ISSUE 252, SEPTEMBER 18, 2020
No images? View online
Click to enable images
Hi <<First Name>>,
After what has felt like a colder and longer winter than usual in Inspirations’ hometown of Adelaide, there are finally signs that spring is upon us.

Apart from the days becoming noticeably longer and the weather reports promising a warmer day here and there, one of the first signs that winter was coming to a close was the appearance of blossom.
From what appeared to the eye to be completely barren branches, a delicate haze of white and pink flowers suddenly appeared. From nothing to something!

Just like our work with needle and thread. From a barren piece of fabric comes something. As we slowly work with needle and thread, a delicate haze of stitches appears and we realise we’ve created something from nothing.

It’s amazing to think that within us we have the ability to create. When you think about it, everything that surrounds us was created from nothing but the raw materials used in their manufacture. Someone had to create each and everything around us, along the way working out how to create something from nothing.

Whilst our process of creating involves a little more determination than nature’s seemingly effortless manner, both are as remarkable as each other as we each create something from nothing.
Have Your Say
Creative Ways to Display Needlework | Your Responses
After including our story ‘Creative Ways to Finish & Display Your Needlework’ in All Stitched Up! issue #244, we were delighted to hear your thoughts on how to display your finished embroidery. It seems that many of us face the endless difficulty of balancing the desire to have our pieces hanging on the wall with the practicality of not having enough wall space!
In the article we referenced numerous different ways to display your work, but clearly, we hadn’t thought of them all!
In fact, K. Coleman went to all the effort of sending us an extensive A-Z list of different ways to display embroidery. Some of our favourites from the list included canvas sneakers, flour sack drying towels and television screen covers. The ingenuity and imagination this list displayed was superb – we could easily be stitching until the end of our days and still not have managed to do all of them!
Clare Muzzatti’s Concertina Style Book
Clare Muzzatti offered a fascinating solution. She suggested a 4-page, concertina style book which is free standing and joined by ribbon. Each book can display 8 finished pieces and Clare’s suggestion was that you select a theme – perhaps Christmas or landscapes, and group together completed projects which fit the theme. We loved this idea and could imagine switching the books on display whenever the mood took you.
Linda Devaney’s Brick Mould ‘frame’
Linda Devaney made use of an old brick mould which then acted as a ‘frame’ for multiple, postcard-sized embroideries which looks fabulous. We have also seen something similar done with old typesetter’s cases, but any kind of box or frame with multiple compartments could work. Linda clearly took great pleasure in finding projects that would fit into the spaces of her brick mould, even securing fine linen in order to get the dimensions just right.
Although we work hard to inspire you each week, we don’t often express how much you all inspire us.
So many of these ideas we hadn’t even thought of and it has allowed us to look at some of our current WIPs (works in progress) to determine whether we could use one or two of the ideas you’ve offered.

Display is all about getting pleasure from your finished work, but Pat Demharter posed a larger and perhaps more important question. She wanted to know what might happen to our needlework after we have gone. What provisions have our readers made? Do our heirs know how to protect needlework? Or will they even care?
One great fear of many a stitcher is that once they have gone, their work will end up in a charity shop or worse, in a skip bin somewhere. Pat would love to hear from anyone who has already thought through this process and perhaps even put something in place to ensure their work is protected. You can email us at with your thoughts and comments.

In the meantime, we encourage you to enjoy each stitch of the journey and each moment of pleasure you get from seeing your work displayed. Ultimately, we can’t completely control what happens after we have gone, but hopefully we can instil enough love and passion in our needlework for future generations that we will have no need to worry.
Needlework News
Your Next Needlework Adventure Has Arrived…
The wait is finally over! With much fanfare and excitement, today we officially launch our new book ‘A Passion for Needlework 3 | Blakiston Creamery’.
Compelled by our belief that every stitched piece has a story waiting to be told, ‘A Passion for Needlework’ is our series of books that tell these stories.

