All Stitched Up! | Issue 122

26th January 2018

Hi There,

Welcome to 2018!

The start of another calendar year often brings with it the allure of the ‘new’. New year, new us. So, with the very best of intentions we set about making New Year’s resolutions and all is good... until they get the better of us. Did you know that by the first week of February, around 80% of New Year’s resolutions have been broken? There has to be a better way!

And there is... some years ago we were introduced to the concept of three words for the year. At the beginning of every year, you choose three words that have personal meaning to you that you will use as guideposts in the coming year, words that will help shepherd you towards the lasting results you want to experience that year. The words should be written down and posted anywhere and everywhere so they become a part of your decision-making process every day. They should create focus for the goals you set, the choices you make and the projects you undertake.

That got us thinking... what if we were to choose three words that would bring about a new direction in our stitching for 2018?

Maybe one of our words should be persistent to help us complete the one – or many – projects we’ve started but are yet to complete? Perhaps we’ve been putting off trying a new technique and so adventurous could be one of our words of choice. Another might be social as we seek to stitch with others rather than on our own. Simplify would be the perfect word if our stitching supplies have multiplied beyond what we can store. Give might encourage us to pass the skills we have with needle and thread onto someone else and grateful might remind us to enjoy each and every stitch we complete. It may be that soothe is one of our words as we determine to pay attention to the repetitive push and pull of the needle through the fabric and truly appreciate its meditative and restoring rhythm.

Choosing three words for 2018 is worth a try, if nothing else, and who knows, maybe we’ll get to the end of 2018 and find out that this New Year really did herald in a new us?!

Have a think about your words for 2018 and let us know what words you’ve chosen to help guide your stitching journey this year, we’d love to hear them. Email them to

Above: Festive Fruit – Inspirations #96
New Look Newsletter for 2018
Embroidery News Now ‘All Stitched Up!’

In case you missed the announcement, the Inspirations newsletter formerly known as ‘Embroidery News’ is now called ‘All Stitched Up!’ - so welcome to our first issue with the new format.

Inspirations ‘All Stitched Up!’ provides you with a weekly fix of the world’s most beautiful needlework hand delivered to your Inbox every Friday. Still featuring all your usual favourite segments, ‘All Stitched Up!’ picks up where Embroidery News left off and seeks to give a voice to the global needlework community.

‘All Stitched Up!’ is all about you, it’s a place to join with kindred spirits and showcase our stitching, be inspired to try something new, and share our stories about how needlework has made our lives more beautiful.

We’re always looking for your input, so get involved and email us anything that’s on your mind and maybe even a photo or three to

Tell your friends, tell your family, tell anyone who will listen to join up and let’s get ‘All Stitched Up!’ together every Friday.

If you are reading a friend’s copy or an online version and are yet to sign up yourself, you can join our mailing list for free by visiting our website HERE

Benefits of Needlework
Impact of Embroidery
Ann McDowall from Canada shares her story of how needlework has been her life-long support in times of need…
“As a child, I was taught to embroider and knit by my mother and grandmothers. At the school I attended, I did two terms of embroidery. The summer I was 12, I purchased a printed tray cloth and a few threads. The cloth had a mushroom design in blue printing. I worked the cloth in an embroidery hoop then sent it to my grandmother; who always displayed it when I visited. It came back to me in excellent condition when she died a few years ago. I am still very proud of this and I know it gave her great pleasure to see her granddaughter do embroidery!

Having this skill proved to be a saving grace when I was in my late teens. Overnight I went from athlete (swimming and triathlon) to a major heart problem and arthritis in my back and hips. I was bed ridden to start with, then barely able to walk for a long time. Hand work, both knitting and embroidery, kept me sane through a very difficult time.

Later I had orthopaedic surgery on my ankles which meant another long bout of limited mobility, but my embroidery kept me going.

A few years later, my husband became very concerned after our son was born because I was not doing embroidery; he took me to our doctor and insisted there must be a real problem - I had postpartum depression!


‘Amaryllis at Dusk’ (above) is a project I created in 2004 after my first son was born as part of the Embroidery Guild of America "Flower Focus" Challenge 2004 Project. The amaryllis flower head is petit point mounted on a canvas work background. I later submitted it and took 2nd place in the Bobby Pilling Memorial Award at EGA's 2008 seminar.

