All Stitched Up! | Issue 136

4th May 2018

Hi There,
collector | kəˈlɛktə | a person who collects things of a specified type, professionally or as a hobby.

Are you someone who pursues, uncovers, attains, organises, stores and displays a set of similar items?

This habit is sometimes referred to as hoarding, but as fellow enthusiasts, we prefer the term ‘collector’ - especially when referring to the mass of needlework supplies we’ve ‘collected’ throughout our stitching journeys!

For some, the collecting of all things needle and thread related may have started recently, but for others it’s been a lifelong pursuit. Besides the financial cost of amassing a collection, their true value often stems from the time and effort poured into their accumulation.

In part, this week’s All Stitched Up! is aimed at the collectors amongst us as we seek those who have a complete collection of Inspirations Magazine starting with Issue #01, as well as helping to ease the burden of a collection that’s not quite complete as we release the remaining Digital Downloads from Inspirations #89 which is now out of print.

If you’re a fellow collector, we’d love to see what you’ve poured your heart and soul into accumulating. Email photos of your collection along with a few words about why it’s become a treasured keepsake to

Celebrating 100 Issues
Do you have every issue of Inspirations Magazine?
In anticipation of celebrating Inspirations Issue #100 in October, we’re searching for everyone who has a complete collection of the magazine from Issue #01 onwards, so we can honour our foundation members and their commitment to Inspirations from the beginning.

Without our loyal and dedicated readers, we would never have made it this far…
We know there are many of you with a complete Inspirations library, so if that’s you please email us at and identify yourself as an ‘Inspirations Foundation Member’. We just need your first and last name and where you’re from to be included – additionally, if you’d like to share a little of your stitching story and how Inspirations Magazine has helped your journey along the way, we’d love to read it.

Also, if you know of a foundation member who is unable to email in themselves, please let us know on their behalf, to ensure no-one misses out.

The deadline to receive everyone’s details is MAY 21st.

Stitch It Forward
Run to Red
This week it’s our stitching dollars rather than our needles and threads that we’re using to Stitch It Forward!

Run to Red is the initiative of Edge Church International who have set the audacious goal of raising one million dollars each year and giving away EVERY cent raised to partners such as World Vision, Transform Cambodia and the Childhood Cancer Association with the intention to Rescue, Empower and Deploy the children they support.

With the event being held in our home town of Adelaide next week, Inspirations Studios has committed to donate the proceeds raised through online sales for the next seven days to this worthy cause.

Want to know how your stitching dollar will not only fuel your passion for needle and thread but will also Pay It Forward by fuelling the lives of those less fortunate? Check out Run to Red HERE.

Needlework News
Fabulous Flowers – Issue #89 Patterns Now Available
Printed copies of Inspirations #89 ‘Fabulous Flowers’ have now officially sold out. For those lucky enough to have a copy of #89 in print, you might want to look after it as it’s now a rare issue! If you missed out, we have some good news… all the individual projects from Issue #89 are now available to download as a PDF digital pattern.

Still life with flowers, windflowers, flowers of the sea, monograms with flowers… if it’s flowers you want, it’s flowers Issue #89 has got! Click below to stop and smell all the digital flowers.

Inspirations Issue 89

NEW - Books by Hazel Blomkamp
One would think Hazel Blomkamp’s diary is very full, with all the projects she stitches, the places she travels and the classes she teaches, yet somehow she has found time to release some new books! From step-by-step instructional guides on needle lace and needle weaving, to incredibly imaginative designs in her stunning book Crewel Creatures, there is something to please everyone.

Hazel’s books are now available for purchase from the Inspirations website direct:

Crewel Creatures


Needle Lace Techniques for Hand Embroidery


Needle Weaving Techniques for Hand Embroidery

Tulle Embroidery by Russian designer Katerina Marchenko
Using tulle as a ground fabric in embroidery presents a unique set of challenges including modification of technique and approach – none of which faze Russian designer Katerina Marchenko who has created some spectacular pieces that appear to float on air.

Emma Taggart from My Modern Met showcases this talented designer/teacher in an article you can read HERE which features nature inspired pieces that Katerina also incorporates into her own hand made garments.
Featured Project
Fantasia by Hazel Blomkamp
Are you someone who enjoys reading a thrilling novel with lots of twists and turns that you just can’t put down? The type of book that totally consumes you and when you reach the end you’re left wanting more…

Some needlework projects are just like that – enthralling, challenging and thoroughly enjoyable to the point you just can’t put them down. We think that is exactly what the project ‘Fantasia’ by Hazel Blomkamp from Issue #98 is like.

