Mary Corbet

writer and founder


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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Monday Musings, News, and Interrupted Programming


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Yeeeeegads. I’m a morning person. And I don’t mind getting up at what is naturally 4:30AM for me.

But 3:30AM is pushing it! The spring time change is not my favorite, no siree bob!

But I promise I’ll try not to be a grump!

Speaking of being a grump, I have some not-so-great news (well, in the scheme of Major Things in Life, is it bad news? not really!) and some great news for you.

Come along. Let’s have a calm, quiet, sensible chat to ease us into the day as we await the sunrise (which is a riffemrackemfrickemfrackem hour later than it should be. Uhhh…that’s my grumpy side coming out.)

Cotton stitch samples

Oh, gosh! I can’t be grumpy when natural linen and white threads are before me. It really is impossible. This makes me happy! So, see! The day is off to a great start!

This is the piece that I had to get started week before last. I’m working on it here and there as each day allows, taking pictures along the way.

You may have already guessed that it is part of the next Stitch Snippet. We’ve made the prototypes and we’ve managed to order most threads for the kit. There are a couple threads we are still waiting for.

“But!” you rightly cry is dismay, “we haven’t even finished the Bee-Jeweled Pincushion yet!”

And you are so right.

The Not-So-Great News

The events unfolded like this:

I sat down to edit photos for the last stretch of the project.

Suddenly, I was beset by Momentary Panic. Where are the finishing photos?!

I scoured every memory card from every camera.

(Note: I actually pride myself on photo organization for the blog. It’s pretty rare that my photos – stored on an external drive – or my camera cards from the three different cameras we use are unorganized or messed up in any way. And yet…)

Serious Panic set in. There are no finishing photos.

Now, you might rightly ask yourself how that could happen. This is essentially how it happened: We both (Anna and I) worked through our own parts of finishing on the prototypes we were working on. Neither one of us took photos, thinking the other was.

And so… that’s the not-so-great news. That was the hold-up last week in getting the rest of the pincushion project out to members on Patreon, and that is the hold up for starting the finishing on the blog here today.

This weekend, I took apart the prototypes and used them to splice together sensible photos for the instructions. But now those photos need editing, and that’s my job today.

The end is coming, no worries! This week, members on Patreon will have one PDF that covers the rest of the pincushion.

Here on the blog, we’ll break the finishing into two articles, because there’s too much to cover in one article.

Cotton stitch samples

Truthfully, that was rather a shocker when I couldn’t find the photos. Sorry about the delay!

See those little white morsels in the photo above? The next Stitch Snippet focuses on three things: types of threads (there’s a variety of types and weights involved), stitches, and (again) finishing the embroidery into something useful.

Going through the finishing steps on any project is a great lesson for confidence-building. The more you make things out of embroidered pieces, or finish your embroidery in some specific way, the more confidence you build in handling every aspect of embroidery. It’s getting down and dirty with the materials: you have to cut them, pin them, manipulate them. When you do these things, you become much more confident in handling needlework in general.

So that’s why we’re looking at different types of making and finishing with embroidery this year.

Cotton stitch samples

I love working these tiny ribbed bits. They are so satisfying. And if you make a mistake on one, all you have to do is snip a couple threads on the back, and then you can lift the whole thing straight off the front of the fabric with a pair of tweezers. It comes off whole and intact. I love that! It’s the only time I look forward to making a mistake and fixing it!

And I also love the macro setting on the camera I’ve been using on this project, because it picks up all the gorgeous fiber and texture in that linen. Makes my mouth water.

And that brings me to the Good News for the Day:

If you hop over to my shop here on Needle ‘n Thread, you will discover that we have at long last restocked a number of items!

The Natural Linen and White Linen fabric sample packs are available again. If you’re not familiar with what those are, you can read about the natural linen sampler pack here and the white linen sampler pack here. They’re a great way to try out a variety of very good hand embroidery linen. Each pack contains four 12″ x 12″ pieces of beautiful linen.

We also have Jo Butcher’s book, Where Meadows and Gardens Grow back in stock.

We also prepared a bunch of spring-themed ready-to-stitch towel sets, so they’re available now, too.

And we have Hop Hop Thread Drops back in stock to help deck out your embroidery workstation for spring!

The Ongoing Struggle for Space

Finally, I have a Large stack of needlework magazines that I need to reduce for space, especially Inspirations magazines and Giuliana Ricama magazines.

In my quest to make more room in the studio, I thought I would pass these on to you.

To that end, I’ll include a free issue (randomly chosen) of a fine needlework magazine in orders that ship in medium priority boxes (those would be orders generally over $75, that include a large book or a number of towel sets or a combination of kits, books, towel sets, and so forth – whatever has to be shipped in a medium priority box).

If you don’t want a free issue, use the comment space on your order form to decline. Otherwise, I’ll be adding random issues to large orders, until my stack is depleted.

This offer is over! Thanks, all! The stack is gone!

Thank you for helping me make more room in the studio!

Hope your week is off to a good start!


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