For the Inspirations team, these books are our passion incarnate – they represent the pinnacle of our collective efforts to publish the world’s most beautiful needlework.
Over the past few weeks we’ve been referencing some of the wonder that awaits within this third book in the series, so without any further ado let us begin with the final reveal of ‘A Passion for Needlework 3 | Blakiston Creamery’.
We’re reluctant to say that we think we’ve outdone ourselves with this one but… well… we think we’ve outdone ourselves with this one.
It all begins with a decadent affair of strawberries – from page one you’ll be dazzled by the elegant silk and gold of Cynthia Jackson’s Tudor Garland, bursting with strawberries. Then there is the sophistication of strawberries stitched with the finest of silk in Susan O’Connor’s Mirror Image, an Elizabethan mirror surround packed with flowers and fruit.
(L) Tudor Garland by Cynthia Jackson (R) Mirror Image by Susan O’Conner
Bringing home the strawberry love is Brenda Sortwell’s Morris Magic featuring two cheeky avian strawberry thieves, worked in crewel wool.
Morris Magic by Brenda Sortwell
For those enamoured with all things floral, you will adore Nigella & Honesty by Margaret Light. Carolyn Pearce’s elegant set of needlework accessories, entitled Perfect Pansies, features gorgeous threadpainted blooms on burnt orange silk.
(L) Nigella & Honesty by Margaret Light (R) Perfect Pansies by Carolyn Pearce
Jane Nicholas’s delicate Dogwood & Lacewing combines stumpwork flowers with insects so realistic you will be surprised when they don’t fly out of the frame. A decadent bevy of butterflies and insects also feature in Helen M. Stevens’s lustrous Woodland Floor, worked in silks on a striking black background.
(L) Dogwood & Lacewing by Jane Nicholas (R) Woodland Floor by Helen M. Stevens
In contrast, the pure beauty of white on white is achieved in Christine P. Bishop’s Tulipan worked in Hedebo. And for those with a passion for beading, Margaret Lee’s exquisite Sen’nohana evening bag will feed that passion and then some.
(L) Tulipan by Christine P. Bishop (R) Sen’nohana by Margaret Lee
If three-dimensional embroidery makes your heart sing, you can create your own indoor garden with Ana Mallah’s Sweet Succulents, but you will need to remind people not to water them! Georgina Bellamy’s Jewel of the Sea is a gorgeous, three-dimensional turtle worked in shimmering metallics.
(L) Sweet Succulents by Ana Malah (R) Jewel of the Sea by Georgina Bellamy
Finally, the project that gave us that stunning image for the cover of the book, Christine Burton’s Limonera Pear. An enchanting pincushion adorned in blackwork and tiny beads, constructed into a perfect, three-dimensional fruit.
Limonera Pear by Christine Burton
If you can feel a tingle in your fingers and hear the rattle and hum of your needle and threads, that’s the call of the passion! To answer, order your book below.

PLEASE NOTE – Special discounted shipping rates are available for our Passion for Needlework books which will be calculated and applied automatically at check out.
BATB 2021 Catalogue | Coming Soon
As with so many things being cancelled this year, Beating Around the Bush was definitely the one we were most disappointed to postpone. But just as spring follows winter and dawn follows the darkest night, Beating Around the Bush 2021 is on its way!
We know how much you all delight in the amazing projects on offer at Beating Around the Bush, and we know how much you love to plan what you’re going to do while there. So, in order to get you started on that process, the BATB Catalogue will be out very soon – so soon in fact you can start the countdown with the launch only 2 weeks from today!
On Friday 2nd October a free digital copy of the catalogue will be made available to download from our website, or, to really experience the pleasure of cracking it open with a cup of tea at hand and a notebook and pencil ready, you will be able to order a printed copy and have it posted to you.

For those who registered to attend in 2020, keep your eye out for a special email coming your way soon.
They say distance makes the heart grow fonder – well we can assure you that we’ve been missing being together like crazy and can’t wait to share all that stitching love with you in 2021.
New Book | Sew Your Own Felt Advent Calendar
It seems we’re having a felt festival here at Inspirations lately! After bringing you the cutest felt animal families imaginable last week, this week it’s time to bring a little festive felt to Christmas. ‘Sew Your Own Felt Advent Calendar’ shows you how to create an advent calendar filled with tiny toys, guaranteed to bring squeals of delight each and every day in the lead up to 25th December.
This new book by Sachiyo Ishii includes patterns not just for the tiny calendar with numbered pockets, but also for the 24 adorable little toys which reside in each pocket. Peeking out you’ll find bunnies, owls, gingerbread men and teddy bears, each with a distinct little personality sure to bring a smile to everyone’s face.
The projects are quick to make, with detailed instructions and full-sized templates for cutting out your felt and putting each toy together. If you can manage to convince the happy recipient to return the toy back to its pocket-home after Christmas, this advent calendar will become a family favourite year after year.
Gaffer Tape it to a Wall?
While we’re discussing what to do with finished pieces, we discovered this great video from our friend, Mr. X Stitch. Whilst out exercising the dog, Jamie ruminated over a number of interesting ideas for using finished pieces.
Although he admits that he has been known to finish something and then just ‘shove it in a drawer’ (I think we’ve all done that at some stage), he comes up with some pretty clever suggestions, from giving it away in a random act of kindness through to gaffer taping the piece to a wall!
Embroidered Watch by Isla del Se (source)
Perhaps not all of his ideas will be to everyone’s taste, but for a few more ideas about what to do with finished (and even unfinished) pieces, it is worth watching his clip HERE.

