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ISSUE 59  |  August 26, 2016

Hi <<First Name>>,

Welcome to Embroidery News Issue 59.

Kids.  Much to be said about that subject.  From ‘seemed like a good idea at the time’ and ‘the only fun part was making them’ to ‘becoming a grandparent is your reward for managing to keep your own kids alive’.   Whichever way you look at it though, spend a few minutes with a child and it’s hard not to end up smiling, laughing and being infected with their cuteness, which from there leads to the thought ‘what can I stitch for this bundle of joy?’.  This week we look at a few ideas to help answer that question, as well as a spectacular Hardanger mat, and release a long awaited digital pattern for your stitching pleasure.

Do you have something to share?  We’d love to hear from you!  Email us atL

Quick note of thanks to Andrea from our office for the photo of her niece Emma shown above on the right, lost in a field of nasturtiums.


         - T H E   C O U N T D O W N   C O N T I N U E S –

                  With only 5 weeks to go, NOW is the time to book for BATB 2016.

20 of the world’s best tutors, 62 of the world’s most beautiful needlework projects, 7 of the best days of your life.

Don't Miss Out - Book Today!

> Digital PDF of the catalogue available to download for FREE – Click HERE.
> Printed copies of the BATB 2016 catalogue – Order HERE.
> Registration online and see list of classes and accommodation – Click HERE.


The English language is notorious for double meanings. For example, the phrase ‘tell me about it!’ can either mean, ‘please tell me about it’, or ‘I know, can you believe it!’ which are quite different outcomes.

This week we’ll use these multiple meanings to our advantage as we look at the project ‘Oh Baby!’ by Claudia Newton.  Let’s start with ‘Oh Baby!’ meaning (said with a longing tone) ‘Oh, look, it’s a beautiful baby!

What better gift to bestow on a beautiful new arrival in your life than this exquisite white linen gown which has been created to complement the precious perfection of a new baby.  Included are patterns for three sizes: newborn to 3 months; 3 to 6 months and 6 to 12 months.

Now we’ll use ‘Oh Baby!’ to mean ‘Oh baby, what a sensational piece of needlework!

Claudia is well known in the USA for her beautiful heirloom garments and very fine hand finishing. Having worked for the magazine ‘Sew Beautiful’ for many years she now teaches heirloom sewing for SAGA (Smocking Arts Guild Of America) with classes at the National Convention in Hampton, Virginia next month. 

It is our great privilege to feature one of Claudia’s projects in issue #91, which is the first time for us, and Oh Baby are we lucky to have her join the Inspirations hall of fame.

Oh Baby!’ has indeed all the hallmark finishes of a master heirloom sewer, with Claudia meticulously crafting this garment with each detail carefully designed and precisely finished.  It features dainty bullion flowers and delicate drawn thread work on the bodice and hem and hand stitched front tucks and embroidered detail on the back yoke to complete the dress.  The white batiste slip is trimmed with edging lace and buttons down the back.

If you are unfamiliar with the term Heirloom sewing, here is how Wikipedia defines it, which we feel is very apt:

‘Heirloom sewing is characterized by fine, often sheer, usually white cotton or linen fabrics trimmed with an assortment of lace, insertions, tucks, narrow ribbon, and smocking.  Typical projects for heirloom sewing include children's garments (especially christening gowns), women's blouses, wedding gowns, and lingerie.’

(the garment, not an actual baby…)

‘Oh Baby!’ by Claudia Newton is featured in Inspirations issue #91.  Complete with project requirements list, detailed step by step instructions and pattern sheet for three different dress sizes, printed copies of issue #91 are now available to order.

> Purchase Issue #91 HERE

An Inspirations Ready To Stitch Kit is also available for Oh Baby!

The kit contains all the fabric, threads and needles you need including:

-White Ulster 1000 handkerchief linen
-White cotton batiste
-Mother of pearl buttons
-Fine piping cord
-Plastic snap fasteners
-White edging lace
-DMC no.50 white sewing thread
-YLI no.70 white sewing thread
- Stabiliser (water-soluble)

> Purchase Oh Baby! Kit HERE


This week we open Can You Help? with thanks from a very grateful Ruth who is in the midst of planning a big move from Switzerland to Canada . . .

‘I am so happy about all the news and valuable information from Embroidery News - thank you!  The suggestions will help to make a good start in a new Embroidery Community. The dates when the Ottawa Valley Guild of Stitchery meet are already in my diary. I also skimmed through all the websites - simply great! Inspirations is the Rolls Royce among Embroidery magazines and I think your newsletter matches it. A big Dankeschön to everyone!

Ruth, it was our pleasure to point you in the direction of stitching joy for your imminent arrival in Canada and we look forward to hearing how your adventure unfolds!

