All Stitched Up! | Issue 125
16th February 2018
Did you know there’s a difference between busy and fruitful?
Each requires the same process and evokes the same feelings while we’re in the midst of them, but the outcomes can often be poles apart. Busy can see us expending a lot for little result, while fruitful sees us focused on an end goal and eventually achieving it.
As we mentioned last week, the Inspirations Studios office is currently busy, beyond busy some days! There are times we feel lost in the busyness and wonder whether all the tasks we put our hands to actually make a difference, but then there are moments when we realise that all our collective busyness has indeed produced fruit.
The release of a new issue of Inspirations Magazine is one such time. Each issue bears the fruit of many of our busy moments and this week we start unpacking Inspirations #97 for you - we hope you enjoy the fruit of our labours!
While we think a great way of being fruitful is by picking up needle and thread, we’ve realised it’s still possible to be busy with our stitching rather than fruitful. So, it’s probably worth reflecting on the time you’re spending stitching - is it fruitful or are you simply busying yourself with the process? Given our hectic schedules, time to stitch is often fleeting, so make sure you make every moment count!
Inspirations #97 Out Now
Inspirations #97 Out Now
‘The project Gillian featured below is a perfect example, who would think that working traditional Blackwork patterns with vibrant colour could be so spectacular: and, if it is coloured, should we still call it Blackwork?
Marguerite is a three-dimensional beaded white daisy that elevates
beading to a new level by incorporating a padded base over which the beading is worked – such an ingenious and wonderfully contemporary take on a traditional technique. That is just the beginning, there is so much to explore and enjoy in issue #97; it’s a wonderful way to start the year.’
Inspirations #97 showcases projects from first-time contributors, plus returning all-star favourites including Jane Nicholas, Irina Rudneva and Catherine Laurençon, just to name a few.
Gillian by Maria del Valle Olivera
For a project to appear in Inspirations Magazine our team spends so much time getting it ready for publication it becomes part of our family. For three months we live and breathe the eight projects in each issue and when it came to Inspirations #97, the project ‘Gillian’ created quite the discussion within the office. And it had nothing to do with stitching!
With the finished piece measuring 24cm x 22cm (9 ½” x 8 5/8”) and stitched on 25 count antique white Lugana, the scale makes it a comfortable size to work and easy on the eyes.
Maria is a first-time contributor to Inspirations, but in the true meaning of an ‘overnight success’ her debut has been years in the making.
She finished just in time for her friend, who was flying to Australia, to bring it with her from Spain and hand deliver it. Maria’s efforts were well rewarded as she was the deserving winner of the Grand Prize that year for her piece ‘Rosita’.
Now… what was it that everyone in the office was discussing about our beloved hare ‘Gillian’? It seems no-one could agree on what her facial expression was saying! Some of us thought she is striking a ‘come hither…’ alluring pose, for others it was a disapproving stare, the rest of us were thinking she was just looking for the next spot to hop! What do you think Gillian’s expression is saying?
One thing we did all agree on however, was how brilliant Maria’s artistic design and needlework skills are. Her work is so striking that each piece is truly memorable.
DID YOU KNOW… ‘Gillian’ the hare is named after Maria’s friend who hand delivered her winning entry in the 2012 competition, which in turn led us to discover Maria’s amazing talent. Thank you, Gillian, for both introducing us to Maria and for giving our hare such a beautiful name.
Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions
Gillian by Maria del Valle Olivera is a fabulous hare combining elegant surface embroidery and blackwork with colour.
Inspirations Issue 97
Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit
The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Gillian includes everything you need to re-create this beautiful hare: Fabric (unprinted), embroidery threads and needles.
Gillian – i97 Kit
Looking for More Hares or Rabbits?
Friends by Anna Scott is the perfect project for a novice stitcher, featuring an adorable bunny and duck.
Inspirations Issue 69
Bunny Love by Jenny McWhinney is a cosy wool blanket emblazoned with four adorable bunnies and flower motifs.
Hugs & Kisses
Hugs & Kisses by Libby Vater is a delightful bassinet rug with a cute appliquéd rabbit in a cottage garden.
Hugs and Kisses
Hop to It!
Adorned with the cutest bunnies imaginable, Hop to It! by Jenny McWhinney is a handy fabric roll, designed to keep all those indispensable baby accessories close at hand.
Hop to It!
Inspirations Issue 70
What Are You Stitching?
