What Are You Stitching?

16th August 2019

An X Factor can be described as a noteworthy quality. Sometimes it’s hard to put your finger on exactly what noteworthy quality draws you in, but there’s just something that immediately captures your attention and interest. This week we’re sharing projects from our What Are You Stitching? files that have such a quality about them, the ones that captured our attention from the moment they arrived in our Inbox!


‘I would like to share a goldwork sampler that I stitched last year. I have stitched for most of my life and until about ten years ago I worked mainly on counted thread techniques.

Then I visited an exhibition by a nearby embroidery group and was immediately drawn in by the diversity of work on display.

In the following years I have learned many styles, from crewelwork, calico gardens, fine whitework, stumpwork and crazy quilting to name just a few. My favourite though has to be goldwork! I have attended a number of classes and learned different aspects of the technique. When I came across a printed panel (designed by Louise Lockhart also known as The Printed Peanut and sold by Shop Beyond Measure), I just knew I had to turn it into a goldwork sampler!

The panel is printed on a cotton fabric and the design area measures approximately 39cm x 26cm. I chose the mustard and black version to go with my plan for covering it with goldwork. The purchased panel started out like this:’

‘And after several months of work I ended up with this!’

‘I tried to include all of the techniques that I have learned. The last thing I stitched was the small gold scissors, I was fortunate enough to be able to spend some time with Nicola Jarvis who patiently taught me how to pad the handles and then select appropriate metals to use for the cut work over the padding.

I worked a sample under Nicola’s guidance until I found the right sized purl and rough check, and mastered keeping the angles around the circles, before attempting the final part of my sampler.’

‘This was the first time I worked anything that was not from a kit, and I am really pleased with the results. I loved studying each motif and working out how I would interpret it in goldwork.’

Sue, we love that you’ve taken a ‘simple’ printed panel and embellished it with such ornate threads and techniques! The contrast between the two has created a piece rich with dimension that is simply spectacular.

Susan Cuss

‘When Spring finally arrived in Ontario, Canada the timing was just perfect, as I’d been stitching the project Spring Blossom which was designed by Carol Arsenault and is finally finished!

It's the first stumpwork kit I’ve completed and I'm very pleased with the outcome.

There are a few things I might change if I was to do this again in future, and there are a few very small changes I made to the design. It’s about 5″ (12cm) square and it took so much longer than I thought it would to complete!’

Susan, it was the elegant simplicity of Spring Blossom that instantly drew us into your piece. Your stitching is meticulous and the dimension from the stumpwork elements absolutely brings your blossom to life!

Susannah Whitney

‘I’m fascinated by stumpwork, particularly stumpwork figures. While traditional stumpwork figures have been very posed and formal, I wanted to design something playful and fun.’

‘Dancing Girl is inspired by my daughter, from her favourite striped top, to her blonde hair – which was created from locally sourced alpaca fleece – to her love of splashing in water. I was very proud when she won 3rd place in stumpwork at a recent Royal Adelaide Show.’

Susannah, your piece immediately stood out to us when we first saw it at a local Embroiderers’ Guild Exhibition – the colour, dimension and sense of whimsy is what drew us in, and we love that it was inspired by your daughter!

Whilst it might be hard to pinpoint, it’s always easy to spot! If you’ve stitched something that has a certain X Factor about it, we’d love to see it! Email photos of what you stitched along with a few about your stitching journey to news@inspirationsstudios.com

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