All Stitched Up! | Issue 123

2nd February 2018

Hi There,

If you’re familiar with the movie ‘Pay It Forward’ released in 2000, you might have heard of the goodwill movement known as ‘paying it forward’ that blossomed after its release.

The idea of paying it forward is this: when someone does something for you, instead of paying the person back directly, you pass it onto someone else instead. Paying it forward can be as simple as holding the door open for someone through to paying for the person in line behind you.

But what would happen if we were to take this idea and turn it into ‘Stitch It Forward’?

Could we take the time, the talent and the resources we devote to our stitching and benefit others?

Absolutely! In fact, many of us are probably already doing it, some of us without even realising we’re a part of the ‘Stitch It Forward’ movement! From loaning someone a stitching tool they forgot to bring to class through to taking a new stitcher under our wing and passing on what we’ve learned to date, we’re all ‘Stitching It Forward’.

To further promote the idea of ‘Stitching It Forward’, future issues of Inspirations All Stitched Up! will feature opportunities for you to use your love of everything needle and thread to make the world more beautiful one stitch at a time.

So, from now on, when you need to repay someone for something they’ve done for you, simply work out a way to ‘Stitch It Forward’!

We’d love to gather a list of ways to Stitch It Forward, so email us your ideas of how we can use our powers of stitching for good to, we can’t wait to hear from you.

Stitch It Forward
Welcome Blanket Project
Someone who’s already taken the opportunity to Stitch It Forward is Rosio Torres and this week Donna Kennedy Fry pieces her story together for us…

We love hearing from our readers, we truly have a global audience. We hear about the world in more detail than we would normally enjoy, as people share their stories and give us a glimpse into their lives. It’s comforting to know that there is more that draws us together than tears us apart. The story below is from one such reader. We loved her story and we hope you do too.

‘My name is Rosío Torres. I’m from Perú, but live in California, USA. I purchased your publication Blissful Beginnings many years ago and when I heard about the Welcome Blanket Project I decided to stitch this beautiful design.’

The Welcome Blanket Project aims to connect people living in the United States with the country’s new immigrants through stories and handmade blankets, providing both symbolic and literal comfort and warmth.
‘It’s now finished with some modifications. I made one of the dogs a she-doggie in honor of my little dog Tamika and one of the balls is pink. I simplified the border because I was in a hurry to mail it to the Smart Museum in Chicago where it was going to be displayed after which it will be gifted to a family of refugees. I’m very pleased to be able to help at least one child while doing what I love the most - embroidery.’
Photos courtesy of Michael Tropea
The images speak for themselves, don’t they? When the call went out for blankets made with love, just like Rosío, many a stitcher responded. Regardless of the methods used to create the projects, the final recipient is sure to feel the love and welcome from their new country – and all because someone took the time to Stitch It Forward!
Blissful Beginnings
If Rosío has inspired you to stitch your own blanket, the book Blissful Beginnings is a great place to start.
Featuring the project ‘Puppy Fun’ which Rosío based her blanket on, ‘Blissful Beginnings’ is filled with an enticing medley of fresh, modern designs as well as traditional favourites.
Blissful Beginnings
Needlework News
BATB 2018 – Registration Opens Monday!
We’re close enough to count the sleeps! Yes, it’s true - registration for Beating Around the Bush 2018 opens this coming Monday February 5th at 9am Adelaide, South Australia time. Here is how it works…

Online Registration – Our website is the fastest and most efficient way of registering for BATB as all class and onsite accommodation availability is shown in real time. If you select a class you want to attend and it’s available, you can book it right then and there and you’re guaranteed a spot.

Postal Registrations – All postal forms we’ve received have been filed in order of receipt and we’ll begin processing them via the website once registration opens.

Phone Registration – Call our office and we’ll register you online over the phone. Getting through may take a while, but if you’re happy for a call back, either leave a voice message or email us at on the day and we’ll get back to you as quickly as possible.

REMINDER – To streamline your registration, have two class options ready for each workshop in case your first preference has booked out. Familiarise yourself with onsite accommodation options if required and review the special events schedule to determine which event you would like to attend. To secure your registration, a credit card payment is required on the day and if preferred, we do offer the option of 50% upfront payment with the balance due July 6th.

TO REGISTER ONLINE – visit our website and click on the REGISTER TO ATTEND EVENT link.

TO REGISTER VIA PHONE – call +61 8 8293 8600

NEED A CATALOGUE? – Either download a digital copy for free HERE or purchase a printed copy by clicking below.

