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ISSUE 68  | November 11, 2016

Hi <<First Name>>,

Ok Needlework Fans, this week we roll out the red carpet and invite you all to attend our Inspirations ‘Stitch Your Heart Out’ awards ceremony where we announce the winners of this esteemed competition.

Plus we have an Inspirations/Stitch.ology Christmas Gift guide, and as always lots more.

While we’re waiting for everyone to get all glammed up ready to begin the SYHO awards ceremony, let’s check in with the Inspirations Town crier for a Christmas countdown update:

‘Hear Ye! Hear Ye! 6 Weeks till Christmas, so keep up the quick stitch’n and get your gift lists in order!’

Now grab yourself a glass of champagne, as we dim the lights and strike up the band ready to toast some deserving winners.

Do you have something to share?  We’d love to hear from you!  Email us at:


The biennial Inspirations ‘Stitch Your Heart Out’ needlework challenge is where we celebrate your stitching - open to anyone our motto is ‘If it’s stitched, it can win!’ 

Here is how the competition works, the ‘Design Diva’ category is for those who design and stitch their own original pieces.  ‘Stitching Up A Storm’ is the category for stitchers who recreate an existing design.  Within each of these two categories entries are grouped into one of three techniques:

Surface Embroidery | Raised Embroidery | Counted/Cut/Drawn Thread Embroidery

We also had a special themed category and ‘Colouring In’ was chosen where entrants transformed an existing colouring-in design to stitching in any form, which gave rise to some wonderfully creative pieces.

The popularity of the competition continues to grow with entries up 40% from 2014 and once again the quality of the needlework delighted our judges.

THANK YOU to everyone who participated from across the globe, exhibiting all your entries during ‘Beating Around The Bush’ was a real highlight of the event itself.

Choosing a winner for each category is never easy, and due to the exceptionally high standards of the entries, this year one category required joint winners to be awarded and a new special mention prize created for another.

So without further ado, here are the winners for the Inspirations ‘Stitch Your Heart Out’ competition 2016:


As the judges were unable to separate their top two choices in this category, joint first prize has been awarded.

Our first joint winner is Victoria Laine for ‘Green Parrot’ which is an adaption of the embroidery design by Trish Burr.  

‘Green Parrot’ Victoria Laine

Our next joint first place winner is Naomi Small for her Woodland piece by Jenny McWhinney. 

‘Woodland’ Naomi Small


The winner is Sue Barrows for ‘The Lifecycle of the Swallowtail Butterfly’ by Jane Nicholas

‘The Lifecycle of the Swallowtail Butterfly’ Sue Barrows

Stitching Up a Storm – Counted / Cut / Drawn Thread

The winner is Elaine Morton for her Sampler by Emmie Bishop. 

‘Emmie Bishop Sampler’ Elaine Morton


The winner is Lois Woollams.  Lois has interpreted four of her favourite artworks by Modigliani, Picasso, Matisse and Monet. 

‘Artworks’ Lois Woolams


The winner is Zinaida Kazban with her entry ‘Bunny in a Magic Forest’ which was inspired by the Enchanted Forest colouring book by Johanna Bastford. 

‘Bunny in a Magic Forest’ Zinaida Kazban


The winner is Denise Forsyth for ‘Strawberries’ with each strawberry formed from 32-count red linen worked with pulled thread embroidery.

‘Strawberries’ Denise Forsyth


As previously mentioned, this is all about transforming an existing colouring-in design into a needlework project.  This year our themed category sees not only a winning entry, but also a Special Mention Prize.

The winner of the Colouring-In Challenge is Jessica Grimm.  Her Fox is from the book Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom and incorporates surface embroidery, three-dimensional stitches and wired stumpwork. 

‘Fox’ Jessica Grimm

Special Mention prize for the Colouring In Challenge goes to Jenni Davill for replicating some of her granddaughter’s drawings into needlework.  This piece has been made as a surprise Christmas gift for her granddaughter to be given to her later this year.    

‘Granddaughter Drawings’ Jenni Davill


This is where we asked Beating Around The Bush participants to vote for their favourite entry.   We are pleased to announce the winner of the People’s Choice award is – Victoria Laine who won a second prize for her piece ‘Green Parrot’ from the ‘Stitching Up a Storm – Surface Embroidery’ category. 

