Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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A Stitcher’s Christmas #4: The Gift of Inspiration… and a Turtle!


Amazon Books

Happy Monday! And welcome to the fourth installment of A Stitcher’s Christmas, 2020!

It’s hard to believe we’re already into the second week of Advent, which means that Christmas is not too far away!

I think one of the best gifts we can ever receive at any time is the gift of inspiration – that stimulation to do something particularly creative, thoughtful, or even brilliant; that flash of an idea that’s perfectly timed, that’s profound or eye-opening. It’s somewhat difficult to nail down exactly what inspiration is, the way we use the term today, but I think I’d say it’s an awakening of the soul that moves us to do or think above our normal level of doing or thinking.

Keeping that in mind, I think that Inspirations Magazine is aptly named, because for embroiderers, it does just that. Don’t you reckon?

Anyway… enough profundity. Let’s get on with it!

Today, I’m going to introduce a fantastic give-away, courtesy of Inspirations Studio, that makes me a wee bit jealous that I can’t participate in this one! I’ll admit that there’s a little bit of twitterpation on my part going on here. And I think you’re going to love it, too!

At the end of today’s article, I’ll announce the winners of Friday’s give-away, too. So read on through!

Stitcher's Christmas: Passion for Needlework & Jewel of the Sea kit

Ok – the give-away! Three winners will each receive a copy of Inspirations Studios most recent volume of A Passion for Needlework.

Stitcher's Christmas: Passion for Needlework & Jewel of the Sea kit

This edition was photographed at Blakiston Creamery and if you don’t have it yet, you need it on your Christmas list. This is the third volume of A Passion for Needlework, and they just keep getting better and better.

I reviewed this gorgeous book in detail here.

Stitcher's Christmas: Passion for Needlework & Jewel of the Sea kit

There are so many exquisite projects in this book! There really is something for everyone.

And even if you’re not really surrounded by embroiderers, anyone who picks up this book and browses through it is bound to be enchanted and drawn in. It is so beautifully photographed! It’s a pleasure just to look at the book.

It’s inspiring!

Stitcher's Christmas: Passion for Needlework & Jewel of the Sea kit

But wait! That’s not all!

Oh my word. Be still, my heart.

I meant it when I said a turtle.

This project is called Jewel of the Sea, by Georgina Bellamy, and you can find it in A Passion for Needlework – Blakiston Creamery. Georgina does fabulous things with goldwork threads – leaping outside the box in such creative ways to fashion the most endearing creatures and other beautiful things in goldwork.

To top off this give-away, the three winners will also receive a full kit for Jewel of the Sea!

I’m already so excited for the winners, and I don’t even know who you are!

Ever since the book was published and the kits came out, I’ve been oscillating about whether or not I should get this kit. On the one hand, I want that turtle very badly – which means I’d have to make it. On the other, there’s the whole you-really-need-to-be-prudent-right-now thing going on in my head. And it’s probably better, anyway. I have a feeling I’d end up taking that turtle with me everywhere. Talking to it. Making it my pet. My new best friend! I’m strangely fascinated by it!

Just think, if you win today’s give-away, you don’t have to go through the throes of indecision! The kit and the book will just land on your doorstep! What a deal!

Give-Away Guidelines

If you’d like to participate in today’s give-away, please follow these guidelines!

This give-away has ended. You can find the winners listed on December 9th’s article.

1. Please leave your comment below, on this article on Needle ‘n Thread. If you are reading this in the newsletter, you can reach the comment form directly by following this link. Comments left on any other post on Needle ‘n Thread or sent by email are not eligible. Please do not leave your comment as a reply to someone else’s. Replies cannot be included in the count. If you are unsure how to post a comment without replying to someone else, please just click the link provided above to go to the comment form. Thanks!

2. Make sure you leave a recognizable name or nickname on the Name line on the comment form. Anonymous comments don’t count. Please do not leave personal information like email addresses, mailing addresses, or phone numbers in the Comment part of the form. When you do, I have to go in and edit that information out – unless you want spam, or strangers picking up your phone number, email address, mailing address (which you don’t, I’m sure!).

…but please do make sure that your email address is entered correctly on the Email line of the form. This is not visible to anyone but me, and it is not used for anything except the purposes of this give-away (if you win, I need to be able to contact you).

3. You may only enter once.

4. In your comment, please answer the following:

Describe the project that, up to this point in your embroidery journey, has made you the happiest while you were stitching it or when you finished it. It might not be your Magnum Opus (greatest work). It could be. But it might not be. Tell us about it!

5. Leave your comment by 5:00 am Central Standard Time, Wednesday, December 9th. The winner will be randomly drawn and announced on Wednesday morning, when the next give-away in the series takes place. I will also contact the winners by email.

Please note that your comment may not appear right away on the website. I review all the comments that go on the website, to keep unseemly content off the website. If your comment does not show up immediately, please don’t fret. It will show up as soon as I have a chance to moderate comments.

Winners for Friday!

Finally, if you entered last Friday’s give-away for a year’s subscription to Giuliana Ricama and the lovely Mountmellick-styled kit, then read on!

The winner of the year’s subscription to the Giuliana Ricama magazine is Jennifer Wollesen.

And the winner of the kit is Roanoke Tess.

I will contact you both by email! Keep an eye out!

Thank you to the folks at Giuliana Ricama! If you’re looking for a new magazine subscription for 2021, check them out!


(1,000) Comments

    1. My first finished tablecloth is the project that made me really happy. And it still makes as we use it on every birthday and other special occasions.

  1. The project that made me happiest was a giraffe eating leaves from a tree that I did when my grandmother taught me to embroider.

  2. When my daughters were preschoolers, I embroidered flowers on a dress collar for each of them. They loved the dresses that I made to accent the collars! When my oldest granddaughter was a preschooler, I made her a dress just like her mama’s. I smiled at the memories all the while I stitch the embroidery design on the color!

    1. I loved stitching the American Sampler that appeared in Treasure Magazine. I used the silk floss it called for and it was a joy to stitch. It had all kinds of stitches in it. I learned to love the queen stitch.

  3. My happiest journey was embroidering a small bird design with my mother—we each had our own piece—shortly before she passed away.

  4. I was quite pleased when I finished my Japanese Garden Mandala by Chatelaine Designs. I loved all of the metallic thread, beads, and silk thread 🙂

  5. I’ve made many pieces inspired by historical artifacts in my time, and I’ve loved many of them.
    But the thing that has truly made me happiest was making a wool applique Christmas stocking for my child, born after many years of tears and hope and science. 🙂

  6. Hi, Mary! The project that excites me the most is anything pulled thread; currently, I’m working on a 9″ hand drawing of a hibiscus I bred years ago in MD. I took the idea from the header picture on my FB page of my hibicuses in MD. I’m enjoying the process! Regards, Sarah E.

  7. Who would have thought that “Pandemic” would be so significant? I love Long Dog Samplers and have even done several in variegated threads so when they released a pre-named pattern in April I jumped. And of course the thread had to be appropriate for the real pandemic we were in, not the stitching pandemic they had planned it for, so my thread is variegated from acid green, and gold thro smokey ash gray to vivid purple. The intellectual part of having the thread not bump up against it’s match, and watching the pattern spread across my 40 count linen has been wonderful.

  8. One of my favorite projects that I enjoyed watching come to life was a Dimensions Gold kit of the heads of different big cats. I loved watching all of them come to life and appear as I stitched. Best part is I get to look at it everyday on my wall.

  9. thank you so much for these wonderful giveaways!
    I agree with you that the turtle is wonderful and I’m itching to try my hand such beautiful beading project!

  10. What I enjoy the most is doing something that will be a gift and that has a different presentation that a simple frame.
    I love the turtle, what a cute idea

  11. Favorite embroidery project: A large Christmas tree on suede, adding broken family jewelry and mementos for my mother.

  12. Spooky. I just shared a photo of this turtle with my friend as she loves beading and stitching. I’d love to gift her this.

  13. My magnum opus is a piece I have been working on since 1991. It is not an intricate piece but it is lovely. It is a rose garden with butterflies and a trellis. I started it the week my daughter was born. Then I moved in 1994 and lost the chart. I only had a small piece of the chart photocopied so it took me two years to figure out who made the chart. I contacted Better Homes & Gardens in 1997 and they had to research to find it because it was out of print. Since then I have moved regularly and every time I put it away safely along with its chart and all the threads and finishings. I only work on it in summer when I have good light to tell the reds apart. But I am finally almost done.

  14. The project that has made me the happiest is probably the one I’m currently working. It’s by far the largest counted-cross-stitch I’ve done to date and the most complicated. But I’ve learned the most from it. (Using linen and stitching “over two”, etc) and when I step back to look at progress it looks so much like a painting…it’s just so satisfying.

  15. The project that has given me the greatest joy is relatively recent. I have been making masks to give away (over 200 thus far for family and co-workers) and decided that for one of them I was making for myself, I’d embroider it. I did a flower type garden on a fat quarter after tracing the outline of the mask pattern (and taking into consideration seam allowances). It turned out beautifully and I love seeing it by the door when I am ready to head out. BTW, my masks are lined with an opening for extra filters (which I had purchased) and I used non-woven, iron on interfacing.

    This turtle is just lovely, I know what you mean about keeping it as a pet!

  16. I am so proud of project that involved needlepainting of few of Trish Burr birds and pansies in a panel which I framed. I never thought I could do it but it tour ed out grand’.

  17. Oh my, how I LOVE this turtle! I have been most happy finishing Guilia Punti Antichi’s cameo box. I absolutely adore cameos and if I do say, my box came out wonderful.

  18. Oh, my! What a fabulous treat this giveaway would be!
    The happiest project so far was a larger version of an Inspirations magazine kit. I made the Inspirations Primavera kit designed by Nicola Jarvis as a gift for my Mom’s birthday. I loved doing this so much I contacted Nicola to ask if the larger, more complete version, which had been taught at BATB and was photographed for the story, was available. Luckily Nicola had one of the kits left over and I had the best time making it up. Silk, pearls, beads – waaaaay fun!

  19. Oh my, that turtle, which, in my family, is called a honu, is gorgeous. I have a watercolor honu and a beautiful honu photo in my home. Both are from the North Shore of Oahu by local artists there. My son and family live on the North Shore of Oahu, and get to see them is all sizes. My daughter-in-law even helped a whole “herd” of babies make it to the ocean after they unexpectedly hatched in front of her. My favorite piece so far is a needle book which I finished a little more than a year ago. I stitched it once, but then did it a second time, because the colors in the first were too pink. I wanted more coral colors. I am very pleased with it, and use it often.

  20. Love the sea turtle! I stitched a bargello sea turtle design for my EGA master craftsman Canvas submittal. They are peaceful animals. Inspirations magazine is gorgeous too!

  21. Oh my goodness! Thank you Mary and Inspirations magazine for this give-away. I have been dying to get that book and the kit for the turtle. He is just so sweet and perfect!

    The project that made me the happiest while I was stitching it was one I designed myself. A dear friend of mine was a huge fan of the book Jonathan Livingston Seagull. As he was turning 21 and graduating college, I designed and graphed a counted cross-stitch of a seagull in flight and added a calligraphic version of the word “soar”. It was beautiful and I really enjoyed seeing how realistic it looked as I stitched more and more of it.

  22. My Winter Dream is probably the project that was most fun, it was inspired by an UFO and a dream. No stress of following a pattern, just stitch dig through my stash and smile as it came together.

  23. I embroidered a Chritmad ornament based on Elizabethan embroidery it had spangles and metal thread in it and it turned out beautifully.

  24. Many years ago I embroidered a piece that had an animal in the middle (maybe a pig – I can’t remember) and all around the border were embroidered pictures of lots of spices. I remember how much I enjoyed working each spice – it’s loops and French knots and other stitches I learned along the way. I framed it and gave it to my cousin. She hung it near the dining room table so every time I visited her, I enjoyed looking at it. Then a few years ago I noticed it was gone and when I asked where it was, she said she didn’t know. I was pretty hurt but the lesson was clear: When you give something away, you have to let it go.

    I’d LOVE that turtle kit! My husband not only collects little turtles in wood and glass but if he sees a live one crossing the road, he stops and saves it from an untimely death. I’d make it for him.

  25. The most exciting project I’ve done is a stole and matching chasuble for my ordination as a deacon and then a priest in the Episcopal Church. I worked on the stole as I attended seminary, finishing it in time to be ordained deacon. Then, the chasuble was done in that seemingly endless time waiting for priestly ordination. They are hardanger in red on red linen inserts in a red ordination vestment set. I put the final stitches in each the night before each ordination service. High drama!

  26. I finished a reproduction sampler from The Scarlet Letter not too many years ago–Pattern Record. It took me over two years to stitch it. It had lots of double-running, Italian cross, and Montengrin. I had the option of stitching the double-running sections (and there were a lot of them) as a backstitch or to make it completely reversible by doing double-running. I chose the latter. Not only did that give me great satisfaction (and really made me happy I could work through all those bands like that), but when I took it to the framer, I had to mark the front and top because he couldn’t tell the difference! Yay!

  27. My magnus opum was the little french book in Inspirations No. 100 – Monet, Hugo et les poisson d’or. It took me about 6 months continually to get it finished for my granddaughter for a present last Christmas. It was such a success.

  28. I forgot to say my favourite project was the bird design taken from the colouring book. Took me the longest time.

  29. Early in my stitching career I took a class called Winter Solstice with Kay Stanis. I loved the class and the piece but was in way over my head. When I got home I set it aside for ten years and when I came back to it, I realized how much my stitching skills had grown over those years. I finished the project with pride and enthusiasm, marveling at how artistic talents grow even though we don’t always recognize it in our day to day stitching.

  30. Georgina’s work is so unique and beautiful – and even better in the (metal) thread! Thank you so much Mary for letting us know the book is available….Santa..are you listening???

  31. definitely my happiest was my bug quilt
    but that may change to a turtle if this is my lucky day

  32. Mary, I’m with you — that turtle is amazing. I have a turtle finished as a frameweight. Chart and threads (Gumnuts) were a gift from friends. Much as I enjoyed that during and after, I’m going to say that the piece that has made me happiest during and after is Cleopatra’s Cat — an Embroiderer’s Guild of America Group Correspondence Course designed by Mary Long. Canvaswork, with a wide variety of blue fibers and Kreinik braids, set up as a sampler of over forty stitches that need to be compensated to fit the areas – a great exercise. It’s finished as a standup, and has traveled with me whenever our guild has a table to show/demonstrate to the public. People seem to relate to it more than to abstract/geometric patterns.

  33. Hmmmmm – my greatest work- hmmmmm I would have to say it would be a blackwork strawberry – Inspirations magazine pattern. It felt good to put my own stamp on it so to speak – my first ‘interpretation’ – as simple as ‘needing with all my heart’ to do it in fresh seasonal red threads. It is framed and does my heart good! thx

  34. My project would be Kalinka by Helene Leberre that I received from the French Needle. It was such a colorful, light and fun project that before I knew it, it was done.

  35. Favorite thing to date has been doing dimensional embroidery kits designed by Martha Offutt. Originally available in the 1990s. I got very good at making bullion Rose’s.

  36. The project I most enjoyed is a pattern called Flower Power from Crossed Wing Collection. It’s a pattern of cross-stitch mostly (with a few other stitches thrown in). I like this pattern because it represents different flowers, hummingbirds and butterflies. You can work it by individual sections (foxglove or lily or monarch butterfly or calliope hummingbird, etc) and see it come “alive”. It was great fun.

  37. I’m new to stitching/beading and, while I threw my second try at it away, I’ve found a way to make my first effort into a small wall hanging with which I am satisfied. Now I’m planning how to do the next stitching/beading project! Learning new things is such fun.

  38. Happiest embroidering Christmas ornaments for my family during my at-home time, isolating from Covid.
    I will share them on Skype, since we are all staying home this holiday.

  39. OMG that turtle is stunning, I can’t imagine the hours it took. You do unbelievable work. I hope to do a little to compare with you.
    Thank you for sharing your art.

  40. What has made me the happiest was to finish Dutch Tiles. It was my first blackwork and I really had to concentrate.

  41. The project that made me happiest to stitch and finish was a Brazilian embroidery heart design. I chose to use that project to learn Brazilian embroidery as well as help me quit smoking. I finished the project in 2009 and have been smoke-free ever since. It was a win-win, I learned a new technique and got healthy in the process!

  42. Hi Mary
    My “greatest” embroidery achievement is a family tablerunner. It has a wide floral border at each end and across the mid-section I’ve embroidered the initials of each member of the family. It’s lovely to have something that symbolises my family. Happy Christmas and thankyou once again for your inspiration through your wonderful warm emails. I enjoy every one.

  43. Hello embroiderers friends
    This year I started watercolor and embroidery classes.
    Joining two passions was very rewarding !!!!
    I’ve been doing a lot of experiments, some are great, others are learning !!!!!
    Watercoloring a fabric is different from painting on fabric !!!
    Watercolor requires stains and you don’t have much control over the result. So it’s really fun and exciting !!!!
    I’m loving working with this combination !!!!

  44. The best project is usually the one I just finished. I’ve learned something along the way and it is completed and satisfying. Even better if it was a gift.

  45. The project that made me the happiest was the first towel I stitched this year. I haven’t embroidered since I was a child. With the pandemic eliminating my commute, I actually had a little free time/me time. It’s been so much fun to do this again … and that’s how I found this wonderful site, which has opened up my eyes to the kinds of sophisticated and beautiful embroidery I might aspire to make.

  46. After getting absorbed in Opus Anglicanum I wanted to apply what I’d seen so did a piece, about 20x10cm, of the Infant Jesus standing on the world with a shepherds crook. Not having done figure work before I enjoyed watching the face take shape, along with with clothes etc. It took me less time then expected, only a few months, and this was about 4-5yrs ago now. It subsequently got sewn onto a banner for a young girls church group.

  47. Love the variety of topics you introduce us to. Also enjoy the Friday newsletter from Inspirations each week with its worldwide reach.

    But nothing has prepared me for the delight I find in this little turtle who has captured my heart as much as he has yours. I may have found a legitimate reason (or excuse!) to start buying Inspiration’s books, if only to look at his picture frequently.

  48. if you are not happy while you are stitching you need to switch to a project that MAKES YOU HAPPY to create it! I am happiest when I put that last stitch in as it means I can now move on to another beautiful piece

  49. Oh be still my beating heart….. what an amazing Christmas give away this one is. “Inspirations” publications are truly beautiful and their books are just exquisite, and as for that turtle, well I second all your comments. Wow!
    And as for the stitching piece giving me the most pleasure? That’s the one I’m working on at the moment, it’s Tanja Berlin’s goldwork Phoenix. I chose it because like the Phoenix, Australia is rising from the ashes of the absolutely horrendous bushfires we endured earlier this year and at the end of last year. It’s a beautiful composition by Tanja and I’m embracing the symbolism of the piece.

  50. I am most pleased that I took a quilt pattern and added my own touch to it. Using scraps of dog print fabric, I made a 60″ quilt top and added “dog bones” with the names of my daughter’s pups embroidered on them.

  51. The finish that gave me the most satisfaction was ‘And They Sinned’ a very large sampler that took me four years to finish. It is as tall as I am!

  52. I have two: One was the first time I finished a project (not the embroidery part, but the finishing). I took a class with Linda Vinson, and sewed together a little folding envelope, and I was so enchanted with that. The second project that I condsider my best embroidery is Roseworks dragon, I ordered the printed silk, and filled it in with autumn colors,and copper metallic thread, and my framer put an oval frame around it.

  53. I can’t even imagine how that turtle is constructed. It is fascinating just to look at the picture of it. I also love that embroidery in the picture frame.

    I have two projects that made me the happiest while I was stitching them. The first project was a quilt block that was going into a going away quilt for the pastor of our church. Each block going into the quilt had to include our name and something about us and needed to be embroidered. At that time, I had only dabbled with embroidery and had never designed anything, but it turned out great. It did take several tries to get the design centered just right and look the way I envisioned it.

    The other project was a table runner I stitched for my sister-in-law. It was a commercial project that matched her tableware.

  54. I recently completed The Jade Dragon by Roseworks Embroidery and reviewed here a while ago. The creature was so fantastical that I felt free to add a few of my own ideas like flecks of gold here and there. That project was engrossing and I was very pleased with the outcome. This give- away truly speaks to me, as I’m sure it does all stitchers! I love Inspiration Magazine, aptly named. And I just began my first beaded project, I love the detail. Thank you, Mary for this chance to win these wonderful prizes.

  55. I think I have liked the most, the time I spent stitching zoo animals on a baby quilt with variegated thread. It did not require close attention to detail, and I could just sit and relax and do simple embroidery stitches. I worked on this during the first month of the Covid isolation and it was very calming to me to be able to work on a simpler project and just enjoy the process.

  56. I’m torn between my Elizabeth by Gay Ann Rogers or my interpretation of Lani’s Yvonne painted canvas. Both are hanging proudly on my walls and I both enjoyed stitching them and looking at them on a daily basis.

  57. The embroidery project that perhaps has brought me the “greatest joy” maybe while while making it— but certainly through the years—is and has been a crewel embroidered clock face I made and gave to my dear Mama over 50 years ago! She has been gone now for many years, but I still have that embroidered clock in my bedroom where I remember
    doing the stitching in my early years of marriage and embroidering and giving it to her with joy! Perhaps it is one of the reasons I still find comfort snd joy with embroidering today!

  58. Hi Mary! I used water soluble stabilizer for the first time to embroider a sweet coneflower on my denim shirt. Well – after I removed the stabilizer and beaded the center – it made my day! I don ‘t know if it was because it was something I have been wanting to try for a long time and satisfaction overwhelmed me – or if it was the glimmer of the seed beads in the center. Thank you for this great chance.

  59. I love Inspirations magazine and have most of them. The work i’m Proudest of is a piece from Inspirations #1 the teddy bear by Carolyn Pearce which I stitched for my granddaughter . I have since stitched the patchwork teddy also by Carolyn Pearce. I’d love to have the Inspirations book in my collection.

  60. I think the one project I got the most satisfaction from was a complimentary chart from TWDesignworks. It was a small dragon with lots of bling, done in counted cross stitch. The designer gave instructions on how to pick an over-dyed thread and then pick colors to compliment that thread. This way my first real adventure into selecting colors — and I stitched on Aida! (The designer uses LOTS of quarter stitches in all her designs.) Lots of angst and anxiety and second-guessing myself, but I did it. Sadly, this chart is no longer available on her site.

