ISSUE 239, JUNE 19 2020
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Hi <<First Name>>,
For those of you who’ve been part of the All Stitched Up! family for some time, you’ll know that the lead times for production at Inspirations Studios are anything but short. So much so in fact, we’re often discussing projects internally that the Inspirations Community may not see in print for anything up to two years!

With Inspirations issue #108 having just gone to print and the team now putting the final touches on the third book in our ‘A Passion for Needlework’ series, both of which are due for release in October, our attention has begun to shift to what’s next.

Obviously there’s Inspirations issue #109 which is already slated to be completed by the end of the year, but as we contemplate what we put our needles and threads to next, there’s been many a discussion in and around the office and interestingly we’ve noticed that it’s not always about the needlework itself.
One of the common threads that has become central to what we do is story.
Whilst the story differs depending on the context, there’s always a sense of story surrounding all that Inspirations produces.

Sometimes it’s the story of origin for a project or a technique you read of within our pages, or the location we use for photography. It just might be the story of the journey about how someone came to find their work in the pages of our publications or within this newsletter itself, or it may simply be the story of someone’s ‘why’ behind what they’ve put their needles and threads to that captures our attention.

Whilst needlework itself will always be front and centre in what we produce, we’ve come to realise that much of the richness we’re surrounded by each and every day has as much to do with story as with what’s produced by needle and thread.

We’d love to hear your story and share in the richness that the narrative of your life has produced. Email with the story that’s most influenced what you put your needles and threads to. We can’t wait for your story to become one of our common threads!
Have Your Say
No matter how big a problem might seem, when you put together the vast collective knowledge of our needlework community, inevitably a solution appears. When we published Maureen Nassiri’s story of her disaster with the blue ‘water soluble’ pen in All Stitched Up! issue #235 we were amazed by all the suggestions and recommendations we received from our readers for Maureen. Here are just a few ideas to try…
Sandra Gordon
‘I suggest that Maureen try Restoration Fabric Restorer, a product of the Engleside Products.

Restoration is excellent for antique linens, laces, vintage clothing, wedding gowns and more! The fabric restorer removes coffee, tea, blood and other hard to remove stains from the most delicate fabrics safely. It does not leave residue or harm fibres in any way.’
‘I tried Restoration when it was recommended to me a few years ago. I was delighted with the results on an embroidery that I thought would never be clean again. I had tried other methods to clean that particular piece but only Restoration worked. I have continued to use it and have never been disappointed with the results.’

That truly does sound like a miracle product Sandra – for those of us lucky to find somewhere to purchase some, it would be definitely worth trying. Thank you for letting us know about it.
Mary Jo Eckhart
‘I’ve got a possibility for ‘rescuing’ Maureen Nassiri’s Mountmellick embroidery. She might be able to dye the entire piece in a colour that would complement the colour of the marking pen.

It would no longer be traditional Mountmellick, but it could make the marks look intentional.

I would use the dreaded marker pen on a piece of the corner, snip off that bit for a test dye, and of course wait to see how that looks when dry before committing the entire piece.’
This is a wonderfully creative way to save a piece of embroidery which might not otherwise see the light of day. Yes, traditional Mountmellick should be white, but there are no ‘embroidery police’ to tell you off if you try something new! It could make for a unique piece which would carry a very personal story.
Susan Sampson
‘Has the product Napisan been tried for the Mountmellick embroidery yet?’
Although Maureen said she’d tried ‘everything’, she didn’t specifically say whether she had or hadn’t, Susan. Napisan is definitely one of the go-to products in Australia and generally produces good results, although there are occasions when even Napisan is defeated by a particularly recalcitrant stain.
Crystal Gaye
‘100% alcohol, on a cotton bud, gently rubbed over unwanted transfer pen marks will generally remove them, even on silk.’

This might also be worth a try as it can be done a tiny bit at a time, so thank you Crystal. Probably dab a spot then leave to dry to see the final result before dabbing more.