‘Essence of Chair’ was my final design for the EGA Design for Embroidery individual correspondence course in 2012. One of the exercises in the course was to do a contour drawing. My drawing of a chair lead to this canvas work design.

Today I have a large stash. It's a security blanket all organized so that if needed I can ask my husband or children to go and get me everything I need to do a specific embroidery project or create my own design. Knowing that I have projects at hand to keep me busy for months without getting up is very reassuring. I am one lucky lady as my husband truly does understand the importance of my hobbies!”

Ann, we love your story of persistence. It’s great that you were able to stitch your way through so much. We really like the way your husband used your disinterest in embroidery as a yard stick to measure your mental health. How observant and kind. Also, your stash sounds like a shop! Can we come and play?

Needlework News
Inspirations 2018 Calendar – February Project
February is the month of love and for the romantics among us we have something special just for you!

‘Loves Me’ by Susan O’Connor from Inspirations #70 captures that moment we all hope for… when the last petal removed from a freshly picked daisy confirms our hearts desire, that our true love does in fact love us in return!

You too can forever capture that moment in needle and thread with the project ‘Loves Me’ now available as a digital pattern. Printed copies of Inspirations #70 are also still available.

Loves Me
Inspirations Issue 70
Final Call - Inspirations 2018 Calendar

Equip yourself with the essential stitching tool needed for the year ahead – the world’s most beautiful needlework calendar!

Stock is still available, but be quick…once they’re gone you’ll have to wait a whole year for the next one!

Murder Mystery Quilt
Looking for a unique way to indulge your love of needle and thread this year? We recently heard about the Murder Mystery Quilt and it may be just the thing for you!
‘The Murder Mystery Quilt is a monthly subscription club that reads along together and stitches up a quilt to find clues and solve the murder. This is a mystery quilt in the traditional sense – you sew a block each month and the overall design of the quilt isn’t revealed until all the blocks are sewn. Additionally, along with the block pattern and design, you receive a chapter of a mystery story. Each chapter reveals clues and as the plot unfolds it’s your job to seek out whodunit!’
Intrigued? Why not subscribe HERE, but you’ll have to be quick as registration closes on 30 January!
Modern Folk Embroidery
Inspirations #96 included a review of the book ‘Modern Folk Embroidery’ by Nancy Nicholson:
The projects are a perfect vehicle to display Nancy’s sampler-like designs. You will find birds, butterflies, flowers and interesting stitch combinations to display in a frame or make up into pretty cushions, bags, needlework accessories and embellished clothing.
Copies of Nancy book are now available from our website.
Featured Project
The Sleep Quilt: A Book by Tracy Chevalier and Fine Cell Work
If you’ve been a part of the Inspirations ‘family’ for some time, you may recall that Fine Cell Work was our charity of choice at our needlework convention, Beating Around the Bush, in 2016.

Fine Cell Work’s mission is to train prisoners in the UK in creative, commercial craftwork so they re-enter society with the self-belief and independence to lead fulfilling and crime-free lives.

We recently heard about a beautiful new book that has been produced from the work of the prisoners Fine Cell Work trains - The Sleep Quilt.

