ISSUE 257, OCTOBER 23, 2020
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Hi <<First Name>>,
Patience is the ability to stay calm while we’re waiting for an outcome that we need or want.

It is often thought that patience is an innate character trait, something we’re either born with or not and whilst there are people that seem more naturally patient than others, the truth is, patience is a skill and that means it can be practised and improved.

According to research by psychologist Sarah Schnitker, there are three main varieties of patience – interpersonal, life hardship and daily hassles.

Interpersonal is patience when dealing with other people, life hardship is our ability to be patient during serious setbacks in life, while daily hassles is dealing with dull and often unavoidable day-to-day tasks patiently.

Whilst hardly considered dull or unavoidable, of the many ‘daily hassles’ that come to test us - sorry, allow us to practise and improve our patience - our time with needle and thread is absolutely one of them!

It may be that our needlework teaches us patience through the learning of a new and sometimes complicated stitch or technique that we just can’t master… until we finally do. At other times it’s unpicking for what feels like the umpteenth time, all the while seeing the hours we’ve poured into our work unpicked along with the stitches.

There’s also the patience required to see a large and/or intricate project through from start to finish.
The truth is, no matter how adept our skills with needle and thread, or the speed at which we lay each stitch, it’s only possible to sew one stitch at a time and that’s ultimately the reason needlework teaches us patience.
It may be a tough skill to master, but if we allow ourselves the time and grace needed to be tolerant with ourselves and what we’re putting our needles and threads to, we will eventually find the patience that will allow us to stay calm throughout our journey - not only with our stitching but with life itself.
Have Your Say
What Happens When We’re Gone?
In Have Your Say in All Stitched Up! issue #252, we started off the segment with your responses to the discussion about Creative Ways to Display Needlework.
Towards the end of the article Pat Demharter took the idea one step further by posing an interesting side question – having gone to the trouble of beautifully decorating our homes with our needlework, what will become of it all when we’re no longer here?
Well this captured the attention of many from far and wide, as was evident when our inboxes lit up with all the responses we received to Pat’s question.
Clearly this is an issue of importance for many stitchers, after all we spend so much of our lives and so much passion in creating stitched art, it’s natural to wonder what might happen when we’re no longer there to direct things.
Quite a few of the responses were very practical in nature. Mary Patricia Barry has written an addendum in her will giving guidance as to what is to be done with her needlework, and Sandra also has a handwritten will containing similar directions. Kay Smith has left all of her stash in her will to her quilting group, knowing how much pleasure all her friends will get from it.

Whether it is formally written into a will, another document, or expressed verbally, many of our readers have told their families to start the process by choosing which pieces are of interest to them for keeping. After that, both Karen Olson and Marjan Kuyken have expressed their wish for the remaining embroidery to be displayed at their funerals, where each friend and guest would be welcome to take a piece as a memorial.
As a side note to this idea, one of the Inspirations team had the honour of attending an event where a talented and life-long stitcher in her nineties celebrated her passion for needlework while she was still alive by giving away her needlework to each person in attendance which enabled the recipient to thank her for the gift in person and the stitcher had the pleasure of seeing each of her pieces going to a loving home.

Juana Perley specifically said that although she wanted her family to keep some of her needlework, she only wanted them to do so if they really loved it, not just because she made it. Indeed, many readers were very circumspect about the tastes and wishes of others. Marjan commented:
‘My embroidery may be very important to me, but I don’t feel that I can impose anything on my son.’
Darcy Walker acknowledges that her heirs might have different tastes and different lives. Patty Park initially believed her work was very valuable but ‘after 50 years of stitching, I realise this has been my own personal journey and my choices might not be to anyone else’s liking.’ To Patty, posterity is not a consideration. Her family and friends will decide and she has found peace by ‘letting go’.
Both Mendie Cannon and Bernice London expressed a desire for a museum to take their needlework, and to that end, Bernice suggested that stitchers should include a story with each piece they complete including dates, names and the time and effort which went into it. This, according to Mary Patricia Barry who volunteers for a historical society, is ‘golden’ as having a story associated with a piece makes things so much easier for conservators of the future.

