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ISSUE 33  |  FEB 26, 2016

Hi <<First Name>>,

Welcome to Embroidery News Issue 33.

Needlework - who has time for it??  No-one likes to think of themselves as poor, yet we all seem content to adopt the label ‘time poor’.  It’s widely agreed everyone struggles to keep up with our modern day pace of life, but perhaps we use the term ‘time poor’ to mask the fact we don’t properly prioritise the important things in life – like needlework!

If a friend told you they were poor because they had no money and yet they did nothing about it, how would you respond?  Help them out with advice, a loan or a donation? Perhaps tell them to pull up their lovely knitted socks and go and earn some money?

While we can’t give each other time, we can help each other change our priorities.  There are so many benefits we all receive from our needlework, from lowering our blood pressure, to soothing our chaotic minds, to giving our creativity an outlet, to blessing others with our stitched gifts, yet because the needle and thread doesn’t call us, email us, text us, yell at us from down the hall, so many other things get our attention first.  In the same way we know health must be high up on our priority list, needlework is right up there as well. 

Not only are we physically, mentally and socially better off for it, our craft relies on us to keep it going and pass it on to the next generation.

So…. Needlework, who has time for it??  WE SHOULD ALL FIND THE TIME!!

Do you have something you can share with the Inspirations community? We’d love to hear from you, please email us



Last week we had the great pleasure of hosting Kaffe Fasset’sColour Lecture’ in Canberra ACT, Australia.  We began our adventure having dinner with Kaffe and Brandon, where Kaffe was telling us how much he enjoyed the tapestry in Parliament House.  The next day we ventured there ourselves and were immediately taken back by the enormous size of this incredible piece aptly titled ‘The Great Hall Tapestry’.

Based on a painting by Australian artist Arthur Boyd, the finished tapestry measures 20 meters wide by 9 meters tall (approx. 65ft x 29ft) and is one of the largest tapestry pieces in the world.

Boyd worked closely with the weavers to select specially dyed yarns that matched the colours in his painting and it took a team of 13 weavers from the Victorian Tapestry Workshop two and a half years to complete the work.

Another marvellous needlework exhibit, also in the Great Hall, is titled ‘Parliament House Embroidery’.  This was a gift to celebrate Australia’s bicentenary from the Embroiders Guilds of Australia, who collaborated to create an eight-panel frieze in the tradition of the Bayeux Tapestry, measuring 16 meters long and 65 centimeters tall (approx. 52ft x 2ft).

The embroidery is the result of eight years of unprecedented collaboration among the eight State and Territory Guilds with over 1,000 women from all over Australia who donated not only their embroidery skills, but also the fabric, thread and administration of the project.

From all of us at Inspirations, a huge congratulations and thanks to all those involved in both these stunning projects.  It was a proud moment to see how well our community has represented us in the nation’s capital.

The following evening it was time for the much anticipated lecture, held at Canberra Grammar School.  Brandon Mably, Kaffe’s Studio Manager, did a wonderful job of warming up the crowd and reassuring everyone that this was a lively audience participation event, and anyone was free to ask questions at will.  Kaffe then took the stage and proceeded to walk us through his amazing world of colour, quilting, fabric, needlework, design, travel and much, much more. 

Everyone took Brandon at his word and the questions flowed throughout the presentation and for the Q&A afterwards, and in response Kaffe was strikingly honest and sometimes controversial in his answers, which seemed to add to everyone’s enjoyment and adoration of this dynamic duo.

We now eagerly await our chance to do it all again in Adelaide on March 3rd.

A special shout out to Jenny Adams and her team from Addicted to Fabric in Canberra who hosted workshops with Kaffe and Brandon.  If you live in Canberra or ever visit, do yourself a favour and check out her fabulous store. For more info and photos from their Kaffe workshops, check out their website here.

What are you doing this coming Thursday March 3rd? 

Why not join Kaffe Fassett, his studio manager Brandon Mably and the Inspirations Magazine team in Adelaide for a brilliant evening of champagne, cupcakes, book signing and an enthralling presentation from the king of colour.

Last minute tickets are available, click here to purchase or call us on 08 8293 8600

We’re looking forward to seeing everyone on the night.  



