ISSUE 172, FEB 8 2019
No images? View online
Click to enable images
Hi <<First Name>>,
We love a New Year and the freshness of opportunity that lies before us.

Over the last couple of weeks, All Stitched Up! has encouraged us to think about our goals or words for 2019 and shared some tips on how we might choose and achieve them. If you’re joining us for the first time this year, you can catch up on what’s been going on HERE.

It may be that you don’t need a new goal or word for the year or maybe you already have a list of plans for 2019 that stretches a mile before you. Whichever it may be, we’re going to borrow some words from Hannah Brencher and encourage you to ‘fill the space’, no matter what your space may be.

In her outgoing newsletter for 2018, Hannah Brencher unpacked the idea of moving and expanding and filling our space so we can go out into the world and do everything we've been called to do. It’s about expanding our territory and finding the belief within ourselves that we are worthy to be here now.
Each of us are capable in our own right and we are enough to fill the spaces we occupy now as well as those that lay before us. We simply need to make the decision to ‘fill the space’ - to be the best version of ourselves in each of our roles and ventures in life.
We’ve got this! We just need to believe in ourselves and know that when we do our best, we will indeed fill our spaces and through the process will find ourselves living out the very best version of ourselves.
Featured Project | A Passion for Needlework
The Linnet by Nicola Jarvis
We’ve been huge fans of Nicola Jarvis since we published an article in Inspirations Magazine issue 79 about her solo exhibition at the William Morris Gallery in 2013, The Art of Embroidery: Nicola Jarvis and May Morris, which featured drawings and stitched works. Did you know that Nicola is not only an RSN trained and expert embroiderer, she is also an accomplished artist with a Master of Fine Arts?
We saw images of fabulous birds with exciting plumage. Instead of regular feathers, the outlines were filled with flowing, William Morris inspired designs that still reflected the birds in real life. Since then we’ve followed Nicola’s enchanting series of birds and knew it would be amazing to feature one of the world’s most beautiful embroidered birds in our new book A Passion for Needlework | Factoria VII.
The Linnet by Nicola Jarvis from A Passion for Needlework | Factoria VII
How did Nicola come up with these intricate and fascinating bird designs? In her own words, ‘The decorated birds were created by accident! Back in 2012 I was working on drawings and designs for my up-coming solo exhibition, I’d been exploring still life drawings of plants and researching William Morris’s textile designs, and at the same time, for some light relief from art-making, photographing the birds in my Warwickshire garden. Suddenly, in a moment of inspiration, everything came together. I sketched a robin with William Morris’s patterns in his plumage, and became very excited as ideas spilled out of me where I decorated a blue tit, black bird, sparrow, woodpecker, song thrush, gold finch, etc., etc. I studied their body shapes, colours and feather patterns, and selected Morris designs and motifs that I thought would suit each area.’

Nicola took her drawings a step further and, in collaboration with twenty colleagues and friends in the embroidery world, transformed the drawings into embroidered pieces.
The beauty of Nicola’s regal Linnet goes beyond its appearance. Just as many still life paintings contain meaning in the objects shown, there is a wonderful story behind the design for the Linnet as Nicola explains:

‘When Susan O’Connor approached me to contribute a project for the second volume of A Passion for Needlework, I wanted to produce something extra special. Since childhood I have been interested in British birds and the Linnet was particularly striking to my artistic eye because of its beautiful crimson breast. I used to see them quite frequently when walking in the fields with my mum where we lived 40 years ago.
The name Linnet is thought to originate from linseed, the flax seed produced by the flax plant, from which linen cloth is manufactured and is one of the Linnet’s favoured food sources. The purple flower in my bird’s beak is the flax plant.

Historically, Linnets were captured and kept as cage birds because of their melodious song. Unfortunately, their numbers have declined considerably, and they are among many protected species in the U.K. I am very concerned about the recent decline in our natural history in the British Isles and wanted to celebrate this stunning field bird.
I was watching the opulent costume drama Victoria on BBC TV about the early years of her reign and the attention to detail in the styling of the clothing and interiors of Buckingham Palace inspired the treatment of my design. Victoria gifted her beloved advisor, the dying Lord Melville, with a toy songbird in a cage, and this also inspired me to put my little Linnet in a cage.
The whole project is homage to just one of many endangered species that are dying out due to loss of habitat.
I wanted to celebrate this endearing wild bird by portraying him as a king, or royalty, because our natural world is so precious, and each creature occupies a unique and vital place in the eco-system. In my view all creatures on this earth are Kings and Queens.’

