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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Friday, Fabric, Goldwork, and Cutting Things Up


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Goodness gracious me oh my. What a week! Thank you all for your very enthusiastic interest in the new goods in the shop that I mentioned on Tuesday, and for your enthusiasm over Autumn Fire, our next Stitch Snippets stitch along that starts next week!

Let’s tie up some loose ends from this week’s launch first, and then we’ll talk about fabric and cutting up goldwork samples and such.

Goldwork Lettering on blue velvet

The Loose Ends & News

When it comes to all the goods that we launched earlier this week – and other goods in my online shop – yes, we are restocking them. If you missed something on the first round, we’re preparing more or bringing more in as soon as possible!

If you want to keep up with what’s coming or what’s new in the shop, your best bet is to subscribe to my newsletter here. It’s pretty much the daily blog post, delivered to your inbox, and I normally will add some news at the end of each post to let you know what’s new or what’s coming. This guarantees you don’t miss new or restocked goodies. You can also email me and I’ll put you on an email notice list for restocked goods.

Speaking of restocked, if you are eager to add Giuliana Buonpadre’s Vol 4 on drawn thread work to your library, it is available now. I entered the inventory quantity incorrectly on Tuesday, and many of you expressed disappointment that it was already sold out. It’s back! (Because it was never sold out! I’m such a maroon!)

Everything that was purchased between Monday and yesterday at noon has shipped. We may have put Anna out of commission, in fact. I think we were both well and truly done in by yesterday at quittin’ time. I have heard from many who have already received their orders placed earlier this week, which is always a good sign!

The next step with Autumn Fire is the introduction to the project with some practical starting tips. This will all unfold here on Needle ‘n Thread as a blog post. If you are subscribed to my newsletter, it will land in your inbox. If you are a member on Patreon, it will show up there as a downloadable PDF for you to save and print. Look for it next week.

Blue Velvet, Cutting Fabric, Cutting Goldwork

The goldwork lettering we’re working on has been abandoned for several weeks now, as we prepared kits and products for you. Now that this week is over, there is a little lull where we can use the afternoon hours a few days a week to get back into the swing of this gargantuan project with a looming deadline.

Goldwork Lettering on blue velvet

I made up a sample pack of fabric and threads, mixing some different types of gold threads and fabric with the blue velvet of the altar cover, to pass on to decision-makers who are coordinating other soft furnishings for the church using this altar cover.

Deep in the recesses of my shelving, I have a box of what I consider precious fabrics, carefully wrapped in tissue paper and waiting for their Day of Use. Will it ever come? I’m not sure!

One of the fabrics is called cloth-of-gold. It’s not the cloth-of-gold-of-old by a long a shot, but it’s what we can get (with relative ease and great expense) today, as far as cloth of gold goes.

Cloth of gold used to be made with real gold threads woven into it. Now the threads are some form of synthetic, but it is still expensive and precious stuff and quite beautiful.

The yardage I have is from Watts & Co in the UK, and you can see a small clip of it in the top left corner of the photo above.

If you are tuning into the funeral services for Her Majesty the Queen (may she rest in peace), I’m guessing (without of doubt) you will see some vestments & vesture that feature cloth of gold and plenty of goldwork in the church, on the clergy, on the attendants, on the various leaders of groups, and perhaps on the various rank and file, depending on their organization and customs. Watts & Co’s vestments will almost certainly be there, too, as they generally are a key part of occasions involving liturgy and the Royal Family.

Concerning my clip of fabric above (which I really hated to cut out of the yardage), you’ll notice that the hues of gold are different between it and the goldwork on the letter. Does this matter *so much* in a finished piece? It depends.

In this case, we weren’t originally planning to use any of this gold fabric on the altar cover, but it may end up there after all. We are toying with it as a background possibility behind the central decorative emblem.

Goldwork Lettering on blue velvet

And yes, you can read that as: we are thinking of taking a shortcut. The original design for the decorative emblem involves a lot of embroidery. The deadline looms. We can use the gold fabric to eliminate some of the embroidery of the background.

Is it a bad shortcut? No. But is it exactly what I had in mind? No. So we will see how that part of the design pans out – and I will share the nitty gritty with you as we get to that point. Things may change design-wise before then, anyway.

In the meantime, the gold twist in the top right corner is one of my favorite outlining threads for appliqué on church goods. It can be couched around larger motifs as the outline, and it can also serve as a little assistant in securing the appliqué.

It makes for a dreamy bit of gold on top of that blue velvet.

Goldwork Lettering on blue velvet

I could not bring myself to cut a piece of it as a sample to add to this collection, which is being handed off to decision-makers for a little while. I’ll wrap that whole length up and send it with the sample package, with instructions to return the whole kit and caboodle as soon as they are finished with it.

The thread and fabric will come back safe and sound, I have no doubt. For most of it, I wouldn’t really care. But I am inordinately fond of that twist.

Oh – and the O! That letter is one of the samples we started out with, just to test techniques and to help get Anna up to speed on the whole couching-pairs-of-goldwork-thread thing. It’s not an O we are using. In fact, it’s the wrong size. Otherwise, we probably could have used it. We will use it to double check methods for appliqué and any other decision making that comes up about trim and so forth.

And that’s where we are. I’ll be putting in lots of catch-up goldwork hours this weekend, and mixing it up a bit with some Autumn Fire preparation for you.

Studio News

For those who have asked, the remodel on the inside of our new-to-us old building is coming along slowly. The bathroom now has electricity, drywall, and (more to the point), plumbing! Woohoo. Big developments! No toilet or sink yet, but the potential is there.

Good things come to those who wait.

So I’m told.

Have a wonderful weekend!


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(4) Comments

  1. Where do you purchase the gold thread that you’ve been using to stitch the altar cloth? I’ve done silk and metal embroidery before as a former member of EGA (Embroider’s Guild of America), but I usually received my supplies in a kit.

    Thank you,

  2. I am working on goldwork needlepoint project using one of your cross designs.
    Could you please tell me the exact name of the twisted cording and the source for the cording?! Also, could you look at my project and offer suggestions for the completion? It will become a pall for cremane urn.

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