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ISSUE 26  |   DECEMBER 4, 2015

Hi <<First Name>>,

Welcome to Embroidery News Issue 26.

As the countdown to Christmas sprints along, every day it becomes more apparent there is just not enough time to get everything done!

And for most of us, that might just be shopping for gifts, baking Christmas treats or decorating the house - let alone any unfinished stitching projects that still lay in wait.

With only 3 weeks until Christmas, there are also only 3 issues of Embroidery News left for 2015, including this one. EN issue 28 will go out on Dec 18th and then our offices are closed for the Christmas / New Year break.

That means we have a LOT to cram into the remaining issues of Embroidery News, starting right now!

This week we admire elegant Hedebo embroidery, give you more reasons to love lavender, bring you one of the most diverse ranges of projects we have ever featured in ‘What Are You Stitching’, learn about Singapore and Starch and include what might be our favourite quote yet.

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


This week we take a closer look at the project ‘Simplicity’ from the current issue of Inspirations #88. If you haven’t purchased your copy of this extremely popular issue yet, you can order a single issue online here.

Simplicity was created by Christine P. Bishop who is an Australian needlework icon, as can be testified by her inclusion in the newly opened Golden Threads Museum Exhibition at the South Australian Embroiders Guild, where you can delight in some of her needlework pieces as well as watch interviews of Christine talking about her embroidery.

We were so thrilled with her piece Simplicity in Inspirations #88, she was in the office just recently planning the follow up project to this which will feature in an upcoming issue of Inspirations– but more about that shortly.

One of the reasons ‘Simplicity’ has been so popular is that it’s a perfect introduction to the exquisite Danish form of whitework known as Hedebo.

The technique originates from the Danish farming community of the Heden, 'heath', area between Copenhagen, Køge and Roskilde. Hedebo Stitch, also referred to as Hedebo buttonhole or Danish buttonhole, is a knotted stitch characteristic of Hedebo embroidery and is used to edge cut shapes.

Simplicity features a beautiful pattern repeated right around the entire edge of the linen mat and really helps you get into the rhythm of the stitch, which by the completion of the project, you should feel much more comfortable with and ready for your next Hedbo challenge – now back to Christine’s project coming up in Issue #90.

Building on the same elements learned in Simplicity, Christine’s next project is an intermediate to advanced Hedebo sachet incorporating a more intricate design.

We can’t wait to show it you… but in the meantime, why not try your hand at Simplicity – the beauty of this project is you only need a single needle, one piece of linen and one thread. Kits are still available for sale on our website, which can be purchased by clicking here.

Ellaine Bronsert is our amazingly talented stitcher extraordinaire who works tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure all projects in Inspirations are meticulously reverse engineered and the step-by-steps re-created to de-mystify even the most complex project.

Simplicity Inspirations #88

Her job has to be one of the hardest… imagine for every piece of the world’s most beautiful embroidery we feature, she has to learn the technique well enough to teach us all!

A little secret she shared with us regarding the step-by-steps she created for Simplicity was, because the original linen Christine used was so fine, even though Ellaine used blue thread to contrast against it, the weave was just too narrow to adequately show each stitch.

So she found some linen with a larger weave which, when photographed close up, provided the necessary detail yet still looked like the original project.

Clever thinking Ellaine – thank you for de-mystifying everything for us, we’d be lost without you!


Christine will be teaching 3 gorgeous projects at BATB, including Simplicity featured above.

Download a free copy of the Beating Around The Bush 2016 Catalogue here, or order a printer copy here.

Bookings open Feb 29th 2016.



Our magazine ‘Stitch Craft Create AU/NZ’ is running a competition for Australian and New Zealand residents, where five lucky crafters have the chance of winning a Sizzix Prize Pack which includes a ‘Big Shot’ die-cutting machine and a range of dies.

The Big Shot™ is the ultimate creative cutting tool ideal for die-cutting fabric and paper for all your home décor projects, applique and much more. To read more about the competition click here.

To enter simply click HERE to fill in your details.

Competition closes on Dec 31st 2015 and winners will be notified by email and posted on the SCC AU/NZ Facebook page.



Last week everyone was loving Sue’s pick ‘Lavender Reverie’ by Heather Moody from Issue 41. So we asked Sue if she could follow it up with an encore and lo and behold, quick as a flash alakazoo, alakazam, she grabs a copy of issue 19, points to the front cover and declares – ‘Spellbound!We’ll leave it to Sue to explain…

Lavender has always been a popular flower, no doubt because of how versatile it is, not just from a design aesthetic, but also as a fragrance. Plus did you know that some of the properties of lavender include; antibacterial, antidepressant, analgesic, antiseptic, expectorant and more. So to my thinking, if you combine all the therapeutic benefits of stitching with the medicinal power of lavender, this really might be a magical project after all!

