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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2019 (118) 2018 (146) 2017 (169) 2016 (147) 2015 (246) 2014 (294) 2013 (294) 2012 (305) 2011 (306) 2010 (316) 2009 (367) 2008 (353) 2007 (225) 2006 (139)

Weekend Stitching: Experimenting with Uncounted Cross Stitch



I used my snowflakes that we talked about last week as a carrot over the weekend.

I often do this with stitching. When I have more onerous tasks that must be done, I turn my embroidery into a carrot. I make myself stay on task for a certain amount of time, and then I take a short stitching (or other kind) of break, where I can do something completely different to take my mind of the more demanding job.

This weekend (and for the last couple weekends), I’ve been working on the e-book for Festive Fall, which I hope to have available for you on Wednesday. (Keep your fingers crossed for me.)

This type of work requires hours upon hours in front of the computer, editing photos, writing, and so forth. I have to make myself shift every hour, and usually, I take the break time to do other small tasks, like changing the wash, doing dishes, cleaning the bathroom, that kind of thing.

To keep myself a little more motivated this weekend, I added 15 minutes of stitching time into the line-up, and made that my carrot. It worked well! Between my 15 minutes here and there and some longer bouts in the evenings, I managed to get a good bit of embroidery done.

I was experimenting this weekend.

Winter Snowflake in Uncounted Cross Stitch
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October’s Embroidery Agenda – and More!


Did I just type “October” in the title line on this article? Good grief.

You know what? I’d love to hear all about what’s going on at your work table or at your favorite stitching station right now. I’ll link to the comment section at the end of this article so you can tell us what you’re up to right now. I think it’s always a good thing to share our needlework journeys a bit – you’d be surprised what little tidbit, what little morsel of knowledge or idea or project that we’re working on might inspire others in the wider Needlework Community!

I’m going to tell you what’s on my October embroidery agenda and share some random stitching topics – things I’ve been thinking about, projects I’m piddling with, materials I’m trying. Very Random Stuff…

embroidered snowflake-like doodle in red
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On Needle Threaders -and a Cheap One, but Hey…!


I’m always looking for solutions to share with you, to make your embroidery life easier.

So when the conversation about a lighted needle threader popped up over in the Needle ‘n Thread Community on Facebook, I found myself exploring a topic that I think could come in handy for those of us who have rotten eyesight for whatever reason – or for those who struggle to thread needles for whatever reason!

One of the gals in the community (thank you, Pamela) posted a picture of a cheap little plastic needle threader that’s lighted, and asked if anyone had tried one. An engaging conversation pursued about different types of needle threading and threaders.

Being somewhat attracted to gadgets, my only take-away was that silly little threader. I have seen lighted needle threaders here and there – I think Dritz, among other companies, makes one – but the reviews are always pretty average or below average. So I never bothered. But this one, for some reason, was different. I had to try one of those little cheap plastic needle threaders! It became a kind of obsession.

Plastic needle threader with LED light
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Embroidered Botanicals by Yumiko Higuchi – A Book Review


Good morning, and happy Monday!

Let’s kick off the week with a quick look at Embroidered Botanicals, the latest embroidery book by Yumiko Higuchi in the “Japanese craft style.”

I’ve followed Yumiko’s work on social media for a while – I really like the cleanness and precision of her style. And while I’ve not been thrilled with every book published under her name, I really like this book, and I’ll show you why.

You should be aware that the name is a bit misleading, though, as the book is not entirely devoted to embroidered botanicals. Part of it is, but there’s lots of other stuff going on in here, too.

Embroidered Botanicals by Yumiko Higuchi
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Needlework News Snips – September, 2019


It’s been a long, long time since we’ve taken a little browse together through needlework news and inspirations.

With the days getting shorter and the nights getting longer, I always find autumn to be a perfect season for embroidery. It’s the time of year when I start thinking of inside evenings and I start planning what to do once the weather starts chilling up and the dark settles in much earlier.

We’re not quite there yet here in Kansas (the weather here apparently has no idea that autumn starts Monday), it’s still a good time to start plotting and planning, rubbing your hands with delight as you contemplate new needlework adventures in the season ahead! Perhaps some of the bits below will inspire you or maybe they’ll fill in that one little blank that starts you off on a new project.

So grab a cup of your favorite brew, and let’s have a wander together…

Needlework News Snips for September, 2019
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Starts & Stops: Beginning & Ending Threads on Sheer Fabric


On Monday, we looked at some introductory tips and information about stitching on organza.

Today, we’ll talk a little bit about the starts and the stops – that is, starting and ending threads when embroidering on sheer fabrics. I’m also going to share some news with you at the end of today’s article – there are a couple worthwhile things there to take note of!

The tricky thing when you’re working with fabrics as sheer as organza is this: any bit of thread that extends beyond the embroidery on the front is going to show. Whether it’s a little hairy smidgeon of thread from when it was snipped, or whether it’s a slight build up of thread right behind the stitching, if your fabric is transparent, there’s no missing that little extra something peaking out from the back.

Because of this, the starts and stops on your threads are important to consider!

Beginning and ending threads on sheer fabrics in embroidery
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Embroidering on Silk Organza: Tips, Resources, and Inspiration


One of the Many Wonders of hand embroidery is that it can be accomplished on practically any ground fabric (and even stuff other than fabric).

Lately, there’s a trend in full swing in the hand embroidery world to embroider on organza, which is a sheer fabric with a bit of body to it.

Embroidery on silk organza is actually nothing too new – it’s gone on in the clothing industry (especially in couture houses) for a long time – but working stand-alone, framable embroidery projects using organza as the ground fabric is pretty trendy right now.

To successfully embroider on something like organza, you have to keep a few things in mind. So I thought we’d chat about the whole concept of stitching on organza and I’d share some tips, resources, and inspiration with you.

Hand Embroidery on Silk Organza - Tips, Inspiration, Resources
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