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ISSUE 14   |   September 11, 2015

Hi <<First Name>>,

Welcome to Embroidery News Issue 14. 

More of everything this week – more projects from Inspirations #87, more smocking, reptiles and Jenny McWhinney in ‘What Are You Stitching’, more questions in Can You Help and above all else, more beautiful needlework!

Speaking of more – Inspirations is always looking for more subscribers.  Did you know that Embroidery News is only possible thanks to those of you who subscribe to, or pay for Inspirations magazine?  So if you enjoy this weekly newsletter, please ensure we can keep it going by supporting us financially and subscribing to Inspirations.  

Visit our website here and sign up today. The entire embroidery community will thank you for it!

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


Recently ‘Can You Help’ has been all about travel recommendations, which must be a hot topic at present because the theme continues again this week.

It seems last week’s ‘destination needlework’ question from Beverly regarding her travels to the Boise / McCall area in Idaho and her cruise through San Juan, Charlotte Amalie and Nassau didn’t ring a bell specifically with any of our Embroidery News readers, however we did receive several reminders about how useful Google can be for such queries. 

That said not even Google can compete with ‘been there, done that’ experience through the eyes of a fellow stitcher, so we’d still love to pass something specific onto Beverly.

How about it Embroidery News Community, who has something they can add to the conversation?

Our new ‘Can You Help’ questions are other ‘destination needlework’ locations. One from Hendrika who is travelling to Vienna and Salzburg later this month, as well as one from Kathy who will be in Barcelona in October.

Again, it’s over to you – we’d love you to be a part of ‘Can You Help?’ - please email us your responses!


Accolades continue to pour in for Issue #87 – congratulations to Susan O’Connor and her team for yet another stand out issue.  Diana Turecek from Reston, Virginia USA was so generous in her praise, we had to include it for everyone to enjoy:

Natural Beauty - issue 87

What a wonderful, wonderful issue!! I loved all of the projects but even more, I loved the profiles of the stitchers. Fun and delightful to read. I love to hear personal embroidery stories.  The articles on various embroidery techniques were also wonderful and will no doubt be an important reference to those studying the history of embroidery 100 years from now. It now takes me longer to go through each issue because of all of the extra content which is fantastic.   

Thank you for your kind words Diana, we’re glad you are appreciating the extra effort the team are going to.  The project from Inspirations #87 we are looking at this week is, in fact, the namesake for this issue, or as the music industry would say, the title track from the album – Natural Beauty by Fiona Hibbett.

The Back Story – Natural Beauty is yet another magical ‘discovery’ that came to us as an entry in the 2014 Beating Around The BushStitch Your Heart Out’ competition.  Fiona won first prize in ‘Design Divas: Fine Fibres’ with this stunning stump work pineapple.  Ever since then, we have been waiting for the right issue of Inspirations to include her winning entry and based on your feedback to date, it’s been worth the wait!

Inspired by a stunning 18th century study by painter and naturalist Maria Sibylla Merian, Fiona has cleverly created this elegant raised embroidery of a golden pineapple and colourful insects. Worked onto silk satin, the embroidery utilises a number of unusual and inventive techniques that bring the image to life.

To help break down this complex project into our trademark easy to follow step-by-steps, some deft hand drawn illustration skills from Susan herself were called upon.

Many step by steps in Inspirations are further enhanced by terrific pencil illustrations, this is because at times the needlework in the projects we feature is so fine and intricate, it’s more effective to explain ‘how-to’ do something in a sketch.  Above you can see the caterpillar is visually easier to re-create looking at Susan’s illustration than from the photo itself.    


ISSUE #87 | Where For Art Thou? CONTINUED

ZINIO SUBSCRIBERS A thousand apologies for the delay in releasing Issue #87 to you, it is now available so please log into your account and/or check your app to download it. 

We have been working with the Zinio team and putting in place new measures to ensure delays are avoided going forward.

PRINT SUBSCRIBERS - If you are an Inspirations subscriber and have not yet received your printed copy of Issue #87 by now, it most likely means something has gone awry!

To help expedite any missing subscriber copies, please fill in this form and we’ll chase it up for you. Click here


If you’re not sure what all the fuss is about, Inspirations truly is the World’s Most Beautiful Embroidery magazine. Gorgeous photos, lush premium quality print - this magazine is unlike any other. The great news is you can purchase Inspirations one issue at a time delivered anywhere in the world through our Pay As You Go subscription system. Click here to find out more.


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Give us a sssssmile Rhonda!

Rhonda the pet snake is our pin up girl for this week’s ‘What Are You Stitching’ so we decided to put her at the very beginning to get everyone’s attention.  No Rhonda doesn’t stitch, but she did contribute to an embroidery project recently! 

Lynn Gibson first introduced us to the idea of using actual reptile skin in embroidery project when we featured her brilliant ‘Lizzie the frilled neck lizard’ project in Embroidery News Issue 8.

Just when we thought that was a one off, this week Heather McKeown from Corlette, NSW in Australia sends us her amazing lizard piece using (yep you guessed it) real snake skin!  Heather explains:

“I created this frilled necked lizard piece using a shed snake skin from my son’s snake.  The frill is done with angilna fibre to give it a natural look, and I tried to give it the desert look which is where they tend to live. I hope you enjoy the end result as much as I have!”

Great job Heather, you’ve done the reptile world proud!

Another innovator with using unique materials along with a needle and thread is Kathleen Klein in Michigan USA, whom we first met in Embroidery News issue 7.  This week Kathleen sends us a fantastic Walrus made from cogs, and more…

“Besides doing steampunk Crazy quilting, I love doing crazy quilting using beaded Russian leafs, and adding'hair' and embellishments to 'silkies'.These are three of my twelve Victorian ladies. I belong to Crazy Quilt Divas, Crazy Quilt International and Brazilian Dimensional Embroidery Groups on Facebook. All of the members keep me motivated and inspired to do more.”