I’m talking about the project ‘Spellbound’ by Carolyn Pearce from Inspirations issue 19. This gorgeous lavender bag is adorned with ribbon embroidery in what would make a beautiful gift for someone, or just a touch of luxury for yourself.

Ribbon Embroidery is what Kristian our CEO calls, the ‘instant gratification technique’, due to the fact that within no time you can have gorgeous rose buds popping up everywhere. While it’s not quite that simple Kristian, one of the nice things about this project is Ribbon Embroidery doesn’t take as long as some other techniques and so you might find yourself making more than one ‘Spellbound’ once you get started.

One of the really nice finishing touches on Spellbound is the wide satin ribbon that ties in a generous bow, with tiny stitched rosebuds decorating each end.

Thank you Sue – sounds like the market price of Lavender might be on the increase with all the demand you’re creating!

Spellbound’ by Carolyn Pearce is from Inspirations issue #18 and has just been added to the Stitch.ology website this week as an instant digital download.

To purchase this pattern, click here.

Superb Spot To Stitch!


If you are enjoying the projects Sue has been highlighting each week in ‘Something Special With Sue’, a selection of Inspirations back copies are still in print and are now available for purchase. Click here to see which issues are available.


As you have probably already worked out, our Embroidery News Community is a wealth of knowledge with many of you willingly taking your time to share - we love that we get to be a part of such a generous and responsive community! Thank you!

Image courtesy of The Bored Zombie (visit site here)

You may remember Rachael’sDestination Singapore’ travel plans that we’ve talked about over the last couple of weeks, well this week we get to point her in the right direction by sharing some of our community’s personal ‘Destination Singapore’ experiences . . .

Sandra Paschkow discovered the Chinese and Indian Markets were an exciting place to explore due to their beautiful displays, which excite the senses, and their rich selection of threads, trims and sari fabrics. Sandra found that taking either a tourist bus or local train direct to the markets was not only cost effective, but also easy.

Michelle Lee highlighted Peranakan beaded slippers as a source of local inspiration in Singapore. Michelle found the slippers in the Katong District, Geylang Serai and Chinatown.

The Peranakan Museum which can be found at 39 Armenian Street Singapore features intricate embroidered Kebaya’s and is well worth a visit.

Michelle also sent in a link to Jennifer Lim’s Website here. Jennifer is an Australian-Peranakan artist whose studio is based in Toa Payoh.

Whilst Jennifer specializes in linocut and Japanese woodblock prints, her use of colour and design could easily be translated to anything textile related!

from the Jennifer Lim Collections

From Singapore to starch . . .

Genevieve’s cry for help as she sought advice on what to buy, where to buy and how to use starch invoked many a memory in our Embroidery News Community!

Clare Boyling from the Gold Coast in Australia remembers her mum starching doilies when she was young using a wringer machine and two rinse tubs just to wash the clothes! The clean doilies were then starched, dried, dampened with water and then ironed with a steam iron. Luckily for Genevieve Clare found the following link here with a more ‘modern’ approach to starching!

Martha Murchinson grew up in the American South and recalls the following:

We used countless embroidered and vintage linens in our home. We had a wonderful maid who was in charge of starching the linens. I begged her to teach me how to starch and iron. The starch did indeed come in a small box labelled ‘Laundry Starch’. It was a white background with blue letters.

Martha now buys liquid starch from the local supermarket and recommends you wash the items to be starched then add the starch to the rinse cycle. The items should then be hung to dry and lightly dampened before ironing, ensuring you press from the centre out whilst pulling the edge of the item to keep the grain of the fabric straight.

We close our advice on starch with Suzanne Eder’s tip from Bartlesville, Oklahoma in the USA – Suzanne recommends that items should only be starched as you’re about to use them, as leaving starch on anything in storage – even in your linen closet – attracts insects that will eat the fabric it’s left on - certainly not what you want to find as you remove your precious linens from storage!

This week it’s over to you Embroidery News Community for our next conversation starter – email your question/s to


Calling all lovers of needlework… your moment has arrived. The much anticipated and long awaited catalogue for the ‘Beating Around The Bush’ 2016 international needlework convention is now available.