Now to unpacking Janice’s conversation about finding blanketing fabric that doesn’t contain wool . . . we were inundated with responses and suggestions, so we do hope we’re able to point you in the right direction over the next couple of issues of Embroidery News, Janice, and have you stitching away for your grandchildren in no time at all!

We heard from Roberta L Ellis who, like Janice, is a Pennsylvanian, living north of Pittsburgh :

‘I may be able to help Janice from Pennsylvania. I am also allergic to sheep’s wool. I have found polyester fleece and cotton flannel to be acceptable substitutes for wool in many instances. I’ve been making dolls, stuffed animals and children’s clothing for a living for over 30 years and I’ve had no problems with wear and tear with these fabrics. The alpine fleece (napped) and blizzard fleece (non-napped) from JoAnn’s has worked well for me for blankets and bear skin. Heavy cotton flannel also makes good blankets. Some of the better quality polyester felt has also worked well for stuffed animals and some of it is machine washable.’

Fleece Fabric from JoAnn’s

Roberta Kenney who is also from Pennsylvania and a regular contributor to Can You Help? speaks from experience as she too has ‘a granddaughter who is allergic to wool and when I wanted to make her a baby blanket searched for a substitute. Nordic Needle came up with a fabric called Etamin-Fine that worked out well. It’s 70% Viscose and 30% Linen, a 32-count even weave and is available in colours as well as ecru (white). It is also known as Floba and has a nice hand. It is not as soft and cuddly as wool but was great for an infant living in Texas! Otherwise, Charles Craft has an Acrylic Afghan Fabric that my daughter has used for many an Afghan.’

Joanne Stone suggested trying 100% Alpaca Blanketing.

Image courtesy

Helen Lovass suggests trying ‘to source a brushed cotton or bamboo blanket. I think Egyptian brushed cotton is thicker and maybe look at Etsy for vintage blankets that aren’t wool. Janice could also use a quilted approach with a soft cotton over bamboo batting.’

Chicago Cotton Baby Shawl from The Fine Cotton Company

Another of our Embroidery News Community went on to add :

‘I would suggest a good Polar Fleece. I have made three blankets using Polar Fleece and they have worked out well. The good thing about this material is that it washes well and can be simply washed in the washing machine and in this modern world young mums need items that are easy to launder! I also have a dressing gown that I made of Polar Fleece and did extensive embroidery on that I have been wearing and washing in the washing machine for 15 years. Happy stitching Janice.’

Janice, should you also need yarns that do not contain wool, Victoria from the USA suggested both Lion Brand Yarns in New York City - who can be found at 35 W 15th Street - and Knit Picks whose range of yarns and accessories can be seen HERE.

Next week we’ll continue pointing Janice in the direction of wool-less blanketing, but until then if you have something to add to the conversation or a conversation you’d like to start, please email us at


Warm Reminder…

If you are looking for projects for kids, don’t forget about Warm Welcome The Blanket and The Bears, all from issue #91.

Kits for both the bears are now back in stock and the blanket is available as well, all of which are perfect gifts for that special child in your life.

> Purchase Warm Welcome The Blanket HERE
> Purchase Warm Welcome The Bears Blue HERE
> Purchase Warm Welcome The Bears Pink HERE

> Browse our complete range of Inspirations Kits HERE


We have some terrific projects stitched just for kids to show you this week, but before we get to that first we wanted to share this delightful hardanger mat by Suzanne Blom, from Pennsylvania USA:

Dear Embroidery News, I look forward to every issue of Inspirations, it’s a feast for my eyes and my fingers.  I have two projects in progress from issue 90.  Here is my version of Kim Beamish's ‘Resting Place’ Hardanger linen table mat.  Next up is ‘Modern Crewel’ by Susan Porter which I would like to incorporate into a book cover for my daughter.

I began doing counted cross stitch thanks to my Dutch mother-in-law and am still exceedingly thankful to her for introducing me to my passion.   Over the years, I tried other types, Bargello, crewel, needlepoint, usually from kits, but always found the greatest satisfaction in cross stitch.  Since retiring, I've broadened my horizons with Hardanger, pulled thread, thread painting and other specialty stitches. 

I also tried Schwalm using patterns I found in Inspirations and joined clubs at Nordic Needle in North Dakota to gain more experience with Hardanger.  My favorite designer is often my current project, but I frequently return to Trish Burr, Thea Dueck of The Victoria Sampler, and Roz Watemo of Nordic Needle.  Since I keep very little of my work, I've begun to keep a photo gallery of my work online HERE.  Your magazine is perfectly named since I usually find my next inspiration in each issue.

