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

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Stitch-Along Explanations & Expectations: FAQ’s


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Happy Monday, Everyone! It’s a fresh start to the week – and a very exciting week it is, too, because we’re going to start the Purple Posy Stitch Snippet stitch-along this very week!

Most of you have had a chance to receive your kits in the mail. Those who are following along without the kit will be able to source materials, working from your own stash, or with materials purchased from your own resources, or with possible suitable substitutions that we will talk about as the project progresses.

I have had a small influx of questions about the stitch-along, so today, I want to address those questions to better clarify what a stitch-along is and what you can expect from it.

It seems I haven’t been clear enough about what you can expect, and I apologize for that. Part of this is the nature of blogging. We live in a world of hurry, hurry, hurry and short attention spans. We tend to skim rather than read, and often, we miss the information that’s there, especially if the formatting is poor or the blogger (that would be me!) tends to say too much, and people just see words, words, words. (Guilty as charged!)

So… without further ado, here are some Frequently Asked Questions and their answers concerning the stitch-alongs here on Needle ‘n Thread!

Besides these questions below, I encourage you to read this article from a couple weeks ago that introduced Purple Posy.

Stitch-Along FAQ's

What is a Stitch-Along?

A stitch-along is an instructional series that presents a project from start to finish, in such a way that participants can follow along with it, creating the same project at the same time.

Most often than not, a stitch-along develops over time, in installments. These installments (like “lessons”) move chronologically through the project and are normally spaced out enough so that participants have reasonable time to accomplish each lesson before the next one shows up. Normally, though, participants work at their own pace through the stitch-along, without the pressure of meeting a deadline, because they can always go back to the previously published installments.

These days, stitch-alongs are most often presented online for groups of people. They can be public or private. They can be paid or free. They can be accompanied by a materials kit or not. Sometimes, kits are required if people want to participate. Sometimes they aren’t. Sometimes, the stitch-along depends on the kit. Sometimes, it doesn’t. The whole structure and presentation approach depends on the presenter.

In the case of Needle ‘n Thread, I am the presenter. I don’t require people to pay for the stitch-along. The information and instructions are offered for free here on the website. You are not required to buy a materials kit to participate.

The installments for the project will come out periodically (usually about once a week).

How do I Follow Along? Blog or Email!

To follow along with the stitch-along, you must frequent the blog (unless you are a member on Patreon – which is a different topic altogether that I will discuss below).

The easiest way to “frequent the blog” so that you don’t miss an installment is to subscribe via email to my newsletter, which delivers each blog post into your email inbox.

You can find the subscription form for the email newsletter in the left column of any page of the website, right below my About Information. The form reads “Daily Email Newsletter” and there’s a line where you enter your email address. It’s not daily – it’s usually three times a week.

When you hit “subscribe” you will shortly receive a verification email to opt in to the subscription. If you do not receive this, check your spam filter. Read the verification email, click the link, and read the confirmation email that will follow. You are then subscribed and the blog posts should show up in your inbox. If they aren’t, check your spam filter and “train” the emails to go to your inbox, by moving them out of your spam filter into your inbox.

If you are on a phone or smaller mobile tablet, the subscription form is in the “hamburger” pop out menu in the top right corner of the screen. It’s a stack of three lines. You will see the same subscription form if you scroll down past the main menu on that pop out.

Why Aren’t the Instructions in My Kit?

There’s some history here. On Needle ‘n Thread, I have always presented follow-along projects. At first these were larger projects (like the Blackwork Fish, for example, or the Crewel Rooster, or the Hungarian Redwork Runner or the Secret Garden Hummingbirds) that could be embroidered by anyone determined to do what I was doing.

These also included smaller projects that were more specifically geared towards instruction, that taught a concept (for example, how to stitch monograms in a variety of ways, embroidery on mittens, chicken scratch embroidery, tambour embroidery, and so forth).

Finally, they morphed – about four years ago – into very specific stitch-along projects to teach specific concepts, like this “How to Embroider (Blank)” series. At that time, feedback from those participating enthusiastically begged for materials kits.

