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

Contact Mary

Connect with Mary



2018 (117) 2017 (169) 2016 (147) 2015 (246) 2014 (294) 2013 (294) 2012 (305) 2011 (306) 2010 (316) 2009 (367) 2008 (353) 2007 (225) 2006 (139)

Autumn Leaves & Acorns: A Free Hand Embroidery Design



Oh, good morning, and a very happy Friday to you!

Today strikes me as good day to share a free hand embroidery design with you. And, with All Things Autumn sprouting up all over the place here in the States, it seems appropriate that it’s a fall-ish pattern!

This is, yes, another kaleidoscope design. It didn’t quite make the cut for Favorite Kaleidoscopes, primarily because it is season-specific. I had planned on stitching it up for the website long before now and sharing the stitching process as fall progressed, but I haven’t had a chance to tackle it yet.

Still – that doesn’t mean you can’t!

Autumn Leaves and Acorns Hand Embroidery Design
Continue reading “Autumn Leaves & Acorns: A Free Hand Embroidery Design”

Embroidery for Stitching & Thinking


Earlier this month, we looked at these embroidered hollyhocks and this embroidered butterfly.

These little elements are part of a design I transferred to a flour sack towel a few months ago. I only started stitching on it because I needed something that was quick and easy to pick up, to work on now and then. It’s a no-stress project.

I really didn’t intend for it to be an all-consuming project, and it isn’t.

But it really works out well for a Stitching & Thinking Project.

Do you have a Stitching & Thinking Project?

Hand Embroidered Garden Border on Flour Sack Towel
Continue reading “Embroidery for Stitching & Thinking”

Designing & Gathering and Why It Has to be Done


Playing with threads and deciding on colors makes me happy.

It’s not just because I like embroidery thread and I like color. It’s more than that!

When I get to the point of selecting colors and threads for a new project, I know that I’m on the brink of a new adventure.

Since thread selection, for me, is often the last part of the whole designing and planning process, I’m always in a state of excitement when the threads are gathered before me!

Silk Embroidery Threads for New Project
Continue reading “Designing & Gathering and Why It Has to be Done”

Embroidery Thread News! Who Doesn’t Like a Discount Now and Then?


Here in Kansas, it’s been disgustingly hot the first half of September – which is pretty typical!

But last night, the heat broke as storms rolled through, and this morning, it is soft and cool outside, smacking of autumn all around! Rumor has it, we’ll be in the low forties tonight. That’s practically winter here.

I love autumn. I love everything about it, from the cooler mornings and chilly nights, to the crisp sunny afternoons alternating with the occasional blustery gray.

But most of all, I love fall for the color. The gold-red hues of the prairie grasses, the blue-blue skies, the leaves flashing their brilliant shades. Even the green and gold grasshoppers that spit. Yep, I love it all!

If you’re an autumn stitcher, then I have some good news for you! After writing about these miniature patterns I shared with you the other day, I was able to follow up on the whole thread availability question.

And even if autumn stitching isn’t your thing, but you’re a thread lover in general (I’m guessing some of you out there love embroidery thread, correct?), this is great news, too, because… well, who doesn’t like threads at a discount?

Autumn Embroidery Thread Pack & Needle 'n Thread Discount Information
Continue reading “Embroidery Thread News! Who Doesn’t Like a Discount Now and Then?”

Some Tiny Embroidery for Jewelry – with Free Patterns!


I’ve started playing with some miniature pieces of embroidery to use in jewelry bases.

If you’ve been following along on Needle ‘n Thread for a while, this probably won’t surprise you too much, because I love little embroidery projects – and when it comes to embroidering for jewelry bases, well… that’s pretty little!

The fun thing about these little embroidery projects is that they take very little time to work up, if you’re not making anything too complicated. I’m not even talking about a weekend project – I’m talking about a morning or afternoon project!

It all depends, though, on how complex you make the embroidery.

I went with pretty simple. I still need to get some aspects of the whole process ironed out. I’ll tell you what went well, what didn’t, what I will change for the next time, and I’ll share resources and some free patterns with you, so you can stitch up your own little autumn embroidery bits, too!

Autumn Embroidery for Jewelry - free patterns
Continue reading “Some Tiny Embroidery for Jewelry – with Free Patterns!”

Display Your Embroidery with Decorative Hoop Frames


Today, it’s all about ingenuity – and finishing embroidery for display…

“Hoop art” is a Big Thing these days. Many folks who love to stitch have discovered that they can display, albeit in a somewhat temporary fashion, their embroidery projects directly in the hoops they were created in.

After trimming the fabric, turning it in on the back, and covering the back of the hoop with other fabric or felt (some folks even use decorative paper), you can then hang the hoop directly on the wall or put it wherever you want – small hoops make great tree ornaments, for example!

It took me a while to get on the hoop art wagon, but now that I have a place where I can display lots of embroidery samples (as opposed to full-fledged, big, time-consuming projects that I’d be more apt to frame professionally), I definitely see the value – and the fun! – of using a hoop for display purposes.

Kacee Granke of Stitch Life Studio has taken the notion of the hoop art display a little farther and contrived an ingenious and attractive way to dress up hoop art. So, today, I’m going to show you what Kacee makes and tell you why I think it’s both fun and smart.

Decorative Hoop Frames for Embroidery Display
Continue reading “Display Your Embroidery with Decorative Hoop Frames”

Your Weekend Rabbit Hole: Therese de Dillmont’s Embroidery Books


Alas, this week I fell down the Proverbial Rabbit Hole again, exploring several of my old Therese de Dillmont embroidery books.

I really felt totally justified – I was, after all, organizing and trying to situate a few things in my studio.

But when you start to leaf through a favorite needlework book – and then another favorite needlework book – and then, well, why not? Another one…and another…and another – it isn’t hard to find a good portion of the day gone before you even realize what you’ve been about! That was me, yesterday. By evening, I was kicking myself. My To-Do list had one half of a tick on it.

There’s a saying that misery loves company, but in cases like this, I prefer to think of it as spreading the joy! Not only did the hours I spent sorting through some books provide me a heck of a lot of enjoyment, but they served as a pretty nice inspirational springboard. So many ideas! So many notes taken! So many pages marked! So many projects planned or questions answered!

Therese de Dillmont Embroidery Books
Continue reading “Your Weekend Rabbit Hole: Therese de Dillmont’s Embroidery Books”