All Stitched Up! | Issue 137

11th May 2018

Hi There,
Inspired by this week’s feature project, we’ve found ourselves doing a little ‘Fairy Dreaming’ over recent days…
The dreams and goals each of us have inside encourage us to reach further and for more.
Do you have a goal, a dream for your stitching?

You may find yourself constantly thinking about or imagining your ‘further and more’, but then find that your ‘dream comes with much busyness and painful effort’ (Ecclesiastes 5:3) and before you know it, the dream fades before it’s barely taken hold!

Perhaps you’re familiar with a variation of the words that are credited to Ralph Waldo Emerson that remind us that life is a journey, not a destination. So, whilst your dream may be a destination in its own right, we encourage you to embrace the journey. A journey that will allow your dream to become your reality. Embrace the ‘much busyness and painful effort’ that lies before you because after the hard work is forgotten, the reward on the other side will be well worth it - the fulfillment of a dream realised.

We can’t wait to see where your ‘Fairy Dreams’ are going to take you and hope you’ll continue to invite us along to be a part of the journey with you!

World of Needlework
Drawing from Nature
The following is an extract from the article published in Inspirations Issue 95, written by Ansie van der Walt.

Chloe Giordano is not an embroiderer. She is an illustrator and an artist who just happens to use a needle and thread instead of a pencil or a brush.
Walking the dogs or going for a run in the English countryside near her home in Oxford provides Chloe with inspiration for her drawings. Birds, rabbits, deer and other creatures of nature cross her path every day.

“I draw things that are familiar to me and that I grew up with. I am interested and touched by the fragility of our wildlife, especially birds and small animals, and it does reflect in my work.”

A degree in illustration from the University of the West of England meant Chloe worked mostly in pencil and oil paints where she took a very formal approach to learning skills and techniques.

Chloe uses a needle and thread in the same way she uses a pencil or a brush. She works with sewing thread on calico and only uses straight stitch.
“I definitely see the stitch I use as a means to an end. I see my current way of working as a form of painting. It is quite similar to how I used to use oil paints.”
Chloe’s technique is very simple:

“I just layer straight stitches over and over, working from detailed drawings and photos. I stitch in blocks across the image.”

She finishes one area completely before moving to the next as she finds going back over already stitched areas ruins the flow of the stitches.

Drawing is an integral part of Chloe’s work process. Every project starts with sketches, from nature, from references, and from imagination. Once she knows where she is going with the sketch and which elements she wants to incorporate, she creates a final drawing that she then uses as a guide for her stitching.

“I do aim to create anatomically correct animals but I allow myself to exaggerate certain elements to make a better image. For example, I often add more definition to hindquarters and legs as this creates a greater sense of movement. I often play around with fur colours and patterns as well, to create the look that I imagine.”

Chloe remembers a piece of artist advice she heard as a student. Every brush or pencil stroke you make should be describing the form of what you’re depicting, not just filling space.

“I try to make sure that every single stitch I make is working towards showing the form of the animal. How they move. How their fur lies.”

Looking at her work with new eyes it is all too clear: Chloe is both an embroiderer and an illustrator.

You can see more of Chloe’s work on her website HERE

Needlework News
Light It Up!
This week our website is shining oh so bright after we lit it up by adding three new products to bring light into your life.

We’ve got the world famous OttLite folding task lamp which is the ultimate workhorse for all your needlework lighting needs. Then there is the Triumph magnifying lamp featuring 18 super bright LED’s encircling a 2 times magnifier glass on a flexible goose neck stand.

Finally, thanks to the modern-day marvel that is the LED light pad, all the hard work has been taken out of transferring designs onto fabric with this wonderfully sleek and easy to use A4 light pad.

Click on the links below for more info on each product and please consider power/plug compatibility for your country.

Folding Task Lamp | White

LED Desktop Magnifying Lamp | White

A4 LED Light Pad

Fairy Garden Accessories
No fairy garden should be considered complete until it contains a fairy ring! Whilst a fairy ring is technically defined as ‘a naturally occurring arc of mushrooms’, as we find ourselves ‘Fairy Dreaming’ in this issue of All Stitched Up!, we’d prefer to think of the mushrooms contained within these rings as magical and whimsical - and we’ve found just the stitcher who can make all these fairy dreams come true!

Pippa Haynes from Lemon Pepper Studios has taken to recreating nature through hand embroidered art. With an emphasis on mushrooms – the realistic and the whimsical – you can enjoy a stroll through the ‘fairy garden’ Pippa has created on Instagram HERE.
Featured Project
Fairy Dreams by Yvonne McMillan Betts
If you ever plan on creating a project for a special little girl in your life, to ensure it is well received here is a tip for you: add a princess or a fairy somewhere in the mix and you’ll have a hit on your hands!

Yvonne McMillan Betts is one designer who sure knows how to win over the hearts of little girls.

Her first hit was from the book ‘Perfect Party Dresses’ which featured her dress, fit for any little princess, ‘Chocolate Truffle’ that was as popular as it is gorgeous.

Now we’re excited to have Yvonne debut in issue #98 of Inspirations Magazine with her project ‘Fairy Dreams’ which is nothing short of magical.

This enchanting blanket features a splendid fairy toadstool house complete with red spotted roof and a stone path. Set in a pretty yellow, green and pink garden, there is the added magic of tall dandelions showering their tiny seeds into the sky.

But where is the fairy you may be wondering? Well fairies don’t just come on out willy-nilly you know!

