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ISSUE 45  |  MAY 20, 2016

Hi <<First Name>>,

Welcome to Embroidery News Issue 45.

This week’s Embroidery News is coming to you live from Athens in Greece… well sort of!  Ray Cullen who looks after all the technical ‘behind the scenes magic’ of publishing EN each week, is holidaying in Europe at present, and his commitment to the cause is such that he’s been working on EN even while he’s enjoying time off in Greece (see photo right).  So THANK YOU Ray.  

Over the past few weeks we’ve been looking at Crewel Embroidery and today we’re highlighting the technique Goldwork with a project by Alison Cole that would have looked right at home in the royal palace of Greece’s first King, Otto I.

Plus, we have the usual regal display of dazzling projects from our very own needlework community to share, more opportunities for you to help a fellow stitcher in ‘Can You Help’ and we continue to build our library of Inspirations back copies and digital patterns for your stitching pleasure.

Do you have something you can share with the Inspirations community? We’d love to hear from you, please email us at


Bushfires are a constant threat in many countries the world over and when we think of the terrible devastation Alberta in Canada is enduring at present, it is through stories like the one below from Chris Munge in New South Wales, Australia, that we are reminded of the importance of helping fellow needleworkers in times of need:

‘When we were burnt out in the 2013 bushfires, I lost three generations of needlework. I thought that was pretty well the end of my stitching journey when we had to replace all of our life’s necessities. My dear friend Annette Rich got onto Inspirations and next thing I knew there were supplies and copies of Inspirations and Australia Smocking and Embroidery from all over Australia and you lovely girls sent me books and even a pleater to get me going again.

People have donated fabric and threads from all over, so much so that I was able to share it with all the other stitchers who had also been burnt out! The embroidery group I stitched with 40 years ago in the township of Orange as a young and very inexperienced embroiderer and who taught me so much, also sent me books and supplies.  Including one book from a brilliant stitcher who passed away some time ago and had written her name in it for me.

What hurts in a fire is losing the stories of your life that are embedded in the things lost, but now the wonderful and caring community of sewers has started me on my journey again, with wonderful new stories and new memories. A lot of wonderfuls to be thankful for, THANK YOU TO ALL.  Chris Munge’

Thank you Chris, we’re thrilled to hear how the community sprang into action and provided so much practical support in your time of need.

If you have a story about the benefits of needlework you would like to share, email us at


STITCH YOUR HEART OUT 2016 – Entries Now Open!

The biennial “Stitch Your Heart Out” needlework challenge is open to ANY SKILL LEVEL, ANY TECHNIQUE, USING ANY MATERIALS and you don't need to attend Beating Around the Bush to enter – it’s for everyone!

Whether it’s your own design or someone else’s and with amazing prizes on offer, this is a needlework challenge for every stitcher and their needle. New or existing projects, there is a category just right for you.

GRAND PRIZE - A full set of magnificent Au Ver à Soie, Soie d’Alger silk threads valued at more than AU$3,500 will be awarded to the overall winner.

This is a wonderful opportunity to share your talents with fellow stitcher’s so don’t be shy – we want to see your work!

For more information, including how to enter, download the entry form HERE


Gold – a precious metal unlike any other.  An opulent, glistening, symbol of wealth and royalty.  Sounds like a glorious material to use for embroidery doesn’t it?  Australian needlework artisan extraordinaire Alison Cole certainly thinks so and her latest project ‘Honey Bee’ from issue #90 is just stunning.

‘Honey Bee’ By Alison Cole – Inspirations issue #90

Honey Bee’ is a delightful goldwork study of this industrious species and uses a selection of metal threads and kid leather to create a lavishly textured surface.

The term ‘Goldwork’ actually refers to all embroidery worked with metallic thread regardless of the colour, with the attraction not just the colour itself but the different textures and interesting play of light created when altering the direction of laid threads, or stitching over padding. 

A unique feature of this needlework style is that some of the metallic threads used are unable to be pulled through the fabric for each stitch, making the technique of couching necessary to cover the surface.

Gold Thread Samples – As seen in ‘A-Z Goldwork’

Did you know that at certain times throughout history, such as the middle ages, sumptuary law was used to prohibit those of a lower social class to use Gold in items such as clothing, home décor and accessories?  Part of their purpose was to ensure the ruling elite remained just that, elite! This meant goldwork was banned for use for anything other than ceremonial, ecclesiastical or military applications. 

Fortunately for us society has progressed and we are now free to lavish gold upon whoever and whatever we chose, meaning Honey Bee is a perfect project for you to spoil yourself with.

Is goldwork expensive?  Yes it can be, however it’s far more affordable today than it has ever been, and purchasing a goldwork project in kit form is typically the most cost effective option as you get the metallic thread cut to the correct length minimising the cost.

