ISSUE 184, MAY 3 2019
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Hi <<First Name>>,
Depending on how its framed, the idea of diversity can either be inclusive or divisive. Usually the concept of diversity is most often talked about when it comes to the ‘big’ issues in life – race, religion, gender and age. But what about our stitching diversity? Are we open to celebrating the diversity in the world of stitching or are we holding on tight to what we believe is the one and only ‘right’ way to stitch?!
At Inspirations we love that each individual stitch and stitcher is unique and think it’s important to not only recognize, but also celebrate, the individual differences in each.
This week’s issue of All Stitched Up! is a great example of how diverse the world of stitching is as our two featured projects couldn’t sit further from each other on the spectrum of tradition! From the rich practice of Mountmellick right through to Julie Kniedl’s contemporary three-dimensional embroidery, we’ve got both ends of the spectrum covered.

Join us as we celebrate the incredibly diverse world of needle and thread and the many possibilities that lie within…
Have Your Say
When conversing with others, sometimes we make statements and other times we pose questions. This week’s Have Your Say has one of each – another simple way we’re celebrating the concept of diversity!
Val Ursulak
‘I love your online newsletter and note that your readers give hints as to where one can find great stitchery shops around the world. I will be taking a coastal cruise along the west side of Norway right up past the Arctic Circle in May and would especially like to know of any Quilt Shops along that route. Thank you for the wonderful inspiration each week!’
Sandra Hartley
‘I really enjoyed your newsletter article about Anna Scott's Lyrebird in issue #180 HERE. Even though I lived in Victoria until I was 12, I had not heard a lyrebird going through his collection of songs and sounds. In January 1988 or 1989 my husband and I were staying in Wilson's Promontory. We took our son, who was then about 13 or 14, and his cousin as we hiked from Tidal River to Roaring Meg and camped for the night. We settled into bed quite early. I was amazed to hear many, many different bird calls - one after the other.’
Fine Feathers by Anna Scott | Inspirations issue #101
‘I was finding it hard to believe that we could be hearing so many different bird calls all in the one place. We then heard a motor bike which was not allowed in the area where we were camped. It was then that I realised that what we were hearing was in fact a lyrebird singing all of his bird calls plus a motor bike! It was a very special moment that I have not thought of in many years. Thank you for the article and the subsequent reminder.’

We always love it when the Inspirations Community joins in on the conversation, so if you’re able to answer Val’s question or have a statement of your own you’d like to make, please email
Stitch It Forward
Run to Red
This time last year we announced that we were using our stitching dollars to Stitch It Forward as we supported Run to Red which is the initiative of Edge Church International.
They have set the audacious goal of raising one million dollars each year and are giving away EVERY cent raised to partners such as Transform Cambodia, Angel House, Missions.Me and World Vision, that will Rescue, Empower and Deploy the children each of these organisations support.
With one of the Run to Red events being held in our home town of Adelaide next week, Inspirations Studios has once again committed to donate the proceeds raised through online sales for the next seven days to this worthy cause.
Want to know how your stitching dollar will not only fuel your passion for needle and thread but will also Pay It Forward by fueling the lives of those less fortunate? Check out Run to Red HERE
Featured Project
Gypsy by Deborah Love
The town of Mountmellick in Ireland was synonymous with textile production in the 18th and 19th Centuries, and hand in hand with industry went the growth of a rich tradition of embroidery. Developed in the mid-1820s by Johanna Carter, Mountmellick embroidery designs drew on the local flora, and were worked in a heavy white cotton thread on white cotton fabric.
The technique was closely associated with the Quaker movement, and one can see echoes of the movement’s ethos of living simply in the clean designs.
Mountmellick embroidery is strong, practical and understated without ostentation or excessive decoration, reflecting the values from which it arises.
Over the years, Mountmellick embroidery has been adopted by stitchers far beyond Ireland who were drawn to the crispness of the white on white designs and the delicious texture achieved by the varied combination of surface stitches. Satin stitch, French knots and chain stitch among others are used for the designs, with each piece traditionally bordered by a unique knotted edging stitch known as Mountmellick stitch.
Deborah Love, not heralding from County Dublin or County Laois, but from Queensland, Australia, is one of the masters of this technique. As well as having travelled to Mountmellick to view many historical pieces, Deborah was the winner of the inaugural Mountmellick Embroidery Competition in 2017 hosted by none other than the Mountmellick Development Association of Ireland.
And Deborah has succeeded in remaining true to the technique with Gypsy from Inspirations issue #102, a lovely octagonal tablecloth.
Gypsy is perfect for beginners and experienced stitchers alike, as there are no fine needles to thread or complicated stitches to master.
Perhaps the biggest challenge is Mountmellick stitch itself, although by following the clear, step by step instructions one soon develops a rhythm. There is something very soothing about the sound of the cotton thread pulling through the heavy cotton satin jean fabric and we defy you not to be lulled into pleasant meditation by the process.
Gypsy is finished with a characteristic knitted fringe. Even if you aren’t a regular knitter, the pattern repeat is only short and due to the length, you’ll feel very confident by the time you reach the end! For the next step, even confident knitters who understand exactly how stitches lock together may need a deep breath before unravelling the stitches to create the fringe. But as long as you’ve followed the pattern, like magic it all works out!
There is something wonderful about creating a piece in the same way it was made almost 200 years ago. The echoes of that needle pulling through the fabric should be audible as you carry on an Irish tradition that has survived generations.
Make Your Own Gypsy
Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

