ISSUE 196, JULY 26 2019
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Hi <<First Name>>,
Have you ever found yourself reading the last word in what might just be the most amazing book you’ve ever read and thought, you’ll never read anything again that could even come close to being as enjoyable?!

Sometimes the same can be true for our needlework.

We lay the last stitch on what might have been our favourite piece to date, or something we’ve immersed ourselves in for countless hours, and find ourselves wondering what’s next.
How do you choose your next project when you’ve given so much of yourself to the last?!
For some of us, we simply move on to the next kit or UFO we have lined up, or flick through our stitching Bucket List to see what we’re yet to tackle.

But for others, it takes time to pick our next project – and sometimes more than we ever thought possible! We need the space to look for a project that’s just right or one we think will be equally as captivating. Some among us even take the time to seek out and research a particular designer or technique we’re yet to ply our needles to.

The good news is that given the passage of time, somehow we all find ourselves immersed in another book or laying the first stitch of a new adventure with needle and thread and on many occasions we hear ourselves declaring that this may just be the most amazing one yet!

If you’d like to help us on our journey in considering what’s next, we’d love to hear how you go about choosing what you put your needles and threads to. Email us at
World of Needlework
World Embroidery Day 2019
For those of us who are passionate about all things needle and thread, the 30th July is a much-anticipated date on our calendars - its World Embroidery Day! Wondering how you’re going to mark this occasion in 2019? If you’re yet to figure it out, we have a couple of ideas that might just point you in the right direction…
Kelly Fletcher
Kelly Fletcher is once again giving away a free embroidery pattern in July to both encourage and celebrate hand stitching. This year she felt the time was right for a design that would promote more than just her love of needle and thread, so she’s gone with an environmental design that she hopes will keep a little more plastic out of our oceans. Featuring embroidered water droplets, ‘Water Tote’ has been created to use for all your non-grocery shopping and Kelly is hoping the simple, but effective design will act as a reminder to why it’s worth making the effort to keep our oceans plastic free.
You can read more about her thinking behind the design and download the free PDF pattern from her website HERE.
San Francisco School of Needlework
If you happen to find yourselves in San Francisco on World Embroidery Day, the San Francisco School of Needlework and Design (SNAD) are hoping you’ll join them in getting out and about to embroider in public. They’ll be in the Bay Area encouraging people to join them with their needles and threads. For details on where they’ll be, stay tuned to their Instagram account HERE.
Can’t join them during the day? Then make sure to celebrate with them in the evening with ‘Bite Sized Embroidery and Bubbles’. To find out more, visit their website HERE.
Whether you choose to celebrate World Embroidery Day with Kelly, SNAD, your usual stitching tribe or simply by yourself stitching at a local café, we’d love to hear how you chose to celebrate! Let us know how you celebrated World Embroidery Day 2019 by emailing us at
Needlework News
Handpicked Just for You…
This week we’re officially launching a brand-new collection of projects by Inspirations called Handpicked.
‘Handpicked’ are projects you won’t find in any of our magazines or books and are released exclusively as individual patterns in print and digital.
Each project is handpicked for its beauty, originality and uniqueness and every pattern comes with our world famous easy to follow instructions, detailed step-by-step images, gorgeous close-up photography and a full list of required materials.
What type of designs will be featured in the Handpicked collection? You can expect to see anything from companion projects to those featured in Inspirations Magazine, designs that introduce a new technique or style of needlework, projects by first time designers, through to the flamboyant and the fabulous.
Our very first Handpicked project is ‘Fruit of the Vine’ by Maria Rita Faleri. This pair of charming tassels captures the appeal of a luscious bunch of grapes using a range of knotting techniques.

