Out now… available from WH Smith - the August/September 2016 issue of Stitch

Stitch 102The essential hands-on magazine for creative stitchers, STITCH with the Embroiderers’ Guild brings you traditional embroidery techniques and also a wealth of creative contemporary ideas.

Through how-to-do-it projects and articles from many of the world's leading embroidery tutors and designers, get STITCH-ing and discover contemporary free-machine embroidery and explore traditional techniques like canvaswork, goldwork, crewelwork, stumpwork, blackwork and Hardanger.

Our mixed-media projects combine stitching with all sorts of materials and techniques – the list is endless and the only restriction is your imagination.

Our mission is to take you on an exciting, creative, textile journey…
• Suitable for beginners and experienced embroiderers
• How-to-do-it projects with clear instructions
• Explore traditional techniques and stitches
• Give your work the ‘WOW’ factor using innovative products

Stitch can be sent anywhere in the world so treat yourself, friends or family to the perfect gift that lasts all year. Inspiration delivered to your door!

You can still get your copy of Stitch 101 if you cannot get to a branch of WH Smith or your local branch has sold out. All you have to do is:

Telephone Stitch subscriptions on 01778 392088. Have your credit card to hand, or you can

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WIN.jpgJanome FM725 EmbellisherSubscribe to Stitch and you could win a Janome FM725 Embellisher

The FM725 will bring out the artist in you, select from your palette of fabrics and threads and blend together to create unique textures and surfaces. It’s easy, by simply moving the fabrics freely under the needles you can quickly and easily create beautiful surface embellishments… watch your own design develop… anyone can do it!

The Janome FM725 helps to create fabrics which can then be sewn into a finished garment, furnishing or be simply used as a work of art. It has five barbed needles which mesh the fibres to secure two or more pieces of fabric together. Every design is unique… it’s great to experiment with colours, fabrics, yarns and a whole host of other creative materials… a fantastic use of all those scraps of fabric and threads that normally get thrown away! A built in needle guard is provided for safety and there is easy access to the lint collection area under the needle plate. It even has a free-arm facility.

Visit Janome's website for the full specification of this fantastic machine and the accessories available at

Stitch magazine has a new editor - Kate Chappel - and she tells us about this issue:

Kate ChappelWe've come over all flowery on this issue of Stitch. Not only is our cover positively blooming with colour but the pages are bursting with floral loveliness too. As I look out of my office window at a grey July day, I'm glad Stitch is full of summer sunshine, even if my garden is not!

We are not the only flower fans - our beautiful sampler project on page 14 is inspired by the flowers loved by William Shakespeare, whose 400th birthday is being celebrated this year. One of my favourite Shakespeare plays has to be A Midsummer Night's Dream, where Oberon's speech "I know a bank where the wild thyme glows, where oxlips and the nodding violet grows..." describes flowers so beautifully you can almost smell their scent as you hear it.

For something a little more up-to-date, have a go at stitching the extremely colourful flower cushion on page 46 (our cover star!). We fell in love with Joanne Sharpe's design as soon as we saw her new book The Art of Whimsical Stitching and are itching to get our paintbrushes out to start on this multi-media stitching project. And the treats for your home don't end there - Jo Fagent's elegant flower hoop embroidery on page 21 is a little less "bling" but no less beautiful, and perfect to hang as part of a group on your wall. I've never embellished with yarn before but the textures Jo has created are wonderful so I'll definitely be trying it soon

The floral theme this issue extends right to the back page with the launch of our brand new Stitch Readers Gallery. Each issue we'll be picking a theme and asking you, the readers, to send in your stitching masterpiece to show off. This issue's theme is, of course, "Flower Power!" and we've been inundated with photos of your work. What a talented lot you are! The theme for the next issue is "Autumn Colours" so we're looking forward to seeing lots of reds, browns, oranges and yellows in our inbox! For more details see page 66.

I do hope you enjoy reading this issue of Stitch as much as we have enjoyed putting it together. I'm off to smell the roses. See you in October!

Kate Chappel, Editor

Bright and Beautiful

Bright and Beautiful

Mixing watercolours and free motion embroidery creates a vibrant result in this stunning "Flower Pop" cushion. Joanne Sharpe, mixed media textile artist and author of The Art of Whimsical Stitching, shows us how it's done. Joanne says "What I call colouring blocks are all the compartments, shapes and spaces created as you "draw" with your sewing machine using free motion embroidery. You can then colour these shapes in with markers, fabric paints, dyes and other media. I recommend threading your sewing machine with a 50-weight cotton or polyester thread. I like to use a poly-blend thread as it's stronger - it creates little less breakage as you stitch.

