All Stitched Up! | Issue 139

25th May 2018

Hi There,
Aspects of this week’s All Stitched Up! centre around history.

As we look back into the past for the writing of these segments, we realised how often the events of history are told through needle and thread and we are reminded of the incredibly rich history of needlework itself.

Along the way, we found ourselves considering our own histories, especially that of our stitching. Some of our stitching records poignant moments in our own journeys, while at other times our stitching is inspired by moments in the journeys of those who have gone before us.

Some of us have a stitching history steeped in tradition as we’re able to look back and see the love of needle and thread passed down through many a generation before us, while there are those of us who have only recently picked up needle and thread and are beginning to stitch the history that future generations will speak of.

No matter how, or when, your stitching journey began, or what inspired your needle and thread along the way, each piece you’ve stitched represents a moment in time, something that tells the story of your life.
So, whether your stitching journey is well worn or you’re forging a new path for the generations to come, relish the rich history you’re creating and/or recording with needle and thread.

Needlework News
Snip’m Clean & Keep’m Lean
If you have some threads that need to be snipped clean and kept nice and lean, we’ve got just the tool for you.

These spring-handled thread snips are ergonomically designed to make snipping threads a breeze. Featuring razor sharp stainless-steel blades, a handy protective cap and available in three fun, easy-to-see and hard-to-lose colours, there are a very handy bit of kit for your needle tool box.

Thread Snips – Purple, Red or Yellow

Australian Smocking & Embroidery - #80 & #81
While we’re on the topic of history, a few months ago we mentioned that after all these years we still have some brand new printed copies of Australian Smocking & Embroidery magazine available.

‘Pretty Poppet’ by Denise Bakes – AS&E 81
Looking through these magazines now, even after 10 or 15 years the designs are still as timeless and as stunning as when they were first published.

We’re still working on adding all the back copies of AS&E we have in stock to our website, but this week we now have issues #80 & #81 available.

Grab yourself a piece of smocking and embroidery history while stock still lasts.

Crochet Yourself Healthy
In the past few years there have been a number of studies published outlining the virtues of knitting for our mental, emotional and physical health.

Now a group of researchers from the University of Wollongong, who also happen to crochet believe it or not, are hoping to discover whether these mental health benefits are mirrored in their preferred craft of crochet.

Does crochet offer the same benefits as knitting?
The focus of their study centres around the question of whether a single-handed activity, such as crochet, is as beneficial as its two-handed cousin knitting.
Now as most of us in the Inspirations community are first and foremost embroiderers and are already well versed in the numerous therapeutic benefits it yields, the question of single-handed or double-handed seems a moot point. We instinctively know that needlework of any expression, using one hand, two hands, or even your feet is going to be very, very good for you!

That said, the researchers are calling for help from those who crochet to participate in a survey, so if you are interested you can read more about the study HERE.

Interested in Crochet?

A-Z of Crochet contains everything you need to know in one easy to use, comprehensive manual for beginners through to the advanced.

A-Z of Crochet

Have Your Say

conversation | kɒnvəˈseɪʃ(ə)n - a talk, especially an informal one, between two or more people, in which news and ideas are exchanged.

We love that ‘Have Your Say’ facilitates conversations - conversations that may not have been possible before the internet made the world feel a much smaller place, or without All Stitched Up! creating connections with people who may never have found each other otherwise! This week ‘HYS’ continues a conversation we started some weeks ago in ASU Issue #135 (HERE) and starts new conversations as we look to the All Stitched Up! community to help Norah and Sarah below.

Thank you to everyone who jumped in on the conversations started in ASU #135, here are a couple of highlights of the many terrific responses we received:

Cate Longley asked, ‘How do people keep and store the half-used, left over threads during a project?’

Linda Kelly was one of many to offer sage advice to this popular question, even including a photo (see above) of how she tames the tangles!

Sherri Harris asked for suggestions as to needlework destinations to visit during her upcoming European holiday, including a few days in London, to which Jacqui suggested the London Bead Shop on Kentish Town Road. As London Bead are long-time supporters of Inspirations, we’d have to strongly echo that recommendation! Anyone visiting London should most definitely visit Faye and her team at their magnificent store, or check out their huge range of products online HERE.

You can read all the questions and wonderfully informative answers in the separate PDF document we have put together.


