Secret Garden by Margaret Light

28th April 2023

Everyone loves to learn about a secret. It might be a secret ingredient, a secret location, or a secret stitching technique, either way it’s the allure of finding out something few other people know.

When it came time to review this week’s project, Secret Garden by Margaret Light from Inspirations issue #118, we were curious as to what secrets we might uncover within.

Secret Garden is a pair of two generously sized magical cushions featuring bold red geraniums on one and sunny orange and yellow nasturtiums on the other.

If you read the above description before actually seeing the designs, chances are the reveal would be somewhat different to that which you envisaged. This is because Margaret has used some rather advanced and non-traditional design and needlework techniques to produce these striking botanical pieces. That led us to the discovery of the first secret…

Secret 1 – Skeleton Outlines

One of the disruptions to how you might typically anticipate a pair of nasturtiums and geraniums to be presented in stitch is the use of skeleton outlines for several of the design elements.

The purpose of this technique is not to give the impression of something in progress, rather it creates focal points. It’s a tool used to provide contrast and relief from blocks of solid colour. It offers up an airiness or lightness to the design that you wouldn’t achieve by filling everything in. 

This is a clever design secret you can use to control your audience’s attention as it creates hot spots of interest and offers but a suggestion rather than providing the obvious.

Secret 2 – Gumnut Yarns

Another secret we came across was the use of Gumnut Yarns, which in and of itself doesn’t sound like much of a secret until you consider the application.

Gumnut Yarns is somewhat unique in their offering thanks to each of their 200 shades being available in exactly the same colour across a variety of different weights and finishes.

This means you can achieve a wonderful variety of textures and finishes without hunting for a colour match.

This includes fine wool, crewel wool, stranded silk, perlé silk and a silk/wool blend, all hand-dyed to exacting standards.

These are just the first two secrets we’ve discovered along the way; we haven’t mentioned the secret of using napkins as a ground fabric which is a fabulously inventive way to create cushions. Or the secret of using 18 different stitch techniques all of which add to the complexity and depth of the project.

What secrets will you uncover when you create your own Secret Garden?

Make Your Own Secret Garden

Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

Secret Garden by Margaret Light is two large cushions featuring bold red geraniums and sunny orange and yellow nasturtiums.

Printed Magazines

Inspirations Issue 118

Digital Patterns

Secret Garden – i118 Digital

Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kits for Secret Garden include everything* you need to re-create these magical cushions: Fabrics (unprinted), sewing threads, embroidery threads and needles.


Secret Garden: Nasturtium – i118 Kit


Secret Garden: Geranium – i118 Kit

*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.

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