Robed in silk and metal threads and crowned with gold and jewels, The Linnet will be an absorbing and delightful stitching project with the variety of techniques and threads used. We took the opportunity to ask Nicola for her advice for working with silk and metal threads.
‘When working with silk thread, I always use short lengths, no longer than 25cm, in the needle to prevent the thread becoming worn, fluffy and losing its lustre. I recommend using a laying tool to guide the silk stitches instead of fingers, as the oil in our skin can make the thread dull.
When working with gold and metal threads, I wax my silk or polyester sewing threads very lightly as an excess of beeswax on thread can form little lumps and they can permanently stain the ground fabric. I also like to use a laying tool or mellor to work my gold work stitching, as I believe it is vital to control the sewing thread at all times. If unguided, waxed thread can catch on the metal and form unwanted loops and knots on the reverse of the work.
When stitching the Rococco gilt thread for the cage, ensure that the couching stitches lay across and ‘hug’ the gilt thread at a 45° angle, this helps to camouflage the couching stitch in the ‘wavy’ construction of the thread.

And finally, when I stitch I love to listen to classical music, talk radio or the sounds in my garden and float away in the rhythm of the stitching…’
Make Your Own | The Linnet
Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

The Linnet by Nicola Jarvis is an Enchanting silk and goldwork bird, adorned with a sparkling crown.
A Passion for Needlework | Factoria VII
Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for The Linnet includes everything you need to re-create this spectacular bird: Fabrics (unprinted), webbing, paillettes, sequins, metal threads, beads, embroidery threads and needles.
The Linnet
Looking for More Nicola Jarvis Birds?
Bluebird by Nicolas Jarvis from Inspirations #82 is a cheeky bird filled with William Morris inspired floral patterns.
Bijou by Nicola Jarvis from Inspirations #91 is a dashing bullfinch given sparkling style with silk and metal threads.
Inspirations Issue 91
Needlework News
Inspirations #101 Out Now!
We trust you’ve had a relaxing start to the new year and are all rested, ready to go because you’re going to need it! It’s time to strap yourself in as we move 2019 into top gear starting right now with the release of Inspirations magazine issue #101. Your needles are going to wonder what hit them!
All the projects featured in this issue have been pressure tested, run through their paces, survived the rigours and high demands of the world’s best designers and have come out proven winners. How do we know? Because they were all taught by the best of the best at our international needlework convention Beating Around the Bush just a few months ago.
If you ever wondered what it was like to attend the world’s most beautiful needlework convention, now’s your chance to live it vicariously through issue #101 with 8 stunning projects on offer.
We’re talking crewel embroidery, counted work, stumpwork, threadpainting, beading, surface embroidery and more – all at the highest level.
Single issue printed copies are now available from our website, order your #101 today.
#101 Kits & Patterns
Looking at all the beautiful projects and admiring the skill and talent of the designers showcased in issue #101 is only half the fun… the real utopia happens when you re-create these stunning projects for yourself.

To help you climb that rainbow, each project is now available to purchase as a Ready-To-Stitch kit:
Browse Kits from issue #101
And for those who prefer to buy one project at a time or want to keep their printed copies in pristine condition, digital patterns for every project are also now available so you can wear out your iPad instead of your magazine!
Browse Patterns from issue #101
#101 Collector's Pin
Collectors of the Inspirations enamel pins rejoice – the second design in the series is now available.
‘Primavera’ is an adorable bird sporting a regal crown and was inspired by the Nicola Jarvis project ‘Primavera’ from Inspirations #101. Available in limited quantities, stock of this premium quality enamel pin won’t last long so order yours today.
Primavera Enamel Pin
Welcome Home Blanket New Home
It was in All Stitched Up! #123 HERE that we first introduced the Welcome Blanket Project and this week we have a quick update to this most worthy of causes!
Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Maryland will be Welcome Blanket’s newest host. Not only will they be displaying blankets they will also be collecting new work. So, if you have been wanting to jump in and make a blanket or if you have a work in progress, now’s the time to get it started or finished!