If you enjoyed ‘Tied in Knots’ from Inspirations Magazine #103, ‘Fruit of the Vine’ is the perfect way to further explore Maria’s family of knotted tassels.
‘Fruit of the Vine’ is now available to purchase as a printed pattern to have posted to you anywhere in the world or you can purchase the digital pattern and download it instantly to print at home.
Fruit of The Vine | Print
Fruit of The Vine | Digital
Oh…. we nearly forgot to mention that you can also purchase Ready-to-Stitch kits for any of the Handpicked projects, starting with the Red and White Grape versions of ‘Fruit of the Vine’ which are both out now.
Fruit of The Vine | Red
Fruit of The Vine | White
New Book | Smøyg: Pattern Darning from Norway
From award-winning embroiderer Yvette Stanton, who introduced us to some of the world’s most exquisite forms of traditional embroidery, comes a how-to guide full of colourful images and enticing projects to help you discover the beauty of Norwegian pattern darning.
Pattern darning is a simple counted embroidery technique using basic running stitch, with beginners and experienced stitchers alike, sure to find much delight in this book.
You can read a full review of Yvette’s new book on page 10 of Inspirations Magazine issue #103 plus enter our competition to win a signed copy or get started on your journey into the world of Norwegian-style pattern darning now by purchasing a copy from our website.
Smøyg: Pattern Darning from Norway
Featured Project
Tuscan Lace by Maria Elide Melani
Not everyone is confident enough to go at a piece of linen with a pair of scissors. I’m sure you still remember that leap of faith you had to take when trying your first piece of Hardanger embroidery and being told to cut a thread.
It wasn’t the cutting that was the biggest problem – it was remembering to breathe! But what a result after those cuts were made. The myriad patterns, designs and details that formed through the combination of thread and space, stitches and voids, was worth the anxiety.
Often, however, there is confusion between pulled thread embroidery and drawn thread embroidery. This is heightened by the fact that sometimes the term ‘drawn fabric embroidery’ has been used to describe pulled thread work. It is little wonder there is confusion.
So just to clarify, drawn thread work involves that terrifying leap of faith to remove threads from your work using scissors. Pulled thread (or drawn fabric) is work where voids and patterns are created through the tensioning of your stitches. No scissors involved!
Both drawn and pulled thread techniques require precision, and both produce stunning results, but when you combine the two, you enjoy the best of everything.
Maria Elide Melani’s Tuscan Lace project from Inspirations issue #103 is a wonderful and not too difficult introduction to both techniques, allowing you to practice both pulling and drawing your threads and resulting in a light and lacy finish that seems lighter than air.
The reason this project is wonderful for beginners is the ground linen is only 9 threads per cm. When your fabric threads are so spacious, you can be very confident that you are correctly counting which threads to cut and are then only cutting one thread at a time.
Furthermore, before you even pick up your scissors, you are eased into the project with a pulled thread, four-sided stitch border. This border allows you to form even, regular holes simply by pulling your needle and thread taut at the right point. Finally, rather than struggling with fine silks or single strands of thread, you work your piece using crochet cotton – easy to thread in your needle and easy to see.
Tuscan Lace is yet another example of how beauty can come from even the simplest of stitches.
However, don’t let the ease of the stitches fool you. The key to the success of this project is correct tension – pulling just enough where necessary, but not so much that it distorts the shape. The loosely woven linen can be as much of a curse as a blessing in this respect, so working on a frame is essential.
Maria is one of the world’s experts on this technique of Deruta Sfilato, or Deruta Drawn Thread Work, having written several books about it and worked hard to ensure the technique survives. And it is so easy to see the appeal. This project allows even the most timid of us to create lace.
Complete this piece and the scissors will no longer be an instrument to fear, but a way to create exquisite beauty.
Make Your Own Tuscan Lace
Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

Tuscan Lace by Maria Elide Melani is a stunning cushion cover worked with Deruta Sfilato embroidery, perfect for a contemporary setting.
Inspirations Issue 103
Tuscan Lace
Tuscan Lace
Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Tuscan Lace includes everything you need to re-create this beautiful cushion cover: Fabric (unprinted), embroidery threads and needles.

