ISSUE 198, AUG 9 2019
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Hi <<First Name>>,
Upon receiving the latest issue of the ‘Needlepoint Now’ magazine from the US, we read with interest ‘Elizabeth’s Musings’ where she unpacked her love of being able to shop for all things needle and thread in a fully stocked, local shop.
She spoke beautifully of the experience – you know the one where you not only get to see what’s on offer and make the just-right colour match, but also get to experience the feel of the different types of thread in your hand to see which one you’d like to work with?!
Well… she then went on to share a frustration that many of us have experienced ourselves - with local brick and mortar stores becoming a rarity rather than the norm, we’re shopping online which makes colour matching difficult at best and the tactile experience of holding fabric and thread all but impossible.

Her words were a welcome reminder to savour the times we find ourselves surrounded by supplies that speak to our passion. Whether that be with a quick trip to our local supplier or on an adventure further afield to not only purchase, but also experience the tactile luxury that our love of needle and thread affords us. As unfortunately for some of us, these experiences are becoming as rare as the brick and mortar stores themselves!
Have Your Say
This week we’re sharing some of the conversations that were inspired from past issues of All Stitched Up!
Agne Zemugne
After pointing Sarah in the right direction for her trip to Lithuania in All Stitched Up! issue #142 HERE, we recently heard from Agne again who let us know about a virtual exhibition that’s available online from The Embroidered Heaven. Whilst we may not be lucky enough to have Lithuania appear on our travel itineraries, each of us can now explore some of their rich embroidery heritage from the comfort of our own home towns HERE.
Image courtesy of The Embroidered Heaven | Church Heritage Museum
Fran Boyes
‘Thank you for your newsletter All Stitched Up!, I am so glad I signed up as I had forgotten that I used to have time for embroidery many, many years ago! I lived in the NW Highlands of Scotland and joined the Women's Institute. Every year there was a big competition for the whole of Scotland. I had an idea in my head to do fine grasses from a field on a cream piece of material with contrasting tall black grasses. I was quite excited when we made the 3-hour drive to Inverness to buy the thread, but I was so surprised to find all the thread was so thick.

So, I came back empty handed as I had no idea that the thread could be divided into strands! Every stitch was then done with cheap black cotton, I made a black backing and sewed a little rim around the edge.
Imagine my surprise when I learnt that I had won First Prize in the Edinburgh show.
The village was so proud of me, but they may not have been if they saw the back of my stitching!’
Image courtesy Scottish Women's Institute (source)
Nella van Niekerk
‘After recently reading issue #192 of your newsletter HERE in which you wrote about the New Zealand farmer, Neville Simon, who does embroidery I wanted to share the following…

A couple of years ago I came from South Africa to visit my daughter and her family who live in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia. She took me to the township of Aldgate and into the Greenhills Toy Shop to meet the shop owners Mr and Mrs Malcolm Hill. Mr Hill's hobby is stitching tapestries and he has developed a particular method of stitching that is different from traditional methods - he portrays people and animals from photographs.’
Mr and Mrs Hill from Greenhills Toy Shop
‘During his lifetime he has won three consecutive gold medals at the Royal Adelaide Show and a silver in the national Dame Mary Durrack Craft Competition held at the Queensland Art Gallery.

My daughter collects all the Inspirations Magazines and brings them to me on her annual visits to South Africa. Her own 13-year-old daughter, Melissa, won a medal at the Royal Adelaide Show last year with her piece of embroidery of a flamingo.
Your magazines are eagerly awaited by my embroidery group in Onrus River near Hermanus in the Western Cape and many pieces have been stitched from these magazines by various members.
We learn a lot from your very clear instructions. Keep up the good work and the high standard of your magazine, it is much appreciated in South Africa!’

As always, we love it when members of the Inspirations Community join in on the conversation! If you’d like to start, or continue, a conversation email – we can’t wait to hear from you!
Needlework News
Embroidered Treasures | Birds
In Inspirations Magazine issue #102 we reviewed the book Embroidered Treasures Flowers, which is the first in a series of books featuring projects of historical significance held by the UK Embroiderers’ Guild.
Now in issue #103 we review the second book in the series, Embroidered Treasures Birds.
This fantastic book showcases the prestigious Embroiderers’ Guild’s huge collection of embroidered birds through the ages.
Featuring photographs taken especially for the book, items are shown in full along with detailed images that show off the stunning birds at their best.
As with her first book, Dr Annette Collinge includes pertinent information for each project including technique, date, place of origin and size of the finished work.

