ISSUE 194, JULY 12 2019
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Hi <<First Name>>,
Have you ever picked up needle and thread only to hear the voice of doubt begin speaking?

Perhaps the voice is telling you that you should be prioritising other things, rather than wasting your time in the pursuit of passion. Maybe it’s telling you that the project you’re putting your needles and threads to extends far beyond what you’re currently capable of. Or maybe it’s speaking uncertainty by way of comparison as you begin to doubt your talent compared to those around you.

Whatever the case may be, we’ve all heard this voice speak at one time or another and sometimes far louder than we ever thought possible!
The cure? Instead of listening to the voice of doubt, we need to begin speaking to it.
We need to tell it in no uncertain terms that the meditative qualities of the push and pull of needle and thread through fabric has benefits that extend far beyond the time we’re ‘wasting’. That our stitching abilities will rise to the challenge that lays before us and that we don’t need to compare our talent to those around us but look only to our own journey and how far we’ve come since we first picked up needle and thread.

So, switch the script and tell yourself you’re capable even when you don’t fully believe it because when you begin to silence the voice of self-doubt that speaks all too loudly all too often, your stitching journey will take you far beyond where you ever thought possible!
Have Your Say
This week’s Have Your Say is wrapping up the responses from conversations past that we’re yet to share with you.
Brenda Scarr
‘Your article on the changing seasons of life in issue #188 of the newsletter HERE is so insightful and enlightening. I am in that glorious season where you may stitch to your heart’s content which helps to mitigate the discomforts of aging. Each season is a double-edged sword with its pros and cons, so through our needlework we must navigate both calm and stormy waters to create memorable seasons of our lives.’
Dawn Bagnetto
‘My three words for 2019 have been joy, joy, joy! I stitch for the sheer pleasure of the process. Learning new techniques has always been my goal and if a piece makes my heart sing, off I go on another adventure into the unknown! Sometimes I don't finish a project, but I can always say I tried. Sometimes I gift my pieces to ones who admire my work and other times I finish them for my own enjoyment.’

‘One thing I always do is to communicate with the designer about my journey. I will send photos or comment on a Facebook post to the artist and I find that they truly appreciate the feedback and always respond with a kind word or praise. Designing is not easy - I've tried! - and I believe everyone needs acknowledgement of their talent, especially those who make my life so easy by offering such lovely kits and charts that are widely available to us all. Thank you, Inspirations, for keeping my needle flying!’
Jenni Davill
After sharing Rhonda Bergin’s family link to a sewing kit from WWII in issue #188 of the newsletter HERE, we heard from Jenni who has her own family history with Milne Bay.

‘I don't know about the sewing kit, but I'd heard about Milne Bay from my father. He sent a postcard home to his family in Inverell during WWII and of course couldn't say where he was stationed but did mention the baker's horse. The baker's name was Milne and his horse was a bay mare. The family then knew where he was!’
Joan MacKinnon
Some time ago we heard from Joan about an inspirational article on the benefits of stitching. Joan, we’re sorry it’s taken us so long to get around to sharing this, but we know the timeless nature of stitching makes it as relevant today as the day it was published!

‘I greatly enjoy the Inspirations Newsletter and love seeing what people around the world are making. I am writing today after reading an article in this morning’s Toronto Globe and Mail about soldiers recovering from injuries in World War I. They were encouraged to learn to embroider and created an altar frontal piece for St Paul’s Cathedral in London. The embroidery helped the soldiers improve the use of their hands and soothed their minds after the torment of war. The completed tapestry, pictured in the article, is absolutely gorgeous. However, during World War II, the tapestry was stored away and forgotten about until it was rediscovered in 2004. It has now been restored and is in a display case near the front of the cathedral.’
The World War I altar frontal on display at St Paul's Cathedral from 2014-2018
You can read more about this remarkable project HERE.
Needlework News
New Digital Pattern | Autumn Gold
Whether you call it Autumn or Fall, the colours of this transitional season are perhaps the most spectacular of them all. UK designer Phillipa Turnbull has done a magnificent job capturing the hues and tones of this special time of year in the project ‘Autumn Gold’ from Inspirations issue #40, now available as a digital pattern.

