ISSUE 244, JULY 24 2020
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Hi <<First Name>>,
We recently received the March/April issue of ‘Needlepoint Now’ magazine and as is so often the case, we found the words of Elizabeth Bozievich (Publisher, Editor and Art Director) struck quite a chord with us.

Elizabeth opened her musings with the statement, ‘There is a lot going on in my needlepoint life’. To which we found ourselves declaring, ‘You too?!’.

It’s rare that any of us at Inspirations Studios have but a single project on the go at any one time – and that’s without even considering our UFO’s that aren’t technically ‘on the go’ at the moment!

Elizabeth went to declare a number of ‘facts’ that rang true with us also…

‘When a stitching friend is working on a fantastic design that we admire, we have to have one for ourselves, NOW! We shove our current piece of needlepoint in the closest so we can start on the latest coveted design.’

‘It doesn’t matter what I’m working on, I am thinking about all the other pieces I could or should be working on.’

‘I’m so close to finishing the design, but mentally I have moved on.’

Is it just us, or do those sentiments ring true with you as well?!

Whilst there’s a certain appeal to having a number of projects on the go so we can pick and choose as our needle and thread whim so decides, there is also something a little exhausting about it as we find our thoughts, and therefore our concentration, are not always on what’s in front of us.
Elizabeth wondered that ‘maybe there is a plus side to only having one project to work on at a time; there would be no guilt about which project gets my attention first.’
And that left us wondering the same thing. Would we ever be able to find ourselves with but a single project on the go? If we did, would we be thinking only of it, or would our thoughts wander to everything our needles and threads were yet to do regardless?

What about you, are you a single project kind of stitcher or do you have more projects on the go than you’d care to admit? Do your thoughts focus only on what is in front of you or do you find them wandering elsewhere? We’d love to hear your musings on everything Elizabeth prompted us to unpack. Email
World of Needlework
Creative Ways to Finish & Display Your Needlework
Not long ago, we had a query from a reader asking us about alternative ways to finish or display completed embroidery pieces. This is a question we most commonly receive following the lamentation from a fellow stitcher that, ‘I just don’t have enough wall space!’ So today we thought we would try to explore this problem and perhaps offer a few solutions.
Room for just one more? (source)
On first exploring the issue, our rudimentary online search offered up lots of interesting embroidery ideas, but that doesn’t really address the problem. There are lots of unusual projects we can specifically embroider, but often the dilemma arises when we’ve finished a project we fell in love with, but then don’t know what to do with it.

It’s that stunning threadpainted flower, or the cross stitch sampler we just had to do, or perhaps the cute little stumpwork insect which stretched all our skills but is finally complete.
You put your needle down, take a deep breath of satisfaction and… now what?
Of course, one’s first instinct is to send it to the framer and get it up on the wall. But which wall? And are the other members of the household really going to appreciate yet another framed piece taking up that one last section of empty wall space at the far end of the corridor? Fortunately, there are other solutions.
Firstly, you need to consider the size, dimensions, types of materials you’ve used and how fragile it might be.

