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ISSUE 20   |   October 23, 2015

Hi <<First Name>>,

Welcome to Embroidery News Issue 20

Embroidery News is chockers this week. Never heard of the word chockers? You’ll have to read ‘What Are You Stitching’ below to find out what it means, along with some other Aussie slang words. Sue Forrest is back with some more ‘special selections’ for us and while we’re on the topic of special, Laura Equizi our General Manager has recently returned from hosting our Masterclass on the Mekong cruise and the write up from her trip we’ve been promising to bring you is below and we guarantee you it has been well worth the wait…. it is very special indeed.

Oh and one more special thing… we reveal the cover of Issue #88 below as well, and it’s so good, it’s super special!

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


Last week we introduced this new segment and wow! it sure was popular. For the benefit of those who may have missed the prelude, Sue Forrest is our Subscription Manager and has been involved with all things Inspirations/Country Bumpkin/AS&E on and off for more than 10 years. We’ve been asking Sue for her thoughts on any popular projects we should talk about in Embroidery News and she said:

‘Many of the projects I share on our FB page get responses like ‘I love it – where can I buy it?’. While some people create their own designs, luckily a lot of the popular projects are from back issues of our magazines, so we should try and make them available.’

Thanks to our new website, Sue can now feature a popular project from our back catalogue which is available for purchase as a printed copy of the magazine it appeared in, or, if it’s out of print, as a digital download. Let’s see what special things Sue has in store for you this week…

‘Eglantyne’ by Kris Richards – Inspirations #56

‘I will always remember the project from Issue 56 called ‘Eglantyne’ by Kris Richards, not just because of how popular it was, but also for its beautiful name.

The name is in fact taken from Rosa eglantine, one of the most beautiful of English roses, also known as the ‘Sweet Briar Rose’ and regarded by many as the quintessential ‘English rose’.

The ‘Eglantyne’ project is an elegant 13cm (5”) pincushion decorated with an exquisite garland of Rosa Eglantine and delicate wisteria.

I have chosen another quick and easy to make project this week because everyone loves the classic Bullion Rose and everyone loves to make pincushions. Stitched in soft shades of pink and highlighted with metallic threads, the other thing I like about this project is you can easily adapt the design to create a sofa or bed cushion, or even just frame the finished design as a wall hanging.’

Nice choice Sue, this project would also be a great option as a gift for someone as well. Now printed copies of Inspirations #56 are still available for purchase; you can now order from our website and have delivered to your door anywhere in the world – but wait… there’s more!

Christmas Projects – Inspirations #56

Not only does issue #56 feature the gorgeous pin cushion Eglantyne’, it just so happens it is also a Christmas issue complete with a beautiful selection of festive projects, perfect for this time of year, including:

Deck the Halls - Delightful Christmas table runner
Snow Queen - Richly embroidered ornamental swan
Spirit of Peace - Superb Christmas tree ornament
White Christmas - Beautiful white on white Christmas tree ornament
Plus 8 other projects.
Order your copy of Inspirations Issue #56 online now by clicking here.


This week we have the next installment of the adventures of Gill’s now famous ‘Loved Ones’ blanket…

After reading about Gill’s dilemma of ensuring that her newly wrinkle free blanket doesn’t regress and end up creased in transit between Australia and Norway last week, Roberta from the USA joined in on the conversation and offering her suggestion about how the blanket should be packed . . .

Roberta suggested that Gill makes a muslin sleeve that is filled with Polyfill stuffing, ensuring the sleeve is about two inches in diameter wider than the blanket. The blanket can then be rolled into the sleeve, with several layers of tissue paper finished with bubble wrap. The blanket can now be safely posted inside a mailing tube.

Roberta’s other suggestion was to sandwich the blanket between bubble wrap as it is folded prior to boxing it up for shipping. Either way, thank you for your tips to ensure the blanket arrives in Norway with minimum wrinkling.

Whatever method you choose Gill, we do hope the work you’ve put into removing the creases from your blanket isn’t undone on its way to Norway!

This week Louise from the United Kingdom is hoping to start a conversation with out next ‘destination travel’ location.
Louise is travelling to Japan in a few weeks and is hoping to stock up on some beautiful fabrics and embroidery threads while she’s there.

