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 (72) 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)

Watch This Space!


Amazon Books

Watch this space! Well, not this space.

But this space:

New Needle 'n Thread studio space

One of the Big Things going on behind the scenes here at Needle ‘n Thread is the preparation for moving to a new studio space. And above, in the photo, you can see the space!

I’m very excited about it! I know it doesn’t look like much right now, but good things come slowly…

New Needle 'n Thread studio space

Right now, the inside of the building is undergoing some vital changes – there’s some frame work going on and a new bathroom is being installed.

After that, the outside will be addressed. The landlord is as keen as I am to beautify the building, and I can’t wait to see how the outside develops!

Moving Downtown!

I live in a small midwestern town called St. Marys smack dab in the middle of the US, and in the northeast part of Kansas (where we actually do have rolling hills, among other things).

Like any small town with a historic town center, business space in the downtown area is limited.

The downtown (it sounds so chic, doesn’t it? LOL!) can’t really expand. It’s fixed by its original “Main Street” foundation surrounded closely by residential neighborhoods. That’s how towns developed along the railroad lines back in the days of the Wild West, and that’s pretty much how every small Kansas town is… except that many small Kansas towns are unfortunately rather dried up and empty.

Our little town is quite dynamic, though. We’ve got good, consistent growth, and with it, the downtown area has enjoyed a cheerful boom for many years, with steady improvement in buildings, parking, and so forth. There’s still room for improvement (my upcoming space demonstrates that pretty clearly), but there’s a lot to love about our little downtown!

When I first moved here thirty-plus years ago, the building that I’m moving into was a diner called Katie’s Korner – the best place downtown for breakfast and an endless cup of coffee! Since then, it’s housed a couple different businesses, most of which have expanded and moved into larger spaces.

This space is going to be great for Needle ‘n Thread – and, I hope, for the wider community, too! I’ve been working out of a residential duplex that has served as a beautiful little studio, but residential space for business has its drawbacks. With the new space, we’ll get back to offering classes, and I’ve got several other plans on the schedule as well.

For those wondering, it won’t be a full-fledged walk-in retail space. That’s not necessarily part of my vision for Needle ‘n Thread. Still, we do plan on having events that are open to the public, that include the possibility of certain types of in-person retail shopping experiences. But that’s down the road a distance.

New Needle 'n Thread studio space

My direct neighbor to the west is The Design Shop – not a new business, but one that is newly placed. They make signage.

Directly to the west of The Design Shop is Sugar Creek Country Store, a family-owned bulk food store sporting a deli with a sandwich and ice cream counter. It’s a favorite lunch stop for locals and visitors alike.

New Needle 'n Thread studio space

Directly across from my new studio space is this lovely grassy lot. This was the previous spot of the town’s grocery store which burned to the ground many years ago.

With our grocery store now on the outskirts of town, the grassy lot provides a space for different events throughout the year. In winter, it hosts Town Square Trees, a charming Christmas tree lot that is everything you’d want in a Christmas tree lot, including beautiful fresh-cut trees, cocoa, and Christmas music. Could you get more Hallmark in Kansas? Probably not. I’m counting on a good snowfall this year – I’ll have a great view!

New Needle 'n Thread studio space

Further down the south side of the street, there’s a small art studio, a real estate office (one of several in town), a computer and printing store, a coffee shop, a bookstore, a pharmacy, and another new business going in – a Mediterranean restaurant called Restaurant Ticino, which is opening some time in September, I believe.

On my side of the street, there are many other businesses, too – there’a chiropractor, an eye doctor and spectacle shop, an accounting firm, a new plant market called My Kansas Jungle, a liquor store that’s been there forever, and, ending the block on the corner, there’s Florence Adams, a women’s clothing and gift shop.

On the next block, there’s a relatively new sushi joint (Firefly Sushi Market), a relatively new home goods & gift store (37 Pine, part of the Florence Adams group), a couple fitness places, a Mexican restaurant (El Corral), and other local businesses.

And that, my friends, is the downtown part of my small town in what is truly Small Town America. It’s a good place to live!

And it’ll be a great place to work, too. There’s a certain “buzz” to a downtown that you don’t find in the residential areas of a city. We’ll have some adjusting to do, since we’re very used to working in a quiet neighborhood with the birds as our entertainment. Our method of work isn’t going to change very much, but being in a different environment will necessarily bring about a whole change in outlook.

Of course, at the same time, work is going ahead as usual in the current studio. If things seem a bit disjointed for the next month, you’ll know why!

I’ll keep you posted on the move. I’ll also share before and after pictures of the new studio space and any tips about organization and space. I’m learning a lot!

Hope you’re having a great week!


Leave A Comment

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


(50) Comments

    1. I love your friendly, informal informative way of writing. Definitely looking forward to seeing your new adventure grow. I heard about you on Farmhouse Fabrics.

    2. Thanks, Mary! I love Farmhouse Fabrics. My sister (whose Thing is heirloom sewing) and I have been shopping with them for years. I love their gingham… and their batiste! And their trims! Oh, they have some great little laces!

  1. I love small towns. Thanks for the tour of the neighborhood. If I am ever in the Midwest, I plan to stop and visit St. Marys. It looks lovely. Best of luck on your new venture.

  2. Congratulations on your new studio! Can’t wait to see how it looks when you get your hands on it! I love those old buildings and a revitalized Main Street is always so nice to see!