  61. I had been looking at Chatelaine designs for almost a year, but could not decide which I would ‘keep that loving feeling’ about for the expected significant length of the project. Traveled to Costa Rica, and upon return I promptly ordered Rain Forest Mandala! Choice made!
    Started in May 2019, and am about 40% complete–and still loving every stitch! Thank you for your insightful reviews and news!

  62. Working on the DragonDreams Runekeepers on large Afghan fabric which now hangs in my hallway. Not only did it give me solace while caring for my Mom who had surgery but also made my husband so proud (loves it).

  63. While I’ve been a counted cross stitcher for 40+ years, I just recently discovered needlepainting with long and short stitches. The project that made me happiest was when I completed my first project, just a doodle to practice the technique via a stitch-along with Amina a Stitch Floral, but I was pleased with the results and really want to try more, although there aren’t quite enough hours in the day to complete all the projects I want to.

  64. I am happy when I am stitching and not pressed by outside responsibilities. One of my happiest projects would be a set of linen dresser scarves made some 48 years ago as a young married lady. They were hemstitched and had different herbs.

  65. The project I finished most recently is always my favourite finish and that is never more true than the project I finished just this weekend – Amy Mitten’s Spring Casket Keepsakes. I began stitching them in the spring and, even though I am a slow stitcher, I did not expect to be still stitching them in the winter by there are just so many petals to be made! I am so pleased that I kept plugging away with them and all the other fun elements because the finished carnation and cornflower are absolutely delightful! I need a new project now – the turtle would fit the bill. Fingers crossed!

  66. I have made cross stitch pieces of the zodiac and gifted them to my family members on their birthday. I really enjoyed stitching the Birthday zodiacs, and everyone was very happy with their gifts that year. I loved making them, and seeing the looks on their faces as they opened their presents really made my day!

  67. The project that I’ve loved the most is an underwater scene of fish, sea flowers, seaweed, snails, imaginary creatures etc, just done free hand. I used some zentangle designs, some beads and sequins, in lots of blues and greens. I loved doing it because I had no expectations of how it “should” look, it told me how it should be stitched, what to add, and where. And as much as I loved it and wanted to keep going, it told me when it was complete.

  68. The greatest joy in finishing a project was The “Laura Standish Sampler”. I took the class from Joanne Harvey years ago. It took me 246 hours to stitch it as I did so TOTALLY reversibly as she had taught it.

  69. Oh my – I have been dreaming of this turtle ever since I saw it in the weekly Inspirations newsletter. The work highlighted in their volumes is always exquisite, but this piece tugs the heart as well. I’m sure it would challenge my skills but I’d love to try it. Thank you for offering this incredible to gift to three lucky admirers. We all appreciate everything you do to promote the needle arts.
    I was probably happiest stitching a cross stitched WWII aircraft piece – 27 years ago. I was secretly stitching it as a thank you gift for a friend who was teaching me to fly that year. I never dreamed it would end up hanging on the walls of my own house. He kept things professional while I was his student, but we began dating after I passed my exam and got my pilot’s license. We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary this past October. I will never forget the look on his face when he opened the large box Christmas morning a few months after we began dating. I still smile every time I walk by it today.

  70. My favorite embroidery project was a set of Christmas ornaments that I made that turned out very nicely and I hope will become family heirlooms. I was really happy when they were done, because despite their small size, they took an unexpectedly long time to make!

  71. I have enjoyed both stitching and the end result in so many needlework projects over the years. Particularly did enjoy stitching and giving our grand- daughters
    samplers. Thanks for give away. Enjoy the season!

  72. I am loving stitching my casket panels. I have long enjoyed looking at the caskets and am finally making my own.

  73. What an absolutely wonderful Christmas giveaway! I really have wanted this book but I’ve been holding off Mary like you trying to be prudent. Anyway I would love to win it. Your question was what project that I stitched on made me the happiest. I have to say probably it was my hexagon project that was a crazy quilt memory quilt of my parents. It was based on Jennifer Clewiston‘s bookFool proof crazy quilting and then I just went off riffing on the stitching. It was very satisfying to do. When I got stuck for ideas on a particular block I would just refer to Jennifer. Anyway love that piece and hangs where I can see it always. Enjoy your day!

  74. G’day Mary,
    A beaded needle book, if that’s counts as an embroidery project. It was my first workshop with the local Embroidery Guild. I turned up with some cross stitch and went home with a beaded needle book cover. I was very pleased with myself and the rattle of doors opening was exciting.
    Thank you Mary and Inspirations.
    Cheers, Kath Grabham

  75. I was very excited to finish the Desiderata sampler in January of this year that I started in 2002…. yup, 18 years ago. It was always “there”… and while I loved working on it there were so many other things that took my attention from it. I was very happy to have it done, framed, and hung on the wall!

  76. The piece of embroidery that made me the happiest and gave me the most pleasure to stitch was a rather unexpected one. It was a piece of encrusted embroidery that started out as a doodle cloth. It was great to stitch with no expectations , rules or a plan and it was great fun to see what evolved. Before long I was looking at surface stitches in a whole new way and I couldn’t help but smile as each new stitch gave me another challenge to try to top the creative way I used the last one. It is perhaps not perfect in many ways but it makes me happy with the journey it took me on and reminds me that I am happiest when I stitch regardless of the project or it’s outcome.

  77. Oh, my goodness………….that is what I said when I saw this give away. Be still my heart. What treasures to receive!
    Well, I just got done embroidering each of my family members a personalized tree ornaments. I usually do one theme for all but this year I created one especially with their interests in mind. A llama, a unicorn, a sports car, one with little puppies, and a coffee theme. I had so much fun designing and stitching them. Each one also had a Christmas tree with little bells on it for the ornaments. On the backs I added a little wooden tag with made with love and my name on the back with the year. It took me many weeks but I finished and they have them now to hang on their tree. Just as a side ornament joke I made little rolls of toilet paper with one to a customer and the year. Christmas is a time for fun and being thankful for our families.

  78. About 18months ago I was lucky enough to be able to go to a workshop with Georgina where I made one of her beetles; I absolutely love it, indeed I love all of her work. Plus she is such a wonderful teacher, so encouraging and generous……and quirky too, just like her work. I have seen pictures put out by Inspirations of her turtle and have toyed with the necessary purchases in order to make this gorgeous animal but the combined cost of the book and kit plus postage to UK from Oz is prohibitive so to win the prize would be a most wonderful Christmas present, and a great project to work on and bring some cheer in the new year. I have my fingers and toes all crossed .

  79. Most of my projects make me happy while I’m stitching them. If they are not, why am I stitching it? The pieces I have finished that I having hanging up or stashed away make me happy as they include memories and accomplishments. Yes, I am the worst person to ask what my favourite thing is.

  80. Oh my goodness, what a wonderful give-away!!! Who doesn’t love an incredible needlework book to look through?

    I have been working on an applique quilt that I’ve done extensive embroidery on. It’s called A Walk Through A Meadow by Ellen Heck. Each block is a little jewel of flowers, bugs and critters and I’ve tried to make them mine through my embroidery. I have loved every stitch. I’m at the point now where I’ll be putting it together and doing the final corners. After 3 years of work, I’m ready to finish, but I’ll be sad as well.

  81. The embroidery project that has given me the most pleasure was a simple nativity scene I completed for a wall hanging. I asked one of my sons to do a primitive style drawing for me and I embroidered it. Simple, basic but I love to see it having at Christmastime.

  82. More than 30 years ago I made a ‘needlepoint friend’ at the weekly needlepoint workshop we attend. We have much in common, even delivering our daughters 2 months apart. She is one of the most thoughtful and giving people I know. In 2018 my friend was the victim of a violent assault and lost her eye. It has been a long recovery for her. The project that made me happiest was a small piece filled with hearts that our needlepoint group stitched for her, to let her know of our love and support.

    I hope the fact I am a needlepointer and not truly an embroiderer does not disqualify me. I am venturing into gold work. I love your website, Mary, and have learned so much!

  83. I think one of my projects that made me really happy was the sugar cookie ornaments I made for my family. I make a different ornament each year and the idea for this one was my niece who loves sugar cookies. I used store bought cream felt for the cookie and homemade thick white felt for the icing. I embroidered each sideand added beads to look like a decorated sugar cookie then buttonhole stitched around the outside, adding some stuffing inside and aribbon for hanging.

  84. at the moment I’m stitching V from Letters from Nora a Nora Corbett Design. Every time I pick it up to stitch I think of my granddaughter Vivienne, she reminds me of the fairy in the stitchery. Cute as a button and so very caring. It makes me smile in this trying time.I’m almost finished and hope to see her soon in person for hugs and kisses (skype does not cut it).

  85. Hi I have loved turtles since a wee one!! I have been lucky enough to see baby turtles hatching out heading to the ocean My most rewarding embroidery project so far was making all the Forest Friend dolls for my great nieces (Kathy Schmitz pattern) they live in Scotland & I don’t get to see them often

  86. One of my early accomplishments was finishing Jean Hilton’s Chapter Patches design. Each block was a different set of canvaswork stitches and challenges. It took me 6 months to complete and it still hangs on my wall. Later I became a canvaswork designer and can even more fully appreciate the complexity of that design.

  87. The happiest thing I’ve embroidered is a beautiful arrangement of colorful flowers in the shape of a heart. So many beautiful colors and I love flowers. I’d put them on everything if I could.

  88. Last year I embroidered a Christmas tree on each of several tea towels. They were easy, quick, and fun to do. I gave them to family and friends who really liked them.

  89. I love inspirations magazine and your book review made the book seem irresistible! The turtle is so cute, I’d love the chance to make it.

  90. I’m most proud of a Birth announcement I embroidered for my first born. When I look at it now the stitches are so even and beautiful! I doubt I could replicate such fine stitching now with my much older eyes and arthritic hands!

  91. This project isn’t finished, but it has been challenging and pleasing and frustrating, and I’m proud of what I’ve done so far. I’ve done Kathy Shaw’s Beginning Crazy Quilting online class, and it was fun from the planning stages on. I used some materials I hadn’t used before (perle cottons, silk ribbon, teeny beads). I have been stalled at the silk ribbon irises for a LONG time now, but as I’ve done other projects, I think my skills have improved and maybe I’m ready to pick up the crazy quilting project again.

    Oddly, I dreamed about these silk ribbon irises just last night. 🙂

  92. What an awesome giveaway! The happiest that my stitching made me was finishing a sampler needlebook of my own design and knowing that it came out of my own head and looked pretty good! Thanks so much for your inspirational blog and all you do to make needlework enjoyable!

  93. After not embroidering for 10 years and using other forms of art to express myself, I finally found back to embroidery. I did a series of petit point pieces with more then 120 colours each. It took me a year and everybody thought I am compleatly insane. But when I exhibited that pieces the first time, I was the most happy women in the world.

  94. I recently did a gold work badger from a kit that was a true delight from start to finish. Something about the way it built up and the curves of the threads were just beautiful from the start. Also, it was my fist gold work project, and I fell in love with the technique as I made it.

  95. It is hard to pick just one as they all bring joy.
    The latest to bring me happiness was an Easter project.
    It was a bunny, chicks and two stacks of decorated eggs.
    They were bright and funny and had some specialty threads and beads for sparkle.
    It was just the thing to make me smile during the stay at home time this year.
    I love the turtle.

  96. Little Dove Designs, A Stitch for All Seasons, Spring, stitched it last spring during total lockdown, the bright colors cheered me up.

  97. I love working on a new X-stitch Christmas stocking every year. Filling in those squares one by one gets me in the holiday spirit little by little! I now have WAY more stockings than people but I use them as decorations throughout the house. Brings me joy!

  98. When I finished the black work on my rent faire chemise I was overcome with joy. It was my first project and remains my favorite.

  99. The project that made me the happiest? Probably my first Brazilian Embroidery piece. It isn’t perfect but it is gorgeous. I was surprised that I could produce such a project.

  100. I’d love to make this turtle for my aunt! Just stunning!
    Gay Ann Rogers’ Elizabeth Heart really helped me get through the early party of pandemic isolation, so that’s the project that comes to mind for today’s comment.

  101. Last April, I embroidered a Mother and child for a friend of mine who had her first baby in June. I really brought me such joy to stitch it. It turned out beautifully. And most of all, she loved it.

  102. I made a huge void monogram for my grandson Oliver with a space theme, his obsession; the O was the sun and the center space was filled with hundreds of French knots and the perimeter of the outer edge of the O had flames. All the planets, some constellations and galaxies, some satellites, and a little UFO spaceship and alien face to make him laugh. This was a huge project and beloved by all. I learned how to do this from you!

  103. The work that I’ve most enjoyed making (still not quite finished) is a crazy quilt that’s an on going project. When I came to put it together I realised I had miss calculated the number of squares I needed, so now I’m making another 9. The joy goes on.

  104. Describe the project that, up to this point in your embroidery journey, has made you the happiest while you were stitching it or when you finished it.

    My most favorite project has been planning and assembling the materials for my healing cloak. It’s a grand project that will use many techniques, threads, fabric, beads and more! I’ve sketched it out and have most of the main components planned. There is a little trepidation putting in the first stitch. However, I imagine it will provide hours of joy and happiness.

  105. I stitched Thea Gouverneur’s New York Collage for my husband’s birthday . It is framed and hangs over the fireplace in our family room. The pleasure it brings him gives me great joy. It was definitely stitched from the heart.

  106. It was Inspirations that started me thinking about my current project, and NeedlenThread that convinced me I could do it. It’s a (mostly) white on white wedding sampler I designed for my daughter and her husband. I tried to use a bit of traditional ethnic needlework from each of their family backgrounds. German, Norwegian, Irish, English to get started, together with a line or two from the Apache wedding blessing, which we all know is not really Apache, but I love it…”Now you are two people, but there is one life before you.” Its an ambitious project but I’m pleased with the way it’s turning out. Couldn’t have done it without your sources, tutorials and inspiration!

  107. The piece I’ve stitched that was the most fun is The Big Cat sampler from Gigi Ries. It’s a rather large reproduction sampler that is full of spot motifs. Finishing each motif was such a feeling of accomplishment.

  108. The project which made me the happiest stitching it is the one I am working on now. It is called Fandango and is a Group Correspondence course offered through EGA. There are 15 of us participating. Why does this make me happy? It is so difficult!!! 5 years ago I lost the sight in my right eye. It took me a long time to get back to stitching and although I will never be the stitcher I was, I am OK with that. Now I am doing this project on 32-count linen. I am just happy I can do this. It won’t be perfect but it will be done by me!

  109. What a beautiful give away! I would love to be entered into the giveaway. Thank you so much!

  110. I had a cross stitch chart of a partially immersed Tiger head reflected in water for at least 2 decades. I loved the picture but not sure I wanted a big Tiger on my wall. I have also always wanted to stitch a piece to enter in the ANG Needlework show at their annual Seminar that would be eligible for the Grace Kelly Award (stitched only in tent stitch). A few years ago in January I was moving “stuff” in my stitching room and found 40 count silk gauze that I had stashed away. I decided to use this as my ground for the Tiger. Over the next two months I stitched on this every evening and was so thrilled as he appeared, more magnificent then I dreamed. He is often mistaken for a photograph and every time I see him I recall that sometimes you get the most joy after waiting for a while to complete something–because the time was right!

  111. My favorite project was a Susan Portra design comprised of 9 separate octagons, each a unique pattern done in beautiful silk threads. It was so intricate and required mirrored shading. I would get lost in it while I worked. It still makes me smile, all these years later (30+), when I pass it hanging on my wall.

  112. The project that has made me happiest, both during the working phase and after completion is actually an ongoing series of seasonal kitchen towels. Christmas is finished and is currently on display, next up: Let It Snow from your Christmas Cheer collection for display in January and after that a spring themed towel for April since February and March are both finished already. The goal is to have a towel for each month, even those months that don’t include major holidays. I’m about half way through.

    Making this series even more special to me is the beautiful laminated wood cutting board I use to display the towels because it was made for me by my son in his high school wood shop class. Once someone used this special board to CUT something when I was not at home to stop them, leaving knife scars on the surface! Horrors! So the seasonal display towels protect the cutting board from accidental use. Win, win, win.

  113. My favorite, most beloved embroidery project was a maniturgia I made for the (priestly) ordination of a friend of the family several years ago. It was a team project – my daughters helped with the design and even embroidered a few stitches to make sure they contributed to the final product. It was a truly special embroidery project!

  114. The project that made me happiest was a cross-stitch portrait of my golden doodle, Charlie. I still smile when I look at it!

  115. The embroidery project that’s made me the happiest so far is the one I am currently working on – a padded satin stitch bird’s tail, to go on an up cycling project. Having always thought ‘proper’ embroidery (ie anything beyond counted cross stitch!) would be too difficult, I’m really enjoying stitching this (even though I am still only on the padding stitches 🙂 ). Thank you for all the inspiration and stitch instructions in your blog.

  116. Inspiration and a Turtle…..oh my……..
    We actually have a box turtle “Chunky”……..we’ve had him for 46 years…..just the best little guy…….
    I would love to win ” a passion for needlework”……….what a feast for the eyes…..

  117. My daughter is a nurse in California & I live in Texas. Every year we vacation together in Key West. She knits & I embroider under the beautiful palm trees looking out at the sea. My happiest embroidery is that of a sheep done in French knots because it reminds me of the last time we were together. Because of COVID19 I don’t know when or if we’ll be able to be together again.

  118. I have had most fun finishing some ribbon work embroideries that a group of ladies from our Womens Institute bought at a craft fair. On starting the project several ladies found the work too difficult and it gave me great pleasure to be able to finish the ribbon work for them and return the completed kits so they could be framed and displayed and didn’t end up in the back of their unfinished projects cupboards!

  119. I think the project that made me the happiest was Maria Katarin’s Reticule by Betsy Morgan. It is a great project, with lots of stitches and beautifully constructed (by her, not by me haha)

  120. I actually have two projects that I was most happy about while stitching them. The first was done a long time ago and is the “ Guardian Angel” by Lavender and Lace, she’s absolutely beautiful and I just love stitching angels. The second is my most recent finish and it is Barbara Anna”All Creatures Great and Small “which I stitched for my granddaughter Rebecca and represents all the animals in her life past and present. Of course I was thinking of her and those animals which I also had a personal interaction with, during all the many hours I worked on it.

  121. I particularly enjoyed stitching Brenda Gervais’s recent sampler Coming to America (Ladies of the Mayflower). I loved the historical nature of the project as well as the timeframe to stitch it. The added bonus was stitching it with hundreds of other stitchers at the same time. I actually finished it on time and it is framed and ready to hang once I determine the perfect place for it!!

  122. I think I was most happy stitching and finishing a Santa in a chimney by Sherri Jones. It’s 3d and Santa has the cutest face. He’s popping out of a chimney that’s a small box that is cross stitched.

  123. Describe the project that, up to this point in your embroidery journey, has made you the happiest while you were stitching it or when you finished it.

    My most recent project that I enjoyed stitching was a EGA project called Maharajah’s Elephant designed by Mary Long. It was done in shades of blues including Caron Watercolours® Seaglass with a golden blanket over him. I loved the colors and all the different stitches involved.

  124. I felt so good when I finished embroidering my first original surface embroidery piece. I learned so much and even though I had to rip out sections as I went along, the lessons learned about what works and what doesn’t were invaluable. thanks for the fantastic opportunity to win.

  125. I love this Turtle! If I could post a picture I would. I raised tortoises for the Dept of Fish and Game. They would bring me injured ones and I would work very hard to heal them and find a good home. Once they have been brought out of the desert they can not go back. My favorite wall hanging project of course has Turtles, beads, ribbon and lots of embroidery. Thank you for wonderful give aways. Happy Holidays!!!

  126. My annual embroidery love project is a set of useful towels, from Needle ‘n Thread, for my now grownup grands. My granddaughter is especially enthusiastic about them and uses them all the time, and not just for decorating her kitchen.
    Warms my heart.

  127. Oh my, indeed!! This is a very generous and exciting giveaway! I would love to push my boundaries to make a little turtle.

    Pushing boundaries is why my happiest stitched project to date is Celeste Chalasani’s Poppies and Santa Barbara Daisies. It was quite early in my embroidery journey, and I found her project on Craftsy. I admired the idea of stumpwork but could I achieve it? Absolutely!! I approached it as a very serious and studied project and the result is darn close to perfection. I had no idea I could do something like that before and now I pick up any project I fancy, regardless of its difficulty level.

  128. To answer your question, I would have to say that the embroidery project that has brought me the most happiness stitching is my little Wren Etui from J.A. Christie. I am in love with it. I laughed when you talked about taking the turtle with you because I take my wren with me when I travel. I too have been enamored with this sea turtle ever since I saw it. I volunteer with animal rehab and my favourite room is the turtle room so I am really crossing my fingers for this one!
    Thank you so much for all you do.

  129. The project that made me the happiest when I was stitching it was a very large Kate Greenaway cross stitch alphabet piece I did for my very young daughter back in the 1980’s. I loved stitching it, and was eager to see it to completion but also was terribly sad when it was finished. It is has always been one of her favorite things.

  130. I loved embroidering a small European robin this last year. They are actually a different species than the North American robin and I had to research and design my own pattern to create as realistic a representation as possible in the size I needed. It was a delightful journey.

  131. I made a primitive Halloween stitchery a few years ago that also included some wool and cross stitches. Love how it turned out.

  132. My favorite project was the Stitch a Day I did in 2017. I loved making this commitment and playing with all my threads and trying different stitches.
    Thank you for all the inspiration you give us.

  133. Mary, I love this turtle too, he is adorable.

    My favourite piece of embroidery is one that I actually finished years ago. It is my phase ten piece of Japanese embroidery, the last phase of a study course set by the Japanese Embroidery Center. This piece of work is precious to me, not only because of the joy I felt whilst stitching it, but also because I met so many lovely people during this course, some of whom became good friends. It also gave me the courage to become a tutor and pass on this beautiful art to others.
    Thank you for these giveaways Mary, I would love to win this particular one, so fingers crossed!

  134. Thanks for doing this giveaway! Inspirations is definitely aspirational. I think my happiest embroidery project so far was the pocket I made long ago in high school. It was to go with a Renaissance outfit, hanging inside the skirt. I embellished the embroidery on the fabric and embroidered my initials on one of the ties. I still use it.

  135. Inspirations is THE BEST!! Lately I’ve been scrolling various selling sites to look for back-issues. I think I’m obsessed. I’ve been thinking about getting these books, but have not yet taken that plunge. This would be the push I need to complete the set!

    1. It would have been better if I had read what I should include in my comment. It’s hard to pick just one, because they all give me pleasure in some way, but I think the piece that gave me the most pleasure was the final project for my EGA Master Craftsman Certification in Crewel. It was an original design, with many many stitches and colors, and I was so happy with the results and with the certification!

