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ISSUE 87  | APRIL 28, 2017

Hi <<First Name>>,


Joy is contagious, and at Inspirations we receive great joy from being with people who are in their happy place.

In the modern era, needlework is a WANT to activity, not a HAVE to one, and therefore is synonymous with joy.  It puts a spring in your step, a smile on your dial and the spark of life in your eyes.

Imagine if Inspirations Magazine was all about car batteries instead of needlework – now that wouldn’t be very inspiring! With nothing beautiful, creative, colourful or engaging about car batteries, they are often called a grudge purchase – you don’t WANT to buy one, but when your car won’t start you HAVE to get one, and that’s not really anyone’s happy place.

So while we take a moment to feel sorry for the car battery salesperson, we rejoice in our collective Happy Place. That awesome time of the day or week when we take time out to make the world more beautiful with our needle and threads.

Taking time out is the theme for Inspirations #94, and this week we begin a ‘Time Out’ odyssey exploring all the wondrous projects of this brand-new issue.

Share your needlework journey with us at



This week to celebrate the official release of issue #94, we caught up with Inspirations Editor-In-Chief Susan O’Connor to learn more about this issue’s theme ‘Taking Time Out’…

‘Issue 94 is all about taking the time out to stitch something for yourself or for someone else.  It’s about not getting so caught up with the hustle and bustle you neglect to make the effort to take the time to stitch.

To help everyone in this endeavour, issue #94 features projects that are mainly time friendly.  We have some sweet bullion sachets that are very quick to stitch, a delicate pulled thread mat, stunning silk ribbon roses and dainty brooches that are delightfully small in scale: nothing here is time hungry. 

We also feature some very colourful projects, like the crazy patch evening purse and Sue Spargo’s fabulous sewing roll which incorporates a wonderful combination of embroidery and patchwork, is bursting with bright colours and is very practical, so it ticks all the boxes!’


Printed copies of Inspirations #94 are available to order direct from our website and have delivered to your door anywhere in the world.

> To order your copy of issue #94, click HERE.


To help you get started with some time out, Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kits for issue #94 are out now.

> Browse The Range of Inspirations #94 Kits HERE


One of the most popular Ready-To-Stitch kits from our book ‘A Passion For Needlework’ has been ‘David Smyth’s Garden’ by Susan O’Connor.  Having sold out shortly after the book was released, more stock is now on its way.  Avoid missing out and pre-order your kit now. 

> David Smyth’s Garden Inspirations Kit – Available HERE



In 1935, British publisher Sir Allen Lane famously declared that ‘good design is no more expensive than bad’ and with that mantra went on to build the publishing empire Penguin Books.

Sir Allen was in fact referring to the notion that if you are going to create something, it takes the same amount of time and effort to do it badly, so why not make it good instead?  And that’s exactly what Gioja Ralui has done with the project ‘All Tied Up’ from Inspirations #94made it VERY good!


‘All Tied Up!’ – Inspirations #94

Gioja has taken something common – a needlework accessory tray – and made it uncommon using clever design.  Instead of using cardboard to create a typical fabric-covered box, ‘All Tied Up!’ lives up to its name by the clever use of grosgrain ribbon to elegantly tie the sides together, forming a gorgeous container suitable for just about any purpose.

Then there is the needlework itself… stunning simplicity.

Whitework is an intrinsic part of the embroidery tradition of many countries and in Sardinia it appears as a superbly simple technique known as punt’e nù or Sardinian knot stitch.

The design featured in ‘All Tied Up!’ is created entirely using only one stitch - Sardinian knot stitch.  Further it is all worked using one strand of thread and is all worked in the hand, without the need for a hoop or frame.

All these specific and unique elements are combined to create a finished project that is refined and understated yet bold in its originality. 


So who is this very talented Gioja Ralui?  Gioja Ralui is actually a pseudonym for five embroidery enthusiasts who collaborated together to create the book ‘Sardinian Knot Stitch’ (as reviewed in Inspirations issue #87).

Giovanna, Jeanine, Luisa, Rachel and Renata first met online through their love of needlework, and after all meeting in person during a trip to Italy, the idea for their book was birthed, and all five have continued their collaboration ever since.

Thank you, ladies, for your dedication to the craft, we truly appreciate your passion in teaching us all about the Sardinian technique of punt’e nù.


