Blog Page
All about Mary’s Whimsical Stitches

All about Mary’s Whimsical Stitches

If you’re unfamiliar with Mary Legallet, her blog, and Instagram page Whimsical Stitch, we have a treat to share with you today. 
Mary Legallet author of Mary's Whimsical Stitches
 
Mary Legallet is a national needlepoint teacher, blogger and author of a brand-new book Mary’s Whimsical Stitches, which is now in stock at Needlepoint.Com
 
Just as the name of her blog suggests, Mary’s stitching style is inspired by whimsical color combinations, canvases and stitch choices. She is a wealth of information and unbelievably creative.
 
Every stitcher looking for fun, innovative stitch suggestions needs Mary’s new book.  Mary’s Whimsical Stitches features more than 250 large, numbered stitch diagrams organized by stitch type. In addition, Mary included a fantastic index suggesting where each stitch could be used. The book is truly designed for stitchers from beginner to advanced, and also includes an informative chapter on the basics of needlepoint- a handy reference for all skill levels.  

Mary's Whimsical Stitches book Volume 1
One of the features that makes Mary’s book so unique is her use of Instagram URLs. At the bottom of many of the pages, there is a web URL that, when typed into an internet browser, will show a picture of what the stitch looks like stitched on a painted canvas. Not every stitch has a URL link, as many of them are previously unpublished, but most of the stitches from her blog posts have photos. (Not all early blog posts had stitched samples.)
We were lucky enough to speak with Mary about her new book, so please read on to learn more about her and her lifelong love of needlepoint. You can shop her book online here.
 
Tell us about yourself, Mary. Where is home for you?
 
I’m a true California girl and was born and raised in Burlingame, a suburb of San Francisco. In the mid 80s I came to LA for college, fell in love with it and have been here ever since. I have a large extended family still living in Northern California. Northern and Southern California are two very different places, but I feel I have the best of both worlds because I can get home to visit them easily and often. 
 
What was your first experience with needlepoint? Who taught you how to stitch?
 
            It’s funny you ask this because I can’t remember the physical act of learning to needlepoint.
 
            My mother was an excellent needlepointer- she did beautiful Basketweave with the most even tension in the world. My great aunt was an avid embroiderer. She actually took some of my childhood artwork and turned it into embroidery. 
 
            In the mid 90s, my mom took me to Needlepoint Inc. in San Francisco. I remember this vividly because it was the first-time I had ever seen decorative stitches and specialty threads. I was absolutely captivated. 
 
            When I got home, I immediately pulled out my yellow pages to find a nearby store. I took lessons at Aristeia for years and became good friends with Melissa Shirley through their relationship with her. I became known as the “fruit girl” because I absolutely loved Melissa’s fruit canvases and stitched so many of them. They are still some of my favorite projects to date. 
 
We all love your blog, Whimsical Stitch. What inspired you to start teaching and sharing your talent for needlepoint with others?
 
            I had a 25-year corporate career in marketing with a large auto-manufacturer. I left shortly after they announced a consolidation of US operations in Texas. 
 
            When I left the corporate environment, Melissa Shirley approached me about writing stitch guides. Although I was certain at the time that I wanted to find another job in marketing, I decided to try out teaching and writing, since I had such wonderful support backing me up. 
 
            I was initially resistant to the idea of starting a blog but saw a gap in the market as few people posted regularly and few were sharing stitch ideas on that platform. As more and more people began following along, I got on Instagram and Whimsical Stitch grew from there. 
What is your process like when you approach a new canvas?
 
It really depends. Sometimes I see a canvas and an idea for one element of the piece really jumps out at me. I know exactly what I want to do, and everything else falls into place after that. I get a seed of an idea and the rest of the piece grows out of it. 
 
Other times I stare at a canvas until something comes to me. I pick it up, look at it and then leave it alone for a while until an exciting new idea is born. Sometimes it’s not the main portion of the design that speaks to me first, it’s a smaller more unusual element that sparks the idea for a fun texture or stitch. 
 
The way I work is very linear. I pick out stitches, then pick out complimentary threads, then stitch and write. To me you can’t pick the threads until you know what stitch you are going to use in a particular area.  
 
 
We are so excited about your new book. Tell us about what the process of writing was like?
 
I’m not going to lie. There were a couple of false starts. The idea has been about three years in the making but just kept getting interrupted by life. An embellishment event would come along and everything else would be put to the side.
 