Finished blankets need to be delivered by 1 Mar and can be mailed to:
Welcome Blanket c/- Fuller Craft Museum
455 Oak Street Brockton, MA 02301 USA
What better way to start 2019 than by Stitching it Forward?! You can find out more HERE - we know they’d appreciate your stitching support.
Featured Project | A Passion for Needlework
Leaping Hare by Barbara Kershaw
Leaping Hare by Barbara Kershaw from A Passion for Needlework | Factoria VII
Barbara Kershaw’s expertise and experience as a whitework embroidery designer and teacher, shine bright in this utterly charming sachet featuring Casalguidi embroidery.
If you haven’t delved into this engrossing style of whitework embroidery before, Barbara has kept you in mind.
Her combination of stitch choices with the small size of the embroidered panel makes the Leaping Hare a delightful piece with which to venture into the world of Casalguidi embroidery, as well as being a fabulous gift idea.
The centerpiece of the project is the beautiful, textured panel and elegant, raised motif, both of which are characteristic of Casalguidi embroidery.

Casalguidi embroidery is named after a village in the Tuscan countryside where it was developed, taught and became a cottage industry in the years prior to World War I. The texture is created with a variety of stitches and techniques, combining counted work, needlelace and surface embroidery including the Casalguidi stitch, which is similar to raised stem stitch.
Casalguidi stitch is usually worked over string padding for a very highly raised motif, however Barbara designed the body of the leaping hare without the padding. Casalguidi stitch alone gives sufficient height for this design. The hare is ingeniously finished with a needlelace triangle for the head, a double blanket stitch bar for each leg, a needlewoven picot for each ear and a looped bullion knot tail.
The traditional, textured panel, across which the hare leaps, is worked with four-sided stitch filling and is echoed in the architectural border that surrounds the panel. The border is filled with straight stitches forming crosses and finished at each corner with needleweaving.
There is plenty of stitching variety to enjoy with this project, and if you are unfamiliar with some of the stitches, there are step-by-step guides to help you work through them, including the background stitching, elements of the hare as well as the peahole hem stitch that finishes the upper edge of the sachet. Both the embroidered panel and upper band are charted, so you can accurately replicate Barbara’s design.
There is plenty of room for your own variations to the project, though, to create something a little different.
We loved turning down the upper section of Barbara’s sachet to form a pretty cuff, but you can leave it unturned, making the sachet ideal for hanging in your wardrobe. You can easily adjust the length of the sachet if preferred – simply tweak the height of the sachet border by reducing the number of stitches worked along the sides.
You could even make a square, enclosed pincushion or lavender sachet, featuring the charted panel and omitting the upper band. Wouldn’t you love to see one of those each time you opened a drawer? All this with a piece of linen fabric and one perlé cotton thread!
Sometimes you only need a few materials to learn something new and create a lovely gift for the stitchworthy people in your life – and don’t forget, that includes you!
Make Your Own Leaping Hare
Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