Finally, Inspirations issue #89 is officially out!  We know that most of our subscribers have had their copy for several weeks’ now, and you’ve been busy ordering kits and telling us how much you’re enjoying reading this new issue.   So without any further ado, let’s get stuck into this terrific issue, aptly titled ‘Fabulous Flowers’.

We asked Susan O’Connor, Inspirations Editor in Chief, how an issue all about flowers came to be:

‘Flowers are without doubt the number one inspiration and most chosen subject matter for needlework - after all very little compares to the beauty of a flower!  With this in mind we felt putting together a range of diverse designs across multiple techniques would make for a great issue, and we’re really pleased with the result’

Susan and her team certainly delivered beauty and diversity, as issue #89 features roses, windflowers, hollyhocks, daisies, lavender, forget me nots, hydrangeas and more - even the ‘flowers of the sea’ coral and anemones, get a showing.  Then there are all the techniques including cross stitch, beading, silk ribbon, raised embroidery, and surface embroidery.

This week we take a behind the scenes look at our first project from issue #89, ‘Curtain Call’.


To celebrate the long awaited reprint of Susan’s book ‘Monograms’, the Inspirations team wanted to commemorate the occasion by adding a bonus project from the book, into issue #89.

Those of you who have her book Monograms will recognise Curtain Call from the section The Lavender Sachets, where Susan details how to make the sachet, however some of the more lavish alphabet patterns were not made available with the book… until now!

In issue #89 for the first time we include the entire Rose Alphabet from the lavender sachets.  This character alphabet is not only the most ornate and pretty, it also features an elegant rose, making it a perfect fit for issue #89.

Special shout out to Lynton, our graphic designer extraordinaire, for helping bring this alphabet to life.  See the full size, tear out pattern sheet included in issue #89, for all twenty-six letters.


Inspirations issue #89

Purchase your copy here.

The Art Of Embroidered Letters
Purchase your copy here.



Last week ‘Can You Help?’ intrigued us once again with Jillian’s antique piece of cloth and tempted us with Alice’s upcoming trip to Vietnam.

We were overwhelmed by the responses - so overwhelmed in fact that it will take us the next couple of weeks to finish what Jillian and Alice started - so a BIG thank you must go to everyone who joined in on the conversations!

Due to the timing of Alice’s upcoming ‘Destination Vietnam’ adventure in March and April, we’re going to devote this weeks ‘Can You Help?’ to point her in the direction of an embroidery store – or two – that she can indulge in while she’s there.


Kathleen from New Mexico in the USA has just returned from her own ‘Destination Vietnam’ adventure and declared it fabulous - Kathleen found embroidery everywhere, but unfortunately didn’t have a large enough suitcase to take home everything she found!

From experience, Kathleen highly recommends visits to:

Craft Link (a not for profit organisation which seeks new markets for traditional artisans) has stores in Hanoi as well as at both the Museum of Ethnology and the Women’s Museum. Ethic costumes abound in each of these museums and are also well worth a visit whilst there.

The Indigo Cat - 46 Phan Xi Pang Street
Sapa Town, Lao Cai

The Indigo Cat sells handmade goods sourced from local villages and is well worth seeking out. Whilst in Sapa, Kathleen also found it a treat to find the Red Yao and Black Hmong ethnic tribes (who are embroiderers and weavers) in their traditional embroidered clothes selling their wares on the streets.

In Dalat, Kathleen recommends a visit to XQ School of Embroidery. Can’t make it to Dalat? The XQ Hand Embroidery shops can also be found in Hanoi, Saigon and Nha Trang to name but a few.

Alice, Kathleen hopes this information helps you get started on your quest to track down embroidery throughout Vietnam and expects that you’ll come home with many embroidered treasures just as she did.

We also heard from Sandra who echoed Kathleen’s recommendation of XQ’s exquisite work. Their shops abound with silk threads, sewing kits, purses and bags, silk scarves, clothing and embroideries. Sandra also made mention of the many markets that can be found throughout Vietnam where a careful eye can find threads, fabric and notions, as well as anything else you can think of!

Alice, we wish you well on your Destination Vietnam adventure and would love you to share the journey with us at – just make sure you don’t forget that extra suitcase!

Next week we’ll revisit Jillian’s antique find and discover what the Embroidery News Community uncovered. Until then, may your days abound in stitching . . .




