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

Contact Mary

Connect with Mary



2024 (50) 2023 (125) 2022 (136) 2021 (130) 2020 (132) 2019 (147) 2018 (146) 2017 (169) 2016 (147) 2015 (246) 2014 (294) 2013 (294) 2012 (305) 2011 (306) 2010 (316) 2009 (367) 2008 (352) 2007 (225) 2006 (139)

Cotton Quartet: The Next Stitch Snippet – Coming Soon!


Amazon Books

Yay!! It’s time to get ready for the next Stitch Snippets project here on Needle ‘n Thread!

Stitch Snippets is a series of follow-along embroidery projects here on Needle ‘n Thread. We began the series this year with the Bee-Jeweled Pincushion project.

The idea behind the series is to explore projects that are small enough to be completed within a relatively short frame of time. Developing from start to finish, the result is a completed work that is either functional or decorative (or both!), that’s not languishing in an unfinished state. So whether we construct something (like the pincushion or the project below) or simply prepare a small and beautiful piece of embroidery in a frame, we will do it together, from the beginning to the very end.

With each Stitch Snippet, there is an instructional or exploratory “angle.” For example, with the Bee-Jeweled Pincushion, we learned how to work with beads in embroidery and we learned how to build a pincushion.

Cotton Quartet: a Sampler Case

Our second Stitch Snippet for 2022 is called Cotton Quartet. The name has to do with that “angle” – we’ll be exploring four different types of cotton thread used for hand embroidery, and we’ll be doing it in a sampler style. The resulting project will be a small needle and scissor case.

You’ll have the chance to work with four different types of hand embroidery cottons. These are threads made specifically for embroidery. Stranded cotton and perle cotton (in two weights) are both familiar threads to most embroiderers. But you’ll also get to experience working with cotton floche, a softly twisted fine cotton thread with a beautiful sheen, and with coton a broder, which is frequently used in techniques like cutwork and drawn thread embroidery.

Cotton Quartet: a Sampler Case

Cotton Quartet is a small stitch sampler, so you’ll learn many embroidery stitches and stitch combinations. You’ll learn how to combine counted work and surface embroidery stitches, too, although you don’t have to count if you don’t want to… and, if you prefer counted work, you can skip the surface embroidery altogether, too!

Stitch instructions will be provided for the stitches used on the sample project, but you can mix those up any way you want, to create your own unique combination and finished project. We’ll talk all about that as we work through the embroidery part of the project.

As you embroider this project, you’ll gain confidence in making your own stitch choices, while experiencing the four different types of embroidery cotton and seeing how they work.

You’ll also learn how to incorporate beads among the embroidery stitches, dressing up some of the stitched sampler bands with beautiful pearly-white glass beads.

Cotton Quartet: a Sampler Case

You’ll learn how to finish the sampler into a small needle and scissor case.

The inside of the case is lined in a yarn-dyed periwinkle gingham and features a space for scissors, a spot for pins and needles…

Cotton Quartet: a Sampler Case

…and an optional decorative touch, too.

Finally, you’ll learn how to create a decorative beaded edge around the case, to finish it off with a bit of a flare.

It’s a very simply-constructed case, so if you’ve never done anything like this before, it’s a great place to start. We’ll keep it as uncomplicated as possible, so that you can gain confidence in construction. Then, you can move on to bigger and better and more complex finishing with a little experience under your belt!

If you’re already experienced in finishing, you might approach the project in your own way, adding your own finishing touches.


We work through the project fairly slowly. I break it down into manageable portions and give time between each lesson to work on it. Work at your own pace. You can access the articles here on the website at any point along the way. They’ll be an index where the articles will be listed through 2022, so that you can work on the project in your own leisurely time. So… no pressure!

Cotton Quartet: a Sampler Case


Material kits with be available for the project, so that you don’t have to source various bits from all over the place and pay repeat shipping fees and so forth. They include five embroidery threads (four types of cotton, with perle in two weights), a beautiful linen ground fabric in natural, two types of Miyuki beads, Miyuki beading thread (which is lovely to work with), yarn-dyed gingham for the lining, three fine embroidery needles, two types of interfacing and two sizes of ribbon for finishing,

For those who prefer to go their own way, you can source their own supplies. As we work through the project, I’ll mention the supplies I’m using (that are in the kits), in case you are looking for something comparable. But if you prefer stitching with what you have, you shouldn’t have any problem winging it.

Kit Availability

I’ll announce the launch day and time of the kits here on the blog next Wednesday, April 20, so that you know when they’ll be released. How does this work? Next Wednesday (April 20th), in my blog post, I will tell you exactly what day and what time the kits will be available in my shop. Then, if you really want a kit, you can mark your calendar and check in at that time and make your purchase. It is true that kits go fast! I will do another round of them if we sell out, but the second round always takes a little while because of the availability of supplies.