Small, fragile finishes like stumpwork pieces, could fit neatly in the lid of a box. You don’t even need to go to the expense of buying a made-for-purpose wooden box. There are lots of books and videos around telling you how to make your own boxes onto which you can mount your piece. Boxes work for all kinds of embroidery too, from threadpainting to cross stitch, goldwork to Hardanger and as an added bonus, they are super useful too!
For larger pieces, there are a number of ways they can be mounted in items of furniture. Hazel Blomkamp is famous for not wanting to add more things to her walls, so many of her projects are mounted as stools or firescreens or made into trays or cushions.
Although, one might want to prevent the four-legged members of the family from parking their furry bottoms on those particular cushions…
One of the sad things about putting completed projects on the wall is that the number of people who will ever get to see your beautiful work is limited. Especially if the only wall space available is in the back room of the house where visitors rarely go. More visible solutions may be required.
We’ve found that many surface and counted projects, as long as they are stitched in washable threads and without too many additional embellishments, look absolutely amazing made into tote bags. What could be better than carrying your finished work around with you? The number of comments you’ll get when you’re out with your tote will far exceed anything you might have received from people accidentally stumbling into the back room while they were looking for the bathroom!
If all else fails and framing is the only solution, we know of one incredibly prolific stitcher who has turned her house into a kind of art gallery, putting in place a regular rotation system.
The rotation schedule might mean you switch your hanging pieces every year or every six months, or even more frequently depending on how many projects you have to display.
On rotation day, all of the current pieces come down and get stored away, and the next rotation comes out. That way you can enjoy all of your finished pieces at some stage, and never get bored looking at your walls.
Although we might regret that the fashion for tea towels, doilies, table cloths and matching serviettes has waned, it just isn’t always possible to steer your heart towards projects designed to be practical. Naturally, we love the patterns specifically designed as stitching accessories, baby blankets or evening bags, what about all those others which, at first glance, are designed to be framed and hung on the wall?
The answer is, be creative. When you see that perfect pattern, before you even gather your threads, think to yourself what possibilities it might hold for completion. Perhaps you could stitch it onto the back of a jacket rather than using the required ground fabric? Maybe you could adjust the size or select part of the design so that it fits perfectly in the lid of that box you’ve had sitting there for ages? Or perhaps you could design a quilt with your embroidery as the centrepiece? The possibilities really are endless.
Sunbeams and Starlight by Taetia McEwen from Inspirations issue #107 & the Handpicked range
What kinds of innovative ways have you found to display your embroidery? Have you ever taken a pattern and made it fit into something other than a framed picture? We’ve only scratched the surface of ideas here, so we’d love to hear from you. And shhhh…what is that noise? Ah yes, that’s our sorely overloaded walls breathing a gentle sigh of relief.
Needlework News
DMC Mouliné Spécial Collector's Tin
Any time is a good time to complete your collection of DMC threads, especially if you’ve been using them all up during this extended period stuck at home. So, we thought to help restock your stash we would bring back our popular DMC Collector’s Tin stuffed full of the latest range of DMC Mouliné 6-stranded embroidery cotton thread.
The range, numbered 1 to 35, was released by DMC back in 2018. It is filled with sumptuous purples, soft greys and browns and mouth-wateringly delicious lime greens, bridging some of the colour gaps in DMC’s already extensive range.
Why buy one thread at a time when you can get all 35 skeins in a beautiful, perfectly sized display tin.
Although it might be tempting to open a new box of chocolates for a shelter-in-place treat, for much more lasting satisfaction we suggest you swap it for a tin of gorgeous DMC threads instead.
Susan Clarke Christmas Charm Set
Christmas Charms? Already? But it’s only July!

Yes, it might only be July, but we all know how long it takes to do our Christmas stitching, don’t we? When it comes to being organised, there really is no time like the present. So, we’re here to help with a gorgeous new pack of Susan Clarke Originals charms, bursting with festive cheer.
This set of five charms includes two jolly snowmen, a Christmas tree, a frolicking reindeer and a moose. They are perfect for that Christmas stocking, or the Christmas sampler which is lined up for completion for this year. Or to embellish those decorations which will have pride of place on your 2020 Christmas tree and beyond.
There couldn’t be a better time to grab a set or two of these exquisite charms - but don’t delay, by the time Christmas is upon us these charms will be long gone!
New Book | The Kew Book of Embroidered Flowers
In case you haven’t heard, the latest book from Trish Burr is already out and flying off of the shelves. We have to admit, we will never get enough of Trish’s exquisite needlepainting, and this book doesn’t disappoint.
This time, she’s combined her prodigious talent with the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, England, to bring you 11 gorgeous floral projects rendered in her easy-to-follow yet photographically perfect way.