You can also read more from Jamie on his website HERE or subscribe to his Instagram or YouTube Channel.
Featured Project
Starlight by Taetia McEwen
‘Starlight, Starbright, first star I see tonight, I wish I may, I wish I might, have this wish I wish tonight.’
The gentle, lyrical sound of a nursery rhyme at bedtime is one that has been heard by countless children over centuries. These simple verses, known to so many and passed down by parents, grandparents, carers and siblings, have been a part of childhood since at least the eighteenth century.
It is really fascinating to read about the meaning of nursery rhymes. Because of their oral transmission, it is difficult to confirm the veracity of any of the stories. Some are definitely apocryphal; others seem to be based in fact. What is known is that nursery rhymes, in a manner which belies their simplicity, often carried seditious, critical or darker meanings.
During a time when criticism of royalty and authority could have grave consequences, encoding discontent into a simple rhyme for children was one of the few ways such feelings could be expressed.
Perhaps fortunately, children then and children today are rarely told the actual meanings of nursery rhymes. However, there really is no need, as the benefit of nursery rhymes lies not in their interpretation. Rather, it is the simple tune, memorable words and repetition that delights the heart of children and adults alike.

More importantly, singing of rhymes together helps create a bond between child and adult. Child development experts have also found that the rhyme and music help aid the mental development of young children as well as increasing their spatial reasoning.
Indeed, the structure and wording of most nursery rhymes fits with the psychologically determined ‘language’ called ‘motherese’ – a simplified version of language spoken with plenty of repetition and a gentle, reassuring lilt, that provides enormous evolutionary value in terms of security, understanding and emotional bonding.
Drawing on the famous nursery rhyme, needlework designer Taetia McEwen has created ‘Starlight’, a gorgeous lampshade featuring a series of adorable animals sitting around the base, all gazing in wonder and delight at the sparkling stars above them.
Their fairytale world is inhabited by tiny insects, perfectly formed toadstools and a cornucopia of delicate flowers providing shelter for the inhabitants of this dreamy embroidered piece.
Starlight is the latest release in our Handpicked series, available as a printed pattern, digital pattern as well as a Ready-to-Stitch Kit and is a companion project to ‘Sunbeams’ featured in Inspirations issue #107.
(L) ‘Sunbeams’ and (R) Handpicked Project ‘Starlight’
In Taetia’s wonderfully artistic style, she employs a wide range of different stitches, materials and threads, resulting in a fascinating combination of textures which continually catch the eye. From beads to sequins, silky satin-stitch petals to perfect bullion clovers, Starlight is as much a joy to stitch as it is to admire afterwards.
Although this magnificent project is perfect to enjoy in the daylight, it truly comes into its own when the lights are low and the lamp is switched on.
Any child will be mesmerised by the glitter of Starlight as it appears through the eyelet stars.
We are sure children will find just the comfort required, what with the soft light, the gorgeous animals, the sparkling highlights and the gentle nursery rhyme you sing to them, to help them forget about the darkness outside, and drift into a peaceful, dream-filled sleep.
Make Your Own Starlight
Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

Starlight by Taetia McEwen from our Handpicked range is an enchanting lampshade with garden friends wishing on the first star.
Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Starlight includes everything* you need to re-create this delightful scene: Fabrics (unprinted), wool felts, wire, feathers, embroidery threads, ribbons, beads, sequins and needles.
Due to popular demand Starlight kits are currently sold out. The good news is that more stock is on its way. The not so good news is that due to sourcing lead times and current delivery delays there is an expected wait of 4-6 weeks. Thank you for your patience.

*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 patterns.
Looking for More Nursery Rhymes?
The Woolly Sheep
The Woolly Sheep by Libby Vater from Inspirations issue #18 is a cosy cot quilt featuring three woolly rams in a meadow of field flowers, framed by words from the favourite nursery rhyme ‘Baa, Baa, Black Sheep’.
The Woolly Sheep
Hey, Diddle Diddle
Hey, Diddle Diddle by Heather Scott from Inspirations issue #22 is a delightful sheet set featuring the old favourite nursery rhyme ‘Hey, Diddle Diddle’.
Hey, Diddle Diddle
What Are You Stitching?
Elizabethan style embroidery is one which is always popular. Perhaps it is the intricacy of the designs, with elaborate foliage, detailed flower and animal designs and an incredible variety of stitches.