RSN – Behind the Scenes Video
According to the saying, a picture is worth a thousand words. How much more then are moving pictures worth? A good measure of this is the new Royal School of Needlework ‘behind the scenes’ video which beautifully showcases this wonderful institution.

We’ve all heard about the amazing projects the RSN has worked on, imagined what Hampton Court might look like, know a bit of their rich history and are familiar with some of their famous alumnae such as Jenny Adin-Christie and Nicola Jarvis, and now you can experience it like never before.

For the majority of us who have never actually been to the RSN, this video is the next best thing and does a marvellous job of explaining who the RSN is and what they do.

You can check out the video HERE and read more about the RSN on their website HERE.

For those lucky enough to be contemplating attending the RSN this year, they still have a few places in their Certificate Intensive Courses as follows:

- Jacobean Crewelwork: 25 June – 5 July
- Canvaswork/Blackwork: 9 – 20 July
- Silk Shading: 23 July – 2 August
- Goldwork: 6 – 16 August

Beginner Stitching Tutorials

While we’re on the subject of moving pictures, we found some neat ‘getting started’ tutorial videos that are perfect for anyone at the beginning of their needlework journey, or for those looking for some help on the fundamentals of embroidery.

Stitcharama have produced a series of 10 videos all 30-60 seconds in duration, covering topics such as how to use a hoop, split stitch, French knot and even one explaining basic embroidery supplies.

You can watch the videos on the Stitcharama website HERE

Inspirations Issue 97 Update

We’ve heard the rumblings… the tribe is getting restless and there are even rumours of idle hands poised ready to stitch but are waiting, waiting, waiting for the next issue of Inspirations Magazine!

We bring good news… subscriber copies of issue 97 have been despatched and are making their way across the globe this very moment, some have even arrived.

The official release date for Inspirations #97 is February 15th so look for it at your local store soon thereafter.

Alternatively, you can order a copy from our website today:

Featured Project
The Embroiderer’s Handbook
It is said that a skilled craftsman never blames their tools. For this to be true, two assumptions can be made… you either know how to create something great despite the use of inferior tools, or you have the ability to identify inadequate tools at the outset and avoid using them in the first place.

‘In either outcome, one truism remains – a skilled craftsman possesses knowledge, which is a tool in itself. Enter ‘The Embroiderer’s Handbook’.

The Embroiderer’s Handbook is almost mythical in the world of needlework as many have heard about it but been unable to buy it as the book has spent most of its published life out of print. First released in 2004 it quickly sold out and was reprinted several times by the distributor at the time, however availability was often scarce depending on where in the world you lived.

At Inspirations Studios we have been working on bringing many of our back-catalogue titles back into print and after a long 5-year wait, The Embroiderer’s Handbook has FINALLY been refreshed, reprinted and now lives again!

The Embroiderer’s’ Handbook is a powerhouse of knowledge. It was created by distilling the very best elements of embroidery from all 20 books in the A-Z series, into one potent publication. A true encyclopaedia of essential needlework stitches, featuring well over 150 different stitching techniques all with full colour step-by-step photographs.

This book is an invaluable resource for all stitchers, from the beginner looking for elementary information through to the most experienced seeking confirmation and extension of their knowledge.

Update your tool kit today and add a copy of The Embroiderer’s Handbook – knowledge is the best tool a stitcher can have!

Looking for More Needlework Tools?
A-Z Series

The books that make up the A-Z series are among the most comprehensive manuals for needlework ever published and are suitable for beginners through to the advanced embroiderer. Here you will find every stitch and technique fully explained with step-by-step photographs and clear instructions.

Whichever technique you need help with, there is a new, refreshed
A-Z title to help!

A-Z Series - 20 Titles
Learn Booklets

The Inspirations ‘Learn’ booklets are a great way to teach yourself new needlework techniques. Each booklet includes a starter project, detailed stitch instructions and over 40 step-by-step photographs and illustrations.

Titles Include: Learn Stumpwork Embroidery, Learn Bead Embroidery, Learn Crewel Embroidery, Learn to Stitch Fabulous Insects and Learn Ribbon Embroidery.

Inspirations 'Learn' Booklets
Inspirations Needle Guide Card

The Inspirations Needle Guide is the quintessential tool to help keep all your needles in order. Designed to help you easily identify any needle in your collection, simply place the needle on the double sided laminated guide to determine its size and type. Featuring seven needle types in all popular sizes, each needle is depicted in actual size.

Inspirations Needle Guide Card
What Are You Stitching?
tool /tuːl/ a device or implement, especially one held in the hand, used to carry out a particular function

We all have a favourite embroidery tool, that one implement that makes our stitching life just a little bit easier, something we use over and over again. This week’s What Are You Stitching? celebrates the tools, made with needle and thread, that will be used to carry out the function for which they were intended time and time again!