And that lead to the even-more-specific Stitch Snippets series of stitch-alongs that included the option of purchasing a materials kit.

In the order of time, then, the stitch-alongs came first. The materials kits were introduced as a service to meet the needs of stitchers who wanted to follow along, to create the same projects, but who struggled to find the materials.

As a stitch-along, the instructions are presented publicly on the blog. The materials kits are totally optional.

Do you Offer Kits with Instructions?

I don’t offer the Stitch Snippet kits with instructions at this time. Should I choose to do that in the future (it would not be in the year that the project runs on the website), the instructions that are on the blog in public for free will be removed. Right now, though, the materials kits are offered as an option, and you can find the instructions on the website.

You can find all past Stitch Snippet instructions available under “Tips and Techniques” in the main menu of the website, in the first section of that index.

How does Patreon Fit In to the Stitch-Along?

Patreon is a platform for artists and creators to host a membership community. I have a community on Patreon for friends of Needle ‘n Thread. There are three tiers of membership ($1, $3, and $5).

The income from the membership community allows me to do certain things with Needle ‘n Thread that I couldn’t have done as confidently or as quickly. For example, I was able to remove all network advertising from Needle ‘n Thread thanks to patrons on Patreon. In the past, the blog depended on network ads (like Google ads and the like) for operating expenses. You know what these ads are like these days, if you have ever visited a recipe website, a mommy blog, or even a news website. Thanks to Patrons, we’ve kept Needle ‘n Thread clear of all that kind of advertising muck. Thank you, members!

Because of Patreon, I was able to commit to hiring a full-time employee who makes a just, living wage. Anna is my sidekick at Needle ‘n Thread, and much of what we do here is possible because of Anna. Thank you, members! While her whole wage doesn’t come from Patreon, there was enough income stability from Patreon to allow me to take that step with confidence and grow the business enough to handle paying her a living wage, along with all the requisite taxes and everything else that goes with it. During the summer, we are able to hire part time help (usually a college student or a teacher who needs a side hustle), thanks to patrons on Patreon.

Because of Anna, and because we have extra summer help, we can do these smaller stitch-along kits in relatively large runs so that there are plenty available for participants.

For members on Patreon, I offer all the stitch-along installments in a downloadable and printable PDF format, so that members can save the projects to their computers (to stitch whenever they want to), and can print them out in a convenient format for following along. The PDFs are available to all paid members on Patreon, no matter what membership level.

Last year, we began offering at least one video per Stitch Snippet to members at the second and third levels of membership ($3 or $5). We are continuing that this year, and we plan to expand to some other perks at those levels, as the year progresses.

When Will Purple Posy Start?

Purple Posy will begin this week. I am watching delivery data. If 80% of the mailed kits are delivered by Tuesday, then Wednesday is our start day. Otherwise, we will start on Friday. Right now, it looks like it is going to be Friday. By Friday, we should see a delivery rate of almost 100% of kits mailed since last Friday and today.

I hope this answers your questions about the stitch-alongs!

I’m happy to answer any other questions not covered here. You are always welcome to email me directly or to use the comment form below the article on the website to ask a question.


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(4) Comments

  1. What an awesome email I received today! This blog post was so informative, and I really appreciate the explanation about Patreon. I can appreciate all that you do, and truly look forward to being a member on Patreon so I get the added benefits. Having participated in former Stitch-Alongs with you, I was well aware of how things work, and I love that about your Stitch-Alongs – they are consist and concise. I have subscribed to your blog and promptly receive the emails as I am signed up. I have my current Stitch-Along kit awaiting the emails on the details. Thank you Mary for being so creative and sharing that creativity with us, your loyal followers!

  2. Thanks for the very complete info! I received my kit and i’m looking forward to the stitch along. First one for me, but I’ve enjoyed your blog for years. I’m a bit more ‘folk-stitcher’ than ‘Royal School of Needlework stitcher’, but do love reading about the laid goldwork, and seeing your posts on liturgical pieces. I’m glad I can support you a bit on Patreon.

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