  136. I just loved stitching a Christmas hand towel design I drew up for one of my friends. It turned out to be such a fun project I plan to stitch another!

  137. A couple of years ago I splurged and bought a kit from The Crewelwork Company for over 100 euros. I enjoyed every minute I spent stitching it, but I was sad when it was finished!

  138. I have many projects that have made me happy while working on them or when I finished them. The one that came to mind first was a seminar class I took in 2001. I loved the piece when I took the class, but the teacher was awful. I tried working on it several times over the years and did not make much progress. I decided this was the year to finish it. I now remember why I love the piece and the fun I had at the seminar. The piece is finished and I am thrilled with it.

  139. I think the project that makes me the happiest is also by far the largest one I’ve done. It’s Super Size Max Color Amazing Animal Kingdom by Heaven and Earth Designs and it is HUGE. But, I chose that size so I could see all the details. I love seeing all the animals come alive!! I thought I was stitching a rock once and I got done, and pushed the project away a bit and then I saw that it was, in fact, a turtle! I love finding all the little animals and details that I hadn’t noticed before until I step back and look at it.

  140. What a gorgeous giveaway – I met Georgia at the Knitting & Stitching Show some years back, unfortunately I couldn’t do her workshop then because it clashed with my own so being able to do her beautiful turtle would be really lovely!

    It’s really hard to choose only one project from decades of stitching that made me happiest – can I please nominate two, as one is a very very tiny one? The tiny one was a rainbow with the word Hope that I stitched for a friend who is going through rather gruelling treatment right now. The happiest moment was not when I finished it but when I gave it to her and she said she’d take it with her to all her appointments as an encouragement.

    The bigger project is the Jacobean Tree of Life which I stitched for the first module of the RSN Certificate, and which is away for assessment at the moment. Finishing it, including fiddly mounting, after 18 months (lockdown delays….) and then looking at it and thinking “that’s really not bad!” 🙂 made me very happy indeed.

  141. The project that made me happiest while I was working on it is the flourished bird I stitched during my RSN goldwork intensive.

  142. I have done many projects for my family and grand children. However, I a most proud of getting everyone of my sisters and 1 brother to cross stitch an 8 x 10 piece to but into a lap quilt for our mother for her 80th birthday. Since that time all 7 of us have made a similar quilt with cross stitches pieces for each other for the 60th birthday. My brother is gone now but all of my sisters a still living and loving and caring for each other.

  143. I understand your need for pragmatism. I’ve been struggling with choosing between wants and needs lately too. I still get excited every time I see my cross stitched double size bird quilt. It isn’t really fancy, but a simple stamped kit that put me on a journey of stitching that has lasted a lifetime. I still love stitching birds in all kinds of genres and colors too, although I seem to accumulate patterns, not finished projects. Thanks for sharing. Merry Christmas!

  144. My happiest project is one that I completed when I retired, 5 years ago. It is taken from a painting my daughter made in kindergarten, showing my sister Charlyn, standing in a pretty dress out in the sunshine. Charlyn died in 2005 at the age of 47. I kept this painting for years until it began to fade, and then I decided to stitch it. It was really my first project after retirement, and it is definitely not my Magnum Opus. But every stitch brought comfort and I love the result.

  145. My happiest project is also the largest project, and one that took the most time to finish. I created a wrapping cloth for my daughter’s 40th birthday. This cloth was all hand stitched from new and found white and off-white fabric, adorned with surface and raised embroidery, laces, ribbons, tattings, beads, crystals, and thread, with bits of a wild fabric containing some of her favourite colours of red-orange, yellow, lime green, bright pink, and burgundy. As it was stitched in between other projects, it took 5 years to complete. Once finished, it measured 45.5″ x 58.5″ and contained 97 pockets of differing sizes and shapes, some obvious to the eye, but many hidden amongst the stitching. I backed the wrapping cloth with a white cotton with grey polka-dots, and added ties at regular intervals to secure the layers so that there would be less chance of shifting. My daughter and her family live in Australia, and I live in Canada, but I was able to travel there to present her cloth to her, although it was several months after her birthday. Each of the pockets contain my wishes for her health and happiness, and she is able to wrap herself in my love anytime she needs a hug. I loved every moment creating this cloth! I have since begun another cloth, and this one may be for me. Thanks Mary!

  146. I had started stitching in my teens. The 70’s had a lot of mass produced kits. There was a plant stand that I had almost completed. There was a stitch that I needed to learn. I had to put the project down due to college and then work demands. Then about 20 years ago, a group of friends at the office got together and convinced me to take it out and finish it. Well I did and it was done and framed and hung in my new home. It now proudly hangs in my kitchen near my dying plants that hope I will discover a green thumb before they die! LOL

  147. Oh it is hard to choose a single project! Each time I finish something that has challenged me and where I’ve learned new techniques always comes with a sense of accomplishment. Projects like the maniturgium for a priest’s ordination have such deep meaning for me too.

  148. I did a couple applique & embroidery pieces based on stamps. From Ireland the dog stamp and from Japan the tree of birds for the annual Letter Writing Day commemorative. I still enjoy trading them around on the walls and seeing them.

  149. So far (I hope to stitch for another three or four decades) the project that made me most happy was a rather boring embroidery with 120 000 stitches in linen stitch, wich took me 14 month to complete. It is n:o 59 of 60 in a ten year-project where I´m stitching the book of Jonah, OT. So should I not care about the great city of Nineveh, which has more than 120,000 people who cannot tell their right hand from their left.
    A nice idea to illustrate this text by 120 000 stitches. But I should have thougt twice about that. I´m SO HAPPY it´s done. Will never do linen stitch again!

  150. My favorite embroidery to work on and complete has been the FolkTails quilt designed by Sue Spargo. I love doing appliqué on wool and embellishing the appliqué with surface embroidery.

  151. I haven’t done a lot of embroidery yet but my favorite project was also my first- the blue jeans I embroidered in high school. I still have them but no chance of ever wearing them again!

  152. My favorite project was A spooky biscornu. I am new to all of this. I just love the turtle. I have two live tortoises at my house.

  153. What a cute little critter! My favorite piece is a counted cross stitch kit by Dimension with a daisy that says Live Simply…It’s a very simply piece, but it was one of the first that I finish with two children underfoot. It was a little bit of peace that I gave myself. I’ve finished harder things since then, but this sweet little daisy still greets me everyday at the top of the stairs and reminds me to take time for myself.

  154. Hi Mary, thanks for the giveaway. The project that made me happiest was finishing a “tree of life’ pillow my grandmother started before she died. I finished it and gave it to my mother at Christmas. She was totally delighted! As my mother has passed away, I have the pillow now on my bed as a remembrance to both of them.

  155. My most enjoyable project to date is a tapestry I am creating as I go along. No guidelines just creativity. It is a bucolic sceen with sheep and a shepherd, mountains in the background. Who knows what else by the time I am done with it.

  156. I had never thought much about turtles… until the Inspirations magazine photo. Love love love him.

  157. Easy question! By far the most fun to stitch and the most beautiful finished piece I have stitched is the reproduction sampler Maria Antoni by Essamplaire. The silks just shimmer on this piece. On several motifs the silk runs vertically then horizontally so you see how light plays with silk. There are quite a few bargello sections, a beaded patch, charming bird/animal motifs – stunning. Wish I could download a photo.

    Best Always,

  158. My favourite piece is the kingfisher by Helen M Stevens as it has helped me through this year by reminding me of happy times by the river bank and that better times will come again.

  159. The hardest and longest project I have done is a king size quilt using the Flowers for Elizabeth patterns. It is a patchwork quilt that I made for my very best friend of many years. It took me 2 years. It was the only quilt I have ever made and I used different patterns of William Morris Strawberry Thief along with the embroidered squares. The embroidery was beautiful but the qulting part not so much. Everyone loved it but I am a perfectionist. I didn’t have the proper tools for quilting so it was quite a challenge. I can honestly say I was soooo glad when it was done.

  160. The little turtle is just precious! My husband and I have a box turtle sanctuary, so it’s particularly charming to me! I took a crazy quilting course several years ago, and we had to incorporate a huge number of embroidery stitches and methods in the project. I haven’t done much crazy quilting since, but I could sit and gaze at that piece I completed for the course for hours. It’s just so pretty! I’m still amazed that it’s my own handiwork. 🙂

  161. I was given a piece of 1800’s tapestry with a tower and trees on it. I was to make something that was inspired by it. I ended up making a shadow box. It contained the tower made in stumpwork, the tree was made of wire, floss wrapped and beads for leaves. Needle punched was used for the ground and the background was a motif from the tapestry. I still smile when I look at it. It was a joy to design and make.

  162. Nothing has given me more joy and satisfaction than embroidering 20 squares and piecing 10 squares to make a quilt I called “Nancy’s Garden. It won a first place blue ribbon in hand embroidery at the Northern Comforts Quilt Show last year. It was a great way to learn and practice new stitches and techniques.

  163. The needlework project that has made me the happiest are the 3D owls that I made for my 2 grandchildren. Even though they are a older now, the owls have stayed with them and remain a part of their lives. They have names, they are on display and now the grandkids always ask what I am stitching and have also requested me to stitch things for them. It makes a hobby I love so much more!

  164. I am working on an alphabet sampler where each letter is stitched using a different embroidery stitch. Some of them are very challenging as I am not experienced in embroidering using some of these stiches. I am however an avid cross stitcher who is quickly learning that embroidery is not the same! I love my embroidery sampler and the challenges that it brings.

    Lisa Wright

  165. My happiest projects were a few beginner blackwork ones, just simple blackwork flower patterns that were my intro to the technique and worked up really fast. I loved them because I didn’t have to look at a pattern sheet and because they were done in a few stitching sessions, and I find blackwork really soothing once you get the technique down.

  166. I love inspirations magazine. years ago when I first started stitching I used to buy it to look at the photos and I still do that today. Probably the project that made me happiest would be Eleanor by GAy Ann Rogers. I took her hair out many times before I was happy with it but it was such a feeling of accomplishment when I was finished. I’m not about to start Betsy Ross, and I’m so excited to begin a new journey.

  167. Thank you so much for all that you do! Please enter me for the Inspirations giveaway. The turtle is just gorgeous! The project I am most proud of, up to this point, is my last painted needlepoint canvas. There is a certain art to painted canvas embellishment to choose fibers and stitches to bring the canvas alive. This particular canvas had birds and birdhouses on it. I researched and watched birds in my backyard to make them more authentic. I even managed white dots in their eyes to bring them alive! I was also very proud of working in some perspective on the sides of the birdhouse with the angle of the stitches. Thank you for offering these giveaways. I look forward to them every year.

  168. When I first started embroidery more seriously, I did a project with crystals in a sea theme. It was delightful and so much fun!

  169. I just finished Blue Morrocan Lace Mandala. It took me over a year and while challenging I enjoyed “almost”every stitch. I’m working up my courage to take on another large project. Thanks for offering this prize. It sounds amazing.

  170. The stitching project that has made me the happiest isn’t my best project…far from it. It was the first project that ultimately brought me back to the magical world of stitching. I had always loved “The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady” by Edith Holden, and when I found a cross stitch pattern book containing several of her beautiful watercolor illustrations, I simply had to try them even though I hadn’t embroidered since my preteens. The first one I tried was ‘Wren and Hedge Sparrow’ which I framed and love to this day.

  171. I am a retired Botany instructor. I have a collection of many of the plants that are found on our farm in Surry County, NC (in the foothills of the Blue Ridge). I decided to embroider a set of panels illustrating some of my favorites. I made the designs using botanical illustrations do photographs. The 6 panels were put together in a wall hanging that I am very happy with. It is probably the nicest thing I ever made and it combined my love of embroidery and quilting. Your many instructions on different stitches were essential!

  172. Oh my goodness! It’s a tall order to say what my favorite project has been. I’m not sure how to pick just one, seriously. I adore making both miniatures and huge scale embroidery projects equally. I love using crossover techniques and stacking techniques in unexpected ways. This year alone, I made two connected projects that I never wanted to end. Both were large scale hand embroidered Sashiko work on a reversible quilt for my daughter who absolutely adores all, sea life and also adopts unusual pet rescues from her local zoo. Early this year, she adopted an amphibious three legged turtle named Tippy with special needs. I also adore turtles, like my daughter. So I naturally fell in love with her new baby. I love hearing all of the antics her mischievous little friend gets into. The little fellow inspired me to make a queen-sized quilt. Using a scrumptious Batik fabric in sea greens and turquoise blues, I sketched out a giant sea turtle swimming toward the top of the quilt; then I Sashiko stitched it by hand using a variegated pearl cotton thread that changed from different shades of brown. It was my first work using this technique; and oh my! I fell in love with this style of stitching immediately and couldn’t put it down. (The entire project was made in under 3 months.) It was rather difficult to to hand embroider through the tightly woven Batik; but once I got used to the way the thread interacted with the fabric, I picked up speed and just enjoyed every stitch, working on it about 16 hours a day. I almost stopped there, but then I stumbled upon a traditional Sashiko design for two swirling jelly fish. And my crazy brain thought, ok, how can I add this to this turtle project? Why not make the quilt reversible? So I picked out a complementary Batik fabric in darker blues and browns, and I reversed the Pearl Cotton thread to a green and blue variegated thread, enlarged the jelly fish design to make it huge, and happily made a second quilt top. The trick came when I needed to join the two tops back to back to make the actual quilt. How could I quilt it without ruining the design on the opposite side? But it turned out to be less of a problem than I anticipated. I simply hand quilted around each design, using a less noticeable hand embroidery thread and smaller stitches, but quilting only through the top and batting sections without picking up any threads from the opposite “backing,” using a swirling random water current design, and making the quilt lines look like they were concentrically emphasizing the animal’s to movement through water. Of all the hundreds of projects I’ve made as gifts, I must say, this one was the hardest to give away; but I knew it would appeal to my daughter, who is an artist, as much as it did to me. So much fun! I’m so glad I persevered with the Batiks because they added so much depth of color to the design. — (The quilt was such a hit that my daughter asked for another quilt of a turtle for her friend who was expecting a baby. Not wanting to repeat such an iconic piece directly, I used a Laura Heine Sea Turtle design to make a giant appliquéd turtle for the baby. It was also a big hit. And now I remain simply fascinated by all things turtle-like.) — By the way, I totally adore the little beaded turtle in your picture. It reminds me so much of my daughter’s turtle, except for the extra leg, (LOL!) What an absolute joy it must have been to make it! I can see why you are enthralled by it. I think making little creatures like that turtle could quickly become addictive. Who wouldn’t love to make such a glorious “pet”?

  173. The project that made me the happiest when I finished it was a cross-stitch project from a book of LARGE cross-stitch projects that my son gave me for my birthday, after I ‘d made a decision in my own mind not to do cross-stitch anymore and to really try to branch out. It took me two years off and on, and I finished it during the pandemic. It came out beautiful (a family tree type of thing), but I did not enjoy doing it.

  174. I have two projects I worked on that I created out of whole cloth: a thread-painting sort of penguin (from a photograph), and a sort of abstract piece for a challenge from the San Francisco School of Needlework and Design. Everyone who participated got a grab bag of fancy threads from Kreinik, and it was super fun to sort through all the beautiful varying lengths and types and colors of metallic thread. There was a big eye in that design, so I did a lot of work in the iris part of the eye, adding both metallic and non-metallic threads to give it the look of a real eye.

    But I think I might have been even more happy working on my penguin, Bad Timmy (who is a rescue penguin at the National Aquarium of New Zealand. Google him! “Bad Timmy penguin.”) I mixed two different threads in my needle (but used only one of each) and I layered and layered that little guy until he started looking like a puffy sticker. But I was really happy with the way he turned out. My gift-ee was really excited about him!

    Because I do paint with standard paints, with both these projects, I was excited to see how you could blend and use colors of thread sort of the same way as with paint. I know this isn’t News, but experiencing it myself, working on projects I made up, really opened my eyes. (…I want to be doing needlework right now, instead of going back to work!)

  175. The most recent project completed was one of the most fun to stitch. I am in an Art Challenge group. Each month we are assigned a word and then have a month to create something related to that word. Even an obscure relationship is ok. The word for our December meeting was “Thread”. There was some wonderful work, including a stop action video creation by another member. I decided to create an embroidery for each person, 8 in all. Researching and choosing the image for each person from clip art, deciding how to stitch, what threads to use and then stitching was so much fun. It kept all of these friends right in the forefront of my brain for a month. Most of the stitching was simple and the embroideries small. Each embroidery was gifted to the person. Two friends have since framed their gifts. So much fun!

  176. Actually I have two projects that made me the happiest while stitching them. Both were candle mats. One had little daisies and lots of beads and the other was of ice skates with holly leaves and berries. The skates had a gazillion french knots for the lace up holes on the skates. Both were so much fun to do!

  177. A large Hardanger bell pull and only my second Hardanger project (what was I thinking!). I started stitching with help from a teacher but had to finish many tricky parts on my own. The pattern was designed at an advanced level but I did it! And, am very pleased with the results. Many compliments. I smile whenever I look at it.

  178. All the books you review are so beautiful. But I would love to make this Turtle for my grand-daughter, who loves turtles and has spent a few spring /summer breaks doing turtle monitoring and caring on the East coast shores. Thanks marywallis

  179. I was happy stitching a cross stitch design believe it or not. When finished it felt so good as I had not done too much of,it. Then I finished it into a frame so I could share it on a daily basis,

  180. I recently purchased Elizabetta Sforza’s “sea” and “flowers” books and made a monogram from each for Christmas gifts. The books were so well written, even a returning embroiderer like me was able to make some beautiful presents. I was more than happy with the results and excited for the recipients.

  181. I remember when my Grandmother said “It’s about time you learn to embroider”.
    And learn to embroider I did. We didn’t have hoops or frames, fancy linens or colored threads. I learned on a flour sack with white sewing thread. There for awhile I thought she had changed my name to Rip It Out, but I finally mastered it. The joy that flour sack gave me when she finally said “perfect” was overwhelming. I was 8 years old.

  182. Awhile ago I had surgery on my right hand. My pinky is permanently damaged as they had to do the surgery twice. For a period of time, my embroidery was so awful, I almost gave up. My handwriting was little better!

    So this year, I completed a handbag that even while I was stitching it brought me great satisfaction. And as I worked, I got happier and happier. Honey, I’m back! It’s currently on display at the SF School of Needlework and Design in their last challenge called “Choices”. It’s called the Bramble and the Rose.

    It not only made me happy, it made my spouse happy. He loved it from the moment he saw it, so I gave it to him. It tidily holds his ipod and head phones.

    It was a 2fer! Two made happy with one project.

  183. Solstice Dream by Kerry Stitch Designs. It’s an embellished wool project. I used a light sky blue wool that I loved and the blocks were so bright and happy. The embellishment stitches enhanced the wool so well and I used a lot of Thread Gatherer threads… so you know they were so very nice to work with.

  184. Dear Mary,
    Oh be still my heart! That turtle! WOW – I would love to be able to make something like this.
    I think the project that has given me the most joy was stitching a sampler from SANQ called Edcina Pieters. It’s a sampler from the Groningen region of The Netherlands and is stitched in all black thread. I used a variety of black threads in cotton and silk. The elegance of using all black was a surprise. I could not put it down and each time walk it hanging on my wall, it brings a smile to my face.
    Thank you for this wonderful opportunity! Fingers crossed I win a chance for this great gift.

  185. My favorite piece has been Tony Minieri’s Journey to Satchidananda done in silk, gold and beads. It took me a long time to finish this but I learned a lot along the way and it was rewarding to see each section develop as I worked along.

  186. The embroidery project that made me the happiest was the very first item I made as a gift for someone. My mom taught me to sew and embroider, and when I was eight years old I found a piece of pink cotton fabric in my mom’s scrap box. I cut two pieces into a heart, used an outline stitch to embroider “I Love You Mom” on one heart, sewed them together with some lace around the edge, and stuffed it to make a little pillow. I gave it to my mom as a Mother’s Day gift. I remember being so proud to have made that all by myself! My mom is in her nineties now and has dementia. We were going through some old things because trips down memory lane are her favorite past time. I was so touched when she pulled that pillow out of her box of keepsakes! I made it over 40 years ago, and the stitching is definitely that of a small child, but it was so incredible to see something that I made bring her joy still.

  187. This is difficult as I always really enjoy a project whilst I work on it, but one of my favourites was stitching The Wren from Jenny Adin-Christie, it is beautiful and I loved starting on a new section and opening the little package containing the threads for that project. I now have this beautiful Wren Etui on display .
    I also loved that my kids bought this for me as a birthday gift.

    These give aways are amazing Mary.


  188. I’ve never finished a Magnum Opus! I think I’ve been the happiest making a small coin purse that had crazy patchwork and lots of different embroidery stitches to embellish it. It even had hidden ‘motifs’ that were like looking at clouds in the sky to see what you could see. It wasn’t fancy but lots of fun! Thanks for this opportunity!

  189. I was very happy the first time I stitched some kitchen towels with monograms. It was a gift for my mother-in-law and father-in-law. I was proud of my work!

  190. I made a Christmas snow flake pillow for a friend a couple of years ago and I was most happy when I was done because I thought I would never finish it in time for Christmas so it was kind of stressful. I so agree of the turtle…he is soooo cute!

  191. Good morning! The happiest project I made from scratch was a table runner in Hungarian silk embroidery with the Matyo flowers and motifs. I mounted it on stretcher bars.
    The painstaking embroidery was the same on the front and back, the way I learned to do Hungarian embroidery, no knots, no crossovers. I still have it on stretcher bars after years. I don’t want to take it off and cut around the scallops. It’s a reminder to me every day of the work it took, the time it took to do a near perfect job.
    While my Grandmother and Mother were alive, they cried when they looked at it front and back. Good memories. Thank you for letting me relive them.

  192. The turtle! Oh! The turtle!! I LOVE the turtle!! You’ll laugh when I tell you my favorite project so far is my snippet roll. Could I EVER “do” the turtle? I’ll be 79 the day after Christmas and I’m just now learning to embroider (thanks to you, Mary); would I have the skills; will have I have the time??? Who knows? But what I DO know is, I LOVE that turtle. God bless!

  193. My favorite stitching piece is always the one that I am currently working on. Always looking for the next project. Anytime I go through my patterns a find at least a dozen I want to do.

    The turtle is gorgeous.

  194. At this moment I am the happiest with how the embroidered fabricbook I made this spring for my niece (1 year old) turned out. It is a storybook about her and her family and I used patterns (without instructions) from a magazine from 1952.

