete socks the next day… I’m astonished. Such beautiful fibers available as well. I’m determined to learn.

    486
  375. I would like to have a serious good attempt at padded white work as it is a serious gap in my skill bag of tricks. I haven’t attempted anything like it since I was in teacher’s college 54 years ago!

    488
  376. JUST ONE SKILL??? I guess it would be crewel embroidery. With subtle shading and fine needlework, you can produce a beautiful piece! Merry Christmas and thank you!

    489
  377. Thats an easy question Mary, I’d love to start Stumpwork, I just adore the caskets covered in covered lions, flowers and people….

    has been great catching up on suppliers’ products with this competition, fun exploring their websites and getting ideas! Specially as I haven’t been to a LNS for 2 years.

    490
  378. I would love to learn how to do a rolled hem on my sewing machine. I just can’t seem to master that foot

    491
  379. Je trouve le stumpwork et la broderie d’or magnifiques et j’aimerais tant savoir les faire. J’apprends seule la broderie avec vos vidéos et conseils entre autre et je n’ai encore jamais osé le pas du stumpwork et de la broderie d’or.
    I find the stumpwork and gold embroidery beautiful and I would love to know how to do them. I learn embroidery on my own with your videos and advice among other things and I have never dared the step of stumpwork and gold embroidery.
    Merci pour toutes vos bonnes idées et bons conseils.
    Cathy depuis Castres dans le Tarn, en France.

    492
  380. I would love to learn stumpwork. I consider myself an intermediate embroider and entirely self taught. I’m certain I could learn from a book but, stumpwork intimidates me. I think it’s mostly the wire bit. I haven’t a clue where to get it and The St Louis area is an embroidery product desert.

    493
  381. New creative thing? Would have to be drawing. I would like to explore and become more confident in drawing so that I can get the ideas in my head translated into designs for stuff!

    494
  382. I’d like to learn how to knit more than a scarf. I know the basics but have never tried making anything. I do like the idea of learning how to do illuminated lettering though. I took a calligraphy class many years ago, but hardly ever use the things I learned.

    495
  383. I do hand quilting, but there are lots of times that I wish I could do it better. Merry Christmas and thank you for the give away!

    496
  384. I would like to learn and improve ribbon embroidery! I have not tried this embroidery yet. Thank you for this great giveaway.

    497
  385. I have always wanted to learn how to bobbin lace. Signed up for classes three times while living in England and each time the classes were canceled. I have learned many embroidery techniques from You tube, bobbin lace just hasn’t worked for me from that medium.

    499
  386. If you could learn or improve ONE creative skill well that you don’t already do well (and it doesn’t have to be embroidery-related), what would it be and why?
    -My knitting/crocheting (either) my gauge for making garments is always off.

    What’s the one thing you’ve looked at and said, “Wow. I’d love to learn to do that well”?
    -Making clothes, I can never find what I want retail.

    500
  387. Recouvrement des livres en cuir. J’aimerais que tout mes livres de broderie soient reliés et gravés avec les titres. Chaque couleurs pour chaque techniques. Merci pourles concours et joyeux noël.

    501
  388. This could change what I love to do, embroidery. I will be looking towards expanding my knowledge of other kinds of handwork. Unbelievable.

    502
  389. I too have wishes for better lettering and calligraphy skills. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

    503
  390. My one thing I think would be to draw well. It would be of great benefit in creating my own designs.

    504
  391. I would keep on learning luneville embroidery. Any type of embroidery is beautiful but Haute-Couture always has been my passion. Creating beauty is participating in God’s creation. It brings joy and peace on earth.
    Lucie D.

    505
  392. I would learn to make my own hats. My fair skin needs the shade of a hat all year round, and nice hats are hard to find.

    506
  393. The stitch would probably be the buttonhole stitch in the air, where you cut out the ground fabric and then place a thread down, that needs to be buttonholed. It always twists on me and I would like to perfect that.

    507
  394. My choice would be knitting. I’ve tried to knit, but have only learned how to do knit OR purl, combining them or doing increases & decreases is beyond my comprehension. So far.

    508
  395. I’d like to be able to crochet really well. Knitting for me is easier to keep my stitches even, but not crochet.

    509
  396. There are many skills that I would like to learn, but I don’t seem to find the time. However, if I could find the time, I would love to learn how to draw, work with wood to make things, and weave fabric.

