All Stitched Up! | Issue 132

6th April 2018

Hi There,

Are you a starter or a finisher?

If you have a number of Stitching UFO’s (Un-Finished Objects) lying around, it may indicate that you’re not a finisher!

But why is it that finishing can be so hard?

Is it because we’ve enjoyed the project so much we don’t want it to end? Could it be that we’ve left the hardest components to last and don’t feel up to tackling them? Maybe it’s because we find choosing something new to stitch difficult, so we put off the inevitable as long as we can? Or is it simply because there are so many things to stitch and so few hours in each day that we’ve split our focus across one too many pieces?!

Whatever the reason, there’s definitely something to be said about taking a project from its outset right through to completion.

There’s a certain satisfaction that comes from seeing our finished work, something that spurs us on and reminds us that achieving anything with our needle and thread is indeed possible.

This instalment of All Stitched Up! ‘finishes’ our look at Inspirations #97 as we highlight the last project from this issue. Now if only we could say that about our stitching!

After pouring so much effort into each issue of the magazine, we’re always a little sad to come to the end of its cycle, but we know that with every ending there’s a new beginning just around the corner and we can’t wait to start unpacking Inspirations #98 with you in just a couple of weeks!

Stitch It Forward
5,000 Poppies

Starting with two daughters who wanted to honour their fathers who fought in World War II, Lynn Berry and Margaret Knight set out to ‘plant’ 120 crocheted poppies at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne, Australia for Remembrance Day in 2013. Since then, an official project was launched and ‘5,000 Poppies’ has seen a massive community outpouring of hundreds of thousands of poppies produced from tens of thousands of contributors aged from two right through to 102.

The poppies have been installed on en masse internationally and have become a tribute of respect and remembrance to those who have served in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations, their families and their communities.

To celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Armistice, 5,000 Poppies set the goal of collecting 50,000 poppies for the RSL 2018 Poppy Appeal and another 62,000 poppies for their installation at the Australian War Memorial for Remembrance Day 2018. The collection of these poppies, plus countless others, was completed well ahead of schedule and they are now seeking volunteers to help with planting, manning the installation and bump out of the event. If you’d like to volunteer to help bring these stitched poppies to life, more information is available on their website HERE, with Volunteer Applications due as soon as possible, but no later than 31 July.

From humble beginnings, 5,000 Poppies is an incredible testimony to the power of unison when stitchers the world over unite their needles and threads and produce something that wouldn’t be possible from an individual stitcher. It is the power of community and harmony in action and we’re incredibly honoured to be a part of this tribe!
Needlework News
DMC Collector's Tin

To celebrate the introduction of 35 new colours to their stranded cotton range, DMC have released an exclusive gold matte collector's tin, containing a skein of each new colour plus two free patterns.

The new threads, numbered 1-35 are in addition to the existing colours and bring the range to more than 500 different shades.

This six-strand, divisible thread is manufactured from double mercerised, long staple 100% cotton fibres and comes in 8m (8.7yd) skeins.

You can now purchase this limited-edition tin from our website, which contains 35 skeins plus a booklet with two free patterns incorporating the use of the new colours.

DMC Mouliné Spécial Collector's Tin

Jane Nicholas Collection
This week we present the final three digital patterns in our newly released collection of Jane Nicholas projects. This brings the total projects by Jane available digitally on our website to 11 – quite the collection of beauty and elegance.

Damselfly by Jane Nicholas – Inspirations #29
If you have never stitched a Jane Nicholas piece before, now is the perfect time to give it a try, and for those already immersed in her exquisite work, you can continue adding to your collection.


Gold Label


Extreme Knitting
If you think everything in the world is getting a little extreme, you may be right. Forget the Olympic Games, we now have the X Games where sports are taken to an extreme level. The Food Network took cooking to a whole new level with their TV show called Extreme Chef. Now it seems extreme is coming to knitting!

At one end of the spectrum we have 80-year-old Jan who knits with gigantic knitting needles using huge oversized yarn. You can watch her in action on Instagram HERE.

Then at the other extreme is Althea Crome, a self-confessed micro knitter, who has pioneered knitting at a 1:12 scale and creates the most spectacular pieces, so small she creates her own knitting needles which have a diameter of .01 inches! You can check out Althea’s work on her website HERE.
Featured Project
Cherry Delight
When someone has passion, it’s a complete game changer. Nothing trumps passion. Two artists side by side of equal skill, knowledge and experience are quickly separated by passion – you can see the difference passion makes in their work. It has a certain ‘je nais se quois’.

Jane Nicholas is one such artist who exudes passion. For some, passion manifests itself in flamboyance, others in speed, in the case of Jane it is in research. She is a prodigious researcher, which is where our behind the scenes story for the project ‘Cherry Delight’ in Inspirations #97 starts.

