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ISSUE 83  | Mar 31, 2017

Hi <<First Name>>,

Your Best Needlework Is Ahead Of You…

A 1993 paper published by the American Psychological Association put forward the theory that 10,000 hours of practise can make you an expert in anything.

Whether you subscribe to this concept or not, one thing we can agree on is to be good at needlework there are no shortcuts – it requires hours of both practise and application to complete a project.

The great thing about it, however, is regardless of how far along you are in your needlework journey, your best needlework is ahead of you.

For those just starting or relatively new to the craft, the more hours you get behind the needle, the more fluent, precise and confident your needlework will become.  The more senior among us have the benefit of wisdom and experience therefore when picking up a needle, it’s with purpose and conviction and the results are often masterful.

So take heart… we all have many more stitches to be stitched, more needles to be worked, and however many hours we can find to dedicate to our craft, our best needlework can still be ahead of us.

Share your needlework journey with us at



In case you didn’t realise how fast the year was going, tomorrow it’s time to turn the page on your Inspirations calendar to April – just in time to enjoy the delightful project ‘Seasons’ by Betsy Morgan from issue #87.

Seasons’ has now been released as a Digital Download project.
> Seasons In Digital – Pattern Download Available HERE
> Seasons In Print - Inspirations #87 Available In Print HERE



A reoccurring theme in Embroidery News of recent weeks has been how needlework can reflect our personalities, be it in our favoured techniques, designs we chose or the colour of threads we stitch in. One could also say that Betsy Morgan’s projects perfectly reflect who she is as a person – all her pieces are refined, elegant and treasured, just like Betsy herself.

In ‘Tall Year Square’ from Inspirations #93, Betsy celebrates the changing seasons with this wonderful etui, decorated on each side with a counted thread design reflecting the yearly weather cycle.

As with all of Betsy’s designs, her intricate motifs and delightful characters create intrigue and draw you in to admire every element that has been placed with great deliberateness to tell wonderful stories.

Tall Year Square is no exception and in fact has an added surprise element.  Once the connecting twisted cords are released, the etui falls open to reveal an enchanting cube pincushion at its centre as well as storage for needlework tools in the interior panels.

A tasselled scissor fob is also included and the richly ornamented lid is finished with a barrel button at each corner.  This is one of those wonderful pieces that when used seems somehow magically complex, yet is a combination of simplicity of design and function.

Tall Year Square is not only a delight to stitch and construct, it is also a real treat to use and the theme of annual seasons is just a reminder that you really can get use out of this all year around.


Tall Year Square’ by Betsy Morgan from Inspirations #93 is a superbly detailed counted work etui that will take you through the four seasons.

Step 1 – Purchase Inspirations Issue #93

Issue #93 includes all the information you need, along with step-by-step instructions, requirements list, stitching charts and full size pattern sheet with assembly instructions and templates.

> Inspirations #93 - Available In Print HERE

Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The ‘Tall Year Square’ Ready-To-Stitch Inspirations Kit includes everything you need to make your own etui including: fabrics, felt, interfacings, interlining, buttons, plastic rings, beads, embroidery threads and needles.

> Tall Year Square - Ready To Stitch Kit Available HERE


Here are some other ways you can enjoy more of Betsy’s enchanting designs:


Sweet Treats’ by Betsy Morgan are cute little pincushions showcasing a variety of counted thread designs.

> Sweet Treats In Print - Inspirations #92 In Print Available HERE


As mentioned early, this project has just been added as a digital pattern.  No matter what time of year it is, this sweet pin cube and scissor fob will keep your embroidery essentials safe and close at hand.

> Seasons In Digital – Pattern Download Available HERE
> Seasons In Print - Inspirations #87 Available In Print HERE

DID YOU KNOW Issue #87 also features the article ‘Meet Betsy Morgan’ where she talks about her needlework adventure to date and showcases more of her work.


Tiny Treasures’ by Betsy Morgan is an exquisite cross stitch etui, stitched in a rainbow of silk threads and filled with a collection of dainty sewing accessories.

> Tiny Treasures In Digital – Pattern Download Available HERE


Meadow Sweet’ by Betsy Morgan is a beautiful stumpwork study of a dragonfly.

> Meadow Sweet in Digital - Pattern Download Available HERE


If you are lucky enough to live anywhere near a good needlework store, you’ll know how beneficial it is to your stitching experience.  This week we caught up with Norma Jones who has recently taken over ‘The Embroidery Den’ which has been part of the Brighton landscape in Victoria, Australia since first opening in 1972.

