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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It is Ever Thus: That 2021 Sampler …


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Oh, my friends. I hang my head in shame. After posting this update on my hexie project earlier this week, I’ve had a lot of questions about last year’s 2021 yearly sampler, which started here.

And so, today, I’ll update you on that. Shamefacedly. (But not really! It is, after all, ever thus!)

It was all a matter of priorities, you see…

2021 Yearly Sampler... a year later

So, in 2021, my plan was to work a yearly sampler – more or less a band sampler, that lasted all year. I was thinking I would stitch a little bit on it every day for the year.


I had started listening to the Bible in a Year podcast around the same time, so I figured I’d just join the two things together.

2021 Yearly Sampler... a year later

And while I actually made it through the Bible in a Year podcast, ending that journey on the last day of 2021, the sampler lost footing some time towards the end of the summer last year. Between April and September, I worked on it sporadically, trying to catch up now and then when I had time.

But by September, the whole thing lapsed.

2021 Yearly Sampler... a year later

It came off the hoop because I wanted the hoop for something else, and it’s been crumpled in a basket ever since, pining for the day that I’d take it up again.

You see, by the time August and September roll around each year, I’m generally scurrying to set up a successful end to the year, while planning the first part of the next year. Priority-wise, I simply couldn’t devote 20-30 minutes a day to stitching on this when I was having a hard enough time getting in time on more necessary projects.

I also lost the use of my eyeballs for longer than expected with surgery, so even if I hadn’t been doing other work, I wouldn’t have been able to stitch on this poor, neglected, sad-looking sampler.

Ah, me. It is ever thus.

You might wonder what I plan to do with this rumbled, crumpled mess. Well, all is not lost! I’ll keep it close by for stitching on here and there. I think I’ll add 2022 to it at some point, and see what develops on it as the year marches forward.

Incidentally, speaking of developing, I’m trying to concoct a new stitch that I can use for regular embroidery and for finished edges. I’ve been fiddling with it off and on all week. I can’t wait to show it to you and discuss it with you next week. We can put our collective heads together on it. And who knows? It might… just might… be a new stitch to add to your repertoire, too.

Well, that’s my short missive, to catch you up on the 2021 sampler and let you know all the deep dark dirty details about my neglect of it. You can read previous posts on this sampler through the following links, which are listed chronologically:

Random Embroidery – the beginning
Extending Fabric to Fit the Hoop
Some Text and Cheating
Sampling Along
Two Stitched Rows and a Thing
Slow Stitching
Fly Stitch Couching

Here in Kansas, the weekend has started out bleak and rimey, with a bit of blustery snow, making it perfect for some quality time with needle and thread. I think I’ll pile some wood in my (imaginary) fireplace (that’s really just code for turning on the heater) and see what develops!

Hope you have a marvelous Saturday and a lovely weekend!



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(12) Comments

  1. It is refreshing to know that even the “pros” have lapses just as we “mere mortals” do! It is beautiful as it is!

  2. I think a lot of us have those sorts of projects. They come and they go and sometimes come back again. And I am forever grateful for your mention of the Bible in a Year podcast – stayed with it all year too and am continuing on this year because I loved it! It is also paired with my morning stitching time. Stitching and listening. Such a positive effect on my life. Thank you so much Mary for your constant inspiration. It is Ever Thus!

  3. You call it a “poor, neglected, sad-looking sampler” and a “rumbled, crumpled mess,” but I think it’s beautiful!! And it inspires me to try something similar. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Oh Mary, I love your prose. Your turn of phrase is so uniquely endearing. Maybe it can be a biennial sampler lol. Can’t wait to see the new stitch. :).

  5. I love that you share your little foibles with us. Thank you! It’s stormy here in north Florida and tomorrow should be a perfect stay-in-and-stitch day. I’m looking forward to it!

  6. Mary –

    Don’t feel bad. I have a large collection of pieces started and not finished. When I approached age 65 I had decided to do a piece I would call “60 years of embroidery” having learned to embroidery shortly before I was 5 – I planned it all out in my head, picking some technique I learned in each decade to use as designs – elements of my first sampler (from memory is it long missing) in the first box and so on. Well, now I am starting to get close to 70 and not started it at all.

    Even worse, other than home utility sewing (heming, taking husband’s jeans in when he lost weight in 2020, letting his jeans out when he gained it back in 2021, sewing a cover for the new a/c we had to buy – realized it was freezing in the bedroom last winter as there are no dampers to close in its openings, darning socks as I can’t find any like – a project which has continued over a number of years) and so on) I have not put a thread to a needle or used either for embroidery since the pandemic began. I have a blackwork bookmark project from my EGA chapter 98% finished – certainly I thought it would done by now – but NO.

    And I have no physical excuse to my not embroidery

  7. Sad-looking sampler ? Crumpled mess ?! I’m sorry, but that’s not what I see. It’s a fabulous riot of color and movement, I love it !

  8. Hi there Mary:
    A little late reading your post, but when you spoke of lighting a fire in the fireplace, I have a suggestion. My Daughter has more than one big screen tv, what she has done is when they don’t want the bother of a fire in the fireplace, is put the tv (it’s not huge, about 3 feet from side to side) in front of the fireplace and plays a ‘crackling’ log fire from a DVD in a constant loop. Just a thought for you.
    Happy Stitching – Brenda

    1. 🙂 I’ve turned that crackling log fire on, too! LOL! I have a little room heater that looks like a wood stove, and it’s cozy – plus, it emits heat, which is definitely a bonus in my old house in winter!

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