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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Fly Stitch Couching & Some News


Amazon Books

Goodness gracious sakes alive!

I have eyes, thank the Good Lord!

But they’re not quite working in sync right now. On Monday, I had cataract surgery and lens replacement in my right eye, due to rapidly declining vision over the past five years, post chemo. Wow! It will make a difference once it’s all finished, I have no doubt. But my eyes are going to be wacky for a few weeks. My blog posting may end up being irregular, because it’s pretty uncomfortable. So far, the most tedious thing for me is trying to see a screen.

Talk-to-text is a marvel on the phone, though. It doesn’t work so well with the computer, because it’s extra hard to make corrections – and you must correct talk-to-text copy for public blog posts, because you never know what the computer will spit out in place of your words!

Incidentally, verbal commands to my computer don’t work at all for photo editing. I tried. “Crop!” I yelled. But nothing happened.

I haven’t even tried to stitch yet. I’ll leave that for a couple days.

Last week, in anticipation of this week’s upheaval in regular scheduling, I started to put together an update on my Stitch Fun 2021 sampler, so I’ll share a portion of that with you today with a very simple tip.

Fly Stitch Couching
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Free Hand Embroidery Design: Floral Small, a la Dillmont


Good morning, and Happy Saturday!

I don’t normally pop in on you on a Saturday, but I wanted to share with you a little floral embroidery pattern that I recently adapted from one of the old Therese Dillmont DMC books.

If you’ve followed along here on Needle ‘n Thread for years, you know that I have quite a collection of old embroidery books and that I like the play with old designs. I rely on old books for inspiration and ideas, especially when my mind gets stuck. There’s nothing like browsing through old treasures to get the juices flowing!

Over the years, I’ve adapted many designs from these books that are now in the public domain, adding my own details and turning them into easily printable vector files to use for hand embroidery.

For the past year, I’ve been on a “smalls” kick. I’ve been drawn to small elements to embroider, and I’ve built up quite a collection of possibilities for future projects. By adapting old designs, or doodling my own new designs, or maybe expanding a little clip out of a larger design from an old publication, I’ve amassed quite a few usable smalls.

Here’s one of ’em!

Dillmont floral small hand embroidery design
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How to Embroider Grapes 5: The Last Grapes


Happy Wednesday! Midweek already – I’m not sure how we got here!

Following up on the previous grape embroidery session, it’s time to finish up the last grapes on the bunch in the How to Embroider Grapes series. We’re going to embroider the three final grapes, and they will go very quickly because they’re very simple. We’ve done all but one of the techniques before.

Because one of the grapes involves some goldwork thread, I’ll recommend some reasonable and more accessible substitutes for the sake of the tutorial.

I’d love to do this whole bunch of grapes in goldwork, to tell you the truth. It’s an idea that’s percolating with the millions of other project ideas that are constantly vying for attention in my head.

But in the meantime, let’s just keep it simple, shall we?

how to embroidery grapes - last grapes
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The Embroidery Book Shuffle – Treats Available!


Well, well, as it happens, I spent the weekend doing the Embroidery Book & Blog Post Shuffle!

It’s always a fun exercise, and a good way to keep me on my toes.

Today’s article is mostly a matter of getting some news out. If you’re not super interested in retail items (oh-so-lovely books!) available through Needle ‘n Thread, I wholeheartedly encourage you to give me a miss today.

Willing Hands and Willing Hands 2 on Needle 'n Thread
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Floche, Floche, Floche! It’s Everywhere!


I’m never quite sure if I should ply you with the mundane details of everyday life in the studio.

Lately, though, since I’m surrounded by one of my favorite cotton embroidery threads, I thought I’d show you what’s up these days.

You see, in my world, everything gets done in small pieces. When it comes to kitting things up – whether it’s a full blown embroidery kit with everything in it, or thread packs, or sets of ready-to-stitch towels – it’s all done in increments, one small step at a time.

The floche thread packs that are coming together right now are a good example of the step-by-step process.

Floche embroidery thread for thread packs
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Erica Wilson: A Life in Stitches – Quick Review


Recently, a friend dropped me an email to find out if I had ever gotten ahold of Erica Wilson: A Life in Stitches, which reminded me to mention the book to you sooner, rather than later!

It’s been on my reading list for a while, and I go back and forth to it, reading it in small increments when I can, but I haven’t finished reading the whole book yet.

I generally like to read the complete book before I review it, but some books take much longer than others! This book requires a quick mention, because it’s one of those “get it before it’s gone” publications.

Erica Wilson: A Life in Stitches
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Embroidered Grapes 4: Structured Fillings, Shisha, and Overcast


Let’s truck along with some grape embroidery today, shall we?

We’re almost finished embroidering the grapes in this project, which is part of a series of tutorials you can find in the How to Embroider (Blank) Index here.

Members on Patreon will find today’s tutorial posted as a downloadable PDF on my Patreon page here shortly. It may not go up today – more information on that below.

The grape bunch we are embroidering features a sampler of techniques that you could use to embroider grapes. You probably wouldn’t combine all these techniques into one coherent design (if you wanted it to be coherent!), but the point here is to give you many options for embroidering grapes. You pick the options you like!

Today, we’re going to look at grapes 9, 10, 11, and 12 in the bunch. We’ll be exploring two new filling options and a new outlining option.

Embroidered Grapes tutorial: fillings and outlines
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