You can read our full review on page 10 of issue #103 of the magazine, and copies of both the first and second books in the series are available to purchase from our website.
Embroidered Treasures | Birds
Embroidered Treasures | Flowers
Beautifully Pinned
As stitchers we love to embellish… to leave something better than we found it by adding a little magic using our needle and thread. It’s also fun to embellish our clothes, bags, hats etc, by adding an enamel pin here and there. So, we’ve combined the two and created a series of enamel pins based on needlework designs from Inspirations magazine.

From this…
To this...
Each pin is a miniature work of art and looks gorgeous on the lapel of a jacket or shirt, on the strap of your needlework bag or even as decoration on a pin-up board in a sewing room.

Click below to browse our range and embellish yourself with some beautiful pins today.
A Blanket for Every Temperature
After sharing her ingenious temperature blanket idea on Facebook, Tracy Kennedy has social media in a frenzy.
Image: ABC Radio Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe (source)
The real-estate agent from Brisbane, Australia showed off her crocheting skills by posting a photo on her Facebook page of her multi-coloured blanket, that changes colour based on the temperature of the day.

Ms Kennedy records the highest temperature on the day and crochets a row onto the blanket with the corresponding colour. She demonstrates her commitment to the accuracy of the blanket by saying’ ‘I always take it to the decimal point, so it has to be accurate.’
Image: ABC Radio Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe (source)
The self-diagnosed crochet obsessed Kennedy says that the craft alleviates the stress she faces while working, adding she considers it her meditation.

You can learn more about Ms Kennedy’s project of passion on the ABC Australia News website HERE.
Featured Project
Perfect Love by Carolyn Pearce
In 1554, Ogier de Busbecq, ambassador of the Holy Roman Emperor to the Sultan of Turkey, sent a simple flower bulb back to Vienna from his travels. This bulb, purportedly the first tulip in Europe, started what was to become a mania. Centred in The Netherlands, the tulip mania led to what many say was the first recorded financially based speculative bubble. At its height, a single bulb could fetch up to ten times the annual income of a skilled craftsworker, a high price indeed for a flower.
Different tulips carried different values, with the most sought after being the Bizarden or ‘bizarres’. These sported yellow or white streaks on a red, brown or purple background. The colouration of these flowers only formed after years of cultivation and as a result of a specific virus, which was one of the reasons these rarer forms of tulip became such a sought-after commodity.
It almost seems ludicrous that fortunes could be made or broken on this beautiful flower which can now be purchased in bulb form at most local garden centres. And better still, not only can we grow them ourselves, but thanks to Carolyn Pearce, we can also immortalise the delicate petals and mosaic like colouring in needle and thread.
Carolyn has employed her enormous skill in threadpainting to bring us a dramatic project worked on black fabric.
Used to create an embroidered book cover, the front displays an example of that rare, sought after streaked tulip which would have been the envy of any seventeenth century merchant. All of your skills in blending thread and colour are required for this project.
Carolyn has combined realism on the front and back with a delightful stylised version of the flower on the spine and inside the cover where the stems and tendrils snake upwards to form a perfect art-deco shape. The whole project is then brought to sparkling life with a gold and beaded border, perhaps nodding to the opulence of the past when this tulip would have held pride of place in the homes of the nobility.
We were, of course, delighted to see Carolyn’s characteristic snail edging towards the bloom on the back cover. He would have been banished with horror in the 1600s, but today he’s a welcome addition to the project, adding a little touch of whimsy to what is otherwise a complex and rewarding piece.
If you’ve never tried threadpainting before, don’t be afraid. Once you’ve secured the padding in place, the secret is to manage the angles of your threads and ensure you pierce the previous stitches to achieve the required blending. Fortunately, you are working with wools which offer a pleasing softness and help with the blending. Adding highlights afterwards simply brings the flowers to life.
Carolyn is also known for her construction, and this project is perfect as the cover of a handmade book. Imagine it adorning your coffee table. You can almost see your front room transform into a Dutch parlour, filled with merchants haggling and gold coins jingling, all arguing over your serene and beautiful tulip.
While the Ready-To-Stitch kit contains everything you need to create the actual book cover itself, the real value is in the number of threads it includes. Carolyn is famous for using a huge array of colours and a variety of threads in her projects, which is all part of the magic of her designs. And Perfect Love is no exception with the kit containing: 8 x Anchor threads, 3 x Au Papillion threads, 7 x Au Ver à Soie threads, 2 x Cascade House wools, 3 x Cottage Garden Threads, 1 x DMC, 14 x Gumnut Yarns wools, 2 x Gumnut Yarn silks, 1 x Needlepoint Inc silks, 1 x Tentakulum Silk, 2 x YLI threads and 2 x B&J metallic threads. Then there are the 9 different needles and 9 different types of beads without even listing the fabrics, felts, interfacing etc.