For the Kew Book of Embroidered Flowers, Trish has chosen a range of unusual designs which can be worked individually or as one spectacular botanical study, packed with colour and life. Trish’s books are known for their uncomplicated instructions and the gentle progression from simple to complex, and this book is no different.
You can begin with the starter project – a vivid purple Japanese Anemone, then work, step by step through the book, mastering flowers, plants and insects until you reach the magnificent Magnolia and intricate Poppy sampler at the end.
Beautifully presented in a hardcover folder, the book also comes with a set of reusable iron-on transfers tucked into the elegant cover slip, so you don’t have to hand draw your patterns on to your fabric. Naturally, if you prefer, all of the patterns are also provided for you in the back of the book so you are really spoilt for choice.

It is difficult to decide which of these striking botanical studies is our favourite, so taken are we by each and every piece. This is a must for any Trish Burr lover, as well as any lover of floral and botanical imagery. Make sure to secure your copy now.
World Embroidery Day | 30th July
World Embroidery Day is almost upon us again and, although it is difficult to believe that a year has gone by since the last one, we’re ready to celebrate.
As you probably know, World Embroidery Day was set up in 2011 in Sweden by a passionate group of stitchers who felt that this wonderful art should be acknowledged and celebrated. Since then, people around the world have come up with all sorts of ways to celebrate on 30th July, from getting together with like-minded stitchers, to getting out and stitching in public, through to just taking a quiet hour out of one’s day to commune with their needle and their favourite pastime.
This year, like past years, Kelly Fletcher is marking World Embroidery Day with a free pattern for everyone to enjoy.
Her subject is a leaping fish, worked in modern colours and wonderfully simple stitches so that even those new to stitching can give it a try.
Kelly hopes that people will enjoy stitching this so much, they might move on to try other things and encourages everyone to share their stitching with others on social media.
Although things are slightly different this year, and not everyone is able to get together in a group or head out to stitch in public, we can still mark 30th July in our calendar and do something embroidery related.

No matter where you are or what your circumstances, the purpose of World Embroidery Day is to be a day ‘filled with creativity for the sake of peace, freedom and equality’.

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!

We’d love to hear how you plan to mark the occasion of World Embroidery Day, so make sure you let us know what you’ve got in store for this time next week. Simply email
Featured Project
In My Garden by Catherine Laurençon
The love affair between embroiderers and flowers is well known. Flowers are perhaps one of the most stitched subjects, with blooms appearing in almost every known technique.
There are many reasons why flowers are so perfect for embroidery, including their endless variety, the often sinuous and elegant shapes and, of course, the myriad array of stunning colours.
The colours of flowers run the gamut from yellows and whites through to deep purples and reds, with every shade and hue in between. Some are brilliant while others are muted but there is no end of inspiration for the colour obsessed embroiderer.
Flowers display their gorgeous colours for one primary purpose – to attract the pollinators whose job it is to help the plant to reproduce.
The colour emerges from pigments in the genes of the plant – anthocyanins for reds, pinks, blues and purples and carotenoids for yellow, red and orange.
Whether the flower is bright or dull depends on what is required for reproduction. If bees or birds are essential, the flower will be bright to attract them. If reproduction happens via wind or air, then it is likely the colour will be duller so that birds or insects are not attracted.
Nothing happens in nature by accident, but the happy result is that we get the pleasure of flowers of every possible colour imaginable.
Catherine Laurençon is well known for her love of flowers and her appreciation for their colours and has the unfailing ability to translate that love through needle and thread. The stunning pink blooms from her project ‘In My Garden’ from Inspirations issue #107 are a perfect example of her skill.
The flowers in this piece display a cascading variation of colour, starting with the deep salmon of the nearest flower, and working backwards to the rear blossoms which are delicately picked out in outline, the colour indicated through minute specs of pink and deep central highlights.
The stitched study is then completed with the inclusion of the stalks and leaves of the plant, cleverly picked out in greens and blues to really emphasise the depth of field.

