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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Twelve Wreaths (and Snippet) Kits Available Now!


Amazon Books

Oh, good morning and Happy Friday!

Before I start blathering, I’ll cut to the chase and let you know that the Twelve Wreaths for Christmas kit (which also works for the next Stitch Snippet) is now available. Woohoo!

The downloadable PDF project book that goes with the kit is also available. I chatted about both of these in yesterday’s blog post, if you’d like to read more on what they’re all about.

Twelve Wreaths for Christmas kit and e-book

I can’t tell you how happy I am to see today arrive, so that I can launch these kits and the e-book!

I’ve been looking forward to working through the final Stitch Snippet with you, but I knew I couldn’t do that until I had the kits ready. So now that they’re ready, we can continue with the Stitch Snippets series for 2023, and finish up with a festive Christmas ornament!

You may have noticed that there’s a little theme running here, and I hope to continue running it next year, too. I would like the final Stitch Snippet next year to be a Christmas ornament as well. I have a design in mind and I’ve already doodled about with it. It’s slightly different from the previous ornaments (the Trees, the Snowflakes, and now the Wreaths) that we’ve done here. It’s a bit more dimensional, if nothing else.

As usual, I learn a lot as each year of The Journey progresses here on Needle ‘n Thread. Hopefully in 2024, things will go a little more smoothly and we’ll be able to have the last project out in a more timely manner. We will work on that goal!

But that’s next year, and I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s talk about this year!

What’s Coming Up?

The week of November 27th, we will be jumping into this year’s final stitch-along. If you have a kit, you’ll have all the supplies you need for that, with the exception of DMC stranded cotton. I will give you a thread list (it’s only four colors) as soon as we start, so that you can line up your threads and be ready to stitch.

Some product reviews are ahead. I’ve had some requests to review a specific hoop stand, for example. So I bought it. I’ve been happy, frustrated, pleased, and annoyed with it – so I’ll tell you about that.

The week after Thanksgiving, we are doing a major studio clean-up and re-organization (because the fun never ends!). We need to make room for some very nice fabric coming in. I’ll take plenty of pictures and we’ll talk studio space and organization.

Studio Christmas windows in 2022

We’ll also be decorating the studio for Christmas.

That’s something that requires some thought and effort. I’m trying to come up with Something. But my brain is not cooperating.

You see, I’m located in a small historic downtown here in Northeast Kansas that goes all-out when it comes to Christmas. We have a Christmas festival here, an “Old World Chistkindlmarket” at the Flint Hills Shakespeare Festival Grounds. It runs for two weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas. And we have a Christmas Bazaar, parade, and whatnot downtown the first Saturday of December. There’s a yearly gingerbread house contest at our local Country Store (Sugar Creek Country Store). The little shops in the downtown area decorate and run sales and do all kinds of things to entice folks to shop local. And we even have a fresh Christmas tree lot (right across from my studio) that lends a rather Hallmarky atmosphere to the whole place.

And then there’s my pathetic building on the corner. While it works for us (we aren’t a walk-in shop, after all), it isn’t exactly charming. So I feel we need to do something in the windows, to contribute somehow.

We have three large windows across the front of the building, with small sills (about 8″ deep). There is approximately 3″ between the solar shades and the glass. We had garland in the windows last year, but I sold it off a couple weeks ago because it had glitter on it. Glitter is a huge No here in the studio.

Anna suggested hanging embroidery hoops tied up with festive red bows in the windows.

Anyway, we are playing with ideas. Have you got any? Feel free to make suggestions if you like! I’ll definitely post pictures if we do anything interesting.

And finally, we have been collecting and planning for a new Needlework Eye-Spy game for this year. This always a fun adventure! I’ll share more about that as we prepare it for you.

Lots coming up! It’s a busy time of year, but I always make time between now and Christmas to do a bit of stitching or finishing. I’ll share more on that, too.

Have a wonderful weekend! (And don’t forget to stop by the shop and pick up your own copy of Twelve Wreaths for Christmas and the corresponding kit, before the kits are gone!)