So whether you’re planning on re-creating the design as a book cover, or using the threads in the kit to stitch the design on the pocket of a jacket or cardigan, or feature on an evening bag or as a framed piece, the Ready-To-Stitch kit will save you a LOT of running around.
Make Your Own Perfect Love
Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

Perfect Love by Carolyn Pearce is a stunning artist book cover featuring threadpainted tulips.
Inspirations Issue 103
Perfect Love
Perfect Love
Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Perfect Love includes everything you need to re-create this beautiful book cover: Fabrics (unprinted), interfacing, bag batting, wool felts, fusible webbing, embroidery threads, beads and needles.

Special Note: Instructions are not included in our kits. Please refer to the magazine for detailed information on how to create the project.
Perfect Love
Looking for More Carolyn Pearce?
Pensée by Carolyn Pearce from Inspirations issue #63 is a delightful beaded tape measure cover.
Inspirations Issue 63
Blue Ribbon
Blue Ribbon by Carolyn Pearce from Inspirations issue #100 is a gorgeous blanket adorned with enchanting blossoms and an elegant bow.
Blue Ribbon
Blue Ribbon
Blue Ribbon
The Work Basket
The Work Basket by Carolyn Pearce from Inspirations issue #21 takes a humble cane basket and transforms it into a work of art, designed to store your own works of art in progress.
The Work Basket
Spellbound by Carolyn Pearce from Inspirations issue #19 is a delightful lavender bag with dusky mauve ribbon roses entwined into an elegant heart, tied with a wide satin ribbon decorated with tiny rosebuds.
What Are You Stitching?
Inspired by Carolyn Pearce’s ‘Perfect Love’ project, Inspirations issue #103 has been titled ‘The Artful Needle | Painting with Thread’ and it’s this theme that’s inspired our selection of projects for this week’s What Are You Stitching? - projects that have been painted with thread from some very artful needles indeed!
Gay Booysen
‘My passions are embroidery and gardening, and this project has been my way of expressing my love of the wildflowers that are found in South Africa through embroidery. My journey began by painting a postcard-size watercolour of a Namaqualand landscape. From there I decided to do an embroidery of the watercolour, also postcard-size.

The initial embroidery was of the house and a small section of the garden in front with some small trees and sky in the background. I transferred the design on to fabric, and so the journey began.’
‘My husband of 47 years, Louis, died at the time I completed the small postcard-size embroidery of Namaqualand.
He was always a champion of my work and very encouraging of what I did.
For a while I packed the project away, but the following year I took it out again at an embroidery class with Lesley Turpin-Delport. By this time, I had stretched the embroidery over card, ready for framing, but Les encouraged me to extend the embroidered garden onto a mount board, and so the second half of the journey began!’
‘Trees were added and I also coloured the background fabric with watercolour pencils and slowly the garden grew bigger. I became so absorbed in this project, letting my imagination take over, picking up threads randomly and stitching away. My threads and needle did the painting of the garden in my imagination. This was a very therapeutic time for me as I would imagine myself walking through the garden, enjoying the flowers and trees.’
‘It now hangs in the lounge of my new home, with the finished embroidery measuring 28 x 24.5cm (11 x 9.5”). I have been a subscriber to Inspirations Magazine for many years and always look forward to receiving the newsletter in my Inbox every week - thank you for all your wonderful inspiration!’
Gay, your stitching absolutely speaks to your passions of embroidery and gardening. Whilst we’re sorry to hear that Louis never got to see the finished result, we love that Lesley became your champion and inspired you to not only finish what you’d begun but expand the scope of the design in the process!
Karen Eastley
‘I related to your recent article on the concept of happiness through sewing or stitching for others. Enclosed is my first attempt at landscape embroidery. My inspiration came from Judy Wilford’s embroidered landscapes and although I cannot aspire to her talent, I was pleased with what I managed to achieve.’
‘This little piece, which is postcard size, was a gift for my sister who now lives in Canada. The landscape is our original family homestead near Young in New South Wales, Australia and the lack of tension across the fabric is because the work will be stretched and framed in Canada.’
Karen, we think you can absolutely aspire to the talent of Judy Wilford! Your piece is detailed but restrained and captures the beauty of the Australian landscape perfectly. It’s a thoughtful gift that will serve as a constant reminder to your sister of home.
Mary Anne Richardson
‘Apart from crazy quilting, my other passion is attempting to recreate old abandoned buildings in fabric wall hangings. I hate to see the old barns, churches and homes being left to decay and wonder about the stories of the people that once used them. I, of course, can't leave my crazy quilt background out of the process and end up adding embroidery to help bring my scenes to life.’
‘I spend many hours in my sewing space overlooking the local river in a smallish town in southern Ontario Canada. Being retired means I have lots of time to devote to my creative pursuits, but that's not to say I don't wish for more hours in the day so I could do more!’

