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ISSUE 91  | MAY 26, 2017

Hi <<First Name>>,

Needlework Heroes – Part 2

Last week we celebrated the needlework heroes from the Guild of Zimbabwe and shared their story of stitching through adversity where their grit and determination to keep needlework alive, transcends their day to day hardships.  Many EN readers were touched and inspired by their Zimbabwean sister’s plight, and we have a follow up story below with information as to how you can help.

It seems that generosity is part of a stitcher’s DNA... whenever an opportunity presents itself to give of our time, talent or needlework treasures, we are a very willing and able community.  It’s a truly wonderful quality we all share.

We are all Needlework Heroes in our own way, helping to spread the gift of needlework into our neighbourhoods and communities.  Whether it’s stitching a gift for others, participating in the local ‘stitch and chat’ class, or sharing your work with others online in forums like this one, needlework is in so many ways, a gift that keeps on giving…

Share your needlework journey with us at


In response to last week’s feature extract from Hazel Blomkamp’s article, ‘Stitching through Adversity’, we heard from Judi Taibleson in Ohio, USA who has her own connection with the needlework of Zimbabwe . . .

‘I was very moved by Hazel Blomkamp's article, ‘Stitching through Adversity’ as several years ago my husband and I visited Zimbabwe to see Victoria Falls.  We were so lucky to meet many warm and strong people and to see some of the breathtaking natural beauty there.’

‘I wanted to share with you two applique pieces I bought whilst there.  Handwritten notes were tucked into the applique on one of the panels and describe what is going on in some of the scenes.’ 

‘The artists took what little was available to them and with their skills, imaginations and hearts communicated their thoughts, feelings and culture.   Even amidst scarcity, nothing will stop people from creating beautiful things and sharing themselves. Thank you as always for your truly inspirational magazine. Best wishes, Judi.’

We heard from several people who were saddened and uplifted by last week’s feature story about the lengths the women in Zimbabwe have to go through to enjoy a pastime so many of us take for granted. The idea of a ‘Thread Bank’ was put forward by someone in the Embroidery News Community as many of us have left-over or unopened and unused threads that lie around in our baskets and cupboards just waiting for that one project that often doesn’t eventuate! After working through the logistics with Hazel, if you’d like to contribute to our Thread Bank, your donation can be mailed to the address below and we’ll ensure it arrives in Zimbabwe safely.

Inspirations Studios
PO Box 10177
Adelaide Business Hub  SA  5000

Apart from the generosity in terms of supplies, the other aspect to this is the connection we’re able to make with one another, all in the name of needlework. We’d love you to include a hand-written note, an email address or even a photo of yourself that we’ll package with the threads that will make our donation a truly personal one!   



Over the past few years, an ambitious project to re-fresh each title in the bestselling A-Z series has been taking place.  The final book to be refreshed in the 20-title series has just come off the printing press and now completes the set.

For the first time, ALL TWENTY refreshed titles are in stock and available for purchase though our website.

The refreshed titles feature easier to read layouts plus the old spiral binding (which would often tear pages) has been replaced with new Flexi-Bind technology.  These new spines are so strong, you can flex the books open as far back as you like, and they lay flat without the spine breaking.

The A-Z series are among the most comprehensive manuals for needlework ever published and are suitable for beginners through to the advanced stitcher.  Here you will find every stitch and technique fully explained with step-by-step photographs and clear instructions.

Whichever technique you need help with, there is a new, refreshed A-Z title to help!

> Browse all 20 A-Z Titles - Available In Print HERE


Our warehouse recently discovered a carton of unopened brand-new copies of Inspirations #46, and a limited quantity is now available for purchase via our website.

Inspirations issue #46 features a pretty silk ribbon cushion, a wonderful project based on the tickling game ‘Round and Round the Garden’, a vibrant child’s blanket decorated with a cheeky duckling plus lots more.

> Inspirations #46 In Print – Available HERE



Finding just the right outfit for a baby boy when it’s time for a special occasion, can be a challenge.  Thank goodness we have Julie Graue, who has created the stunning project ‘First Mate’ from Inspirations #94.

Julie has been part of the Inspirations family almost since the beginning, at first as a regular contributor to Australian Smocking and Embroidery magazine and then also in Inspirations magazine.  Her fabulous designs are always extremely popular and range from gorgeous baby bags to charming sewing accessories.