About The Designer - Alison Cole:

“I have been mad about embroidery for most of my life. I come from a long line of embroiderers and my daughter Rebekah will hopefully keep that tradition alive ‑ I put a needle in her hand when she was three years old.”

Inspirations issue #90 includes a terrific editorial piece ‘Meet Alison Cole’ where our team discovers that Alison was once refused membership in her local guild, she loves collecting needlework tools (you won’t believe the age of her oldest piece) and there is one special project she is still yet to finish.  Check out issue #90 to read all about Alison’s inspiring needlework journey.

Here are 5 ways you can enjoy Alison’s work:

1/. – Stitch Your Own ‘Honey Bee’ With an Inspirations Kit

Buying gold has never been this affordable!  The ‘Honey Bee’ kit includes:


Purchase your kit today by clicking HERE.

2/. – Purchase a copy of Inspirations issue #90

Inspirations Issue #90

Includes ‘Honey Bee’ by Alison Cole as well as the following projects:

Modern Crewel
Honey Bee
Resting Place
Tea for Two
Garden Fresh

Click HERE to order.

3/. – Enjoy Alison’s gorgeous projects from past issues of Inspirations

‘Strands of Gold’ – Inspirations issue #73

Strands of Gold’ by Alison Cole – Richly textured goldwork study with teal and paua shell highlights.

Purchase printed copy of issue #73 HERE

Clematis – Inspirations issue #78

Clematis’ by Alison Cole – Magnificent stumpwork trailing blooms with goldwork stems and dragonflies.

Purchase printed copy of issue #78 HERE

Precious Gold – Inspirations issue #80

Precious Gold’ by Alison Cole – This elegant ornament is the ideal introduction to metal thread embroidery.

Purchase printed copy of issue #80 HERE

4/. – Take A Class with Alison At Beating Around The Bush 2016

Alison is teaching some marvellous goldwork and stumpwork projects this year including ‘Precious Gold’ from inspirations issue #80.  Book a class with her today by clicking HERE.

5/. – BRAND NEW Alison Cole Design Now Available

Alison has just released a brand new design - Carolina Lily is a Stumpwork piece featuring the Carolina Lily Wildflower over a background of layered silk fabrics depicting the mountains where it is found. 

You can purchase the kit for this project from Alison direct including all silk fabrics, silk and metal threads, wires and instructions. 

To purchase this brand new kit, click HERE or to visit Alison’s website click HERE.



Sue and Andrea, who look after all our kits and online sales, have been working overtime this past few weeks and one item, ‘Modern Crewel’ by Susan Porter from issue #90, has been extremely popular.

All our kits for this traditional design stitched with contemporary colours, have sold out and we are currently waiting on more stock to arrive.

To ensure you don’t miss out, place a pre-order today by clicking HERE

Other fabulous kits from issue #90 include:

‘Small Change’
by Hazel Blomkamp

Delightful change purse with Jacobean motif.

‘Garden Fresh’
 by Julie Kniedl

Fabulous three-dimensional
corn cob.

To purchase click HERE


To purchase click HERE


Having pointed Suzanne, Joan and Jenny in the right direction last week, we open our new set of conversation starters in ‘Can You Help?’ this week. Our first question though, is which conversation will you become a part of, Embroidery News Community?!

Isabel Leininger is planning a short trip to Northern France in early July and is hoping to find a ‘make-it-herself’ souvenir while she is there. Isabel is hoping that someone in the EN Community may be able to point her in the direction of fabric &/or needlework shops in Paris, Giverny, Rouen, Bayeux or St Malo.  ‘Of course I will be visiting the Bayeux Tapestry! I enjoy both the print version of Inspirations Magazine and Embroidery News – they are truly inspirational. Thanks to all who contribute - Isabel.’

map courtesy of

Patrina Byng is looking to be pointed in the right direction when it comes to fabric choice - ‘I have Susan O'Connor's book ‘Monograms The Art of Embroidered Letters’ which is very inspiring. I am endeavouring to embroider white linen napkins that can become an heirloom for the family. I would love some advice on thread counts and linens that would be the best for this.’

Monograms’ by Susan O’Connor is available for purchase HERE.

Lastly, Mercy Adler writes ‘I am really enjoying the newsletter and I'm fascinated by the work that is being presented - it is beautiful! I do needlepoint but would like to learn how to embroider & would like to know where I could take classes. I live in Miami, Florida USA.’

Blanket Stitch – Pinwheel from ‘A-Z Crewel Embroidery’

Over to you Embroidery News Community . . . if you can point Isabel, Patrina or Mercy in right direction, please email us at, we’d love to hear from you!