  195. The piece that makes me the happiest is almost any embroidery that I actually get to finish. I am inspired by so many and have so many ideas that I am thrilled when I get the time and they come to fruition.

  196. Oh, I love the turtle. I get Inspirations in my email and love all their projects. They so inspire me.
    I have made a candle wicking clock that is my pride and joy. I enjoy hand work most of all even though I also have an embroidery machine. There is nothing like beautiful handmade objects around the home. And, the joy of a completed project is heavenly!!!

  197. My happiest project ever for me is an embroidery I designed using goldwork for a Christmas angel. She is playing a lute and I created what looks like draped fabric behind and a tapestry rug. It took several years work and it is intricate.

  198. My happy stitching moments are the crewel stockings I made each of my kids from those Sunset and Dimension kits from the 80’s. Every year I take them out and hang them up. Don’t think I will ever give them to my children (32-37) I can’t break up the set!. And I was smart enough to buy extra kits 40 years ago so I am starting to stitch for my grandchildren! Too bad they are all discontinued, they are fun to do.

  199. That’s a tough question to answer as all my embroidery makes me happy, it’s takes me away from the worries of the day. My most favourite to date though would be my first stumpwork piece. Toadstools and Brambles by Anna Scott. This was the first time I was really able to see my embroidery come to life and to learn stumpwork was my dearest wish.

  200. I have many projects that I’m proud of, but when I really felt the proudest was when I was 14 and stitched a quilt for my new baby cousin. I was a shy teenager with low self esteem. My mom bought me this quilt to stitch. I thought I can’t do this, but I did. I’ll never forget the feeling of confidence and joy giving the quilt to my aunt for her daughter.

  201. Definitely the purse! I fully embroidered both sides of a little clutch purse, and even if I didn’t keep it, I loved making something that couldn’t just be bought in a store.

  202. Making a heart shaped etui covered with embroidered pink flowers and strawberries plus bead work from inspirations magazine no. 95. Love it to bits!

  203. The project that brings me the most joy was the first Hardanger project I completed. My great grandmother was Swedish and I was lucky to inherit one of her Hardanger doilies. It is amazing – the front and back are nearly identical. I decided I needed to learn the technique. I chose a 14 inch doily with a large variety of stitches. It is blue Perle cotton on white linen. I used instructions from Nordic Needle from several of their technique books. It isn’t perfect and it was far too ambitious for a first attempt – but I did it!

    I continue to love Hardanger and now I teach needlework classes to beginners and I always try to find a Hardanger stitch or two to incorporate into many of the designs.

  204. The project that has made you the happiest while I was stitching it was a crewel work piece that I designed and stitched while a summer student at the Royal School of Needlework. Such great memories!

  205. My Magnum Opus has to be my Tree of Life. I found the printed canvas in a box of donated needlework at our Senior Center 3 years ago. No instructions or thread supply just the canvas. When a craft store closed around that time I bought a large stash of DMC varigated Perle cotton threads. Perfect time to put the threads, my imagination and my stitching abilities to work. I love this piece and it resides in my living room which allows me to gaze on it daily, and I smile.

  206. OMG! I read your review of this book and immediately went to order it, but right now it’s a little too expensive for my budget (sigh).
    My happiest and most rewarding project has been the ThistleThreads goldwork sampler, it just shines! And I had it specially framed to truly set it off – it’s my pride and joy. I have a thousand year stash, but when I get discouraged, I look at this one and remember how rewarding it is to finish something so special!
    Looks like I’ll have plenty of time this winter to try to catch up…

  207. That turtle is amazing! My daughter lives in Kauai and my favorite thing to do when I visit, is go down to my favorite rock to sit and watch the sea turtles in the waves. They are truly an inspirational sea creature the way they gracefully swim in those huge swells without injury.

  208. I just finished a tablecloth with a different variation of a modern floral design at each of the four corners + cloth napkins… I love how they all turned out! I’m looking forward to dressing up my table for family and friends often in better days ahead!

  209. I have always tinkered with embroidery in some for or another. I have managed some complicated x-stitch designs Lavender & Lace Angel of Love was one that took me a couple of years to get my mojo to complete it. But my most favourite so far is a Becky Quinn’s Royal Brooch. I love to wear it…..

  210. The embroidery which gave me the most pride while working and finishing is an 8″ x 11″ embroidered panel made using my handspun silk. The colors were royal blue and white. I dyed the blue before spinning using Cushing dyes. I belong to a historical re-enactment group (SCA – Society for Creative Anachronism), and turned the piece into an alms-purse to wear when dressed in 14th century attire. The design is my own, and the space is completely covered in embroidery using my own spun silk. It was a special feeling knowing everything about the bag was design & created by me.

  211. The project that has made me the happiest to date is a thread painting portrait of my cat Churchill. He passed away around Easter last year and sewing the picture of him made me feel like I was getting a little more time with him. It now hangs right in front of my desk. So while I’m working, I can just look up and see his little face.

  212. My most proud project also happened to be my first, I’ve only been stitching since February this year after a back injury made it so I could no longer color – so I decided to color with thread! I ended up sewing it three times, it’s a sled dog team all unique characters and full of fun <3

  213. I’ve been receiving the Inspirations newsletter. Ever since I saw that turtle, I’ve been wanting to make that beautiful critter. I recently retired, and know I shouldn’t spend that kind of $, no matter how much I want it. It would certainly light up my life if I were to win.

  214. My most inspirational project was a piece I made for a friend titled “A Prayer for a Friend”. It included the colors of purple, gold and orange — blending threads — and I added a few gold beads in the center of the flowers. I think I was most pleased to find that she did hang it in her craft room as I had given it to her framed. Thank you Mary.

  215. I did a series of quilt oriented stitcheries a few years ago. One in particular was my favorite – grandmother’s garden on a wicker chair with a split rail fence and wildflowers in the background. It represented many favorite parts of my life.

  216. Happiest project: completing the Long Dog Sampler BIENVENUE on antique white linen/cotton fabric with GAST Cherrybark for our adult daughter.

  217. The piece that has given me the most joy in my stitching journey is my phase 1 Japanese Embroidery piece, Shochikubai. I waited almost 20 yhears to have everything come together to be able to start doing Japanese Embroidery. I had a taste at an EAC seminar in 2000, but between working, raising kids, etc. I just never had the opportunity to do a class, finally in 2019 the opportunity came and I jumped at it. I loved every stitch, even the ones I had to take out, and it still astonishes me everyday when I look at it. I’, pretty sure I will feel the same way about the phase 2/3 piece that I am currently working on.

  218. Because I do simple embroidery, because of my lack of skills, I stitched a manger scene on blue sparkle linen. I enjoyed the whole process, from picking the linen, thread, stitching and mounting it. I follow the Inspiration newsletter every Friday. It is the first email I open and cruise through and when I finish my emails, it is the last email I close after reading it again. This would be a great win for me.

  219. “Describe the project that, up to this point in your embroidery journey, has made you the happiest while you were stitching it or when you finished it.”

    A small trio of quilt-style counted canvas medallions by SJ Designs that I made early on for my husband. I loved stitching it, it was my first experience with counted canvas (which I LOVED) and it framed up nicely. It still makes me happy to look at it and my husband still loves it best of all the projects I’ve done through the past 27+ years.

    🙂 Eva

  220. My favorite project is always the one I’m working on at that moment. Stitching brings me great joy and peace, no matter what I’m working on, and that keeps me stitching.
    The pieces that had some of the greatest challenges, and therefore great satisfaction upon completion, are the Elizabethan embroidery pieces designed by Melinda Sherbring.

  221. Many years ago I did lots of hand work, crewel, cross stitch, needlepoint, etc. My latest love has become crazy quilting! All those fabulous stitches! Beautiful silks! Enjoyable and fulfilling.

  222. My Prairie Schooler Halloween pieces!!! I’d been making facemasks all year…over 1,000 to sell for the local food bank. I was soooo tired of facemasks. So I decided to stitch all of the Halloween pieces (8) in one of my Prairie Schooler folders. And I did – in miniature. Each was stitched on 32 count over 1. Then I mounted each one on felt and sewed to place cards. There was 1 for each person at the supper table Halloween night. It felt good to FINISH something and be able to give something other than facemasks. The place cards could be used as book marks!!!

  223. I can’t really think of just one project that made me the happiest. One I’ll pick is the set of hairstyles from different decades from Sublime Stitching made me really happy. Something about stitching the hair, choosing the colors, and stitching the lady’s faces made me really happy. Most projects make me super happy whilst I am in the process of stitching them.

  224. I really loved seeing your review on magazine.
    It is just great looking at how creative the stitches are.
    The turtle is so cute and life like no wonder you carry it around.
    It will look wonderful on my shelf after made.

  225. I worked on a Crabapple Hill Studio quilt for many years… it had a very old fashioned look to it so all the time I worked on it, it reminded me of my grandmothers. One grandmother did crochet and the other one made quilts and clothes on her old treadle sewing machine. Good memories the whole time.

  226. I’m working on a Jenny Adin-Christie kit. I’m just love her attention to detail. I find her work exquisite.

  227. The minute I read your instruction for what we should address in our comments, I knew exactly what project I should tell you about. Over thirty years ago, we had just moved our young family into what we knew would be our sweet little dream cottage. The room we chose for our bedroom was small and cozy and just darling. We found the perfect new color for the walls but I knew I wanted something special for the one tall window and the one very small window. I put up some “make-do” window coverings while I spent the next 9 months finding the perfect linen for the curtains and lambrequins. I created a Jacobean design that was exactly right for the room and set to work stitching. Nine month later, when the new window treatments were in place, I knew the wait had been worth it. And now, 30 years later, they still bring a smile to my face.

  228. A recent project , a quite small piece, brought me a great deal of pleasure on several levels. It was a mini needle painting design (Fushia) by Trish Burr. This was a new technique I had wanted to try, so finishing it with moderate success was a great feeling. While working on it many happy memories came to mind, as the Fushia is a flower found all over Ireland and I took many pictures of it while on a trip there with my sister in 2019.

  229. The project that has made me the happiest while working on it, it a stumpwork piece that just evolved. It had no original plan, was just a “doodle” that grew. More doodles got added and it turned out amazing! No timeline, no “finish” point,…

  230. My favorite project is a Japanese embroidery piece I did to honor my mother. It uses small icons on a circular path to represent stages of her life. I drew the cartoon for it while she was ill prior to her death from brain cancer.

  231. I made each of my three grandsons embroidered wool blankets based on bear, monkey and hippo patterns from Inspirations or World’s Most Beautiful blankets. I riffed on each, elaborating on the designs and finding flannels for the backings that coordinated: stars and moons for the bears blanket, bananas for the monkeys, and comical birds to reflect the birds riding on the hippos and marching around on the ground beneath them. They were particular joys, of course, because each was in anticipation of a new little love.
    Thank you so much, Mary and Inspirations for this lovely give away. I have the first of the three books, and plan to acquire the others eventually. I also love a good beading session! I hope the turtle finds his way into your palm someday, Mary!

  232. I never did much embroidery in my younger years since I thought I just horrible at it. Now I’m slowly trying different projects so my favorites are always the last I finished since I DID it! I’m just hoping January will bring some slower time for me to start my first Crewel embroidery project from Inspirations. Wow, this is a fantastic goodie and I’d love to try to attempt something from Georgia Bellamy. She’s amazing. Thank you so much Mary and Merry Christmas.

  233. I have been working over the last 10 years to learn goldwork skills. A couple of years ago I did a Japanese styled goldwork butterfly beginning with a class led by Jane Nicholas. I was so pleased with the outcome! I happily worked along on each stage, which included stumpwork wings. It came out lovely. And – I won a blue ribbon with it and our judge said she couldn’t think of a single thing to improve. That was a first for sure! and probably a last, too. It’s small, but made me very pleased.

  234. I love sewing but I never considered myself to be very good. I had been admiring this piece of soft cream wool, and wanted to make a sewing needle book with it, with the little cases for scissors, and other accessories. I had seen this pattern, with the most beautiful stitching on each little compartment, and on the outside. I bought all the things I needed to stitch it, and took about three months to even thread the first needle. At first, my stitches were not neat at all, and I hated it, but I kept going because of the wool. It was so soft and beautiful! I finally got one little pouch done, and could store all my needle threaders in there. I was so inspired by this little pouch with the green leaves, and one pink flower. Now its done, in all its glory. It certainly wasn’t the biggest, or even most expensive, thing I have made, but it is the one that helped me grow in needlepoint the most. I really love all the little places to put different tools. I use it when I sew, and it still brings me such great joy.

  235. While I enjoy most of my embroidery projects, the one that really elated me was my first..a lemon tree design from a woman’s magazine. It was about 3 x4′ on a coarse burlap worked with a split tapestry yarn because it was all I could find at the time…about 60 yrs ago! It was a sampler of sorts as each lemon was different and I had never embroidered at all before. The embroidery still hangs on the wall. To have self taught all those stitches and have a beautiful finished project is still a highlight.

  236. Hi, Mary,

    The piece that made me happiest was my name tag for my local EGA group. It was supposed to be a dogwood branch done in counted cross-stitch, but I couldn’t wrap my mind around how to keep track of the grid and not go insane. (In fact, I still don’t know!)

    So, I ended up converting the design to freestyle surface embroidery and added some cute insects. The name tag looks great, and what’s more important, I learned that my work is mine to interpret. The only stitching police is the one in my own mind, to whom I declare, “Fie on thee!”

  237. My “happiest” project experience was stitching, and finishing, the “Welsh Red Dragon,” designed by Alison Cole. I stitched this challenging stumpwork piece for my Mother’s 100th birthday, celebrating her (and my) Welsh heritage. Alison is always great at answering questions online, when one gets stumped, so even though I was half a world away, I felt she was with me on that stitching journey. The Dragon made my Mother happy, too.

  238. Working the Chatelaine (Martina Rosenberg) design “The Frosty Knotgarden” has taken me to a happy place every time I stitch on it. I love knot gardens, real or stitched. It is a gorgeous design (Chatelaine, duh!) in icy blues, purples, and reds. I love the flow of the design, specialty stitches, frozen pond, the frost bitten flowers, and THE BLING! It just sings to me. It is not yet complete, but it will be.

  239. Not so oddly, it was a Christmas ornament in Inspirations. A tiny bear riding a tiny swan. There was felt, embroidery, metal threads and a few things I had never done before. And I think I mentioned tiny already. Still, maybe not perfect, but so satisfying to hold the completed ornament in the palm of my hand.

  240. I think I was most excited with the scapular I embroidered with Our Lady of Sorrows Heart on it.

  241. I hadn’t done much stitching for a few years, but at the beginning of lockdown I found a kit for a blackwork owl that I must have had lying around unopened for at least 10 years!

    It was really soothing to stich, just what my brain needed at that point in time, and reminded me why I love embroidery. I haven’t stopped stitching since.

    Plus the finished owl is just ridiculously cute!

  242. The happiest moments for me were stitching each of my Grandsons their own Christmas Stockings, I thought of my boys with every stitch, enjoyed the finishing but best of all the looks on their faces when given. In the toe of each stocking are little letters not to be opened until they are in their twenties telling of the fun, joy, pleasure and love for my special boys that I felt while making the stockings .

  243. My happiest project, was a pretty simple satin stitch rose that I knocked out because I was excited about new thread colors

  244. What a prize! Either the book or kit would be wonderful to own, but both! Would be great fun to stick the turtle.

  245. The project that made me happiest while stitching it, and is finished, was Lavender Sparkle Butterfly by Alison Cole. I loved the fibres in the kit and it was my first attempt at goldwork.

  246. I love Inspirations and this turtle! So pretty. The project that has made me the happiest so far is Jenny Adin Christie’s cottage kit. It was the first time I realized I could make complicated things that looked fabulous when finished – as long as the directions were good enough!

  247. It’s funny you should ask this question since my sister and I were discussing this very thing yesterday. The one thing that I enjoyed so much while stitching is Tanya Berlin’s Modern Jacobean. I just enjoyed everything about doing that piece. Best of all I won a 1st place ribbon for it at The Utah State Fair.

  248. I have wanted to stitch a project from Inspirations for a long time! The turtle is adorable. I just finished Agnus Dei from Modern Folk Embroidery; a Christmas present for my daughter. Although challenging in detail, it was so much fun to stitch!
    Also working on Jeanette Douglas’ stitching album; on page 5 of 8 and can’t wait to finish and have it assembled into a book.
    Thank you so much for all you do!

  249. I made a project set for a friend, including a bag, needle book, and sissors holder. The fabric was something she picked out years ago. I added beads. But, the best part was putting together the sissors holder with beads and Palestrina stitches. It required some original thinking on my part, following your directions, and confidence. It turned out beautifully.

  250. I loved ever minute working on a design by Amy Mitten which is actually based on the needlework of Mary Queen of Scots. This was meant to represent her imprisonment and, though beautiful, is sad when you see the what is beyond the imagery. There were different beautiful segments to this and some new things for me to master.


  251. A simple flour sack towel project made me very happy. It was the first embroidery project I had stitched in many years. The pattern was an embellished feather embroidered in each of the four corners of the towel using a different colour combination in each corner. The project renewed my love of embroidery. I use the towel to cover my stand mixer and the feathers make me smile every time I look at them.

  252. I have read Inspirations magazine and love it. Turtles are one of my spirit animals! That is a very cool turtle#

  253. There is a project I’ve never forgotten. It was many years ago while I was still in high school, back in the wild 1970s. A friend asked me to embroider something on his jeans, and he might have specified the spot I did, or might not – that part I’ve forgotten. I designed an embroidery for right below the hem on one leg of the jeans, flowers and such done in crewel embroidery. There was so much energy and creativity flowing through me back then and this was just another thing to use them on. The jeans were ready very soon, considering, and my friend was entirely pleased. We remained friends the rest of his life, too. Many happy memories.

  254. The project that made me happy, especially when it was finished was a little table topper for Easter. It was one colorful bunny after the other with dots separating them around the border; I used an outline stitch. I still bring it out at Eastertime, very simple but fun. Tanya heidi

  255. The happiest piece that I made is from vintage linens including some family heirlooms. I made it similar to crazy quilt but basically white with blue and touches of red and green in the embroidery. It is a lap quilt and I used my dear departed mother-in-law’s Jacquard blue table cloth to back it. I created it with the plan that once my hands or eyes could no longer embroider, I could put it on my lap, pat it and remember that I could once do this. It is a joy to do and to have.

    But that book and that turtle kit are fabulous!

  256. Oh this is another fantastic (!!!) giveaway! The project that made me happiest while I was working on it (and finished too actually) was my embroidered prayer book cover. I love the ground fabric, it was pleasant to work on, interesting without being super hard, and I love the outcome!

  257. Oh my! My sister and I have been eyeing this turtle ever since it came out! We were just talking about it again yesterday. I love that you would make it your pet and carry it everywhere with you since I envision the doing the same thing with it.

    My project that I have finished that makes me the happiest I believe would be the Monarch butterfly from Alison Cole. It was a class I took at the very first seminar I went to when I joined the EGA. I did not finish until a couple years later, but finish I did and I love looking at it. It is a stumpwork piece and sits on a mirror base under a glass dome. It makes me smile every time I look at it and brings back the fun memories of being at the seminar with all the very talented embroiderers and being a part of it.

  258. The one that made me the happiest and also the most frustrated has been Tricia Nguyen’s casket. I am trying to design my own casket and am not sure I can live long enough to finish stitching it. After seeing my first casket in a museum I wanted to stitch one.
    I have also been following Georgina Bellamy, That Embroidery Girl, on Facebook for several years and love her three dimensional embroidery designs.

  259. Hi Mary!

    The project that has made me happiest is the embroidered book covers I’m making as Christmas presents this year. I love how they turned out, and I loved that I got to stitch so many different ideas in so many colours!

  260. A couple of years ago, I learned about Victorian cross stitch with Elizabeth Bradley’s kits and began stitching the individual panels that would later be assembled into a 48″ x 60″ rug. I remember many winter nights sitting by the fire or in front of the TV happily stitching away. Just the act of keeping my hands busy and following a chart gives me a sense of calm and quiet knowing that each stitch was getting me closer to my very own handstitched rug. Thank you.

  261. Good morning Mary, Like you I have wanted this turtle soooooo much! I am working on a Long Dog sampler Pilgrims Progress, I am really enjoying that one I so am loving the Christmas ornaments from MMM crafts. I hope you have a joyful holiday season with plenty of time for some fun stitching. Nancy

  262. My project I enjoyed the most was a counted canvas. It was my second counted canvas which took me over 6 months to complete. I enjoyed this project because I started to explore new threads, beads, color combinations and fabulous new stitches Well, new to me. There were 9 medallions, and after following the designers colors, threads and stitches, I started my own design adventure.

  263. I think my happiest embroidery was stitching some flower sack tea towels for my daughter. Brought back memories of learning to embroidery with my dear sweet Grandma Thelma!

  264. I embroidered a bridal bag for my son’s wedding. It was on satin with a beautiful flower monogram. I was so happy for the upcoming wedding, so happy for the addition of my daughter-in-law, and oh making that lovely little creation was wonderful.

  265. I’ve been working on a most fabulous project from Inspirations #99 — “Sweete Bag” by Victoria Laine — that is a joy to stitch — lovely design, top-notch fibers and fabric, and challenging stitching on 40-count linen. Thank you Mary and Inspirations Studios for everything!

  266. I found CCS just before Christmas. I had found a pattern I wanted to do and went to LNS and asked “do you think I could do this?” She replied “try this” and handed me a very small kit about Christmas and the birth of Jesus (on 22 count fabric). So I went home and did it and hung it up for Christmas. It was barely 2″ x 8″. This August I finished my magnus opum of CCS 29″ x 39″ and it hangs on my living room wall where I can see it from my stitching chair (My treat- new L-Z Boy!). I’ve just finished hanging 34 Nativity scenes and miscellaneous angels and snow men, Christmas trees and so on —anything Christmas on every spare inch of wall and shelf. It is always fun to get them all out and remember different reasons why I picked that pattern out to do and how I tweaked the pattern’s color or spacing to suit me. Or who gave me one or another ornament or Christmas scene. One of the earliest is a Danish Christmas tree from 1986, done on a burlap sort of fabric with wool -5 stitches to the inch and 3′ x 5′. I got the pattern and kit on a trip to Denmark in 1983 with Ginny and Ken Thompson. So many memories with every stitched Nativity. My kids, grands and great grands are allowed to put their name on the back of their favorites :-).

  267. I was very happy when I was working on a silk embroidery with silk floss. Such a gorgeous sheen and so soft. I would love to make this beautiful turtle. Fingers crossed.