Worked on a fine, white linen, this piece emerges via Catherine’s characteristic technique. Although ostensibly long and short stitch, Catherine’s style of threadpainting asks that no stitch is ever too long, with the colour and shading being built up progressively.
This makes the result appear three-dimensional in the same way that botanical painters did centuries ago. It also gives the stitcher a great deal of control over the colour blending.
If you’ve never stitched one of Catherine’s pieces before, ‘In My Garden’ is the perfect place to start. By following the clear, step by step instructions, you are guaranteed to capture the intelligent beauty of nature which, unlike the botanical subject upon which it is based, will never fade.
Make Your Own | In My Garden
Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

In My Garden by Catherine Laurençon is a pretty scene of sweet garden blooms in a soft palette of pinks and greens.
Inspirations Issue 107
In My Garden
Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for In My Garden includes everything* you need to re-create these pretty blossoms: Fabric (unprinted), embroidery threads and needle.
In My Garden
*Please Note: To cater for flexibility of purchase, instructions are not included with our kits. For step-by-step directions on how to create this project, please refer to the magazine/digital pattern.
Looking for More Catherine Laurençon?
Le Magnolia
Le Magnolia by Catherine Laurençon from A Passion for Needlework | Factoria VII is a stunning threadpainted magnolia worked in vibrant colours on linen.
A Passion for Needlework | Factoria VII
Snow Blossom
Snow Blossom by Catherine Laurençon from Inspirations issue #104 features the dainty, white edelweiss flower in gently-shaded threadpainting.
Snow Blossom
Inspirations Issue 104
Les Amaryllis
Les Amaryllis by Catherine Laurençon from Inspirations issue #101 is a beautiful threadpainted study of a stately amaryllis.
Les Amaryllis
Inspirations Issue 101
La Fauvette
La Fauvette by Catherine Laurençon from Inspirations issue #97 is a gorgeous threadpainting of a European warbler amongst reeds and grasses.
La Fauvette
Inspirations Issue 97
What Are You Stitching?
Its official, we just can’t get enough flowers! Maybe it’s because of the warm weather in the northern hemisphere, or maybe it’s because we’re well past the shortest day of the year here in the south and we can sense that spring is on the way. Or perhaps it is simply because when all is said and done, embroiderers and flowers go together like the moon and stars. Who could imagine one without the other?
Joanne Loebig
‘This is a project inspired by Jo Butcher’s Summer Days found in Inspirations issue #101. I painted the background fabric with watercolours and included a teapot and teacup.’
‘And as you can see, I have a tea set in my own front garden!’

Your garden reminds us of white rabbits and Alice in Wonderland, Joanne – how fabulous! And your interpretation of Jo Butcher’s design is just as magical.
Marjee Zeier
‘This is a portrait of a Centaurea maculosa bloom sliced through to show the interior of the pistil. Spotted knapweed is an invasive and noxious weed where I live and property owners are required to remove it, but I photograph these plants and use them as models for works of art.’
‘It is stitched on quilting cotton that is backed by a fusible, woven stabilizer. I have dyed the edges. The margins are left raw as that is a characteristic of woven fabric and an element of my designs.’

Marjee, your work demonstrates that all nature contains beauty, even if as humans we have deemed it a weed! We love that you’ve found beauty within something where others wouldn’t perhaps think of looking.
Alicia Clark
‘These pictures show a Jacobean pillowcase in shades of blue and a corner of a linen handkerchief I embroidered with poppies.’
‘The pillowcase is from a kit purchased seventeen years ago and the flowers on the handkerchief were a piece of a 19th century wallpaper design.’
Such wonderful colours, Alicia. These show that even old designs never lose their appeal.

Are you in love with flowers as much as we are? Have you found yourself falling in love with pattern after pattern featuring flowers? Or are flowers just not your thing? In any case, we’d love to see your work. Send us pictures of your projects, along with a few words about your stitching journey to
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This Week on Social
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‘Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning and focused effort. ’
~ Paul J Meyer ~
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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