‘Green Parrot’ Victoria Laine


Selected from among our already awarded category winners, it was the task of our esteemed judges to carefully consider each winning entry on its own merits and make the very difficult decision of choosing just one overall best entry.  A huge thank you to our major sponsor, Au ver a Soie, who have once again generously donated a magnificent set of Soie d’Alger Silk Threads valued in excess of AU$3,500.

Special thanks must also go to all of our sponsors who contributed to both the Stitch Your Heart Out Competition and to Beating Around The Bush overall.  Without all of their kind donations and in kind support, much of what we do would not be possible.

Now drum roll please . . . The winner of the Stitch Your Heart Out 2016 Grand Prize is Zinaida Kazban from the UK for her winning entry in the Design Divas Raised Embroidery category, the enchanting ‘Bunny in a Magic Forest’.

‘Bunny in a Magic Forest’ Zinaida Kazban

In Zinaida’s own words: ‘I sketched the bunny from one of my photographs and surrounded him with magical plants and flowers. The bunny is peering out of the bushes, frightened by a viewer, but still curious about the world opening up on the other side of the frame.’

Congratulations to all our winners and remember, time flies when you’re having needlework fun, so why not get started on your 2018 Stitch You Heart entries today!


       Looking for a fabulous Christmas gift to razzle &
          dazzle a fellow needlework lover this year?

We have compiled a list of the best-selling Inspirations / Stitch.ology items for 2016 and the great news is they are all still available for purchase.  Plus if you order them this week week, no matter where in the world you live, they should arrive before Christmas.

                                 2016 BEST SELLERS


‘Monograms - The Art Of Embroidered Letters’ by Susan O’Connor

A hand stitched monogram has a timeless appeal and provides a source of infinite fascination for the embroiderer.  Book includes eight beautiful projects ranging from tiny cross stitch sachets, to an exquisite handbag and sumptuous wool and cashmere blanket.  Alphabets and pattern sheets are also provided.

Terrific gift for anyone who has an interest in stitching letters or creating personalised items.

> To Purchase Monograms click HERE.

‘Inspirations – A Passion For Needlework’

Showcases exquisite and innovative hand stitched pieces presented like never before.  Twelve brand new masterpieces with each project revealing its own story through galleries of lush photography, evocative imagery and meticulous how-to instructions, all for your stitching pleasure.

The perfect book for anyone who uses a needle and thread or has an appreciation for needlework.

> To Purchase A Passion For Needlework click HERE.

Home Sweet Home – An Embroidered Workbox’ by Carolyn Pearce

Discover the hidden secrets of this exquisite embroidered workbox.  This charming English cottage, beautifully decorated with a garden of stitches, opens to reveal 9 gorgeous accessories and includes storage for all your notions.

Great gift for anyone who already has it all.

> To Purchase ‘Home Sweet Home’ click HERE.


Honey Bee by Alison Cole is a beautiful goldwork motif to frame. 

Kit includes: fabric, needles and threads.  For instructions please purchase a copy of Inspirations issue #90.

> To Purchase ‘Honey Bee’ kit click HERE.
> To Purchase Inspirations issue 90 click HERE.

Chatelaine’ by Susan O’Connor is one of the most exquisite and popular set of needlework accessories ever published by Inspirations.  Kit includes fabrics, mother of pearl rings, glass head pins, bead, ribbon, paillettes Au ver au soie threads and needles.  For instructions please purchase a copy of Inspirations issue #89.

> To Purchase ‘Chatelaine’ kit click HERE.
> To Purchase Inspirations issue 89 click HERE.

‘Modern Crewel’ by Susan Porter is a unique combination of a traditional design stitched with contemporary colours.

Kit includes: fabrics (unprinted), felt, beads, embroidery threads (excludes sewing thread) and needles.  For instructions please purchase a copy of Inspirations issue #90.

> To Purchase ‘Modern Crewel’ kit click HERE.
> To Purchase Inspirations issue 90 click HERE.