Gypsy by Deborah Love is an eight-sided tablecloth worked in textural Mountemellick embroidery with flower sprays surrounding flowing vines, edged with a knitted fringe.
Inspirations Issue 102
Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Gypsy includes everything you need to re-create this charming tablecloth: Fabric (unprinted), knitting cotton, embroidery threads and needles.
Looking for More Deborah Love?
Threads of Love
Threads of Love by Deborah Love from Inspirations #75 is a scented sachet with a delicate Schwalm design worked on ivory linen.
Threads of Love
Inspirations Issue 75
Eidelweiss by Deborah Love is a graceful Schwalm embroidery textured with seven different filling stitches.
Inspirations Issue 86
Needlework News
Inspirations Calendar | May Project
May we tempt you with a little blackwork? May we tempt you with a beautiful rose? Maybe in May we may tempt you with both!
Black Beauty by Victoria Laine from Inspirations issue #95 is the featured calendar project for the month of May.
One stitch and one colour of thread is all it takes to create this elegant rose in shaded blackwork.
Worked onto ivory linen with six weights of black cotton and silk thread, this striking, monochrome flower ably demonstrates the refined qualities and delicate subtleties of traditional blackwork.
Maybe in May you may decide to stitch your own Black Beauty? In anticipation of such maybe’s the digital pattern is now available on our website and we even have kits available as well!
Black Beauty
Black Beauty
New Digital Pattern | La Vie En Rose
Speaking of digital patterns, this week we’re bringing some French provincial styling into the digital world with the release of the project La Vie En Rose by Kris Richards from Inspirations issue #44.
With a literal translation of ‘Life in Pink’, La Vie En Rose is an elegant cushion with ornate lattice and lavish pink flowers.

Gently curling golden scrolls form a superb backdrop for lush pink roses and sprays of lavender. Intricate braid edges the embroidered panel with the cushion neatly finished with beige cord.
La Vie En Rose
Tiny Knots
The French knot – a simple stitch hated by some, loved by many, and used by the artist who calls herself Ipnot to create tiny embroidered pizzas, miniature skaters and amazing three-dimensional diminutive creatures.
Ipnot is based in Japan, and although her name came from a childhood nickname, the sound of it sums up her work and her chosen stitch perfectly.
Miniature pizza (source)
Ipnot was introduced to embroidery by her grandmother and embraced it when she realized how enjoyable it was. Since she began, she has displayed all over Japan, as well as designed projects for the likes of DMC and National Geographic. In true understatement, she says:
“ …it does not feel like work at all. Rather, it feels like a hobby since I am having fun.”
Mao Asada (source)
Ipnot we’re having fun admiring all the amazing things you’ve created. In fact, you’ve inspired us to go and make something fabulous of our own, such is the contagious nature of needlework and the joy it brings.

To enjoy more of Ipnot’s work you can check out her website HERE and there is a fascinating interview you can watch on YouTube HERE. Just remember to click on the CC (Closed Caption) button to see the subtitles, unless you speak Japanese!
Featured Project
Succulent Spool by Julie Kniedl
Succulents come in a wonderful variety of small shapes and are a perfect subject for exploring the possibilities of recreating botanicals in three-dimensional embroidery. Wool threads are ideal for shading the soft colours of these hardy plants, and a handful of techniques can be used to create the fleshy leaves and stems in any shape or size.
Julie Kniedl recreated four varieties of succulents for a fabulous display that we first saw at the needlework convention, Beating Around the Bush, in 2014, when it was awarded the grand prize in the Stitch Your Heart Out competition. We initially published Succulent Spool in Inspirations issue #85, and it is such an amazing piece it that certainly needed to be included in the book dedicated to Julie’s stitching passion.
The pink-tipped, jade green leaves of Kalanchoe luciae, also known as the paddle plant, are relatively thin for succulents. Eight wired leaves are worked on a wired, fabric base, enabling the slender forms to be shaped once assembled. The leaves are shaded to resemble the progression of growth, with the younger leaves being green from base to tip, and the older leaves blushed with rose pink at the tip in increasing depth. The leaves are wrapped to a central wire stem and the stem tip is also covered with thread so that it resembles a budding leaf. The finishing touch is to curve the leaves upwards in the same manner as a living paddle plant.
The fleshier, blue-grey leaves of Echeveria laui call for padded felt shapes. Julie has made this much simpler than it may at first appear. Rather than making nine individual felt shapes and securing them to a central stem, the process is more like layering a three-tier cake. There are three layers for this plant, a large four-leaf shape, a medium four-leaf shape and a single leaf. The felt shapes for each layer are stitched together around the outer edge and filled with stuffing to form the base for the embroidery. To assemble the plant, simply stitch the single leaf to the centre of the medium layer and then the medium layer to the large layer, with the leaves offset. Such an elegant construction solution!
It’s easy to see how Senecio rowleyanus received its common name, string of pearls. The long stems of spherical leaves certainly do bring strings of beads to mind! How to make bead-like leaves? Wrapped beads. Perfect. Each bead is given a wire stem that is wrapped, and these stems are then wrapped together, beginning at the tip with smaller beads, with larger beads positioned towards the base of the main stem. Three strings of pearls are included in the grouping of succulents.
The remaining plant is not some unusual variety of pear as many may think! Even we did a classic double-take when we first saw it, promptly followed by some quick research to find out about this shapely succulent. It is in fact, Euphorbia trichadenia, and has a large rootstock above ground, a woody stem and thin, narrow leaves. The embroidered plant has a stuffed fabric shape as the base of the rootstock, with a wrapped wire stem and wired leaves.
The four succulents are pleasingly arranged on a large, decorative wooden spool however they would look fantastic displayed in any way you find to suit your home. Try a selection of small pots, a bed of pebbles in a terracotta saucer, or find something that can be repurposed for your succulent display. A quick internet search is good way to find creative ideas for your succulents. We'd love to see what you come up with... email us at
Make Your Own Succulent Spool
Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

