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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RSN Embroidered Boxes by Heather Lewis – Book Review


Amazon Books

If you pre-ordered the new RSN Techniques, Projects & Pure Inspiration book on Embroidered Boxes, then you probably already have it in hand.

Written by Heather Lewis under the auspices of the Royal School of Needlework and published by Search Press, the book came out last week. It is one of 20+ books on hand embroidery that Search Press is publishing in 2020, their 50th year in the publishing business.

I think this point pretty well establishes the fact that hand embroidery is alive and booming! Yay!

My book arrived last week, too. I pre-ordered it, and it arrived on its release date. If you haven’t purchased it – maybe it intrigues you, but you’re waiting for a few more details – then this review is for you.

RSN Embroidered Boxes by Heather Lewis
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Free Hand Embroidery Designs for your Valentines!


Today, a couple things for you! I’m going to announce the winner of last week’s Appleton real thread color card at the end of today’s article, so read on for that!

And for the rest of it – well, guess what’s coming up next week?

That’s right! It’s Valentine’s Day! It’s that time of year when things turn rather heartsy.

I like heart designs for embroidery. (I’m working on one right now.)

But are hearts just for sweethearts? Of course not! Hearts are for everyone we love, and hearts are for all year long, too! After all, if you hold someone in your heart on the 14th of February, I imagine that person is tucked away in there on other days of the year, too, correct?

But yes, Valentine’s Day has become rather synonymous with the giving of tokens of affection (and a good excuse for indulging in chocolate – if you need an excuse!). So here’s a collection of free hand embroidery patterns in case you want to give a heart to someone you’re fond of – and not just any heart, mind you! A hand embroidered heart!

Free Hand Embroidery Patterns: Hearts & Valentines
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Silk & Goldwork Kits by Liz Tapper


A week doesn’t go by in my life that I don’t receive inquiries about where to find good embroidery kits these days.

There are many, many embroidery kits available today – from large companies producing kits for retail sale in craft stores all the way to designers who manage their own small needlework businesses, producing their own kits for their own designs.

I prefer needlework kits in the latter category, for at least these three reasons:

1. Kits coming directly from a designer usually (practically always) include higher quality materials.

2. The designer knows all the nuances of the piece, so if you run into trouble while stitching the design, you can usually contact the designer you purchased from for help.

3. When you purchase from an individual designer, you are a. supporting needle art at its very roots; b. you are helping an individual make a living; and c. you are contributing to the longevity of that person’s ability to keep designing. Without clientele, individual designers could not keep producing their goods, and the needle arts world (which is enjoying a good boom these days) would suffer indeed.

Embroidery Kits by Liz Tapper - The Art of the Needle
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Raising Up the Daisy Stitch – a Tutorial


How about a little bit of simple Stitch Fun! to start off the week?

With the voided floral monograms I’ve been working on lately – and the other floral filling I’m playing with on another sample – I’ve been fiddling a bit with how to take simple stitches just a notch upwards. In this case, I’m raising the daisy stitch.

This is a fun way to stitch a ring-like flower that has a little lift to it!

Raised daisy stitch ring: embroidery stitch fun tutorial
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Appleton Real Thread Color Cards – a Give-Away!


Real thread color cards – they are such a magnificent tool for the embroiderer!

Today, thanks to The Wooly Thread, I’m giving away a set of Appleton’s real thread color cards!

If you love working with wool (crewel or tapestry wool), if you do a lot of crewel embroidery or other fiber art with wool, then this will be a handy tool for you!

Appleton real thread color card give-away
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Making (Embroidered) Boxes – Books & Resources


This year, there are many embroidery-related books being published. Search Press alone has over twenty coming out in 2020, and there are other publishing houses with some notable works on tap for 2020, too. It’ll be a banner book year!

One of the books that I’m really looking forward to is Embroidered Boxes by Heather Lewis. I have a thing for box making – though not always out of embroidery. Fabric and paper covered boxes are fun and a bit quicker than embroidered boxes, and the techniques carry over into any method of decor that you want to use on a box.

For those of you who are intrigued by “cartonnage” – the craft of creating boxes covered with fabric, paper, or embroidered fabric – I thought I’d introduce you to some of my favorite books and chat a bit about box-making in general.

cartonnage or box making with fabric, paper, or embroidery
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From Color to Whitework – Same Design, Two Approaches


I’ve been sharing a bit of progress with you lately on this voided monogram worked with cotton floche. It’s a fun project, and I can’t wait to share the Whole Thing with you!

There’s more to it than meets the eye, too. As soon as the stitching on the samples is complete, I’ll be finishing them into something useful. It’s always nice to be able to finish small embroidery things into something useful, isn’t it?

And there’s also a non-monogram design that goes with this set. But more on that project a little later!

Today, I’ll show you two approaches to the same design, one worked in color and the other in white. You’re never limited in your interpretation of an embroidery design, after all!

Voided Monogram in Color & Whitework
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