Seeing a magazine come to life is one of the many things we love about what we do here at Inspirations. It’s one of the moments we realise our efforts have all culminated to create something beautiful.
This week’s ‘What Are You Stitching?’ celebrates just that – the projects from Inspirations that have been given the necessary time and talent and now exist beyond the pages of the magazine…
Rustle of Winter | Issue #37
Jacqueline, what a gift your sister gave you – the joy of needle and thread! Your attention to detail and careful stitching shows a talent beyond the few short years you've been stitching - we look forward to seeing what's next next on your stitching journey.
Rustle of Winter
White Elephant | Issue #42
‘I fell in love with embroidery in Year 10 when we had to make a sampler of all different types of embroidery stitches. From then on I was hooked! My mother and grandmother were both excellent embroiderers, so I guess it runs in the family. I just hope that my daughter will follow in our footsteps. She does some simple embroidery now, so I’m hopeful.’
‘I was very interested in the intricacies of the project ‘White Elephant’ from Inspirations #42, so marked the pattern in the magazine which was then put away until I retired. Once retired from work, I was looking for something else to do apart from patchwork, knitting and crochet so I pulled issue #42 out again.
I improved in these stitches as I went along, but many of them were far from perfect. I have been working on it on and off over the last 18 months or so, picking it up when my interest was piqued again. This is by nowhere near the professional appearance that was in the picture, but I had a sense of achievement when I finished him, and it has been worth every stitch. He now resides with my daughter-in-law who supports ‘Save the Elephants’, so I thought it an appropriate present for her. Sincerely, Ann Veitch - Australia.’
Ann, what a beautiful gift for your daughter-in-law. We love that you were willing to take on the challenge of White Elephant and think your elephant is as every bit as professional as Alla Akselrod’s original! Your well-deserved sense of achievement is the fruit for the time and effort you poured into this piece.
Oliver Twist Temari | Issue #62
‘I visit family in New Zealand most years and love to spend time with branches of The Embroiderers’ Guild while I am there. I have found a number of groups and appreciate the ladies as they have such a wealth of knowledge and experience they willingly share.
This is my interpretation of ‘Oliver Twist’ from Inspirations #62 and it is certainly a talking point whenever it is on display! Kind regards, Joyce Bargh – UK.’
Joyce, what a fruitful way to spend your time in New Zealand – gathering a wealth of knowledge and experience! It’s amazing how we can connect with others as we find a common bond in our love of all things needle and thread related. Your blue and white rendition of Oliver Twist is simply striking - no wonder it’s become such a talking point!
Inspirations Issue 62
Oliver Twist Temari
Les Hirondelles | Issue #89
‘While waiting for the Stawberry Fayre kit to arrive, I stitched this bird of Catherine Laurençon’s. It was very pleasant to stitch! A bientôt (see you soon), Françoise – France.’
Françoise, what a fabulous way to use your time waiting! We love your version of Les Hirondelles and look forward to seeing Strawberry Fayre once it’s complete.
A Simple Life | Issue #92
‘I fell in love with bullion embroidery years ago at a quilt show, bought patterns and the appropriate threads and went crazy. The first thing I did is still unfinished as I can’t decide if I should frame it or make a cushion. Then I made three pillows, one for me, two for gifts and by the time I finished them I was no longer in love.
I had some mottled even weave fabric given to me and decided to use it and give it a go. Whilst it gave me fits, I got it done. I should have stopped while I was ahead, but I decided to make piping and a hidden placket zipper. What was I thinking?! The piping came out ok, zipper not so much, but still, I’m pleased with the finished result. I’m now working up my nerve to do the all-white version on tan even weave. Wish me luck! Joanne Crane - USA.’
Joanne, we're honoured that Inspirations was able to rekindle your love for the Bullion Knot. With results as beautiful as yours, the all-white version of A Simple Life will be no trouble at all!
Inspirations Issue 92
Have you brought something from the pages of Inspirations to life with your needle and thread? We’d love to see it! Email photos of your stitching along with a few details about your stitching journey to firstname.lastname@example.org
Inspirations #97 Kits & Patterns
New Horizons Beckon…
If you have fallen in love with the designs featured in Inspirations #97 and are looking to expand your needlework horizons, projects from this issue are now available as Ready-To-Stitch kits and Digital Patterns for your stitching pleasure:
Issue 97 - Digital Patterns
Browse Patterns from Issue #97
Issue 97 – Ready-To-Stitch Kits
Browse Kits from Issue #97
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