Step 1 – Purchase Inspirations #94

All Tied Up!’ by Gioja Ralui is a handy fabric tray with tied corners worked in Sardinian embroidery.

> Inspirations issue #94 - Available In Print HERE

Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for ‘All Tied Up!’ includes everything you need to re-create your own fabric tray: fabric,  interfacing, ribbon, embroidery thread and needles.

> All Tied Up! – Ready-To-Stitch Kit Available HERE



‘Su Caboniscu’ featured in Inspirations #87 is also designed by Gioja Ralui.  This handy blue and white book weight is designed to keep pages open and is decorated on each side with a traditional motif of a stylised cockerel worked in traditional Sardinian stitch.

Inspirations issue #87 also includes a fascinating article about the history of punt’e nù (Sardinian stitch), exploring the Italian town of Teulada where it first originated.

Purchase a copy of Inspirations #87 to enjoy the project ‘Su Cabonsicu’ PLUS the article ‘The Art Of Punt’e Nù'.

> Inspirations #87 –  Available In Print HERE


When we’re looking to take some much-needed time out from whatever it is that fills our days and thoughts, it is obvious that as stitchers we turn to our needles and threads. What’s less obvious is what we choose to create once these tools are in our hands! With an endless array of materials, techniques and possible subject matters to choose from, this week’s WAYS celebrates the variety created when we choose to while away the hours with our stitching.

Pat Amour from Toronto, Canada has found a way to use needle, threads and ribbons to brighten her mornings…

‘I'm sending you my perky rooster tea cosy done in embroidery floss and silk ribbon. I am fortunate enough to live close to the Royal Ontario Museum, where I go to sketch and be inspired. This rooster is based on an old weather vane found in the museum's collection. He's quite over the top, but I think we need that in the morning! Thank you for the wonderful Inspirations Magazine, I am inspired anew with each issue that arrives through the mail slot. Best regards, Pat.’

Pat, we love that you’ve taken some time out with needle and thread to create something that’s not only colourful and fun, but also useful in enjoying another time-out – a cup of tea (or two) before you begin your day!

Now to Susannah Whitney who has been able to take more than just a little time out to indulge her passion for stitching, as we had the pleasure of hosting her across the eight days of Beating Around the Bush in 2016.

‘I've finished Jane Nicholas's Elizabethan Floral from the class I attended at BATB. Jane was an amazing teacher, and the class was challenging but fun! Cheers, Susannah.’

Susannah, it is clear how well you used your time at Beating Around the Bush as you managed to glean enough inspiration and instruction from Jane to complete a wonderful rendition of the work you began in class, well done.

Angela Grasse from Ontario, Canada has discovered an online challenge to help her take some time out with needle and thread each and every day…

‘When I saw the stitch a day project announced on Facebook I knew I had to join!  I was concerned that I might be overloading myself as I already belong to a monthly crazy quilt journal project and a monthly bead journal project.  Nevertheless, I jumped into the challenge and am so glad that I did as I am having so much fun with these little projects! Warm Regards, Angela.’

Angela, there of many of us who need a more structured approach to ensuring time out becomes a regular part of our busy schedules and we love that you’ve found a way that works for you! A challenge that not only makes you pick up needle and thread, but also offers a way of expanding your stitching repertoire, what more could we ask?!

Now to someone else from Ontario in Canada who also took up a challenge that has expanded her stitching repertoire – Mary Anne Richardson.

‘Several months ago The San Francisco School of Needlework and Design, in partnership with Swarovski, issued a challenge with the theme of undersea.  Each participant was provided with a small baggie of Swarovski crystals that were to be used in their design.  This is what I came up with.  It combines my love of crazy quilting, along with some dimensional work that was new to me.’ 

‘This piece features crazy quilting, beadwork, crocheting, cross stitching, buttons and the use of formerly-loved jewelry. The 'brass fittings' on the ship's porthole are paper fasteners. This piece was outside my normal comfort zone, but I ended up being quite pleased with my efforts. Mary Anne.’

We think you should be more than just quite pleased Mary Anne - your piece has embraced a variety of colours and techniques to create a stunning image!

What have you created when taking some much-needed time out with your needle and thread? We’d love to see it! Please email photos of your work and details of your stitching journey to



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Last week was all about Trish Burr and in case you missed it, here are some of her fabulous projects we featured:


Forest Kingfisher’ by Trish Burr features in our book ‘A Passion For Needlework’ and includes all the information you need to re-create this glorious Australian native bird with with step-by-step instructions, requirements list and pattern sheet template.

