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

Contact Mary

Connect with Mary



2024 (20) 2023 (125) 2022 (136) 2021 (130) 2020 (132) 2019 (147) 2018 (146) 2017 (169) 2016 (147) 2015 (246) 2014 (294) 2013 (294) 2012 (305) 2011 (306) 2010 (316) 2009 (367) 2008 (352) 2007 (225) 2006 (139)

Introducing Purple Posy, a Tape Measure Cozy!


Amazon Books

At the end of next week, I’ll be launching the kits for the first Stitch Snippet stitch-along of 2024. I’m very excited about it, and I hope you are, too!

Stitch Snippets is a series of stitch-alongs here on Needle ‘n Thread. The instructions are offered here on the website for free, for you to follow along at your own pace. If you are a member of the Needle ‘n Thread Community on Patreon, you’ll receive all the lessons for the stitch-along in a downloadable and printable PDF format, along with other little bits of instruction that we’ll talk about along the way.

With every stitch-along, my goal is to offer a project that results in something finished and ready to use or display. So whether the embroidery project results in a small framed piece for display (like Autumn Fire) or a needle and scissor wallet (like Cotton Quartet) or a bead-embroidered pincushion (like the Bee-Jeweled Pincushion), at the end of the whole step-by-step process, you’ll have a finished piece of embroidery that you can be mighty pleased with!

This approach will not only help you learn different aspects of embroidery, but it will also increase your confidence in finishing your own embroidery into beautiful and useful items.

Without further ado, then, I’d like to introduce you to Purple Posy, a tape measure cozy.

It’s a fun Snippet, with all kinds of great learning aspects to it!

Read on, and I’ll tell you what you can expect…

Stitch Snippet: Purple Posy Tape Measure Cozy
Continue reading “Introducing Purple Posy, a Tape Measure Cozy!”

This Just In: Life in Seasons!


Today, I’m going to review a gorgeous new book that’s just arrived in the studio – Nicola Jarvis’s Life in Stitches, Volume 1: Winter / Spring. It’s our first new book in the shop this year, and I’m excited to share it with you!

At first, I wasn’t sure what to expect with the book. I am familiar with Nicola’s style and approach to embroidery, but I wasn’t sure how it would come across in a printed volume.

If you’re already familiar with Nicola’s work, you know that her “signature look” lately features artistically rendered wildlife and floral combinations. She is an artist, and her embroidery projects are imbued with her exceptional qualities as an artist, foremost.

Life in Seasons is a project and instructional book, but it’s also a very personal book. The author really transports the reader into her world and into her artistic life. And because of this, I find the book exceptionally unique and compelling.

Life in Seasons, Nicola Jarvis
Continue reading “This Just In: Life in Seasons!”

Fire & Thread: What’s a Burn Test?


Have you ever come across a stray piece of fabric or an labeled skein or spool of thread and wondered what type of fabric or thread it was?

Sometimes, you can know just by looking. But sometimes you can’t. Especially if blends are involved, discerning a type of thread or fabric can be tricky.

To help me figure out what an unlabeled or thread might be made of, I usually resort to a burn test. A burn test involves igniting fibers to see how they burn and behave. This is something you can do at home with a few simply tools.

The more you burn test different fibers, the more you’ll get a better notion of what to look for in the burn, the ash, and the smell, to help you discern particular fiber content.

Burn test for threads and fabric
Continue reading “Fire & Thread: What’s a Burn Test?”

Embroidered Writing – My Favorite Stitches for It


It’s happening again!

I’m getting lots of emails lately about embroidered writing – which has me thinking that there’s either a big project going on out there somewhere involving embroidered text, or embroidering hand-written text is becoming trendy again on the social media waves.

I always know Something is Up out there somewhere, when I get an influx of email asking basically the same questions. Sometimes, it happens with particular stitches that are featured in sped-up reels that are hard to follow; sometimes, it’s a technique that’s being used in a kit that’s gone viral. Or sometimes, it’s just something that’s become trendy again.

In this case, I’ve had quite a few questions about embroidering hand writing.

I wrote this series of tutorials for embroidering lettering and handwriting eons ago, but that series doesn’t include my now-favorite stitch for this type of embroidery, so if you’re interested in embroidering handwriting or text, I’ll point you to some tutorials below.

Quaker Stitch for embroidering handwriting
Continue reading “Embroidered Writing – My Favorite Stitches for It”

Wool Threads to Play With!


Lately, I’ve been chomping at the bit to finish the project I’m working on so that I can start playing with some new threads!!

New Threads!

Hurray for New Threads!

I tend to go a bit batty over needlework threads in general – they’re my One Weakness (among oh-so-many other weaknesses), and when I get some, they consume my thoughts.

So, while I’m finishing up one project, my mind is gurgling over with plans for playing with two different types of wool thread that have come my way.

I’ll be working with them both in depth, soon.

New Wool Threads to Play With
Continue reading “Wool Threads to Play With!”

Beads, Glorious Beads!


Anna and I went bead shopping. It was not as much of an adventure as I would have liked, simply because there are so few bead stores within driving distance here in Kansas.

In fact, for the type of beads we were looking for, there are only a couple. We picked the most promising of the two, and hit the road early in the morning.

Now, I know most people would think, “Yay! An opportunity for a day out shopping! Hurray!”

No, no! We were women on a mission, focused and determined. We were finished and on our way back home pretty quickly.

Bead testing
Continue reading “Beads, Glorious Beads!”