‘This quilt is unlike any other quilt you will have seen. Commissioned by Tracy Chevalier, it is entirely stitched and quilted by prisoners in some of Britain’s toughest jails. Each of its sixty-three panels describes a prisoner's personal feelings about sleep.
Each panel of The Sleep Quilt is featured on its own page, and there are many further pages of close-up details, and comments by some of the prisoners who worked on it. An essay by Tracy Chevalier tells the story of how she commissioned the quilt and how it was made. The huge difference that this work can make to prisoners' lives and to their eventual reintegration in society is described by Katy Emck, director of Fine Cell Work. The book is completed by personal recollections of prisoners whose lives have been turned around by what they learned from Fine Cell Work.’
This book makes a fabulous addition to your stitching library or coffee table, with your purchase helping to fund the life changing activities of Fine Cell Work. Beyond purchasing The Sleep Quilt alone, there is currently a campaign running on Indiegogo HERE through until 7 February where you can order the book as well as additional perks including limited edition versions of the book plus unique cushions and quilts stitched by the prisoners themselves.
Make sure you order your copy of The Sleep Quilt today and start 2018 by paying it forward one stitch at a time!
What Are You Stitching?
Following on from a newsletter of firsts – first newsletter for 2018 and first as ‘All Stitched Up!’ – What Are You Stitching? continues more firsts as this week we showcase some wonderful needlework by stitchers who are appearing in our newsletter for the very first time. Welcome, Liz, Marjolein, Olga and Ursula - we’re so glad you joined us!
Liz Williams | USA
‘My father taught me to embroider when I was just eight years old. He had a major accident (falling two stories from scaffolding that collapsed while he was working on it, breaking all the bones in his feet) and to pass the time while he recovered, he embroidered. I learned from just hanging around him during this time. When I was 10 years old I learned to sew my own clothes and of course in the 60's it was cool to embroider your clothes, so I did! In the 70's I did Crewel Embroidery and had the whole house decorated with my work, but then life changed.
By the 90's, Embroidery Machines were the thing, but Hand Embroidery was still my passion. Silk Ribbon came into style and I indulged in that.
I just finished my first Crewel Embroidery in 37 years.

This piece is from The Crewel Work Company and is the first time I have done Needle Painting, which I truly enjoyed. I love the feel of wool, but in Texas wool is loved by moths, plus the warm climate makes it hard to work with most of the year. Now I'm doing simple Hand Embroidery on Quilts. I am also going to try Needlepoint, I'm taking an online class to learn the Bayeux Stitch, and I have a class of Trish Burr’s to do… oh my, do I have a lot to do! Your Magazine is the best, I have all issues of them.’ Your supporter, Liz B Williams.

Liz, you picked up where you left off 37 years ago - with a piece of Crewel Embroidery that would be a fabulous addition to the décor of anyone’s house. You certainly have a lot on your needlework To Do List and we can’t wait to see what comes of it!

Marjolein Van Vessam | The Netherlands
‘What a joy it is to receive your newsletter! I love embroidery and beading, with sometimes a bit of mixed media in it. This piece - Amsterdam is Changing - took some months to make, but I loved how it grew under my hands.

I learned to look up pictures on the internet and then incorporate them into my work. The ferry was the first object I stitched. This work is about Amsterdam growing and growing, with high buildings and more and more people. It was great to make this and now I have finished I feel sort of lost, but I am sure that will pass and something else will come up to stitch.’

Marjolein, you’ve managed to capture the hustle and bustle of a growing city with needle and thread perfectly. Your stitching has an incredible sense of creativity and uniqueness about it so we’re sure you’ll be onto your ‘something else’ in no time at all!

Olga Anikeeva | Hungary
‘I got acquainted with Inspirations five years ago, and it has been my most favorite magazine ever since! I enjoy learning new embroidery techniques and over the past years I have tried Long and Short Stitch Embroidery, Stumpwork, Reticello, Needlelace as well as Whitework and Cutwork. Issue 95 of the magazine was particularly interesting for me because of ‘Enchanted Forest’ designed by Zinaida Kazban. I have followed Zinaida’s work for a long time and when I saw this design I began working on it at once. The bunny came out very nice. Thank you so much for inspiring embroidery enthusiasts like me to master the secrets of our favorite craft!’ Olga.

Olga, we love that Inspirations has become inspiration for your stitching journey. You have mastered the secrets of embroidery well as your version of Zinaida’s Enchanted Forest is enchanting indeed!

If you’d like to read more about Olga’s stitching journey, her blog can be found HERE

Or if you’d like to make your own ‘Enchanted Forest’, ready-to-stitch kits and printed copies of Inspirations #95 are still available.

Enchanted Forest – i95 kit
Inspirations Issue 95
Ursula Hodson | UK
‘It’s finished at last! We had lived in our house and raised our family, but after almost fifty happy years it was time to down size. Jenny Adin-Christie drew out the design for me and helped with the project throughout.
This was most enjoyable to work and my favourite item on the design is our dog, Hector. Thank you for your much-enjoyed magazine and regular newsletter. Ursula.’

