All Stitched Up! | Issue 126

23rd February 2018

Hi There,

Author and speaker, Priscilla Shirer, tells about a time when she went to Starbucks to order her favourite hot drink - a Soy Cinnamon Dolce Latte, no whip, no foam - only to find that Starbucks didn’t have any hot drinks available on this particular day. A strange situation given that hot drinks is what makes Starbucks, well Starbucks!

Just like hot drinks are the seminal ingredient that makes Starbucks the establishment that it is, we each have our own ‘ingredients’ that make us, us. And it’s when we discover and celebrate the authentic, genuine and unique qualities that set us apart from those around us, we allow ourselves to become authentic.

Did you know that the world you inhabit - your family, your work, your community - won’t be complete until you bring your authentic self to it? Did you know that your stitching is crying out for you to be your true self?

But how can we translate our authentic selves into our stitching? By using needle and thread to create things we are passionate about.

By being true to techniques that resonate with us, rather than chasing the current stitching trend. By being willing to experiment with colour palettes until we find the one that makes us sing on the inside. By being brave enough to find practical ways to use our embroidery, acknowledging that special things are meant for special people not just special times. By displaying our work publicly so that others have the opportunity to appreciate the time, talent and treasure we’ve poured into our stitching.

Why not allow yourself the time to uncover your authentic self and bring it to everything you do? It might require you to be brave and take a risk, perhaps even change your status quo, but your world and your stitching will thank you for it.

We’d love to hear how your stitching reflects who you truly are. Email us about how you’ve been able to translate your authentic self into your stitching at

World of Needlework
Stitching It Forward

In All Stitched Up! #123 (HERE) we unpacked the idea of Stitching It Forward and asked you to help us gather a list of ways we can each use our powers of stitching for good. The response was AMAZING! From helping a stranger choose fabric for their first quilting project right through to investing the time to launch a stitching project / movement. We were touched, inspired and motivated to action - now we just need to find a few more hours in each day!

One of the ways Gita Levin stitches it forward is to crochet chemo caps and donate them to the American Cancer Society for those who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy.

‘My personal goal is to donate one dozen caps twice a year. Six of them are plain and six of them have crocheted flowers.’

Gita, we love that you have a Stitch It Forward goal and we know your caps will be well received and very much appreciated.

You can read our ever-growing list of suggestions HERE and then decide how you might choose to get aboard the ‘Stitch It Forward Movement’!

Needlework News
Inspirations Calendar – March Project

We once heard someone say the third month of the year is called March because it’s about then you feel like the year is really getting going. If that’s true, now is the perfect time to get Marching with some stitching, and the Inspirations Calendar project for March is the perfect motivation.

Mandala Musings by Hazel Blomkamp from Inspirations #93, is an opulent, beaded Jacobean design with needleweaving and needlelace.

Bold, confident, striking, and plenty of wow factor. These are all words that aptly describe both Hazel Blomkamp the person, and her magnificent designs, such as this one. So, get Marching in 2018 by stitching this wonderful piece.


Inspirations Issue 93


Mandala Musings

Slow Stitch
If you enjoyed the review of the book ‘Slow Stitch’ in Inspirations #97, you can now purchase a copy direct from our website.

Slow Stitch: Mindful and Contemplative Textile Art by Claire Wellesley-Smith demonstrates how a less-is-more approach can produce stunning textile art that is more personal and meaningful.


Slow Stitch

Featured Project
La Fauvette by Catherine Laurençon

French is such a beautiful language… it’s no wonder Paris is known as the city of love, just the way Parisians speak is enough for everyone to fall in love! For those of us who don’t speak French, the project ‘La Fauvette’ from Inspirations #97 is a great place to start – just saying it aloud will make you sound and feel very French! (Go on try it…. LA FAUVETTE… see!)

La Fauvette translates as ‘the warbler’ and this gorgeous threadpainted portrait of the common European warbler by Catherine Laurençon is anything but common. Drawing on her exceptional needlework skills and her effervescent French flair, Catherine has perfectly selected every one of the twenty-two shades of stranded cotton she uses to artfully bring this petite bird resting on a native reed stalk to life.

While all the attention is on the warbler itself and the incredibly lifelike shading on the centre reed, a closer look reveals a flock of even smaller birds frolicking in the bulrushes below, adding to the overall intrigue of the piece.

The 10 instructional images included in the magazine as part of the step-by-steps have been supplied by Catherine herself and were taken at the time she originally created the piece. It’s always fascinating to see how a seasoned needleworker such as Catherine tackles projects like this and one of her trademark approaches is to stitch across the linen, working in areas, instead of starting and finishing individual elements.