Leaping Hare by Barbara Kershaw is a pretty linen sachet with a leaping hare worked in Casalguidi embroidery.
A Passion for Needlework | Factoria VII
Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Leaping Hare includes everything you need to re-create this sweet sachet: Fabrics (unprinted), embroidery threads and needles.
Leaping Hare
Looking for More Hares?
Gillian by Maria del Valle Olivera from Inspirations #97 is a fabulous hare featuring the use of colour with blackwork patterns and elegant surface embroidery.
Inspirations Issue 97
Enchanted Forest
Enchanted Forest by Zinaida Kazban from Inspirations #95 is a whimsical stumpwork embroidery featuring a sweet little fellow peeking out between blades of grass, ready to explore the wonders around him.
Enchanted Forest
Inspirations Issue 95
Enchanted Forest
What Are You Stitching?
Inspired by Nicola Jarvis’ Linnet and Barbara Kershaw’s Leaping Hare, it was small birds and tiny creatures that we were on the hunt for in our What Are You Stitching? files this week!
Geese | Charmaine Goodman
‘I have been working on this picture for several months for my Great Granddaughter’s second Birthday. I have enjoyed every stitch and hope she will have fun looking for all the little creatures in it.’
Charmaine, your Great Granddaughter will enjoy the fruits of your stitching labours for years to come, what a fabulous gift!
Raccoon | CaLynn
‘Mabel the Raccoon started as a doodle only to pass the time and then I decided to bring her to life with threads and fabric.’
‘I hope she is part of a series, but as I am not actually that great of a doodler, while I have heaps of ideas, the process is going slowly.’
‘People often comment they think she is a fox, but when I get around to making the fox, they will rethink that!’
CaLynn, we think Mabel is just gorgeous and look forward to the arrival of her many friends!
Snail | Ginette Marcoux
‘I want to thank you for the beauty and peace that comes into my life every Friday morning with your newsletters. I can relate to most of the topics and enjoy reading about other’s experiences. I want to share with you my latest piece, not only because it is cute, but also because it is the result of stepping out of my comfort zone to dreaded Goldwork!’
‘I have been intimidated by this technique from the first time I saw it in one of your magazines. I’ve decided that this year is going to be my Goldwork year. In preparation for this I looked through my issues of Inspirations, bought some books and enrolled in a beginner’s course with Natalie Dupuis in Montréal. I discovered a true textile artist with such creativity and high-level embroidery skills and yet her Goldwork design was simple enough for me to dive into. I learned and had fun with the technique, so much so that I am planning my next Goldwork projects already! Keep inspiring us with beauty - long live Inspirations.’
Ginette, your snail is full of technique and personality! It was an absolute joy to see you share one of Natalie’s designs as we’re currently preparing to photograph another of her projects for Inspirations #103, so make sure you look out for it.
Sunbird | Janet Burgess
‘I thought you might like to see how my Sunbird by Renette Kumm from Inspirations #99 turned out. I worked it on linen which was a challenge and added some South African native flora which featured in Embroidered Flora and Fauna by Lesley and Nikki Delport. Birds are such a wonderful subject to embroider!’
Janet, we love your version of Renette’s Sunbird! The additional native flora has truly made it your own and the way you’ve finished it into a cushion will ensure your work is well used and loved.

Have your needles and threads created a fine feathered friend or a personality-filled critter? We’d love to see it! Email photos of what you’ve created along with a few details about your stitching journey to
Subscribe to Inspirations Magazine
Not a Subscriber? Join Today!
Become part of the Inspirations family by subscribing to the magazine... we'd love to have you join us!
You May Have Missed
Peas and English Daisies
Peas and English Daisies by Susan O’Connor is a delightful embroidered pinwheel with Elizabethan inspired botanicals.
Peas and English Daisies
Peas and English Daisies
Golden Needles
Golden Needles by June Godwin from Inspirations #45 is a superb pinwheel with Jacobean embroidery.
Golden Needles
Constance, also by June Godwin, from Inspirations #62 will keep your pins and needles safe in this elegant pinwheel and needlecase.
Inspirations Issue 62
Waratah by Jennifer Kennedy from Inspirations #80 is a charming redwork pinwheel or ornament worked in easy stitches.
Serendipity by Susan O’Connor from A Passion for Needlework is a is a matching pair of pinwheels, one adorned with Rose and Heartsease and the other with Strawberry and Cornflower.
A Passion for Needlework | Deluxe
This Week on Social
By Sara Rickards
A Scottish Thistle by Jane Nicholas
‘There’s nothing more hopeful than a new calendar full of wide-open spaces.’
~ Unknown ~
What's On
Stay informed of upcoming needlework events taking place all around the world in our new What’s On page on the Inspirations Studios Website HERE.
If you’re holding an event or would like to suggest one to be added, we’d love to hear about it. Email us the details at
© 2019 Inspirations Studios

/ Forward to a Friend / Shop Online

You are receiving this email because you signed up online, at a craft show, subscribed to our magazine, or purchased something from our online store. If you no longer wish to receive this newsletter, we'll be sorry to see you go, but click HERE and we'll remove your email address from this list. Thank you.