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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2018 (23) 2017 (169) 2016 (147) 2015 (246) 2014 (294) 2013 (294) 2012 (305) 2011 (306) 2010 (316) 2009 (367) 2008 (353) 2007 (225) 2006 (139)

A Brief Guide to Cotton Hand Embroidery Threads



Even if you’re new to embroidery, you probably already realize that there’s more to the Wonderful World of Embroidery Thread than regular stranded cotton.

But perhaps the whole gamut of all the thread available out there – the “embarrassment of riches” that we enjoy in the needlework world today – is a bit overwhelming to you.

Perhaps you know there’s other thread you could try, but, being unsure of what’s what, you feel it’s better to stick with what you know rather than to venture into the unknown.

Often, our inhibitions to try something new are due to a lack of confidence, which stems from a lack of understanding or knowledge.

So occasionally, I like to delve into a bit of thread talk, exploring different types of threads for hand embroidery. For beginners and non-beginners alike, understanding what threads are what may encourage you to try new-to-you threads with a little more confidence!

Today, we’re going to talk about cotton threads that are specifically made for hand embroidery.

Brief Guide to Cotton Hand Embroidery Threads
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Trestles and Slate Frames – at a Steal!


A great big early morning Howdy from Kansas! I’m not exactly sure how Wednesday got here already, but I’m glad it did, because I’m excited to share some news with you!

Last year I reviewed this slate frame from Mythic Crafts. Many of you may remember the review – for those who are new to Needle ‘n Thread, who are looking for quality embroidery slate frames, you might check it out! Mark’s frame has some unique features that make it decidedly different – and easier to set up – than most slate frames.

Since then, a lot has happened at Mythic Crafts, not least of which was a relocation from Canada to the UK. Besides that, though, Mark Harris, the craftsman behind Mythic Crafts, has prototyped and developed a multi-functional set of trestles to support slate and other similar frames, as well as engineering the plans for a much-requested table frame clamp.

Today, I want to tell you about two things:

1. How, for a short time, we can acquire Mark’s exquisite slate frames, trestles and other goods for a discounted price; and

2. How we can help establish a manufacturer in the needlework industry so that we – and generations after us – can have access to these beautiful tools for years to come.

Slate Frames & Trestles for Embroidery
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Party in Provence 4: Lots of Little Swirls


The last time we visited Party in Provence, an embroidered kaleidoscope project that we’re working through step-by-step here on Needle ‘n Thread, we worked the big petals in the center of the design and the little flowers between them.

Originally, I was going to start the week with some beadwork on Party in Provence, but as I prepared that article, it struck me that it might be better not to put the beads on until closer to the end of the project.

For those following along, don’t be too disappointed! I know you don’t get the finished look of the inside rounds until the dark blue beads are added to the larger petals, but there’s a good reason for not adding beads just yet.

You see, I’m all for avoiding as much frustration as possible when stitching. It’s easy for your working thread to catch on beads when you’re stitching other parts of the design, and since there’s still plenty of surface embroidery to tackle on this piece, we’ll try to avoid those little annoyances.

So, today, swirls. Lots of little swirls!

Party in Provence: Embroidered Kaleidoscope - small stems and vines
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Two Felted Mittens, Embroidered! The Finish & Recap


Well, I finished my wool felted mittens. They are duly embroidered!

It was a fun test project, and I’m looking forward to trying again on another pair, using different threads and techniques. All in the interest of experimenting, you know.

For those who want to try something similar, I’ve recapped a few points below, including how I transferred the design for the secon mitten. I’ve also listed all the articles in this short project series, so that you can easily find the whole project under Tips & Techniques in the main menu on Needle ‘n Thread.

Embroidery on Felted Wool Mittens
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The Bird in Between – Another Needlepainted Mini


Between working on embroidering those two felted mittens in wool, I’ve picked up, now and then, another one of the tiny birds that I showed you earlier in the month.

It’s really weird to go back and forth from embroidering with wool on something relatively large, to embroidering with a single strand of DMC on something that’s relatively small! But I kind of like the change!

Needlepainted miniature bird
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Embroidered Wool Mittens – One, Anyway!


So much for a weekend finish! Today, I was supposed to share a whole pair of mittens with you, but the embroidery on the second wool mitten is lagging behind a bit!

Still, I can show you the first mitten with the embroidery finished, for what it’s worth. Last time we visited the project, I was almost there, but not quite.

So this is a finished wool felted mitten, embroidered, with a few things I’ve learned along the way – just in case it’s a project you’d be interested in undertaking, too!

Embroidered Felted Wool Mitten
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Needlework News Snips: January, 2018


Good morning, my friends! Welcome to the weekend, to the glorious luxury of Saturday mornings, and to a little bit of needlework news!

These are random bits of embroidery or needlework-related news, information, instruction, and inspiration pulled from hither and yon for your weekend browsing.

The way it works is this. I’ve fixed myself a nice cup of tea (it’s actually a fairly substantial mug) and I’ll end the list when one of three things happens: either my cup is empty, or my tea is cold, or I’ve run through my list of bits and bobs!

So pour a cup, pull up a chair, and let’s go for a little browse together, shall we?

Needlework News Snips for January, 2018
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