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(18) Comments

  1. I used to have a store that I needed to decorate for the holidays. With no available floor space I used the ceiling. I strung lights and hung cheap shatterproof ornaments from the cords. It’s took about 500 ornaments. If you want to keep embroidery as par5 of the theme, you could use fishing line to suspend a shatterproof ornament in each hoop and hang them at varying heights in the window. Or, you could just hang the ornaments like a curtain in the windows. Also, garlands work wonders, but no glitter!

    1. Oh gosh, we learned the glitter lesson last year! I ordered garland online, because I knew I would haven’t a chance to go out shopping for it. And it had glitter on it! I opened it right in the front room by the windows, and spent two months regretting it!

  2. I like Anna’s idea of hoops with ribbons! How about some ort balls, too? Just buy clear plastic or glass balls – tree decorations, the kind with a metal top that comes off – and stuff them with offcuts of thread. A few metallic strands or even bits leftover from your ecclesiastical goldwork can be added for sparkle. I’m guessing you have a few of those in the studio?
    There seem to be lots of shapes available in those ornaments now, including some flattened circles that would definitely fit into your 3” gap.

  3. Hi Mary,

    The challenge you have is to decorate without inviting anyone into your shop!

    How about Christmas candles in the windows?
    If the lights are off in the shop they will still show and will look festive.
    This way you won’t have large dark gloomy windows!
    These are also a quick fix for this year.
    I leave mine up all year as they look so nice and welcoming at other times of the year!

    How about a wreath on the door that you have decorated with some DMC skeins and some cheap hoops as you don’t want to use your good ones as they will get destroyed by the weather. Also you can add the paper outsides of needle packets without actually putting up needles. Other items like this would look nice. Use the packaging without the actual items. What you use will be determined by how much weather can reach your front door. 🙂

    You might also want to put up a sign with your website information so if anyone is interested they can find you online.

    If you hang hoops in the windows, just put Holiday fabric (with silver/gold threads/accents) in the hoops (use cheap ones from the big box stores) as you don’t want anything precious to fade in the sun. You could also print your new wreath designs on fabric, cut them out and insert them into the cheap hoops. They won’t be stitched but will show the designs that you have developed. Print them out in different sizes using different sized hoops for a nice variety/display. You can leave these up year round and just change out the fabric whenever you want or when things fade. You can also then insert next year’s ornaments. 🙂

    The other idea I have for a window display is to make window dioramas. Three inches give you a bit of room to mount picture/photos of embroiderers, of you two working, of completed projects, historical embroiders, of your I Spy challenges or of anything you would like to share. These are a bit more work but an idea for next year or for window decor at other times of the year.

    These are just a few ideas that I thought up quickly and if you would like more ideas just let me know. 🙂

    Hope this helps!
    Cynthia M.

  4. How about putting some of you ornament practice pieces, ( wreaths ,snowflakes, trees)in some of the hoop and sprinkle in some snowflakes. You should be able to hang them with fishing line. If nothing else you can always put up a drew and decorate it using embroidery items. It should show throw the shades.

  5. I love everything about your posts and and hearing about your shop, activities and happenings. My dream is to someday visit your little town and shop.

  6. Expanding on the idea of the embroidery hoops for your window display…what if….you put a number of them together into a Christmas tree shape then ‘fill’ the openings with ornaments??

    1. Oh, Hey!! That’s a good idea! We ended up hanging them kind of randomly, with sparkly snowflakes in them – but I am going to keep this idea in mind! Thanks, Mary Ann!