In fact, rather than varying the length of stitches as is customary in traditional threadpainting, Catherine is so innovative she created her own way to needle paint which consists of making each stitch a uniform half a centimetre long (3/16”) and working left to right and outside in, to produce her amazing designs.

The humble little warbler at the centre of this story has received much love and attention since her inception. First, Catherine sketched and stitched the bird bringing it to life once, and then the Inspirations creative team went the next step and gave the warbler another layer of life during photography.

And now it’s your turn… La Fauvette is ready to fly off the pages of Inspirations right onto your hoop to be stitched to life once more.

Make Your Own La Fauvette

Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

La Fauvette by Catherine Laurençon is a gorgeous threadpainting of a European warbler amongst reeds and grasses.


Inspirations Issue 97


La Fauvette

Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for La Fauvette includes everything you need to re-create this beautiful bird scene: Fabric (unprinted), 22 embroidery threads and needles.


La Fauvette – i97 Kit

Looking for More Catherine Laurençon?

Capucines by Catherine Laurençon is a vibrant, threadpainted study of nasturtiums.


Inspirations Issue 93




Shimmering wings of turquoise, blue-violet, tangerine and garnet flutter among lush leaves in this splendid threadpainted study by Catherine Laurençon.



Les Hirondelles

Les Hirondelles by Catherine Laurençon features delightful threadpainted swallows stitched with stranded cotton.


Les Hirondelles

Classes with Catherine
Following on from her extremely popular debut teaching at Beating Around the Bush 2016, we are thrilled to have Catherine back with us for BATB 2018.

With three stunning projects on offer, do yourself a favour and book in for one of Catherine’s threadpainting classes in October. Not only will you learn how to paint with your needle from one of the best, you might also pick up a bit of French along the way!


Beating Around the Bush 2018

What Are You Stitching?
Birds are an ever-popular subject matter to recreate with needle and thread and it’s rare that our ‘What Are You Stitching?’ files are ever without them! Inspired by the stitching in La Fauvette, this week is no exception, so sit back and enjoy another instalment of our fine feathered friends in stitch…
Angela Bishop | UK
‘I am originally from Australia, and now live in the UK. I have recently completed the Future Tutor programme at the RSN and during my studies, I sought inspiration from ‘home’. I am inspired by my Australian roots for my work as it’s close to my heart and I miss the colours from home that are not seen in the UK - especially the big blue skies and vibrant colours seen in nature. There is definitely a difference in colour palettes that people use here to what I am drawn to.

Angela, we love that you’ve been able to capture the essence of Australia in ‘King of the Bush in Silk Shading’ so beautifully! Upon seeing your stitching, any Australian will instantly recall the familiar and incredibly distinctive ‘laugh’ of the Australian kookaburra.
Karen Friscia Zoback | USA
‘Thanks to my Grandma, I got started doing crewel work when I was in 8th Grade and I just loved it! During my High School days, I put the needle down as I was too busy with after school activities. However, right after High School I picked up the needle again and also learned to quilt. I ended up teaching quilting for 15 years and got into crazy quilting, cross stitch and needlepoint.’

‘I saw stumpwork at a quilt show for the first time around 15 years ago and have never looked back. I bought a book on stumpwork and taught myself the technique.
This was the most challenging needlework I have ever done, but I absolutely love it!
I have taught the stumpwork kookaburras to 13 ladies from my stitching group - that alone was a challenge, but we had a blast together. Now that I have retired from my main job as an Electrical Designer, my stitching focus is stumpwork, raised embroidery and needle painting.’

Karen, as an Electrical Designer your work days were no doubt filled with developing and problem solving electrical systems and now these same skills have served you well in your stitching! Your meticulous approach is evident in your needlework and we’re sure you would have passed this same approach onto your students.
Kathleen Klein | USA

‘I have recently finished Sue Spargo's Folk-Tails using crazy quilt stitches, beading, Brazilian Embroidery stitches and wool felting on wool. It was so much fun! I now hope to design an all fish, wool and batik sea themed quilt. Sue Spargo's books have definitely inspired me!’

Kathleen, what a joy Folk-Tails must have been to stitch and we especially love the birds scattered amongst the other creatures!
Roseli Becker | Brazil

‘I have included some examples of my work from the past as well as the present. The present is a result of our experiences which help us better understand and accept the past. I do not stop to correct my mistakes, rather I prefer to look back over my work to see the evolution of my improvement.’

