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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Sampling Stitches – Who Needs Decorative Fabric?



Recently, I showed you the finish on this embroidered model for a new collection of designs and instructions I’m putting together.

Lots of folks commented on the back of the finished needlebook.

Today, I’ll show you the back of the cheerful heart I shared with you on Friday – just to illustrate that, when you’re finishing small embroidery projects, you don’t necessarily need to find a coordinating fabric to finish the back of an embroidered piece. You can make your own!

Sampling Stitches for finishing - embroidery with floche
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Giuliana Ricama – in English!


Giuliana Ricama is an Italian needlework magazines that focuses largely on embroidery of all kinds, as well as a good amount of needle lace and other techniques associated with Italian needle arts.

In its Italian editions, it is a beautiful magazine packed full of a lot of needlework inspiration. The abundance of photos made navigating through a language barrier easier than you’d think.

But now, for those of us in the English-speaking world, the magazine offers an English language edition, and that’s jolly good news!

Giuliana Ricama
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Three Cheers for Color!


To prepare a collection of hand embroidery projects around a theme, it takes a while to get all the samples stitched.

Lately, I’ve been sharing progress on the same basic embroidery design stitched a variety of ways, from these voided monograms with tons of color and filling all around them, to this whitework voided monogram on natural linen, and today, to a simple shape employing the same design with a little less fill.

Best of all, it’s in Spring Brights as far as color goes! And I say bring on the color – there’s nothing like a good dose of color to lift one’s spirits!

Colorful Hand Embroidery floral filling with floche
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Voided Monogram – Finished Embroidery Project & Some Tips


Don’t you love it when a plan comes together?

Sometimes, when I’m planning embroidery projects, I don’t know if the finish I have in mind is going to work. And I had a few moments of hesitation when approaching the finish work on the needlebook from this embroidery project we chatted about on Monday.

But it came out ok, I think! Better than I expected. And that always makes me happy!

I had quite a few questions through email, comments on the blog, and social media about the beaded edge on this project, so I’ll share some tips with you below as I show you the final results.

Embroidered Needlebook with Beaded Edge
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Whitework Embroidery with a Touch of Blue


A few weeks ago, we chatted about sometimes having to quit on an embroidery project – not quit-quit, but just quit temporarily. It’s the idea of stepping away, especially if you’re getting frustrated with a piece of stitching or finishing.

In my case, I was trying to rush some finish work and the results were less than satisfactory.

One thing I’ve learned over the years is never to rush finish work. Perhaps you’re damp stretching embroidery and preparing it for framing. Maybe you’re turning a piece of embroidery into something particular like household furnishings (a footstool or a decorative pillow). Or you’re taking on the challenge of turning some small embroidery into a needlework accessory, like a needlebook, scissor fob, or pin cushion. Perhaps it’s even more complicated than that – or perhaps it’s a very simple finish, like framing it in an embroidery hoop.

Whatever the case, don’t rush it. Set aside a good chunk of time, prepare plenty of space to work, and lay out all your finishing supplies. Then sit down and go about the finish work in a steady, patient, methodical way. You’ll get much more satisfactory results!

Voided Monogram in Whitework with Blue Trim
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Needlework News Snips: March, 2020


Good morning, my friends!

It’s been a long time since we’ve had a little browse together online through newsy needlework bits!

This is a short little list of things I’ve come across lately or that have popped up in my various social media feeds, that I find either interesting, informative, or inspirational.

So, pull up a chair and let’s have a little chat and a browse…

Needlework News Snips, March 2020
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And Then There Were Beads…


On Monday, I shared with you my happy explorations of a linen shop in the Garment District of New York City when I visited the wee metropolis a couple weeks ago.

There were two other shops on my “must visit” list, besides the linen shop. One was another fabric shop that’s Huge and Overwhelming and just wasn’t my cup of tea.

The other shop was a bead shop. There are several well-known bead and trim shops in NYC, but I was looking for a shop that carried seed beads, and specifically, Miyuki seed beads. My research from out of town turned up only one shop that seemed likely to have a wide range of Miyuki seed beads.

Miyuki beads are my favorite beads for embroidery, because they have a huge range of types and colors and they are consistent, high quality beads. But when I buy them online (which is the only way I can usually buy them), I’m not always certain of the color. More often than not, I order beads expecting a certain color or shade, and upon arrival, they’re just not quite what I thought they would be.

The idea of shopping for beads in person, where I could actually see the colors, was quite appealing to me!

TOHO Shoji Miyuki beads NYC
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