Worked in the traditional combination of crewel wool on linen twill, this cushion design features a selection of delightful flowers on elegantly arching stems, growing from three small hillocks.
Autumn Gold
Your Search is Over…
Whether you’re looking for a new project, trying to find that project you once saw but can’t remember where, or even need to find some step-by-step diagrams for a specific stitch, your search is over!
The Inspirations Index 1-100 is the ultimate search tool to help you locate anything and everything within the first 100 issues of the magazine.
Not sure if this book is for you? Check out Mary Corbet’s recent review…
Needlework doyenne Mary Corbet does an excellent job (as per usual!) in taking a detailed, in-depth look at the Inspirations Index and explains the benefits a publication like this can provide. You can read her insightful review HERE.
Inspirations Index 1-100 is available to purchase from our website for delivery direct to your door anywhere in the world.
Holiday Souvenirs
What’s your normal reaction when someone brings you a souvenir from their holiday? Happiness? Or are you wondering if they’ll notice it disappearing into the next charity donation? Well, how about Sam Barksy’s idea to knit his way around the world?
Sam Barksy in Washington with his knitted jumper (Instagram/Sam Barksy Source: Instagram)
Sam knits jumpers recording every destination he’s been to, and then posts himself wearing it online. His creations are colourful and always unique with Sam stating he never knits the same one twice.
Sam Barksy and his wife wearing matching creations (Instagram/Sam Barksy Source: Instagram)
Whatever you may think of his souvenir sweaters, there is no doubting this man’s talent and passion. How could a snow globe or fridge magnet ever compete?

You can read all about Sam’s knitting travels on the website HERE.
Featured Project
Blackwell Roundel by Jenny Adin-Christie
Jenny Adin-Christie’s exquisite project, Blackwell Roundel, featured in A Passion for Needlework | Factoria VII may be small – the design is 10cm (4”) in diameter – however it is packed with a range of embroidery techniques.
The project was originally designed for a stitching retreat held in the Lakes District, UK, that included a visit to Blackwell House, a renowned masterpiece of Arts and Crafts architecture and design overlooking Lake Windermere.
The light-filled White Drawing Room was the particular inspiration for Jenny’s roundel.
The rowan, quince, oak and rose of the roundel design are featured in the drawing room, depicted in stunning wooden carvings and plaster work. The detail of these decorations is reflected in the rich texture of the embroidery created by a masterful combination of techniques from shadow work and eyelets to flowing lines of goldwork and sculptural satin stitch, all worked in silk and metal threads. Translucent organza was chosen as the base for the embroidery to symbolize the sense of light and space in the room, along with sparkling bead and paillette highlights.
There is a lot to delight in while working this piece, and it is important to refer to the order of work in the detailed instructions, as some elements for each motif need to be worked first, and some should be worked after other embroidery is complete.
Stitching begins with the delicate tracery of the shadow work leaves of the rowan, quince and oak, embroidered through a single layer of organza. This is a beautiful technique that adds subtle depth and lace-like texture and step-by-step instructions are included for working the double back stitch that creates the shadow work. It’s a great idea to practise a leaf or two on separate fabric to ensure you are happy with the spacing of your stitches and the resulting herringbone net.

Gleaming gold silk dupion is applied behind the quince fruits and rose before a second layer of organza is placed behind the first to add strength to the base for the remaining embroidery.
The quince fruits are shaded with satin stitch and outlined with paillettes and pearl purl. The remaining quince leaves are kid leather applied over felt padding and are outlined with softly shaded silk gimp and pearl purl. The plump rowan berries are worked with an eyelet at the tip and padded satin stitch for the fruit, cleverly shaded with a second colour to increase the rounded appearance.
The shadow work leaves are outlined with silk gimp, and the remaining rowan leaves feature cut lengths of smooth and bright check purls in different shades of gold, ivory and copper worked over cotton floche padding.
The acorns each have one side worked with connecting eyelets and this delicate embroidery contrasts delightfully with the textured caps, or cupules, depicted in a variety of beads and tiny chips cut from metal thread. The leaves, already partially stitched with shadow work, are completed with shaded satin stitch.
The wild rose features a striking centre of folded, silk-covered plate. The gold petals, shaded with the shadow appliquéd silk dupion, are outlined with gimp and highlighted with lustrous pearl beads. The kid leather leaves are applied without padding and outlined with silk gimp and pearl purl. The rose hip is embroidered with shaded padded satin stitch, with a paillette highlight on the fly stitch sepals.
To finish, the stems for each motif, worked in metal thread or silk gimp, flow towards the centre of the design, melding into a beaded motif of four leaves.
The completed embroidery is a symphony of gentle shades, subtle variations of depth, compelling texture and twinkling reflections.
Originally intended to be set into an Arts and Crafts inspired wooden stand with a drawer and pincushion lid, your roundel can also be enjoyed displayed in a frame.
Make Your Own Blackwell Roundel
Blackwell Roundel by Jenny Adin-Christie from A Passion for Needlework | Factoria VII features graceful Arts and Crafts inspired motifs in a range of techniques using silk and metal threads
A Passion for Needlework | Factoria VII
Looking for More Jenny Adin-Christie?
White Rose
White Rose by Jenny Adin-Christie from Inspirations issue #100 is an exquisite rose button brooch using timeless whitework techniques.
White Rose
White Rose
White Rose
Snowdrop by Jenny Adin-Christie from Inspirations issue #76 is a delightful stumpwork embroidery capturing the ethereal beauty of the true European snowdrop.
Inspirations Issue 76
Mementoes by Jenny Adin-Christie from Inspirations issue #68 is a pair of lovely embroidered sachets, decorated with a collection of familiar objects and gently perfumed with dried flower petals.
Inspirations Issue 68
Buttercup by Jenny Adin-Christie from Inspirations issue #84 is a delicate whitework button brooch embellished with pearls and sequins.
Inspirations Issue 84
What Are You Stitching?
Like many art forms, sometimes the ‘strokes’ we paint with needle and thread are broad, but this week we’re highlighting the work of the Inspirations Community that’s anything but broad. This week’s projects are all about the delicate and the detailed.
Brenda Hull
‘My parents bought us up with the rule that everyone is treated the same. If I made a wedding sampler for a niece, then they all had to have one at their time of the celebration. These last 10 years have been filled with such gifts. Earlier this year I finished the last of these larger gifts - for the time being anyway. Don’t get me wrong, I love making for family and friends, but eight birth samplers and eight stockings for their second Christmas in four years can be a bit too much of a good thing!’
‘I had started to want something different, more challenging and your magazine endorsed that feeling, so I decided I wanted to try something just created by me. Three things fell into place - time, inspiration from Sophie Digard scarves and what to with all those left-over threads and car boot kits that I will never make.

