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 (51) 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)

Tool Talk: Sweet Threaders & Swell Scissors


Amazon Books

Today, let’s chat about embroidery tools!

You’ve probably noticed that I’ve been building a small curated collection of retail goods in my online shop. When I add something to this collection, it’s always something I already have that I like for some good reason or another. And I try to offer goods that I believe solve a problem or serve to help embroiderers in some way.

Next week, when I add Autumn Fire to my shop (around 10:00 am central time next Tuesday, September 13), I’m also adding a few extra retail items that I plan to offer regularly. I’m posting it all at once instead of stringing out new additions, so that you have the opportunity to save a little bit on shipping if you want multiple items.

Among these new retail items that I find useful are the tools we’re going to talk about today: some sweet, functional, beautiful little needle threaders (oh, how I have learned to love the needle threader!) and some absolutely swell scissors that I’ve been using for several years now.

Needle Threaders for embroidery

Let’s start with the threaders.

As we age (or if we have eye problems), the needle threader can be a lifesaver for the devoted stitcher! And while needle threaders are fairly easy to come by, good needle threaders aren’t as widely available.

The small tin threader with the attached wire was a wonderful invention, but it doesn’t work in every circumstance. It’s not always easy to use. And it tends to fall apart pretty quickly under any kind of slight duress (unless you reinforce it with blobs of super glue).

I prefer a needle threader that is one piece – no attachment that can pull off – that’s hook style, strong, and … yes. I like them to be attractive.

My favorites are the lovely range of stainless steel needle threaders designed by Michelle at Kiriki Press in Canada.

Needle Threaders for embroidery

Michelle has created several design sets of her needle threaders.

Each design set – like the floral design above – offers three sizes of threaders: micro (for #12 and larger crewel needles, ideal for fine silk or floss); classic (for #9 and larger crewel needles, ideal for crewel wool, floss, and heavier silk and similar threads); and tapestry (for all sizes of tapestry and chenille needles, ideal for crewel wool, tapestry wool, and ribbon).

Needle Threaders for embroidery

Besides the floral design set, there’s a really cute bear set (shown in the tapestry size here)…

Needle Threaders for embroidery

…and a sweet little bunny set (shown in the micro size here).

Needle Threaders for embroidery

And there’s also a Poppy Set! The poppy set features three different poppy styles, one for each size threader.

With the other sets, all three threaders (of the three sizes) look the same. But with the poppy set, there are three different renditions of the poppy:

Needle Threaders for embroidery

Aren’t they all so pretty?

I love all the sets – the floral lace, the bear, the bunny, and the poppies. The variety makes them rather collectible. It’s nice to have several needle threaders – I’ve got one with every project underway, at each work area. Truth is, my eyes appreciate them!

One point that makes these threaders exceptional: there are no burrs on them, even in that tiny hook on the micro threader.

They’re functional, pretty, and well made. What more could you ask for?

And that’s why I’m offering them in my shop.


I’m adding Karen Kay Buckley’s 4″ Perfect Scissors to my shop, too.

Perfect Scissors, Karen Kay Buckley

If you’re not familiar with these scissors, this is what they’re all about:

The blades are stainless steel, beautifully sharp. The handles are comfortable. The mechanics are smooth.

Perfect Scissors, Karen Kay Buckley

The green handled scissors have micro-serrated blades. I’ve been using them on goldwork threads for the last several years. They’re great for metal threads!

I have a separate pair that I use when cutting small pieces of fabric. I use them on finishing small embroidery items, when trimming hems or corners. And I use them when trimming my hexies on my never-ending hexie quilt project. There’s something nice about the way the fine serrated blades hold onto the fabric, making these scissors ideal for detail work in these types of cutting situations.

I also use these when cutting lots of thread, like when preparing small kits. They’re comfortable to hold, and the blades have a smooth movement and a really nice snip to them.

Perfect Scissors, Karen Kay Buckley

The “sea foam” pair (it seems more like peacock blue to me) has smooth knife-edge blades and very sharp tips.

These are ideal for all thread cutting situations and for fine and small fabric cutting. If you’re into fine paper cutting, they work great for that, too, though I recommend separate scissors for paper cutting and for fabric / thread cutting. You can always mark the handles somehow (I like a jump ring with a small charm on it) for your paper scissors.

And they also work well for goldwork threads, if you don’t like using serrated blades for metal threads. Personally, I prefer the serrated blades for metal threads, but I know some people don’t like them.

The scissors come with a plastic protective sheath.

And they also come with a great price-point, in the $20 range, which makes them ideal for your everyday stitching needs, without breaking the bank, but allowing yourself to enjoy really functional, good-quality scissors.

And that’s why I’m offering them in my shop.

Look for Them Next Week!

These will all be available in the shop next Tuesday, along with the Autumn Fire kits, some new hoop sizes & types, a few new books, linen fabric sample packs, and floche packs.

After next week, we won’t be stocking anything new until we get into our new studio space and get up to speed again after moving. It shouldn’t take too long, once we start. (I hope!) At that point, we’ll be ready to produce – much more efficiently – our ready-to-stitch towel sets again. And our packaging and shipping processes should also be more efficient. I really cannot wait! The plumbing is in on the new bathroom, so things are trucking along!

Hope you have a great weekend!


Leave A Comment

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


(7) Comments

  1. Kiriki Press has such fun stuff! I stitched eight (yes eight) of their little animal dolls for gifts for relative kids last year and they were fun and mostly easy little projects to crank out over a couple of weeks. I hadn’t seen these needle threaders before, but they are also adorable.

  2. Oh I’m so excited about these! The needle threaders are lovely, and I may well grab a few, but what I’m *really* excited about is the little serrated scissors – I’m working my way through Tricia Nguyen’s Harmony with Nature casket, and there are quite a few lovely metal threads involved (the silk wrapped purl is so much fun to work with!) and I think these are going to be a huge help. (Am I also planning to nab an Autumn Fire kit even though I am smack in the middle of a multi year project that is definitely going to take me more than the ‘official’ two year timeline? Maaaaybeeee…)

  3. I am looking forward to purchasing your new threaders and scissors, you usually are out by the time I get to your store.
    I hope you ordered LOTS!!!!!

  4. If anyone needs a testimonial for these products, I have been using these needle threaders for some time and they are wonderful! I’ve used all sizes and they are smooth and strong.

    I have the serrated edge scissors, too, and they are truly “perfect” for my needs.

    Our Mary isn’t going to offer us anything that isn’t exceptional or that doesn’t meet her own high standards for function and beauty. Just letting y’all know that I have used these products for years and I love them!

    (And I can’t wait to see the new needle threader designs because some of my project bags are threader-less!)

  5. May I share my discovery of small scissors that help me? They’re not for detailed uses, but just simple uses: ‘Cuda brand Micro Scissors for fly tying — inexpensive in Walmart sports dept. — they have thick rubber handles which are easy to grab and with very short, blunt blades so there’s no poking. (I really like not having to worry about poking myself or anything else when I’m cutting threads!) They have fine serrations on the blades, which hold the threads with no slipping and are very sharp to do all my mundane snipping. (I will pull out my ‘good’ scissors to do fine stuff.)
    They’re small, well-balanced, comfortable, safe, and cute:

    Micro Scissors for Fly Tying (Walmart)

More Comments