  268. I recently started learning embroidery as a covid hobby, and I love it! My favorite project so far has been one I made of a butterfly landing on an open hand with the word Hope. Until this point I had only done kits that I have given to friends/family as gifts, but this was the first design I came up with myself and that I made for myself. 2020 has been a particularly rough year for me, as I know it is for many people, and I made this project to inspire myself. Happy New Years – and here’s to a better 2021!

  269. Earlier this year my (grown-up) daughter asked me to stitch her a fox, which made me very happy in itself. I drew the outline of a head and shoulders, and then started filling in by needlepainting with silks leftover from a sampler project. I knew where I wanted the various colours to go, but honestly, his little face just emerged out of the linen. I called him my little ‘Thought-Fox’ after Ted Hughes’ poem of the same name. I added some fly stitches for grass and a couple of pink sequins to create a little meadow. I liked him so much, I kept him, and made my daughter a different one.

  270. Stiching a tryptich of simple garden flowers made me the happiest — I believe it was because the final result was very pleasing but it came about accidentally. I snipped a tiny hole in the linen while removing a French knot, but after my huge intake of air, I changed my design from a daisy to an echinacea and, voila!

  271. I needlepointed a large Christmas stocking for my only grandson using all kinds of stitches. It was a labor of love and turned out pretty well, too!

  272. My favorite embroidery was tucked away in my closet. Well, I left it on the bed while I was looking for another project that I had. My husband saw it and took it to be frame because he thought it was beautiful. He surprised me later.

  273. The project that gave me the most enjoyment whilst stitching, and since, is the quartet of Shih Tzu portraits that now hang on my living room wall. Riley, Bea, Sammy and our current boy Billy. It was definitely a challenge to get their expressions right, and to try to capture a little of their personalities in the portraits. I was amazed how much joy they gave me to stitch, and surprised that I didn’t get maudlin as the first three have passed on.

  274. My favorite project was embroidering and beading an African piece of a black fabric printed with the image of a peacock. I made a quilt out of the piece. It has won ribbons at our guilds quilt shows.
    I love turtles so loved seeing what others are doing with the motif was great.

  275. The project that made me the happiest to stitch was a cross stitch of the band Queen’s logo. It was very detailed and took quite awhile but I love it! It made me think about my husband who passed away in 2013 as I stitched it because Queen was his favourite band. Every since he died Queen music has been following me all over the place, playing in the weirdest places or times. I love your blog and look forward to each one. I have gotten some good tips from you!
    Margaret March

  276. The project that has given me the most pleasure is a kit for The Unicorn in Captivity from the Metropolitan Museum in NYC. I bought it for $10 at a ‘clear out your stash’ sale at my needlework club . I have always loved the Unicorn Tapestries, so stitching it was a real pleasure. It became a meditative journey – just basket weave- so relaxing.

  277. There were several projects that made me “the happiest”, so I’m just going to choose one. It’s called “Ancient Egyptian”, and it made me so happy, because it was one of my very own designs, which meant, that I had to figure out everything all by myself: threads, colours, stitches …

    There were two things that made me particularly happy: It was the very first time I was stitching with silk (Soie d’Alger), plus I found a way (a stitch) to work a semitransparent skirt above the chausses, so that the latter ones were still visible through the skirt. The stitch is called honeycomb filling, and it is great. And the silk … even my friend who is anything but a stitcher, couldn’t stop looking at it and stroking it: “This isn’t normal thread, is it? It’s so soft, so shiny!”

    And anyway, working out a whole project single-handedly, resolving all problems, and mastering a challenge – that is the stuff happiness is made of. 🙂

  278. My most recent project was ‘Gems in the Night’ needlepoint by Ruth Dilts. A fellow EGA member stitched it and I knew I needed to also. It was stitched on black canvas with four colors of Threadworx and Accentuate to remind you of the Aurora Borealis in the night sky. The most challenging part was using 2 strands of white DMC with one strand of Accentuate. Both were 7.5 yards long to make a crescent in one corner! Nice picture can be found online. The finished and framed work is making its way to my daughter in CA from me in PA for Christmas.
    I still make the Christmas ornament you posted in 2014. They are such fun to do and work up quickly. I have made several as gifts, but this year I made one for my tree! I bought Memory Thread when it was discontinued, but someday it will be gone and I will need to play around with an alternative. They are so eye catching!

  279. The first ever proper piece of embroidery I did was a patch for my jacket, of a dove carrying a lily. The reason for the design is that my girlfriend is in a historical society, and the dove is her badge, which goes on things that belong to her. She’s a very talented weaver and the reason I got into fibre arts.

  280. Good Morning! The best work I have done on a stitchery project was a sampler from a class Phyllis Hoffman taught in Santa Fe many years ago. It had cross stitch, metal work, pulled work, silk threads in beautiful colors, linen threads, tons of bullion knots, over one words and baskets of flowers. It stretched my skills but was a joy to stitch. I loved every minute of it.

    Thank you for your lovely blog throughout the year. It has been a bright spot in an otherwise dreary year. Take care!

  281. My most favorite project was a couple years ago when I embroidered hankies for the granddaughters. They had personalized things for each girl (like elephants and trumpets and owls) that I knew as I stitched that they would really like. I guess it’s the feeling you get when you know your gift for someone is just right. Plus, how can flower-filled elephants not be fun?

    P.S. I have collected turtles since I was ten years old, and that guy would look great in my collection. 🙂

  282. My Magnum Opus is Kay Stanis’s Elegant Evantail. It is a silk and metal class I did as a pilot for ANG. I love the piece, but it was not easy.

  283. I really enjoy doing crayon tint embroidery. I did a Cranberry Hill pattern this summer called the Stitch Folder and it came out very well and is quite impressive to see. I use it to store my current projects.

  284. The project that has made me the happiest….hmmm… Ok, after thinking about this for a bit, I am going to say that after two years in the making I finished up a quilt that looks very much like a tapestry. The quilt is called appropriately “The Enchanted Garden”. It is a gorgeous quilt that is appliqued with wool and beautiful cotton fabric. Each block is a whimsy of flowers, animals, beads and embroidery. One block has a squirrel with a fluffy tail..so much fun and happiness.

    Merry Christmas to all!

  285. My favorite piece to work on was a piece called Rambling Clematis designed by Alison Cole. It combines two techniques I love, goldwork and stumpwork. I It also combines two themes I love, flowers and critters. Last but not least, I love the colors, black background and purple and lavender flowers.
    I agree with you. I too would carry the lovely turtle with me as a good luck charm. Maybe I would make it it’s own amulet bag.

  286. I am making each grandchild a Christmas quilt. I have just finished my youngest grandchild her Christmas quilt. It has 7 embroidered blocks each a Christmas scene and the background fabric red with little gold stars, scattered in the background I have embroidered white snow flakes.It has taken 6 months to make this quilt. I just sewed the label on the back 2 days ago. I am so proud and so tired. I wish I could show you a picture.

  287. The project that made me the happiest was one I completed last year for the Summer challenge of the Border Textile Group. The title was: “If your name was a flower what would it be?”
    I chose to embroider apple blossom as “blossom” was the nickname I had as a child. This was going to be my first piece of “proper” embroidery. I spent a happy afternoon photographing apple trees. Sketched a design onto white linen and off I went. I had no idea what I was doing, but borrowed lots of books and looked at articles on Pinterest. Eventually I settled for needle painted petals and stems, did some stump work flowers to give the piece dimension, and finally filled the background with seed stitch in shades of green and pink fading in intensity toward the edges of 6” hoop to give the impression of out of focus leaves and blossoms in the distance. It was so satisfying to sew my own creation. I am very proud of my first untutored attempt; it has inspired me to learn more techniques and attend workshops when we are allowed to do these things again.

  288. My favorite stitching project so far: a little wall hanging that I made for a great nephew a few years ago. It wasn’t big, it wasn’t terribly fancy, but it was So. Much. Fun! His parents had a few names picked out, but they were waiting until they met him to make a final decision. Since I didn’t have his name to work with, I decided to make the central motif a very large “K”, which is the first letter of his last name. The letter was about 12” high…big! Since his nursery theme was a forest, I made lots of little woodland creatures playing on and around the big K. There was a little deer sniffing a flower, a squirrel tossing around an acorn, a timid hedgehog balancing on the upper “arm” of the K. Lots more little creatures, but those are the ones I remember most. The project brought me such joy because it was completely free-form and as I was adding elements, I viewed the little animals playing through the eyes of a small child. When the piece was finished, it really had a sense of playful wonder about it. So much fun!

  289. Wow, what a fantastic give-away! I love Inspirations and follow Georgia on Instagram; her creations are out of this world! My project I’m most proud of is a Voctoria’s Sampler Wedding Sampler that took me a year to finish – I changed the colors at the bottom (it was designed all white) and then went back and frogged some of the top to insert color there, too!

  290. Describe the project that, up to this point in your embroidery journey, has made you the happiest while you were stitching it or when you finished it. It might not be your Magnum Opus (greatest work). It could be. But it might not be. Tell us about it!

    I stitched a beautiful butterfly sampler. It had about a dozen different butterfly’s with metallic and iridescent thread, it took me a few years to finish, but it was so pretty!

  291. My favorite stitch project is I found a bag full (around 100) of hand sewn star blocks and Dresden plate blocks that were made by my Husbands Great Grandmother and His
    Grandmother. The fabric came from their day clothes made out of the old 30’s , 40’s fabric. Some included the seam or whatever part was reusable. I was surprised to see how large the thread is and how huge the needle was that they were using to sew them together with. Pair that with a used and reused paper pattern, the blocks are beautiful and truly handmade. Because of this the blocks dont lay flat. I found if I hand appliqué the blocks on a piece of fabric, I can work out the ‘wonkiness’ and have a usable block. I have one finished, 99 to go!

  292. What made me happiest while stitching was tHe Maryland Inspiration Sampler. I love it! I really hope to win!!!

  293. The project that made the happiest whilst stitching it was a cross stitch Chris card I made for a fríen who I met through a Facebook embroidery page. She has inspired and encouraged me and made me laugh over the years. We have never met each other. I knew she had a ginger cat who was st this point vey old and getting ready to leave her. I adapted the pattern to reflect her own ginger cat. The cat is sitting under a fir tree which is bent over with snow. It gave me so much pleasure to see the cat emerge. The tree bent over with snow reminded me of the woods near me and how I love to see them covered in snow. I added a little bell on a gold ribbon that came off a chocolate reindeer many years ago and which I had kept for a special occasion. I added little tiny lit candles to the tree which reminded me of just one Christmas when I was very young and we had a real tree with real lit clip on candles. (This was never repeated as my young parents were told how dangerous it was, but the tree was magical and a memory that I will always cherish. To crown it all I kept smiling all the time to myself thinking what a wonderful surprise she would get when she finally got to open it. Even now, thinking about my little project I am smiling and full of joy of this unexpected friendship which I discovered through our love of embroidery.

  294. My favorite piece thus far has been one of the Hazel Blomkamps animal designs – the snake – that I stitched for a friend.

  295. Mary,
    My favorite thing I’ve stitched is a needlepoint piece of a sunflower and the center was completely done in beads.
    Thanks for the giveaways, it’s always fun to look forward too. Melinda

  296. This year I stitched a piece for the church which had been given to a friend’s mother to do for the ladies organization. Her mother had passed away suddenly and had not had the chance to stitch it before her passing. It was not an easy piece, but I thought about her mother all the while as I had known her since I was a small child. I was very happy with the final result and glad to have done it for my life long friend.

  297. The project that has made me the happiest has been a beaded box. It was the right amount of challenge to just push my comfort level but not overwhelm me. I also beaded it while on a camping trip last year with my daughter so it reminds me of all the fun things we did together.

  298. with any project I’m always the happiest when I am researching and beginning a new project. I can’t possibly choose one. Right now I’m planning on knitting little mice a Christmas tree ormanents for my grandchildren. A project i’ve never done before so lots of new stuff to llearn. Lots of fun.

  299. I have always been an in the box stitcher and my explorations of my own creative talents are pretty new but I want to try something like that turtle.

  300. My favorite project to date is a crewel picture of a autumn waterfall with lots and lots of French knots for leaves.

  301. A project that made me really happy was a beaded 3-dimensional goldfish. It was a joy to create, but it really needs a turtle companion. I would love to win this kit so I could add to my “aquarium.”

  302. I participated in Sue Spargo’s BOM this year and I just finished getting the blocks together! Now I’m going back to do the embellishment stitches.

  303. My happiest accomplishment- while working on it and when I finished is Harriet Salt- a HATS sampler. I love red and the stories behind the orphanage samplers.

  304. When I was younger, I did a counted cross stitch project for my parents. It was two separate pieces that were companions. I was called “Goslings and His Nibs”. My parents were thrilled with them, and that made me so happy, My dad even made custom frames for them and they hung in a place of honor in their home until they passed away, and I took them back. They now hang in my house, and will be handed down to my daughter. I rarely do cross stitch anymore, but I sure love looking at those pieces hanging on my wall and remembering how much my parents loved them!

  305. My favorite project was a baby sampler for my sister. It was a cross stich pattern with Beatrix Potter creatures.

    I would love to make the turtle for my daughter-in-law who has 2 tortoises. She would treasure it.

    Thanks for all the inspiration you gives us everyday!

  306. The embroidery project which brought me the most happiness has to be the snowflake ornaments I just did in metallic thread for my children. They were stitched and beaded and turned out just lovely. I almost wish I had them to do all over again!!

  307. The project I loved while I was stitching it and still do is a whitework with color hummingbird from Trish Burr. It was totally different from the usual crewel wool work I do and it came out so well that I’m doing her blue and gold christmas tree now.

  308. My first over ambitious attempt at my own design for a stumpwork picture frame to hold my late parents wedding photo. I included all the things that had meaning. Symbols for their birth counties, favourite animals and birds, and lots of flowers. It was difficult but I felt close to them and felt they were looking over my shoulder giving advice, and encouragement when I got low. Happy days.

  309. The project that, up to this point in my embroidery journey, that has made me the happiest while I was stitching it and when I finished it is called Autumn Kaleidoscope designed by a Canadian designer, Lorene Salt. I love the geometric design, the fabulous variety of beautiful coloured fibres that popped on the black canvas. It stretched my abilities in technique. And it is a pleasure to look at now framed on the wall facing my stitching chair.

  310. I loved working on canvaswork projects. They’re beautiful when they’re done, but while I’m working on them there is something very soothing about the symmetry.

  311. I have a few projects that were special to me but one that stands out is a beaded bug. It is 3 dimensional and a result of a workshop, from which emerged 12 individual bugs. We had fun designing our own and then choosing the threads and beads, finally constructing a magnificent bug! The turtle is along the same lines and I would love to do it, too.

  312. Our MARS region of EGA guild offered us the opportunity to stitch Maharajah’s Elephant by Mary Long. It was not something I would have picked to stitch myself, but I took the challenge and stitched it. It was both a labor of love, and, at times, frustration, it took 6 months to complete, and at the end, I loved the finished project. It was sent off to the designer to be evaluated, which turned out to be very favorable, another reason to have taken my time with this stitchery and to do my very best.

  313. I’ve been resisting entering these, thinking others will use the prizes better…but I can’t resist this! As for a happy project, I’d have to say it was a pair of partially embroidered pillowcases that I picked up at a yard sale for something like fifty cents. I just felt so sorry for them that they had never been finished. I was lucky enough to have good matches for the colors in my thread stash, so I finished the work and have been enjoying using them ever since.

  314. When. finishing off a pulled thread project for a friend I discovered she had made a number of mistakes in her counting which were compounding. After a fair bit of unpicking and re-counting, the pretty but rather challenging pattern is now nearly complete. I’ll be a bit sad to give it back to her! I would be so thrilled to win the Jewel of the Sea that I would be happy to pay for the postage myself!

  315. My favorite project was an early piece titled “Be Ye Thankful”. The sentiment was so appropriate and I loved the colors. I had it framed and it’s hanging where I see it each day.

  316. I am a process cross stitcher so my favorite piece is usually the one I am working on but I think the one I like the most is Peaceable Kingdom from Theresa Wentzler. I stopped stitching for awhile when I was working on it, but I made myself finish it before I started my next big stitch. Even though what I had left was the tedious border(lots of fractional stitches) and all the back stitch it gave me great satisfaction to see it finished.

  317. When I am creating something for a specific person, that is what makes me happiest. When my daughter moved to another state, I started stitching her birthday cards that I would then make into a quilt (miniature of course). Just thinking of her reaction when she opened her gift/card while I worked on the project would really make me happy and bring smiles and laughter while I was stitching!

  318. I had a box of stationary that came with the most beautiful floral border. I transfered the design to the pocket and cuffs of a denim shirt and had such fun picking out the floss to use in the embroidery and using different stitches to achieve the total effect. It was a joy to stitch and wearing that shirt was also a happy experience every time I wore it.

  319. I am definitely on your page with my fascination with this beautiful piece.. I would love to receive this kit. What an adventure.. Thank you

  320. This is hard, narrowed down to one Mirabilia’s The Kiss I was almost finished when it got lost but I found it and finished it! Look at it everyday and still love it. First time on linen, and beads and metallic threads.

    Jamie Cerda

  321. The project I enjoyed the most was stitching the Bride’s Tree ornaments for my niece when she got married. I loved finishing all 12 of them knowing that she would treasure each one. I even made a special box for her to keep them in—one with needlework on the top as well!

  322. The embroidery project that has brought me the most joy is a tea towel I embroidered for a friend. Seeing the joy on her face was the thing that made me so happy!

  323. I have two projects that I thoroughly enjoyed stitching and especially, the finished items!! The first is the Edinburg Etui by Betsy Morgan and also, the Sea Turtle by Gary Clarke. I not only enjoyed making these items but was fortunate to take a class from both of these needle artists!

  324. I have subscribed to Inspirations for about 8 years and each one that lands on my doormat here in England gives me great pleasure and a desire to stitch several of the items. I have just finished two Peace Doves which appeared in the last issue, having adjusted the requirements to suit what was in my stash. I enjoyed the challenge of the small scale work and I would love to see the faces of my sister and sister-in-law as they open their Christmas presents.
    Emails from Mary Corbet have been a great joy over this last year as, living in a house of men, I find it is a connection with the stitching world. Thank you Mary

  325. My most recent happiness project came during the pandemic! When designers offered free designs for the “be well and stitch” campaign, I found a design at the Blue Flower website that included a quote (“Let joy be unconfined”) amid a bevy of colorful flowers. The quote was something my mother used to say whenever my sister and I were squabbling children. Lacking the suggested threads, I used a plethora of silks from stash. Every step of the process was enjoyable, and the completed piece is a gorgeous memorial to my mother and sister.

  326. Many years ago (probably close to 50 – yikes!), I made my college roommate a peasant top from a Vogue pattern that included two different embroidery options. I did the embroidery solely with a single strand of six strand embroidery cotton easily available at that time. While doing this project, I perfected my satin stitch and the project was really lovely. This same dear friend died this year but we were best friends from the time we first met as freshmen in college and that was 50 years ago! I very much wish I had found it amongst her belongings but I was not so lucky.
    Now that I’m retired, I want to take up embroidery again as I have always maintained a love of the needle arts which I put aside during my working life and years of raising a family. I hope to pursue and nurture this deep appreciation through your website. It is a wonderful inspiration! Thank you, Mary!

  327. Hi Mary, we are followers of the North Myrtle Beach (South Carolina) Sea Turtle Patrol, and they will get the finished turtle if I win! My favorite project was a framed First Anniversary sampler that I made for my Daughter and Son-in-Law. Thank you again for the 2020 Stitcher’s Christmas. Just what we need right now. Connie

  328. The project that made me happiest was a bouquet of flowers, stitched then padded from behind, which i made as a present for my dad and step-mother. The end result makes people think they are real flowers so technically my idea worked but more importantly it told my stepmother that I saw her as family so it made us closer!

  329. I am an experienced embroiderer but I am no designer. However, I once designed a canvas work piece to fit into a box top as a gift for a retiring friend who was a Frank Lloyd Wright fanatic. The piece was based on one of Frank’s designs that was on a greeting card that had been sent to me by that friend. The box and it’s top turned out better than I could ever have imagined and made both my friend and me very happy!

  330. My favorite project by far is Long Dog Samplers Templar Prophesy. I’m stitching it with DMC 3755 and absolutely love it because it’s relaxing and simple.

  331. Inspirations is the best magazine. Feeds my embroidering fantasies! Now to find the personal and financial ability to make them reality.

  332. A project14 years in the making: I transposed color drawings (self portraits and family portraits) of the preschoolers I taught French to for 14 years onto small cocktail napkins and then sewed those onto a quilt. It is beautiful and touching and oh so special…

  333. My happiest project was my Christmas crazy quilt. Though I used someone else’s pattern for some of the blocks, the rest were my design, as was all the embroidery on it. Doing that quilt taught me that I can do something complicated all by myself. And I now have enough confidence to plunge into other things embroidery that before I felt I could only drool over.

  334. I get the most pleasure from the stitching itself. It gives me time to think, time to clear my mind and start each new day in a positive frame of mind. If I’m stitching fora gift I think of that person each time I work on my project.

  335. A walk down memory lane! I’m not the prolific producer of projects that you are, but I’ve done a fair amount of embroidery in the last few years after picking it up again after a ~25-year hiatus. My first wholly-my-own design must be my favorite, though it’s crude and flawed. It was begun as just a sample, a trial of whether monochromatic embroidery would hold my attention, in which case I would plan a project of white on yellow. This one is natural off-white and DMC 712 and 739, two of my favorite colors. I had dyed a linen/cotton blend fabric with tea, which was a wonderful background for those colors. A big daisy-like flower was the start, then a big leaf. They had to have a stem, then another stem, and pretty soon I realized I had a Jacobean theme going on, so I added the requisite hills and an oversized snail, among other traditional elements. Since it wasn’t planned ahead, there are flaws, but I love it anyway, and hang it on my embroidery wall… which has become an embroidery corner, there’s so much up there right now!

  336. I just found your website and it is so inspirational! I have only been embroidering since July 2019, but it has been such a balm during this disaster of a year. My two favorite pieces (because I couldn’t decide) are my Bayeux Tapestry reproduction of the death of King Harold, and my current mixed media version of Hildegard of Bingen’s Cosmic Egg (I’m a medieval historian, so it’s on brand). I just signed up for your mailing list as well. Take care!

  337. Ohhh – this is tough! Happiest when I stitched my first rug, second needlepoint project: an enlarged version of Maggie Lane’s turtle pillow to a 4′ x 6′ rug, mostly in basketweave. It only took 10 years; life took over. That’s led me on to many other projects, stitches, and threads.