  7. White twinkle lights outlining the windows would be festive and add some light especially when it gets dark early, or if it’s cloudy outside. Large hoops hanging in the window would add a nice design element of shape and fill the space nicely. I’ve seen some antique doileys stretched in hoops before, hung from the top of the window and they can be very striking. Cost plus World Market sells some really nice large bottle brush trees in different colors that can be grouped. Windows do well when there is a mix of big graphic elements that can be seen far away as a general shape, but have some consistent grouping. Odd numbers of things work well. A deep sill if you have one can make for some interesting shadow box possibilities. You can cut silhouettes out of black paper like old fashioned portraits and do something fun with that for not much money. If they are really big windows, go for big graphic shapes. Or play with hanging, dangling things to fill the space. If they are windows that people walk past and are tempted into looking, then small vignettes that make you pause to understand what’s happening can make for a lively, fun pedestrian experience. I think that’s why people are attracted to fairy houses in front yards. Whatever you do, have fun with it. You have a great sense of humor and something charming will occur to you, I’m sure! 🙂 Oh! Take a series of your eye-spy christmas photographs from the last few years and get them enlarged at a print shop into poster size. Hang them from the windows (lined in twinkle lights). Spray mount them onto foamcore, it’s light enough to hang with fishing line from the top of the window sill. It might be around $100 to do, but you could easily store and reuse them over the next few years. Fun for pedestrians and graphic enough to be impactful!

  8. Dear Mary

    This looked so lovely that I’ve just purchased the e-book. I always like your e-books they are so lovely and very instructive. I can’t wait to start sewing them. I wonder if I can complete some for Christmas? I’m just going to have a look at the book. Thank you for creating the Christmas wreath e-book and sharing it with us at such a low price. I’m sure I will enjoy looking and creating them.

    Regards Anita Simmance

    1. They stitch up really quickly, Anita! You know what I did? I worked the embroidery for several – cut the linen, transferred the patterns, gathered the supplies, and then just worked one after the other. When I had a bunch finished, I damp stretched them. Then, I did the prep for the finishing – mounted the fabric on the board rounds, cut out the wool, made the hanging cord for each of them. And then I packaged all the elements together in ziplocks, along with the correct sewing threads and the right color of floss for the edge, and stuck them all in a pouch that I could take with me. When I had a few minutes, I grabbed one and assembled it. It only takes about 30 minutes to sew the whole thing together and do the edges. Fun!

  9. Good morning Mary
    You are absolutely an amazing lady, thank you for your amazing kindness and generosity which is portrayed in your sewing. I love your little wreaths which I will be purchasing PDF, I am sorry I do not live in your USA !!!, thank you once again.

    Clare UK

  10. Christmas deci:
    1) take a thun steel coathabger, open it up, make it round, and thread christmas baubles ( the round balls you hang on the tree), until you have a wreath. Use different size/ colour/ shape balls.
    2) use different size wool balls to form / decorate wreath.
    I’ll try to link pictures, or send them, if I can, not sure about it..
    THANK you for your wonderful website, I really love it. A pity you do not ship overseas, but understandable ☺️
    Best regards,

  11. Why not showcase some of your Christmas designs – such as the current ones, the Christmas trees or the snow flakes. Could you get a very flat twig and hang the wreath decorations on it. You could tell people where they can buy the pdfs and where they can buy the kit (if available) and so generate some business.
    If a twig is too fat, could you make (or get one of your family to make) a 2 d Christmas tree with dowels for the branches and a bit of square planed timber for the trunk.
    Anna’s idea for the embroidery hoops with bows sounds good.
    In fact try and make the windows embroidery related and showcasing your business.

  12. Your holiday eye spies are so festive and lovely – seems to me they’d make nice appropriately-themed decorations at poster-size. Maybe framed in embroidery hoops with red bows per Anna’s idea?

  13. Hi Mary

    May I echo Ms Simmance’s comments? I love your ebooks, especially as they are obtainable here in the UK. How I wish I could buy a kit, but that’s not to be and I understand why. Which leaves me with a question: what do you mean by low loft batting? When I consult Mr Google, I’m told Vlieseline H250/305, which seems very stiff. Is that the correct item to use?

    1. Hi, Serinde, Thanks for your comment! No, it’s not stiff. Imagine if you were making a very lightweight quilt and you just wanted a thin layer of batting – that’s the kind of stuff you would use. Check the beginning of the finishing instructions in the PDF (around page 40 or 41). I listed the product number of the Pellon stuff that I used. I don’t know if there’s a different between product numbers in the US and in the UK, but I don’t know why there would be. They call it “thermolam” and it’s by Pellon.

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