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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A Chipper Snail – and a Question for Quilters


Amazon Books

Just a little midweek break here from our workaholic world! Everything’s been so busy lately, we hardly ever have a chance for some simple relaxation and contemplation of Things Embroidery.

So today, I’d like to introduce you to a chipper snail and offer you some fun browsing in embroidery history.

I also have a question (more of a favor) to address, especially to quilters.

Two completely unrelated topics, but both of interest to stitchers…

Embroidered Bookbindings

The image above is from the book English Embroidered Bookbindings, which you can find available here on Internet Archive.

If you are interested in historical needlework at all, you’ll want to download that from the Internet Archive. It’s a fascinating look at embroidered bookbindings from 17th century England.

The images in this book are a great source of inspiration, I think. Even if you’re not into 17th century embroidery, you can find some little morsels that would morph really well into contemporary embroidery projects for today.

I, for one, am quite taken with the extraordinarily happy snail in the photo above. He looks so dang “over the moon” cheery – like he’s ready to dance!

If you’re stuck in summer heat (or winter cold) and it’s an inside day, enjoy browsing through English Embroidered Bookbindings. It’s a fun rabbit hole!

Quilters Question

Years ago, I participated in embroidering some quilt squares for some baby quilts that a group made as a part of a raffle fundraiser.


My contribution was a Sunbonnet Sue square. She was really fun to stitch, because I could do whatever I wanted with her. I found an old-fashioned Sue – she was actually holding chicken eggs in her apron – and I dressed her up a bit, added a flower garden and a bee, and went to it. The quilt was made out of a very nice flannel, so all the squares were stitched on flannel. It was a fun project!

And that is pretty much the extent of any quilting project I worked on, that combined quilting and embroidery. I’ve worked on some crazy-quilt-type projects, but I’ve not actually embroidered squares for a full quilt, whether sane or crazy.

What about you? Have you ever embroidered quilt squares for a quilt? Or embroidered other embellishments on quilts or blankets?

I’m putting together a presentation on embellishment, and I want to focus on embellishment of quilts (and / or blankets) with embroidery. I figure there are probably quite a few of you out there who have done magnificent embroidery work and embellishment on quilts, and I would love to see them!

If you would like to help me out and send me some clear, sharp photos of your embellishment on quilts (sane or crazy) or similar items (like blankets), I would be ever so grateful. I’m sure your work will provide me with much inspiration to get through my present writer’s block.

You can email photos directly to me at mary (at) needlenthread (dot) com, if you’d like. If I decide to use your photo in a presentation, I will contact you before hand to get your ok.

And that, my friends, is Wednesday!

I hope your week’s going along fabulously! We’ve been a bit toasty here in Kansas, topping out around 105 degrees these sultry summer days. In a desperate attempt to keep things cool in the studio, we’ve had the blinds closed and the blackout curtains drawn. It makes for a very focused work environment!

Stay cool!


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(4) Comments

  1. I haven’t (yet) done an embroidered quilt, only gotten so far as to buy pre-printed fabric with the designs. I do have a couple of vintage quilts with embroidered blocks. One purchased at a flea market that needs some repair, the other purchased through a “postage auction” held by a blogger to raise funds for mailing charity quilt items. I’l get photos of both to you in 2-3 days.

    Here in Iowa, it’s been rather warm for the last 3 days, the bigger concern is it’s been dry dry dry. I’d *love* a couple days of nice gentle rain.

  2. I love the snail! I’m behind on reading my emails. I came across some embroideried blocks I did in High School for a Birds of the US quilt. I never finished all 50 states and can’t find the missing ones. That’s okay. I thought of making the ones I have into a small quilt or several table toppers. It’s fun to see how some are puckered from pulling too tight and others I got better at. My first embroideries. I didn’t know about adding muslin or something to the back to help reduce puckering. I did an appliqued Sunbonnet Sue quilt. I want to do a Crazy Quilt one day where you embroider over the seams and most include an embroidered spider and web on it. Not sure how to get photos of them downloaded since I did these in the 70’s-pre digital photo era.

  3. I do have photos of full-size quilt tops my family has stitched that were embellished with a lot of embroidery. Where can I send them? Thanks for tackling this topic. I am excited to see how others have approached embroidered quilts.

    1. Hi, Edna, You’re welcome to email me at mary(at)needlenthread(dot)com, to send photos and tell me about your quilts. I look forward to hearing from you!

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