As for our enormous stashes, we’re sure most of you have heard the joke bandied around groups and guilds saying, ‘she who dies with the most stash, wins!’. But ensuring that stash then gets distributed wisely rather than dumped in a charity bin is important.
To that end, Diane Bishop, Roberta Kenney, Juana, Sandra and Mendie have all stated that their stash will go to their local guild or charity shop where it will either be distributed to other passionate stitchers, or sold for a good cause. Karen Anderson imagined some future treasure hunter discovering one of her projects in a charity shop, years from now, and being thrilled at the find.

The question of preservation did come up, with Mary Patricia Barry, drawing on her experience, suggesting the importance of protecting and archiving your work. Miranda Norris is lucky enough to know some excellent framers so was confident her pieces would be preserved.

Carmel McEwan has chosen a different path, cutting up all of her embroidery pieces to make this amazing hexagon quilt in order to keep them all together.
Carmel McEwan’s Life of Embroidery Quilt
Ultimately, no matter what we do, we will always be at the hand of fate and once we’ve passed away, our embroidery will be out of our control. If you’re a designer, Mendie’s suggestion was to give permission to others to teach your designs so they will live on, but for the rest of us, we can only do so much.
We wanted to leave you with some thoughts from Kylie Murden. Having recently cleaned out the house of a passionate, life-long stitcher after they had died, she reconsidered her own collection. She now does a regular cull of her stash and gives away pieces while she can enjoy the reactions of the recipients. She shares her skills, hands kits and projects she won’t do to others, and turns finished pieces into something useful.
Kylie finished by saying:

‘Nobody wants future generations to feel weighed down by the obligation to hang on to our stuff. I acknowledge that not all my works are masterpieces, and as long as I had the enjoyment of making them, I’m ok if the next generation doesn't treasure my creations in the same way I did.’

We hope you draw as much from these wonderful responses as we did.
Needlework News
New Inspirations Gift Pack #2 - Gorgeous Gardens
Last week we launched our new range of Inspirations Gift Packs just in time for online Christmas shopping, or birthday present shopping, or ‘heck that’s such a good deal I’ve got to have one’ shopping.

This week it’s time to reveal Gift Pack #2 and it’s all about celebrating bright sunshine, lush gardens and gorgeous flowers. No, it’s not a box with seeds in it, but it is a fabulous, needlework garden-themed gift pack to ensure that you can enjoy the pleasure of a stitched summer garden all year round.
The Gorgeous Gardens Gift Pack is filled with goodies, including:

1 x Ready-To-Stitch Kit for the project ‘Autumn Flowers’ by Ana Mallah
1 x Printed Pattern with instructions to complete the kit
1 x Ready-To-Stitch Kit for the project ‘In My Garden’ by Catherine Laurençon
1 x Printed Pattern with instructions to complete the kit
1 x Book ‘A-Z of Embroidered Flowers’
1 x Enamel Pin of the project ‘Soft Landing’
If you were to purchase each of these items separately, you’d be looking at over AU$280, but you can buy your Gorgeous Gardens Gift Pack for the amazing price of AU$175.

Experience a summer Christmas wherever you are in the world with this fabulous gift pack, but don’t delay as there are only a limited number of gift packs available.
You can also browse our range of other gift packs by clicking the link below.
Pipers Silks Thread Packs
In a discussion this morning, we were contemplating what it was that all embroiderers had in common, and immediately one of us piped up ‘a passion for threads’!
It’s true. There aren’t many of us who can resist embroidery threads, whether it’s because of the gorgeous colour, wonderful feel, or world of possibility each new hank, roll or skein provides.
So, with that in mind, we’ve got a treat for you. Just arrived are two simply stunning thread packs from Pipers Silks.
Pipers Silks is a family run business from Suffolk in the UK founded by Jack Piper. Now headed up by Jack’s daughter Susan Peck, the company has a silk pedigree stretching back generations.
Today, these fine silks, produced exclusively for embroidery, are favoured by such world-class designers as regular Inspirations contributor, Helen M. Stevens.
For anyone new to Pipers Silks, these thread packs are a fantastic way to become familiar with this premium quality product, while at the same time adding some glisten and sheen to your projects.