‘Having been the proud custodian of the Embroidery Den for 2 years now, with each passing day my love for embroidery grows as customers and students inspire me with their creativity.

Coming from a family that has busy hands, Dad was a tailor by day and all round handyman during holidays and weekends.  Mum was a prolific knitter and also a lovely needleworker in her youth. It was a natural progression that I found a penchant for sewing.’

The Den carries an extensive range of specialty threads, kits and charts in traditional and contemporary designs.  They also stock quality needles, hoops, slate frames, tapestry stands, fine linens, wool felts, velvets and more.  Norma knows a thing or two about sourcing quality supplies, as her stitching experience has covered a LOT of ground:

Over the years, I’ve tried my hand at silk ribbon embroidery, canvas work, crazy patchwork, cross stitch and blackwork, millinery and even taught classes in the art of teddy bear making.

We asked Norma what projects she’s currently working on, and we couldn’t tell if she was just being polite, but we loved her answer…

Currently in my hoop is Jenny McWhinney’s Orts bag “Birds of a Feather” from the latest Inspirations issue, it’s a lot of fun!


Birds Of A Feather by Jenny McWhinney – Inspirations #83

And what is Norma’s favourite part of running ‘The Den’?

‘There is so much to love about it, but I believe sharing is what keeps the love of stitching alive so probably a highlight for me is our regular weekly classes with all my local ladies.  I also thoroughly enjoy the workshops we run throughout the year featuring skilled visiting tutors such as Jane Nicholas, Alison Cole, Katherine Howell, Susan Porter, Christine Lethlean and Marian Mason.’

Norma is doing a fantastic job of keeping needlework alive and well in Brighton Victoria, so if you are ever in the neighbourhood make sure you stop by and say hello.  For those who are not locals, make sure you check out her website for her wonderful range of products online.

> For more information about The Embroidery Den
visit their website HERE


This week’s WAYS continues our ode to Betsy Morgan and shows just what’s possible when one takes no shortcuts, is willing to put in hours of practise and apply themselves through to the completion of a project.  Sit back, enjoy and allow the work of others to inspire you with what’s possible for your own needlework journey!


‘Sweet Treats’ by Betsy Morgan – Inspirations #92

Celebrating 40 years, the Indian River Chapter of the EGA has developed an Inspirations Group where they work on projects from the magazine. The first project they chose was ‘Seasons’ by Betsy Morgan from Inspirations #89.

When it comes to practise, this is a group who knows a thing or two about it as not only do they have at least one group meeting every weekday, but they also encourage stitching in public at any opportunity, and reminded us that waiting at appointments is always a good time to do just that!

Indian River Chapter, it’s clear to see that practise has made you experts in the field of stitching and finishing! We look forward to seeing the results of your next Inspirations and Betsy Morgan project ‘Sweet Treats’ that we’ve heard is most frequently seen at your current meetings.

Louise Hoskins from Denmark in Western Australia is someone else who’s no stranger to stitching practise or the work of Betsy Morgan!

My stitching experience started at school back in the 50s & 60s.  A much-loved project from that time is a piece of Hardanger done at high school in Christchurch, New Zealand which now has pride of place in my home.   Sadly, as with a lot of people, after leaving school I worked, got married, raised three children and it was not until I retired six years ago that I was able to rekindle my desire to take up stitching again.’

‘After retiring we moved to Denmark in Western Australia, which is a small country town 400km south of Perth. Here I found the opportunity to rekindle the spark of embroidery with an equally enthusiastic group of 25 or so embroiderers who meet twice a month sharing their enthusiasm and fellowship. In December 2016 I decided to set up a weekly Stitching in the Café for two hours on a Thursday morning, so as the enjoyment and pleasure I get from stitching could be shared.  It is encouraging to meet with others over a cup of coffee or tea and a chat while doing something we all enjoy.  Even visitors from out of town have stopped and shared their experiences.’

‘Betsy’s ‘Sweet Souvenir’ etui joins many other projects of particular enjoyment that I have done. Thank you for the wonderful Inspirations Magazine and the fantastic sharing of news through Embroidery News. From one very happy stitcher to all the other happy stitcher’s out there, keep up the good work! Louise Hoskins.’

We love your meticulous stitching Louise, but more than that we love how you’ve taken your enjoyment of needle and thread to a public place so it can be shared! Who knows how many people you’ll encourage to begin, or rekindle, a stitching journey of their own?