New Conversations:
Here are two new conversations you might want to be a part of:
Norah Jackson | Travel Itinerary
‘I will be traveling to Ireland in late May through to early June and will have some free time in Dublin and Cork. I have looked online to see if there are any local needlework shops or exhibitions in either town but have been unable to find a listing as all I get are commercial embroidery companies. I was hoping that someone might have some ideas for me. Thank you for any help you can offer.’

‘I have been buying Inspirations Magazine right from the start - I have all the magazines from #01 right through to the current issue. I have made many items from your magazine as gifts and for myself and have never had a failure - they always turn out just how they should! Norah - Canada.’
Sara Faddy | Lithuanian Embroidery
‘I would like to ask if anyone can share photos or basic designs for Lithuanian Embroidery. The Country Women's Associations I belong to, with 3,000+ members, will be studying the country for a year and I will be providing items of interest to them. Please let me know if you can help. Kind regards, Sara – Australia.’

Image courtesy Lithuanian Archives Project
If you’d like to add something to any, or all, of these conversations, or perhaps you’ve got a discussion you’d like to get off your chest, we’d love to hear from you. Email – we look forward to facilitating your conversation!
Featured Project
Gloriana by Betsy Morgan
History is a wonderful story teller. She has a treasure chest deeper than the ocean, full of fascinating tales from those who have gone before us, some of which even make for wonderful inspiration when designing a needlework project.

In her project ‘Gloriana’ from Inspiration #98, Betsy Morgan takes us back to the 16th Century and explores the interesting connection between Queen Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scotland.

These two rival women were engaged in a very complex and volatile relationship, yet as cousins, also shared many commonalities. They were both Queens at the same time, both very young Queens, both laid claim to the same throne and were both prolific embroiderers.

To represent each of these Queens in her design, Betsy takes some of the iconic symbols, patterns and colours from the Tudor dynasty, and intertwines flora from the respective regions over which each monarch ruled at the time.

England is represented by the quintessential English Eglantine rose, and Ireland of which Queen Elizabeth also reigned, is represented by shamrocks.

For Queen Mary, Scotland is represented by none other than the striking Scottish Thistle in all its purple glory.
The end result is a delightful shield-shaped reticule containing a needlebook and matching scissor fob, all of which feature beautifully stitched motifs to signify these two Queens.

As is trademark Betsy Morgan, this piece is meticulously designed and created using surface and counted thread techniques, stitched with silk and cotton onto evenweave linen with twisted cords and tassels
to finish the bag and fob. The needlebook is also beautifully finished with a laced silk ribbon hinge.

Why the name Gloriana? Considering Queen Elizabeth I most famous nickname was Gloriana and Betsy has used predominately Gloriana threads through-out, it seemed a very fitting name indeed!

Did you know?

Gloriana includes the use of variegated threads, which when working in cross stitch is best done by completing each cross before moving on to the next. Otherwise when returning to finish the second stitch, you may find the colour of the thread is vastly different to that of the first stitch. (Thanks for the great tip Betsy!)
Make Your Own Gloriana

Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

Gloriana by Betsy Morgan is an elegant counted work reticule with needlebook and scissor fob inspired by Mary, Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth I.

Inspirations Issue 98


Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Gloriana includes everything you need to re-create this elegant reticule: Fabrics (unprinted), interfacings, interlinings, buttons, wool felt, silk ribbon, embroidery threads, beads and needles.


Looking for More Betsy Morgan?
Gilly Flower

Gilly Flower by Betsy Morgan from Inspirations #79 explores counted thread techniques with this unique trinket box.

Gilly Flower

Can’t See the Forest

Can’t See the Forest by Betsy Morgan from Inspirations #96 is a superb sewing box with matching scissor fob.

Can’t See the Forest

Inspirations Issue 96

Can’t See the Forest

Basket of Hugs

Basket of Hugs by Betsy Morgan from Inspirations #54 features lifelike stumpwork and beautiful cross stitch on Nantucket baskets.

Inspirations Issue 54

Tall Year Square

Tall Year Square by Betsy Morgan from Inspirations #93 is a superbly detailed counted work etui that will take you through the four seasons.

Inspirations Issue 93

Classes with Betsy

If you love counted work, and you love Betsy Morgan’s designs, then you will REALLY love taking a class with her in person! Join Betsy at Beating Around the Bush 2018 as she teaches three stunning projects and takes your counted work to a whole new level.

While the one-day class has already sold out, there are still places available for her two and three-day projects, so register today to avoid disappointment.

