All Stitched Up! | Issue 146

13th July 2018

Hi There,

Conflict is not usually a term synonymous with ‘All Stitched Up!’ and yet it is the first word that appears in this week’s ‘Featured Project’ article. You’ll have to read on to find out more, but we unpack an historical path from conflict to harmony that gave rise to an icon that has been well represented through needle and thread over time.

Whilst conflict may not be a term usually used within this newsletter, unfortunately it is sometimes a term that becomes synonymous with our own needlework journeys.

It is our conflict with perfection.

Perfection can paralyse us as we seek out what next to put our needles and threads to, or as we try to fulfil a list of stitching requirements with exacting precision. It might take hold as we practise each new stitch relentlessly or perhaps as we find ourselves stitching and restitching as we pursue a faultless finish.

Is it possible to move from conflict to harmony on our own journeys with needle and thread?

Absolutely! One of the ways we can do this is to remember an observation that has been credited to Voltaire:

‘Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.’
Whilst hard to put into practice, once we truly understand that it’s better to get something done imperfectly than to do nothing perfectly, we’ll edge closer to the harmony that needle and thread can truly afford us.

Have Your Say

In All Stitched Up! #143 (HERE) we mentioned Lesley-Anne’s upcoming trip to Oslo in the hope we could point her in the right direction so she could indulge her love of needle and thread and this week we do just that!
Alice Hoyle
‘I highly recommend Lesley-Anne visits a store called Heimen Husfliden in Oslo. I was amazed at the scope of items in this store and could have spent all afternoon there!’

image courtesy
Heather Cartmel
‘I too will be in Oslo in August. My research has located a quilt shop called Kathrine’s Quilte Stue which can be found at Frederick Stangsgate 41, Frogner and the Hardanger Folk Museum which is Utne in the north of Norway. I also understand that most of the Folk Museums throughout Norway have embroidered costumes on display.’

Hardanger Folk Museum & Kathrine’s Quilte Stue
Lesley-Anne, we hope this helps fill your travel itinerary and that your trip to Norway is the adventure of a lifetime!
Needlework News
The Cupboard is Bare!
When it came time to put together the ‘What Are You Stitching?’ segment this week and showcase all the wonderous needlework our readers have been working on, guess what we found?

Our cupboard of projects is starting to look very bare! So, we need your help…

Please send us photos of your needlework, whether it’s in progress, recently finished, or completed a long time ago, it doesn’t matter. The Inspirations needlework community would LOVE to see it.

Your project might just be the spark someone needs to ignite their stitching mojo, so email in photos and a few details about your stitching journey to

Last Jo-Beautiful Card…
Several weeks ago we added a collection of Jo Butcher greeting cards to our website that we thought were oh so-beautiful, we called them ‘Jo-Beautiful’ cards. They sold like hot cakes and were all gone before we knew it. For anyone who missed out, we have just added one more design.

This design is a printed reproduction of Jo’s cute lace Beehive set in an English garden. But you better ‘bee’ quick these cards won’t last!

Jo Butcher | Greeting Card

Winding Up in Style…
Thread winders. Practical needlework tools designed to keep threads neat and orderly. Sounds rather dull and boring really! Thankfully one day someone decided ‘she/he who dies with the coolest collection of thread winders wins’ and a seemingly endless array of different winders ensued.

New to our website this week are two such examples from Kelmscott Designs who have created some very stylish mother-of-pearl ewe and hare shaped winders.

We only have a handful available so if you want them, be quick or ewe’ll be hopping mad you missed out!

Kelmscott Thread Winders

World’s Quirkiest Beanie Festival
Every year, thousands of people from around the world descend on Alice Springs for the famous Beanie Festival. This is where the humble beanie is transformed and celebrated as a work of art and raises crucial funds for the local Indigenous artists and their communities. The artistry and inventiveness seen at this event is legendary.

Image courtesy ABC Alice Springs: Emma Sleath
Now in its 22nd year, the theme for the 2018 event was ‘Reach for the Stars’ and you can read a great article about the festival HERE or visit the official Alice Springs Beanie Festival website HERE. It’s well worth a look!
Featured Project
Tudor Rose –Symbolic Needlework
Conflict. It appears to be etched into the DNA of humanity. It started with Cain and Abel back in Biblical times and continues even today in our modern ‘civilised’ world, where some days it can feel as if conflict is all around us.
Thankfully we have the escape of needlework to distract us where peace and tranquillity abound, and conflict only exists when our needles misbehave!
This week we’re looking at the iconic Tudor Rose which has become an emblem synonymous with unity and peace.