ONLINE – (Please note – if necessary refresh your web browser by pressing F5 once registration opens)
PHONE – 08 8293 8600 or from outside Australia +61 8 8293 8600
POST – PO Box 10177 Adelaide Business Hub, South Australia 5000

For quick and easy bookings, register online as class availability is shown in real time, so if the class is listed on the site when you book, your place is secured. 

Download the catalogue for FREE here.

Purchase a printed catalogue here

*9AM Adelaide time, South Australia.


We have a little bit of everything for your viewing pleasure this week.  To complement the release of issue #89 and the theme of ‘Fabulous Flowers’, let’s get started with some projects that fit that description beautifully.

Carmo Afonso from New South Wales, Australia is a regular contributor to ‘What Are You Stitching’ and below is her most recent submission:

‘I would like to share my latest Trish Burr design that I have made for my lovely old chair.  Regards Carmo xx

Thanks Carmo – isn’t it amazing the difference some gorgeous embroidery can make, it transforms this lovely old chair into a needlework masterpiece.  Well done, it’s brilliant.

Christiane Paris from Belgium is another ‘What Are You Stitching’ regular and we just love this poinsettia she sent in:

‘Hello… Originally I had planned on having this ready for Christmas just gone, but it took me a little longer to finish than I thought!  One of the great advantages of these flowers is they don’t need watering and won’t wither or fade away!  Christiane Paris.’

Beautiful as always Christiane – your attention to detail and finish is superb.

Next up is Diane’s Martin with a couple of projects for us to admire, the first of which not only features a lovely flower, but also a winged admirer with a rather long pointy beak…

Hello everyone, I'm sending you from Montréal, Canada, two photos of birds I've stitched: the first one is the hummingbird I've made on a blouse for a friend and the second one is a blue jay I've stitched on a pillow cover as a gift for one of my sisters. I hope you will enjoy.   Diane

Diane these are both stunning pieces and lovely to see yet another generous needlework artist who stitches for the pleasure of others.  No doubt the recipients of your gifts will treasure them dearly.

Earlier we gushed about how great the Kaffe Fassett lecture in Canberra was, and we all know Kaffe designs specular quits.  Another designer of spectacular quilts is Lesley McConnell from Faeries In My Garden who is a great supporter of Inspirations.  Here is Ann Martin from New Zealand back again with some more of Lesley’s quilts:

I thoroughly enjoy working on Lesley McConnell patterns and have included my English County Garden quilt which took 2 years to complete plus 3 other projects which Lesley also designed and I completed via their ‘Gift Of The Month’ club.  I've enjoyed learning how to use water colour pencils on fabric and embellishing it with embroidery.  I also enjoy reading your newsletter!  Thank you once again, Ann Martin.

How delightful Ann, you have created some truly wonderful keepsakes and all of them to such a high standard.  Thank you for sharing and we’re glad you’re enjoying Embroidery News.

If anyone is interested in discovering more of Lesley McConnell’s designs, you can check out her ‘Gift of the Month’ club here.

Everyone loves a wedding, so let’s end this week with a gorgeous Hardanger ring cushion from Barbara Nicholls:

‘Hello. My name is Barbara and I live in Stanthorpe Queensland, Australia.  I completed this Hardanger wedding ring cushion last year and it is to be a gift to my partners granddaughter who is marrying shortly.

My interests in embroidery are varied and Inspirations has been an important addition to my library since Issue No 1.  Thank you for all the beautiful items that 'inspire' so many of us all over the world.  Barbara Nicholls’

Barbara that is lovely and how great is it to have such a special application for your embroidery skills.  It’s amazing how much needlework comes to the fore in grand events such as weddings, christenings, new borns etc.  We trust the wedding is as elegant and beautiful as your cushion.

If you have a wedding coming up or just love Hardanger, these two digital patterns added to our website this week, might just be what you’re looking for:

‘Love’ by Alla Akselrod

Three exquisite wedding mementos of pale gold silk dupion.

Click here to purchase

‘Bianca’ by Patricia Girolami

Elegant Hardanger Mat. 

Click here to purchase

What Are YOU Stitching? We’d love to see it… send your photos, a description of the project and a little about yourself including where you live, to


In keeping with our ‘Fabulous Flowers’ theme, here are two new fabulous digital patterns that have also been added this week:

‘Gift Of Flowers’
by Beverly Sheldrick

A beautiful embroidered accessory with pockets for needles and scissors.