From a distance you may be thinking this is a nice little cushion with a cool looking Jacobean design, but then you pick up the book, turn it over and read the back cover to realise this is a heart stopping thriller!

Fantasia is an incredibly ornate and intricate example of Jacobean embroidery at its best. Hazel pushes the boundaries beyond the norm using her trademark inventiveness and creative drive by incorporating 20 different stitching techniques across a combination of surface embroidery, weaving and beading to achieve an incredibly rich textured finish.

Everywhere you look, there is something clever going on, for example flower 3 pictured above – the inlay is filled with thread weaving, anchored by a grid of 10 different colours in irregular shaped blocks, padded and then outlined with Portuguese knotted stem stitch and finished off with cranberry gold beads. And that’s not even the largest or most ornate flower!

2 weaving charts, 3 colour placement charts, 29 stranded cotton colours, 5 perle cotton colours, 4 different coloured beads – there is a lot going on here for you to get your needle stuck into. We even included step-by-step diagrams for 6 different techniques such as weaving and Portuguese knotted stem stitch to help everyone keep up with Hazel’s frantic pace.
If this project were a novel, you’d spend half the time firmly gripping your seat and the other half hiding under the bed covers, it’s both that engaging and demanding.

This really is a feast for the needlework senses and a wonderful example of how innovative and skilled Hazel is when her imagination runs free. In-fact, the name Fantasia was chosen for that very reason as the design is so creative it lives in the world of fantasia.
A Tribute to Neville and Brenda
During pre-production for the photo shoot of Fantasia, the Inspirations team decided this project would be a perfect opportunity to pay tribute to Hazel’s second great love – her boxers Neville and Brenda. While it wasn’t really feasible to get Hazel’s dogs from South Africa to Australia for the shoot, we were lucky enough to have Lucy join us in proxy.

Hazel, these shots of your two great loves together in one photo are for you, in thanks for all the marvellous projects we continue to enjoy, and the highly entertaining emails you send us of your latest dog adventures.

(In case you were wondering, yes Hazel's first great love is needlework followed by her boxers a close second, after that we're not sure where her husband sits in the pecking order however!)"
Make Your Own Fantasia

Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

Fantasia by Hazel Blomkamp is a gorgeous cushion adorned with ornate Jacobean embroidery.

Inspirations Issue 98



Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Fantasia includes everything you need to re-create this gorgeous cushion: Fabrics (unprinted), buttons, piping, embroidery threads, beads and needles.


Looking for More Hazel Blomkamp?
Small Change

Small Change by Hazel Blomkamp from Inspirations #90 is a charming coin purse with a vibrant Jacobean design.

Inspirations Issue 90


Papermate by Hazel Blomkamp from Inspirations #84 is a beautiful paperweight with floral Jacobean design.

Inspirations Issue 84


Magnifique by Hazel Blomkamp from Inspirations #77 is an opulent tassel with superb stumpwork and beaded needlelace.

Inspirations Issue 77

Sugar Plum

Sugar Plum by Hazel Blomkamp from Inspirations #92 is a magnificent bauble adorned with beaded flowers and drops.

Inspirations Issue 92

Classes with Hazel
Come on a needlework adventure into the amazing world of Hazel Blomkamp at Beating Around the Bush 2018. Hazel’s classes are filled with laughter, wonderful advice, tips and tricks and of course lots of amazing stitching!

With three projects to choose from, whichever class you take you are in for a real treat.

Beating Around the Bush 2018

What Are You Stitching?
Don’t tell anyone we told you, but some of our team have been busy working on a new Inspirations Index that will coincide with the launch of Inspirations #100, due for release in Oct ‘18. To that end, they have been busying themselves going over every project that has appeared in the magazine to-date to ensure it’s catalogued ready for inclusion in this new publication. Do you know what they found out along the way?
By the time Issue #100 is released, Inspirations will have ‘collected’ 899 projects along the way!
It always amazes us how many of these projects make their way from the pages of the magazine, to your needles and threads, then back to ‘All Stitched Up!’ as we share what you’ve been stitching with the Inspirations Community. And that’s what this week’s What Are You Stitching? is all about – Inspirations projects that have been brought to life with your needles and threads!
Forbidden Fruit | Robyn Tate
‘Although I did some fancy work as a child, then some cross stitch while still at work, it wasn’t until I retired that I learnt to embroider. A good friend worked with me on Tuesday afternoons and gave me the confidence to try new techniques. Unfortunately, my good friend and teacher passed away which led me to join the local Central Coast Embroidery Guild where there a number of wonderful stitchers.

In 2017, a University of the 3rd Age was established in my home town of Ulverstone on the north west coast of Tasmania and I volunteered my time as a teacher of embroidery. It has been a very rewarding experience with new friends gained.’

