What Are You Stitching?
10th September 2021
The time has come again to revisit one of our favourite designers; not just a favourite here at Inspirations as she also enjoys a huge fan base across the globe. Jenny McWhinney creates the most adorable characters and beautiful designs that have seen her remain as popular and timeless today as when she first began, as the projects in today’s segment demonstrate.
‘Here is a photo of a baby blanket I embroidered 13 years ago. The little girl for whom I created it for used to pull the threads of the blanket with her teeth. It became a bit of a raggedy mess, but she refused to part with it.’
‘I was able to save the embroidery by making a cushion that she now utterly loves. I have threatened to file her teeth down if she chews it!’
What a clever way to rescue a much-loved blanket, Sue. It also provides a beautiful childhood memory keepsake for the teeth puller herself! If anyone else falls in love with this cute design, it originally appeared in Inspirations issue #49 and is called Berry Harvest.
‘Not too long ago, I was part way through my Bachelor of Science when my already severe endometriosis suddenly got so bad I became bed ridden and had to leave school. I was devastated as the endometriosis had already hampered me all through high school and I was already years behind my peers. I sank into a serious depression. I began struggling to cope with anxiety and panic attacks. My Mum was by my side throughout it all.
One day she came up from our basement with a basket of old embroidery kits and partly finished projects from long ago and suggested I give it a try when my anxiety flared.
As a doctor, hobbies are something she had often prescribed, and she was right. It was like being thrown a lifeline! I have been very lucky that she has been here to help teach me.’
‘My Dad got me a subscription to Inspirations magazine, and I fell in love with the project Santa’s Helpers by Jenny McWhinney from issue #92. But I always put off trying to actually stitch it as I was sure I wasn’t good enough. My Mum talked me into trying, and last year I finished them at one o’clock in the morning on Christmas Eve!’
‘I loved stitching them so much; I changed some colours and added little bits here and there, like bells on their boots, musical notes, garlanding and snowflakes to make them a little more ‘mine’. I dedicated each elf to a family member with a little plaque on the back.’
What a wonderful story of strength and survival, Madeleine – thank you for sharing your inspiring journey with us, we never tire of hearing how powerful the benefits of needlework are and the impact it has in so many lives. We’re so glad that Jenny’s designs have helped you through and we wish you all the best in your future recovery.
Yvonne De Pasquale
‘I have always loved Jenny McWhinney’s project Arabian Nights, which is her blanket featuring the camels, but didn’t want to do the whole thing. So, a few years ago I decided to create them as cushion covers, but when I saw how people treated my beloved Camel cushions, I undid them and made wall hangings that I am much happier with!’
‘They took me 18 months to complete. I only embroider at night while my husband watches TV, so look forward so much to the evenings.’
We’re glad your magnificent camels are safely on the wall, rather than being sat on, Yvonne! They’re beautifully stitched and we can only imagine how fabulous they look when displayed next to each other. Well done.
Do you love stitching Jenny McWhinney’s designs? Or is there another designer you love? Are you unable to resist whenever your favourite designer releases a new pattern? Whatever it is you like to stitch, we’d like to see it. Send us an image with a bit of information about the project and your stitching journey to firstname.lastname@example.org