Special Note: Instructions are not included with this kit. Please refer to the magazine for detailed information on how to create the project.
Tuscan Lace
Looking for More Cushions?
Songbirds by Marie Suarez from Inspirations issue #61 is a superb whitework cushion.
Inspirations Issue 61
A Fine Tradition
A Fine Tradition by Susan O'Connor Inspirations issue #55 is a perfectly stitched monogrammed cushion.
A Fine Tradition
Inspirations Issue 55
Grace by Jacquie Harvey from Inspirations issue #70 is an elegant quilted silk cushion, embroidered in soft shades of cream and coral pink.
Splendour by Angela Dower from Inspirations issue #64 is a stunning cushion with silk ribbon flowers and Celtic knot border.
Inspirations Issue 64
What Are You Stitching?
Sometimes the projects we feature in What Are You Stitching? follow a common theme - whether it be project type, subject or technique - but this week we’re sharing an eclectic mix of projects that have been created with the needles and threads of the Inspirations Community.
Booties | Judith Crabtree
‘I’ve been working on some embroidered booties and thought your readers might enjoy seeing them in their various stages of development!’
‘I make lots for the reborn doll ladies, mainly in the USA, and occasionally a pair are purchased for a Christening.’
Judith, somehow the smaller the item the more endearing it is, and these booties are no exception! They are beautifully stitched and carefully constructed.
Cards | Ann Martin
‘While reading through my Inspirations Magazines I came across the project ‘Cutie Pie’ by Kris Richards. Well, instead of putting the embroidery onto clothing, I've done small embroideries and made them into cards! The first has been gifted to newborn Nerys. These wee patterns are so cute - thank you so much for making them available for us to use.’
Ann, you’ve done a fabulous job of taking Kris’ designs featured in Inspirations issue #59 and converting them from baby’s clothes to baby’s cards! They’ll make a lovely keepsake to celebrate some very special arrivals.
Mermaid | Patricia Smith Gardner
‘I recently made this mermaid doll for a dear friend’s baby shower as she is crazy about mermaids! I know her nursery is ivory, grey and pink, so didn’t want to make her in the usual blues and greens. I have a lot of old laces in my collection and as I played with them, they became a natural material to use for a filmy, romantic mermaid.’
‘She has an embroidered face with grey eyes done in a variegated floss, with actual fake eyelashes from the drugstore! Her hair is all pearl cotton #5 in ivory, pink, beige and silver.’
‘My own daughter was the inspiration behind having real legs inside as she would have been upset with a doll who only had a tail, so I made her a tutu over the tail and when you take it off, she has legs and little lace ballet slippers.
She sits in the nursery as decor at the moment, but when dear little Frida is old enough, she might just get to play with her!
She was a joy to make and will be treasured by my friend.’
Patricia, your collection of lace became the perfect inspiration for the most romantic of mermaids! She will be a treasured addition to Frida’s nursery and will be most loved for years to come.
Wedding Bouquet | Jenny Whiteside
‘My daughter asked me to make her wedding bouquet and eight posies for her closest friends to carry. As the wedding took place on May 4th which is Star Wars day (as in May the 4th (force) be with you) the temptation was too great and I added a few tiny images to the bouquet.’
‘I also made eleven decorated Stormtroopers, and for the top table, a Darth Vader. Then Katie decided she would like her wedding car to be her much loved camper van, so I have been busily making hearts, flowers and bunting to decorate the interior.’
‘I am not complaining in any way and have had an absolute ball exercising my creative juices! Best wishes to you all and thank you for your newsletter which I look forward to reading and of course for Inspirations - the best magazine in the world ever!’
Jenny, never have we seen a more beautiful interpretation of a Star Wars theme! We hope Katie’s special day was simply stunning and can only imagine the number of compliments you must have received for the very creative way your stitching time and talent added to the day.

Have you stitched something that sits outside of the usual embroidery ‘box’? We’d love to see it! Email photos of what you’ve created with needle and thread along with a few details about your stitching journey to
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This Week on Social
Wow, beautiful design
An Apple a Day - by Julie Kniedl
‘Starting today, I need to forget what’s gone. Appreciate what still remains and look forward to what’s coming next.’
~ 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

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