  338. I recently finished my first crewel work project. This was really fun because I got to improve on a few of the stiches I already knew, like satin stich, and to learn new techniques like lattice work .

  339. Generally the one that makes me happiest is the one I’m working on! But I must admit my Hardanger pieces make me the happiest. :D. Wow, would love to try that turtle! Thanks Mary and Inspirations!

  340. The stitching piece most pleasing was one of wildflowers from British Columbia after hiking in the mountain foothills. During the hike I gathered a few wildflowers which I pressed to dry. Once flowers were dry, I arranged them on a mat board which then framed my completed stitching piece.

  341. The project that still makes me smile whenever I look at it is from an online Sue Spargo class I took a few years ago. Coincidently enough it was a series of sea turtles using all the different stitches, threads, and beads that were entirely new to me at the time, and very exciting to do.

    The Jewel of the Sea kit is on my “hope to buy sometime” list so it would be a great Christmas gift to win it.

  342. The project that made me happiest was one from a long time ago. It was called Peaches and Cream by Victoria Sampler. When I found the online class I could not believe that I was going to make something that beautiful. It had ribbon work, hardanger, drawn thread and pulled stitches. And then the kit came and I made it and to this day is one of my favorite pieces!

  343. Describe the project that, up to this point in your embroidery journey, has made you the happiest while you were stitching it or when you finished it. It might not be your Magnum Opus (greatest work). It could be. But it might not be. Tell us about it!

    A group from our Guild did a “Interpretation of a piece of stained glass window. Each month we were assigned a piece to stitch. There were 10 pieces in total. Each piece represented a piece of the stained glass.When completed it was assembled together with cording. It was great fun.

  344. The project that made me happiest is stitching a heart shape which was filled with various stitches to fill the heart. It was fun to sample stitches, sample threads and just see where the project went.

  345. I took an online class to learn the basics of crazy quilting. Even though I only did one block, I so enjoyed learning the different embroidery stitches. I loved using beads, silk ribbons and charms etc to add to my block. I love my block and will make a pillow with it.

  346. I would love to win the book and the kit. I think the embroidery project that I have most enjoyed stitching to-date is Strawberry Fayre Etui which comes from Inspirations magazine. The variety of stitches (used lots of your tutorials) kept it from getting boring and I love the finished project.

  347. My magnum opus that made me happiest was the church kneeler for The Lutheran Church of the Resurrection. It was done on #10 canvas with basketweave. A church member designed the kneelers to reflect the stained class windows. My kneeler was the Epiphany and 6 for by 4 foot. It made me so happy to stitch it.

  348. Another great giveaway! I purchased the book and this kit last month, so don’t need to be in the drawing, but wanted to share my project story.

    Many years ago, I purchased a counted cross stitch pattern of a cat that looked just like my favorite real life cat. I told myself that I would start stitching it after she died. It took a few years, but I have finally started this piece, and expect to be working on it for quite a while (it’s one of those full-coverage, multi-page patterns). Every time I stitch on it, I’m reminded of how much I loved that cat and how sweet she was. I miss her a lot.

  349. The project that means the most to me is an embroidered and beaded spirit doll I made for a friend who was donating a kidney…to someone she did not know. I did my best to capture her courage, her selfless generosity and my good wishes.

  350. My piece that has given me great joy (and some frustrations) is a challenge given to me by friend Mike Parr. It is a box for spools that would fit into previous work box done. The style of stitching is Hedebo as taught to me by Jette Roy Findlay Heath. It has the same design on the sides and different on top and bottom. The top lid is secured with a short bit of Hedebo edging. Have done this with bleached and natural linen threads.

  351. The project I got the most satisfaction stitching is a needlepoint piece entitled “SISTERS” which I stitched earlier this year. Lots of different stitches using a wide variety of threads. I still haven’t been able to see her to gift it, and no idea when that might be with all the restrictions. Soon, I hope!

  352. My Magnus Oppus was a black work Emeror penguin . I did it in a class but it was my own design and choice of stitches. I love it and gave it, framed, to my son for his 21st

  353. There is two that I really think about every time I look at them.
    1. Is a heart that has 7 different stitches in the pattern and a heart charm. I had some of my mothers jewelry and one day our home was broken into and the box of jewelry plus other items were taken. But some of the jewelry happened to fall out of the box one of the pieces was a blue rhinestone encrusted heart that I put on instead of the charm so every time I pass the picture I think of her especially now that she has gone.

  354. I, too, have a teeny amount of covet in my heart for that turtle! Hmmm- to answer the question of the day – I think I would have to say it was a piece I designed for one of the challenges issued by the San Francisco School of Needlework and Design. The theme was ‘under the sea’ and we were gifted with a number of beautiful Swarovski crystals to use. I combined crazy quilting into an underwater scene that peeked out trough a sunken ship portal. I created all sorts of fun coral-y bits using stitching and also cross stitched dolphins and fish inside the portal. My husband liked it so much he insisted it be framed and is now hanging on our living room wall.

  355. Jan Kerton’s Stumpwork Bunnies wool blanket has made me the happiest and gave a great sense of satisfaction when I finished it.

  356. Way back in the 80’s I stitched my first crewel work piece which actually was a kit sold by Avon…the little sales booklets with makeup and a variety of other little specials. It was a bees skep with bees in a garden. It began my love for wool!

  357. My favorite is still the project that started it all. I was 11 and I picked up a crewel kit of plants in a window design. I was going to make it for my aunt who loved plants. I never embroidered before but I knew I could do it- because I really wanted to! I had 28 different stitches to learn which made it even better!

    And I did make it, enjoying every single moment. I even got a spot on the cloth and simply stitched a fallen leaf over it. And my dad made a frame for it. And my mom helped me wrap it.

    And my aunt hung it in her living room where everyone could see it❤️

  358. I get the most excitement from making a gift. I love every stitch I take and think of the person I am making it for.

  359. Having had the Home Sweet Home book for years I finally but the bullet to start the project. Enjoyed it so much carried on and made all the pieces so pleased with the finished piece. Heirloom for the future.

  360. The project that has brought me the most joy so far is a project that is still in the works. It is a replica of the old picture from the 80s of the guardian angel helping two children cross a broken bridge. I began working on it in late 2019 just for fun as I’ve loved that picture since my children were little, but as we entered 2020, & my mother had to be placed in memory care, with the painful journey we walked up to & following that time, the picture became a symbol of my mom being led across that broken bridge with God guiding her steps along the way. She arrived safely on the other side on Oct 30th & is now at peace in Jesus’ arms. I had taken a break from this project as the journey got too rough, but look forward to continuing it soon.

  361. This is a hard one to answer – I’m a process stitcher. I care more about the doing than having the finished item, and I usually really enjoy everything I stitch, or I abandon it. One project that comes to mind though, because of how fun it was to work on, is the Gift of the Magi set from The Victoria Sampler. It was both a challenge and a joy, and I have the three pieces framed and hanging in my home year around.

  362. Currently the project that made me the happiest is the Lepidoptra from Inspirations! I even made some of them into individual broaches for my Mother in Law. I’d love to make the Turtle.

  363. Dear Mary, I completely understand your fascination with the little sea turtle! I too, follow Georgina Bellamy (aka The Embroidery Girl), and am mesmerized by her creations from goldwork threads. She has managed to get the eyes of her creatures just right, that they seem alive; she is incredibly talented!
    I have two completed projects that make me happy; both are embroidered cats! My first creation, Calico Cat, has the softest, sweetest face, while my Marmalade Cat is laughing heartily! I have yet to frame the Marmalade Cat, but my Calico Cat sits with me in my office room.
    Thank you again, for hosting these giveaways for us.

  364. I have also fallen in love with the Turtle as I have (2) aquatic turtles. I will have to sharpen my skills.

  365. The highlight of my embroidery life has been designing a skating turtle and embroidering it on my husbands levi jacket. Sadly the jacket was left behind at a restaurant and never seen again.

  366. The project that makes me happiest is the hardanger wedding sampler I make for family members. It’s a Nordic Needle design winner interlocking a plain diamond shape with a more lacy one— male and female, get it? The open center contains the names, dates and any other information I want. My first was stitched for my parent’s golden wedding anniversary in 1984. They have passed on, and the framed sampler now hangs proudly on my wall.

  367. A painted canvas, Birdhouses, is a needlework project that makes me smile every time I look at it. The inspiration of making each part of the birdhouses and flowers using different stitches was challenging. Stumpwork ideas for the flowers and bird’s wing allowed for creativity. The variety of bright colours make me happy and joyful. This needlework piece is my favourite of all time.

  368. You totally inspire me. Two days in hospital with Covid- your ideas brought me joy, Mary! Thank you!

  369. The one project that I have worked on so far has to be the wall hanging I made for my oldest daughter when I was pregnant with her. Before that I had dabbled a little bit in embroidery but not much. I found an adorable kit while in my nesting stage and set about stitching. It turned out to be adorable and I was a proud momma to hang it near her cradle before she was born.
    It still is around but tucked safely in a box of sentimental items for my now 31 year old to go through one day.

  370. The project that has given me my happiest moments both while l was working on it and as l gave it away was one of embroidered dresses. It had a saying the dress wasn’t as important as the person wearing it.

  371. I am working on a supersized max colors Heaven and Earth Designs counted cross stitch of the Tree of Life. It is a 39 inch square on 25 count evenweave. I am thoroughly enjoying the process. I am enjoying the challenge of finishing it and the color play between the different colors of floss.

  372. the project which has made me the happiest was a fairly simple one, but my first foray into crewel work. I did the RSN online course and absolutely loved watching the vibrant colours build up a 3-dimensional picture before my eyes. Also the videos and stitch guides from the RSN were superb. Loved it!

  373. Hi Mary,
    I was a subscriber to the Inspirations magazine for a couple of years and drooled over their amazing projects. I am constantly stunned by what skill and artistry people have. Every embroidery project brings me joy. However, I truly enjoyed creating a one-off dish towel for a teaching friend of mine who I admire and miss (because we are distance learning!). She loves the Moomins, so I embroidered three characters on the cloth. I had fun with the rich colors and cheeky expressions of the Moomin characters. She didn’t know I was making it, so it was extra special because I knew it would be a big surprise! She loved it (at least she told me she did;).

  374. Oh my goodness! I have pet turtles and love them so much, and my favorite embroidery is goldwork. This turtle project is perfect for me and I’ve drooled over it since the day it was released, however its out of my reach financially, so I just have to keep wishing.
    The project that’s made me the happiest – that is actually a really hard question! I had to think about it really hard! I think it has to be a goldwork grasshopper I designed myself for an embroidery guild display piece. I loved the freedom and the subject!

  375. My happiest-making project so far is the bags I’ve embroidered with the initials of each of my relatives from your book of sampler initials. I had to change some colors due to the color of each bag. I wish I could see their faces when they open their Christmas gifts this year.

  376. I recently returned to embroidery – still and always learning! This year I copied a plate for my brother and sister-in-law: a picnic plate from Habitat in the UK with a cityscape design and it took me months! But I learned such a lot from doing that. And of course I’m still not satisfied with it but Oh! what a sense of achievement!

    Alison W

  377. In the late 1990s, I had a class with Jill Rabius-McGrath titled “The Holiest of Nights.” It was comprised of 5 figures of the Nativity. It lay patiently waiting to be completed until last year. I wanted a multi-piece project to see me through my chemo treatments. The pieces are now finished into standup figures and are a celebration, not only for the holiday season, but for my survival. Each of the two previous volumes of A Passion …. has provided me with multiple pieces I love and am stitching. Volume 3 has even more.

  378. Describe the project that, up to this point in your embroidery journey, has made you the happiest while you were stitching it or when you finished it. – My happiest project is like my favorite book – the one that I worked on last – I enjoy all my stitching and learn something new from everything. I also find a challenge in all the work that I do. Probably one that stands out is the original design that I finished that ended up on the cover of NeedlePointers (the magazine for the American Needlepoint Guild – ANG) a couple of years abo.

  379. The pieces that were the most fun were two samplers. I made them after my mom got me a copy of Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches. I had found a copy of the Mary Thomas Embroidery book but it was of little use to me without knowing the stitches. I tried all the stitches in the book and made the sampler into two cushions. Seeing all the new stitches come together the first time was exciting.

  380. The “Pertinacity” from Hazel Blomkamp’s Crewel Intentions is the project I enjoyed the most. It took a lot longer to finish due to the complexity of the stitches. I learned a great deal during the process and it looks gorgeous after completion; so gorgeous I could not mount it to the footstool according to the original design. Instead I had it framed and hung it over my fireplace. I’m very happy with it indeed.

  381. I have enjoyed embroidering the towel sets on your website. They make such nice handmade gifts especially in such a tough year.

  382. Every four years I stitch an electoral map—something I’ve been doing since childhood (then with colored pencils, paints, and such). This years map has given me such joy as I stitch, as it’s going to my granddaughter who just turned 18 in September and voted in her first election. She spent time reading up on all the candidates, and studying the proposals. Because I believe and have great faith in our democracy, I went ahead and stitched those states in blue as they were called . I’m following a blackwork stitch guide available through the Peppermint Purple website. I have to say, this is the first year I have been able to complete the map while the votes are still being counted…and counted…and recounted—

  383. I haven’t done any embroidery since my daughter was a little girl and I made and embroidered smocked dresses for her. I just got back into it and I’m starting small with tea towels that feature flowers. These are very slow projects for me but I find that, right now, that is just what I need.

  384. The reality is that I love all my projects in one way or another. I recently completed a little Hardanger angel. It was a challenge to do. Tough projects often turn out to be one of our favorites. It holds a special place on my little stitched only ornament tree.

  385. A few years ago I created a project I called “Down by the Ducky” which was not only accepted into a juried show but also won a prize for Best Traditional Stitching, though it was not a very traditional piece. It is a fabric bowl with a lid. In the lid is an opening, covered by netting. The lid features flowers and grasses and water lilies on the surface of the opening. Inside are goldfish and so on. What makes me happy, besides the recognition and the very nice prize is that this represents afternoons at the spring fed pond, the Ducky, on the hillside behind my childhood friend’s home, a secret escape for us city kids.

  386. The project that brought me the most joy was an embroidery day that my mom and aunt hosted for my children. The kids made needle books and my mom made a cute covered box for each of them to hold their project and supplies in. It was a great day!!

  387. TheProject that I enjoy doing the most was is a picture for my grandma it was was an angel surrounded by ribbon roses and various flowers. My grandma has this picture hung in her bedroom.

  388. Two years ago I embroidered and beaded a humming bird in a garden very close to Dove House the home of William Shakespeare ….it was a beautiful summer, walking, reading poetry and embroidering. Each part of the humming bird brings back special memories.

  389. In my journey through the simple skills my mom taught me as a child, many types of needlework have been made through the years. After years of trying different techniques, I have to say the introduction to Blackwork in a class taught by Ilse Althere was such an eye-opening experience. That piece was the step toward many other opportunities to learn and improve my skills…it was the first step toward earning a MasterCraftsman level in a chosen technique (Plain & Plain Needlework) through EGA. My journey continues… .

  390. Favorite? Most Joy? I know what you are asking, but I gotta say that just about ANY project that I finish has delivered much joy and satisfaction!! Successful “thread painting” work makes me happy on completion, but the journey isnt’ always “joyful”!! Ribbon embroidery gives me happiness during the journey, but the end result isn’t as satisfying as a much more difficult project. Goldwork is good for both. Blackwork is good for both. Crewel is good for both. Beads are good….. Sorry, I can’t pick!!

  391. My favourite stitching so far has to be my hardanger angel that takes pride of place on top of the Christmas tree every year. I really love her and enjoy looking at her over the holiday season.

  392. My recent needle painting projects have been my happiest, but it is a moving feast. My past, current, (or even future projects) all transport me to my happy place!

  393. The project has made me happiest is Lucy Calcutt 1825 by Just stitching along! thank you for the chance to win!

  394. During this year, The project that cheered me was stitching the Springtime towels. The bright colors and cheery flowers really helped my spirits and I smiled while I was embroidering them.

  395. I was working on a very detailed piece with a cat sleeping in a window full of plants and flowers and it was turning out great.

  396. The piece that has made me happiest was the Egyptian sampler by Allison Snepp. This started as a class in London with a lovely group of women. ALlison told us that one person had finished the sampler in three months so I took that as a challenge. It was just at the beginning of the time when I realised that I liked stitching both big samplers, and samplers with more complex stitches or designs and it ticked both of those boxes. Many of the designs in the sampler came from the Mamluk textile fragments in the Ashmolean museum, so that was a perfect excuse for a trip, with friends, to go and view these. So to summarise, this sampler reminds me of friends first and foremost, of taking the next step in my stitching journey towards more challenging stitching which gave me a sense of achievement again, and it was stitched at a time when my life was on an even keel.

  397. I just LOVE all things Inspiration! I have the first two books and have made several things out of both of them. I have been coveting this third book, but figured I’d wait until after all the Christmas bills have been paid. I have also had the privilege to participate in two classes on stumpwork given by the incredibly talented Susan O’Connor.

  398. A footstool pattern by Hazel Blomkamp, the actual footstool got lost in the mail but the kit arrived. I don’t embroider as such, I’m a cross stitcher. But I picked away at it little pieces at time, delighted as each mofit was completed and came alive. Once finished all my friends complimented me on it, some wanted to buy it while others worked on ways to “snag” it from me! It sits under the TV and as I admire it I’m reminded of their comments. Now as I pack up house to move away, friends have come out of the woodwork so to speak wanting this piece… well I want it too.. and I’m delighted to say “It’s mine, I made it, I’m keeping it!!!
    Would love the opportunity to make another keep sake treasure.

  399. I bought a large sampler pattern many years ago when I was in Holland. I went to a shop there to buy the threads as I felt sure that it would be difficult to translate the colours when I got home. I purchased linen fabric to stitch on. When I got home I heard that stitching on linen was very difficult, so the package sat in my closet for many years.

    I finally decided to start it and found that I liked stitching on linen! It took me 4 years of intermittent stitching to get it done. It was a wonderful design with subtle differences on each side of a central motif! I got it framed and it hangs on the wall in our bedroom. That I feel was my biggest accomplishment and one of the ones I most enjoyed stitching.

  400. That turtle is truly wonderful. I think you should get the kit, anything that brings joy at this time seems like a good idea! I know I’d love one of these kits!

  401. My happiest project has to be my first project cross stitch project on linen. This opened my eyes to a different kind of stitching and I couldn’t put it down!

  402. Hi, I was most happiest stitching ‘Elegance Cubed’ by Kurdy Biggs. This was a gorgeous canvas and bead work cube done in silk and metal threads embellished with beads. It was fun to do and fabulous when made up. The sparkle was visually appealing and made a beautiful Christmas ornament.

  403. Bonjour Mary,
    C’est une question très difficile. J’ai beaucoup hésité avant de répondre car il y a tant de projets qui m’ont apporté du bonheur. J’ai donc choisi les carottes en tapisserie à l’aiguille, d’après une création de Jennifer Riefenberg. J’ADORE broder les légumes. Je vais donc pour suivre avec les betteraves et les potirons.
    J’ai déjà les deux premiers livres d’inspirations, je veux bien gagner le troisième…..
    Merci encore, Mary.

  404. Several years ago I made a wall hanging on the theme “Pennies from heaven.” I used pennies (and other coins) from all over the world. I have six continents and over sixty countries represented. I used the shisha stitch to fasten the coins to hexagons, and sewed the hexies together with other shapes. Lot of beads and fancy fabrics. It was fun to make.

  405. That turtle is so cute! Have sent a copy to my daughter who is heavily into beading. Thank you for sharing your good ideas. I am continually inspired after receiving your e-mails.

  406. My favourite, and my first reall embroidery project was to design and embroider in white work, and pulled thread work a handkerchief corner. Originally for a Women’s Institue competition, (which in the end did not take place) and subsequently given to my mother for a mother’s day present, along with the bunch of cowslips that I always picked for her on that day. That was about 45 years ago. Now, I’ve fallen in love with that turtle and would dearly love to make him. Like Mary, I would take him everywhere with me, I couldn’t bear to leave him at home.

  407. Perhaps not a magnum opus, but many years ago I cross stitched a love poem to my sweet husband – mostly words, just small objects around it to illustrate it. I had it framed and gave it to him on Valentine’s Day. He immediately hung it in our bedroom on his side of the bed where he saw every time he sat down on the bed and each time he got up. You need to know that he did not usually do that with gifts but would wait for me to decide where they would be used or hung.

  408. So many projects over the years! And the one that continues to give me the most joy is a collection of temari. I taught myself how to make temari after seeing them (and of course buying a couple) in a craft shop on a business trip to Japan. Temari are fun to make, require no finishing, and always make me smile when I look at them displayed in a glass bowl, or hanging on my Christmas tree.

  409. Stitching a blackwork sampler as part of an EGA group correspondence some years ago proved to be the most fun stiching. It was creative in that we all picked out own colors, it had internesting motifs and it provided just enough of a challenge to bring a feeling of success when it was finished.

  410. At the beginning of the pandemic i started making a series of needlebooks with scraps of linen and wool felt. They are full of freeform embroidery on the covers and throughout them. Bits of oya lace and beadwork, just putting together pretty bits ive collected with embroidered flowers and birds and guitars and paisley, what ever felt right in the moment.
    When we can gather again i will give them to my much missed friends..

  411. Happiest? You ask hard questions, but I’ll pick one. Solstice Dream by Kerry Stitch Designs gave me a lot of pleasure. The blocks were small enough to be portable, the threads lovely to handle, the stitches widely varied. As I was doing wool applique on flannel background the stitches were large enough that I didn’t need perfect light nor magnification. And I liked the result

  412. The projects that have made me happiest are the Nora Corbet alphabet series. I have stitched one for each of my granddaughters. It was nice to think about how great it is to be a grandma while I stitched .

  413. The project that has made the happiest while stitching and still for gazing is a baby’s bonnet. I free-styled designed as I stitched it using floche for the first time. I am now smitten with floche, what a subtle sheen. The design has feather stitch as the “bones” of the piece then gobs of bullion roses, colonial knots and lazy daisies.

  414. The project that I most recently finished and really enjoyed is an NHA 1800 House class that I did via Zoom. It was surface embroidery in silk and goldwork. The subject was a bough with various flowers and a small bird, lots of different stitches and goldwork techniques but a small enough project to finish before tiring of it. It’s mounted in a cherry wood octagonal box.

    The Inspirations book and turtle look wonderful.

  415. Great question! For me it would have to be Trish Burr’s Katarina … that’s what brought whitework into my needleart obsession(s). From there it expanded to include thread painting and crewelwork in addition to all my old standbys. Thank you for the opportunity – my heart went pitterpatt over that turtle as well when I received that issue of Inspirations!