Each thread pack contains 10 rolls of shimmering silks with ‘Summer Fruits’ featuring a selection of delightful pinks and ‘Misty’ showcasing a range of blue/green hues.
With 80m of silk per roll, there will be plenty to complete a number of designs, but we guarantee that once you start stitching with this gorgeous thread, little else is ever going to feel as soft or glide as easily.
Piper Silks – Summer Fruits Thread Pack
Piper Silks – Misty Thread Pack
Jo Butcher Mini Gift Cards
When you consider how popular Jo Butcher’s needlework designs are, it should have been no surprise when her packs of mini-gift cards sold out after we released them in July.
What did surprise us was how quickly they sold out – almost instantly – and how many people kept asking for more!
Well, they are finally back, and better yet, we’ve got more designs to choose from this time.
As well as the packs containing the Rose Bush & Lavender and Cow Parsley by the Sea designs, we have three new packs to choose from. These include Allium Meadow, Foxgloves & Silver Birch, and Queen Anne’s Lace.
With the season of giving rapidly approaching, these little cards are going to be essential. Order now as the stopwatch has started and it’s counting down ‘til they’re all sold out again…
Double-Sided Fans
Some stitchers get very conscious about the back of their work. Others aren’t so worried, choosing to focus on other things. However, if you’re stitching on a fan made of fine gauze, the back of your work suddenly gains vital importance.
Pei Wen, an arts administrator from Singapore, has set up an online art shop called House of Peach Blossoms. Here, she showcases the exquisite work of embroiderers from rural China who practice the fine art of double-sided silk embroidery.
These incredible fans feature shimmering silk threads and traditional subjects, and the sale of each one helps support these women so they can continue their craft.
To see a showcase of these breathtaking embroideries, you can follow House of Peach Blossoms on Instagram @Houseofpeachblossoms or to purchase a fan for yourself, you can visit their Etsy Shop.
Featured Project
Relax! By Deborah Love
Although the world seems to be constantly changing, there are many aspects of our life which remain consistent across years and ages. For example, no matter the year, when times are tough or when modernisation results in existing roles becoming redundant, survival and recovery is only possible when unemployment is addressed.
In 1896, these concerns were at the forefront of the minds of two intrepid women from Deerfield, Massachusetts, USA. Margaret C. Whiting and Ellen Miller realised that their town was declining and needed some kind of economic boost.

Knowing the needlework history of the area, the two got together to revive the tradition of crewel embroidery which had thrived there during the 1700s, and to turn it into a viable business for the women of the town.
And so the Deerfield Embroidery movement began.
At its height, the society which Ellen and Margaret formed, appropriately entitled ‘The Deerfield Society of Blue and White Needlework’ employed between 25 and 30 women who ranged in age from 19 to 70 years old.
These women were taught stitches and techniques that Ellen and Margaret had identified from historical crewel pieces produced in the area.

As time went on, the society shifted from wool thread to linen thread, and the characteristic palette of fresh white and various shades of blue became the defining feature of the group.
Women could earn around $0.20 an hour for their work, which was a respectable amount at the turn of the 20th Century. Although it did mean that the items they produced were significantly more expensive than industrially manufactured linens.
Unfortunately, this was one of the things which ultimately spelled the end of the Society. As well as the inevitable aging of the members, with few young members to take their place, by the 1920s factory-produced linens were so cheap and well-made that handmade products simply didn’t sell. The Society sadly closed its doors in 1926.
Fortunately the traditional style of Deerfield Embroidery has not faded away.
Deborah Love is one designer who has continued to produce beautiful Deerfield items, perfecting the stitches and working within the design tradition laid down by Ellen and Margaret over 100 years ago.
Relax! is one such project which cleverly incorporates the traditional style with a practical and modern item – a fabulous eye pillow filled with dried lavender and featuring a stunning, Deerfield design in soothing tones of brilliant blue.
The wonderful thing about Deerfield is that the stitches themselves are gloriously straightforward, suitable for beginners and experts alike. In its nod to traditional crewel embroidery, the design is worked with familiar stitches such as blanket stitch, feather stitch, satin stitch and trellis couching amongst many others you may or may not be familiar with, providing the embroiderer with a fantastic variety to enjoy and perfect.
Crow’s Foot Stitch
Worked on a fine, off-white linen, when completed, the Relax! eye pillow from Inspirations issue #108, is beautifully soft, deliciously scented and truly an item to be admired.