    510
  397. My Mother was a Home Ec teacher and my Grandmother an avid gardener and cross stitcher, so I had wonderful human hands to teach me the wonders of sewing, quilting, crochet, embroidery, drying and arranging flowers and creating pine cone wreaths and dish gardens. The forerunners of today’s fairy gardens.
    Today, I turn to books when something has caught my fancy and I want to learn to do something or improve a skill. There are two skills/subjects that have caught my interest…stump work and felting. Stump work because it’s just a natural extension of embroidery skills that I already have and because I’d like to add an element of dimension to my art quilts. The stump work I’ve seen gives such a life like quality to the piece…dragonflies that look like they are about to flit away. As for felting/needle felting I just WANT to learn how to do it, it looks like great fun! Plus I just can’t help myself, it will satisfy my need to learn something new.
    Happy Holidays to All!

    511
  398. My goal, and I am working on it, is long and short stitch. Right now, I’m facilitating an online group from my guild to work through your L&S sampler.

    512
  399. I have embroidered since I was a little girl, mostly using basic stitches, but having discovered Needle and Thread I see that there is soooo much more to learn! Bring on the more intricate stitches!
    Thanks so much for the opportunity! Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

    513
  400. Oooooh, this is a tough one as I’m sure whenever I see what someone has done I want to also do it. But, there are two: weaving on a loom and making bobbin lace.

    514
  401. The needlework skill I’d like to learn is “Needlelace.” I’ve never tried it but I met a gal in Ireland from whom I purchased a needlelace bookmark and she told me she learned it from watching YouTube videos. ‍♀️

    515
  402. Ahh…. the many creative pursuits I’ve left until ‘later/after’ only to find out that I don’t have the eyesight to actually enjoy doing them in my advanced years. How I wish that I could speak to the younger me – explaining that you just can’t put off these ambitions. Advanced embroidery embellishments, stumpwork, papermaking, glassworks, mixed media. The list goes on and on.

    516
  403. Though it’d be in a color, not traditional white, the “Mousetooth Edge” stitch from whitework Schwalm embroidery appeals to me as the creative effort I’d want. Every Search press book ever published is motivational. Holiday cheers!

    517
  404. One thing I would like to improve – my clothing construction. I love the embellishments and the process of embellishing a garment, now if my construction would challenge me in a good way.

    519
  405. I have a fascination with cartonnage . I think it’s all the possibilities of designs that compels me to obsess over those adorable boxes. I never tire 0f seeing more and would love to be skilled at making and designing them, maybe one day I’ll try to learn.

    521
  406. Macrame, I’ve tried it a long time ago and it seems like such a relaxing yet time-efficient craft

    522
  407. I can’t believe you’re making us limit this to ONE! Seriously, I would love to learn crewel embroidery. I’m picturing a beautiful, framed, Jacobean masterpiece on my wall!

    Many thanks for all you share with us. Merry Christmas!

    523
  408. Hmmm, I’d love to learn the art of flower arranging. Imagine, always having a beautiful bouquet in your home!
    Merry Christmas!
    Carrie G PlaneNut

    524
  409. At this stage of my creative life, I’d very much like to learn how to fully finish (FFO) my stitching creations in lovely ways and with confidence.

    525
  410. I have the supplies and thread for punch needle, but haven’t attempted actually DOING it. So, would like to win the Creative Skills Collection.

    527
  411. I’ve always wanted to learn how to be a better weaver. I love texture in fabrics and would love to learn how to work a full size loom not just the table top ones I putter with. I incorporate my small pieces in my embroidered and quilted wall hangings but would like to make a stand alone weaving.

    528
  412. I admire and have been interested in weaving on a loom, like the texture and colors of the fibers used as well as the process.

    530
  413. Needlelace! I took a class with Hazel Blomkamp and need to master her various needlelace techniques so I can finish the project.

    531
  414. I would love to improve my embroidery stitches. I know a few but would love to learn more and get better with them.
    I love needlework books.

    533
  415. I am absolutely useless when it comes to ribbon embroidery! (Not very good at wrapping Christmas gifts with bows either) so that’s an area for improvement.
    And I really should try stumpwork

    534
  416. One of these days I am going to conquer naalbinding , the one needle precursor to knitting. I can’t tell you how many times I have tried it. Each source I go to shows a different method and I confuse so easily but hope springs eternal!

    535
  417. What I would like to learn better is crewel embroidery. I was learning at one time, then switched to counted cross stitch, then to knitting and crochet. I’d love to get back to crewel, especially Jacobean crewel.