  416. A stocking for my nieces step daughter for this Christmas. It did so much. The time scale was tight, the request was 28th October. A girlie style, while I am very much a tomboy. We went in to lockdown on the 30th October, so no shopping for fabric and the knowledge that post would be affected and tightening the dead line. I just had to work with what I had. Then the wait for the results of a biopsy.

    Sewing kept my mind and fingers occupied and off of worrying. The design challenged me and pushed me out of my comfort zone. The limited resourses made me be inventive. And the time scale make be work and not prevaricate.

    It was done in time and I was really pleased.

  417. The project that gave me happiness and great joy was the birth announcement for my first granddaughter. I think I will be like you and want to carry this little turtle with me always.
    Thank you.

  418. Usually whatever my current project is becomes my favorite, but the ones that made me the happiest were the Nora Corbett alphabet letters I made for each of my granddaughters, using the letter of their first name. I have started the mermaid letter alphabet for my youngest granddaughter, and with all the over-dyed threads and beads, it is just a wonderful project!

  419. I have been so happy wen I have been stitching one of Nicola Jarvis’ birds. They are a delight to stitch and so fun to have a flock of them on the wall!

  420. As a less-than-a-year embroiderer, A Passion for Needlework is new to me. And if that darling turtle is an example of what is found in it, I want to see more! Mary, your posts have been such an inspiration that I decided to try my hand at my own design–of the 1846 log house where my husband and I work as historical interpreters. Not only was creating the design a wonderful new adventure, knowing that it was going to be a Christmas gift for the fabulous photographers who come often to take amazing scenes of the house year round proved to be added inspiration. Their amazing photos can be seen on the museum’s website as well as our own website.

  421. Like you, Mary, I have been vacillating on whether I need to own this little fellow! We live in southeast GA very close to the Georgia Sea Turtle Sanctuary on Jekyll Island — a wonderful place to visit with our grandchildren and even just by ourselves. So you can see….the temptation to make him is great indeed! Thank you for this opportunity and for all that you do for the needlework community! Be safe and stay well.

  422. Thanks to one of your book reviews of some time back, my embroidery journey has taken me to the land of embroidered boxes. I have learned how to create several styles by following the instructions in Embroidered Boxes by Heather Lewis and Embroidered Boxes by Emma Broughton. My favorite so far is the double-layer jewelry case with my self-designed embroidered lid. My magnum opus awaits me — the gorgeous Stumpwork Casket found in Lewis’ book!
    Both these books provide me with inspiration enough for several lifetimes!
    Thank you for everything you do to keep even more inspiration coming my way. A blessed Advent season to you and yours.

  423. In my embroidery journey – the project that made me the most content (that must equal happy right?) was a Judy Dixon project that I made for my son and his wife for an anniversary gift. I think I stitched it out in 3 nights. I just flew through in and it was beautiful. I am so thankful that I did, and that they received it on time for their 5th anniversary. Sadly, my son did not live to see their 7th anniversary. He was a firefighter, train engineer and local city park person. He was fit and strong. He died of un-diagnosed heart disease.

  424. I think my most inspiring project is the one that I am still working on (2+ years 🙂 ) – an arial view of our local garden that we visit nearly daily.

  425. The project I am most proud of and smile everytime I look at it, is my “Little Quail” by Lynn Payette. I love doing 3D animals. This was one of the hardest projects I have ever done (swore like a sailor while doing parts of it) but most rewarding when finished.
    Being a mixed media piece everything was used from all types of threads and fibers to netting and beads, wire and even pantyhose. All this is inside a 6″ circle.

  426. My happiest embroidery time was when I embroidered a queen size quilt where each block contained a flower that I drew and embroidered. I also used Mary,s corner design of roses which really completed the look. The quilt went to my sister who cared for my Mother in her final years. They both loved flowers.

  427. There are two projects – the first is the Goldwork portrait I did of my poodle under the guidance of Helen McCook for my RSN module. I was terrified but Hellen was so helpful and so gracious I just loved the project and the results.

    The second was my Covid Sample. It started as on of Nicola Parkman’s small samplers.
    I not really a sampler person but this appealed. However I started changing it to reflect the current timed. The house became my house, the images my garden and images of the times, the phrase was replaced by words of 2020.! As I turned it more into my sampler I became obsessed with it and finished it in record time.

    I live to take the Inspirations designs and make them my own. Would live to get the turtle kit and practice beading techniques.
    Happy Holidays.

  428. The project which inspired me most was my first ever “grown-up” embroidery project. I had just joined our local embroidery Guild, and needed a project to work on. As a total newbie, I saw Colleen Goy’s Jacobean-styled “Tree of Life” and did my own interpretation, choosing stitches & thread (floss, perlé, metallics and blending filament) from the Anchor book of Crewel Embroidery and Jane Rainbow’s “Beginner’s Guide to Crewel Embroidery”. Although now I can see many rookie errors, I know that every stitch was an adventure in itself, that I learnt a lot about colour and texture, and most of all, the camaraderie and laughter that happen when stitchers gather. The wisdom and kindness of many of the older members has stayed with me to this day, and this is why I treasure my Tree of Life. It is exactly that, a beginner’s discovery of life with embroidery.

  429. It’s hard to pick just one but I think the Elephant I embroidered from a Inspirations Magazine a few tears ago was one of my favorites it was a challenge but I went ahead and loved it. From cutting out the elephant to the tiny rosebuds everything came together for a beautiful Christmas present for my daughter and she still cherishes it…

  430. Thank you for giveaway #4.
    My needlework is usually a gift for someone else. I like new ideas and working on unique projects that become family heirlooms. Love books like this that allow me to do this.

  431. Each project I’ve done has given me joy and happiness. So it’s hard to pick one. That said, Christmas stockings I made for my grandsons rate up there at the top.

  432. The project that made me happiest was stitching a kit from Bayuex Broderie, a replica of a small piece of the ancient Bayeux Tapestry, technically an embroidery. As I stitched I kept thinking that 950 years ago, some Anglo Saxon woman (perhaps even a distant ancestor of mine) was stitching this same design, with the same stitches, in the same colors, in similar wool on natural linen. And I enjoyed pondering how long ago that was and how similar the experience.

  433. For my young granddaughter, I am happily working on a lavender throw, which is from the Lavender Series by Heather McCallum. I purchased her kit when I attended Beating Around The Bush.
    It pleases me very much to know that my granddaughter will have a very warm and soft blanket in which to snuggle.
    Thank you, Mary.

  434. What a fabulous giveaway this is! Thank you.

    I am currently designing a quilt for my daughter based on the book Little Women. I am using a combination of applique, stumpwork and embroidery. I love how my block of Jo at her writing desk turned out. The hours and work put into it was well worth it. Jo’s face and hands were a real challenge. The bodice of her dress came into place easier than I thought it would and I love the way the skirt of her dress drapes over the front of the chair she is sitting on. I am very pleased with it. I’m hoping all the other blocks I’m designing turn out as well.

  435. I got the most please pleasure embroidering a Goldwork Peacock, it was only my second piece of Goldwork, and it was to be a birthday present for my daughter-in-law Heather as she loves Peacocks, It took me longer than I expected, that was due to embroidering the feathers with silk and metallic threads. I loved every minute of doing it, and I couldn’t have been happier to get it finished for her next birthday. Luckily she loved it despite the wait.

  436. The project that has made me the happiest is a little dragonfly that had chiffon for the wings and used various stitches for the body. I am a quilter for the most part but have been trying new things. I have always wanted to put my hands to some embroidery and this dragonfly was one of the first things that I have tried to do. It was great fun and made me feel really good

  437. Completed Solstice Dream wool project …loved every minute of creating hedgehog, dragon flies, frogs and flowers. Turtle would be a fun challenge to be sure.

  438. I am slowly working on a piece that I am enjoying. It is just using satin stitch for the filling. It is so calming.

  439. Hard to decide on what was best. Probably the most satisfying was a piece I finished this summer. My daughter and I figured out that I probably started it 30-35 years ago. (She actually offered to finish it at one point!) It was a very complex cross stitch piece that I gave up on because it was so hard to keep track of where I was on the pattern. I finally figured out a system with highlighters that helped, so got it done, finally. Now it just needs framing. The more recent start that I liked best was actually your 1000 Flowers design. I just finished mounting and trimming 6 of them (2 reindeer!) on 40 count gauze, and 3 on 32 count linen. I’m also starting another piece with those same designs on 32 count linen, but in multiples and with some reversed, all combined to be an insert for a Sudberry House tray.

  440. My most memorable embroideries were in the 1960’s when bell bottoms were popular. They would get caught in bicycle chains and I would fix the tear with an embroidery — lots of giraffes and palm trees.

  441. My favorite piece was a needlepoint canvas I painted and stitched myself. It was the house I grew up in. My parents lived there for fifty years and raised all five of us. So many memories went into the stitching, and it was the first time I tried some new, decorative stitches.

  442. What a lovely book! And what a charming turtle!
    I happen to enjoy embroidering things that are useful, and my favorite project so far, was supposed to be my “lockdown project “, which I started in March, when my area locked down. Little did I know…
    Anyway, it’s a shopping bag. I drew line drawings of chickens, from photos, in different poses, and transferred them to canvas. I made the front of the bag and back slightly different, adding an acorn and oak leaf on one side, a reference to the folk tale “Henny Penny” ( I taught first grade!), and a shaft of wheat on the other side, referencing “The Little Red Hen”. I sewed the bag, lined it with red and white gingham, and added handles. Most of my markets won’t allow bags to be brought in, but I take it to the farmers’ market.
    I’m working on dish towels now. Everyday objects can be beautiful!

  443. I’ve just finished an or nué course with Natalie Dupuis. I’m thrilled with the design I’ve come up with and hope to finish stitching it in the next few months. It’s my most fun to date because I love doing research, design, and stitching. Goldwork has been my study for the last few years and each project or lesson is special, peaceful happiness!

  444. Describe the project that, up to this point in your embroidery journey, has made you the happiest while you were stitching it or when you finished it.

    A dresser scarf design I drew myself; because I had designed it and I used it as a means to learn new stitches.

  445. The project that made me the happiest was cross-stitching Victorian Christmas stocking for the three of us. I’m finishing #4 this year for my son-in-law and will make #5 for our granddaughter next year. This year she gets to use her momma’s “Baby’s First Christmas” stocking — also my work. Even though these are visible only 6 weeks out of the year, they bring such a “wow” factor to our mantelpiece and such joy and pride to this stitcher’s heart.

  446. I am just finishing a hardanger/layed satin stitch/beaded piece by Judy Dixon called Ivory Blush. It is shades of neutral and palest pink. It is the largest piece of hardanger I have ever done. I love it.

  447. The project that has made me very happy Mary, was a patchwork quilt I made for my grandson years ago. I copied the illustrations from the storybook The Bremen Musicians and was surprised and overwhelmed when having published the quilt on my blog, the illustrator Petra Steinmeyer contacted me to congratulate me and tell me how much she liked the quilt.

  448. My all time favorite projects were those denim shirts I was embroidering back in college (remember the 60’s?). There was this fabulous parrot…

  449. What a lovely magazine, and yes, the turtle is charming. It’s the big, soulful eyes, I think.

    The project that made me happiest upon completion was the Surface embroidery and goldwork gospel cover that took me ten years, off and on to complete. It was fun designing the knotwork and the symbols in the illuminated capital letter of “Verbum Dei,” it was a challenge doing fine detail work on raw silk, and the results were nearly exactly what I’d envisioned. I kept telling people it would be ready by Easter. I just never said *which* Easter.

  450. After setting aside cross stitch for decorative painting some 30 years ago, your tea towels drew me back to stitching. I found you when researching how to start the crewel work for a bunad (that I’m still too scared to start!) and have learned so much just from your newsletters. I at first lamented that stitches weren’t identified in the birds and flowers set but you suggested I just have fun. That means I’ve had to dig and delve to make my own decisions and it’s been a very fun journey! Color theory is my passion so the stitches themselves have become my quest. I’m learning soooo much and having fun all along the way so this has to be my favorite project. BTW, your stitch videos are the very BEST on the web. I should know because I’ve watched hundreds from various teachers! This adorable turtle would be another fantastic voyage! Fingers crossed!

  451. I think my favorite finished piece is now “Autumn Kaleidoscope” by Lorene Salt – for several reasons. The first time I saw a pic of it I was totally drawn by the colors and design. It took a year and I finally succeeded in getting it voted as my local ANG guild’s Yearlong Project so I was able to be in on a class. Stitching it was a delight. The framer and his wife were really great and came up with a perfect framing. Then I was able to meet up with Lorene when she was in Calif. so that made it even more special. Lastly, just before Covid struck, the ANG guild has our biyearly Stitcher’s Showcase and it was chosen YLP for the past 2 showcase entries.
    The world was put on “lockdown” the following day and that was the end of this year’s show. But I am so thrilled to have it hanging on my wall with a gorgeous peace ribbon – which matches perfectly !

  452. To date I had the most satisfaction completing an embroidery of a pair of chickadees. I framed it and gifted it to my grandmother who taught me to embroider.

  453. Boy, this is a tough question, having dabbled in all sorts of needlework! I think I’d have to say, in the holiday spirit, Hardanger ornaments – they came out pretty well, considering, lol. I love looking at all things whitework, and hope to someday master more techniques.

    As an aside, everything in Inspirations is always amazing. The turtle grabs my heart as well, even though it would be a monumental challenge…and I love all things William Morris….sure hope I’m a winner!

    Merry Christmas!

  454. My favorite embroidery project to date has been an angel doll for the top of the Christmas tree. Her dress had embroidered gold borders all the way down and it was also from Inspirations magazine! Thank you for the chance to win !

  455. Beading embroidery gives me the most happiness. The turtle, Jewel by the Sea project would give me a great deal of happiness!

  456. This is exciting! I always love the projects that I am currently working on, but one project does bring up happy memories. It was a memory journal filled with pages of handwork from a class I had taken with Gloria McKinnon of Anne’s Glory Box (Australia). She was in Alabama teaching her techniques for surface embellishment and fine hand stitching. The moment that I realized that I was not supposed to copy her work exactly, but use the techniques to create my own piece, I felt wonderful! I realized that I was free to do my own thing….

  457. When I first met my now-husband 43 years ago, I sewed him a chambray shirt with front-and-back yokes. On the yokes, I hand-embroidered motifs that I designed which reflected things we had done or seen during our first year together. Keep in mind, this was in the late 70s! He was amazed, and we still have that shirt.

  458. The embroidery project that made me the happiest recently was a pair of stamped pillow cases that I bought at an estate sale. It reminded me of the pillow cases that my Grandmother taught me to embroider. I also learned how to crochet the edging with this project.

  459. The project that made me the happiest when I completed it was a large floral needlepainting project. It was a pattern from one of Trish Burr’s books and I wasn’t in love with the colors for the project. I changed the color scheme as I went along. To my surprise I came up with a color scheme that I absolutely loved and would use again. The project turned out so well that I was extremely happy that I decided to take a risk and change the colors!

  460. To date, my best project was done over 30 years ago. That probably sounds pathetic to all of your dedicated and accomplished stitching readers! In my defense, 6 children and a very intense and fulfilling career (along with some tragedy) have intervened.
    The project was a large crewel sampler done as a “Tree of Life”. I loved all the cute little critters, varied leaves & flowers, all done in a variety of stitches for more fun textures. The colors were bright and fun on a medium brown tree trunk.
    I finished it right after the birth of my first child. Gave it to my Grandmother who taught me some basic stitches and gave me her hoop. She displayed in her living room. My Mom had it on her study/sewing room or bedroom wall. I have it now, in my guest room.
    Thank you for the opportunity to win the wonderful *Inspirations* book! The turtle is indeed soooo appealing! I hope he is sturdy enough for a little handling; I can see everyone wanting to pick him up!
    Take care, dear Ms Mary Corbet, and thank *YOU* for all of your inspiration!

  461. The project that I was happiest stitching was a crewel flower piece. Simple but substantial. Crewel work is still one of my absolute favorite kinds of embroidery.

  462. I made a picture with my husband, self, and children with a poem about families. Everyone is grown and have their own homes buy I still love the wall hanging. It reminds me of the things that give me the greatest joy. I too am obsessed with the turtle.

  463. I’m currently working on embroidering a koala wearing flower crown onto a baseball cap for my niece. She is obsessed with koalas and it gives me so much joy to make this for her so she can showcase her love for koalas while wearing the hat.

  464. Oh, my goodness. I want that kit. I love Georgina Bellamy’s work. It is a hard question, though, as I’ve done a lot of stitching through the years. I would have to say any of the stumpwork items I have made have given me lots of pleasure. I love texture and I love three dimensional work.

  465. I think the embroidery project that has made me the happiest of late is a small needle case which I made for a friend . She was going through a rough patch of life and needed a lift and a friend. The case has a cute snow birdie playing in the snow and was done in cross stitch on 32 ct hand dyed linen . Cheers!

  466. It’s so difficult to choose just one! But, I’d have to say it’s a piece with 8 dogs and one sassy bird. The dogs are all different colors, and each one has some fun element. Like glasses, or a hat, or a big top knot. It was so much fun to stitch, and I smile every time I look at the completed piece!

  467. My project was the result of a “challenge” put out by our local quilt guild. The theme of the challenge was “16”. I made a quilted, embroidered, and beaded wall hanging consisting of 16 Victorian Crazy Quilted fans. I won a 3rd place ribbon at our local quilt guild quilt show and a 2nd place ribbon from EGA when I entered it for the Bobbi Pilling Award. It hangs in my sewing room where I can see it every day!

  468. The project that was the most fun to stitch – and that I am still so pleased to have completed – is a reproduction sampler by The Essamplaire called Anne Maria Clarke 1824. Anne Maria completed her sampler as a tribute to a visit to the United States by the Marquis de Lafayette. It contains what felt like 10,000 queen stitches in a beautiful border and has a charming hunt scene in front of a lovely house. I was actually able to view the original sampler, and to locate and visit Anne Maria’s grave, during a trip to Richmond, Virginia, several years ago.

  469. I loving working on my Tree of Life project. Love the colors, the threads and the many techniques. Not sure when I’ll finish it but I sure do love it!!

  470. I haven’t done any embroider since I was a teen/young adult, so I can’t remember which project gave me the most pride when I was done. I do remember doing a set of 6 hanging plants that were also 3D. I gave them to my mother and really enjoyed seeing them displayed on the staircase wall. I know they were always one of her favorites.

  471. In answer to your question Mary as to what project I finished that made me the happiest was a sweet Christmas Santa lap quilt! The quilt was beautiful’ bright and cheerful…. I can picture it now Santa in his bright red suit reading and checking his long list twice (I embroidered my niece’ name at the top of his list!), colorful toys in every imaginable color surrounding him, his light brown sack overflowing with gifts . I had bought it as a kit and swapped out the embroidery floss for DMC floss as well as changing the background fabric for a nice bright white quilting cotton and stitched a red binding around it. When finished in all its’ glorious Christmassy colors I found it extremely difficult to gift it to my niece however she still treasures it five years later. One of the most rewarding aspects of this little lap quilt was that I was able to choose a wide variety of colors that would appeal to a young girl. I really enjoyed that project even though it took me many many hours to complete!
    Thank you Mary

  472. I just want to squeeze that sweet little turtle! Amazing work. I made a quilt for my 87 year old Mom and she loved it. It had pieced blocks, a couple cross stitch blocks but then I adapted a couple BirdBrain Design embroideries into blocks. One is a Farm and the other a Modern House. I put her maiden name on the farm because she grew up on a farm in Ky and I put her married name on the modern house. I used stem stitch (my favorite for outlining) with some lazy daisy and satin. I also did my first Monogram letter with padded satin stitch which turned out pretty nice. It has the large N and then I finished her name with stem stitch. She really loved the entire quilt but I think she keeps looking at that farm block the most.

  473. I stitched a big project entitled Round the World in 80 stitches. It portrays special stitches from each country all over the world. There were 80 specialist stitches and with all the ppopular stitches added totalled to about 140 different stitches. It took me about 3 years to work as I had other projects on the go. It was such an achievement, I still get excited about it.
    I’m dying to get my hands on that new book and wish that gorgeous turtle would swim in my direction.

  474. Projects for my family bring the greatest joy; sets of tea towels – Fall apple scenes for my daughters, Snow families for my niece/godchild, Thanksgiving wheat and cornucopias for my sister, Kid-sized unicorn and llama for my grand-nephew; a Sweater embellished with flowers and monogram for my new grand-niece!

  475. The project that made me the happiest was when I stitched my wedding sampler for when my husband and I married. It was circular and turned out beautiful in a round frame.

  476. I think my favorite project was Tony Mineri’s Florentine Alphabet. I did the F, of course. It was a challenge with the silk and metals but I loved the way it turned out. My framer made it look phenomenal!

  477. You ask what project made me the happiest. The one I enjoyed finishing the most, is a counted cross stitch kit from Dimensions Gold Collection that I began in 2000. It is an image of a geisha called “Elegance of the Orient”. I had never done a cross stitch project before and had no idea that this 12″x18″ project would take so long to complete! I worked on it sporadically over the first few years, but then dropped it for a decade. However, I can never leave something unfinished, so retirement finally gave me the chance to get back to it and I finished it this year. Hurray! Now for the project that I enjoyed working on the most: I loved my re-acquaintance with needlework so much that I took a beginner’s embroidery course and have just finished a cushion cover featuring 20 or so house plants (my daughter is a very keen gardener!). I enjoyed the freedom to use my own designs and a variety of stitches, but I found that the small size of each plant restricted what I could do in terms of different stitches and shading, so the projects in “A Passion for Needlework” attract me greatly. Yes, they are probably way beyond my skill level right now (I really need to master long and short stitch), but I enjoy a challenge, even if it takes me a long time to complete!

  478. I made a crazy quilt pillow top from silk necktie pieces and had so much fun doing all the embroidery with different stitches and embellishments.
    CB (cl crs)

  479. Becky Y
    Agnus Dei fished this year from Modern Folk Embroidery. The largest piece I’ve ever done!

  480. My happiest project was making the baby dress for my newest niece this past August. She will have to grow in to it but it has her name and is a replica of the dress that I made for her mom when she was born. It is so wonderful to have happy traditions live on. Abby Roane

  481. I love all things thread and needle and beads! This Turtle is so gorgeous. I completed “Wonderland Woods” by Michelle May and Jules Woolford. It is a Wool Felt panel project that I put my own creativity into the stitching of the elements. I gifted it to my daughter who loves animals. Thank you very much for this opportunity to win something so wonderful. Blessings…

  482. My most favorite project was a counted cross stitch medieval lady with a hound dog. It was a large project worked on 18 count light blue linen. The color chart was delightful with the gentle shading and light use of gold.

