Mary Corbet

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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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A Stitching Diversion: Playing in a Wheat Field


Amazon Books

You know that booklet I reviewed on Monday, by Elisabetta Sforza? In a Wheat Field?

Well, it’s become rather diverting. I think you need to get it, if you haven’t already gotten it. We could have fun together!

I wasn’t really going to let myself be diverted by it.

But then I did.

You see, I got it into my head that I would at least scuffle through my DMC thread colors to see what I had on hand for the projects in the book. And then, while I was chillin’ a bit in the evening, I figured I’d go ahead and trace some of the designs onto vellum – you know, just for the fun of it.

Then I got it into my head that I’d like to play with the designs on a linen glass towel. And one thing led to another, and here I am. And I’m Perfectly Happy to be here!

As I began to delve into the projects, considering colors and stitches and what-have-you, I admit that I changed things up a little bit.

In a Wheat Field embroidery
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In a Wheatfield – An Exquisite Alphabet (& More!) to Stitch


If you say “embroidered monogram” to me, my mind will immediately answer with “Elisabetta Sforza.”

Elisabetta is an Italian embroiderer who is truly a master of hand embroidered monograms in both traditional and innovative styles. She wrote this book, featuring a glorious floral alphabet, that I reviewed a while ago. And she has recently published another alphabet that has captivated my monogram-and-flowers-and-other-beautiful-embroidery-loving heart.

Her new booklet, which I recently received from Elisabetta via the folks at Needle in a Haystack when their shipment of the books arrived, is called In a Wheat Field. The alphabet and decorative accents within it feature wheat, wildflowers, and poppies. The designs, the embroidery, the colors, the stitches – they’re all stunningly beautiful!

In a Wheat Field embroidered alphabet by Elisabetta Sforza
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Embroidery Ground Fabric Matters


Some people say you can embroider on anything.

And I agree, to an extent.

But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t pay pretty close attention to the ground fabric you select for your embroidery projects. The ground fabric (the fabric you are stitching on, that the embroidery is embellishing) has to work with the type of embroidery you’re doing, or there’s no sense in using it.

I’ll give you one small example of a selection I made for a ground fabric that I thought about using, but changed my mind. And I’ll show you why I changed my mind. And hopefully, the conclusion we can draw is that you have to consider what you’re stitching and what techniques you’re using when you select fabric, so that the fabric you select will work for you.

Ground fabric for hand embroidery: making good choices
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Tool Talk: Thread Keeps & How to Make Your Own


How about a little Tool Talk?

Accessorizing is a fun part of many arts & crafts. Sure, you can accomplish your needlework with the very basics. You want to hand embroider? All you really need is a needle, some thread, something to embroider on (usually fabric), and a way to cut your threads. You don’t need anything else.

But there are tools that make our needlework easier. There are tools that improve the outcome of our needlework. And there are tools that make our needlework more fun. So we accessorize! And that’s all part of the enjoyment of embroidery.

When I was cleaning up a mess of threads the other day – yes, I have thread messes! – I came across some thread keeps that I bought a while ago but hadn’t used yet for a number of reasons. And that led me to making my own set of thread keeps. And that led me to thinking I should share them with you. And that led me to this article! So here we are!

Thread Keeps by Kelmscott Designs
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Weekend Stitching: Thinking through Whitework and Not Getting Far


I didn’t get much stitching done this weekend.

I take that back. I got a lot of stitching done this weekend, but I got even more unstitching done. It was one of those this-is-going-nowhere sorts of weekends, as far as stitching goes.

I’ll tell you about it, share some of the reasons why things went amuck, and talk about some ideas and resources on this Jacobean whitework-on-blue project that I’m working on right now (and that I introduced to you here).

Jacobean whitework embroidery project - little progress
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Floral Corners: Three Hand Embroidery Projects for Beginners & Beyond!


Happy Friday!! It’s time to celebrate!!

At long last, and just in time for spring & summer stitching, here’s the instructional guide for Floral Corners, three floral projects that I used for local hand embroidery classes for youth last summer.

This e-book is a little different. It’s more about giving options when interpreting a design into hand embroidery stitches. There’s a lot of freedom of choice in the projects, but plenty of guidance, too.

I’ve also put together a limited number of flour sack towel sets with the designs transferred on them for those who don’t want to bother with the design transfer process. You’ll find information on those at the end of this article.

Here’s a little overview of what you can expect from the e-book…

Floral Corners hand embroidery projects for beginners and beyond
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Old Online Embroidery & Designs worth Perusing


Happy Wednesday, everyone! We’re well past the halfway point in March, and I think it’s time for a little excursion. Think of it as a field trip!

Today, I’m going to share with you a few embroidery-related documents I’ve come across recently online. They’re free resources of works in the public domain for the most part. I was actually exploring the concept of “design” when most of these came up, so you’ll find a few that will fit more in the designing category than the actual stitching category, but they can all be related somehow to needlework or needlework designing.

I hope you enjoy perusing them – and maybe one of them will speak to you and lead you on to creating something great with your needle and thread!

hand embroidery design for a frame
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