  3. Wow! Congratulations. A move of any kind is usually a bit tough, but worth it after things settle down. Best to your new venture. How exciting! Your descriptions and photos of the downtown are perfect – like so many small towns. Glad to see there are those who fight to keep things alive and moving forward!

  4. Congratulations, Mary, that’s a huge move! I love the thought of you in a more public space that makes your work even more accessible.

  5. Oh congratulations!! Your downtown reminds me of my hometown “downtown” in the architecture and the businesses you’ve mentioned, as well as surrounding neighborhoods. Except my hometown in western New York State is also a college town, so there are bars, bars, bars too. Your town is beautiful. With that greenspace and trees across the street, you’ll still be able to hear the birds :o)

    1. You know, I think we might have a bar … but I’m not quite sure. There used to be one down at the opposite end of the block. LOL! Whoops. How do I not know this?! But I think they are no longer there. At some point, there were two bars in town, but now I’m guessing the “drinks out” crowd probably frequent a couple of the restaurants that serve alcohol.

      Yes, I’m happy to have that grassy lot across the way, but I do enjoy watching the occasional hustle and bustle, too, so I’m glad there are frequently town events there – food trucks, occasional farmers’ market events, the Christmas tree market, and the like.

  6. So happy for you, Mary! I have followed your site for many years and the quality of my stitching has gone up exponentially. Best wishes on your new place.

  7. You have described a lovely home town! Great pics. Would love to visit some day. I don’t think you wrote but maybe I missed it…is the upstairs usable space?

  8. How exciting, Mary! And I am thrilled with the implications of this move in terms of your accomplishments and forward impetus of your business! Hoop Hoop Hooray!!!!

  9. I loved the tour of your downtown! So exciting to see this next step for Needle and Thread ~ looking forward to seeing your new space!

  10. WOW! Congratulations, Mary! This is a big deal of a move! I’m definitely keeping an eye out for new developments at Needle’nThread.

  11. Oh what a joy to see your downtown thriving! I had a dear friend in Brookfield, Missouri and her downtown just kept fading away – a great grief to see the changes from visit to visit. I can only wish you many happy years in a wonderful space! AND some great food available – happy lunch hour 🙂 . I know you and Ann will enjoy yourselves immensely. Best wishes. Charlotte

  12. Reading this, I had the feeling you were like a travel agency agent giving us inspiration to go and visit your area in Kansas. I am sure that many of your readers will want to stroll on the Main Street an drop by to say hello to the famous Mary once you are installed in your new studio.

    1. You might find it very small and … small… coming from Montreal, Louise! You live in a beautiful city! I would love it if folks came through to visit – and once I get to that point where I can schedule events or be open by appointment, I will definitely let everyone know. Apparently, more people pass through Kansas than I realized. 🙂

  13. Hi Mary, What a lovely and interesting article. Thank you for sharing your news and details about your town with us.

  14. Oh, Mary! How exciting! I’m so happy for you! This looks like a big change. I hope all goes smoothly from the planning for the refurbishing to the day you step inside for your first day in your new space – and beyond! We’ll be eager to see all you can share with us as things progress. Congratulations!

  15. I forgot to say that St. Marys looks like a cute little town. I’d love to visit it one day. There’s much to be said for small town living. I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

  16. It all sounds lovely. I grew up in southeastern Nebraska so I can imagine your town.
    Best wishes for all the fun and joy this new space will bring you.

  17. Such exciting news! I’m very happy for you. It looks like a fun and lively neighborhood. You are bound to enjoy it. Believe it or not, I pass within 30 miles of your town twice a year and hope those treks will coordinate with one of your events. Best wishes to you.

  18. Congratulations to you and to ME! You are only a 5 hour drive from my home. I won’t book reservations right away, but are there any motel\hotels in your town? Again, congrats!

    1. Well, it’s not a storefront proper, just to be clear. We won’t be “open” like a regular business. Inside, it’ll still be the studio work that we do every day. In the future, I plan to have some events. It will be a while, though! And by then, who knows? We might have a hotel! LOL! Actually, there are three or four Airbnbs / Vrbos in town, so that’s always a possibility for folks who would travel for classes or something similar. But we might be getting a little bit ahead of ourselves with that discussion at this point… Slow and steady wins the race and all that. Thanks, Libby!

  19. The way you describe the Main Street of your little town sounds so incredibly charming! You are as good with words as you are with your needle and thread. Good luck with your Main St shop, it sounds like you have good neighbors!

  20. Mary, ma sei in pieno trasloco: una delizia! I traslochi sono la gioia e la condanna degli esseri umani, per il grande entusiasmo e il desiderio di cambiare, di riadattare spazi e occasioni; ma anche fatica, dramma e scoraggiamento. Tu sei così ottimista che si sente che per te stai lavorando con gioia, e le tue ‘donne’ saranno felici di … ritrovare gli uccellini anche lì dove andrete.
    Buon trasloco e buona estate.
    Un grande abbraccio, Vito da Verona, Italia

  21. This sounds so exciting, scary, wonderful and a great adventure.
    Thank you for sharing with us. You are putting St. Mary’s on the map!

  22. C’est dynamisant de vous lire. Prévoir se réinsaller dans un nouvel endroit c’est du travail. Vous pourrez mettre votre matériel aux places souhaitées pour le côté pratique et pour vous sentir à l’aise.
    Bravo Mary pour votre future.
    Micheline Guillemette

More Comments