Joanne is a mixed media artist, textile designer and teacher from New York. She explores the colour and fun of stitch through her books, workshops and online classes. To find out more about Joanne and her work visit

The Bard's Blooms

The Bard's Blooms

We couldnt let 2016 pass without joining in William Shakespeare's 400th birthday celebrations. And what better way than with this gorgeous sampler featuring blooms found in the gardens, fields and hedgerows of Shakespeare's time, designed by the queen of stumpwork, Jane Nicholas. We start this two-part series with a stumpwork grapevine and delicate sweet briar.

Jane Nicholas is recognised internationally as being at the forefront of modern designers interpreting stumpwork, having researched and stitched in the medium for over 20 years. She teaches in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA, has been awarded a Churchill Fellowship to further her studies in stumpwork in the UK and in 2005 was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for her "services to hand embroidery as an artist, teacher and author". To find out more about Jane and her work visit

The Art of Kogin

The Art of Kogin

Simple but effective, Japanese Kogin stitching is a technique full of history and tradition. Inspired by her travels in the Far East, embroiderer Liz Almond has created this stylish workbag from one of her Kogin designs.

"Country Kogin" is a Japanese-style darning sampler with thirty different pattern variations created to fit into or around a diamond shape. It was an experiment to see how working within a defined shape could be explored. Kogin embroidery is a heavy form of pattern darning which originated in the Aomori Prefecture of Northern Japan.

Liz Almond has been an embroiderer and tutor for many years, specialising in blackwork, whitework and counted thread techniques. She has travelled extensively throughout the Middle and Far East and uses her travels as inspiration for her designs. Liz's website is full of projects, designs, advice and charts to buy and download.

A Wildflower Purse

A Wildflower Purse

This pretty wildflower motif by talented Dutch designer Ilke Cochrane would add a touch of elegance to any project. Add it to a plain felt purse for a chic and unique addition to your wardrobe.

Ilke is a Dutch ex-pat living in the UK and is the embroidery designer behind the wonderfully named Mabel Figworthy's Fancies. She specialises in Hardanger but is a fan of all stitching techniques, describing her style as "traditional with a twist". For more information on Ilke, her stitching kits and workshops, visit

Constance Howard

The Quiet Revolutionary - Constance Howard (Stitching Icons Series)

Constance Howard MBE showed the world how exhilarating an art form embroidery can be. Her influence continues to reverberate through the work of today's textile artists, while her memory is a vibrant as her bright green hair. Deena Beverley looks back at her life and work.

"Given her predilection for a punk rock aesthetic in coiffure, and her encouragement of free expression in art, it's surprising to discover that Constance's liberated approach did not fully extend to the way she taught embroidery".

Memory Cloths - part 3

Memory Cloths - Part 3

In the final part of our memory cloth series, Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn take a trip to the coast for inspiration. Jan and Jean are internationally renowned textile artists, authors and tutors. Their latest book Memory Cloths delves into the past to highlight particular images and places that could become a starting point for developing a theme and inspiring a body of work. For more information and to order copies of the book visit

Jan and Jean's exhibition celebrating 25 years of writing together will be at the Knitting & Stitching Shows - Alexandra Palace, London 5th - 9th October, Dublin 20th - 23rd October and Harrogate 24th - 27th November 2016.

Ripping Yarns

Ripping Yarns

Designer Joanna Fagents uses wools to give her embroidery a modern, textural feel. This chic flower design uses bullion knots and french knots to stunning effect. This flower design looks modern and chic when one colour is used and gives depths of texture. However you can create a very different hoop simply by using differrent colours or by using varied shades of the same tone colour, which works wonderfully well. Use your own design to transfer to the fabric using a light box to trace it or hold it up to the window to use natural light.

Designer Jo Fagents has worked extensively in the fashion industry but her passion for embroidery has always been at the forefront. She recently took the plunge and launched her own embroidery company specialising in stylish and modern hoop works. Sew and Saunders which you will find on Etsy.

From Sketch to Stitch

From Sketch to Stitch

Carol Arnott has seen her textile impressions of local Scottish fishing villages sell all over the world. She tells us how she created one of her favourites, Arbroath Harbour. Carol is a textile artist and designer from Dundee. She exhibits in a number of galleries and you can see her work in a joint exhibition at Dundee Botanical Gardens in November.

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