All Stitched Up! | Issue 130

23rd March 2018

Hi There,

Without taking that all-important first step, or first stitch, none of the others will happen.

Once you’ve determined what project you want to tackle with needle and thread, you need to work out where to begin and how you’ll define the point at which the piece is finished.

Tom Casano refers to the distance between where you begin and finish a project as ‘The Gap’ and it’s here where the ‘real’ work takes place! It’s here that you determine what steps you need to take to get from where you are now to where you want to be, and it’s not hard for that journey to feel overwhelming in a very short space of time! But no matter how big or small the project in front of you is, the ONLY way to complete it is to take the first step by making that first stitch.

Sometimes it’s the thought of gathering unfamiliar supplies, learning a new technique or contemplating the number of hours involved in a project that can make the stitching journey ahead feel like a thousand miles. But like any journey, it begins with just one step.

So, go on, order that new supply, research that new technique and break down the hours of stitching in front of you into manageable minutes.

Like anything, it’s practise that encourages competence and once you’ve found the courage to take that first step, you’ll find yourself running in no time at all!

Is there a first step you need to take in order to start, or advance, your stitching journey? NOW is the time to do so and remember, no matter how small that first step, the journey that lays ahead will be well worth it.

We’d love to hear what first step you need to take to complete the next project on your stitching bucket list, so email us at - we look forward to hearing from you!

World of Needlework
The Lady and the Unicorn, an Antipodean Exhibition
A major medieval work of textile art has landed in Sydney, Australia. The Art Gallery of New South Wales is hosting the Lady and the Unicorn tapestry until the 24th of June 2018.

Image courtesy Art Gallery of NSW
Around 1500, a member of the Le Viste family commissioned a tapestry for the Chateau de Boussac, the family seat in Creuse, France. Scholars are unsure if the piece was designed to reinforce the family’s political ties to French royalty or as a romantic gift for a recent bride. It is evident from the scale, content and beauty of the work that it has always been important, primarily from a domestic, family point of view and now, from a national, historical one.
Worked in wool, the piece consists of six panels vibrantly coloured and designed to impress.
The work was acquired by the Musee de Cluny in the late 1800s and resides in the heart of Paris, surrounded by medieval architecture. Restoration, conservation and cleaning have preserved the piece for the future and stabilized it enough to enable transportation.

'Sight', c1500 (detail), from the series 'The lady and the unicorn', Musée de Cluny – Musée national du Moyen Âge, Paris
The central figure is a Lady, flanked by a Lion and Unicorn. Each panel is unique and richly layered in medieval heraldic, religious, secular and bestial symbology. This paves the way for many interpretations of the work, an approach that is encouraged by the director of the Musee de Cluny, Elizabeth Tauret-Delahaye.

Tapestries of this period were commissioned by wealthy patrons and produced by artisans working in collectives. It’s likely that the Lady and the Unicorn was designed in Paris and produced in the Southern Netherlands or France.

Guests at the exhibition will be able to get close to the work, all the better to see the workmanship of the original artisans and that of subsequent conservators. The tapestry will be brought to life with a music session featuring commissioned pieces that include the playing of a portative organ, as illustrated in one of the panels.

'Hearing', c1500 (detail), from the series 'The lady and the unicorn' Musée de Cluny – Musée national du Moyen Âge, Paris

Finding a temporary home in Sydney means that many people will have the opportunity to view the work and enjoy its splendour. It’s amazing to think that an Old World piece is now on display in a country that wasn’t even on the map when the first threads were put to the loom. We can only image what the Le Viste family would make of it all.

For exhibition details and interpretive information, head HERE

Needlework News
More Jane Nicholas Masterpieces…
Last week we announced the release of a limited selection of Jane Nicholas projects as digital download patterns. The first three are this week followed up with three more for your stitching pleasure.

‘Hint of Spring’ – Inspirations #77
‘Hint of Spring’ features a bumble bee visiting an elegant California poppy; ‘Elizabethan Dragonflies’ is an evening bag adorned with three majestic dragonflies and ‘A Scottish Thistle’ is just that – a Scottish Thistle adorning the top of a trinket pot.


Hint of Spring


Elizabethan Dragonflies


A Scottish Thistle

The Art of Felting & Silk Ribbon Embroidery

Following on from the review of Di van Niekerk’s latest book in Inspirations #97, we now have stock available to purchase.

Di teams up with Toody Cassidy to explore the marriage of silk ribbon embroidery and felted backgrounds, which produce some totally unique and delightful results.

With wonderful photography and easy to follow instructions, this is definitely a book worth adding to your reference library.