I started to crochet little flowers to see if I could. Kit lengths of thread limited the flowers size and how they looked. I made more flowers than I needed so that the project would be flexible.
There was no drawing or planning to the design, I worked randomly, just picking up threads, sowing a leaf or stem in a chosen stitch.
Starting and finishing are the hard bits for me, but the rest was simply fun! The result is a very soft cotton scarf that is for me by me.’
Brenda, we love that you took some time out to stitch for yourself! The result is colourful and dainty and would enhance any outfit it’s paired with.
Karen Fraser
‘I purchased Julie Kniedl’s book Botanica from you folks and I love it! I have been so inspired by Julie’s wonderful work and have completed three of her creations and plan to do more.’
‘What a truly creative artist she was and what a loss to the embroidery world now that she is no longer with us. I have completed these projects over the years, have just finished Camellia and have plans to order more kits.’
One of the things that sets Julie’s work apart is the incredible detail she stitches into her most realistic of creations and Karen, you’ve done an amazing job of including the same detail in your stitching! We can’t wait to see what you create next with your needles and threads.
Karen Matze
‘Hazel Blomkamp's Clive the Chameleon from Inspirations issue #100 was my muse for the piece below. I used Hazel’s pattern and modified it to suit the materials I had on hand. I started this piece as a skill builder and could not stop working on it!’
‘I extended the branch and put the flowers on the chameleon's back instead of over the beautiful free form embroidery. I now love free form embroidery and will definitely do more of it! Many thanks to Hazel for sharing this pattern in your magazine.’
Karen, Hazel’s projects never lack in their detail or intricacy and you’ve done a fabulous job recreating Clive to suit the materials you had on hand and your own design preference! The time and talent you’ve poured into the project makes it a true labour of love.
Robyn Tate
‘I was pleased to see Papillon by Rosemary Frezza from Inspirations issue #26 featured in your newsletter some time ago. I’m attaching my version which I finished in 2014. I loved working on it, my favourite being the Monarch. My friend’s favourite is the Ulysses and I recently stitched a single Ulysses for her birthday.’
‘After attending Beating Around the Bush last year and doing classes with Jo Butcher, Margaret Lee and Christine P. Bishop, I’m feeling madly motivated! I still need to finish Masterpiece, by Hazel Blomkamp and Loveday by Nicola Jarvis but there are plenty of hours in the day. I can’t wait for Beating Around the Bush 2020!’
Robyn, it was a pleasure to host you at Beating Around the Bush last year and we love that you felt madly motivated afterwards! The details you’ve included in your butterflies make it hard to tell the stitched from the real.

Have you stitched something that’s delicate or detailed? We’d absolutely love to see it! Email photos of what you’ve created with needle and thread along with a few details about your stitching journey to
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You May Have Missed
Bee-eaters by Renette Kumm from A Passion for Needlework | Factoria VII is a superb threadpainted study of European bee-eaters.
A Passion for Needlework | Factoria VII
The Linnet
The Linnet by Nicola Jarvis from A Passion for Needlework | Factoria VII is an enchanting silk and goldwork bird, adorned with a sparkling crown.
The Linnet
Sunbird by Renette Kumm from Inspirations issue #99 is a fabulous threadpainted orange-breasted sunbird.
Twitter by Sue Spargo from Inspirations issue #102 is a cheerful cushion with bright, appliquéd birds embellished with a great range of embroidery stitches.
Fine Feathers
Fine Feathers by Anna Scott from Inspirations issue #101 is an enchanting stumpwork scene from an Australian rainforest, featuring a lyrebird displaying his fabulous tail.
Fine Feathers
This Week on Social
How wonderful is this?
Nero Fiore by Carol J. Young from Inspirations #76
‘Fear and self-doubt have always been the greatest enemies of human potential.’
~ Brian Tracy ~
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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