Castle Keep by Victoria Laine

13th November 2020

By now you have probably heard that the rescheduled 2021 Beating Around the Bush needlework convention is on its way! The catalogue is out and the excitement is starting to build here at Inspirations HQ.

But we’re not just excited by the thought of all of the classes, tutors and new friends we get to experience and enjoy.

We’re also eagerly anticipating the treasure trove of amazing, stitched delights we’re going to see for the next Stitch Your Heart Out Challenge.

You might be wondering why we’ve brought this up? Well, the project we’re featuring this week from Inspirations issue #108 actually came to us as an entry in the 2018 Stitch Your Heart Out Challenge.

Entries from Stitch Your Heart Out 2018

You may remember that’s when we celebrated the 10th Anniversary of Beating Around the Bush and to commemorate that milestone, we set a challenge to create an embroidered piece to fit within a 10cm x 10cm square. Stitchers could use any technique and any style they wished, as long as it complied with the size specification.

We received some incredibly creative and innovative projects, which as usual surpassed our expectations, such is the incredible depth of talent that exists within our very own needlework community.

Once such example of a spectacular entry we received is Victoria Laine’s Castle Keep. This gorgeous, delicate project combines traditional canvas work with goldwork and blackwork to create an image so wonderfully detailed, the fact it fits in 10 x 10cm almost defies belief.

Worked on 55-count Kingston linen and using exquisite, stranded silks, beads, sequins and a delicious range of metal threads, Castle Keep allows stitchers to play with a whole range of different stitches and techniques.

Plate couched in a zigzag motion to fill shape and enhance reflection of light

You’ll find yourself marvelling at the textures produced, as Victoria has cleverly rendered the grass, the tiled castle turrets and the patterned walls in a perfect selection of stitches, all highlighted in glittering gold.

This transforms Castle Keep into a fairy tale subject, created in exquisite miniature.

After working Castle Keep, we hope that you will feel inspired to considering entering the Stitch Your Heart Out Challenge for 2021. With numerous categories open for entry, our special themed category for 2021 focuses on the beautiful and essential pollinators of our world – bees.

Titled ‘To Bee or Not to Bee’ entries in this category can be created using any embroidered item, using whatever technique you wish, as long as you use the theme of bees.

As in previous years, we simply can’t wait to see what our incredibly talented stitching community comes up with, and we can’t wait to showcase some of the entries in this newsletter when the time comes!

Or even better - your entry might be published in an issue of Inspirations magazine and we’ll be writing all about it as a featured project.

You can download all of the information about Beating Around the Bush and the Stitch Your Heart Out Challenge by visiting our website HERE.

In the meantime, while you are planning your entry, you can spend some quality time working Victoria Laine’s magnificent Castle Keep which is guaranteed to provide you with all of the inspiration you could need for 2021.

Make Your Own Castle Keep

Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

Castle Keep by Victoria Laine is a miniature castle portrayed using counted thread and goldwork techniques.

Printed Magazines

Inspirations Issue 108

Digital Patterns

Castle Keep – i108 Digital

Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Castle Keep includes everything* you need to re-create this fairy tale castle: Fabric (unprinted), acetate, embroidery threads, beads, sequins and needles.


Castle Keep – i108 Kit

Due to their popularity, Castle Keep kits are currently available on backorder. The good news is that stock is on its way. The not so good news is that due to sourcing lead times and current delivery delays there is an expected wait of 8-12 weeks. We appreciate your patience.

*Please Note: To cater for flexibility of purchase, instructions are not included with our kits. For step-by-step directions on how to create this project, please refer to the magazine/digital pattern.

Join our FREE weekly newsletter All Stitched Up!

Back to top