Over to you Embroidery News Community - we’re hoping that someone is able to suggest some embroidery &/or fabric shops in Tokyo, Kyoto or Osaka that will fit Louise’s destination travel question!

Please email us at


The English language is one of the great mysteries of the world – how can it be that so many profess to speak the same language, yet struggle to understand each other when they speak it?

Gang-Gang Cockatoo

We are of course referring to the many colloquialisms that exist the world over, all of which give English speakers their own dialect.

One country renowned for inventing its own words is Australia.

From words like ‘Bonza’ meaning great, to ‘Chockers’ meaning full to overflowing through to the all-time favourite ‘G’day’ for hello – we could fill an entire issue of Embroidery News with made up Aussie words.

Roma Crowhurst from South Australia has sent in a ‘bonza’ little embroidery piece of a bird for us all to enjoy. Other than admiring Roma’s terrific needlework skills, the thing that caught our attention was the name of the bird. Here is Roma’s email: ‘I stitched this cheeky gang gang from a photo my husband took when we were in Bright.’

To translate this for you, the ‘gang gang’ she refers to is in fact the gang-gang cockatoo, and Bright is a beautiful holiday spot in Victoria, Australia. No doubt you are wondering the same thing we were - how on earth did the gang-gang end up with such a curious name and is there no end to how many words these Aussie’s can make up!

After looking into this further, here is what our mate Wikipedia told us:

‘The name gang-gang comes from a New South Wales Aboriginal language, probably from one of the coastal languages or from Wiradjuri and is most likely an onomatopoeic name.’ Doing a little more research, we also discovered this: ‘The gang gang Cockatoo is easily identified by its distinctive call, which is described as resembling a creaky gate, or the sound of a cork being pulled from a wine bottle.’

And so our mystery was solved – the early Aboriginals came across this peculiar noise coming from the trees above and aptly named the birds according to what they heard ‘gang-gang’. That seems logical enough!

We now move from a bird in the wild to a spectacular bird cage that Jenni from Canberra has been stitching. Jenni hands down wins both our determination and ingenuity awards for this week, here is her story:

‘Dear Embroidery News, I thought you might like to see my Birdcage that I finally completed last month. This was a Christine Bishop class I did at BATB in 2014. This has been the hardest piece of embroidery I have ever done. I had a small piece of linen left over so I made a little purse for a black and gold tape measure.

Jenni's Hat Box

I found the carved bone stiletto on a website in New York and the thread winder with a cut out bird was from The Gift of Stitching Magazine which is no longer available. Putting it all together was even harder! I was determined that this project was not going to beat me. I looked for a hat box to carry it around in but they were either too tall or too shallow so I made my own. Jenni Davill.'

Jenni you should be very proud of your efforts – the finish product looks exactly like the original and we’re sure Christine is brimming with joy as she reads this and admires your accomplishments. Well done and we look forward to hosting you again at the next Beating Around The Bush.

Speaking of the next Beating Around The Bush…



BATB 2016
October 5th – 12th
Immanuel College
Adelaide, South Australia
Catalogue out before Christmas.
Bookings open early 2016.

You are invited to a week with the world’s best tutors, teaching the world’s most beautiful projects, hosted by the world’s most beautiful embroidery magazine.

Who could resist such an invitation?

From birds to something birds like to ride on the back of from time to time - sheep. Jane Page from the UK wins the ‘most adorable’ needlework prize this week for her ‘so fluffy I could die’ sheep brooches.

‘Dear Embroidery News - I made these embroidered brooches for a friend, inspired by a pottery ornament she has (she collects sheep) which was made of twists of white clay with a black head.

I looked at her pottery pieces and translated them into sheep brooches using bullion knots. Best Wishes Jane.’

That is very clever Jane – well done, we like them a lot! Very creative indeed.

To finish up Embroidery News this week, we have something from Moira Willems from Canada who might only be new to Inspirations, but has been stitching since she was a child and shares with us some of her very early embroidery…

‘I discovered Inspirations recently after purchasing a couple of used copies (someone parted with these!?!) from our local Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra Book Sale.