62 projects. 21 tutors. 8 of the best days of your life.

Visit the BATB website to access the catalogue here.


We love so many things about the Inspirations community. Apart from the fact you are all stitching rock stars, this week when putting together the projects for ‘What Are You Stitching’, we were amazed at how diverse the techniques and designs everyone has used. Let’s get started with some incredible needlework on denim by Jen Alba in New Hampshire USA – if you were both an embroidery and musical rock star all at once, these are the type of jeans you would wear on stage….

'I love your online group and exciting newsletter. Just want to share with you all my current projects. My passion is wearing hand embroidered clothing. I've retired from 40 plus yrs of commission work and over this past year designed a line of hand embroidery kits. This has given me the time to go back to my roots and draw on denim. .....!

Having a ball and will be teaching "Draw, Chat and Stitch" workshops in the Plymouth NH area. Thanks for letting me share! Xo
Jen Alba - JHA Designs |

Thank you Jen – we’re not sure what is more amazing, your incredibly creative design or the precision of your needlework. Either way – Rock Star effort!

Moving now from a concert stage to more an art gallery setting. Marjee from Montana, USA has sent in some really intriguing pieces which you can imagine hanging in her gallery showcasing her brilliant creativity and design skills.

I have been sewing and doing embroidery since a very young age. I discovered Shibori (Japanese tie-dying technique) about 8 years ago and began dying fabric to use in my work. I often have many projects underway at the same time and move from one to another rather than finish one and go on to the next. I don't possess most of what I complete as they tend to be given as gifts. Although I continue to create individual art type pieces, my new direction is to incorporate my handwork into clothing design. Marjee Zeier

Wow Marjee – no doubt there are some fascinating stories behind what these pieces are communicating. We’d love to see some of your clothing when you have some ready as well.

From an art gallery to perhaps a selfie gallery:

We first met Shelley back in Embroidery News 7 with her black work Frog which went on to win a first place prize at the Cailfornian Sonoma County Fair. This week she is back and has decided capturing her image using a smart phone is passé and is going about it using a much more traditional method…

'I have an interesting project that I am working on. My boyfriend found a picture of us that he really likes and with the wizardry of the computer, transformed us into a cross stitch pattern 100 x 80.

I then printed the cross stitch photo to use for my pattern. My first decision was how big it to make it. My partner wants it quite large so that when you stand back you can see us clearly. I decided to use a 7 count canvas using 4 intersections as one square in order to enlarge it. So, each stitch is actually 4 cross stitches in the same color, and the count is 3.5 count per inch, so it will be around 30” x 26”.

Now, what to use for canvas? I looked and experimented with different materials including Aida, monk’s cloth and different counts. I eventually decided on a 7 count burlap. The unevenness of the threads was an issue at first, but eventually that didn’t matter as the area was filled in, but it sheds little fibers into the thread. I will cut them out after I am through.

Next was matching DMC threads to the pattern. I took the picture to our local craft store and began to match the colors. I use all 6 threads for the best coverage. I cut them into 18” lengths and strip them, then put them back together. This thread length barely does 15 stitches! There were a few colors that were either a shade too light or dark, so I decided to blend threads and was very pleased with the results. It is a tedious process because of the subtle variations in color so I must use good light.

I hang the canvas in progress on the wall next to pattern to compare color values and placement. You have to stand way back, but it works very well. I am very excited with my progress, but unpicking, as you can imagine, is extremely time-consuming. For every stitch that must be removed, I have to take out 4. I hope to have it finished in time to enter into the Sonoma County Fair next year.

I love your magazine and look forward to reading every issue!
Regards, Shelley Dutko

That sure is a really interesting project Shelley, thank you so much for providing the back story including all the technical details as to the challenges you’re dealing with. Burlap is definitely a very creative choice and no doubt adds to the complexities of an already challenging piece, but from what you have done so far it’s really coming along well. Please keep us informed of your progress, we’d love to see more of your ‘old school selfie’!

Let’s now step outside for a moment and enjoy some of nature’s beauty… starting with this fabulous pink butterfly from Maggie Leitch:

'Re your article in Embroidery News 18 about Butterflies, thought you might like the photograph of the Butterfly I hand stitched.

I am in the Glasgow and District Embroiderers Guild and we have a 'Travelling Book'. Everyone picks a subject, hands their book in, we pick names out of the hat and take the Travelling Book that we have picked home to create whatever the subject of the book is and bring it back next month to do the same again. At the end of the Travelling Journey you get your own Travelling Book full of other people designs on your subject.

