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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Thread Talk: A Great Way to Start the Year!


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I’m back in the studio! Happy 2023! It’s lovely to be here!

Golly, life has been crazy for the past 2.5 months. It started with the big Needle ‘n Thread Studio Move, which aligned with the launch of the last Stitch Snippet of 2022. Lesson learned: never upheave when you’re launching a project! (Not that we had a choice, but…)

Just as we began shifting the studio, I found out, on the home front, that I’d have a full house move at the beginning of January. But we settled into work in our new space, and all was well as the holidays approached.

Then we all took turns with sickness of various sorts, and that was fun!

Then we got back to work just in time for Christmas, right after which, I started packing and sorting at home.

And last week, with the help of my trusty sidekick Anna and two nephews who were furloughed from work for a week, we managed a whole house move. We finished by 7:30 pm on Friday. Dad and I are settled for at least the next 2.5 months in the same duplex where I operated Needle ‘n Thread for about four or five years. It’s comfortable and cozy. Change, they say, is as good as a vacation, and there is something very adventurous and relaxing about our new situation. I even actually kicked back and started reading a real printed book this weekend!

But man, oh man! Was it ever GREAT to walk into work this morning! I’m so excited to get this year underway! I feel weirdly buoyant this morning – the Looming Clouds of Massive Jobs to Tackle has dissipated, the sun is shining here in Kansas, I’m finally back in touch with all of you, and Life is Good!

So let’s celebrate! Let’s talk about Thread!

Heathway Crewel Wool

In gearing up for 2023 in the last half of last year, I started exploring some thread possibilities for kits and projects this year. One thread that I’m delighted to have a whole set of now is Heathway crewel wool.

Heathway has been a favorite of mine for years and years. I’ve written about it before on Needle ‘n Thread, and I’ve stitched with it in projects. You can read about it – and other wool embroidery threads on the market – in this article, in which I compared several types of embroidery wool.

You can see the wool in action on the petals and stems on the small embroidery piece in this article from years ago.

I also used Heathway – and several other types of wool thread – in my Crewel Rooster project, which was essentially an exploration of different types of wools to see how they stitched up.

Heathway Crewel Wool

There is something so delightfully sumptuous about Heathway’s color and shade collections! From traditional colors that you’d expect in crewel wool to newer, more contemporary colors, the whole line is really gorgeous!

I’m dying (dyeing?!) to play with these. I have a couple small projects simmering, that I’m planning for a little later in 2023.

One point that is often overlooked when it comes to planning embroidery projects, especially when using threads from very small, exclusive companies, is that there has to be a fairly long lead time between the planned project and actually launching it. We haven’t gotten lead times and thread quantities down to a precise science yet, but we’re working on it!

Floche embroidery thread - new twists

Another thread project we’ve been working on has to do with floche. Between the moving and the sicking and the moving and holidays and everything in between, we’ve been slowly chipping away at a mountain of cotton floche.

Last year, we brought in two more collections of colors of floche that we’re working into some beautiful color packs for you.

There’s nothing quite as delightful as making up these really cute little twists!

Floche embroidery thread - new twists

Based on feedback from the Needle ‘n Thread Community here around the website, and from social media followers, as well as stitching friends who like to do product trials and testing for me, we’ve developed a new configuration of thread twists for floche.

The twists still include the same amount of thread – in fact, they are more precise – but the lengths are precut into perfect stitching lengths for the thread and twisted into a nice manageable skein.

When all the colors are grouped together in their color packs, they look sooo pretty – and they have just a touch of Cute Appeal, too!

They also are much faster to break down and assemble into color packs, which makes them more affordable all around. So it’s a win-win with these! I can’t wait to have them all finished, so that you can see the new “heritage” color collections!

So that’s the thread talk for today. We’ve got a whole lot to catch up on in the Studio, so we’ll be working like crazy on this side of the screen. We’ve got goldwork to tackle, fabric to cut, designs to finish, sample stitching to complete, instructions for projects to write – it’s a jolly job, and I love it! Thanks for being a part of it!

I hope your 2023 is off to a great start!


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(13) Comments

  1. Happy New Year! From the sound of your news and thread talk it has been a very busy beginning. I look forward to your emails.
    Glad your back.
    Sincerely Denise

  2. Thank you for your instructional videos, Mary! As a beginner, your calm voice and close-up videos with step-by step instructions have helped me begin my journey of crazy quilt embroidery. Yesterday with 2 friends who are more experienced with embroidery, I have my block started. One heart created in an outline stitch, one line of chevron stitches and a series of grape hyacinth flowers (straight stitch for stem; two lazy daisy leaves; and about 11 small French knots).

    Your post today is exciting to see smaller skeins/pre-cut. I am looking forward to ordering a kit. Best wishes in 2023.

  3. Can’t wait till you get the floche “kitted up.” I’m starting a “project/ teaching piece” of all kinds of different threads, and that’s one I don’t have.

    I love Renaissance Dyes crewel wools. I splurged and got me a set for Christmas. Starting several Bayeux-related (and other) pieces!

  4. Hi Mary,
    I glad to hear you are planning a Floche project. I love the way this stitches up but the lack of colors is bothersome. I was doing some Christmas tea towels and realized there isn’t really a range of dark reds/garnet/maroon. There are lots of pinks and greens plus an abundance of brownish shades.
    Is there anyone else that offers/manufactures Floche (at a reasonable price). I think I have all the DMC colors now. I hope you will offer some of your online ebooks with options for using Floche.
    I think it would make a great cross stitch thread but again no patterns.

    1. Nope, not anymore. Anchor used to. There are some specialty sources in Europe for finer strands of white-only. But as far as floche in color, DMC’s where it’s at!

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