Thank you Kathleenyour work is very creative indeed!

Following on from some terrific Smocking projects featured in Embroidery News Issue 12, this week we are lucky enough to have receive some more.  Carol Anderson from Christchurch in New Zealand gets us started:

“Here are just a few of my creations. I am an avid smocker and really miss the AS &E magazines. I was taught by an elderly lady who is an amazing smocker. After 6 months of lessons from her she said I didn’t need any more tuition, which made me feel very proud.”

“For many of my projects I use very pretty Wyntella fabric, including a white dress with white smocking and pink roses, a pale lemon dress with pale and deeper yellow smocking and lemon beading, also a beautiful apricot with white pinspots. They looked soooo pretty and I was really pleased with them especially as I had never used beads with smocking before.”

Jennifer Coleman from Queensland, Australia shares with us these lovely Smocked Tops: “I recently completed these two tops for a friend's daughters. I used Meco Mode's "Alice" pattern which was for a nightie and shortened it. Hoping to make a nightie next!”

Great work Carol and Jennifer – thanks for sharing the smocking love around.

Last week we included a Jenny McWhinney project from Inspirations Issue 51 which Beryl Ambler in the UK sent in.  This week Joanne Lebrun from Quebec, Canada sends in her gorgeous version of another Jenny McWhinney piece (with Jan Kerton), ‘Berry Harvest’ from Inspirations Issue 49.  Joanne tells us her story:


Hello, I am sending some photos of what I just finished for the son of my nephew named David.  I bought the Inspiration kit a long time ago and put it in my drawers “to do one day”!  I am pretty proud of completing it.  Continue the good work, your magazine is very the best!”

Well done Joanne, you have done an amazing job, it looks just like the original and we love the personal touch of adding the letter ‘D’ for David.

If you are interested in making this project, we have some great news for you.  This week we are making available limited stock of Inspirations issue #49 for purchase, which includes the ‘Berry Harvest’ blanket project. 

Plus we still have some Issue #51 remaining which includes the ‘Monet et le Papier Jaune’ (Monet and the Yellow Paper) project shown last week.

Berry HarvestInspirations Issue #49

To order these magazines please email us for details:

Flowers of Panicale
Issue #86

Inspirations Issue #86 showcased an amazing technique that we had never published before – Ars Panicalensis.  This superb stitch comes from the Italian town of Panical in Umbria and was brilliantly demonstrated in ‘Flowers of Panicale’ by Paola Matteucci.

Riana Dijkman from South Africa was immediately taken by this newly discovered technique and below she explains what happened next:

“After receiving issue 86 with all its beautiful lace projects, I immediately started an Ars Panicalensis piece which I have since completed.  I designed the piece myself which features peacocks combined with Carrickmacross and Limerick lace.

“I was quite satisfied with the result - what is more beautiful than combining lace and embroidery in one project? All thanks to the challenge and inspiration that your magazine has given me since issue 1. Many, many thanks.  Riana”

We love hearing stories like yours Riana congratulations for showing no fear and just jumping in to try something new.   If you have missed out on learning about Ars Panicalensis in Issue #86, you can still purchase copies, just email us

To wrap up ‘What Are You Stitching’ for this week, Christiane Paris from Belgium shares with us these stunning masterpieces. Christiane's correspondence with us was all in French, but here are some translated highlights of her story:

“These are my latest thread painting and stumpwork projects, after a few months of work each, they are finally finished.

I live in the province of Namur in Belgium, am 70 years old and dedicate myself to my hobby which I have been involved in since my childhood.  I started learning regular embroidery and then progressed to thread painting and stump work.


I design my own projects which are typically based on a postcard, a poster or a photo.  Usually I stitch 2 ‘paintings’ a year and have about 30 completed to date.

I also stitch tablecloths (and other items) in schwalm, hardanger, reticello, richelieu, boutis, etc."

Wow Christiane you really have a way with the needle, your work is amazing – thank you for sharing it with us all.

What are YOU stitching?

Send us your photos, details about your project, where you live and a little about yourself to:


Love the color


Just love this!


Gorgeous pincushion 


" Take your needle, my child, & work at your pattern; it will come out a rose by & by. Life is like that – one stitch at a time taken patiently & the pattern will come out all right like the embroidery."
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes ~


What: Threads of Power Exhibition – Rare 16th Century Tapestries
When: until 20 Sep
Where: The Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria
Details: Click here
Additional Details: Check out this blog for a detailed review of the exhibition here

What: The Embroiders’ Art
Where: Estuary Arts Centre – 214A Hibiscus Coast Highway, Orewa, New Zealand
When: 10 to 27 Sep (0900 to 1600 & 27 Sep 0900 to 1400)
Details: ANZEG Northern North Island Regional Biennial Exhibition showcasing over 100 exhibits interpreting the themes ‘Beneath the Surface’ & ‘The Strange Case of the Missing Stitch’.

What: Hobart Embroiderers’ Guild Biennial Exhibition
Where: Moonah Arts Centre - Albert Road, Moonah, Tasmania
When: 16 to 20 Sep

What: Boundless Embroideries by Wollongong Group of NSW Embroiderers’ Guild
Where: Ribbonwood Centre, Princes Highway, Dapto NSW
When: 18 Sep
Details: Click here

What: MAIWA Textile Symposium
Where: Vancouver, BC Canada
When: Sep | Oct | Nov
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