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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Embroidered Birds & Their Habitats


Amazon Books

With spring coming here in Kansas, bird life is picking up exponentially as each day passes.

I like birds! I find them extraordinarily beautiful (even the plain ones) and highly amusing. Even though I’m not a devoted twitcher, I love to watch birds, and occasionally, I’ll even go to pretty good lengths to see particular birds in their natural environments.

With all this in mind, I thought that this new book, Embroidered Birds and Their Habitats by Judy Wilford, would be a good candidate to kick off a series of book reviews. It’s one in a stack of books that I’ve been planning to share with you for a while, so … here we go!

Embroidered Birds and Their Habitats
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Just Another Pic on the Wall


Last November, Needle ‘n Thread moved into our new working studio in a commercial building in downtown St. Marys, Kansas. I wrote about that here and here.

Evaluating our first four months, I’d say we’ve settled in pretty well! We’ve become much more work-efficient in this space, because we have a better layout and we have more room.

Mostly, though, I think that we work better because we’re in a working environment rather than a residential environment. It makes a Huge Difference in the mindset when coming to work, getting into the work day, and carrying through the work day with focus.

Needle 'n Thread Studio - Picture Wall
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An Embroidery Fail: Digging Up the Past


In a conversation with a fellow (not embroidery) blogger the other day, we were discussing trendy blogging and social media topics. We got on the subject of how words are used these days, and I listed off a few pet peeves.

For example, I don’t like the prevailing use of verbs as nouns and nouns as verbs. I gave a few examples: fail as a noun, adult as a verb, art as a verb.

I have to pay bills. I guess it’s time to adult.

I’m going to art all day long today!

I had a big adulting fail yesterday, when I slept till noon and missed work.

Cake fail. Cooking fail. Building fail.

It rubs me the wrong way.

As the topic progressed, I was challenged to write an article about an “embroidery fail,” and to use the term “fail” the way I don’t like using it.

(I’m only explaining this whole backstory so that you know why the title of today’s article is what it is!)

And just to clarify – I know that there is a history of “fail” being used as a noun in the academic sense. The way it’s used today, though, is just as a shortened version of failure.

Silk embroidery on silk fabric
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A Stitch Snippet Sneak Peek


As we rapidly approach the end of February, I thought I’d offer a sneak peek of the first Stitch Snippet stitch-along project for 2023 here on Needle ‘n Thread.

Earlier, I hinted at the colors and threads I’m using on the project. And just so you know that I’m not too much of a lazy bum – I really have been working on it – today, I’ll highlight some of the stitching that we’ll be doing together on this little thing that we’re going to make.

We’ll also talk about a feasible time line for the project, so that you can know what to expect when it’s ready to launch.

Stitch Snippet 1 for 2023
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Cherry Blossom Roundel from Jane Nicholas


A long time ago, back in August of 2022, I reviewed Jane Nicholas’s latest embroidery book, Japanese Motifs in Stumpwork & Goldwork, which you can read about here.

Jane Nicholas is a professional embroiderer and embroidery designer from Australia. She’s instructed at the EGA (Embroiderers’ Guild of America) National Seminars and regional workshops, and she’s traveled around the world as a teacher. I’ve written about her pretty abundantly here on Needle ‘n Thread, too, reviewing many of her books, so many of you are likely familiar with her work.

Jane’s beautiful designs have a pristine, clear quality about them. They’re unmistakable – you can always recognize them as hers, even thought she draws from myriad styles of art.

Cherry Blossom roundel from Jane Nicholas
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