In late 2018, I knew I had a ton of content and was ready to go, so I started reconstructing diagrams and working on the book layout. I also started assembling diagrams that hadn’t previously shared on the blog. I approached Leigh Walker at the Needle Bug and asked her if I could debut the book at CANVAS (a large stitching event in Alabama) in January 2020. This put me on a (self-imposed) deadline to really get things finished up. 
 
I’ve been completely overwhelmed by the response that the book has gotten from the needlepoint community- even that is an understatement. It has far exceeded my expectations. I’m grateful and thrilled beyond belief. 
 
 
Do you have a favorite stitch or tip or trick you can share with us?
 
            When I was a “retail stitcher,” in the days before I started teaching, I remember telling one of my first teachers “no naked canvas!” I didn’t like open stitches in my work and wanted the whole canvas covered up…completely covered up.  As you know, I now have no problem with open stitches and, truth be told, they are getting more open with time. The point is to not be afraid to try new things. Allow your style to evolve. The worst that can happen is it’s not you. Take it out and try again.  
 
Working with a student on a brand-new project (for me and the student) is like a test drive for both of us. It’s even more fun when the student asks, “what if?” And then we both build on what is in the guide and create something even better. That is a lot of fun for me…and I hope for the student as well.
 
            Make sure you don’t miss out on this fantastic new resource. Shop Mary Legallet’s new book Mary’s Whimsical Stitches online today.

Latest Blog Posts

Our 2022 Top Selling Kits!

Our 2022 Top Selling Kits!

2022 was a fun year here at Needlepoint.Com with lots of new classes and kits being released for all stitchers alike. Here is a list of our top 10 kits...

Thread Talks-All about working with Fyre Works!

Thread Talks-All about working with Fyre Works!

Fyre Works is one of our favorite threads to work with. There are so many fun techniques that can be done with this fiber.

All About Needlepoint.Com Charleston!

All About Needlepoint.Com Charleston!

Welcome to Charleston, SC! Our Charleston Boutique is located in the heart of the Historic District right next to the famous Rainbow Row. In February 2022, Needlpoint.com acquired Cabbage Row Needlepoint Shoppe and...

Thread Talks-Learn More about Straw Silk!

Thread Talks-Learn More about Straw Silk!

Learn all about Straw Silk with Needlepoint.Com! This fun and versatile thread is a ribbon-like thread with natural color variations, which provides depth of color in the canvas. Watch this...

Our new

Our new "How to Needlepoint" Video!

Check out our new How to Needlepoint Video on Youtube to get you started on this amazing craft!

3 Tips Every Stitcher Needs To Add Texture to a Canvas

3 Tips Every Stitcher Needs To Add Texture to a...

Do you want to add texture for intrigue and dimension? Uncover three essential tips that every stitcher needs to know to add texture to a canvas.

5 Gifts You Can Make With Needlepoint

5 Gifts You Can Make With Needlepoint

All stitchers, including beginners, can create heartfelt gifts to give loved ones to celebrate special occasions, show gratitude, or simply make their day. Consider these five practical gifts you can make with...

Welcome to the New Needlepoint.Com!

Welcome to the New Needlepoint.Com!

Welcome to the new Needlepoint.Com website! We have completely redesigned our online store and added new features to give you the best shopping experience and educational support.

Needlepoint To Go Learning Series-Lace Stitch

Needlepoint To Go Learning Series-Lace Stitch

Welcome to our Summer series of stitches where owner and expert, Nancy Young walks you through the most popular stitches in our Needlepoint To Go kits!  This video shows you the...

Needlepoint To Go Learning Series-Alicia's Lace

Needlepoint To Go Learning Series-Alicia's Lace

Welcome to our Summer series of stitches where owner and expert, Nancy Young walks you through the most popular stitches in our Needlepoint To Go kits!  This video shows you the Alicia's...

Hearts for Hospice & Needlepoint.Com Charleston!

Hearts for Hospice & Needlepoint.Com Charleston!

There has been a great resurgence in the popularity of needlepoint. The Charleston location has an endearing tradition of allowing customers to design and stitch heart-shaped canvases that are donated...

Needlepoint To Go Learning Series-Knitting Stitch

Needlepoint To Go Learning Series-Knitting Stitch

Welcome to our Summer series of stitches where owner and expert, Nancy Young walks you through the most popular stitches in our Needlepoint To Go kits!  This video shows you the Knitting stitch...

Why You Need To Know the Criss Cross Hungarian Stitch Today

Why You Need To Know the Criss Cross Hungarian ...

The criss cross Hungarian stitch creates a highly decorative and dynamic needlepoint design. Uncover why you need to know it and learn more about this stitch today!