Hopefully, Maureen, one of these ideas might be just what you need to rescue your Mountmellick. If you do find a solution that works, please let us know. And thank you to all of our readers for your great suggestions. We’re so lucky to be surrounded by helpful friends with such a wealth of knowledge and experience.
Needlework News
Tulip Glass-Head Pins
A pin is a pin is a pin. Isn’t it? Well, there are pins and there are really good pins.
And once you’ve used a really good pin, all other pins will seem like blunt bits of wire with a plastic bobble on top!
What makes a good pin is its smoothness and sharpness. Pins are designed to hold things together. But they shouldn’t leave a hole or a mark, and they definitely should not damage the fabric they are holding.
In order to achieve this, they need to slide without catching, and the point needs to be so sharp that it pierces the fabric without damage.

Enter the Tulip Glass-Head Pins.
Presented in the same elegant clear tube with cork stopper, these pins are equal companions to the Tulip needles in every way. With smooth, glass heads, flawless finish and the sharpest point imaginable, these are the Rolls Royce of pins. Nothing else will come close.

You’d have to look hard to find a smoother, sharper pin on the market. But watch out for those fingers!
Tulip Needles – The Passion Continues…
After including the article ‘A Passion for Needles’ in last week’s newsletter and enthusiastically launching our range of premium quality Tulip needles, it seems your passion for Tulip needles was far greater than our available stock and many were upset we sold out!
To make it up to you, we have promptly ordered in more needles so for those who missed out, the good news is you can now pre-order them by clicking below.
Know Your Stitching from A-Z
Every child learns their alphabet as soon as they start school. After all, the alphabet provides the fundamental building blocks for language. The same could be said for all aspects of needlework.
In order to learn any style of needlework, from embroidery to whitework, smocking to knitting, you should start with the ABCs.
Our enormously popular range of A-Z books provides you with these building blocks. Every stitch is described and demonstrated step-by-step, with clear, full colour photographs.
These books are ideal for learning a new technique, but where they really come into their own is as an ongoing reference.

Can’t remember what the third step is in Portuguese knotted stem stitch? Struggling to remember the difference between a thumb cast on and a cable cast on in knitting? Or are you momentarily drawing a blank when trying to do a smocker’s knot? Just pull out one of your trusty A-Z books and the answer will be right there.
With 20 different books covering a host of common techniques, now is the time to start, or complete, your collection.
A-Z Series
New Digital Pattern | Bouquet of Flowers
Our latest request for a digital pattern comes from a fellow stitcher facing an issue I’m sure we’ve all faced at some point. Joan wrote to ask whether we could produce a digital pattern for the project ‘Bouquet of Flowers’ by Carolyn Pearce from way back in Inspirations magazine issue #29. She said:

‘I have the kit for this project but have lost the magazine. Is there any chance this could be made available as a digital download please?’

There’s nothing more frustrating than pulling out a kit from your long-held stash, only to discover you don’t have the pattern or instructions!
Bouquet of Flowers is a gorgeous blanket featuring dainty sprays of pansies, worked in surface and ribbon embroidery and embellished with beads. Showcasing a gentle colour palette, this stunning project utilises a selection of threads to achieve the incredible result.

The blanket is backed and the edge is gently scalloped, creating an heirloom to be enjoyed for years to come.
Joan, we’re sure that Bouquet of Flowers will bring you hours of stitching joy and we’re glad you can finally make a start on that kit.