    536
  418. Congratulations to all the winners and hello to all the participants in the give-aways; hasn’t it been fun? I’d like to learn to use computer drawing/designing programs.

    Happy Holidays Stitchers!

    537
  419. The one creative skill I would like is drawling as I would like to make some of my own patterns and I feel that drawling would also include lettering/illumination.

    PS – per chance to win I would love the A-Z Reference Library :o)

    538
  420. I would love to learn how to needle felt and how to tat! Both look so fun and and you can make lots of different kinds of things.

    539
  421. The artistic skill I’d really like to master is Japanese beading – what wonderful items it produces!

    540
  422. I have always been told that I do TOO much, but I do not think that is ever possible =) I was blessed by a Mother who taught me how to sew, embroider, crochet, and cook. When I took scraps to a neighbor (much older than me) she was in love with what I brought to her. SHE taught me how to quilt, on top of everything else, (doing everything by hand, of course) and I feel SO special to have been introduced to so many things that I still love dearly. If I could do one thing better, it would be machine quilting. It has come such a long way, and I have only hand quilted all of my life but am amazed at how some people are able to make such beautiful items with machine quilting – it is an art! Thanks for all that YOU have shared with me, and I am happy with all of the patterns I have purchased from you. YOU are appreciated, like my mother and neighbor =)

    541
  423. The skill I would most like to have would be knitting with double pointed needles. I do most of my knitting on circular needles, but when starting something circular like a large shawl, or tubular like socks the double points are needed for the start at least. I have tried many times on my own, but always end in a terrible tangle. Our lace group is having a knitting tutor for one of our work days, so I am hoping to learn the ‘correct’way!

    542
  424. I would love to learn how to craft with timber. The feel of a beautifully worked timber object is lovely. Whether it is purely decorative or has a useful purpose, I am attracted to its ‘warmth’. It would be a whole new set of skills to learn and refine.

    543
  425. I would love to learn to play the piano. It’s been a lifelong dream but I’m afraid the arthritis in my hands now limits that opportunity. Instead of learning to play I will cherish the skills of the amazing professional and amateur pianists around the world.

    544
  426. I just finished a scrappy lap quilt for Christmas, so I am acutely aware that I need to improve my basting and quilting skills.

    545
  427. I love to share crafts with my grandchildren, and my books are a good way of doing that together. I like learning anything it’s the joy of learning but passing it on is the most enjoyable.

    547
  428. I have admired my daughter, a quilter, I’m her mother. I want to open the refrigerator door and create a magnificent dinner from what I see residing there. She does this with such ease and panache: I just see a bunch of unrelated use ups. I want her culinary skills and food imagination. then we both can go back to our creative work after doing the dishes.

    550
  429. Like you, I have a seemingly endless list of things I would like to try. High on my list is bobbin lace making. I love collecting vintage lace and trims and would love to know how to create them by hand.

    552
  430. Weaving. I need to learn more than the basics. I have a loom that it gathering dust and lots of yarn sitting around.

    553
  431. An endless number of things I would like to learn, but one is to play the piano because I love music. Perhaps someday when I get to heaven I will learn.

    555
  432. Hi Mary: This is a very difficult question for me to answer, as there are so many things that I want to improve. I have 2 top contenders so I hope that’s OK. I want to improve my metal smithing skills and also my floor loom weaving. Thank you Mary and have a peaceful Holiday. Joy

    556
  433. When I had use of both my hands, I loved tatting, which is impossible now . But I have wondered if needle tatting might be possible — I’ve been spending most of my creative time on learning surface embroidery/crewel, so that’s still future!. I want to do kitchen towels for two daughters and two daughters-in-law, of which I’ve done one set of 7-day designs — being interrupted by doing birth announcements. So, I will be working on expanding my skills with different stitches!

    557
  434. I would enjoy improving my embroidery skills and to incorporate them into applique and quilting projects. I like trying new things, so I’m always in “learning mode”!

    558
  435. I would like to improve on my sashiko stitching. If I used a pre-printed panel I’m fine but if I try to do it with just a line for guidance I always end up with stitches that look like small rice grains not long ones.

    559
  436. I would like to be able to weave. Many years ago I took a class but would love to relearn. My biggest problem would be having room for a loom. On a smaller scale felting and dyeing would also be another skill I would like to learn. Oh also beading!

    561
  437. I wish I could draw, even just a recognizable doodle. Through stitching I’ve learned to chart and graph but anything freehand is abstract at best. Merry Christmas!

    562
  438. I would love to learn needle lace techniques and stitches. Thank you for all that you do, and best wishes for better year ahead.