Jane’s passion for the exotic, things like Tales of the Arabian Nights through to the Russian artistic director Sergei Diaghilev’s work in his famous Ballets Russes, has led her to amass an impressive ‘ideas journal’. From here, she began researching the many facets of Islamic art in the form of pottery, textiles, manuscripts and jewellery from Turkey, Syria, Persia, Arabia and India.

Her fascination for these colourful and striking designs resulted in her discovery of Islamic Tiles, the splendour of which is legendary. From there, Jane has created a series of her own exquisite designs that encapsulate the wonder of these cultures, translated through her needle and thread, including Cherry Delight from Inspirations #97.
A vibrant cherry-red ensemble of flowers and ornamental border, worked in silk and metallic threads with bead and tiny gold paillette highlights.
The central colours and motifs for this piece were inspired by an 18th century India Rajasthan Spittoon which features the typically Mughal decoration of stylised red flowers on a white ground.

LEFT: India Rajasthan Spittoon circa 1700 (image courtesy
Worked with silk and metallic threads using stumpwork, goldwork and surface embroidery techniques, the Cherry Flower is simply stunning.

The surrounding borders and paillettes are a variation of the pear flowers found in the Syrian Pomegranate Tile and are created using gold metallic threads and Mill Hill ‘brilliant navy’ seed beads.

LEFT: Syrian Pomegranate Tile RIGHT: Seed beads used to replicate pear flowers
Once finished, this particularly striking piece, which measures 7.5cm (3”) in diameter, can be used as pictured in a wooden roundel, as a paper weight, within the lid of a small container or can even be framed.

If you ever get a chance to ask Jane in person about the inspiration for her designs, you will most likely find she has an in-depth answer, as part of the richness and brilliance of her work comes from the hours of study and research she pours into everything she does. And for that Jane, we thank you!
Make Your Own Cherry Delight

Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

Cherry Delight by Jane Nicholas is a superb stumpwork roundel with goldwork and beading.

Inspirations Issue 97

Step 2 – Purchase Kit from Jane Nicholas Website

Kits are available for ‘Cherry Delight’ (also known as Cherry Flower Roundel) from Jane Nicholas direct via her website HERE.

Classes with Jane

Enjoying Jane’s needlework through Inspirations Magazine is one thing, taking a Jane Nicholas class and learning from her in person is a whole new level of wow and awe! Join us at Beating Around the Bush in October this year and enrol in one of Jane’s classes to learn the secrets behind her meticulous approach to needlework. Click below to register.

Beating Around the Bush 2018

Looking for More Cherries?

Harvest by Susan O’Connor from Inspirations #63 preserves the fresh, wholesome beauty of favourite fruits and vegetables – including cherries - by capturing them in stitch.


Inspirations Issue 63

Cherry Ripe

Cherry Ripe by Nikki Delport-Wepener from Inspirations #81 is a magnificent botanical study of ripe cherries created with dimensional stitches and ribbons.

Cherry Ripe

Cherry Pie

Cherry Pie by Martha Broyles from Australian Smocking & Embroidery #96 is a pink piqué bishop dress with mock yoke smocking design and plump picture smocked cherries.

AS&E Issue 96

Cherry Pie

Have Your Say

As we wrap up another issue of Inspirations Magazine, we thought we’d take the opportunity to wrap up some of the conversations that All Stitched Up! has sparked over the last several weeks.

All Stitched Up! | Issue #125 (HERE)

Our featured project for this issue of the newsletter was ‘Gillian’ by Maria del Valle Olivera, whose use of colour with Blackwork patterns made for an elegant and fabulous hare. It was here we posed the question ‘If it is coloured, should we still call it Blackwork?!’ Melanie and Roberta both entered into the debate…

Melanie Maloney | ‘As the term Blackwork relates to a very specific type of stitching, I would like to suggest that Blackwork which is worked in coloured threads, could be referred to as being in Blackwork Technique.’

Roberta Kenney | ‘Just a thought provoked by Gillian - I believe that Blackwork, as it has been known, was brought to England by Catherine of Aragon. In which case the modern efforts using the same patterns could be renamed in her honor as Aragon Patterns or perhaps Catherine Stitches?’

All Stitched Up! | Issue #127 (HERE)

After highlighting Angel Gowns Australia in Stitch It Forward, we heard from Robyn Tindal from Queensland, Australia:

‘At Smocking Guild Qld Inc we have been providing smocked gowns for pre-term babies and those who do not survive to South East Queensland Maternity Hospitals from Toowoomba right down to the Gold Coast Hospitals - some 12 hospitals in all - for over 26 years and are very proud of the work completed by our wonderful ladies.

All gowns are made of brand new soft delicate fabrics usually white, pale blue or delicate pink, smocked and embellished.