The Butterfly I created was for a Travelling Book called 'Bugs, Butterflies and Beetles'

Best Regards from Scotland, Maggie.'

That is so great Maggie, we love it. We also love the creativity of your Guild to create the Travelling Book idea: no doubt that must be a lot of fun to work on different book based on the theme. One thing is for certain, you gave the book 'Bugs, Butterflies and Beetles' a project the other books will be envious of!

Some more of nature’s beauty to end up on this week, with a lovely Trish Burr flower design from Adrienne DeBritt in Couridjah NSW, Australia,

'This is my 2nd piece of threadpainting . I'm now working on my 3rd. I just love doing it but have never been game enough to try it!
Regards Adrienne

Adrienne that is a brilliant flower for only your second threadpainting piece well done! Your story is a great testimony of debunking the myth that threadpainting is a really hard technique. While at first looking at taking on a threadpainted project may seem daunting, just remember this old saying ‘mile by mile it seems a trial, but inch by inch it becomes a cinch!’ Once you break a threadpainting project down into individual elements, it becomes very manageable and there are so many people we talk to just like yourself who surprise themselves by trying it, succeeding and then falling in love with it. So thank you for sharing your photo and story, hopefully it will encourage others to try this really magnificent technique.

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


Last week Embroidery News featured the fabulous project ‘Harmonies’ from issue 88 by Deborah Love. With so much positive feedback about both Deerfield embroidery and Deborah Love, this week we thought we’d highlight the project ‘Symphony in Blue’. This elegant Deerfield embroidered cushion also by Deborah is a beautiful addition to any home, or can even be paired with ‘Harmonies’ should you be looking for a matching pair of cushions.

Pattern for ‘Symphony in Blue' is available as a Digital Download for purchase here.


Tickets selling fast – great Christmas gift for a friend or family member, or even yourself! Book online now by clicking here.



If you are an Inspirations subscriber and have not yet received your printed copy of Issue #88, it probably means something has gone wrong!

Thank you to those who last week used our ‘Lost #88’ form.  If you are yet to do so, to help expedite any missing subscriber copies, please fill in this form and we’ll chase it up for you ASAP. Click here


You can now purchase single copies of Inspirations online in both print and digital formats.

PRINT | To purchase the current issue #88 in print and have it shipped right to your door anywhere in the world, click here

DIGITAL | To purchase digital issues of Inspirations, click here


If you have been thinking about taking out a subscription to Inspirations, we’d love you to join us. 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

Inspirations issue 88


In case you missed the news, here are some of the most popular projects we have featured in Embroidery News in recent weeks:

The pattern for ‘The Little Nut Tree’ by Susan O’Connor from Issue 11 has now been added making this the earliest Inspirations project available on the site.

This timeless design finished in thread painting, uses a combination of silk threads to create a rich cushion worthy of any castle.

Pattern is available for purchase here.

Another newly added pattern is ‘Symphony’, a terrific pattern to purchase because you get THREE stunning Trish Burr designs in the one project. 

A delightful coordinating trio, these cushions are stitched in muted shades of lavender, violet and mulberry with a combination of silk, wool and cotton threads also using the technique of thread painting.

Click here to purchase online.

In case you missed the news, here are some of the most popular projects we have featured in Embroidery News in recent weeks:

Rejoice’ by Carolyn Pearce from Inspirations issue 47.

Featured in ‘Something Special With Sue’ in Embroidery News 23, this dazzling Christmas decoration by Carolyn Pearce has been extremely popular.

Printed copies of Issue 47 are available for sale here.

12 Days Of Christmas Ornaments

Susan O’Connor has created two gorgeous Christmas ornaments to adorn your tree this year.

On The Second’ day has just been released in Inspirations #88 and is the second in the 12 Days Of Christmas series she is working on.

True Love’ is the first ornament and is now available for purchase as an instant digital download.

Purchase ‘True Lovehere.
Purchase a printed single issue of #88 here.


Beautiful design



By Salley Mavor




" You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy thread and that’s pretty close."
~ Author Unknown ~



What: Art Quilt Australia Exhibition
Where: National Wool Museum, Geelong Victoria
When: to 11 Dec
Details: &

What: Slipstitch
Where: Swan Hill Regional Galley, Victoria Australia
When: 1 Dec to 26 Jan

What: Christmas | Embroidery @ Fed Square
Where: Federation Square, Melbourne Australia
When: 7 Dec

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

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