    563
  439. I am constantly trying to improve all my hand stitching. The older I get, the more I realize the solution is to take the time to view the helpful videos out there and to practice, practice, practice….

    564
  440. I would love to learn machine sewing. I’m an absolute beginner and would love to learn quilting.

    565
  441. If I could learn or improve one thing, I think it would be to get more organized before beginning a project. I work with a variety of media, and so I’m often shifting my setups for artwork. I tend to skip steps, like, say, putting a floor cloth down before painting. Oh my!!! I’d love to stay calm enough about a new project to make sure I’ve gathered everything I’ll need, and that I’ve organized the space to provide me with the greatest of ease and creativity once I begin.

    566
  442. I would love to improve my skills in crewel embroidery. I did some years ago when I really didn’t know what I was doing. I see so many errors in those pieces.
    Merry Christmas!

    568
  443. I would like to improve my goldwork, mainly the manipulation of the metal threads around corners and curves

    569
  444. Just one thing?! It’s a difficult choice between drawing skills (to create the patterns I want to stitch) and mastery of the use of colour… I think it would be drawing skills, because if I can create the patterns and designs I want, I’d be more motivated to practice use of colour.

    Luck to all, and great thanks to you Mary for these inspiring gifts. Stay safe and happy stitching!

    570
  445. I want to improve my quilting skills. I inherited several antique family quilts that are incomplete. I would like to be able to finish them in a consistent style (most are hand pieced). I’ve done very little machine quilting and no hand piecing.

    571
  446. If I could learn or improve ONE creative skill well that I don’t already do well it would be sewing/quilting. My grandmother was a wonderful sewer and embroiderer, and my mother could make tailor made clothes of all sizes. I still have a Barbie doll dress she made me. They are my inspiration! But the sewing gene seemed to have skipped me. I dabble at it but do need improvement!

    572
  447. While I need and want to improve my embroidery skills (or lack thereof!), I would really like to become more adept at playing the piano. I was given lessons as a child, but did not continue them long enough to become really proficient. My husband has recently given me a piano, and I want to be able to justify having such a lovely gift.
    Thank you for chance to win.
    Mary, thank you for all that you do for us all the time!
    Merry Christmas to you and your family! I hope many of you can be together for the holiday.

    574
  448. I wish I could sew! My mother was a seamstress, and unfortunately did not pass her skills on to me. I have made simple things – a bag, a scrunchie, some hair ribbons – but I really wish I could have a me-made wardrobe.

    576
  449. I just love your work, the colors, the finesse of your stitchery. I would love to be able to do this kind of stitching well. I try but it doesn’t look swell.

    577
  450. I’d really like to make lace – needle, bobbin – and teach myself tatting.

    One thing I wish I could do is counted work on linen, but I just can’t figure out/deal with the “stitch over two threads” thing – and my eyes have lost some of their acuity now anyway. So I have to accept defeat on that issue. 😛

    578
  451. I would really like to improve my skill at assembling embroidered boxes and etui projects. Habe purchased several books but need to start some serious hands on practice. Love your site.

    579
  452. Carrickmacross Lace, why, because I have done some basic stitches in the past and I would love to dedicate more time to it so that I could become more proficient. I would like to finish some pieces and create some designs myself. Here’s to 2022, but first Happy Christmas Mary.

    580
  453. One of the many skills I would like to learn or improve on is hand stitching leather. I enjoy machine sewing with leather, but the whole process of preparing the leather and hand stitching it is very appealing to me.
    Thank you for all of these give-always! It’s always fun for us, but a lot of work for you.

    581
  454. The books listed sound wonderful and thanks to each person giving us a chance to win some of the products they make. I would like to learn how to weave and then eventually get some experience to become a good weaver. Someday I may just learn. Merry Christmas to you Mary and everyone that checks in on a regular basis. I am one that checks in almost daily.

    582
  455. I would love to learn machining and metal casting. I feel like I have done a whole lot of soft materials and not many hard ones, so I think it would be cool to learn to deal with materials that don’t wiggle around when you poke them.

    583
  456. I always wanted to sing unfortunately I don’t have musical ear. The music is in my brain and never comes out correctly.

    Thank you Mary for another great year of Needle and Thread . Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you .

    Sophia

    584
  457. I’d really like to greatly improve my ability to select stitches for my needlepoint projects. It’s great to have a stitch guide and those have been helpful tools in my learning process; however, I’d like to be able to look at a project myself and be able to ‘see’ appropriate stitches and essentially write my own stitch guide.