These gowns are given as gifts to the parents and families of these babies in boxes with clear plastic lids with tiny teddies, bonnets, and tiny nappies included. A very special poem gifted to the Guild by Elizabeth Mosely completes our gift:

Our Little One
Anticipated with love
And unreserved joy;
A gift taken away
Before it could be opened,
Life’s promise unfulfilled.

Your hand reached out
From a bunny rug shroud
Towards your mother
Who knew you
As a living presence;
Hand and finger clasped
In a link forever forged,
A bond that can be shared.

We love you
We mourn you
We trust you will share our lives
Live on in our hearts Little One
Soul that will never die.

Maternity Hospitals and parents alike are grateful for our gifts.’

All Stitched Up! | Issue #129 (HERE)

In our welcome for this issue we unpacked the idea of ‘flavours of stitching’ and compared the variety of stitching techniques available to the spectrum of ice cream flavours we find on offer. We went on to ask what your favourite flavour of ice cream or stitching was…

Judy Parker | ‘Of all the various embroidery types l have tried, Casalguidi is my favourite followed closely by pulled and drawn thread. However, l do enjoy many of the different types and think it is motivating to give new things a go. Thanks for all of your interesting newsletters, always a good read. Greetings from New Zealand, Judy.’

Kenette Wentner | ‘I smiled as I read your column today about ALL the flavours of ice cream available! When I lived in England, I had the opportunity to take the City and Guilds Embroidery Course in Windsor, Surrey. Two amazing women, Jean Littlejohn and Jan Beaney, were my teachers; each legends in their fields. Two years later, with my certificate in hand, I happily returned to Canvas Work! I had enjoyed hours creating and teaching others how to incorporate different stitches in their needlepoint projects and while decades have passed, I still love my needlepoint. It’s definitely MY vanilla!’

Lyn Procopio | ‘I have a favorite ice cream flavor - one scoop butter pecan and one scoop mint chocolate chip. I know, that's two! My favorite stitching technique is with Coton a Broder #5 on white or cream denim or twill. I love the colors and the fact that it is one thick piece of thread and not six individual strands to keep track of or separate!’

Roberta Kenney | ‘I love Crewel Embroidery, especially the early American style, but counted thread may be my vanilla. However, I am not averse to trying different techniques - some Hardanger comes under my needle as well as some varieties of needle made lace or hem stitching. I don't mind trying something different from time to time.’

‘Tiny Hands, Big Minds’ was our Benefits of Needlework feature for this issue of All Stitched Up! It was here that we followed up on the ‘Loose Threads’ column from Inspirations #96 that introduced us to Mrs M’s Year 3 class. Mrs M is a firm believer in the calming, energized focus that embroidery offers, and uses this to advantage in her class room. We heard from one of the grandparents from Mrs M’s class, Denise Hill:

‘I am a grandma of one the children at Grange Primary School and followed with interest their sewing. My granddaughter was very enthusiastic with her project and it was a real delight to read your article in the newsletter. It is great to see a primary school teacher taking the time to teach all of these children some of the aspects of sewing.’

All Stitched Up! #129 also introduced us to Pantone’s Color of the Year - Ultra Violet, Pantone 18-3838 and it was from this that Roberta Kenney joined in on the conversation:

‘Way back when I was studying Art, I encountered something called the Munsell Color System which readers may be interested in. I found it to be a very accurate method to describe colors from their shades to hues and intensity from black through gray and onto white. It gives each color three qualities or attributes:

Hue – color such as red, orange, yellow, etc.
Value – the lightness or darkness of a color
Chroma – the saturation or brilliance of a color

You can read more about it HERE.’

We love that so many of you are eager to join the conversation, thank you to everyone for your contribution. We look forward to starting, or continuing, many more conversations!

What Are You Stitching?
As we wrap up another issue of Inspirations Magazine, we thought we’d round up the next assortment of projects from within the magazine. Sit back and enjoy what the needles and threads of our All Stitched Up! Community have brought to life from the pages of Inspirations itself…
A Simple Life | Issue #92
‘Bullions are not my favorite thing and I thought I was done with them, but then you came out with the lavender pillows and the romance was rekindled! I got the lavender one finished, but couldn’t work up the enthusiasm for the white one. However, I persevered and here it is… finally! I’m going to visit my son in Arizona this month and I’ve kitted up ‘Thwandasa’ and ‘A Partridge in a Pear Tree’ from Trish Burr. They should be enough to keep me out of trouble! Thanks again for the most awesome magazine. Joanne Crane.’

