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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A Few Embroidery Tips that Never Grow Old


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Whether you’re new to embroidery or you’ve been on the stitching scene for decades, it never hurts to revisit some good ole down-home embroidery tips – the kind of tips that never grow old!

I’m almost embarrassed to admit it. I looked over some of these lists and articles, and I found myself thinking, Oh yeah. How did I forget that?

We all need a brush-up here and there, now and then, I reckon, so I figured these might make a good weekend reading venture!

Embroidery Tips that Never Grow Old
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Cornflowers Stitch-Along 1: Materials, Design, & Set-Up


Woohoo! Time to launch the stitch-along for the Cornflowers Scissor Envelope, a pretty little embroidery project sporting lovely cornflowers, that finishes into an envelope-style case to hold your favorite embroidery scissors.

If you’re just joining us and the Cornflowers project is new to you – or your not familiar with how this will work – please take a look at this article from a few weeks ago. It will tell you what to expect with the project and stitch-along.

If you are interested in acquiring the materials kit for the stitch-along, you can find those available here. The convenient thing about the kit is that it has all the materials that you need to create the project, so you don’t have to source materials from multiple places.

The stitch-along will progress in short segments here on Needle ‘n Thread over the next month-ish. If you are a member of the Needle ‘n Thread Community on Patreon, you’ll find the lessons posted over there, too, in a handy PDF format that you can download and save to your computer or mobile device, and that you can easily print.

Let’s get started! Today, we’ll talk about materials, the design, design transfer, and project set-up.

Cornflowers Scissor Envelope - Stitch Along
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Gumnut Yarns, Stitched


This is the week, my friends!! We will start the Cornflowers Stitch Snippet stitch-along just a little later this week, giving everyone as much opportunity as possible to receive their kits in the mail. If you haven’t had a chance to explore this new stitch-along, you can read about it here. We have more materials kits available, too!

Since we’re not quite ready to launch into the Cornflowers project, though, we’ll take another look at wool threads. This time, we’ll follow up on my previous introductory post to Gumnut Yarns, looking at them stitched up.

I discovered some interesting points about the threads while stitching with them.

Stitching with Gumnut Yarns wool threads
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Superior Quality Linen Blanks for Embroidery


For years, I’ve been dreaming about how nice it would be to have superior quality linen blanks available here in the US for hand embroidery.

What are “blanks”? You might hear the term more frequently in the machine embroidery world than in the hand embroidery world.

Blanks are pre-made items that are ready to be embroidered, and they are a popular part of the machine embroidery industry. Think: baby bibs, kitchen towels, aprons, blankets, table cloths, table runners, cloth napkins, tote bags, sun visors, beach towels, and a gazillion other textile items ripe for personalization via an embroidery machine.

Because machine embroidery is pretty popular in the US (and around the world), these kinds of blanks are fairly widely available. You can find them in most hobby / craft big-box stores, and you can order a wide array of them online from all kinds of sources.

Blanks range in quality, from really poor quality to high quality when made by small boutique or bespoke businesses that focus on producing quality goods with quality materials.

Unfortunately, though, when it comes to blanks made from linen, these days the majority tend to be pretty poor quality, as they are mostly imported from China where they don’t have a whole lot of oversight in production and they don’t begin with quality material. From the fabric to the finished blanks, they just aren’t all that great. If you’ve ever worked with them, laundered them, embroidered them – you know what I mean! They usually aren’t the kind of linen that wears well with time.

I’m not certain that my dream of having ready-to-stitch, high-quality linen blanks available in the US is feasible. Still, I’ve always thought it worth trying, and to that end, last year, I took the plunge.

Linen Blanks for Hand Embroidery
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Thread Tip: Handling Looped, Twisted Threads


There are many, many needlework threads on the market that are sold in looped twists.

This type of “put up” (the method in which the thread is “bundled” or “presented” for selling) is pretty common, but if you haven’t come across it before and you don’t know how to handle it, it can be frustrating.

The specific put-up I’m talking about are those threads that begin in large loops that are then folded and then twisted.

The Gumnut Yarns that we talked about the other day are sold this way, but it’s not the only thread out there that’s put up in this configuration.

The loop and twist put-up is super-common in needlework threads. Perle cotton (DMC perle cotton #3 and #5) come this way. Cotton floche comes in a looped put-up (though not a twist). Many, many needlepoint threads come in looped and twisted put-ups.

Once you know how to handle one type of thread that comes this way, you’ll be able to handle any of them! So let’s talk about how to handle these looped and twisted threads, using the Gumnut skeins as an example.

Handling Looped, Twisted skeins of needlework thread
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Cornflowers – Stitch-Along Materials Kits Available!


And here we are, at long last! Time for the second Stitch Snippet Stitch-Along of 2024!

Featuring a vibrant field of cornflowers embroidered on natural colored linen, lined with a sumptuous shot silk, and constructed into a simple scissor envelope, Cornflowers is a project suitable for beginners and beyond. The project offers a very satisfactory finish into a very pretty, usable needlework accessory.

You’ll find the materials kits for Cornflowers right here, if you’d like to grab one for this stitch-along.

Cornflowers Scissor Envelope - Embroidery Stitch-Along
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Delicious Colors & Fibers: Gumnut Yarns Up Close


If I were a koala bear, I’d apparently find a gumnut tree irresistible!

I’d also be irresistibly cute and everybody would love me and want to cuddle me.

Fortunately, I’m not a koala bear.

Still, I also find certain gumnutty things irresistible – specifically, the colors and fibers of Gumnut Yarns, which hail (of course) from Australia.

In our ongoing exploration of wool threads, we’re going to look at some threads from Gumnut Yarns up close and compare them to previous wools that we’ve already explored. But before we get into the details, let’s do a General Overview of Things.

Gumnut Yarns
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