ISSUE 182, APRIL 19 2019
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Hi <<First Name>>,
Have you ever stopped to think about how ‘mind time’ and ‘clock time’ rarely keep pace with each other?!

They tend to flow at varying rates with chronological time moving at a steady, measurable rate while our perception of time shifts constantly often depending upon the activities we find ourselves engaged in at any given moment.

For the most part, the publishing schedule set for each issue of Inspirations Magazine passes at a steady, even rate but rarely does our mind time keep pace - deadlines seem to come about all too quickly whilst the wait for each new issue to arrive back from the printers seems to take forever!
Sometimes it feels like an eternity since we saw an advance copy of a magazine come across our desks for approval, but then suddenly the release of a new issue is all but upon us - and this is one such week.
It’s with much anticipation – and seemingly endless waiting – that we finally release Inspirations #102! This issue, aptly titled ‘Living Colour’ offers projects for all colour tastes – from the soft, monochromatic appeal of whitework and tulle embroidery through to the earthy apparel of a chipmunk and garden snail, the gentle shades of the garden, and the stunning vibrancy of birds and butterflies, both real and imagined.

We hope you enjoy the colourful fruit of our labours and from all of us here at Inspirations Studios we wish you all a blessed and peaceful Easter.
Have Your Say
To knot or not to knot is the question Nancy Williams explored in All Stitched Up! issue #179 HERE, encouraging the Inspirations Community to join in on the conversation by asking what you thought of this often controversial topic. Well join in you did and below are just some of the many responses we’ve received to date…
Cas Holmes
‘Loved the Knot or not to Knot debate as well as the mention that our stitching is supposed to bring us pleasure. Both, however, depend on your objectives. When I prepare for a show or am getting ready to teach a workshop, the pleasure I always find in my work is interwoven with odd bits of stress and challenge, but I think a little bit of stress is good now and again. And knots, well sometimes I do and sometimes I don't, it all depends on what I am doing. But then, my work is all about the expression and less so about neatness, so much so that sometimes the knots are even on the front of my work!’
Jan Madden
‘I’ve been brainwashed by the Royal School of Needlework to never trust a knot! Two or three small, firm stitches on the design line or other area that will be covered always does the trick for me. The same rule applies for the finishing thread. Imagine an intricate piece - with up to 20 different needles and threads on the go at any one time - if each was started with its own knot! Then, there’s always the risk that you’ll push your needle through the knot when stitching nearby, pulling all the stitches relying on that knot. For canvas or blackwork, simply run the starting and finishing thread under a small row of stitches. These easy rules will never let you down.’
Dorothy James
‘Your article on knots really hit many spots with me! I lean toward the meditative form of stitching, simply because I have been doing so for over 65 years now. But with regards to the actual idea of knotting, you are right, it has presented some conflict from time to time. I, however, learned along the way about using what I call a slip knot which is especially appropriate in cross stitching, as generally you are using two threads at the same time.’

‘I also want to thank you for all your wonderful weekly newsletters - so often the subject of the week absolutely hits the right spot for me and has allowed me to start, finish, or just keep on enjoying a project! I live in Florida and being older, find myself isolated from joining a local group of needlewomen and your weekly email has allowed me to be part of the worldwide stitching community.’
Ruth Olson
‘Loved this article! I never knot and whilst it causes me a fair amount of angst, I’m not sure this write up will make my stitching ways change, but I know now, that if I change my mind and allow myself a knot or two, I’ve committed no embroidery sin! Thank you.’
Margaret Johnson
‘Phooey! I’m self-taught and will be 82 years old in July. I use both knots and no knots and am happy if things just come out as planned.
I do, however, frame each piece before I give them away so the knot or not to knot secret stays with me.’
Roberta Kenney
‘In most instances it depends on what I am stitching. In the case of pulled or drawn work, a combination of methods usually works best. A waste knot positioning the working thread where it will be secured on the back of the piece by at least ½ inch of stitches works for me. Whereas in surface work, I prefer a pin stitch or a small back stitch on an area that will be covered by the design. The other factor in choosing how I start or stop threads is the use of the final piece - if it is a show piece and will be framed it almost doesn’t matter, but if it is going into daily use, then the most care for securing threads needs to be taken.’

We thank everyone who joined in on Nancy’s conversation and look forward to sharing more of your responses next week when we continue this much debated needlework topic!

Needlework News
Inspirations #102 Out Now!
If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, at this time of year hopefully you’re enjoying the vibrant blossoms of Spring. For those of us south of the equator, both the temperature and the leaves are beginning to fall as we’re surrounded by the colours of Autumn. It all makes for the perfect backdrop to release our new issue of Inspirations themed Living Colour, which is out now.
Inspirations #102 is one of those issues that is bursting at the seams with so many layers of amazingness, it’s hard to know where to look first.
On one hand we have a celebration of small creatures. There are some beautiful details to be seen in these designs, and a seemingly unlimited variety of ways to represent them in stitch, including stumpwork butterflies, snails in a miniature garden and a cheeky chipmunk nibbling on a nut.
Then there is the highly anticipated follow-up project by Sue Spargo, this time a cheerful cushion covered with bright appliqué birds embellished in a varying array of embroidery stitches.
New? Did someone ask for new? How about not one, not two but three brand new designers to Inspirations hailing from Russia, Italy and the USA. Each of them bringing a unique flavour, be it design or technique, based on their own international viewpoint.