I was so blown away that I had to track down the source and signed up for a subscription to be mailed to me and I look forward with delight to each new issue. We're in the midst of renovating our 103-year-old house and I don't have any current projects to share since my days have been filled with varnishing woodwork, dry walling and painting. However you have definitely given me 'Inspiration' for dozens of projects I long to stitch as soon as our renos are complete!

In the meantime, I thought I'd send you a little sample of one of my very first embroidery attempts as a young child. This little kitten was done when I was probably about 6 or 7 years old (some 45 years ago!) The kitten was from an embroidery transfer my grandmother had, with the sun, grass and words added by myself and then presented back to my grandmother (who also loved embroidery) as a gift. Loving Inspirations and dreaming of stitching, Moira.'

Well thank you for the kind words Moira, all the best with your renovations and we look forward to seeing some of your more recent needlework in the near future!

Moira’s cute piece from her childhood above reminds us of the adventures of Jenny McWhinney’s adorable mouse Monet in her two embroidered storybook projects in Inspirations 39 and 51.

You may recall in Embroidery News 17 we mentioned you can still buy printed copies of issue 51 which includes Monet et le Papier Jaune’ (Monet and the Yellow Paper) however issue 39 which had the first story book ‘Des Fleurs Pour Grandmere’ (Flowers for Grandmother) is out of print.

The good news however is as promised, we have now added this project as an instant digital download. See below for details.

‘Des Fleurs Pour Grandmere’ (Flowers for Grandmother) by Jenny McWhinney
Issue 39 – Embroidered Storybook
Purchase Digital Download here

Inspirations Issue 51
Featuring Monet et le Papier Jaune’ (Monet and the Yellow Paper)
Purchase printed copy here


Did you know that when browsing the digital download patterns available on the Stitch.ology website, there are some very useful filters on the right hand side to help you narrow your selection?

For example if after reading today’s Embroidery News you wanted to find some projects featuring birds, you could use the Filter By Project option and select Birds. Now all the projects featuring birds are only displayed. You can also filter by Author, Publication and Technique. Just remember when using multiple filters at once, your range of choices and results continue to get narrower, so just return the filters to ‘Any’ to see all patterns available.

Below is this week’s selection of digital patterns you may be interested in, including two gorgeous bird patterns from Trish Burr and Bev Tully, plus in keeping with Something Special With Sue, we have another Rose based project this time by Carolyn Pearce. Also just in case you’re still looking for that perfect Christmas project, we included a spectacular crewel work Christmas stocking by Anna Scott.

Robin by Trish Burr
Issue 69 – Thread Painting
Purchase Digital Download here

The Nestlings by Bev Tully
Issue 76 – Raised Embroidery
Purchase Digital Download here


English Rose by Carolyn Pearce
Issue 76 – Ribbon Thimble Holder
Purchase Digital Download here

Glad Tiding by Anna Scott
IIssue 72 – Crewel Work Stocking
Purchase Digital Download here

What are YOU stitching?
Send us your photos, details about your project, where you live and a little about yourself to:


" I can't believe this amazing experience has come to an end.  I was lucky enough to host the Inspirations ‘Masterclass on the Mekong’ 2015 embroidery tour.   This experience has not only changed my outlook on life but will be a memory that will be with me forever.

One by one all of the amazing people who would be travelling with me during the next couple of weeks arrived.  Different personalities from all over the world, some of whom travelled alone and some who travelled with partners, friends and family.  Everyone had one thing in common - to have a well-deserved holiday while embroidering memorable pieces with two very special tutors, Susan O'Connor and Jenny McWhinney.

Starting in Siem Reap, Cambodia we stayed at the luxurious Sofitel Hotel and explored the picture perfect temples, getting around in the crazy tuk-tuks and meeting the amazingly polite and honest Cambodian people.  I am so humbled to have had the opportunity to see the good and not so good of Cambodia in all its glory and true self.   

Our next leg of our journey was to embark on the RV Navigator to commence our travels further through Cambodia to Vietnam.  This five star, elegant ship had everything to offer, spa treatments, inside and outside bars, spacious cabins, relaxing lounges with deck areas and a dining experience that had something to offer everybody. 

