What Are You Stitching?

22nd November 2019

Flowers are often described as dainty and delicate as their graceful, but fragile petals colour our world in a variety of shades, shapes and sizes. This week we’re sharing the flowers that have been created with needle and thread by the Inspirations Community, all of which could also be described as dainty and delicate! Enjoy the many shades, shapes and sizes as you enjoy a walk through our flower beds of needle and thread…


‘A little over a year ago, my sister was on a business trip to Kenya and brought back some Kenyan tea for me in a unique banana leaf box, confessing that she bought the tea because she fell in love with the box! I noticed that this box was perfect for an embroidery insert, so I decided I would embroider something on it and give it back to her for her birthday.’

‘I thought it would be wonderful if I could find some type of Kenyan flora or fauna to incorporate into the design. During my research, I came across a photo of a Gold-Banded Forester Butterfly and I knew that I wanted to attempt it. As this butterfly lays its eggs on the dune soapberry plant, I wanted to include that as well.

I was pondering how to get started, when to my delight Inspirations Magazine issue #102 arrived in the mail with not one, but two articles on stumpwork butterflies!

I was able to adapt one of the wing patterns from Lepidoptera by Fiona Hibbett for my butterfly and Flights of Fancy by Nina Burnsides was a great help in the construction of the body. 

I am very happy with the results. But more importantly, my sister loves it! Thank you so much for your wonderful magazine and newsletter. Like many of your readers, I so look forward to Friday morning when I grab my cup of tea and relax in front of my computer, soaking up all the beautiful things found in All Stitched Up! – what a perfect way to start the day!’

Cynthia, your Kenyan Tea Box would have to be the best form of regifting we’ve ever seen! What a delight for your sister to receive a gift she’d put thought into purchasing for you to then see it transformed by the thoughtful work of your hands. The box is now rich in culture, story and a bond between sisters. We were more than pleased to hear Inspirations issue #102 arrived at just right the time to be a part of this stitching journey!

Mavis Brown

‘In 2017 I was fortunate to be able to take a tour with Textile Support who offered four workshops focusing on four different techniques in Tuscany and Umbria, Italy. We had a workshop with local ladies in the delightful village of Panicale and began to learn from the experts how to do Ars Panicalensis. 

Panicale is a tiny hilltop walled town which breathes history in all its narrow streets. The people of the town welcomed us and were very gracious in their hospitality. I was totally absorbed in the process and managed to complete two small projects.’

‘It was an absolutely inspiring experience! Aurelia and Mary showed us some of their exquisite work – seen below – which included the traditional style as well as the more modern adaptations using the same technique. 

They are anxious to teach the traditional technique so it is not lost. The recent project Belissimo from Inspirations magazine issue #102 has inspired me to try another piece of this technique.’

Mavis, could there be a better way to learn an embroidery technique than from where it originated?! The pieces of Ars Panicalensis you created are every bit as detailed and delicate as Aurelia and Mary’s and we look forward to seeing Bellissimo once it’s complete.

Nina Burnsides

‘I seem to be on a purse making journey lately! The small photograph you can see which I included in my design was the source of inspiration for this crazy quilted purse. I used bits and pieces of vintage lace, and lots of beads, ribbon embroidery and ribbon flowers.’

Nina, your purse has a delicate, vintage appeal that provides the perfect backdrop for the photo you integrated beautifully into the design. It must be a delight to use!

Sonia Bisighin

‘A few months ago I stitched this center piece using the traditional technique of Hardanger that I reinterpreted. I used both the structured technique of Hardanger and freeform embroidery to complete the piece.’

‘I enjoyed combining various techniques such as 3D and Silk Ribbon Embroidery to make it modern for the students of my Embroidery School.’

Sonia, what a beautiful table runner! Hardanger and freeform embroidery have combined perfectly to create a piece that is both dainty and delicate and would be the perfect centre piece on any special occasion table.

Have your needles and threads created a flower? Whatever its shade, shape or size, we’d love to see it! Email photos of your stitching along with a few details about your journey to news@inspirationsstudios.com

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