Joanne, we love that you persevered long enough to complete both of Louise Sprigg’s cushions – a feat worthy of considering yourself a finisher! We look forward to seeing the fruit of your stitching time in Arizona.
Going Dotty | Issue #73
‘I live in the UK and am a regular subscriber to Inspirations Magazine. I also love to receive your newsletter and very much enjoy seeing the fantastic embroidery produced by people from all over the world! Being a keen smocker and embroiderer myself, I use both the Index for AS&E and Inspirations all the time. To save looking through dozens of copies of my magazines each time I want to do a project, I have placed small sticky dots next to any pictures in the Index where I know I have the corresponding magazine. This means I can go straight to making what I want without the disappointment of discovering I don’t actually have the instructions! Unfortunately, the current Inspirations Index finishes with Issue #75 and we are ready to receive Issue 98. Would you consider publishing a supplement (complete with errata) perhaps for the 100th issue? It would so good to have. I have recently completed the Going Dotty blanket from Inspirations. Gill Duncan.’

Great minds think alike Gill! Our team are well on their way to producing a new Inspirations Index 1 to 100 which will be released in October to conincide with the 100th issue of the magazine. We love your version of Susan O’Connor’s ‘Going Dotty’ and look forward to seeing the result of your next ‘sticky dot’ project!
Meadow Bloom | Issue #87
‘I have just gifted this cushion to my friend for an ‘0’ Birthday. I bought the kit three years ago, then life stepped in, hence taking so long to complete. Caring for my husband with Dementia, who is now in care, I lost how to stitch. I cannot tell you how many times I ripped it out! Being left handed can be so hard at times with right handed instructions and my saviour was Yvette Stanton's ‘Left Handed Embroidery Companion’. Hugs, Lesley Purcell.

It’s often the case that people put down their needles and threads because life gets in the way for one reason or another, but, Lesley, we’re so glad you returned to yours! Your cushion is a perfect rendition of Anna Scott’s orginal.
Modern Crewel | Issue #90
‘What a joy to finish Modern Crewel - I learned a lot about padding with very sore fingers, many new stitches and I do believe I had to take out the lace at least ten times before it looked like the picture! The box was made by my husband, Kent, to my specifications and everything turned out just as I planned. What I have learned from you folks and Mary Corbet provided me with the knowledge to keep making beautiful embroidery. I look forward to every newsletter and magazine. With deep appreciation, Rose Nordenberg.’

They say that if first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again. And, Rose, that’s exactly what you did and your Modern Crewel piece is all the better for it as your lace is as every bit as precise as the stitching on Susan Porter’s original.
Nature’s Bounty | Issue #75
‘I shared my Garden of Flowers inspired by Trish Burr in Embroidery News #90 (HERE) and have now made Julie Kniedl’s pincushion's and loved doing it! Karen Fraser.

Karen, what a perfect rendition of Julie’s cauliflower – it’s only with a closer glance that one can tell it hasn’t been picked straight from the garden and is indeed stitched!
Resting Place | Issue #90
We heard about Kate Brown’s journey with needle and thread in All Stitched Up! #123 (HERE) and this week we share another piece produced from her reignited ‘stitching flame’!

Kate, we’ve loved seeing both the number and diversity of pieces you’ve created with needle and thread since Beating Around the Bush 2016 and would love the opportunity to host you at the event again this year!

If you’ve been inspired to create one - or maybe all! - of the projects featured in this week’s WAYS, simply click on the links below!

Inspirations Issue 92 | A Simple Life

Inspirations Issue 73 | Going Dotty

Inspirations Issue 87 | Meadow Bloom

Inspirations Issue 90 | Modern Crewel & Resting Place

Inspirations Issue 75 | Nature’s Bounty

Nature’s Bounty

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You May Have Missed
Sunflowers and Daisies

Sunflowers and Daisies by Helen Eriksson is a cosy woollen blanket adorned with a circlet and bouquet of sun-loving flowers.

Inspirations Issue 97

Sunflowers and Daisies

Sunflowers and Daisies – i97 Kit

Bed of Roses

Bed of Roses by Helen Eriksson from Inspirations #7 is an elegant velvet evening bag sprinkled with golden roses.

Inspirations Issue 7

Perfect Petals

Perfect Petals by Helen Eriksson from Inspirations #94 uses gleaming silk ribbons in shades of cream, blush pink and lemon to create this luscious swag of superb roses.

Perfect Petals – i94 Kit

Perfect Petals

Autumn Harvest

Autumn Harvest by Helen Eriksson from Inspirations #71 is a graceful spray of flowers and berries in beautifully blended shades of gold, olive green, brick, terracotta and cream.

Autumn Harvest

Inspirations Issue 71

Garden Party

Garden Party by Helen Eriksson from Inspirations #70 showcases a whole garden of beautiful silk ribbon blooms in this floral sampler.

Garden Party

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 Beautiful designs by Rachel Winters Sewing.

" Starting strong is good. Finishing strong is epic."
~ Robin Sharma ~
What's On
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
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
Shoreline Stitchers’ Showcase

Shoreline Stitchers’ Showcase | A Judged Needlework Exhibit & Boutique

South Coast Botanic Garden
26300 Crenshaw Blvd Palos Verdes, California

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