At this time, I am very sorry, but I don’t take reservations or pre-payment for kits. I get a lot of pressure on this point. Here’s my explanation:

I don’t sell kits that I don’t have available to ship immediately, because I don’t always know if the supplies I need will be available in the quantity I need, within a relatively short time frame. This is my own policy when it comes to selling kits. I know other folks take pre-orders, but doing so does not work for me. I don’t like taking people’s money and possibly leaving them hanging for a very long time, waiting for a kit that they paid for while I sweat out supply chain issues. After all – darn! – the needlework supply chain is not Amazon Prime. Thanks for your understanding!

For members of my Needle ‘n Thread page on Patreon, to thank you for your commitment and support, you will – as always – receive the instructions for this project in PDF format for easy download and printing. You’ll also receive an early shopping option for a portion of the kits. We’ll cover those details on Patreon next week!

Easter Break

Here at Needle ‘n Thread, we (that’s my trusty rusty sidekick Anna and I) are taking a break for part of Holy Week and Easter. I will pop in this Wednesday with some project progress and other news, and then we will be off the rest of the week so that we can concentrate on preparing for Easter Sunday.

The Easter celebration continues for us through Tuesday, so I’ll be back on Wednesday, the 20th.

We will not be shipping from Thursday, April 14th through Tuesday, April 19th, so if you have your eye on anything in the shop, please grab it before Thursday! Otherwise, it’ll ship the following week.


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


(21) Comments

  1. I made a small holder for my hand sewing needles that I keep with my machine sewing stuff. I’m looking forward to this project! May you have a joyous Easter. He is risen!!!

  2. Hi Mary,

    Excited about the next Stitch Snippet project! Does the packet of natural linen samples have a large enough piece, or the right size, to do the Cotton Quartet?

    1. You probably *could* eke out the length of the needlebook on the sample pack fabric, but it would be very close. The fabric for Cotton Quartet is 14″ long.

  3. this is just sooo pretty! I am reading Anne of green gables with my kids and things like this make me think of those times!

  4. It’s a shame floche isn’t available outside North America. Do you have any idea why DMC does this? The stuff is made in Europe, isn’t it? But they won’t countenance selling it here?

    1. Apparently, it has to do with the demand. There simply isn’t enough of a demand for floche in Europe. That’s normally the case, when a thread is available in one country but not in others. It’s because there’s an audience in that one country that still uses the thread in a great enough quantity to make it worthwhile to manufacture.

      I know Europeans are often a bit miffed about the floche thing, and I don’t blame you! If it makes you feel any better, it happens here, too. There are DMC threads that are widely available in Italy, for example, that we don’t have distribution access to here, because we don’t have the market for them. There’s not a whole lot I can do about it.

      I do know that Marie Suarez’s company carries some variety of floche-type thread and very fine whitework threads. They used to, anyway. I haven’t explored that website in a long time, but I did order threads from them once, and they were practically identical to floche, only they had a variety of weights, some of which were exceedingly fine. They were all in white and ecru. It might be worth checking out.

  5. Mary, I just love your work and Cotton Quartet is going to be spectacular. Have you ever considered doing a flosstube video? I would definitely subscribe to that! I watch a number of flosstubes. It is so pleasant to watch them while I stitch. I hope you will consider it.

  6. Thank you so much for the pdf instructions! I received the supplies for the pincushion and can hardly wait to start this project. I am excited about the small projects that you are offering. It is enjoyable to do projects that can be finished in reasonable time. Thanks again.

  7. Dear Mary

    Cotton Quartet (lovely name) sounds like a really interesting project and I’m looking forward to the progress on it. The stitches you have chosen look lovely as does the linen. I really looking forward to seeing how you make this embroidery needle and scissor pouch. thank you for sharing your new project Cotton Quartet with us and for the photos of the up and coming project. It looks so good.
    A very Happy Easter to you and Anna I do hope you get time to spend with your families. May God bless you all and enjoy the break.

    Regards Anita Simmance

    1. Thanks so much, Anita! I’m glad you like the name. The name is always a stumbling block for me, but I really wanted to highlight the four types of cotton threads in the project. Plus… well, I liked the musical tie-in, even if it doesn’t necessarily tie in! 🙂

  8. I want to say Thank You for this series. A person can find spots for only so many framed/mounted items or pillows. Or is it only me? It’s so nice to learn ways of finishing items that can be used while working on yet more needlework projects.

    1. Hi, Sol – not at this time, but thank you for asking. You should be able to acquire reasonable substitutions for any materials locally. I’ll definitely talk about substitutions.

  9. Please add me to the waiting list for the cotton quartet. It was sold out when I tried to order it it was sold out. I am a member of Patron.

    1. Hi, Sandra – Can you please drop me a line via email, requesting advanced notice for Cotton Quartet? The advanced notice lists are email lists, so I need to have an email from you that I can reply to once the kits are ready. Thanks!

  10. Mary – I tried to get a kit, but sold out in seconds. When and where will you post the supplies needed for the project? Size linen, size beads, etc.

    1. Hi, Jenny – I’m running more kits for this project. We’re preparing them now. If you like, you can you drop me an email with a request for advanced notice for Cotton Quartet. Otherwise, I will be talking about the supplies I used as the project progresses and you can source them locally.

More Comments