The World’s Most Beautiful Needlework Calendar.

Be inspired all year round with this stunning 16 month wall calendar featuring exquisite projects from Inspirations Magazine. 

> To Purchase Inspirations 2016/17 Calendar click HERE.

‘Dandelyne™ Mini Hoops’ are tiny replicas of the real thing and are available as either a wearable brooch or can hang from a chain so that you have a perfect, personalised piece of embroidered jewellery.

> Browse our range of Mini Hoops HERE.


You may have noticed that quite a few winning entries from ‘Stitch Your Heart Out’ first appeared right here in ‘What Are You Stitching’ well before they became famous.  Plus we have it on good authority that the Inspirations editorial team have approached one or two people after seeing their work in Embroidery News, So it’s fair to say this segment is a talent scout for beautiful needlework!  Based on all that, could it be that some of this week’s projects might one day be famous too?

Let’s start with Jane Page from England who has created these enchanting holders:

‘Dear All, I thought that you might like to see the spectacles case and key holder I completed.  I bought the gorgeous butterfly buttons online and had to find a project to use them on!   I have been embroidering since I was a child and always loved creating things and used to dress tiny dolls in dresses made of things like foxglove flowers! Many years ago I found that I no longer wanted to just do embroidery kits and started to design my own things. 

I love freestyle embroidery with mainly long and short stitches but I also really love stumpwork and I enjoy recycling items - I will buy a box at a car boot sale with the idea of making a padded embroidered top or I recently found a base for a footstool just crying out for an embroidered top.

At the moment I am working on a series of seven pictures of our local countryside (idea came from seven rather lovely matching frames bought in a sale!) I have completed five and am working on the sixth so will send photo's when I finally finish - this project has taken a couple of years so far as I missed many months this year through illness.  I would like to think that after I am long gone there is something of beauty left behind that someone will hopefully treasure.  With All Best Wishes from the UK, Jane.’

Thank you Jane, isn’t it amazing how often a beautiful designs starts with a single element you fall in love with and then everything flows from there.  We love what you have created here, they are wonderful. 

Next up is another talented stitcher from the UK, Kim Stapleton.

Hello Embroidery News, I recently stitched this Blue Tit project. I worked it from photographs taken at different angles.  It is mainly long and short stitch with stem stitch outlining and bullion knots. It’s the first time I have done a project from scratch and photographs.  I plan to do one of a wren when time permits.  Kim Stapleton, England.

Wow Kim… you could be another Trish Burr in the making; that is a beautiful bird you have created here, terrific shading, lovely textures, well done!

Colleen Hodgkin from Australia has sent in these amazing photos:

Hi there, I live in Adelaide, and have been stitching since I could hold a needle. I had one of those 'mothers who could sew' (weren't they all, back in the day?) and watched her make our clothes as soon as I could see over the top of the table. I made my first doll's dress by hand at 4 1/2, and got on the machine at 5, as soon as my foot could reach the pedal.

Embroidery was not a big thing for me until I had children. I started with smocking and have had several designs published in AS&E - Sherbet Fizz in Issue 59, Water Baby in Issue 63 and Periwinkle in issue 96.  There is also an article on me and my dolls in issue 94. 

My son was recently married and I offered to make some clutch bags for the bride and bridesmaids. I drew the embroidery design myself and it is stitched on silver duchess-lookalike satin with Madeira silk in chain stitch. Each bag took me around 7 hours to stitch and it took several hours to put each clutch bag together. I was inspired by a picture in one of your previous issues of Embroidery News of bride and bridesmaids sporting their embroidered bags, and thought it was a lovely idea to give them a gift they would treasure for a long time.  The girls were thrilled with their bags.  Kind regards Colleen. 

Colleen these clutch bags are just stunning!  What precious keepsakes you created for the bride and bridesmaids and such a special contribution to the wedding itself.  We’re not surprised the girls were thrilled with their bags, you could well have taken orders from the rest of the wedding guests too!