    585
  458. My go to book is TH de Dillmont’s encyclopeadia of everything; and Iam obsessed with needle weaving. I want to make pretty decorative items & edges. I can do it, slowly & painstakingly rudimentary. I wish I knew how to do everything in the book! Outside of needlework; I wish I could xc ski better. You’d think a lifetime of snow I’d be good. Nope. I’m 47 and I’d say my skill level is barely a “B–“! Maybe even “F” in skill, but my dogged determination bumps it up.
    Merry XMas Everyone!!!

    586
  459. I would LOVE to learn more and hone my skills in royal icing cookie decorating! I watched a lot of baking shows when I was isolating due to a Covid diagnosis last year and I have been hooked ever since. I love the aspect of feeding your loved ones a delicious piece of artwork!

    Samantha B

    587
  460. So many skills I wish I possessed- – how to choose!
    At the moment… I wish I could sew. Couture sew.

    Thanks for the give-aways! A very Merry Christmas to you and yours-
    Best, Sunnie

    588
  461. I inherited a very nice Husqvarna sewing machine that does embroidery. I am looking forward to taking some classes to learn how to use it, and to start another new hobby. I need to keep up with my husband’s hobbies: model trains, fly fishing, painting, woodworking, metalworking, etc, etc, etc.
    Thank you, Mary, for the opportunity to win such wonderful gifts!

    589
  462. Calligraphy would be good but, right now, I’d say woodwork. Especially the ability to make beautiful wooden boxes.

    [I don’t have this skill at all. Nor, for that matter, the calligraphy!]

    590
  463. Also, merry Christmas and happy holidays to all, and a big thank you to Needle’nThread for being such a bright shining star of useful and delightful needlework knowledge on the internet! :heart emoji:

    592
  464. I would love to be able to draw! I think that would be a wonderful; skill to have. My main reason is to be able to freehand draw designs I could then embroider without having to do everything that is currently required for transferring a design to linen.
    Merry Christmas!

    593
  465. Long and short using 6 stranded DMC thread. I can manage it with wool yarn in crewel work much better than cotton stranded thread…. I love the look (not mine however) but when I see it is long and short I crinch!
    Merry Christmas Mary to you and your Family!

    595
  466. The one skill I’ve always wanted to excel at and don’t is drawing. I’ve taken a few classes and practised, but good quality sketching has always eluded me. I would love to see or imagine an image and be able to sketch it. It would also be extremely useful with my embroidery projects.

    596
  467. I love calligraphy. i love the scroll of the letters and the swoosh across the page. I have played around with it over the years but I’m not an expert. I would to have the time to learn this beautiful art/skill.

    597
  468. I would love to learn punch needlework. Looks interesting … especially if I could use the bits and pieces I canno toss.

    598
  469. If you could learn or improve ONE creative skill well that you don’t already do well (and it doesn’t have to be embroidery-related), what would it be and why? What’s the one thing you’ve looked at and said, “Wow. I’d love to learn to do that well”?

    Manage my time so I have more to work on my crafts!

    599
  470. Hi, Mary! I just started embroidering last week and came across your site yesterday, and I love it so much! The crafty skill I’d like to learn that I haven’t yet is pottery. One of the things I love most about crafting things is how relaxing it can be making beautiful or even practical, useful things, and pottery seems like it would be an especially relaxing activity to get into. Happy holidays!

    600
  471. Wow, another fantastic library of embroidery books! Who wouldn’t want to have her (or his?) name drawn for this?
    The one thing I’d most like to learn to do well – right now! – is Hardanger embroidery. I stitched a Victoria’s Sampler piece that had a couple Hardanger elements, which I left to last. After I messed up on the first one, I replaced the second with some other elements. I still need to figure out how to resurrect the first one so as not to have wasted all the time and materials of the entire piece. 🙁

    601
  472. This next year I am planning to learn how to work with wool. I have seen several Penny Rugs that have caught my eye as I have puttered around on the internet. I also am hoping to find some wool applique animals to make for Christmas Ornaments for Christmas 2022. I want these things to not have a ‘”homemade” look, but more of a finished look — does that make sense?

    602
  473. I am 79 years old and still have a passion for learning. I would like to get better at hand embroidery.

    603
  474. I would love to learn/become better at fine garment sewing. It’s a subject that has inspired and intrigued me for years.

    These books look scrumptious! Thank you so much for hosting all of these wonderful give-aways again this year.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    604

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