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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What’s your Hoop?



My friends, a Happy Saturday all around!

I’m going to use today’s article to poll our community and get some help! I’ve been testing some embroidery hoops, making comparisons, and drawing conclusions lately, to prepare a detailed article on embroidery hoops of different types, their advantages and disadvantages, and the like. It’s an article that I hoop will be helpful to many!

I thought some community input would be a good thing! And so, today – along with some other knick-knacks, bits and bobs, bobbles and bibelots, gaudies and gewgaws, I thought I’d ask this question: What’s Your Hoop?

Hoops for hand embroidery
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A Damp Stretching Tip – Easier on the Hands!


Damp stretching (sometimes called blocking) is a crucial step you should never skip on embroidery that’s going to be finished into something, whether it’s framed art, an ornament, a needlebook, a pin cushion, a couch cushion, or anything else.

I’ve written about damp stretching – which I used to affectionately call damn stretching because it was often a frustrating pain for my fingers and hands! – here, with a tutorial. The tutorial will teach you the concept of damp stretching. As you progress through your embroidery journey, you will probably make little tweaks and adjustments to how you damp stretch your work.

At the beginning of this whole ornament-making process, I made some adjustments to my approach to damp stretching, and they are adjustments for the Oh-So-Much-Better. Why didn’t I do this before?!? Since there are some 20 snowflake ornaments floating around here now, I have a Massive Appreciation for these tweaks that have made damp stretching easier for me.

So I thought I’d share them with you! It’s really a matter of supplies, more than anything else…

Damp Stretching Embroidery Tip
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Finishing Trims for Embroidered Ornaments & Smalls


At the end of last week, I posted some photos of my finished embroidered snowflake ornaments on social media.

I then spent more hours than I can count answering questions, emails, messages, and so forth about the trims I used and the finishing techniques.

So I’m interrupting my publishing schedule here to bring you some highlights about trims for finishing, because it seems that many folks are looking for decent trims for finishing up their own embroidered things – whether for ornaments or other uses.

I also received a few questions about dating. Well, that’s kind of a personal topic – but I’ll answer that question below, too.

Hand Embroidered Snowflake Ornaments
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Never Underestimate the Simplest Tools


When you go about finishing your embroidery projects into something-or-other – whether it’s into a Christmas ornament (that’s what I’m doing lately), a needlebook, an elaborate box, or myriad other things – you’re going to need a few helpful tools.

I have one favorite tool that I could not live without during the finishing stages of any embroidery. But when it comes to making ornaments, this simple tool – rather ubiquitous in any sewing or needlework-related craft room – has to meet certain criteria.

Finishing embroidery into ornaments - tools
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Fascinating Embroidered Book Cover in the Works


Good morning, and happy Wednesday! I hope you’ve been able to enjoy some time with your needle and thread this week so far – and that, wherever you are, your stitches are just right, and you are safe and sound and comfy!

It’s been a wild several weeks on this side of the Needle ‘n Thread screen! November is flying by too quickly. I’m exceedingly thankful that Thanksgiving falls a bit later this year!

Each day gets me a little closer to finishing the snowflake collection we talked about Monday and even preparing some more Festive Fall and Holly & Evergreen ready-to-stitch towels (and a new line of ready-to-stitch Folky Flake towels, like the examples I talked about here). All of that should be ready for you by the end of the month, and perhaps sooner, if things go well.

Today, I’m sharing a super enjoyable video with you, though I expect it will go around online with all haste and you might run into it elsewhere. Remember this book:

Chloe Giordano book and a link to her video
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Needlework News Snips – November 8, 2019


Happy Friday! Most people call it the weekend – I’m calling it the workend. Lots to do this weekend with needle and thread (and scissors and glue and pins and batting and…), because I’m finishing up some ornaments. Yay!

Over the past week, I’ve built up a dandy little list of online bits related to needlework. There’s a little bit of instruction, a little bit of inspirations, some news – a whole conglomeration of things that popped up in front of me off and on all week and I thought worth sharing with you.

They’re in absolutely no particular order.

So grab a cuppa and let’s go for a meander, shall we?

Needlework News Snips November 8, 2019
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