> Inspirations | A Passion For Needlework - Available In Print HERE


The ‘Forest Kingfisher’ Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch Kit includes everything you need to re-create your own threadpainted masterpiece including: fabric, threads and needles.

> Forest Kingfisher - Ready To Stitch Kit Available HERE


Trish Burr’s latest book ‘Whitework With Colour’ is reviewed in Inspirations #94 and is now available for purchase from our website.

‘Trish combines two of her embroidery passions – the beautiful textures of whitework and the play of colour. The result is a fun collection of designs, some of which are based on artist illustrations.’

> Whitework With Colour – Available In Print HERE


Shades Of Christmas’ by Trish Burr is a gorgeous wreath made up of seasonal decorations and stitched using whitework techniques in Christmas colours.  With only 9 kits remaining, don’t miss the opportunity to get a head start on Christmas 2017!

> Shades of Christmas Kit – Ready-To-Stitch Kit Available HERE
> Shades of Christmas in Print – Inspirations #92 In Print HERE


‘Prancer’ by Trish Burr is a contemporary whitework portrait of the most stylish of all the reindeers.

> Prancer In Digital – Pattern Download Available HERE
> Prancer In Print –  Inspirations #88 in Print Available HERE


Winter’s Song’ by Trish Burr is a charming threadpainted Robin from a range of miniatures Trish has created with the finished piece measuring 6.5cm x 7.5cm wide (2.5” x 3”).

> Winter’s Song In Print –  Inspirations #88 in Print Available HERE


From My Garden’ by Trish Burr is a superb thread-painted study of sweet peas in shades of pink and violet.

> From My Garden In Print –  Inspirations #84 in Print Available HERE


By Berrin Sengoz





Love this!


" Taking time out each day to relax and
renew is essential to living well.
~  Judith Hanson Lasater ~


What: Needlework & Textile Exhibitions | Festival Fleurieu
Where: Fleurieu Coast, South Australia
When: to 30 Apr
Details: Click HERE

What: 2017 Scarf Festival | Galaxies – A Textile Journey to Infinity & Beyond
Where: The National Wool Museum | 26 Moorabool Street Geelong, Victoria
When: Entries Close 30 Apr
Details: Click HERE &

What: Jeanie Baker’s Circle Exhibition
Where: Royal Botanic Gardens | Domain House | Dallas Brooks Drive South Yarra Victoria
When: to 14 May

What: The Needles Excellency Exhibition
Where: Ashmolean Museum | Beaumont Street, Oxford 
When: to 4 Jun
Details: Click HERE

What: The Language of Flowers | The Embroiderers’ Guild of SA Museum Team Exhibition
Where: 16 Hughes Street Mile End, South Australia
When: to 30 Jun
Details: Click HERE          

What: Inspired by Gardens & Landscapes of Tatton |
Altrincham, Chelford, Manchester & Warrington Branches of the Embroiderers’ Guild

Where: Steward’s Room, Tatton Park| Knutsford, Cheshire UK
When: to 30 Jul
Details:  Clcik HERE

What: RSN | Stories in Stitch Exhibition
Where: Hampton Court Palace
When: to Aug
Details: Click HERE

What: Quilters’ Guild of SA Exhibition | Dare to Differ 2017
Where: Galley M | 287 Diagonal Road Oaklands Park, South Australia
When: 1 to 25 Sep | Online Applications Available 1 May to 9 Jun
Details: Click HERE

What: The Embroiderers’ Guild of Queensland | Mother’s Day Craft Fair
Where: 149 Brunswick Street Fortitude Valley, Queensland
When: 7 May
Details: Click HERE

What: History & Conservation of Ecclesiastical Vestments | Lecture
Where: Embroidery House | 170 Wattletree Road Malvern, Victoria
When: 17 May @ 6:30pm
Details: Click HERE

What: Holy Stitches | Exhibition of Antique Embroidered Ecclesiastical Textile
Where: Embroidery House | 170 Wattletree Road Malvern, Victoria
When: 25 May to 8 Jun
Details: Clikc HERE

What: The Needles Excellency | Raised Work Embroidery
Where: Ashmolean Museum | Beaumont Street Oxford, UK
When: 27 May
Details: Click HERE

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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