Classes with Di
If you love Di’s new book, you’ll love the news that she is returning to Beating Around the Bush this year to teach three superb projects straight out of its pages. We’re so glad she’s back, just in time to help celebrate the 10th BATB!

Places for Di’s classes are still available, so jump online and register today.


Beating Around the Bush 2018

Embroidered Architecture
We love hearing about new and innovative ways people are using needle and thread. In Europe a talented couple have been stitching their way from town to town, and creating embroidered art based on the cityscapes they encounter.

Image courtesy of
You can read all about the amazing pieces Elin Petronella and Charles Henry have been creating in a recent article posted by My Modern Met HERE. They also run the design studio Le Kadre where you can learn more about this talented couple on their website HERE.
Have Your Say

Travel Responses
Thank you to all our very knowledgeable and well-travelled stitchers out there who have emailed in with suggestions for the fellow needlework travellers among us. Here are some updates to recent request:
Alicante, Spain

In response to Gisèle McNabb’s request for suggestions when travelling to Alicante, Spain:

'Most embroidery supplies in Spain are sold in ‘mercerias’ which not only sell sewing-embroidery supplies, but also many other things. Also, Gisele might like to see Encaje de bolillos, (handmade lace), and hand embroidered on silk ‘Manton de Manila’ or the beautiful “Mantillas” (also called chalinas) embroidery on tulle. Hope this helps, Mireya Smith.’

Mantilla: A traditional Spanish lace or silk veil worn over the head and shoulders

In response to Julie-Anne Rogers' request for suggestions when travelling to Cuba:

‘Julie-Anne's request for Cuban destinations jogged a memory of mine. I'm a bobbin lace maker (and dabbler in many other fiber arts) and in the November 2016 New England Lace Guild newsletter was an article by a lace maker who visited Cuba. You can download the newsletter HERE and read more about the author's trip half way through her blog post HERE. Happy travels to Julie-Anne! Cheers, Gina Hart’

Photo of Adriana Martinez, lace maker in Paseo del Prado, Cuba
New for this week is a request from Connie Kellogg:
Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Stockholm

‘In May, my sister is taking me for a short trip to Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Stockholm. I am so excited but am in need of help with suggestions for stores, museums, and/or exhibits of the needle arts. If anyone can help I promise to return the favor for anyone visiting near San Francisco! XXOO, Connie.’

If you have any suggestions or advice for Connie, please email us at

Featured Project
Aurora by Christine Burton
In keeping with the Inspirations #97 theme of ‘New Horizons’, this week we welcome a new contributor to the magazine with her Jacobean inspired crewelwork pouch ‘Aurora’.

On the front of the pouch Christine Burton has created a gorgeous flower in full bloom, which has inadvertently caught the attention of a rather curious snail.

The back depicts a miniature version of the same bloom with the pouch containing handy pockets on the inside, a zipper to keep everything secure with a multi-coloured tassel and twisted cord to finish it off.

Christine has done a beautiful job of not just the needlework itself, but also designing a striking and contemporary motif using the perfect colour palette to really make it pop.

We asked Christine where she got the idea and her inspirations for Aurora:

‘The design for Aurora was part of a project I completed for a Crewel Master Class at the Victorian Embroiderer’s Guild. The pouch was actually a small accessory I made to complement the major piece I created which was a Sewing Box.

As a 17th century English embroidery enthusiast it was always going be the case that I would blend my love of the Elizabethan scrolling vines and florals and re-interpret them in Crewelwork. Using the burgundy background fabric gave it all a modern twist and tied both the pieces together. I have a Pinterest page HERE which gives you some insight as to my treasure trove of inspiration!’

We love that you created Aurora as a pouch which is such a practical application, are many of your projects finished the same way?

‘I love to ‘finish’ my projects myself whether that be framing, or construction and I am always on the lookout for interesting ideas to try. One of my current UFO’s involves sea shells rescued from a frozen dinner of scallops mornay! I do like a practical outcome but mainly it is all about the embroidery and what suits the project the best.’

What is your favourite type of needlework?

‘For the time-being I am totally contented with English embroidery from the Tudor and Stuart periods and I also adore the time of the Arts and Crafts Movement. So, Crewel, Metal Thread, Stumpwork and Blackwork are the techniques I love.’

It’s not surprising that Christine is such an accomplished stitcher, in just six years she has completed over 11 certified classes studying at the Victoria Embroiderers’ Guild, the Embroiderers’ Guild of America and the RSN and currently holds certificates in Crewel Master Class, Intermediate Embroidery and Technical Hand Embroidery. In 2017 she branched out into teaching for the very first time and currently runs blackwork classes in her home state of Victoria, Australia.

