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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Three Roses in Gold and Silk


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Three roses in silk and gold have been growing in the studio during the first four months of 2024.

Aside from design work and pointers and tips and probably too much advice and direction, though, I haven’t been involved in them.

I left the embroidery to Anna.

It’s not that I didn’t want to embroider them – or at least one or part of them. It’s just that I never had the opportunity. It was a tumultuous start to the year on many levels, the business side of things was over-engrossing, and then I had to take time off. Next thing I knew, Anna had finished all three roses.

Gold and Silk Embroidered Roses

Let this be a lesson to me: Never let a gal with a real work ethic do the work you secretly want to do yourself.

I say that tongue-in-cheek, of course.

Not only did I not really want to do them – too many other things to do! – but deep down, I really wanted Anna to do them. And she did!

Now, the roses are a load off my mind. The roses are part of a list of five elements that were supposed to be added to some altar frontals last year, and I really didn’t know how we would ever get them all finished, even by the end of this year.

But now, I can see the Light! Before, all I saw was a dark cloud of Must Get This Done, interspersed with a few lightning bolts of It’s Impossible followed by several thunderclaps of It’ll Never Happen.

But now! Now I feel like it just might happen. There is, in short, a ray of sunlight bursting forth across the field of clouds.

Wow. So many mixed metaphors. Such bad writing.

Back to the roses. I am elated that they are finished!

Gold and Silk Embroidered Roses

Perhaps you’ve never met the first version of this rose. It is small – less than 1″ in diameter. You can find all the information on how the original was embroidered, along with stitching tips and all the materials used, here in the Tudor-Style Rose project index.

The original rose is also detailed in this e-book on the Marian Medallion project, which covers the entire Marian Medallion project (where the small rose is featured) step-by-step. It’s a Massive e-book, over 200 pages, and packed with tips and techniques for this type of goldwork and silk embroidery.

Today’s version of the silk and goldwork roses (there are three altogether) is 3″ in diameter. The supplies are the same, but they’re being used in a much larger space.

Granted, 3″ in diameter doesn’t sound big, but when you compare it to the first itty-bitty rose, it is substantially larger x 3.

Now that the roses are finished, we are thinking of some way to mount them before applying them to the altar frontal. We want to put them onto a foundation first – something that has some stiffness and structure to it – before applying them to the cloth. If they have a firm (or even hard) foundation, they are less likely to be accidentally folded, which can wreak havoc on goldwork.

This is a developing story, and I’ll have more to share with you down the road!

In the meantime, if you’d like to read more about the techniques and supplies involved in this work, please feel free to peruse the links shared above!

Scissor Information

I will be restocking the Golden Forge scissors I wrote about on Monday. If you would like to be on the wait list for those, please drop me a line.

Coming Up!

I’ll be sharing some more in-progress project information in the days to come. We have a few projects going on here at the moment.

The other day, I was trying to photograph some linen that I want to share with you. It wasn’t so easy, so I tried working up a very short video. It just might work! So I’ll share that with you shortly, too.

There are a couple more new books on the market that I want to share with you. And I’m waiting on pins and needles for the arrival of some specialty fabric that we don’t have anywhere in the US, that I want to try out and then show to you. But that’s a little surprise for later!

We will work on some wool explorations, too, don’t worry!

So much going on! I love it when life is busy – but I’d like it better if I had a full time cook.

Hope your Wednesday is a splendid one!


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(7) Comments

  1. The silk and goldwork roses are beautiful, and it so happens that I’ve been carefully reading your archived posts about them, and considering trying the little version of the Gold & Silk Tudor Rose as a beginning project. I’m sure the Marion Medallion e-book must be full of wonderful step-by-step illustrated instruction. But I would REALLY love to see a beginner’s silk and gold stitch-snippet project WITH A MATERIALS KIT to get me going. Given the numerous types, sizes and qualities, the gold threads are so terribly confusing! Thank you.

  2. Full time cook ~ me too!
    We have my 90 year old dad living with us and he is hearty and hale but likes dinner to be “on time.”

  3. Anna is really talented! For the cook situation, maybe you could get one of those meal plans that they advertise all the time.

  4. Those 3″ diameter roses aren’t just 3 times as big as a 1″ diameter one.

    They’re 3 x 3 times as big. It’s a 2-dimensional shape, so both the length and width are multiplied by 3. Thus it’s 9 times as big.

    And still amazing.

    1. LOL! Yes, good point! I was thinking of it that way, but I didn’t express it correctly. When you look at the grid on the ruler, it makes it much clearer.

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