Lucky last for this week is Marjorie Collins from Canada who has also created a special project for a wedding:

Hi, my name is Marjorie and since retirement in 1999, I have lived in a wonderful small town two hours east of Toronto, Ontario called Picton.  I have always used my head and hands to create everything, from my family's clothes to painting watercolour or acrylic pictures. I also quilt with a bit of knitting thrown in over the years, but above all I have become obsessed with embroidery and each day I look forward to my time with a needle.

A year ago my grandson announced his engagement and I decided to create a special embroidered gift for he and his bride to be.  The material is black silk dupioni stitched with white and off-white silk thread.  They were thrilled with the finished product.  I have just returned from their wedding in Cuba and celebrate my 80th birthday in November.

Hope you enjoy this as much as I did in creating it. The original design is from a book called Secret Garden by Johanna Basford and I put the design into my computer and changed many parts to simplify what I had in my mind's eye and make it my own.  I love Inspirations magazine and Embroidery News and wait impatiently for both.

Firstly Marjorie HAPPY 80th BIRTHDAY for November!  Secondly how wonderful it must have been for both you and your grandson for you to attend the wedding in Cuba, it sounds spectacular.  Thirdly how clever are you to customise a design on the computer and then end up with this beautiful present for them!  It really is a credit to you.

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


Over 175 Digital Patterns Now Available

The liberation of the Inspirations Magazine library is underway!  Each week new projects from previous issues of Inspirations are added as Digital Downloads for your stitching pleasure.  We even take requests!  If there is a particular project you would like to purchase as a Digital Download, email us at and we’ll add it to the list.

> Browse recently added Digital Patterns HERE.

Beautiful Needlework.  Sold Here.


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CALL US - If you have any questions regarding an Inspirations subscription or just want to have a chat, 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 us anytime at



In case you haven’t yet, it’s time to turn the page on your Inspirations 2016/2017 Calendar to November.

The project featured for the month of November is ‘Little Bits’ by Barbara Jackson from Inspirations issue #78.  These dainty crewel embroidered accessories may be small in size but they are enormous in appeal, and are sure to delight everyone who sees them.

The Inspirations calendar is not just the world’s most beautiful needlework eye candy; our goal is to make sure every project featured is available for you to stitch yourself.


> Printed Copies of Issue 78 Available For Purchase HERE
> Digital Pattern for Little Bits Now Available For Purchase HERE

‘Berries For The Birds’ Kit Now Available

Berries For The Birds’ by Lorna Bateman is included in our book ‘A Passion For Needlework’.  Featuring luscious stumpwork berries on a linen pincushion, the kit includes everything you need to recreate this stunning piece, even including the wooden base.

> To purchase the kit, click HERE.


Thread painted flowers



From Canevas Folies


Vintage stumpwork thistle 


" A winner is a dreamer who never gives up."
~ Nelson Mandela ~


What: Opus Anglicanum | Masterpieces of English Medieval Embroidery
Where: Room 38 | Victoria & Albert Museum
When: to 5 Feb
Details: Click HERE

What: Undressed | A Brief History of Underwear
Where: Room 40 | Victoria & Albert Museum
When: to 12 Mar
Details: Click HERE

What: RSN | Stories in Stitch Exhibition
Where: Hampton Court Palace
When: to 31 Mar
Details: Click HERE

What: Embroiderer’s Guild of Victoria, Bendigo Branch | Embellish, Enhance, Enrich 25th Anniversary Exhibition
Where: St Andrews Hall | 26 Myers Street Bendigo, Victoria
When : 11 to 13 Nov
Details: Frances – 03 5441 8735

What: West Country Quilt & Textile Show
Where: Exhibition Centre, University of the West of England | Filton, Bristol
When: 11 to 13 Nov
Details: Click HERE

What: The Bobbin Tree Opens | Jenny McWhinney’s Embroidery Boutique | NEW DATE
Where: 31 Payneham Road College Park , South Australia
When: 22 Nov @ 10:00

What: Albury Wodonga Doll, Bear & Hobby Show
Where: Mirambeena Community Centre | Martha Mews Lavington, New South Wales
When: 26 & 27 Nov
Details: Click HERE

What: Bungendore Quilt Exhibition
Where: Bungendore War Memorial Hall | Molonglo Street Bungendore, Australian Capital Territory
When: 26 & 27 Nov
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