Well done Christine for pursing needlework with such passion and vigour, your hours of training and dedication to the craft are all evident in ‘Aurora’ and we’re thrilled that the Inspirations community can now be part of your journey.
Make Your Own Aurora

Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

‘Aurora’ by Christine Burton from Inspirations #97 features timeless crewel designs on a handy, zipped pouch.


Inspirations Issue 97



Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Aurora includes everything you need to re-create this gorgeous pouch: Fabric (unprinted), bias binding, interfacing, zip, embroidery threads and needles.


Auora – i97 Kit

Looking for More Pouches?
Snow Belle

‘Snow Belle’ by Anna Scott from Inspirations #64 is an elegant royal blue silk bag, decorated with a spray of beaded flowers.


Snow Belle


Inspirations Issue 64

Jacobus Rex

‘Jacobus Rex’ by Hazel Blomkamp from Inspirations #87 is an elegant tablet cover utilising beautiful weaving techniques


Inspirations Issue 87


‘Elegance’ by Julie Graue from Inspirations #58 is a stylish silk makeup purse with cute roses surrounded by forget-me-nots.


Inspirations Issue 58


‘Tulip’ by Christine P. Bishop from Inspirations #90 is an exquisite white linen sachet featuring an elegant, single tulip motif filled with delicate Hedebo needlelace.




Inspirations Issue 90

What Are You Stitching?
Inspirations #97 introduces Christine Burton as a first-time contributor and this week’s ‘What Are You Stitching?’ debuts the work of Armande, Bolivia, Deb and Jacqueline as we see what they’ve created with needle and thread….
Armande Cannet | France
‘I'm a self-taught embroidery teacher, having taught nearly 100 lovely students over the last 18 years. We work on projects from Inspirations as they offer a vast source of techniques as well as introducing us to fabulous embroiderers such as Hazel Blomkamp, Alison Cole, Jenny McWhinney, Susan O'Connor, Di van Niekerk and so many others!’

‘Some of the stitches the magazine has introduced to us such as Split Stitch, Van Dyck and Burden were absolutely unknown from our traditional French courses.
It was like a revolution and your projects have given me an exotic taste!’

‘You’ll recognize that many of my embroideries are from your publications and notice I’ve already completed something from the current issue of the magazine! I love Aurora’s design and how quickly I was able to complete the stitching. I used to receive the French edition of Inspirations and whilst I’m sorry that it is no longer available, remain one of your fans! Armande Cannet, a Haberdashery Store owner in France.’

Armande, what a privilege it is to have accompanied you throughout so much of your stitching journey! We look forward to what the future holds and hope that Inspirations will continue to inspire what you create with needle and thread.
Bolivia Vega | USA from Venezuela
‘I subscribed to Inspirations Magazine and All Stitched Up! just a few months ago and enjoy both immensely. I’m not surrounded by a circle of people that share my interest and passion for embroidery, but now have an online community that makes up for it!’

‘After seeing my first attempts at embroidery, my dad asked me to make him something symbolic of his native region of Asturias, Spain in Goldwork. I found the coat of arms of Asturias and decided I would try to do that for him.
I seriously underestimated the time it would take me to finish but once I completed it, I was pleased.
The text on the coat of arms reads: With this sign we defeat our enemies. With this sign we protect the innocent.’

‘It was really hard to bend tiny pieces of pearl purl into the letters in a kind of medieval look, but somehow managed to pull it off. I think my dad is going to like it. Thanks for offering such a beautiful source of beauty and the chance to learn about everyone else's work!’

Bolivia, your stitching is picture perfect to the coat of arms you found on the internet and we know your dad will treasure it! If you’d like to see more of Bolivia’s stitching, her Instagram page can be seen HERE.
Deb Houser | Italy
‘When I was much younger I did Cross Stitch which I enjoyed, then life got in the way and it was some years before I got back to it.

About five years ago, my niece told me she was expecting their first child and I once again got the urge to sew, so I thought I would attempt smocking. I joined classes at Bustle & Bows in Melbourne and met wonderful, like-minded individuals and made some instant friends. Like a drug, it grew and grew and whilst I continued to smock, I also branched out and tried my hand at making blankets, Threadpainting, Crewel Work and Heirloom Sewing.
I loved all of it and my group of friends grew and grew - such wonderful people!’

‘A year ago we moved to Italy and I very much miss my sewing friends, but still do my smocking and Threadpainting. I am looking for like-minded people here in Lucca, Tuscany to complete my sewing circle. I think I might need to improve my Italian first though!’