‘I have been to three Beating Around the Bush Conventions and am looking forward to new challenges in October this year! I’ve had a bit of a blitz on finishing some UFO’s, my latest project is to complete this one by Nicola Jarvis which I began at BATB in 2016.’

Robyn, what a wonderful adventure your journey with needle and thread has been as it’s opened up new experiences and new friendships along the way. We look forward to hosting you at Beating Around the Bush again this year and love that you’re open to whatever challenges it may bring your way!

Gathering Lilies | Simona Hill
‘Back in Inspirations #66, you printed a silk shaded picture of some girls picking lilies. I've attached a needle lace version of it that I've just completed.’

Simona, what an incredibly creative interpretation of Nettie Morris’ original! The needle lace has given your piece a fabulous texture and dainty appearance.
La Fauvette | Lesley Every
‘I grew up in Tasmania where my mother taught me to sew and knit. As a young adult I mainly sewed clothes for myself and my children, but when my husband started going to sea I began to dabble in embroidery and also explored many other crafts to fill in my time whilst he was away.

We eventually left Tasmania and after a few moves we ended up in Darwin. Our house in Darwin has a large tropical garden with a number of resident birds, including Double Bar Finches. I fell in love with La Fauvette by Catherine Laurençon and had to start immediately. However, I wanted to personalise the design and so decided to change the bird to a Double Bar Finch that frequent my garden.’

Lesley, we love that you were brave enough to incorporate a Double Bar Finch into La Fauvette! Your bird looks as every bit at home in the reeds and bulrushes as Catherine’s golden European warbler.
Mandala Musings | Wendy McKie
‘Since the Inspirations’ March Calendar has Mandala Musings as it's pattern, I thought I would send a photo of my stitching! I love Hazel's patterns and have done 5 or 6 of her designs from Inspirations.’

Wendy, we love how the subtle changes of colour you’ve made from Hazel’s original has made this piece one of a kind! It has been framed to perfection and has become quite the showcase for your meticulous stitching.
Tea Time | Wendy Osborne
‘It’s the month for finishing projects that have been lingering in the cupboard and Tea Time Bear from Issue #64 was one of those projects.

I love embroidery but getting out the sewing machine to finish just seems so hard! Anyway, now that she’s finished, here she is.’

Wendy, she’s just gorgeous and definitely worthy of the effort it took to get the sewing machine out!

If this week’s WAYS has inspired you to try your hand at recreating these projects from Inspirations, simply use the links below to gather the instructions and then stitch to your heart’s content!

Inspirations Issue 93 | Forbidden Fruit & Mandala Musings


Forbidden Fruit


Mandala Musings


Gathering Lillies


Inspirations Issue 97 | La Fauvette


La Fauvette


Inspirations Issue 64 | Tea Time


Tea Time

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You May Have Missed
Make Your Own Double Take

Double Take by Helen M. Stevens is a charming silk embroidered finch resting on sweet honeysuckle, in two colourways.

Inspirations Issue 98



Double Take

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Double Take includes everything you need to re-create these beautiful birds in either colourway: Fabrics (unprinted), embroidery threads and needle.

Double Take (both colour-ways included)


Ulysses by Helen M. Stevens from Inspirations #72 captures the fragile delicacy of this superb butterfly and the blooms of the Christmas bush.


Red Robin

Red Robin by Helen M. Stevens from Inspirations #67 features a charming scarlet-breasted robin amongst a garland of foliage and berries.

Red Robin

Sweet Nigella

Sweet Nigella by Helen M. Stevens from Inspirations #48 is a superb botanical study of lacy foliage and flowers stitched in lustrous silk.

Inspirations Issue 48

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‘Clutter in its highest and most organised form is called collecting.’
~ Ada Louise Huxtable ~
What's On
Stitch-at-Home Challenge
SNAD's Stitch-at-Home Challenge: View from My Window

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
Jan Taminiau | Reflections Exhibition
A major exhibition on the work of Jan Taminiau

Centraal Museum
Agnietenstraat 1, 3512 XA Utrecht, The Netherlands

9 TO 24 JUN
Affinity | Cross Currents
Zig Zag Gallery
50 Railway Road, Kalamunda WA
Glen Hall | 0419 931 676
16 TO 23 JUN
50th Anniversary Exhibition
The Embroiderers’ Guild of Queensland
149 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley QLD or 07 3252 8629
The Point of Stitch
The Embroiderer’s Guild NSW

Craft and Quilt Fair Sydney 2018
International Convention Centre, Sydney

Alice Springs Beanie Festival

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