From practising with needle and thread in a local group, to practising on the other side of the world, we recently had the pleasure of hosting Kathleen Weston at the Inspirations needlework convention, Beating Around the Bush. Kathleen took time out from life in Albuquerque, New Mexico to join us in Adelaide, South Australia for some expert teaching from Betsy Morgan herself.

‘I was very excited about coming to BATB, the tutors were fabulous and it was most definitely a once in a lifetime treat for me!’  Kathleen

Kathleen, with stitching as refined and elegant as that we hope your first trip to Beating Around the Bush won’t be your last - you were an absolute joy to host and we’d love to do it all again with you in 2018!

What have you got to show for the hours of practise and application you’ve put into stitching? Whatever it is, we’d love to see it! Email photos of your work and details of your stitching journey to



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The first print run of our new book ‘Inspirations – A Passion For Needlework’ sold out, but the good news is it’s now back in stock.

> A Passion For Needlework – Available In Print HERE


Margaret Lee’s fascinating book ‘The Art Of Chinese Embroidery’ published by Inspirations is also now back in stock.  Featuring seven carefully selected projects to lead you on a journey to learn the skills and develop an understanding of this art form.

> The Art Of Chinese Embroidery – Available In Print HERE

The Whimsical Designs of Jenny McWhinney:

If you enjoyed Jenny’s project ‘Chatterbox' from Inspirations #93 (pictured above), here is some more of her gorgeous needlework:

SANTA’S HELPERS – Inspirations #92

Santa’s Helpers’ by Jenny McWhinney is a set of six fun ornaments for your Christmas tree or home, to help bring some extra festive cheer.

> Santa’s Helpers In Print - Inspirations #92 In Print Available HERE

THE EARLY BIRD – Inspirations #75

The Early Bird’ by Jenny McWhinney is a practical peg bag adorned with friendly redwork birds and is sure to become a favourite accessory in your home.

> The Early Bird in Digital - Pattern Download Available HERE
> The Early Bird In Print - Inspirations #75 In Print Available HERE

CLOWNING AROUND – Inspirations #73

Clowning Around’ by Jenny McWhinney features a cheeky clown stitched in colourful shaded wools decorating a delightful cushion.

> Clowning Around in Digital - Pattern Download Available HERE
> Clowning Around In Print - Inspirations #73 In Print Available HERE

ARABIAN NIGHTS – Inspirations #33

Arabian Nights’ by Jenny McWhinney is an exotic rug for lovers of adventure, featuring three camels each with a unique design.

> Arabian Nights - Pattern Download Available HERE


So funny!



Ribbon embroidery


Bullion roses


" To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it. "
~  Kurt Vonnegut ~


What: London Calling – Quilts at the Library | An Exhibition by London Quilters
Where: Swiss Cottage Library | 88 Avenue Road London
When : to 15 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 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:  Click HERE

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

What: Hand & Lock | Haute Couture Tambour Beading Workshop - Sydney
Where: Carriageworks | 245 Wilson Street Eveleigh, New South Wales
When: 3 to 5 Apr
Details: Click HERE

What: Hand & Lock | Heritage, The Now & The Future of Embroidery Conference - Sydney
Where: Carriageworks | 245 Wilson Street Eveleigh, New South Wales
When: 6 Apr
Details: Click HERE

What: The Smocking Guild of NSW | Easter Smocking
Where: Epping Creative Centre | 26 Stanley Road Epping, New South Wales
When : 6 Apr | 10am & 7pm
Details: Click HERE

What: International Quilt Festival | Chicago
Where: Donald E Stephens Convention Center | 5555 N River Road Rosemont, Illinois
When: 6 to 8 Apr
Details: Click HERE

What: The Artisans of Geelong Inc Exhibition | The Fabric of our Community
Where: The Bostock Gallery | Corner Gordon Ave & Fenwick Street Geelong, Victoria
When: 8 to 9 Apr
Details: Click HERE

What: Needlework & Textile Exhibitions | Festival Fleurieu
Where: Fleurieu Coast, South Australia
When: 14 to 30 Apr
Details: Click HERE

What: Exquisite Needlework |
Exhibition by Barossa Branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild of SA

Where: CWA Hall | Murray Street Tanunda
When: 19 to 23 Apr
Details: Click HERE

What: The Australasian Quilt Convention
Where: Royal Exhibition Building | Carlton Gardens Melbourne, Victoria
When: 20 to 23 April
Details: Click HERE

What: South Coast Embroidery Exhibition | Silver Threads
Where: RSL Hall | 10 The Strand Port Elliot, South Australia
When: 22 to 23 April
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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