And all of this set against the back drop of living colour – be it the intense hues found in no less than 11 different butterflies featured, the delicacy of monochromatic embroidery on tulle, or the pastel shades in a matching pair of crewel work flowers, this issue of Inspirations is one you’ll find yourself coming back to, time and time again.
#102 Kits Out Now
Whether you need to get kitted up, kitted out or just get your kit on, we’ve got everything you need to bring the projects from issue #102 to life in full living colour.
Browse Kits from issue #102
#102 Patterns Now Available
Every project from Inspirations #102 is now available to purchase as a digital download. Complete with requirements list, step-by-step instructions and pattern sheet, PDF is a quick and convenient way to get started on your favourite project (or two!) from this issue.
Browse Patterns from issue #102
Look up in the sky, it’s not a bird, or a plane…
Superman’s got nothing on our brand-new butterfly enamel pin from Inspirations #102.
‘Soft Landing’ is the latest release in the Inspirations Collector Series. This stunning swallowtail butterfly pin is inspired by the design ‘Flights of Fancy’ from issue #102. As always, these enamel pins are available in limited quantities, so order yours today.
Soft Landing Enamel Pin
Simple is Best
It is easy to get caught up in the belief that skill can only be seen in complexity and someone is only good if they’ve got qualifications, sheets of paper and letters after their name. But sometimes, simple is best and skill is inherent. As with the artist known as Hextrovert.
Start Anywhere, by Hextrovert (source)
An artist, photographer and stitcher, Hextrovert is based in Dublin. When you look through her portfolio, both on her website and on Instagram, you can see that she is predominantly a photographer, but her ability to drill down in her work to the simplest of elements comes out in all of her art, in particular her embroidery.
Cupán tae by Hextrovert (source)
Hextrovert is refreshingly and proudly self-trained, showing that anyone with passion and talent can truly be an artist.
So next time you doubt your ability or second guess if you’ve got what it takes to be a stitcher, just muster enough courage to take the first step, in no time you’ll feel the rhythm of the stitch kick in, and then you’re away.
Blackwell Roundel Kits – Back in Stock
Stunning isn’t it? The project is Blackwell Roundel by Jenny Adin-Christie from the book A Passion for Needlework | Factoria VII. Kits have been so popular, we quickly sold out. The good news is we now have more stock, the bad news is, at the time of writing this newsletter, we had only 6 left so if you want one, you know what to do….
Blackwell Roundel
Featured Project
Camellia by Julie Kniedl
Camellias inspire all kinds of happy childhood memories of playing in the garden on sunny winter days. The bountiful pink or red flowers with sturdy petals and dark, glossy leaves that you could rub between your fingers, and pretty, yellow stamens.

Particularly exciting was when the flowers began falling. The delights of gathering handfuls of petals to play with! You could strew your path with petals as you grandly walked along, throw them in the air to stand under a pretty shower of petal confetti, or lug out a tea set and sit down to a pretend afternoon picnic with camellia petal tea and leaf cakes with petal icing. You could layer petals to create pretty hats for your little companions, or even try to cobble together a fairy dress for a lucky sprite to come along and find.

If you have a camellia in your garden, but don’t necessarily indulge in playtime scenes with the flowers, you undoubtedly do enjoy bringing a stem with a gorgeous, fully opened flower indoors to display in a small vase. Julie Kniedl’s stunning red camellia in three-dimensional embroidery replicates this simple pleasure with astounding realism.

The stem includes an open flower with pollen-heavy stamens, a bud nearly ready to burst into bloom, and a pair of immature buds at the tip of the stem, along with three perfectly-formed leaves. As with all of Julie’s designs, only a handful of stitches and techniques are used – wrapping for the small buds and wire stems, blanket stitch to cover the wire edging of the petals and leaves, long and short stitch for the petals and leaves, and stem stitch for the centre vein along each leaf.
The life-like stamens are made with an ingenious method involving knotted threads and fabric stiffener.
The process for which is explained in detail with illustrations. It is a fantastic example of the creative thinking and problem-solving that went into the creation of Julie’s botanical pieces.
Even the assembly of the stems adds to the natural appearance of the camellia. Julie’s technique of incorporating wire tails from the leaves and buds into the wrapping of the main stem wires creates a gradual thickening of the stem from tip to base, just as on a real stem. The creation of ‘Camellia’ was clearly a thoughtful process from start to finish, with attention given to the use of shape and colour in a clear, uncluttered manner, leading to an artful combination of simplicity and detail that is an utterly beautiful reflection of nature.
Errata for Camellia

The project Camellia is featured in the book Botanica | The Three-dimensional Embroidery of Julie Kniedl. A minor errata for this project relating to the pattern sheet has just been released and is available to download HERE.
Make Your Own Camellia
Camellia is a stylish red flower, buds and contrasting leaves by Julie Kniedl from Botanica.

