What Are You Stitching?

16th September 2022

After sharing Trish Burr’s (almost) monochromatic Bumblebee as this week’s Featured Project, our What Are You Stitching? files revealed other stitchers who appreciate the striking simplicity of stitching with single-coloured thread. Enjoy the monotone minimalism of this week’s What Are You Stitching?…

Betsy Morgan (Yes, THE Betsy Morgan)

As soon as I set eyes on ‘Seeing Red’ by Di Kirchner from Inspirations issue #112 I ordered the kit and, upon its arrival, dove right in. My favourite technique – how wonderful, how lovely and how fun! The stitching was intense, but the finishing was easy and, with my husband’s assistance in making all of the cords, I had it constructed in a few hours. Though I did simplify the tassels – detached buttonhole stitch is not one of my strengths!’

‘However, having spent 20 years designing etuis, I looked at the completed bag and decided that it needed something to go inside. The linen and thread provided in the kit was so generous that, with the addition of some white pearl cotton, I had enough left over to make a needlebook and scissor fob, using motifs from the bag itself. 

I’m thrilled with the way it turned out, thank you for publishing such a lovely design!’

Firstly, Betsy it’s an honour to have you join us for ‘What Are You Stitching?’ this week… welcome! Secondly, we love how you customised Seeing Red to become yet another addition to your etui collection. Supplementing the project with an extra needlebook and scissor sheath is a brilliant idea and we know that Di will be thrilled you chose to stitch one of her designs. Also, we think there might just be a stitcher or two who are just a little envious that you have your husband’s assistance with all things needle and thread!

Linda Kelly

‘My sewing history began in my teens when Mum taught me how to use a pattern and sew my own dresses. Some years later I learned how to knit for my two babies. I was in my 40s when I discovered Inspirations magazine and I was hooked!’

The Bluebird of Happiness | Inspirations issue #84

‘I loved discovering new stitches, always shown in such explicit detail. I must have stitched over a hundred projects.’

Harmonies | Inspirations issue #88

‘My name is amongst the many Foundation Members in your 100th issue and some years ago you printed letters and photos of my work in the magazine, which made me feel quite proud. Deerfield and crewelwork have been favourites of mine over the years.’  

Symphony in Blue | Inspirations issue #72

Linda, we appreciate you being an Inspirations Foundation Member – one of our readers who have been part of the Inspirations family from the very beginning, having all issues 1 to 100. Thank you for your support over so many years. It’s always an honour to hear we’ve been such an integral part of someone’s journey with needle and thread. Deerfield and Deborah Love are synonymous with each other, and we know she’ll be delighted to see the hours you’ve poured into stitching her designs.

Jane Evans

‘Throughout her life, my mother, Florence, was always sewing and stitching. Needlepoint, crewel and embroidery were her favourite take-along projects. But as she aged, and her eyesight was not as sharp, she took up Redwork.’

‘Simple drawings transferred from a light box to good quality white fabric were perfect creations for busy hands that had lost some of their dexterity. Here is one of several finished wall hangings that are her legacy pieces. A wonderful memory for all of us!’

Jane, not only are the wall hangings a wonderful legacy from your Mum, but her willingness to adapt her time with needle and thread as she grew older is a beautiful lesson in aging gracefully. A lesson we can all use as the years continue to pass us by!

Mattie Grant

‘I have been stitching for over 70 years and always wanted to try blackwork. Christine Burton’s Squarely Check pincushion from Inspirations issue #113 seemed an ideal size to try, but I have to admit that I’ve never unpicked so much in my life! The Hummingbird Needle Threader was worth my weight in gold – unbelievably it fits the tiniest needle, and I can always find it.’

Mattie, your eagerness to attempt a new technique after so many years with needle and thread is inspirational. We love that such a simple tool became so integral to completing Squarely Check. Your pincushion is picture perfect! We look forward to seeing what’s next on your journey with blackwork.

Jane McIvor

‘I thought I would send you this photo of my latest creation from your lovely books. This one is Redwork Sachet from A Fine Tradition that I made into a box.’

‘I enjoyed making this and absolutely love Margaret Light’s book. I attended one of her classes when she came to New Zealand a few years ago. I do enjoy your weekly newsletters and love to see what other people are making.’

Jane, we love that you’ve taken a project and truly made it your own by altering the finish. You’ve created a practical and useful box that will take pride of place wherever its displayed. And just to let you in on a little secret – projects have been selected, a location booked, and props are being sourced as you read this newsletter in anticipation of the release of ‘A Fine Tradition II’ in March next year. It’s going to be every bit as beautiful as Margaret’s first book and we can’t wait to share it with you!

What about you? Do you love the simplicity of a single colour of thread or do the myriad colours available mean you couldn’t possibly choose just one?

Whatever colour palette you choose to stitch with, we’d love to see it. Simply email photos of what you’ve created with needle and thread along with a few details about your stitching journey to news@inspirationsstudios.com

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