‘Going Dotty by Susan O’Connor – issue #73’

Printed copies of Inspirations issue #73, featuring this this modern and fun throw covered with freshly coloured spots using just one stitch by Susan O’Connor, are now available for purchase.

Inspirations Issue 73 is a special all-Australian edition with eleven beautiful projects from Australia’s top embroidery designers.

Fascinating articles explore the works of some of these skilled textile artists, illustrated with photographs of their work.

To purchase a printed copy of issue #73, click HERE.


The entire collection of the bestselling A-Z series is currently being refreshed and A-Z Goldwork has now been added to our website.

A-Z of Goldwork is full of practical expertise on how to create beautiful goldwork embroideries, enhanced with silk embroidery, while conveying the history and tradition of goldwork through the years.

Incorporating all the original award winning photography and crystal clear instructional tutorials, now with new easy to read layouts and Flexi-Binding, these refreshed titles are a must have for any needlework enthusiast.

To purchase your copy today, click HERE.

Beautiful Needlework. Sold Here.


If ever there was a bird that likes to show off and impress everyone with its spectacular plumage, it has to be the Peacock.  This makes it a perfect subject matter for the glint and sparkle of Goldwork and Emily from West Yorkshire in England has send her ‘project in progress’ for us to admire:

‘Hello, I am working on this project and thought you might like to see it!
Best wishes, Emily Precious.’

You are doing a fine job there Emily and making great progress.  Your choice of thread colours and techniques is just perfect for a peacock and it’s really coming to life.  We look forward to seeing the finished piece.

When it comes to bringing things to life, Jo Rouyre Dessy from Belgium has created this marvellous botanical scene with the added benefit of restoring her wellbeing in the process…

‘Hello, I'm 57 a Belgian, married to a hyperactive man, mother of two grown boys and a grandma of four with a fifth due to arrive at the end of July.  16 years ago, I had to stop work after being diagnosed with fibromyalgia.   During this challenging time I immersed myself in oil painting, drawing and cross stitching.  Five years ago, I met Christiane Paris and I fell in love with her work and attended some of her embroidery workshops.

This gave me the confidence to create my own design using thread painting and raised embroidery.  This piece took me over four months to finish, but it was all worth it when, for my mother’s 80th birthday, I presented it to her as a gift and her eyes lit up with joy.

I am now working on a small table runner in Hardanger, but what happiness! Forget the pain, fatigue and dark thoughts, embroidery is my best therapy against fibromyalgia.’

What a marvellous story Jo and your embroidery is superb.  The colours you have achieved in the butterfuly are incredibly rich and vivid, your mother must have been so proud to have received such an impressive gift.

Up next, Sandra Sevnin from Hoppers Crossing in Victoria, Australia shares with us her Christmas Boquet collection:

‘Hello, I have just begun to challenge my embroidery boundaries over recent years, and have taught myself Hardanger, taken smocking classes, goldwork classes with Alison Cole, stumpwork and thread painting with Jan Kerton and have gained enough confidence to attempt Julie’s Kniedl’s Christmas Bouquet project from issue #88, photos of my interpretation above.

I do believe I might have got a little carried away as I made four, and have given one away to a wonderful friend to cheer her in times of stress, although I didn’t quite make Christmas.  Either a little too late for 2015 or really early for 2016!  Thank you, Sandra Severin.’

What a marvellous collection you have created Sandra, well done!  Great idea to give them away, very generous of you – it’s either that of you will need a very large Christmas tree to fit them all on!

Our final piece for this week is a brilliant glistening goldwork diving beetle from Natalie Dupuis in Canada:

‘Hi, I’m Natalie, an addicted stitcher and crafter; lover of books and all things handmade.  I first became interested in embroidery after attending a craft show and seeing some of the exquisite handwork on display. I always thought hand embroidery was something very special and only for those with a natural talent. However, I was inspired and I decided to buy some materials and give it a go.

Before long I realized that I wanted to take things further and I enrolled in an introductory course at the Royal School of Needlework in London, UK, where I was living at the time.

From then on, I have sewn something daily; sometimes just a few stitches and sometimes a concentrated hour, as that is all I can manage with two young children at home.

What I love about embroidery is that the sky is the limit when you pick up your needle. The variety of colours, textures, stitches and fabrics you can choose are endless. I find it a deeply satisfying hobby and a perfect way to relax and meet my creative urges.’

Wow Natalie – your goldwork is fantastic and Jane Nicholas will be so thrilled to see her splendid diving beetle colony growing and to such high standards.  Also your photos are so professional, they look like they came straight out of the magazine itself.  To find out more about Natalie and see some of her other projects. you can visit her website HERE

Beetlemania by Jane Nicholas - Inspirations issue #88

If you are a fan of the superb goldwork diving beetle aptly named ‘Beetlemania’ by Jane Nicholas, it appeared in Inspirations issue #88 and printed copies are still available for purchase.