Beating Around the Bush 2018

What Are You Stitching?
This week’s What Are You Stitching? celebrates the works of needle and thread that are steeped in history.
Jacquie Harvey | Hereward the Wake
‘The Castle Keep that is found in the city of Norwich in the UK is soon to be returned to its original architectural state and will be decorated with many different textiles, the most important being a 15 metre (50’) Bayeux style tapestry, telling the story of Hereward the Wake. I have the privilege of leading 40 plus enthusiastic volunteers, who are just about to embark on the tapestry embroidery, the drawings of which will shortly be completed. The hanging will consist of 10 to 12 joined panels and will hang in the Banqueting Hall when the new Keep opens on Easter in 2020.’

‘Although some volunteers will be more involved sewing the central designs and others the borders, every volunteer and member of the project team will put a stitch or two in the completed tapestry. Although we are at the early stages of this amazing project, two years is not a long time and we all fully appreciate the amount of work that will be required.
The enthusiasm of all the volunteers is amazing, even down to some who just want to come and provide refreshments. As a community project, this is the way to go.’

‘I have recently completed this man’s waistcoat, using our new designs and Appleton’s wool. We are hoping that our two male project leaders may want to wear it when they give talks over the coming months as an unusual way of ‘advertising’ the tapestry!’

Jacquie, not only have you all had the courage to take on an incredibly ambitious project, you’ve managed to find the prefect advertising vehicle for it along the way! We love that history will be recorded through the work of your needles and threads and look forward to sharing in your progress leading up to the opening of the Keep.
Patrina Marsden | Antique Sewing Box
‘Below are photos of my Grandmother's sewing box that I inherited which is over 100 years old. I made Susan O’Connor’s Chatelaine from Inspirations #89 because it was the perfect accessory to fit inside.’

‘I also added a tassel from ‘Bed of Roses’ which is found in Inspirations #7. This was the very first Inspirations magazine I purchased, and the tassels are now found all over my house.’

‘I wanted to thank everyone on the team at Inspirations for all the years of beautiful embroidery they have given.
Embroidery has always been the perfect distraction and sanctuary when traveling through the storms of life and Inspirations provides the ultimate refuge.’

Patrina, you have chosen the perfect project to honour the history of your Grandmother’s Sewing Box! We appreciate your kind words about Inspirations and are honoured to have been a part of your stitching history.
Heather Frizzell | WWI
‘I have just completed this hand embroidered Australian Coat of Arms. This will now head off to England as part of a group exhibition - A Stitch in my Heart – which are embroidered and decorated hearts to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of WWI.
It was a delight to stitch and I look forward to hearing about its travels and eventual new home when the hearts are auctioned off for the Armed Forces Charity in England.
I’m glad Australia will be represented in the exhibition.’

Heather, you’ve represented Australia beautifully through your stitching. It’s amazing to think that this is just the beginning for what you’ve created with needle and thread – like you, we can’t wait to hear how its story ends!

If you’d like to know more about ‘A Stitch in my Heart’, Inspirations Issue #98 features an article about this exhibition as well as a touching piece from Helen M Stevens who has a very personal connection to this project.

Inspirations Issue 98

Subscribe to Inspirations
Not a Subscriber? Join Today!
Become part of the Inspirations family by subscribing to the magazine... we'd love to have you join us!

You May Have Missed
Make Your Own Spring Delights

Spring Delights by Ana Mallah are two pretty, zippered pouches featuring hollyhocks and roses.

Inspirations Issue 98

Spring Delights

Season's Greetings

Season’s Greetings by Ana Mallah from Inspirations #96 is four enchanting Christmas decorations.

Season’s Greetings

Inspirations Issue 96

Season’s Greetings | Snowflake

Season’s Greetings | Poinsettia

Season’s Greetings | Christmas Tree


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


Inspirations Issue 97


Sweet Secret

Sweet Secret by Margaret Light from Inspirations #73 is a sweet and practical purse adorned with vibrant red pelargoniums.

Inspirations Issue 73

Sweet Secret

The Week on Facebook

Wonderful embroidery on these cushions

Beautiful embroidery by Angela Yuklanchuk
‘The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future.’
~ Theodore Roosevelt ~
What's On
28 JUL TO 11 AUG
Contemporary Textiles Exhibition
Buda Historic Home and Garden
42 Hunter Street Castlemaine, Victoria
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

Join our FREE weekly newsletter All Stitched Up!

Back to top