Inspirations Issue 108

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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4 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
from the editor

IF THE WORDS MERRY AND BRIGHT bring to mind a familiar Christmas tune, you certainly would not be alone. These words are included in the lyrics of the song, ‘White Christmas’, written by Irving Berlin and first recorded by Bing Crosby for release in July 1942. Seventy-eight years later, it remains popular during the festive season and is, in fact, the world’s best-selling single with more than fifty million copies sold. These words, along with many similar ones, reflect our heartfelt ambitions for this time of year, a time of gathering together to enjoy the company of friends and family, of happiness and laughter, enjoying good food, reflecting on the year gone by and sharing hopes for the year ahead. The changes to our lives over this past year, the unique…

3 min.
pins and needles

“The mind is diverted from diseases and daily life problems. They see colour in their lives in the form of cloth and threads. It is very therapeutic.” For SIMRAN PREET KAUR , a social worker from Delhi, India, a journey began when she decided to start teaching a few children from a nearby slum neighbourhood. This informal arrangement was something she did to keep them occupied and off the streets, but she soon realised that they went home to poor, uneducated mothers living in sad and unhealthy conditions. That is when she decided to reach out to the mothers as well. These uneducated women from impoverished villages migrated to the cities looking for work and better conditions. Most of them were not successful and ended up in loveless marriages where violence and…

3 min.
between the covers

Creative Stitching Sue Spargo | Self-published 2017 | Soft-cover with spiral binding 216pg ISBN 978-0-9993902-0-7 | RRP USD$32.00 Stitch guides are almost a dime a dozen, and everyone tends to have a well-worn favourite in their library that they use as a go-to reference. A great addition to anyone’s collection would be this fabulous little book, the second edition of the title, that showcases the vast range of decorative embroidery stitches that Sue Spargo uses in her amazing work. Ideally sized for popping in your sewing bag at 19cm x 15cm wide (7 ½" x 6"), the book has a large spiral binding that allows it to be turned completely back on itself and prevents the pages from closing unexpectedly. The introductory chapter on needles and threads is brief and mainly pertinent to Sue’s…

5 min.
the needles art

An exhibition of contemporary needlework by students of Ornamental Embroidery Ornamental Embroidery was delighted to work once again with the Ashmolean Museum (see Inspirations, issue 94), this time in partnership with the Bodleian Library in Oxford, to showcase the work of students in an exhibition entitled The Needles Art. The project grew out of a two-day workshop held in May 2018 and formed part of a continuing series of short courses run through the Museum’s Education Department exploring the history of hand-embroidered textiles and design. The workshop was inspired by an early sixteenth century pattern or ‘model’ book (MS Ashmole 1504), preserved in the collection of Western Medieval Manuscripts at the Bodleian Library. In addition to working on a couple of designs from the volume, we were given an opportunity to…

1 min.

This type of filling is worked using very short lengths of cut purl, called 'chips', stitched in place close together to cover a shape. Contrasting thread is used for clarity. 1 Using a cutting pad, cut the check purl into short lengths, each as long as they are wide. 2 Secure the thread and bring it to the front within the shape. Thread a chip onto the needle and slide it to the base of the thread. 3 Lay the chip on the fabric, making sure the cut ends are facing down. Take the needle to the back at the opposite end of the chip. 4 Bring the thread to the front next to the first chip. 5 Stitch a second chip in place close to the first in the same way as before, but…

1 min.
string padding

This type of padding is often used under narrow, tapered shapes and covered with cut purls. The soft cotton thread is waxed to ensure it is firm and pliable before it is couched in place using waxed matching sewing thread. Contrasting thread is used for clarity. 1 Cut and wax the required number of cotton threads and place together in a bundle. Position the bundle along the shape ensuring the threads are straight and parallel. 2 Bring thread to the front at the widest point, just inside the design line. Take the needle to the back just inside the design line on the opposite side of the cotton padding. 3 Continue working stitches over the padding threads 2mm ( 1/16") apart in the same manner, pulling the padding threads firmly together. 4 As the…