To order your copy today, click HERE.

Also kits are still available for purchase via Jane Nicholas direct HERE

What Are YOU Stitching?  We’d love to see it… send your photos, a description of the project and a little about yourself including where you live, to


Pure Gold’ by Hanneke Schoeber

Enchanting floral motif in metallic and silk threads from issue #76.

‘Silver Star’ by Jennifer Spindler

Elegant flower motif in sparkling silver threads from issue #71.

To purchase click HERE


To purchase click HERE

Planning on attending Beating Around The Bush 2016?
Classes are selling out fast, so book today to secure your spot.

> Printed copies of the BATB 2016 catalogue are still available – Order HERE
> Digital PDF of the catalogue available to download for free – Click HERE
> Registrations are now open, we’d love you join us, to sign up – Click HERE



Inspirations is the world’s most beautiful needlework magazine.  We bring all the beautiful needlework projects from all over the world together for your viewing pleasure 4 times a year.

So if we bring the beautiful, all you need to do is subscribe and we’ll deliver it right to your door anywhere in the world.

PRINT | For a print subscription simply fill in our secure online form with your details. It’s so easy and quick, you’ll be done in 5 minutes. Click HERE.

DIGITAL | For a digital subscription you can purchase it through Zinio direct HERE or through the Inspirations APP which can be downloaded via the iTunes and Google Play stores, by searching ‘Inspirations Magazine’.

CALL US | If you are not sure what option is best for you, have some questions or just like to talk to someone rather than type, we’d love to hear from you. You can call us from anywhere in the world on +61 8 8293 8600 anytime and if we’re not in, leave a message and we’ll get back to you. For anyone within Australia, call us on 08 8293 8600. Otherwise email anytime us at


‘Love Letters’ Kit – Final Stock

Kits for the beautiful project 'Love Letters' by Elisabetta Sforza from issue #89 are now in stock. 

With only 8 remaining, these are the last remaining kits for this project so place your order today

Click HERE.


‘Kakisubata’ by Margaret Lee – issue #74

Printed copies of Inspirations issue #74, featuring this elegant and refined Japanese embroidery study worked in lustrous silk by Margaret Lee, are now available for purchase.

Inspirations issue 74 celebrates an international readership, showcasing the work of designers from around the world, including contributors from Russia, France, Italy and South Africa.

Featuring eleven gorgeous projects, including a bright embroidered linen tote, irresistible wool blanket, exquisite Punto Antico ring cushion and more.  Plus, this issue also looks at the recreation of magnificent medieval tapestries at Stirling Castle.

To purchase a printed copy of issue #74, click HERE.


All of the incredible pieces found in this new book by Hazel Blomkamp are made with only a needle, thread, fabric, ribbons and beads. You can even learn to use embroidery to create your own patchwork pieces from scratch. Be inspired to combine all your needlework skills in new & exciting ways!

To purchase a copy click HERE.


A-Z of Crewel Embroidery is the perfect reference book for crewel work and is overflowing with hundreds of step-by-step photographs and invaluable hints for creating over 16 original designs in styles ranging from traditional to contemporary.  New refreshed edition now available.

To purchase your copy today, click HERE.


Crochet cloche hats


Needlepoint chair 


Just Wow!


" All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
~ J R R Tolkien ~


What: Contemporary Textile Exhibition by Five Artists Inspired by Five Countries
Where: The Studio Gallery @ Worthing Museum & Art Gallery | Chapel Road Worthing, West Sussex
When: to 21 May (Workshops Available on 14 May)
Details: Click HERE / 07787 361 175

What: What’s the Point? Embroidery as Art | Exhibition, Gallery Talks & Classes
Where: Lemoyne Center for the Visual Arts | 125 North Gadsden Street Tallahassee, Florida
When: to 28 May

What: RSN | Peacocks & Pomegranates Exhibition
Where: Hampton Court Palace
When : to 22 Jul
Details: Click HERE

What: Merseyside Embroiderers Guild | Diamond Anniversary
Where: Liverpool Anglican Cathedral UK
When: 29 May to 3 Jun
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

Welcome to ‘The Embroidery News’ published by Inspirations Studios Corporation. You are receiving this email because you signed up online, at a craft show, when you subscribed to our magazines, or when you purchased something from our online store. Subscribe to our mailing list to keep up to date with news and events. If you no longer wish to receive emails from us, we'll be sorry to see you go, but click here and we will remove your email address from this list. Thank you