In case the term for this particular needlework tool is unfamiliar to you, a biscornu is the name given to small, eight-sided pin cushions that became popular early in the 21st Century. The word biscornu is French, meaning irregular, skewed or strange.

It turns out they are quite the popular item to stitch! Following are just a few of the many biscornus members of the All Stitched Up! Community have created…

Jenny Mullet | UK
Kate Brown | Australia
Tetiana | @myneedle
Hoop Bag | Kate Brown
‘Full time work as a corporate lawyer and three babies in five years was intense and fulfilling, but my stitching was set aside for a decade. My only outlet for embroidery was in airport lounges secretly reading embroidery books and Inspirations Magazines from a stash that my husband calls ‘Kate's Porn’! A short career break coincided with Yvette Stanton teaching 'Early style Hardanger' in Melbourne.
My stitching flame was reignited, leading me to Adelaide for the inspirational Beating Around the Bush conference in 2016. Technical discussions there with teachers and other participants, which proved such a valuable part of the conference, provided a solution to my stitchers' block.
Working in the city all day and after my second ‘shift’ at home left only the very late evening to stitch by which time I could scarcely see! After magnification and lighting were sorted, I have produced more embroidery in the year since BATB than my entire life to date.’
‘I took Susan Porter’s Modern Crewel design from Inspirations #90 and made it up as an embroidery hoop bag after a pattern in ‘A Passion for Needlework’.’

Kate, we’re honoured that BATB and Inspirations has played a part in your stitching revival and we love that you’ve been able to combine Susan’s design with Jenny’s ingenuity to produce something that is equal parts form and function!

If you’d like to stitch your own ‘Modern Crewel’ or create a hoop bag to tame your tangle of hoops, printed copies of Inspirations #90 and ‘A Passion for Needlework’ are still available for purchase.

Inspirations Issue 90
A Passion for Needlework
Parasol | Mary Jo Gravett
A parasol a tool? Absolutely. After all, it’s held in the hand with the particular function of shading us on a sunny day!

‘We would like to share with you one of our recent pieces of work. It was designed by one of the members of our club - Pique et Brode - in France and executed by eight members. For once we calculated the time taken to complete the project - about 300 hours! The parasol featured in our exhibition held in Saint-Lô, Normandy.’

The precise stitching and careful attention to detail by each of the stitchers involved has allowed for seamless construction of the parasol, appearing as if a single stitcher has created each panel. What an amazing team effort – the epitome of belonging to a club!

Sewing Kit | Mary Chamberlain
‘I wanted something nice to take with me to the EGA National Seminar, so I made a nice box and a set of smalls to go with it – a biscornu, needlebook, scissor sheath and fob, as well as an ort basket.’
‘The stitching is my own design, but the box construction is adapted from directions I received in a class earlier this year taught by Cathy Habermann of Hands On Design. I like the result – the box is large enough to hold just about everything I need with me for classes, and sturdy enough to travel well.’

Mary, we’re sure your sewing kit was the envy of everyone at the EGA’s National Seminar! It is beautifully stitched and immaculately constructed.

Have you created a tool from needle and thread? We’d love to see it! Email photos of your work along with a few details about your stitching journey to date to

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You May Have Missed
Diana Lampe’s Embroidered Pansies
After years of studying pansies and painstakingly matching their colours to her threads, Diana has compiled this wonderful collection of 90 individual pansies. This hard cover 192-page book, includes detailed instructions for each of Diana’s exquisite embroidered versions of this much-loved and appealing flower.
Diana Lampe’s Embroidered Pansies
The Embroiderer’s Little Book of Hints & Tips
This handy book from Alison Cole is full of tips from over 30 years of experience, where Alison has written down advice on everything from setting up your workbasket through to framing and photographing your completed work.
The Embroiderer’s Little Book of Hints & Tips
Inspirations 2018 Wall 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!

Inspirations Calendar 2018
Loves Me – Inspirations #70

‘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
This Week on Facebook
By Matizes Dumont
Sweet little purses!
“No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.”
~ Aesop ~
What's On
Hannah Ryggen | Woven Histories
Modern Art Oxford
30 Pembroke Street Oxford, UK
Jeanie Baker’s Circle Exhibition
Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens
Brisbane, Queensland
San Francisco School of Needlework & Design Stitch at Home Challenge | Multi-Media Self Portrait Exhibition
San Francisco School of Needlework & Design
Suite 604 / 360 Post Street San Francisco
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

© 2018 Inspirations Studios

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