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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2017 (108) 2016 (147) 2015 (246) 2014 (294) 2013 (294) 2012 (305) 2011 (306) 2010 (316) 2009 (367) 2008 (353) 2007 (225) 2006 (139)

Weekend Embroidery Finish…and a question!


I love it when a plan comes together!

I wasn’t quite sure I’d finish the embroidery on Party in Provence this weekend, but due to the happy circumstances of rainy weather and not a whole lot going on, I put the last bead on at 6:59 yesterday evening! I was pretty pleased.

The only drawback of an evening finish is getting the light right for photos. For some reason, daytime photos work better for me. So instead of setting up my amateur version of a photo shoot, I made do with my phone and my stitching light. I’ll take “real” photos later, after damp stretching and blocking the piece.

If you’re just joining in here on Needle ‘n Thread, Party in Provence is an embroidered kaleidoscope design in a series I’ve been playing with for the past 10 months or so. I’ve finished three of them so far – this one, which I’m calling Tulip Festival (a shout out to ours here in Kansas) and this one, that I’m calling Octoberfest, even though I stitched it in November.

Party in Provence Embroidered Kaleidoscope Design by Mary Corbet on Needle 'n Thread
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The Seasons in Ribbon Embroidery: Book Review


Are you a silk ribbon embroidery fan? Have you seen Tatiana Popova’s lush silk ribbon embroidery?

Tatiana, a Ukrainian embroiderer who specializes in silk ribbon work, creates pieces that exude a definite ribbony richness – lavish ribbon, sumptuous color, deceptively realistic flowers. And she also uses ribbon to create some whimsical pieces as well – she likes owls!

Tatiana produces silk ribbon embroidery kits under the brand Little Owl Smart Crafts, which she sells through her website, Sovushka.

I first came across Tatiana’s luxuriant floral creations in ribbon embroidery through Di van Niekerk, whose blog I enjoy following. Di networks with silk ribbon enthusiasts all over the globe and features many of them on her blog.

So that’s where I first saw Tatiana’s work, and I was excited to learn that this year, she has published a book. It’s called The Seasons in Ribbon Embroidery, and today, I’d like to show it to you.

Seasons in Ribbon Embroidery by Tatiana Popova
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Embroidery Workroom Organization – Not There Yet. But….


Can you tell me about your studio space?

I often receive emails from readers in the throes of making decisions about studio space, who find themselves with a spare room at home that they can devote solely to needlework.

It’s a wonderful thing, to be able to carve out your own little retreat for pursuing embroidery or sewing or any craft! But the fact is, I’m probably the last person in the world to ask about this!

I usually gurgle out a few chuckles when I get this question. I’ve always been pretty forthright about my workroom.

While I’m quite blessed to have a room that is semi-dedicated to my work, it isn’t one of those perfect, cozy, ideal embroidery workrooms that’s organized to the hilt and attractive to boot. So I’m probably not the person you want to emulate on this point, if you’re looking for your own little Embroidery Haven.

I mentioned earlier in the summer that I was on a re-organization kick out in my garage-gone-workroom-plus-household-storage-catchall-area, and – though you can’t really tell from the pictures – much was accomplished. But there’s still a bit of work to do! And although it pains me to share some of these photos, I will, because I said I would.

Today, I’ll just show you where things stand, mess-wise. Down the road, I’ll tell you about some of the things that have become essential in my workroom, and we’ll chat about some things to keep in mind when setting up your own workroom.

My Embroidery Workroom - Not the Dream, but It Works
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Embroidery Archeology: Machine or Tambour, the Back and Layering


The last time we visited my Embroidery Archeology project, it was all about preliminaries – the things you should do before delving into the … uh… destruction? (for lack of a better word!) of an old piece of embroidery like this.

Now, now, before you balk! I’m not destroying it. I’m doing my best to conserve every conservable part of it. As I explained in the initial backstory – which you can read here – my primary goal is to retrieve the figure embroidery from the piece, and salvage those so that they can be used on real vestments.

If possible, I also plan to salvage some of the floral elements, though for what use, I’m not sure yet!

With the preliminaries out of the way, it was time to take the piece apart.

Salvaging ecclesiastical embroidery
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What’s in my Embroidery Rotation – and What’s Not!


With the summer trickling by here in Kansas – actually, I should say streaming by, as it’s moving at a rather rapid clip – I’ve given some thought to my current embroidery project rotation and have made some adjustments.

Now that Will Ewe Bee Mine? is officially out and available, I can concentrate on other projects. Thanks heaps to all those who have purchased my latest ebook – your support goes a long way towards keeping Needle ‘n Thread going! So I really appreciate it! (In fact, I downright love you for it!)

So, today, an update on what I’m working on now, my reasons for switching things in and out, my future project aspirations and plans, and a bit of a chat on my multi-project approach, what works about it and what doesn’t.

Party in Provence - Embroidered Kaleidoscope
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Will Ewe Bee Mine? Multi-motif Monograms with Matching Borders & Frames


Howdy-ho and a Happy (and I mean Happy Happy Happy!) Wednesday!

Why so happy, you might wonder? Especially on a Wednesday??

Well, I finally finished this ebook and I can’t wait to show it to you!

It’s titled Will Ewe Bee Mine?

…because I just can’t resist dumb puns.

And, besides – it fits!

Will Ewe Bee Mine? Monograms for Embroidery
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Embroidery of the World


Our world is full of embroidery.

And it has been, for a long, long time.

This thought – which isn’t all that profound, in the scheme of things – struck me with particular force, when, serendipitously, a couple boxes arrived, via post, on my front porch.

I say serendipitously, because just the day before, I began the Big Overhaul on my needlework book shelves. The timing couldn’t have been better!

World of Embroidery - Embroidery of the World
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