Stunning succulents displayed on a wooden spool by Julie Kniedl from Botanica.
Botanica | The three-dimensional embroidery of Julie Kniedl
Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Succulent Spool includes everything you need to recreate this wonderful collection of succulents: Fabrics (unprinted), wool felt, wires, beads, embroidery threads and needles. NOTE: Kit does not include wooden spool.
Succulent Spool
Fallen in Love with Julie Knield’s Designs?
It’s ok… you’re not alone. We know how you feel, and we even have help available for you. You can now purchase every project from Julie’s book Botanica as a Ready-to-Stitch kit.
Set yourself free and embrace your passion for three-dimensional embroidery with a kit from Botanica today.
Browse Botanica Kits
Looking to Stitch More Plants?
The Formal Garden
The Formal Garden by Lisa Moroney from Inspirations #31 features three striking detached chain topiary trees.
Inspirations Issue 31
Golden Party
Garden Party by Helen Eriksson from Inspirations #70 is a floral sampler showcasing an inspiring garden of beautiful silk ribbon blooms.
Garden Party
What Are You Stitching?
The diversity that exists within the stitching world is infinite - from technique, subject, materials and colour, the possibilities of what can be created with needle and thread are all but endless! In this week’s What Are You Stitching? we’re celebrating the diversity of Project Type – how a piece is constructed and/or its intended general use.
Bag | Judith Crabtree
‘My friend was having a birthday and being an avid crafter herself, l chose the smocked bag pattern ‘Purple Passion’ from Australian Smocking & Embroidery Magazine issue #55. She was very surprised and loves her new bag! There are 544 glass amber beads in the panel, all worked with #8 DMC thread on Dupion Silk. Smocking is my love.’
Judith, what a fabulous gift! The time and talent you’ve poured into the bag is remarkable and it will be a lovely reminder of your friendship each time your friend uses it.
Scissor Fob | Amy Haffling
‘My Embroiderers’ Guild of America chapter, Nittany Valley in the Mid-Atlantic Region, is stitching Curious Needlebook designed by Heather Lynn Gitlin, a project featured in NeedleArts Magazine. Inspired by her design, I created a scissors fob using the same stitches in my own colorway. I’m very happy with how it turned out!’
Amy, we love that you were able to adapt Heather’s design into a colourway that was truly your own. Using your scissors will be all the more fabulous now that they’ll be so beautifully adorned!
Tea Cosy | Karen Eckardt
‘This is my very first time doing Stumpwork and I made the flowers to decorate this tea cosy I knitted and felted.’
‘The original knitting was a sweater I made for my husband but unfortunately he passed away before I finished it. The cosy keeps my tea perfectly warm and I do think of him each time I use it. Your magazine is an ongoing inspiration for me, and I can’t thank you enough.’
Karen, your first attempt at Stumpwork is simply flawless and completes your tea cosy just beautifully! We’re sorry to hear your husband never got to wear the sweater, but love that you were able to repurpose it into something that reminds you of him each time you use it.
Utensil Carrier | Mary Anne Richardson
‘Our local quilt guild of approximately 200 members has a luncheon meeting in December and June and we are asked to bring our own plates and utensils. I thought it would be fun to make a pretty carrier, rather than relying on using an ugly plastic bag!’
‘One of my passions is crazy quilting and I have several round robin blocks lurking in my stash that had never been turned into anything, but one of them became the perfect cover for my carrier. Now I can take my place setting to the meetings in style!’
Mary Anne, what a unique and environmentally friendly way to travel in style! We love your ingenuity and attention to detail.

Whatever project type you’ve put your needles and threads to, we’d love to see it! Email photos of your work along with a few details about your stitching journey to
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This Week on Social
Just such amazing detail
Fabulous Strawberries
‘Imagine how boring life would be if we were all the same. My idea of a perfect world is one in which we appreciate each other's differences; one in which we are all equal but definitely not the same.’
~ Barbara Streisand ~
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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