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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2019 (36) 2018 (146) 2017 (169) 2016 (147) 2015 (246) 2014 (294) 2013 (294) 2012 (305) 2011 (306) 2010 (316) 2009 (367) 2008 (353) 2007 (225) 2006 (139)

Springy Stitching – Because I was Cold



This week’s to-do list on Monday morning included setting up two embroidery projects that I’ll be working on after I finish the leafy tree project.

I like to set up embroidery projects a little in advance of a finish, so that when I finish a project, I’ll have something to start stitching on right away. With these two new projects, my plan was to get them set up this week, but not to stitch on them.

First, I need to finish the leafy tree. I have three more leaves on it. They’ll take a total of, what? Thirty minutes, maybe! I just haven’t tackled those yet.

Then, I have a bunch of computer work begging for my attention, so the next three work days must involve focusing on the computer. I can’t just lallygag around stitching – not when my computer is insisting on work, right?

So of course I’m not going to start stitching on any new project right now! There are priorities, after all!

Springy Stitching: Flower Line Embroidery
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Embroidered Pocket on a Tote: Finished!


Last week, I showed you a resurrected embroidery project – one of those projects I had high hopes for, but never got around to finishing. It’s this embroidered kaleidoscope design broken down to fit on a pocket for a tote bag.

With my sister – who’s much more adept at sewing than I am – in town, it was a good time to tackle the tote.

Her approach was to let me do the tackling while she advised when needed. This worked out well, because I learned a lot.

Hand Embroidered Pocket on a Tote Bag
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Stitching & Listening: My Recent Explorations


I’ve written before about the topic of listening and stitching in this article on entertainment options for needleworkers.

In the previous article, I went into lots of detail about some of the things I listen to while I embroider, and since then, not a lot of things have changed. I’m still an audiobook junkie, I love listening to specific kinds of music when I’m in the mood to, and I dabble with podcasts now and then.

Today, I’ll tell you what books I’ve listened to lately and then I’ll open the topic up to you! Perhaps we can share some recommendations for good material to listen to, especially among audiobooks and podcasts!

Embroidery and Listening: sources for audio entertainment while stitching
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That Embroidered Kaleidoscope Pocket


Long, long ago and far, far away (so it seems), I began an embroidery and sewing project that had every indication that it would eventually turn into a tote bag with an embroidered pocket on it.

You can read the backstory on this particular resurrected project in two previous articles on Needle ‘n Thread – this article on twill and duck fabric, and this article on the stitching progress on the twill.

Due to I-Can’t-Remember-What, the project got side swiped by something else, and I never got back to it…until yesterday.

Hand Embroidered Tote Pocket with Kaleidoscope Design
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Embroidered Leaves: Adjustments & Troubleshooting


I’m still stitching this tree.

I recklessly assumed that I would have the thing finished about a week ago. Let’s just call it optimism, shall we?

In any case, last time we looked at it, there were a couple leaves bugging me, and I changed those a little bit. It’s still a work in progress, but it’s getting closer to finished!

This week, maybe? But I won’t make any promises!

Here’s progress thus far, along with a few explanations of things.

Embroidered Tree with Large Leaves- Troubleshooting
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Let’s Talk Project Organization – for One or Many Projects!


I think it’s the time of year. I think, ingrained in us, we have this “beginning of the year” impulse to get organized, and it manifests itself every year in lots of questions about needlework project organization.

This year is no different! Questions have been rolling in over the past month about organization in general, but the Number One Popular Question has to do with keeping a number of projects going at one time – not just juggling many projects, but staying sane in the process and making progress all around.

Organizing Embroidery Projects
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Free Hand Embroidery Pattern – a Curly Heart


Happy Wednesday! It seems like a terrific day to share a heart-y hand embroidery design with you, just in case you’re looking for something very February-y to stitch.

Now, I know this looks like a weird pattern. It can almost make your eyes a little wonky if you look at it too long. When I doodled it up a while ago, I had a specific vision for it.

I always have visions for doodles. They don’t always materialize, but I enjoy them while they last!

I’ll tell what I had in mind for this particular embroidery pattern…

Curlicue Heart Hand Embroidery Pattern
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