To fully appreciate it’s meaning, we need to take a quick trip back in time to 1455, when Richard, Duke of York forceably became King of England by overthrowing Henry VI thus triggering a civil war between two families: House of Lancaster and House of York.

Both families had heraldic badges at the time featuring roses – a white rose for supporters of the House of York, and a red rose signified allegiance to the House of Lancaster, hence this famous conflict became known as the ‘War of the Roses’.

Fortunately, it all came to an end in 1485 when the House of Lancaster asserted final authority over the throne by winning the Battle of Bosworth and Henry Tudor became king. To cement his rather tenuous claim over the throne, in an act of either blind love or strategic brilliance, Henry chose a bride from the opposing family and his marriage to Elizabeth of York united the warring houses once and for all.

As victor Henry York, now King Henry VII, needed a new emblem to replace the divisive red and white roses which incited rivalry, he blended both rose varietals together to create one of the very first hybrid rose species and called it the ‘Tudor Rose’. Ever since the magnificent red and white Tudor rose has been used to signify harmony and unity.

Tudor rose cushion by May Morris
Fast forward to 1892 and May Morris, daughter of William Morris, designed a striking silk embroidered cushion centred around the Tudor rose. Interestingly she was experiencing her own personal conflict during this time in her life with a marriage break down due to her affair with a former lover. Perhaps she was seeking the harmony the famous Tudor rose personified?

Fast forward now to present day and inspired by May’s gorgeous cushion, the talented designer Michele Hill has created her own rendition of the Tudor rose as an appliqué cushion which features in her book ‘William Morris in Appliqué’.

The large Tudor rose in the centre of Michele’s fabulous cushion, uses similar bold red and orange tones as May used in her piece. Small stamens of the flower are then accentuated against the light colour print of the ground fabric. The shapes are outlined by hand using two strands of thread for the blanket stitch to emphasize and add texture to the design lines and some shapes are outlined using a variegated thread for added detail.

The finished cushion measures 50cm (20") square and is both a wonderful homage to May Morris and a beautiful appliqué rendition of a Tudor rose.

Another extremely popular needlework project featuring the Tudor rose was created by our very own Susan O’Connor.

‘Chatelaine’ first appeared in Inspirations issue #89 and went on to be one of our best-selling kits of all time. It’s popularity also meant printed copies of issue #89 sold out and it is now a rare issue – thankfully the project is still available as a digital pattern.

This elegant collection of scissor sheath, needle book and pinwheel comes in two different colour schemes, rich reds and creams for the Tudor rose and soft pinks and creams for Rosa eglantine.

Stitched onto silk satin with lustrous silk, metallic thread and sparkling
paillettes, each piece is bordered with corded coral stitch and hangs from a gold twisted cord looped through mother of pearl rings.

Out of a conflict 560 years ago, a magnificent symbol of unity and peace was birthed and has prevailed throughout history. What a wonderful legacy to use for creating beautiful needlework and a reminder that even out of deep conflict, lasting good can prevail.
Make Your Own Tudor Rose
Tudor Rose by Michele Hill

William Morris In Appliqué is the best-selling book by Michele Hill featuring William Morris inspired projects ranging from a cushion to a queen size quilt, suitable for quilters of all skill levels.

William Morris in Appliqué

Chatelaine by Susan O’Connor

Keep your most precious sewing accessories together and close at hand by creating this elegant collection of scissor sheath, needle book and pinwheel.


Looking for More Tudor Projects?
Tudor Garden

Tudor Garden by Valerie Witcombe from Inspirations #59 is a glorious Elizabethan inspired floral quilt.

Inspirations Issue 59

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Vivienne Cox from Inspirations #87 is a superb evening bag with Elizabethan inspired flowers

Inspirations Issue 87

Elizabethan Sweetbag

Elizabethan Sweetbag by Susan O’Connor from Inspirations #36 is a sweetbag featuring the rich colours and textures that were favoured in Tudor times.

