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Inspirations Issue 82

Referred to by readers as 'the World's most beautiful embroidery magazine', Inspirations is where you find the best classic hand embroidery by leading embroiderers throughout the world. Complemented with superbly styled photography and captivating stories, each issue brings a diverse collection of timeless projects from home wares and bags to gifts and accessories. A wide variety of embroidery techniques is presented with detailed and easy to follow instructions, step-by-step tutorials and full size patterns, making each issue a valuable resource for people new to embroidery and seasoned needleworkers alike.

Inspirations Publications
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taking flight

DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE BIRD? I think mine would have to be the wonderful Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, a large native parrot with pure white plumage, dark eyes and a spectacular sulphur yellow crest. Cheeky, curious and very intelligent, they can learn to talk and have a lifespan of up to 70 years in captivity. Cockies, as they are generally known, can be incredibly destructive and very noisy but are so spectacularly handsome you could almost forgive them anything! Birds, and their companions in flight, the delicate butterfly, have played a significant role in art and textile design throughout history and continue to provide endless inspiration for embroiderers and artists. Capturing their glorious colours and elegant form can be something of a challenge but our designers in this issue show just how it…

meet our new contributors

NICOLA JARVIS Nicola trained on the three-year apprenticeship in traditional hand embroidery at the Royal School of Needlework from 1991 to 1994. She has enjoyed teaching and working on embroidery design commissions since then, and was appointed deputy course leader on the Royal School of Needlework Foundation Degree from 2009 to 2011. She has worked as a freelance embroidery designer for numerous British fashion companies and studied for a first class BA (Hons) and MA in Fine Art. She was awarded ‘Overall Winner’ of the William Morris Gallery ‘Inspired by Morris’ art competition in 2010 and is currently touring her solo show ‘The Art of Embroidery: Nicola Jarvis and May Morris’ to venues across the UK. www.nicolajarvisstudio.com TAETIA McEWEN Taetia was born in Adelaide and grew up here with her two sisters. They wore dresses,…

your stories

Beautiful Birds I wanted to share my version of ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ from issue 56. The designer intended for this to be made into a pillow, but with two kitties who view soft, plump pillows as a climbing challenge and personal playground, pillows are like an endangered species in my house. I hemstitched and fringed the edges of this finished design and have a lovely dresser scarf instead. I just love the striking shades of blue and the perky birds in the project. Mary Alice Eisenbarth, USA Hoot-tastic! Mia was born in July last year and is just loving her owl blanket from issue 80. Mia is the first baby of Rachel and Alex, our dear young neighbours, and she is a joy. This is the first wool blanket that I have stitched and…

florence broadhurst

SOME TIME BACK I WANTED TO MAKE A NEW DRESS. It had a tulip skirt, which meant for the tulip shape to work properly, I needed a fabric with body that could hold its shape. It seemed that an upholstery fabric might be appropriate. On the internet, I looked through pages and pages of interiors fabrics, not finding anything particularly inspiring. And then I found a website featuring the designs of Florence Broadhurst. In the back of my brain, this name rang a bell. Yes, she was an Australian designer and I had read an article on her in a newspaper magazine, many years before. Looking through the designs, there was one that immediately jumped out at me. It was beautiful. My husband agreed, that was the fabric to use. My nine year…

lao textiles

Laos, in Southeast Asia, lies between Burma, China, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. It has a history of rule as a kingdom, a period under French governance, a lengthy civil war and is now officially Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Following the Civil War (1962-1975) the ancient silk-weaving tradition of Laos was under threat. During the conflict, the Northeastern provinces near the Vietnam border were heavily bombed. Daily life was disrupted and the people either lived in caves or moved to the Vientiane Province. Despite a decrease in silk weaving during these times, many techniques and skills remained. Lao Textiles, est. 1990 Carol Cassidy came to Vientiane, Laos as a textile expert and a weaving advisor on a United Nations/International Labour Organization (UN/ILO) project at Lao Cotton State Enterprise. She was impressed with the technical…

embroideries ancient and modern

Textile archaeologists have now discovered that embroideries were part of civilized society from the earliest of times. References can be found in ancient texts and illustrations dating back to before the ancient Egyptians and throughout the classical world. Our own “English speaking” tradition of embroidery can also be dated to a period which seems infinitely distant – even the name associated with it is mysterious and almost magical: The Dark Ages. “The Dark Ages” is now a misnomer, as more and more information comes to light about the Anglo Saxon period; the era between the Romans leaving England, and the Norman invasion of 1066. One of the most important aspects of this period was the flourishing of embroidery, foremost amongst the textile arts. Named “Opus Anglicanum” – simply “English Work”– it…