During the voyage the ladies began working on their beautiful embroidery pieces with their tutors.  Susan O'Connor and Jenny McWhinney were our delightful masterclass tutors with just the right mix of professionalism and fun.  Whilst embroidering the classes had many laughs, told lots of stories (some true and some not so true) had lots of banter which has fostered lifelong friendships. 

I’m still not really sure how much embroidering was actually completed.   I can tell you though I laughed and laughed to the point of having sore checks when going to bed most nights.  Let's just say that some things are best to be left on the ship…….. isn’t that right ladies??

We spent the next seven days enjoying each other's company, embroidering and exploring Cambodia and Vietnam.  Most of us chose to have that relaxing massage we never have time for at home, as well as a drink or two while enjoying the calming, slow paced serenity of the cruise. This was all made possible with the help of the crew on board the Navigator, they spoilt us, made us feel right at home and took care of us during the entire voyage.  All our needs and expectations were met with a big smile. 

I think that most of us left the ship thinking we were leaving part of our family behind.  The last leg of our journey was disembarking and travelling to Ho Chi Min City (Saigon).  The final tour included history and the sights of Ho Chi Minh City, as well as visits to some amazing hand embroidered shops.  We were able to admire and purchase some beautiful pieces to remind us of our travels.

Time to say goodbye….. Saying goodbye to all our fellow travellers was pretty tough.  We had shared some unforgettable memories, made some lifelong friendships, and were tutored by two of the most talented embroiderers at the same time experiencing the rawness of Cambodia and the up and coming Vietnam.  I was educated about what the people of these countries had endured and are still enduring.  Even when being confronted with some of the places and images that most of us would normally choose not to see, I believe that it helped me understand them.  Understand why the people are so humble, why they all have so little but always have a smile on their face, why they are so happy to see us, why they are so proud.  The people want us to understand so that we can go home and educate the rest of the world of their struggles, to bring awareness of their countries turmoil.      

I will leave with the reassurance that I will be back as I have fallen in love with what both Cambodia and Vietnam have to offer but Cambodia stole a piece of my heart and for that I will be forever grateful.  I believe that everything happens for a reason and people come in and out of your life for a reason. This experience has grounded me in so many ways and I will forever be grateful for what I have at home but will also work on helping the people, my family, back in Cambodia." 

Forever in my heart.    
Laura Equizi


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Inspirations - #87

Current Issue - #87

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In case you missed any of these announcements in recent weeks, here are some reminders:


After receiving so much interest in Gill’s blanket recently, for those of you who would like to make your own version of ‘The Loved Ones’, we have now added this gorgeous project as a digital download.

The Loved Ones by Jan Norman
Issue 9 – Wool blanket with applique.
Purchase Digital Download here

Kaffe Fassett is touring Australia in 2016 and we invite you to a special evening with Kaffe and Brandon Mably in Adelaide and Canberra, hosted by Inspirations Magazine. For full details and to book online, click here.


Susan O’Connor’s book ‘Monograms The Art Of Embroidered Letters’ is now back in print.

You can order your copy online here.

and read Mary Corbett’s review to find out what all the fuss is about here.

We recently launched a brand new website bringing everything we do together in one online store. Stitch.ology = beautiful needlework. Now you can order available issues of Inspirations, Australian Smocking & Embroidery and Stitch Craft Create AU/NZ in print from us direct, plus browse through our library of 120+ instant downloadable digital patterns. Visit the site today at



Just beautiful stitching



I want.......


Love, love, love this


" Sewing forever, housework whenever."
~ Author Unknown ~


Over the past few weeks we have provided a sneak peak of the projects coming up in Inspirations #88 and today it is with much festive cheer, we reveal for the first time, the front cover of Issue #88 for everyone to enjoy.

The official release date for Issue #88 is October 28.


What: The Fabric of India
When: 3 Oct to 10 Jan
Where: Victoria & Albert Museum, London UK
Details: Click here

What: Cape Embroiderers’ Guild Members’ Exhibition
Where: Nova Constantia, Klein Constantia Road, Constantia Cape Town South Africa
When: 20 to 24 Oct
Details: Click here

What: Embroiderers’ Guild of NSW | Coffs Harbour & Environs Group Exhibition
Where: Coffs Harbour Botanic Gardens – Hardaker Street, Coffs Harbour NSW
When:  24 & 25 October
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