‘I still sew at home and have had many hours of enjoyment. I’m now currently working on smocking little outfits for my now three great nieces and one granddaughter - I call it ‘Stitching Ahead’! I may never be one of those wonderfully artistic sewers, but I will always get a great deal of pleasure making things for my family and friends, and with a new granddaughter, I still have many happy hours of stitching ahead!’

Deb, we love the joy you’ve received from the companionship stitching has afforded you and appreciate the time and talent you dedicate to stitching ahead. While you may not have designed what you’ve stitched, we think that what you’ve put your needle and thread to is every bit as wonderful and as artistic as the originals! We hope your Italian sewing circle is complete in no time at all.
Jacqueline Weemaels-Michiels| Belgium
‘My passion is peinture à l’aiguille – Needle Painting. My creations are a combination of different techniques, colours and textures and have been granted prizes in several national and international competitions.

I have had the opportunity to take part in textile challenges in Japan, France and Belgium. For one of the challenges we had to render a work by Marguerite Duras, a famous French writer.

I chose her book The Lover and used silk originating from Vietnam for the embroidery.

In 2011, I won first prize at the Bayeux Challenge. I entered an embroidery made with the very old point of Bayeux, which refers to the tapestery of Queen Mathilde (from the end of the 11th Century).

My field of daisies was exhibited during the European Heritage Days.’

Jacqueline, what an incredibly varied body of work your stitching portfolio includes! We’d love you to add Australia to your International Competition and enter our ‘Stitch Your Heart Out Challenge’ that coincides with Beating Around the Bush in October this year. Everything you need to know about entering the competition can be found HERE.

Are you yet to share your work with the All Stitched Up! Community? If so, we’d love to debut what you’ve created with needle and thread in an upcoming issue of the newsletter. Email photos of your work along with a few details about your stitching journey to - we can’t wait to welcome you!
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You May Have Missed
Make Your Own Marguerite

Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

Marguerite by Irina Rudneva is a fantastic three-dimensional, beaded white daisy with a sparkling crystal centre.


Inspirations Issue 97



Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Marguerite includes everything you need to re-create this charming beaded daisy: White linen (unprinted), 4-way stretch gold nylon spandex, stabiliser, wadding, leather, brooch finding, beads, embroidery threads and needles.


Marguerite – i97 Kit

Mother of Pearl

‘Mother of Pearl’ by Irina Rudneva from Inspirations #74 is a panel of majestic Russian pearl embroidery to decorate a wooden box, with a bonus pearl pouch project.


Mother of Pearl


Inspirations Issue 74


‘Precious’ by Irina Rudneva from Inspirations #85 is a magnificent beaded cuff with gemstones and pearls.



Antique Gold

‘Antique Gold’ by Liz Vickery from Inspirations #31 is a lavishly beaded evening bag.


Inspirations Issue 31

A-Z of Bead Embroidery

This comprehensive guide to bead embroidery features more than 30 stunning and versatile projects. Find out how to work tambour beading, beadpoint, padded beading, how to handle sequins and bugle beads, and so much more. Discover the best tools for the task and learn to identify different beads by their size, shape and finish.


A-Z of Bead Embroidery

This Week on Facebook

 This is just gorgeous.

 Just Beautiful!

"You’ll never know what you’re capable of until you take that first step."
~ ~
What's On
RSN Exhibition

The Royal School of Needlework’s Embellishment in Fashion

Royal School of Needlework
Hampton Court Palace Surrey, UK

Follow the Thread

Blue Mountain Embroiderers’ Exhibition

Braemar House and Gallery
104 Macquarie Road Springwood, New South Wales

Hanging Thread: Featuring Laura Tandesky
San Francisco School of Needlework & Design
Suite 604/360 Post Street, San Francisco
The Lady and the Unicorn Tapestries
Art Gallery of NSW | Upper Asian Gallery
Art Gallery Road, The Domain, Sydney
Shoreline Stitchers’ Showcase

Shoreline Stitchers’ Showcase | A Judged Needlework Exhibit & Boutique

South Coast Botanic Garden
26300 Crenshaw Blvd Palos Verdes, California

Needlework Show & Sale

2018 Woodlawn Needlework Show & Sale

Woodlawn & Pope-Leighey House
9000 Richmond Highway Alexandria, Virginia USA

Fibre Feast SA
Blackwood Memorial Hall
21 Coromandel Parade Blackwood, South Australia
Quilt Convention & Expo

The Australasian Quilt Convention & Expo

Royal Exhibition Building
9 Nicholson Street Carlton, Victoria

14 TO 21 APR | 10:00 TO 4:00
Unchartered | Textile & Mixed Media Works from Collective Notions

Steps Gallery

62 Lygon Street Carlton South, Victoria

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