Wow Suzanne!  There are so many things here to be wowed about… a good place to start is the precision and quality of finish in your hardanger mat, which is exceptional.  People may remember our review of this project from EN 46 (to read click HERE) in which we said:

‘Resting Place’ – Inspirations issue #90

“Hardanger could be called the ‘thrill seekers’ technique, as most projects require the very precise and selective cutting out of areas to achieve the wonderful shapes and patterns within the designs itself, and one errant cut through the wrong thread and disaster strikes!”  We were also very taken with your idea of keeping an online gallery of all your projects for posterity. It’s a neat way of remembering all the hard work you have done over the years and also provides an easy way to share your work with others, like the entire EN community!  So thank you for showing us your gorgeous needlework.

Now, onto the gallery of fun where we start with Marta Aldrighetti from Italy who first appeared only a few issues ago in EN 57 and is back this week with these sketches she stitched up:

‘Ciao, I'm Marta from Italy, and thank goodness we have our hobbies, such as embroidery!  Here are some of my handmade works from designs I draw myself.  Thank you for pictures and ideas you give us, love your emails!  Bye Marta.’

Marta we can just image these fun characters stitched onto a pair of jeans, the pocket of a dress, or onto a blanket or pillow.  Great drawings and your needlework really brings them to life. 

Next we have a very inventive Grandma who has used her needlework skills to send love from afar…

‘I live in Mount Annan, NSW, Australia.  My two beautiful granddaughters, Olivia (9) and Jessica (almost 7), live in Derbyshire, UK.  As I don’t get to see them very often I thought that “Cuddles from Grandma” might be a nice idea when I visited them this year.  I embroidered a pair of soft white cotton gloves each, lightly stuffed them, and then joined with ribbon to represent my hands and arms so the girls can imagine me giving them a nice warm cuddle when they’re feeling sad or missing me. 

I’m happy to say that they both loved their “Cuddles” and have them hanging close to their beds.  Many thanks to the Inspirations team for sharing photos of some amazing embroidery on Facebook and in Embroidery News.  Joan Kolar.’

Our hearts are melting just reading this Joan… you are a super star Grandma to come up with this wonderful idea and your designs and needlework is just all too cute.  I think we could all do with some cuddle gloves from time to time, and we can only imagine how precious your gift has been to your granddaughters.  Brilliant!

Back in EN issues #18 and #19, Gill Gavshon created a blanket for her grandson and in ‘Can You Help’ our community suggested ways to both iron out the creases and ship the blanket to Norway.  This week Gill shares her latest project to spoil her Grandson:

Hi Team Embroidery News, You will recall last year I made a blanket with bears on for my new grandson in Norway.  This year I have been working on Jenny McWhinney's "Monet et Le Papier Jaune". I started it at the end of 2015 and gave myself a year to do it. Well, I am ahead of schedule and have now finished the book and just have to make the bag, so I thought I would send a sample of photos.

I have really enjoyed working with Monet and Archie and I hope the grandson will enjoy them too. I love Jenny's work and this is the second one I have done, the first being the resting camels. I will now have to look for another project for next year! Jenny, if you read these EN's, thank you so much for your designs.

I look forward to receiving Embroidery News each week and love seeing what other people are doing - there are so many clever people and it makes one feel that one’s standards aren't high enough, but I suppose as long as we enjoy doing what we do and others get pleasure in looking, we should be content with that!  Keep up the lovely newsletters and ‘keep calm, keep stitching’  Gill

Gill you have picked a winning project here for sure… Jenny’s adventures of Monet in both ‘Monet and the Yellow Paper’ and ‘Flowers for Grandma’ have been read to, adored by and enjoyed by hundreds of grandchildren the world over, so you are in good company.  Congratulations on completing this ahead of schedule, it looks fabulous and yes Jenny does read EN so she’ll be delighted to see your terrific needlework skills bringing Monet to life for another family to enjoy.


The project ‘Monet et le Papier Jaune (Monet and the Yellow Paper)’ is from Inspiration issue #51, however all the print copies for this issue are sold out, so just this week we have now added the project as a digital download.  See below for details…

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



Jenny McWhinney’s adventures of Monet the Mouse are world famous.  First appearing in Inspirations issue #39, Monet’s maiden adventure is all about taking his grandmother some flowers.  We catch up with Monet again in issue #51 where this time he is out with his special friend Archie and they both discover the magic of flight in very different ways.

Now for the first time BOTH these hugely popular projects are available as digital downloads, as just this week ‘Monet et le Papier Jaune’ has been added.

‘Des Fleurs Pour Grandmere’ (Flowers for Grandmother)
by Jenny McWhinney

A child’s charming and captivating embroidered story book.

‘Monet et le Papier Jaune’ (Monet and the Yellow Paper)
 by Jenny McWhinney

Story book with further adventures of Monet with his friend Archie.