Elizabethan Sweetbag

What Are You Stitching?
The Tudor rose is but one of the many flowers consistently reproduced with needle and thread. Walk with us as we stroll through the garden of flowers that have been ‘grown’ by the needles and threads of the Inspirations community…
Ann Veitch | Australia
‘These are my attempts at stumpwork which I really enjoyed doing. They were something different to stitch and I do like a challenge! Having never done this type of work before, they slowly evolved. I used a magnifying glass and the sun over my shoulder for good light.

The wooden bee and thistle frame was turned by my eldest son in camphor laurel wood. He was very thoughtful about the framing of this piece which made it all the more precious for me. Both projects were equally challenging, but enjoyable to do.’

Ann, you have risen to the challenge of stumpwork beautifully! Your pieces are intricate and have a beautiful sense of dimension to them.

Jacqui Smith | UK
‘I have stitched in one way or another for most of my life, eventually finding enjoyment like many of us, with cross stitch. It wasn’t until I attended a one-day class here in the NW of England with a lovely lady called Sumi, that I discovered a world of stumpwork, goldwork as well as surface embroidery.

15 years later and I am still enthralled with it!
This Annie Huntley design was ordered from Australia. I loved working on it and added some of my own ideas. I belong to a stitching group who meets regularly. We inspire and help each other, often stretching our talents far beyond our expectations.’

Jacqui, what a unique and spectacular piece! We love that you’ve found a group of like-minded people to share your stitching journey with and can’t wait to see what’s next from your needle and thread.
Jane Page | UK
‘I recently acquired a wooden barrel which had previously held coffee and just knew it cried out to be covered and embroidered!

It is perfect for holding my various sewing bits and pieces and complements the old mill reel I turned into a holder for crochet hooks perfectly.’

As always Jane, we love how incredibly creative you are with needle and thread! You definitely make the world around you more beautiful one stitch at a time.
Sandra Bryan | USA
‘First of all I just want to say how much I truly enjoy both your magazine and weekly newsletter. I’ve been inspired by them both as well as the vast collection of books I have acquired over the years. I have several Trish Burr books and have been telling myself for years that I was going to try one of her projects.
Well, my Mom’s 90th birthday was coming up and I finally got up my nerve to try one!
The flower turned out so well that I also decided to try my hand at stumpwork and added a butterfly, a slight variation of one I found in a Jane Nicholas book. It turned out better than I expected, and my Mom was thrilled!’

Sandra, what a beautiful gift for your Mom. The time and talent you've poured into it makes it something to be treasured and with that as your first attempt at needlepainting and stumpwork, the sky's the limit!

Do you have something that you’ve ‘grown’ with needle and thread? We’d love to add it to our garden! Email photos of what you’ve created with needle and thread along with a few details about your stitching journey to

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How wonderful is this stumpwork Embroidery by Kay Dennis?

Spectacular, by Helen M Stevens
Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.
~ Vince Lombardi ~
What's On
Jan Taminiau | Reflections Exhibition

A major exhibition on the work of Jan Taminiau

Centraal Museum
Agnietenstraat 1, 3512 XA Utrecht, The Netherlands

Hanging Thread: Gillian Creelman
San Francisco School of Needlework & Design
Suite 604/360 Post Street, San Francisco
17 TO 22 JUL
Bridging Stitches

Bridging Stitches / Un pont entre les points | EAC Seminar 2018

University of Prince Edward Island
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada

20 TO 25 JUL
Days of Vines & Stitches

Days of Vines & Stitches | Greater Pacific Region of the EGA Biennial Seminar

Sonoma State University
Rohnert Park California, USA

Exhibition: “I walked out and was inspired” by The Five Muses

Days of Vines & Stitches | Greater Pacific Region of the EGA Biennial Seminar

Snape Maltings | The Quay Gallery
Next to the River Alde, Snape, Suffolk

28 JUL TO 11 AUG
Contemporary Textiles Exhibition
Buda Historic Home and Garden
42 Hunter Street Castlemaine, Victoria
30 JULY | 12:00
The World's Longest Band Sampler

For World Embroidery Day

San Francisco School of Needlework & Design
Suite 604/360 Post Street, San Francisco

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