First Mate is a beautiful example of classic baby clothing.  Elegant, traditional styling, superb fabric and the addition of a timeless monogram make this perfect for a Christening, naming day or any special occasion for a baby boy.

The design could also be easily adapted into a dress for a little girl by replacing the lower pants section with a full skirt.

Nothing is left to chance with the instructions for First Mate with one and a half pattern sheet pages dedicated to all pattern pieces, construction information and a complete alphabet for the monogramming.  Not to mention the embroidery instructions which include detailed step-by-step instructions for the eyelets and more.

Julie is renowned for designing the most spectacular garments for the little people in our lives, and ‘First Mate’ is no exception with special attention to detail given to things like piping on the collar edge and finishing the sleeve and leg bands, self-covered buttons on the back, popper studs on the inside legs for easy dressing and changing, pleated pants etc.

Finished off with a personalised monogram, First Mate is sure to keep any little man lucky enough to wear it, shipshape!


Step 1 – Purchase Inspirations #94

First Mate’ by Julie Graue is a delightful baby romper with monogram and crown.

> Inspirations issue #94 - Available In Print HERE

Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for ‘First Mate’ includes everything you need to re-create your own romper: fabric, interfacing, piping cord, self-cover buttons, popper studs, water-soluble film, embroidery thread and needle.

> First Mate Ready-To-Stitch Kit Available HERE



Prized Possessions by Julie Graue is an elegant jewellery roll featuring satin stitch and eyelets on natural linen.

> Prized Possessions In Digital – Pattern Download Available HERE
> Prized Possessions In Print – Inspirations #69 Available HERE


> Browse projects by Julie Graue available in digital HERE


Learn all about the story behind Julie’s passion for embroidery and smocking in the contributor profile ‘Julie Graue’ in Inspirations #94 – available for purchase HERE.

Julie also runs her own online ‘made to order’ business on Etsy, where you can purchase her amazing garments either readymade or custom order.  To visit click HERE.


Giving’ is defined as freely transferring the possession of something to someone.  This week’s WAYS celebrates the gifting of something that has time, treasure and talent poured into it – the gift of needlework!

Firstly, the gift of stitched cards from Vicky Jackson in the UK.

‘My mother was a professional dressmaker and so needles and threads were part of my growing up and my first effort at stitching was to ‘operate’ on my teddy bear and carefully sew up a hole.  I was about four at the time.  The first stitches I learned were chain and stem stitch which I used to embroider Rupert Bear onto my brother’s scarf when I was just nine.’ 

‘I thought you might be amused to see two bird projects, both of which are self-designed.  The eight machine embroidered birds above I did as a birthday card for my great niece.

A partridge in a pear tree was made into a Christmas card by my computer savvy husband.  Best wishes from damp and breezy Hampshire, Vicky.’

Now to someone whose crazy quilting we’ve seen many times in EN that has made way for Turkey Stitch in a very special gift for a friend…

'Several years ago I made this for a friend who had lost her dog. It is an embroidery pattern by Di van Niekerk and my friend said it looked just like her Emmy. I think I did a million turkey stitches on it! Kathleen Klein from Springtime Michigan, USA.’

Next we have a stitcher we first met in EN #84, Tanya from Minnesota in the US whose needlework journey was inspired by a gift she received.

I started to embroider about a year and a half ago after being inspired by a wedding gift from my grandma that I found while cleaning out a closet. She had embroidered for my husband and I pillow cases with flowers and doves holding ribbons. I remember opening it at my bridal shower and being overwhelmed with emotion. 

So I decided I wanted to learn to stitch and keep the tradition going. Here are some more samples of my work to date, I just hope that someday I will be able to touch someone's heart like my grandmother did for my sisters and I. Tanya.’

To someone else who’s no stranger to WAYS or gifting her stitching, Ann Martin from New Zealand.

We first met Ann back in EN #71 when we saw the quilts she’d made for both her stepmother and granddaughter. 

‘I thoroughly enjoyed stitching this hedgehop which was designed by the Art of the Needle. Holly the Hedgehog is a gift for my friend who just adores hedgehogs. Ann Martin.’

Lastly, the work of June Felt, a very proud great grandmother from Queensland, Australia who’s stitched up some joy for her two great granddaughters.

‘I made pillows for two of my great grand girls using Jenny McWhinney’s ‘Clowning Around’ from Inspirations #73 and they just loved them. To see the delight on their faces when they received the pillows was such a great joy for me. I have heard that another of my great children would like their own pillow as well, so it looks as though another one needs to be made!’