Mary Anne, what a fabulous way to allow the abandoned buildings of yesteryear to live on! Your piece is detailed and textured and leaves us too wondering about the stories of those who once lived there.
Nola Erasmus
‘I look forward to receiving the Inspirations newsletter All Stitched Up! in my mailbox each week! I’ve been a keen embroiderer for more than 30 years and have covered many of the disciplines in that time. In 2005 I bought Di van Niekerk’s ‘Bottoms Up’ kit, mainly because of the children.’
‘For 10 years the kit languished in my cupboard until I developed a keen interest in embroidering trees. From there I had a light bulb moment and knew exactly how to embroider the children! My aim was to include as many stitches and different types of thread and ribbon as seemed appropriate.
Drawing on my experience as nursery schoolteacher in my younger days, the whole picture had to tell a story.
The sourcing for the right supplies started and I wanted a three-dimensional effect with a forest in the background.’
‘I went through old birthday cards, selecting images of trees, flowers, animals and many more. I arranged all the images and asked Lesley Turpin-Delport to transfer it onto silk. I then darned it onto counted linen and my exciting journey started! Lesley taught me how to create depth and balance with needle and thread. What a joy! As the picture grew, my own interpretation of the clothes and hair took over. In the end the picture grew beyond the original border and became what I pictured in my mind.’
Nola, it would seem Lesley has quite the knack for taking what someone has started and encouraging them to expand on their original idea! Your stitching has blended the children and the image you had in your mind simply seamlessly.

Have your artful needles painted something with thread? We’d love to see the masterpiece! Email photos of your work of art as well as a few details about your stitching journey to
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An Apple a Day
An Apple a Day by Julie Kniedl is an irresistible red apple in three-dimensional embroidery.
Inspirations Issue 103
An Apple a Day
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How About A Hoop?
If you are planning on stitching ‘An Apple a Day’ (well maybe not one every day, although it’s probably just as healthy to stitch them as it is to eat them!) you’ll need a 4” hoop and we’ve got some of the best quality hoops around now available to purchase from our website for your stitching pleasure.
Nurge Embroidery Hoop | Size 1 (4”)
Festive Fruit
Festive Fruit by Denise Forsyth from Inspirations issue #96 is a selection of fabulous strawberries made from linen textured with pulled thread embroidery.
Festive Fruit
Inspirations Issue 96
Natural Beauty
Natural Beauty by Fiona Hibbett from Inspirations issue #87 is an 18th century naturalist's study interpreted in stitch.
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Plums and Honeysuckle
Plums and Honeysuckle by Susan O'Connor from Inspirations issue #57 features plump purple plums and sweet golden honeysuckle.
Plums and Honeysuckle
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The Golden Pomegranate
The Golden Pomegranate by Margaret Cobleigh from Inspirations issue #61 is a stunning pomegranate, beautifully represented in this richly ornamented goldwork study.
The Golden Pomegranate
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This Week on Social
Beautiful crewel heart by Melbury Hill
New Book | Betsy Morgan
‘There’s something very satisfying about (experiencing) a tactile product.’
~ Chad Hurley ~
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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