We are all naturally concerned about the current problems in our world and, like Ellen and Margaret, we all do whatever we can to help people in need.
But there is truth in the belief that you can’t take care of others unless you take care of yourself.
This means taking time to relax, whether it be in a bath, on a sofa, or lying out on the grass, with your soft, eye pillow over your eyes and the healing scent of lavender surrounding you.
Or, as we all probably prefer, with a fresh piece of linen in hand and the pattern for Deborah’s Relax! nearby, ready for us to stitch a perfect gift for someone who really needs it.

NOTE: Our team work tirelessly to ensure the information included in our publications is accurate, however every now and then an error does sneak through. Since publishing the instructions for ‘Relax!’ an errata has come to our attention, for details click HERE.
Make Your Own | Relax!
Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

Relax! by Deborah Love is a pretty, scented sachet or eye pillow embellished with Deerfield embroidery.
Inspirations Issue 108
Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Relax! includes everything* you need to re-create this delightful sachet: Fabric (unprinted), embroidery threads and needle.
*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 magazine/digital pattern.
Looking for More Deborah Love?
White Linen
White Linen by Deborah Love from A Passion for Needlework 1 is an elegant white linen cushion with Schwalm tulips.
A Passion for Needlework 1 | Deluxe
Symphony in Blue
Symphony in Blue by Deborah Love from Inspirations issue #72 is a stylish Deerfield embroidered cushion, perfect for any home.
Symphony in Blue
Hidden Delights
Hidden Delights by Deborah Love from Inspirations issue #93 is an enchanting Schwalm embroidery featuring a songbird framed by a heart.
Hidden Delights
Inspirations Issue 93
Fallahi by Deborah Love from Inspirations issue #72 is tasselled pincushion inspired by the embroidered cover of a Palestinian kohl container from the mid nineteenth century.
What Are You Stitching?
Crewel embroidery has been worked for centuries and yet it may just be as popular now as it has ever been. While many other forms of embroidery have developed from crewel work, using the style, designs, stitches and wools for inspiration, traditional crewel will always have its place, as these projects from our readers will attest.
Carol Higginbotham
‘I love surface embroidery but it is not popular in my area. So, although I do stitch it, I also love to take the soft shading of crewel and surface embroidery and work it in blackwork.’
You’re approach to needlework is a wonderful example of just how flexible embroidery can be, Carol. Your embroidery is beautiful, and you’ve worked it exquisitely.
Emily Tassone
‘Here is a photo of Tatiana Popova's Tree of Happiness that I worked on over the summer months. I changed the colours to make use of the materials I had on hand.’
‘I took up surface embroidery when I retired and I really enjoy the challenge of learning new techniques. This piece is still stretched on its frame, waiting for me to decide what to do with it.’

Hopefully it will enjoy pride of place in your home, Emily. It is a lovely interpretation with a gorgeous combination of colours.
Leslie M. Brady
‘This crewel design, from Talliaferro, is called ‘Royal Persian Blossom’ and it draws upon the vibrant vocabulary of Persian floral motifs common to ancient carpets, tiles, and porcelain. I used Appleton’s wools on linen twill. It hangs on an entrance wall in my foyer.’
No doubt you enjoy admiring this amazing piece every time you enter the house, Leslie, it’s a glorious design and beautifully stitched.
Susan McRae
‘When I received Inspirations issue #107 and saw the lovely pinks, greens, and yellows of Anna Scott’s Sweet Repose, I knew I had to stitch it! I usually prefer to work my own designs, but this project was so appealing I started almost immediately.’
‘Now, 34 days later, I have finished the stitching and I can say I enjoyed every moment of it. It may take me another year to finish it into a pillow, but that will come. It just gives me something to look forward to!'

That’s super quick stitching, Susan! We’re glad we could provide you with inspiration and we’d love to see the completed pillow when you have finished it.

Do you love all things crewel? Is wool embroidery your thing? Are you addicted to the tendrils, flowers and shapes which characterise the Jacobean style? Or do you prefer more modern designs and different threads and fibres? Whatever your love, we want to see it. Send a picture of your work with a bit of information about the project and your stitching journey to
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This Week on Social
Valentina Fedorovna has definitely inspired us to rejuvenate some of our old books!
Let us 'sieve' you an idea by @portrait ⁠
‘Patience is a form of wisdom. It demonstrates that we understand and accept the fact that sometimes things must unfold in their own time.’
~ Jon Kabat-Zinn ~
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

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