> Click HERE to purchase


> Click HERE to purchase

Printed copies of issue #90 are still available which includes the project ‘Resting Place’ by Kim Beamish as featured in this weeks ‘What Are You Stitching’ above.  If you missed out on enjoying this brilliant issue, purchase your copy today by clicking HERE. 

Beautiful Needlework.  Sold Here.


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‘Silken Dreams’
by Monique Johnston & Kris Richards

Beautiful needlework bags.

‘Sweet Slumber’
by Annette Drysdale

Luxurious embroidered pillowcase.

> Click HERE to purchase


> Click HERE to purchase


I really want this!


Scissor holder


Embroidered blooms


" A child can teach an adult three things – to be happy for no reason, to always be curious & to fight tirelessly for something."
~ Paulo Coelho ~


What: Ighali 2016 | Stitching in Paradise
Where: Belvidere Manor Hotel | 169 Lower Duthie Drive Knysna, South Africa
When: to 29 Aug
Details: Click HERE

What: 62 Group of Textile Artists Exhibition | Making Spaces
Where: The Silk Museum | Roe Street Macclesfield, UK
When: to 3 Sep
Details: Click HERE

What: Wollongong Group of the NSW Embroiderers’ Guild Exhibition | Through the Eye of the Needle
Where: Wollongong Art Gallery | Burelli Street Wollongong, New South Wales
When: to 11 Sep
Details: Click HERE

What: Slipstitch
Where: Castlemaine Art Galley & Historical Museum | 14 Lyttleton Street Castlemaine, Victoria
When: to 24 Sep
Details: Click HERE

What: Making the Australian Quilt: 1800 to 1950
Where: National Galley of Victoria Australia | Federation Square – Flinders Street & Russell Street Melbourne, Victoria
When: to 6 Nov
Details: Click HERE

What: NSW Embroiderers’ Guild | State Exhibition
Where: Masonic Hall | 315 Concord Road Concord West, New South Wales
When : 26 to 28 Aug
Details: Click HERE

What: 2016 Buda Contemporary Textiles Exhibition
Where: 27 Aug to 10 Sep
When: Buda Historic Home & Garden | 42 Hunter Street Castlemaine, Victoria
Details: Click HERE

What: The Hamilton Craft & Quilt Fair
Where: Claudelands Event Centre | Corner of Brooklyn Road & Heaphy Terrace Claudelands, Hamilton New Zealand
When: 1 to 4 Sep
Details: Click HERE

What: The Wellington Craft & Quilt Fair
Where: Te Rauparaha Arena | 17 Parumoana Street Porirura, New Zealand
When: 8 to 10 Sep
Details: Click HERE

What: San Francisco School of Needlework & Design | Grand Opening
Where: 360 Post Street #604 San Francisco, California
When: 10 Sep | 11:00 to 6:00
Details: Click HERE

What: The Samford Patchworkers | Quilt Show
Where: Samford Community Hall | School Road Samford, Queensland
When: 10 & 11 Sep

What: RSN | Stories in Stitch Exhibition
Where: Hampton Court Palace
When: Sep 16 to Mar 17
Details: Click HERE

What: The Embroiderers’ Guild ACT | Annual Exhibition
Where: Albert Hall | Commonwealth Avenue Yarralumla, Australian Capital Territory
When: 16 to 18 Sep
Details: Click HERE

What: Victoria Pearce – Director of Endangered Heritage in Phillip | Lecture
Where: Albert Hall | Commonwealth Avenue Yarralumla, Australian Capital Territory
When: 17 Sep
Details: Click HERE

What: The South Coast & Country Quilters Guild | 13th Bi-Annual Quilt Exhibition
Where: Batemans Bay Soldiers Club | 2 Beach Road Batemans Bay, New South Wales
When: 16 to 18 Sep
Details: Click HERE

What: SAGA Convention | Anchored in SAGA
Where: Embassy Suites | 1700 Coliseum Drive Hampton, Virginia
When: 20 to 25 Sep
Details: Click HERE

What: Annemieke Mein Exhibition | Habitat
Where: The Gallery at Bayside Arts & Cultural Centre | Corner of Wilson & Carpenter Streets Brighton, Victoria
When: 24 Sep to 6 Nov
Details: Click HERE

What: Geelong Fibre Forum
Where: Geelong Grammar School | 50 Biddlecombe Avenue Corio, Victoria
When: 26 Sep to 2 Oct
Details: Click HERE

What: The Embroiderers’ Guild of Tasmania | Biennial Exhibition
Where: Punchbowl Christian Centre | 100 Punchbowl Road Punchbowl, Tasmania
When: 28 Sep to 1 Oct

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