Looking through our What Are You Stitching? files, we have discovered a number of gems that fit with the style to share with you this week and we can only marvel over the time and effort invested into each of these exquisite projects.
Christine Harris
‘I’ve wanted to do a men’s medieval nightcap for a very long time and late last year I gave it a go. I’m pleased with it.’
‘The pattern was one that I found years ago online for individual use. I've never found another pattern that I liked as much.’
It is a beautiful piece, clearly stitched and constructed with care. It is sure to become a family heirloom, Christine.
Catherine Jennings
‘I thought you might like to see this box I have completed. I bought two of the silk kits several years ago (the second by mistake!)’ .
‘The first I made into a picture. The second I embroidered during lockdown and mounted in this box which was made for me by a friend’s husband.’

Stitching the same design twice shows true devotion, Catherine! As it is such a beautiful design (David Smyth’s Garden from A Passion for Needlework), we’re sure you would have enjoyed many, pleasurable hours stitching them.
Lois Woollams
‘This little purse was hand stitched with silk and silver thread as a follow up to the medieval Sweete Bag (from Inspirations issue #99), with a modern twist of a zip closure and tassels.’
‘The little tag is a hexagon embroidered with a heart on one side and the first initial of my niece, ‘J’, on the other. It is covering a gold coin, which was traditionally always given with a purse.

The pattern is designed from a piece in the V&A museum. It took six months of sewing with a magnifying glass!’

But what a result, Lois! We love the modern twist and we’re almost speechless at the detail and design of this amazing piece.
Susan Hobkirk
‘At the start of lockdown in the UK, I decided it was the ideal time to start stitching Victoria Laine’s Sweete Bag from Inspirations issue #99. I had pushed my particular boat out and ordered the kit at the time but was trying to find the space to start what was a big project for me. Big in magnitude, but teeny tiny in execution!’
‘As I write, I have finished all of the embroidery and today I will start on the construction. Then, I will begin on the next mammoth task of making the braids to go around the project.’

There is no denying that Victoria’s Sweete Bag is a huge project, despite its diminutive size. You’ve done an incredible job with it, Susan.

Do you love all things Elizabethan, or is Jacobean more your style? Perhaps you adore the Victorian period, or maybe modern embroidery is what you love more than any other. Whatever style, whatever period, we want to see it. Send us pictures of your work, with a bit of information about the project and your stitching journey to
Subscribe to Inspirations Magazine
Not a Subscriber? Join Today!
Become part of the Inspirations family by subscribing to the magazine... we'd love to have you join us!
You May Have Missed
Caterina by Maria Rita Faleri is an Italian linen cloth embellished with Catherine de’ Medici stitch and hand-knotted tassels.
Inspirations Issue 107
Bellissimo by Paola Matteucci from Inspirations issue #102 is a beautiful cushion topper in Italian tulle embroidery with a flowing design of roses and leaves.
Inspirations Issue 102
Tuscan Lace
Tuscan Lace by Maria Elide Melani from Inspirations issue #103 is a cushion cover worked with Deruta Sfilato embroidery, perfect for a contemporary setting.
Tuscan Lace
Inspirations Issue 103
Tuscan Lace
Stitches from the Heart
Stitches from the Heart by Maria Elide Melani from Inspirations issue #97 is a charming little sachet, in shades of blue and white - the perfect introduction to the technique of Deruta Sfilato, drawn thread work from the heart of Italy.
Inspirations Issue 97
Stitches from the Heart
With This Ring
With This Ring by Patricia Girolami from Inspirations issue #74 is a beautiful ring cushion featuring a Punto Antico white work design.
With This Ring
Inspirations Issue 74
This Week on Social
Time to get your felt on. Dena Seiferling creates enchanting needle felted sculptures.
@uskonst⁠ helping people put their best foot forward.⁠
‘You come into the world with nothing, and the purpose of your life is to make something out of nothing.’
~ Henry Louis Mencken ~
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

/ Forward to a Friend / Shop Online

You are receiving this email because you signed up online, at a craft show, subscribed to our magazine, or purchased something from our online store. If you no longer wish to receive this newsletter, we'll be sorry to see you go, but click HERE and we'll remove your email address from this list. Thank you.