First you must make a special wish, close your eyes, spin around three times and knock twice on the tiny fairy door to her house. Then, you open the door and just like magic, she appears!

Fairy Dreams is the complete package, a lot of fun to create and even more fun for children to use. Made using appliqué and straight-forward surface embroidery techniques such as cast-on stitch for the flowers, French knots for the foxgloves, bullion knots for the door handle and lots of blanket stitching, the design itself is elegantly simple and not overly complicated to re-produce.

We especially loved the little touches Yvonne added like the glowing lamp just above the door and the two tiny pots of pink flowers in front of the house.

Any child lucky enough to have one of these adorable blankets will sleep extra well at night, safe in the knowledge they have their own personal fairy in their bed tucked away in her little house, keeping watch over them.

Thank you, Yvonne – so great to have one of your gorgeous designs in Inspirations Magazine.
Make Your Own Fairy Dreams

Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

Fairy Dreams by Yvonne McMillan Betts is an enchanting blanket for cosy days shared with a fairy friend at her toadstool house.

Inspirations Issue 98

Fairy Dreams

Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Fairy Dreams includes everything you need to re-create this adorable blanket: Wool and cashmere velour, wool felt, mini piping, fusible webbing, wadding, hook and loop dot, embroidery threads and needles. (Note: kit does not contain cotton backing fabric)

Fairy Dreams

Looking for More Children's Blankets?
Blissful Beginnings

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

The Little Elephant

The Little Elephant by Jenny McWhinney from Inspirations #45 features a sturdy, baby elephant, charging along flying a colourful kite.

The Little Elephant

Picnic Time

Picnic Time by Kris Richards from Inspirations #62 is an ivory flannel blanket with two sweet bears enjoying a feast of cakes and fruit.

Picnic Time

Inspirations Issue 62

The Woolly Sheep

The Woolly Sheep by Libby Vater from Inspirations #18 is a cosy cot quilt with three woolly rams standing in a meadow of field flowers.

The Woolly Sheep

What Are You Stitching?
Have you ever stopped to imagine the whimsy that is to be found at the bottom of a fairy garden?! This week’s What Are You Stitching? celebrates the playfully quaint and fanciful things that have been created with needle and thread that would find themselves well at home at the bottom of any such garden…
Joan Haines | UK
‘Reading a recent issue of ‘All Stitched Up’ set me thinking about many of the projects I have stitched from my Inspirations Magazines. Pictures that still hang on the walls, many that have been given as presents. Jenny McWhinney’s ‘Hop to It!’ baby roll that was featured brought back wonderful memories of the love that went into my stitching for my first granddaughter born some five years ago in Melbourne.

I ordered the beautiful mohair yarns from Australia, so you could say it went back to source. Best regards and thank you simply for the Inspiration!’

The trade mark of Jenny McWhinney’s stitching is the personality she captures in each of her characters and you, Joan, have captured the playful whimsy of these rabbits perfectly!
Liz Williams | USA
‘I recently got out my ‘Needle Case: Wild Poppies’ kit from Di van Niekerk that features in her book ‘The Art of Felting & Silk Ribbon Embroidery’. I decided to turn the needle case into a Mini iPad Case. It only took me one day to make. Fun and Fast! The kit was excellent, it came with two pieces of felt, all the threads, ribbons, beads and even an itsy bitsy spider!

What an amazingly practical yet fabulously whimsical way to store your iPad Liz! The felt gives your piece a softness and charm which are the perfect makings for any fairy garden.
Wendy Osborne | Australia
It’s finished! It’s taken four years, with illness and moving states interfering in that time, but my ‘Home Sweet Home an Embroidered Workbox’ is finally finished. One of my favorite pieces was the garden spool holder.

As I love embroidery, the easiest part was the embroidering itself and thank goodness I have small hands and a curved needle as some of the pieces were very fiddly and when finished were as small as a spool of thread.’’

Wendy, we’re not sure whether we’d find Home Sweet Home at the bottom of a fairy garden or fairies in the bottom of your incredibly sweet home! Either way, there’s a certain magic to be found in Carolyn Pearce’s work and your rendition of her ever-popular project is an absolute delight.
Kathy Hance | UK
‘I have always loved sewing, arts and craft since I was very little and it’s not until now that I'm in my 70’s that I have much more time doing what I so enjoy! When I first left school I went into what was called ‘The Rag Trade’ for many years - making evening wear for a big shop in London. Then a few months ago, I joined a University of the 3rd Age club that ran many different activities. I joined the craft class where everyone takes along what they want to work on.

After giving it some thought, I was reminded of the bear I made back in 1993 when I first bought the very first issue of Inspirations Magazine. This bear has been loved and played with for many years, so thought I could do all the hand embroidery at my meeting and how lovely it was to make another one!’

Kathy, what a fabulous way to indulge your love of stitching by creating another bear from all those years ago! The garlands of flowers and the dainty embroidered gardens on each of the bear’s paws make it a worthy companion for any fairy we might find at the bottom of our garden.

If your stitching’s crying out for a little playfully quaint and fanciful, put your needles and threads to recreating some of this week’s whimsy using the links below:

Hop To It

The Art of Felting & Silk Ribbon Embroidery

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home | Charm Pack

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This week on Facebook

 What a stunning crazy quilt!

 Oh how magical is this embroidery by Jenny Adin-Christie?

‘If you can dream it, you can do it.’
~ Walt Disney ~
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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