If you’d like to create this amazing blanket, the digital pattern is now available for purchase and immediate download.
Bouquet of Flowers
Found Materials
Textile artists are endlessly resourceful. If they can’t access their regular materials, they will head out into their backyard and find them. Natalie Ciccoricco has created a series of simple yet striking works using little more than twigs.
Using an object that most of us would just step over or ignore, Natalie has found a fine balance between nature and human creation. The organic beauty of the twigs is set off by the geometric precision of the stitching.
As well as inspiration being all around, materials are everywhere too. Beautiful art can emerge from the simple objects beneath your feet.
You can enjoy more of Natalie’s work by visiting this website HERE, or follow her on Instagram HERE.
Featured Project
Mushroom Magic by Ana Mallah
Here in Australia, winter has just begun. The weather is getting cold, there is more rain around and although our natives trees keep their leaves all year around, there are still plenty of other imported varieties still displaying the rich golden colours of the recent autumn season. However, unusually this past autumn, we seem to have been inundated with mushrooms.
Mushrooms are the fruiting body of a fungus and generally appear above the ground during cooler weather. With hundreds of different varieties appearing all around the world, it is little wonder that almost everyone is familiar with them.
Hopefully, everyone is also familiar with the fact that while some mushrooms are edible (and absolutely delicious), there are plenty which are highly toxic. Wild mushroom picking is something that should be left to the experts as mistakes can prove deadly.
But we were curious as to why are there are so many in Australia at the moment… apparently, because we’ve had quite a bit of rain, the mushrooms are springing up like… well, like mushrooms!

They love it when it is cool and damp so our recent autumn is ideal. Wake up in the morning, and there they are in the backyard or the park, peeking out from spots you’re sure were empty yesterday.
It isn’t difficult to believe that the fairies might have planted them overnight, giggling with mischief before vanishing as soon as the sun came up.
Despite their dangerous reputation, there is no denying that a perfectly formed mushroom is a gorgeous sight indeed. But knowing of their uncertain toxicity, we’ve brought you a far safer way to appreciate the humble mushroom by stitching one of your very own.
Ana Mallah has created the most recognisable of mushrooms for our latest Handpicked project ‘Mushroom Magic’. Commonly known as the Fly Agaric, the highly recognisable, scarlet capped spotted toadstool has long been associated with gnomes, fairies and magic.
Ana has chosen a brilliant red silk for the stitches on the cap, highlighted all over with delicate white French knots. A tiny blue butterfly has also settled on the cap, which sits atop a plump, rounded stem.
We know you’ll love the detail, but the final delight comes when you recognise what this project is – a tiny box topped with a perfect pincushion!
‘Mushroom Magic’ has been specifically designed to complement Ana’s two projects featured in Inspirations issue #106, forming a trio of stitching accessories cuter than anything you’ve seen before.
Into the Forest Mushroom Needlebook (left) and Tree-Stump Pincushion (right). Mushroom Magic (centre).
Just imagine the tiny treasures which could be housed in this diminutive container. Any self-respecting fairy would be proud to show it off.
Made from felt, embroidered and decorated with stumpwork details, ‘Mushroom Magic’ is a project which no-one will be able to resist. When the army of mushrooms in the garden disappear, Mushroom Magic will stand, bright as ever, on your stitching table.
That said, we might suggest you keep your windows closed at night as we can’t guarantee those covetous fairies won’t take a liking to this adorable project and magic it away!
Make Your Own Mushroom Magic
Mushroom Magic by Ana Mallah from our Handpicked range is a delightful mushroom pot with a handy pincushion top.
Mushroom Magic
Mushroom Magic
Mushroom Magic
Looking for More Mushrooms?
Angel Child
Angel Child by Kris Richards from Inspirations issue #31 is a cute outfit featuring embroidered mushrooms and daisies.
Inspirations Issue 31
Forest Floor
Forest Floor by Kay Dennis from Inspirations issue #104 is an enchanting stumpwork scene of mushrooms and berries.
Forest Floor
Inspirations Issue 104
Forest Floor
Fairy Dreams
Fairy Dreams by Yvonne McMillan Betts from Inspirations issue #98 is a delightful blanket for cosy days shared with a fairy friend at her toadstool house.
Inspirations Issue 98
Fairy Dreams
What Are You Stitching?
An embroidery hung on the wall is lovely, but when you see an amazing, three-dimensional embroidered item, you get that added pleasure of being able to view it from all angles.

