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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2023 (92) 2022 (136) 2021 (130) 2020 (132) 2019 (147) 2018 (146) 2017 (169) 2016 (147) 2015 (246) 2014 (294) 2013 (294) 2012 (305) 2011 (306) 2010 (316) 2009 (367) 2008 (352) 2007 (225) 2006 (139)

Revisiting Richelieu: Beautiful Cutwork Embroidery


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There are not very many resources for Richelieu embroidery these days, but the technique is enjoying a revival of interest, which is a good thing!

Richelieu is a form of whitework, where portions of the design are cut away from the ground fabric, creating a lace-lake effect. “Brides” or “bars” created from the embroidery thread connect between the edges of the cutwork to add stability and are part of the design feature.

Richelieu - cutwork embroidery
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Testing Stitching on a Lovely Linen & a Tip


For those of you in the States, I hope you were able to enjoy a good three-day weekend! It’s hard to believe September is upon us and trucking forward so quickly. Labor Day in my mind always marks the end of summer, because school always started up again after Labor Day when I was a kid.

I took advantage of the three-day weekend to set up and get started on a new test project. In my downtime – evenings, weekends, when I can grab some stitching time – I’ve been test stitching on some different pieces of linen.

The design that I’m stitching right now is the holly & evergreen design that’s on this ready-to-stitch towel set. I reduced the size of the design and filled out the edges a little more, making it suitable for the corners of a small but lovely linen table cloth.

The linen the table cloth is made from – it’s a pre-finished blank – is gloriously beautiful stuff. I swear, there are few things that make my heart sing quite like beautiful linen does! Good linen is always such a pleasure to stitch on.

holly & evergreen embroidery on linen
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Sweet Marguerite: Hem Preparation with Mitered Corners


On Monday in our session on Sweet Marguerite, I demonstrated how to withdraw threads from the linen ground fabric and re-weave the edges of the fabric so that we can finish the accent linen with a decorative hemstitch.

Today, we’re going to turn the hem and miter the corners so that the only one step remains to finishing the linen: the decorative hemstitch. Hurray!

If you are a member on Patreon, you already have this information that we’re covering today available to you in PDF format. By the way, for members who didn’t catch the latest news over on Patreon, I’ve organized some “collections” in the Needle ‘n Thread community there, so you can easily find each post and PDF for the Stitch Snippets and other projects.

Let’s get this hem stuff finished, shall we?

Sweet Marguerite: Turning the Hem & Mitering the Corners
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We’re Kitting! But… Should We Kit More?


Here in the wilds of the Kansas cornfields, we are kitting. We’ve been kitting all summer long.

Recently, we’ve kitted Stitch Snippet kits, we’ve kitted the Leafy Tree project, we’ve tentatively kitted (most of) Jacobean Sea and Goldwork Rose, we’ve kitted thread packs… and we’re almost kitted out.

But we have a few more kits to put together – and these are kits that we plan to use this autumn and pre-holiday season for a couple local workshops and for some local retail events associated with town festivals and whatnot.

Christmas embroidery kits
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Sweet Marguerite: Preparing for Hemming I


Today, we’re going to get technical!

As we near the end of Sweet Marguerite, we have to prepare the hem for the decorative hemstitch. This process is going to be the most fiddly part of the whole project, and it will take two articles here on the blog. If you take it slowly and carefully, the results will be satisfactory, and the hemstitch will be a breeze!

For members on Patreon, I’ve already posted the PDF that covers everything in this article and in the next article, so you already have this information! Still, it’s helpful to read the blog post, too, because you never know what tips you might pick up!

The first step in the whole process of preparing for the hemstitching – once your embroidery is finished – is to damp stretch the piece.

I’ve written about damp stretching numerous times here on Needle ‘n Thread (and in many of the projects we’ve done so far), so I’m just going to refer you to these two articles – Damp Stretching & Blocking Embroidery and A Damp Stretching Tip – to show you how it’s done.

The second article is how I invariably damp stretch small embroidery items these days. You’ll need sewing pins, a spray bottle, and surface to pin your work down. Once the piece is completely dry (I usually leave mine overnight), you’re ready to move on to the rest of the preparation process below.

Sweet Marguerite: Preparing for the Hemstitching
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Making Room – a Book Sale!


We need room! Our little studio is about to expand with a few delectable things – we’re awaiting a nice shipment of linens, we’re assembling a boatload of kits, we have some new specialty kits coming in, we’ve got boxes of threads arriving any day now, and we are expecting brand new books in the next month.

I was contemplating all this, and looking at our shelf space, when I decided we really need to move some books out.

And so, to alleviate the crunch, I’m having a 15% off sale on all the current, in-stock embroidery books (not e-books) in my shop. If you have any of these fine embroidery books on your wishlist, now is a great time to grab them for your library!

Read on to get the discount code and the details of the sale…

Embroidery Book Sale!
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Sweet Marguerite: Embroidering the Leaves


My friends, a little heads up: if you are planning to travel to Kansas in the next week (because I know that Kansas must be the vacation mecca of the world), don’t. We are melting here. We’ve been shortening our work days somewhat, to accommodate this uptick in heat indices. By mid afternoon – with the southern sun pelting the front of the building – we’ve been wiped out. So we’ve been going home early, where we can sweat in peace. It’s putting a crimp in my catch-up plans, but such is life! It’ll pass soon – autumn is coming!

My last act of today, then, before heading to potentially cooler accommodations, is to leave you with this installment of Sweet Marguerite, where we finally finish the embroidery by stitching the leaves.

Members of the Needle ‘n Thread Community over on Patreon, I posted a PDF this morning for you. It covers all the embroidery on the project, so please pick that up over there if you’re on Patreon.

Sweet Marguerite embroidery on leaves
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