Click here to purchase

‘Flowers For Elizabeth’
by Susan O’Connor

Exquisitely embroidered sweetbag.

Click here to purchase

Beautiful Needlework.  Sold Here.


If you are an Inspirations subscriber and have not yet received your printed copy of Issue #89, it probably means something has gone wrong!

To help expedite any missing subscriber copies, please fill in our ‘Missing #89 Formhere and we’ll chase it up for you ASAP.


We’d love you to join us as an Inspirations subscriber.  Or if your subscription is no longer current, we’d love to have you back!  Join or renew today:

PRINT | For a print subscription simply fill in our secure online form with your details. It’s so easy and quick, you’ll be done in 5 minutes. Click Here.

DIGITAL | For a digital subscription you can purchase it through Zinio direct here or through the Inspirations APP which can be downloaded via the iTunes and Google Play stores, by searching ‘Inspirations Magazine’.

CALL US | If you are not sure what option is best for you, have some questions or just like to talk to someone rather than type, we’d love to hear from you. You can call us from anywhere in the world on +61 8 8293 8600 anytime and if we’re not in, leave a message and we’ll get back to you. For anyone within Australia, call us on 08 8293 8600.

Otherwise email anytime us at


By Alison Holt


love the different flowers


Ric rac is so versatile!


" My motto is always, ‘when in doubt, add twenty more colours’ "
~ Kaffe Fassett ‘Glorious Knitting’ (1985) ~




Me time, needlework time, cruise time, stitch and chat time, and travel adventure time all rolled into one!

May 15th – 22nd 2016

Join us as we embroider on a five-star luxury cruise down the Mekong.  Once you’ve experienced this exotic destination, you can go back to your weekly Stitch and Chat’s with something to really talk about!

Our world renowned ‘Masterclass On The Mekong’ cruise sails through majestic Cambodia and Vietnam.

For more information, download our brochure HERE, and you can book online HERE.



What: El Anatsui | Five Decades
Where: Carriageworks | 245 Wilson Street Eveleigh, New South Wales
When: to 6 Mar
Details: Click here

What: The Power of Pattern | The Ayako Mitsui Collection
Where: Art Gallery of South Australia
When: to 13 Mar
Details: Click here

What: A Stitch in Time – Home Sewing Before 1900
Where: Victoria and Albert Museum | London
When: to 1 May
Details: Click here

What: RSN | Peacocks & Pomegranates Exhibition
Where: Hampton Court Palace
When: 27 Jan to 22 Jul
Details: Click here

What: For Worship & Glory
Where: Chester Cathedral, Chester UK
When: 3 Feb to 28 Feb
Details: Click here

What: Slipstitch
Where: Latrobe Regional Gallery, Victoria Australia
When: 27 Feb to 17 Apr
Details: Click here

What: Smocking Arts Guild of NSW | Meeting
Where: Dence Park Community Centre | 26 Stanley Road Epping, New South Wales
When: 3 Mar 10:00am & 7:00pm
Details: Click here

What: Embroidery & Patchwork Exhibition ‘Stitches in Flight’ by The Embroiderers’ Guild of Victoria, Ballarat Branch
Where: Minerva Space, Mechanics Institute, 117 Sturt Street Ballarat
When: 4 to 7 Mar

What: Mollymook Embroiderers | Free Introductory Lessons
Where: Uniting Church Hall | 24 Wolseley Street, Milton New South Wales
When: 4 Mar | 18 Mar | 1 Apr
Details: Click here

What: The Embroiderers’ Great Escape
Where: Orewa College – 76 Riverside Road Orewa New Zealand
When: 11 to 13 Mar
Details: Click here

What: Muchas Manos Workshop | Beaded Lotus Flower Pincushion
Where: San Diego, California
Details: Click here

Send us details about events, exhibitions and celebrations happening in your place of stitch and we’ll include them in Embroidery News. Contact us at

Happy Stitching
The Embroidery News Team

Welcome to ‘The Embroidery News’ published by Inspirations Studios Corporation. You are receiving this email because you signed up online, at a craft show, when you subscribed to our magazines, or when you purchased something from our online store. Subscribe to our mailing list to keep up to date with news and events. If you no longer wish to receive emails from us, we'll be sorry to see you go, but click here and we will remove your email address from this list. Thank you