You can even, in the case of boxes, peep inside. Whether constructed for practical use, such as a pin cushion, etui, or simply constructed for the joy of it, three-dimensional embroidery is something to be admired.
Kim Spry
‘Here is my finished ‘Nature’s Bounty’ by Julie Kniedl from Inspirations issue #75. I started this project at the beginning of December 2019 and finished it at the end of March.’
‘I found stitching the leaves to be challenging as they needed to be double sided and were very labour intensive.
Whilst I did have the kit, I added to it from my own collection of threads so I could make more leaves and flowerets.
I enjoyed the technical aspects of this project, even though at times it was hard for me.’
This is a wonderfully challenging project indeed Kim, so you should be incredibly proud of your achievement. Well done for such a stunning result!
Pat Demharter
‘I read an article about a harp design by Jenny Adin-Christie in Mary Corbett’s Needle’n Thread newsletter. I was so taken with it that it was too irresistible to pass up. The sparkle of the threads and baubles really pulled me in.’
‘When I got the kit, I was amazed at how everything was labelled and the instructions were very detailed. The instruction book explained everything you needed to know, from the different threads to the story behind the piece.
Jenny is a master of blending traditional needlework with a touch of whimsy.
Now I am hooked. I still have a long way to go with learning her different techniques, but it sure is fun and exciting. I do like to test myself with more challenging projects. It's all about the journey after all!’

You’ve taken our breath away, Pat. An exquisite finish and a project to treasure forever.
Adrienne Forsyth
‘I have been stitching pretty much my whole life and have tried lots of techniques. No matter what the technique, though, the stitching of it has given me joy, satisfaction, comfort and a sense of achievement.
I am more of a process stitcher than a product stitcher – that said, it sure is lovely when something gets finished.
I was captivated by Carolyn Pearce’s ‘Home Sweet Home’ workbox. I ordered the book three years ago and I have finally finished the main box.’
‘There were definitely challenges with this project. Firstly, I don’t have easy access to many of the materials required. I also wanted to use as much from my stash as possible.’
‘The second challenge was the embroidery itself. There were lots of stitches and techniques I hadn’t used before. In some cases, I switched out a stitch to one I was more comfortable with.

The third challenge was constructing the box, lining and tray. I was fortunate that I had a friend whose son-in-law has experience in cutting mat board.
Much to my surprise, I loved assembling the box!
The whole experience was fun and so satisfying. It certainly helped that the instructions were so clear and detailed in the book.’
‘I have also finished the little emery cushion. This tiny piece makes me smile every time I look at it. I love that my bee looks like a housefly! I have the needlebook underway, so more progress is being made.’

You’ve clearly risen to every challenge you’ve faced and look at the results! Well done, Adrienne.
Halide Celiker
‘I have made a few of the heirloom teddy bears which have featured in Inspirations magazine over the years.’
We love the brilliant colours and cheeky personalities of these little chaps, Halide!
Janine Nance
‘About a year ago I started stitching the project ‘White Elephant’ by Alla Akselrod from Inspirations issue #42. I had to set it aside when we moved house, so recently, I decided I should finish this little guy.’
‘I did not realize what a challenge he would turn out to be, so I am now anxious to start another one so I can work on the design placement and scrolls.
Stitching has always been my escape from stressful jobs throughout my career.
I am retired now and am a caregiver for my husband, so embroidery occupies my available time.’
The best way to ensure you’ve taken in all of the lessons from a project is to do it a second time. This little elephant looks superb to us Janine, so we’re sure the next one will be even more amazing.

If you’ve finished any three-dimensional embroidery recently, we’d love to see it from all angles. Or if you like your embroidery to have a clear front and back (which you can keep hidden if you’d prefer!) then we’d love to see that too. Send us pictures of your work and a bit of information about yourself and your stitching journey to
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This Week on Social
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‘There is no greater power on this earth than story.’
~ Libba Bray ~
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
© 2020 Inspirations Studios

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