‘I have already completed Forest Kingfisher (which was featured in EN #72) and am currently working on David Smyth's Garden and have decided to make each of the projects from ‘A Passion for Needlework’ over the coming years. I love your magazine and newsletters. Regards, June.’

Vicky, Kathleen, Tanya, Ann and June, the time, talent and treasure that each of you have poured into your stitching make them each something truly special.

Have you given or received the gift of needlework? We’d love to see it! Please email photos of your gift as well as the story behind the gift to



Become part of the Inspirations family by subscribing to the magazine... we’d love to have you join us!


PRINT | For a print subscription fill in our secure online form with your details HERE.

DIGITAL | Digital subscriptions can be purchase 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 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


Last week projects included fabulous flowers, radiant ribbons and bold blankets!


Step 1 – Purchase Inspirations #94

Perfect Petals’ by Helen Eriksson features lush silk ribbon roses on a velvet ground.

> Inspirations issue #94 - Available In Print HERE

Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for ‘Perfect Petals’ includes everything you need to re-create your own superb swag of roses: fabric, embroidery thread, silk ribbons and needles.

> Perfect Petals Ready-To-Stitch Kit Available HERE


Bring the beauty of flowers and more to your world with these  delightful designs by Helen:


Still Life with Flowers’ by Helen Eriksson is a sumptuous bowl of flowers worked with silk ribbon.

> Still Life with Flowers In Print – Issue #89 Available HERE



Learn the basics of Ribbon Embroidery with this step-by-step guide, perfect for beginners. 

> Learn Ribbon Embroidery – Digital Booklet Available HERE


To help bring some inspiration to your next blanket project, our book Blissful Beginnings is now available to order online.

Blissful Beginnings features seven blankets and three bonus gift projects with each design presented with beautiful photography, clear and concise instructions for the embroidery and construction, and detailed diagrams.

> Blissful Beginnings Book – Available In Print HERE


Getting Wet’ by Carol Hawkins and Jenny McWhinney from Inspirations #66 features two vibrant children’s blankets with creatures right at home in water.

> Getting Wet In Digital – Pattern Download Available HERE


Playful Companions’ by Jenny McWhinney from Inspirations #28 is a wonderful blanket designed to capture the heart of the true dog lover.

> Playful Companions In Digital – Pattern Download Available HERE


By Peggy



By Miriam


By Rairai


" The purpose of life is to discover your gift.
The work of life is to develop it.
The meaning of life is to give your gift away.
~ David Viscott ~


What: Jenny Adin-Christie | Fine Hand Embroidery Workshops
Where: Our Lady of Fatima Church Hall | 10 Foss Street Palmyra, Western Australia
When: Registrations Close 30 May
Details: Click HERE

What: The Needles Excellency Exhibition
Where: Ashmolean Museum | Beaumont Street, Oxford 
When: to 4 Jun
Details: Click HERE

What: Holy Stitches | Exhibition of Antique Embroidered Ecclesiastical Textile
Where: Embroidery House | 170 Wattletree Road Malvern, Victoria
When: to 8 Jun
Details: Click HERE

What: Quilters’ Guild of SA Exhibition | Dare to Differ 2017
Where: Galley M | 287 Diagonal Road Oaklands Park, South Australia
When: Online Applications Available to 9 Jun
Details: Click HERE

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: Stitch at Home Challenge | Summer of Love
Where: San Francisco School of Design & Needlework
When: Deadline 15 Aug
Details: Click HERE

What: The Needles Excellency | Raised Work Embroidery
Where: Ashmolean Museum | Beaumont Street Oxford, UK
When: 27 May
Details: Click HERE

What: Wangaratta Contemporary Textile Award Exhibition
Where: Wangaratta Art Gallery | 56 Oven Street Wangaratta, Victoria
When: 3 Jun to 6 Aug
Details: Click HERE &

What: Hand & Lock | Haute Couture Tambour Beading Workshop - Chicago
Where: Chicago Fashion Incubator | 111 North State Street Chicago, Illinois
When: 5 to 7 Jun
Details: Click HERE

What: Hand & Lock | Heritage, The Now & The Future of Embroidery Conference - Chicago
Where: Claudia Cassidy Theatre – Chicago Cultural Centre | 78 E Washington Street Chicago, Illinois
When: 8 Jun
Details: Click HERE

What: 2017 Alice Springs Beanie Festival
Where: Araluen Arts Centre
When: 23 to 26 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

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