A Quick Guide to Self-Finishing Your Needlepoint Canvas

A Quick Guide to Self-Finishing Your Needlepoin...

Self-finishing needlepoint projects can be a creative but tricky process. Uncover further details in our quick guide to finishing your needlepoint canvas.

Check out how we pick our Add on Threads!

Check out how we pick our Add on Threads!

Ever wonder what our different "Add on Threads" option on the website means? Check out this helpful video to show the different types of threads in each category and how...

Personalized Needlepoint Projects: 5 Gift Ideas To Make

Personalized Needlepoint Projects: 5 Gift Ideas...

Uncover personalized needlepoint projects to see which are the best gift ideas to make for friends and family. Get your presents ready in time for Christmas.

Needlepoint for Kids: Showing Your Kids How To Needlepoint

Needlepoint for Kids: Showing Your Kids How To ...

Uncover needlepoint for kids and learn why showing your kids how to needlepoint is simple and fun. Introduce them to a hobby they’ll love forever.

How To Select the Right Canvas for Needlepoint

How To Select the Right Canvas for Needlepoint

Find out how to select the right canvas for needlepoint no matter which project you want to complete. Use these tips and tricks to choose the correct canvas.

Needlepoint To Go Learning Series-Dot Stitch

Needlepoint To Go Learning Series-Dot Stitch

Welcome to our Summer series of stitches where owner and expert, Nancy Young walks you through the most popular stitches in our Needlepoint To Go kits! 

Needlepoint To Go Learning Series-Jessica Stitch

Needlepoint To Go Learning Series-Jessica Stitch

Welcome to our Summer series of stitches where owner and expert, Nancy Young walks you through the most popular stitches in our Needlepoint To Go kits! 

Needlepoint To Go Learning Series-French Knots

Needlepoint To Go Learning Series-French Knots

Welcome to our Summer series of stitches where owner and expert Nancy Young walks you through the most popular stitches in our Needlepoint To Go kits!  This video illustrates variations on the...

5 Basics for Beginners to Learn About Needlepoint!

5 Basics for Beginners to Learn About Needlepoint!

Canvases come in different mesh sizes that correspond to the number of stitches (holes) per inch.  Most common are 10 count, 13 count, 14 count and 18 count mesh.  ...

Threads for your favorite teams!

Threads for your favorite teams!

March Madness-The Big Dance is upon us and it’s time to pick your basketball tournament stitching project. Seasoned sports watchers know, stitching is a fantastic stress reliever for all of...

Top 5 Finishing Questions

Top 5 Finishing Questions

In this blog post we go over the top 5 Finishing questions from our customers to give you a bit more detail on how our process works!

Pick Our Favorite Threads

Pick Our Favorite Threads

When you are shopping for a canvas on our website, you will notice an option to pick threads. The choices are Silk/Silk Blends, Cotton, Wool/Wool Blends or Pick Our Favorites....

When you should use Sparkly Threads!

When you should use Sparkly Threads!

Incorporating Sparkly Threads in your Canvas -Sparkle and metallic specialty threads offer a great opportunity to add some pizzazz to your next canvas.  There are many wonderful options to choose...

Needlepoint Stitches: Basic Stitches for Beginners

Needlepoint Stitches: Basic Stitches for Beginners

The basic needlepoint stitches for beginners are simple to learn. Don’t hesitate to try this fun and exciting hobby that’s starting to trend again.

Behind The Scenes At Needlepoint.Com: Content Creation

Behind The Scenes At Needlepoint.Com: Content C...

Hello! My name is Katy, and I am the Graphic Designer & Product Stylist at Needlepoint.Com. In fact, you see me weekly in your inboxes - our email marketing is...

3 Common Needlepoint Mistakes & How To Avoid Them

3 Common Needlepoint Mistakes & How To Avoid Them

Uncover the most common needlepoint mistakes and how to avoid them. Be aware of ways that your needlepoint projects can become distorted and damaged.

How To Incorporate Needlepoint in Your Home Décor

How To Incorporate Needlepoint in Your Home Décor

Find out how to incorporate needlepoint in your home décor and display your hard work. You can include needlepoint in every aspect of your life.

What To Bring to a Needlepoint Retreat: Beginner’s Guide

What To Bring to a Needlepoint Retreat: Beginne...

Find out what to bring to a needlepoint retreat. This beginner’s guide to needlepoint retreats will help you figure out your first stitching experience.

Needlepoint Kits: What They Include & Their Benefits

Needlepoint Kits: What They Include & Their Ben...