Step 1
– Purchase Project Instructions
Botanica | The three-dimensional embroidery of Julie Kniedl
Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Camellia includes everything you need to recreate this vibrant flower: Fabrics (unprinted), wool felts, wires, beads, embroidery threads and needles.
Looking for More Pretty Petals?
Symphony by Trish Burr from Inspirations #58 is a delightful trio of cushions stitched in muted shades of lavender, violet and mulberry with a combination of silk, wool and cotton threads.
Inspirations Issue 58
Capucines by Catherine Laurençon from Inspirations #93 is a vibrant, threadpainted study of nasturtiums.
Inspirations Issue 93
A Touch of Beautiful
A Touch of Beautiful by Johanna Rahkala from Inspirations #55 is a beautiful bag adorned with vibrant flowers.
A Touch of Beautiful
Inspirations Issue 55
Summer Harvest
Summer Harvest by Susan O'Connor from Inspirations Issue 50 is two gorgeous raised embroidery studies featuring 'Raspberries and Bluebell' and 'Crab Apple'.
Summer Harvest
What Are You Stitching?
Flowers, always an ever-popular subject to be recreated with needle and thread! This week we’re sharing just some of the flowers currently ‘growing’ in our What Are You Stitching? files…
Kath Townley
‘I have just finished A Cottage Garden from Inspirations #53.’
‘As I had already plenty of needle cases I decided to change mine to hold thread cards for working on future projects. I love your magazine and always look forward to its arrival in the post.’
Kath, we love your version of Kris Richards’ project and think you’ve done a fabulous job of adapting it to something you’ll be able to use regularly! We hope you’ll enjoy the fruit of your labours for many stitching projects to come.
Marty Campbell
‘I made this little iPod case from a Brazilian dimensional embroidery piece that I used to demonstrate stitches for as an introduction to my sewing group. They loved learning to do dimensional embroidery and have continued with it, making several other embroidery pieces.’
‘This case features an inside pocket to hold an iPod and an area in the bottom to hold the charger and earbuds. There's a little open slot in the iPod pocket to pass a cable through so the earbuds or a speaker can be attached to the iPod without taking it out of the case. I love making usable things from embroidery pieces, and this one keeps all my iPod accessories together in one place. Although I embellished it, the basic embroidery pattern came from and was fun to make!’
Marty, your iPod Case is equal parts form and function as you’ve created an innovative, useful and visually stunning piece!
‘Having never really done or enjoyed embroidery - after getting forced to do it at school and not being particularly good at it - I preferred to immerse myself in cross stitch. I was born with brittle bones so spent many days, weeks and months in hospitals for various treatments.

Having a restless nature, I hated to just lie around twiddling my thumbs, so a very dear lady introduced me to knitting, crocheting, sewing and eventually cross stitch.
My life was turned around and to date I must have completed hundreds of projects, most of which have been given away as gifts!
In 2016, I was diagnosed with cancer, so was on the hunt for another project. Unfortunately, I just could not concentrate on counting the cross stitch project I'd chosen, so decided to give embroidery another chance.

I managed to find a picture I liked and so started my journey of stitching for sanity. It is a very simplistic and basic table cloth, but I found the simple art of creating helped me get through a very difficult time.
I am now in remission, but the stitching bug has bitten, and continues, and I look forward to getting better at it.’
Bernice, we love that embroidery allowed you to stitch your way through a difficult season and are so pleased to hear you’re now in remission. As the stitching bug has well and truly bitten, we look forward to seeing what’s next from your needles and threads!
Donna Tiffan
‘I saw these little sticky note holders made from scrapbooking paper and thought it would make a great gift idea to do them in fabric and embroidery.’
‘I amused myself using scrap fabric - my daughter's cut-off short remnants! - and fun color combinations. The looks on the faces of my family members when they saw them told me the idea was appreciated. I love that embroidery can inspire creativity and be a gift, for both giver and receiver at the same time. Thank you for the many hours of inspiration you instil in us!’
Donna, we love that you took inspiration from paper and recreated it with needle and thread! We’re glad the time you poured into the gifts was so well appreciated.

Having almost exhausted the flowers from our garden, we’re crying out for more! If you’ve created something floral with your needles and threads, we’d love to see it. Email photos of your stitching along with a few details about your stitching journey to-date to
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‘Time expands then contracts, all in tune with the stirrings of the heart.’
~ Haruki Murakami ~
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
© 2019 Inspirations Studios

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