‘For example, above is a bird I stitched in 2015 when I had just begun to learn threadpainting and below is a piece I finished just a few months ago. Still much to perfect, but I’m always working towards improvement.’

Roseli, we love your approach to stitching and can absolutely see the evolution in your stitching over time!

Do you have a fine feathered friend you’re yet to share with us? We’d love to see it! 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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Have Your Say

‘Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.’

~ Dalai Lama ~

This week in ‘Have Your Say’ we hear from Christine, Dima and Gisèle who are doing just that – going someplace new and are hoping someone from the All Stitched Up! community can point them in the right direction while they’re there!

Townsville, Australia
‘As of March, I will be moving from Brisbane to Townsville, a 16-hour drive away and would appreciate any tips about embroidery groups and/or stores in Townsville. So far, I have only been able to find things in Cairns which would be a few hours’ drive away. Christine Bruce.’

‘I'm planning a trip to Turkey in May and would love to visit any embroidery shops or schools. I did a little bit of research and know that they have their own form of whitework (Antep isi), goldwork (Tel kirma and Maras isi) and painted thread (Cin İgnesi).

What I would really love is an opportunity to either meet a professional embroiderer for a lesson or even to see demonstrations of any of these techniques. Also, directions to the market where local embroiderers go to shop for fabric and threads would be great. Oh, and any advice on where to find beads would be a plus! Dima Santina.’
Alicante, Spain
‘I am planning to go to the area of Alicante in April 2018 and was wondering if any of the All Stitched Up! readers could guide me to embroidery supply shops or embroidery meetings. Gisèle McNabb.’

If you’ve got something to suggest that will help Christine, Dima or Gisèle indulge their love of all things needle and thread inspired while they’re in Townsville, Turkey or Spain, email us at and we’ll be sure to let them know!
You May Have Missed
Make Your Own Gillian


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.



Inspirations Issue 69

Friends by Anna Scott is the perfect project for a novice stitcher, featuring an adorable bunny and duck.
Bunny Love

Bunny Love by Jenny McWhinney is a cosy wool blanket emblazoned with four adorable bunnies and flower motifs.


Bunny Love

Hugs & Kisses

Hugs & Kisses by Libby Vater is a delightful bassinet rug with a cute appliquéd rabbit in a cottage garden.


Hugs & 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

This Week On Facebook

We hope this brings a smile to your face as it has ours, such a sweet embroidery


“Authenticity is not something we have or don’t have. It’s a practice, a conscious choice of how we want to live. Authenticity is a collection of choices we have to make every day. The choice to let our true selves be seen.”
~ Brene Brown ~
What's On
The Art of Needlework
Moorings Park Auditorium
120 Moorings Park Drive Naples, Florida
Circle Exhibition

Jeanie Baker’s Circle Exhibition

Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens
Brisbane, Queensland

Portrait Exhibition

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

Bridging Stitches / Un pont entre les points | EAC Seminar 2018

University of Prince Edward Island
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada

RSN Exhibition

The Royal School of Needlework’s Embellishment in Fashion

Royal School of Needlework
Hampton Court Palace Surrey, UK

Follow the Thread

Blue Mountain Embroiderers’ Exhibition

Braemar House and Gallery
104 Macquarie Road Springwood, New South Wales

Shoreline Stitchers’ Showcase

Shoreline Stitchers’ Showcase | A Judged Needlework Exhibit & Boutique

South Coast Botanic Garden
26300 Crenshaw Blvd Palos Verdes, California

24 FEB
Fiber Fest

Fiber Fest | Artisan Textiles, Embellishments, Unique Fibers & Wearable Art!

Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum
703 South 2nd Street La Connor, WA USA

1 to 4 MAR
Knitting & Stitching Show

The Spring Knitting & Stitching Show

Olympia London
Hammersmith Road London, UK

Needlework Show & Sale

2018 Woodlawn Needlework Show & Sale

Woodlawn & Pope-Leighey House
9000 Richmond Highway Alexandria, Virginia USA

7 MAR to 6 MAY
Circle Exhibition

Jeanie Baker's Circle Exhibition

Bundaberg Art Gallery
1 Barolin Street Bundaberg, Queensland

10 TO 13 MAR
Stitches from a Golden City
St Patrick’s Hall
Dawson Street South Ballarat, Victoria or 0407 817 025
7 MAR to 6 MAY
Breaking Traditions
The Embroiderers’ Guild, Victoria Geelong Branch | Breaking Traditions: A decade of adventure

The Shearer’s Arms Gallery

202 Aberdeen Street Geelong West, Victoria
17 TO 22 MAR
Grampians Texture 18
Halls Gap, Victoria

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