You’re never too old—or young—to get started with needlepoint. If you’re a beginner, starting with a kit will take the guesswork out of completing a project. Knowing what needlepoint kits...

New from Elizabeth Bradley Designs!

New from Elizabeth Bradley Designs!

The Elizabeth Bradley collection of designs is growing with the addition of seven Starter Kits, four Millefleur Kits and a Tips and Techniques Video that you can access anytime at...

All about our Online Classes!

All about our Online Classes!

If you’re new to needlepoint or you’re a visual learner looking to explore new stitches, our online classes are perfect for you. Here’s a few things you need to know…

Differences Between Needlepoint, Cross-Stitch, and Embroidery

Differences Between Needlepoint, Cross-Stitch, ...

Know the differences between needlepoint, cross-stitch, and embroidery. You can start a new hobby anytime you want with the right knowledge.

Cleaning Your Needlepoint: 3 Tips Every Stitcher Should Know

Cleaning Your Needlepoint: 3 Tips Every Stitche...

The key to cleaning your needlepoint tapestry kits is to follow these three tips every stitcher should know. Find out how to clean your needlepoint from home.

A Brief Overview of Needlepoint: What You Should Know

A Brief Overview of Needlepoint: What You Shoul...

Discover a brief overview of needlepoint and what you should know to begin this craft. You don’t need many supplies to try your hand at needlepoint.

New to Needlepoint: A Quick Guide To Getting Started

New to Needlepoint: A Quick Guide To Getting St...

If you are new to needlepoint, a quick guide to getting started will teach you everything you need to know. Uncover the basics about how to do needlepoint.

Creative Wellness: The Health Benefits of Needlepoint

Creative Wellness: The Health Benefits of Needl...

Enjoy the health benefits of needlepoint when you find a group of stitchers: learn new skills and share your art. Find out why needlepoint is good for you.

Tips & Tricks of Compensating Stitches

Tips & Tricks of Compensating Stitches

When you incorporate decorative stitches into your project, there will almost always be a spot where you cannot complete the entire stitch. When this happens, you will need to compensate,...

Millennial Needlepoint: 3 on-Point Projects for 2021

Millennial Needlepoint: 3 on-Point Projects for...

Discover millennial needlepoint: three on-point projects for 2021 you should try. Spice up your home and wardrobe with these trendy needlepoint projects.

All about our Instagram Stitch Alongs!

All about our Instagram Stitch Alongs!

At Needlepoint.Com we strive to keep the needlepoint community connected as best we can! For the past 5 years now we have bee doing our “Sunday Stitch Along '' as...

The Anatomy of a Kit!

The Anatomy of a Kit!

The world of needlepoint is full of thousands of canvases, multiple thread lines, assorted beads, helpful accessories, and curated kits. These kits are designed to remove all guesswork and create...

The Benefits to Buying Canvases with Stitch Guides!

The Benefits to Buying Canvases with Stitch Gui...

When you choose a needlepoint canvas, you probably imagine what it will look like completely stitched. Some people like to experiment with stitches as they go, while others like to...

Go Big or Go Small… Needlepoint To Go has the right sized project for you!

Go Big or Go Small… Needlepoint To Go has the r...

The Needlepoint To Go line of kits is expanding this month with five more designs coming out just in time for beach and poolside stitching. You’ll enjoy these precision stitch printed canvases...

A look inside Needlepoint.Com!

A look inside Needlepoint.Com!

Like many people who used the past year to clean out closets, we spent some time improving the shop . The most notable change is the drastic increase of our...

All about the Merry Wishes Tree

All about the Merry Wishes Tree

The Merry Wishes Tree is a spectacular example of the artistic collaboration between Vernon Kirk and Nancy Young. Vernon, of Kirk and Bradley Design, and Nancy of Needlepoint.Com, have been...

The story behind the Kirk & Bradley Travel Rounds!

The story behind the Kirk & Bradley Travel Rounds!

You may be familiar with one of our favorite lines from designer Kirk & Bradley, the travel rounds!  Their design team formulated this idea back in 2015. Debuting with Rome, Paris,...

New Needlepoint To Go-Gambit Chess Board Colors!

New Needlepoint To Go-Gambit Chess Board Colors!

Many new and seasoned stitchers made it a goal in 2020 to stitch 20 new projects. While we were all stitching the days away in the comfort of our home,...

Pantone Color of the Year!

Pantone Color of the Year!

Pantone is breaking the norm for a second time by choosing a color combination for its Color of the Year. Ultimate Gray and Illuminating will both be taking the esteemed...