Ursula, what an incredible way to commemorate fifty years well lived. Your meticulous stitching has done justice to Jenny Adin-Christie’s design - it turns out that you and Jenny make quite the stitching team!

Do you have a needlework ‘first’ you’d like to share with us?! Simply 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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Beating Around the Bush Update
BATB 2018 – Registration Opens 5th Feb!

The countdown is well and truly on with only 10 days until registration opens for Beating Around the Bush 2018.

What’s all the fuss about you may be wondering?

BATB is the world’s most beautiful needlework convention hosted by Inspirations every two years and held in our home town of Adelaide, South Australia. The next one is October 3rd to 10th this year, where needlework fans from across the globe will gather together and bask in days of glorious stitching with a choice of 18 elite needlework tutors, teaching over 50 exquisite projects.

If you are considering attending, we’d LOVE to host you. Make sure you have perused the catalogue, have your class selections ready along with special event choices and accommodation preferences (if you are staying onsite) for when registration opens 9am Adelaide time on 5th February.

We’re looking forward to seeing you there!

Looking for the FREE digital catalogue? Click HERE
Best Sellers of 2017
What Was Hot in 2017?

Our website team have crunched the numbers and put together some lists of hot sellers from the Inspirations website for 2017.

So, for all the list lovers out there, here are a few ‘Top 5’s’ you can see if you can check off…

Top 5 Inspirations Issues
Every issue of Inspirations magazine is unique and beloved in its own right… but there is one issue every two years that is particularly popular – the Beating Around the Bush special. Inspirations #93 showcased eight spectacular projects from BATB 2016 and subsequently won the best seller for 2017. Here are the Top 5:


Inspirations Issue 93
Inspirations Issue 95
Inspirations Issue 89
Inspirations Issue 94
Inspirations Issue 96
Top 5 Kits
The hottest kit to be seen with last year by far was ‘Strawberry Fayre’ by Carolyn Pearce from Inspirations 95. From the moment Issue 95 was released, our kit department was inundated with orders and worked tirelessness to try and keep up with demand.

If sourcing the 75 different intricate components for this complex kit wasn’t hard enough, a supply shortage of some specific DMC and Madeira threads meant the wait time for a ‘Strawberry Fayre’ kit was as epic as the project itself!

The good news is, all the kits were finally shipped out just before Christmas (hooray!) and we even had a few left over. So, if you missed out on the most popular kit of 2017, order one of the last five today!


Strawberry Fayre – i95 Kit

Tall Year Square – i93 Kit
David Smyth’s Garden – APFN Kit
Hanabatake – i95 Kit
Can’t See the Forest – i96
Top 5 Printed Books
Everyone loves a good needlework book and in 2017 we were spoiled for choice with the release of several new books, plus some old favourites coming back in print. Even the BATB 2018 catalogue, which is almost a book in its own right, made is on the list! Here are our Top 5 sellers of 2017:
A Passion for Needlework
Art of Bead Embroidery Japanese Style
Beating Around the Bush 2018 Catalogue
The Embroiderer's Little Book of Hints & Tips
Home Sweet Home
This Week on Facebook
Pansies and more pansies, now this was not a quick project!
Just beautiful, all blue!
“You know all those things you’ve always wanted to do?
You should go do them.”
~ Anonymous ~
What's On
May Morris | Art & Life
William Morris Gallery
Lloyd Park, Forest Road Walthamstow, London
Hannah Ryggen | Woven Histories
Modern Art Oxford
30 Pembroke Street Oxford, UK
Jeanie Baker’s Circle Exhibition
Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens
Brisbane, Queensland
Bridging Stitches / Un pont entre les points | EAC Seminar 2018
University of Prince Edward Island
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada
The Royal School of Needlework’s Embellishment in Fashion Exhibition
Royal School of Needlework
Hampton Court Palace Surrey, UK
22 TO 24 FEB
The Art of Needlework
Moorings Park Auditorium
120 Moorings Park Drive Naples, Florida
24 FEB
Fibre Fest | Artisan Textiles, Embellishments, Unique Fibers & Wearable Art!
Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum
703 South 2nd Street La Connor, WA USA

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