    Thank You again for the opportunity. That pear would be my first project from this book.

  483. I think my most favorite chart to do was a Jacobean pattern. The stitching brought me a lot of joy as I was stitching it for my husband’s grandparents. They were so delighted that it hung in every house they lived in.

  484. My happiest project to date is an embroidered scene “the earth has music for those who listen”. It was a kit, I had it framed and it’s in my living room. I did one piece of needlework during my college-degree years and this one is my masters degree project! 😉

  485. My most challenging and prized needlework is Jennie Adin Christie’s “Passiflora” that i Purchased as a kit when in Europe. Her instructions were so detailed and clear that i felt as if she was looking over my shoulder and helping me out. Being talented is one thing, being able to pass on one’s talent in clear Instructions is another thing.

  486. This year I finished a piece of fabric art I call “Pandemic’s End” which has an array of fireworks in the sky, tall colorful buildings along a sidewalk with trees, and five figures of all colors dancing across the front of the buildings. I’m very pleased with the piece and I won first prize in the fiber category at the Monroe-Walton Center for the Art’s juried show in October.

  487. Stumpwork Mistletoe! also from Inspirations:) It was my first experience working with stumpwork, and it was fascinating to turn 2-dimentional elements into a 3-dimensional form. I also love green, and nature. The mistletoe is now hanging in the entryway of my home in anticipation of Christmas! (I may even leave it up year-round!)

  488. Greetings from . I need inspiration! I have been experiencing a hiatus from needlework, and berate myself daily for it, there’s no real reason for it, and I really want/need to resume my craft! Perhaps a new book from the inspiration people would help!
    My greatest accomplishment to date was the jacobean footstool from inspiration magazine.. doing that pulled me out of a similar slump several years ago.
    Best wishes, and thanks. Amanda

  489. Happy Holiday Greetings Mary,
    I really like today’s question. Which project made me the happiest? Made me think back over 50 years of stitching. Well, I am always happy while embroidering so that is a question without answer. If I am making a gift for someone (which is usually where my work goes), then seeing my work displayed in their space, whether a towel, pillowcase, or wall hanging, really is the moment of truest happiness for me. There is a difference between feeling happy while making a piece and being most proud of one. All my work makes me happy, not all my work makes me most proud. Sometimes a piece helps me to heal. Something personal that only I see as healing. These very personal pieces sit in a box that I open many times through the years. Touching them brings me solace and comfort. I guess Happiness too. Thank you for all you give to us that love Needle N Thread. Peace be with you.

  490. The embroidery project that has made me the happiest while stitching and finished is pillows I stitched for my sisters.
    I stitched child images of the three of us with our perspective hair and eye color. It was so fun thinking of memories of us as I stitched.
    I love giving, so my happiest was when I gave them the pillows. We all shed tears of Joy!!

  491. A few years ago, my granddaughters and I embroidered an advent calendar. We put it up every year and they turn over the numbers to see the tiny embroidered pictures they made. So much fun !
    This year they cannot visit , but we talk on the phone about what they are embroidering for Xmas presents and I drop off needed supplies. I hope we will be embroidering together again soon

  492. My favourite piece so far is a counted thread sampler by Indigo Rose called Brittany’s Quilt. I loved stitching it and now it is framed and hanging on the wall I love it still it makes me so happy to see it every day.

  493. I am always happiest when making something for a friend or family. In the summer my sister was missing her holiday at the beach so I found some linen with seagulls on and embroidered all over it with little beach huts. It was so simple but it cheered her up so every minute was worth it

  494. I am currently working on a needlepoint portrait of my African Grey parrot, Topper. I really love working on this piece partly because it is of my parrot and is based on a pen and ink portrait that was done by a dear friend. The other reason is because I am choosing stitches to use as I go and it is fun to explore the world of stitchcs.

  495. My favorite piece to work on was Bi-r-r-rd Bath, an adaptation of a Charlie Harper design. It features my favorite bird, a Cardinal, and offered many challenges along the way. Love the turtle and would really enjoy the book and kit. Thanks for the opportunity.

  496. A few years ago I stitched a mandala. I didn’t plan it out – I just said this selection of colors makes me happy so I am going to use them. I started in the center and just worked my way out – using what ever color I felt like and what ever stitch I thought would be good in that location of the piece. It was so much fun to just stitch what ever my imagination came up with without having any expectations of what it would look like when it was finished.

  497. I recently rediscovered canvas work. I was blown away by all the intriguing stitches. I did a workshop online with Kurdy Biggs. It is a Christmas ornament on bronze canvas with pearlescent and silk threads, with gold, white and bronze beads. It was sheer joy to work the crescents and other stitches to see how they would turn out. I admit there was some frogging! When the beads were added the ornament came to life! A joy to work on and of course a great learning experience into the world of canvas work.

  498. Just about all my projects make me happy when doing them, but the one that probably stands out is a crewel work pillow I bought as a kit from Grant’s when I was in ninth grade(almost half a century ago). This project was a stretch for my with all the new stitches I had to learn to complete it. I was so proud of myself as I was the only stitcher I knew back then.

  499. The piece that I had th most enjoyment from and love the most is an Assisi piece called “From my Kitchen Window.” It is an original piece I sewed for my EGA master craftsman challenge. I never thought I could design my own work but that one just came from somewhere and I’m proud of it.

  500. What project makes me happy when stitching/finishing it? Christmas ornaments that I make for my daughters. I try to make an ornament a year for my daughters – and I confess that I am a bit behind. But each year, it’s fun to see they put their ornaments on their tree and ask what I am stitching for them this year! Really warms my heart.

  501. The project that has given me the most joy was one that I designed from start to finish and used lots of new stitches while making. It was inspired by one of the Needlenthread blogs about embroidering text. I used a Dorothy Parker quote, one about martinis that may not be repeated in mixed company. 😉 The text was embellished with a border and the capitals had bullion stitch flowers. These gave me fits, but were beautiful in the end. I used an even count white linen as my canvas with pearl cotton vibrant colors – royal blue, orange, and pink. I had never used pearl cotton before and I was delighted with the results. This project made me realize, I could create my own patterns!

  502. My very favorite embroidery was a stitch along that occurred at the beginning of the pandemic, and many designers were involved. It was called Love and Hugs from Australia.

  503. I just began embroidering this year so I only have two small pieces finished, but the one that made me happiest was a cross-stitched monogram from an antique Sajou pattern. I am using it to embellish a photo album I have started for my brand new granddaughter.

    This precious little turtle would be an amazing heirloom to pass down to her.

  504. The project I was most happy and motivated by as I embroidered it to its final completion and was the “Cauliflower” pincushion pattern from Inspirations Magazine I finished in 2020 during lockdown. It offered me several challenges to create a 3-D stump work piece using flat, wired embroidered leaves surrounding numerous little stitched white french knot tuffets. As I stitched the various elements together I was overjoyed by how real and beautiful my cauliflower pin cushion was. Every step in making this project was so rewarding.

  505. I adore that turtle! LOL. My project that made me the happiest while working on it is the one I’m working on right now. It’s the M.A.P. project from Ink Circles, where it’s a choose your own adventure type of chart and you roll dice and flip coins to determine what you’ll put where.

  506. I think I was most thrilled to complete a 3-D piece I gave to my oldest son for a wedding gift. It has a little old man and woman picking apples from an apple tree. I decided that I would use all the fiber techniques I knew. So knitting, crochet, felting, weaving , sewing and clothing design and of course embroidery.

  507. I absolutely loved stitching and finishing Carolyn Standing Webb’s “Miss Hannah’s House”. The stitcher’s toys are cleverly designed and fun to make. I pretend that the two girls going into the house are my daughters (now 10 and 12). They like seeing themselves in counted work. 🙂

  508. My favorite stitchery/ embroidery project so far has been a “seasonal” crazy quilt with wool applique and embellishments. It was so much fun!

  509. Hello. I designed an Arts and Crafts pair of runners to cross on a table, just a simple line border done in teal satin stitch on linen to match a set of dishes. This project took forever but was so satisfying. I think I like big projects that take a long time. Thanks for the opportunity to win this great prize.

  510. My embroidery journey is very new, only for about two years and my life has not allowed me to spend a tremendous amount of time, but the one project that was my favorite and most special, was embroidering the Leafy Tree project. I did it as a gift for my 87 year old mother. She loves leaves and in all of the years she and my dad were married, he would give her pretty leaves that he found! After his death, she would often have pretty leaves blow onto the back patio, from trees that didn’t seem to be in the area. She felt they were sent to her from Dad. So when it was announced that the Leafy Tree was going to be in kits, I was so excited. I purchased it immediately, but it took me 9 months to complete. Once it was done and I sent it to her, she cried, she loved it so much! I embroidered her and Daddy’s names and the date of their wedding on the bottom and framed it in a round wooden frame. I learned so much. It was the most difficult embroidery I had done up until then (and so tiny) but every stitch was done with love for a very special Mom!

  511. I actually have 2 very special embroidery quilts I have made. I received 2nd place on both quilts at Road to California. One was a blue and white quilt with 8 mandala blocks embroidered. The other was an alphabet quilt that I stitched in all silk threads, cords and ribbon.

  512. Fairly recently a women my husband worked with gave me several boxes of needlework supplies because she was unable to stitch any longer due to ill health. In those supplies, I discovered a set of pillowcases that had been started by her mother; the daughter tried to finish them but was unable to do so. Unbeknownst to her, I finished the pillowcases and returned them to her. I enjoyed every stitch of that project.

  513. A few years ago I quit a career that made me miserable for two decades. I took a year off and one of the first things I did was reconnect with my love of embroidery with a beautiful dragonfly and flowers project. I loved every minute of it!

  514. The project I enjoyed most was a table runner I embroidered with big circles like bubbles with concentric rings, a gift for a friend. I designed it and was very happy it turned out all right.

  515. The project that I Just completed, my journey, is embellishing my sisters quilt projects. It was 12, hoop art wool appliqué designs, that I embellished with embroidery. Current project is embellishing , a whole cloth panel, using metallic threads and possibly incorporating Dorset buttons too.

  516. I remember being sublimely happy as a child sitting outside in beautiful summer weather doing my first embroidery which was huckweaving on a hand-towel. It was the beginning of my embroidery journey.

  517. Describe the project that, up to this point in your embroidery journey, has made you the happiest while you were stitching it or when you finished it.

    Due to covid I haven’t seen most of my family in person, but we are able to chat periodically via group zoom. I have a simple embroidery piece that I only work on during those calls, and it makes me happy every time I see it. It’s not my best work, since I’m not focusing my complete attention on the stitches, but it does have nice memories being associated with it.

  518. Hello,

    I love love love the turtle!! It would be quite a challenge for me as I’m only a beginner mostly doing sashiko stitches. I want to try one of your projects with hoop filled with flowers…so beautiful

  519. The stitching sampler that made me so happy was made many years ago. The sampler was made to celebrate my sister’s wedding and the saying on it was just so perfect for her and her husband I still can’t believe it. To this day we still laugh about it and it hangs lovingly on her wall.

  520. Hello,

    the turtle would be quite a challenge for me as I’m only a beginner mostly doing sashiko stitches. I want to try one of your projects with hoop filled with flowers…so beautiful

  521. There are a few I am proud of, but I have to say it was my RSN Goldwork project. It turned out pretty well, but the reason it was the most satisfying is because it was my first big attempt at Goldwork and encompassed all aspects of the skill; padding, chip work, couching and mounting. I really felt a sense of having accomplished something that was beautiful.

  522. The project that made me the happiest was a crewel Sunset Designs kit from the late 70’s. The piece depicted a rattan reading chair, plus a book and a cup of coffee and a hanging plant and it looked like the perfect life to this young college student. I still have it, although time has worn some of the threads.

  523. One of my favorites was a cross stitch that I did for a friend of mine who was moving far away. It was a collaboration between two designers–Heartstring Samplery and Plum Street Samplers–called Sewn in Friendship. The verse read “a token for my friend, from my heart to your hand”. That really said it all.

  524. The Turtle is wonderful and also very sweet, I would love to make him. I really like gold work and my chipping box is ready to go to work. Bunny S

  525. Hello,

    When I was in high school and my sister, ten years younger, was entering kindergarten I made many of her dresses. I made simple a-line dresses and dressed them up with appliques and embroidery. I’ve not done much sense but I want to try one of your projects with hoop filled with flowers…so beautiful

  526. most pleased with the outfit I wore to my son’s wedding….the bride’s mother, aunt and grandmother were all wearing bugle beaded tops..all very elegant. I just had to be different and chose silk shantung and silk chiffon which I dyed a soft peach. I made long palazzo pants, a stylish vets and embroidered silk flowers across the back, plus a longer stylish jacket, even embroidered buttons for the vest. LOT of compliments and I felt amazing

  527. I did a printed sample that took 10 years off and on. Started in junior high or maybe high school. Early work has mistakes. I left them in to show how I had progressed.

  528. I learned Brazilian embroidery from my aunt in Japan when I was a teenager. I worked on an elaborate woman in a hoop skirt that I gifted to my pastor’s wife. I never completed another project since that time. I am now in my sixties and have developed my sewing and knitting skills but miss the handwork of embroidery. I’m still learning new skills and look forward to completing another embroidery project before I turn seventy!

  529. Hmmm… I think my favorite project is the one I am working on right now. I stitch holiday cards for all my loved ones. It’s fun, they are quick, they use up bits and bobs from my stash, and I feel like it’s a way to share my love of embroidery with people without risking them feel like I’ve saddled them with an heirloom white elephant.

  530. My favorite project so far has been stitching a miniature version of W. Morris’s “Strawberry Thief” for my dollhouse. I used DMC Medici wool, and I love the look it gave the project. I made it into a cushion to go on a footstool. In your review of the Inspirations book a few emails ago I saw the beautiful project featuring the Strawberry Thief! I would love to win the book!

  531. This is an easy one for me! I love tiny detail work and I made a wall hanging of a bookshelf and embroidered the names of the books, a lizard and a stuffed teddy bear. It’s the only wall hanging I have done and it still brings me some much joy. Ps I want that turtle! 🙂

  532. The project that made me the happiest was the first needlepoint that I myself totally designed and the first piece I entered in the American Needlepoint Guild’s annual seminar. The piece won an Honorable Mention ribbon. The seminar was held in Washington , DC and was entitled “Stars, stripes and stitches”. My piece had 13 stripes, 50 hearts instead of stars on a blue ground and said “Love Trumps Hate”.

  533. The project I’m most proud of and which gave me memories, tears and happiness when I was stitching it, is the Sampler I created in memory of my late dad, he died in 1995, but this sampler shows who he was through his life time. Every time I see it, it brings him closer to me.

  534. I have made 2 embroidered neck pieces that include beaded elements that I wear with pride.

  535. I have almost finished appliqueing and stitching Cheswick Company’s Christmas stocking #6, “And to All a Good Night.” It’s been one of my favourite stitching projects, and because I am giving it to my tiny niece, it is even more enjoyable. The little animal creatures are adorable.

  536. I was very gratified when I finished embroidering a set of pillows using French knots. This is one stitch I have learned to love, and the result of my pillows showed it! Making lots and lots of French Knots I was in a happy place, and was actually sad to finish. Guess I need to find some more projects to do using this stitch. I used to stitch during coffee breaks at work, that was fun also because a group of us would sit together and use 15 minutes to crank out whatever projects we were working on. I remember learning the proper way to do French Knots from those gals and also to enjoy them as well!

  537. What a difficult question! Will your next one be “which of your children/pets is your favorite?” It’s hard to say, because to a certain extent , the project I’m currently working on is my favorite (not to mention that I currently have at least 10 UFOs!). However, I walked through my house looking at the various items hanging on the walls, and I realized that my favorite is a piece called “Hello, Cutie!” designed by Sylvia Muraru. It depicts a hedgehog standing on a stump offering a handful of blue flowers to a snail, who sits on a red mushroom with white spots. The hedgehog is slightly stuffed to round it out, and in a wonderful pun, the stump is also padded (i.e., the stump is worked in stumpwork). This piece always makes me smile when I see it, and also started me on a search for needlework pieces with hedgehogs in them. Hedgehogs seem to be in this year, so I have quite a collection of kits with hedgehogs to work on. Unfortunately, the piece also makes me a little sad, because Sylvia died of cancer a few years ago–hard for those who knew her to comprehend, because she always seemed so energetic and full of life!

  538. Oddly enough, I am generally ‘over’ my projects well before I finish them, and already planning my next project. I think I find them all challenging in at least 1 aspect or more, and struggle with the challenge which I don’t necessarily enjoy, although so plan a different challenge in the next project instead.

  539. The embroidery project I enjoyed the most was my first ever attempt at my own design- which was a brightly coloured patterned mouse! I was pretty scared about taking the leap from a kit to my own design when I wasn’t that confident on stitches either . . . But despite the many flaws I can see in it, it made me happiest and I’m glad I attempted it ☺️.

  540. I most enjoyed making my daughters ring bearer pillow . I designed it and got to use silk ribbons, pearls, antique family buttons, crystals. My daughter loved it so much that she keeps it in her China hutch even now 14 years later.

  541. I have just completed a project called Bluebell Wood (Laurelin) and it was a challenge with the shading, and use of multiple needles at the same time. It gave me a lot of freedom, or choice, in the individual stitches, and I am very proud of my finish. I am trying to do projects that challenge me a bit more now.

  542. The project that I have enjoyed the most was an online course I took through the Embroiderers’ Association of Canada. The course was Design for Embroidery which required me to create designs and stitch them out. I really enjoyed all the work that was required. A great distraction for this year.
    I would love to stitch the turtle. I have been eyeing it but it was out of stock.
    Thanks, Mary.

  543. Being new to embroidery I keep buying books to help me. But this pattern was a pumpkin, I has sewed almost three quarters when I decided I really didn’t like it. Help I didn’t know how to do it. I ripped all the stitching out, tried again and it came out beautiful (almost). This was my greatest achievement, having the patience to redo it and like it. So yes I would love the opportunity to try that beautiful turtle. Thank you. Lane

  544. The happiest stitching piece also brings some sadness.
    My mother and I started a Celtic Christmas cross stitch together a year or so before she passed away. It’s a huge piece with tiny stitches, beads, metallic threads and we only stitched about an eighth of it together. Now I am finishing it with my granddaughter. We are about half way done.

  545. My favorite piece of needlework is a pair of goldwork frogs on a lily pad featured in Inspirations magazine. It was my first goldwork project–I loved working on it and I am now hooked on goldwork! I hope to win–I love this little guy and would love to add him to the collection! Thanks for the opportunity!

  546. A very big Merry Christmas sampler in vintage colors. Fireplace, wreath, teddybears, pram , ornaments in muted vintage colors limited colors and took near 3 years to finish. It hangs above my dining room table year-round. Looking at it gives me a happy feeling. Was also my last big stitching piece. I got OA early so with arthritis is only small things.Love beaded embroidery made a small quilt fabric cracker and on a day with good light add seedbeads.

  547. What a prize indeed! Thank you Mary and Inspirations Studios. The first thing that comes to mind that made me happiest while stitching it is a Kaffe Fassett needlepoint pillow of autumn leaves. It was huge, not at all challenging, but the juxtaposition of the softly colored wools was peaceful and lovely.

  548. So far my favourite embroidery project has to be the first one I ever did – a stitchalong of a gorgeous flower with leaves. The creator did a fabulous job of incorporating all kinds of stitches, without making it too much for a beginner. Every step that I did, I was thrilled with what I accomplished, and the result has pride of place on my mantel!

    I have to say, I nearly *swooned* when I saw that gorgeous turtle – I would absolutely feel like I won the lottery if I won the kit to make it!

  549. My best piece of work was created for an Embroider’s Guild Challenge entitled “Yesterday when I was young”. I created a replica of a threpenny piece from my childhood. It is worked on silvery grey silk with a matching silvery grey DMC thread for the embroidery. It involved lots of padded satin stitch, trailing and patience. When I first got the idea I had no clue as to how I would accomplish it but once I got started it just seemed to come together by itself. It was well received by my contemporaries when it came time to display our entries in the challenge and has received high praise from some very accomplished embroiderers.

  550. The happiest project was my first gold work project, a heart. I made it as a box topper. It was so much fun discovering a new medium, working w all the new kinds of metals. I was going to give it away, but just couldn’t, I fell so in love w it. Just like you, I am in love w the turtle too.
    He may be in my future.

  551. My dearest projet yet is a goldwork embroidery piece I did for my sister last Christmas. It is a christmas decoration and I was able to incorporate one of my mother’s earring in it . I was inspired to do something with her jewellery.

  552. The project(s) I had the most fun doing were the felt stocking kits I made for my grandchildren. They are not in any way close to be an opus project but they were loads of fun and everything I needed to finish them was there. I did change out the glue for a better one though.

  553. My project that made me the happiest is a piece with musical notes and clef signs and the saying: “The gift of music is a gift from God”.

  554. I have loved carousel horses since I was a little girl. Currently I’m stitching a carousel and working on it makes me so happy.

  555. The project that has made me the happiest, both while designing and stitching it and now that it’s nearly finished is the Cabinet of Curiousities from Thistle Threads. For decades, I’d lusted after 18th century caskets in British museums. I just leapt at the chance to make my own. My design looks traditional but isn’t. It’s just things I like, things from my life, and things representing my friends, all done in a traditional way. I’ve used surface and raised embroidery; stumpwork; goldwork; needle lace; bobbin lace; etc, etc. It’s been a real stretch for me and I keep looking at it and saying “I can’t believe I did that!”

  556. It was very satisfying to personalize some Christmas card designs by rearranging the design positions to make room for messages. I also loved the response from a 7 yr old niece when she received a Halloween design bag that included her name.

  557. I did nine blocks of wool on wool with a lot of embroidery stitches I had never used before thanks to your web site. Thank you.

  558. The project that made me so happy (when I finished it!) and is the most meaningful to me is the Houses of Hawk Run Hollow piece by Carriage House Samplings. I personalized it by adding the month and year, street address and state for the house where I first lived, the house where my late husband first lived, our childhood homes, our married apartments and houses, etc. I carried this and worked on in when he was very ill (and passed away in 2017); he always loved whatever I was stitching on and knew I was ok if I was stitching. I finished it, had it framed and it’s in the family room. So very special. (And I’m working on the Villages piece now so each daughter can have one!)

  559. I stitched the “No Name Chicken “this year. Made a pillow out of it. It was by far the hardest piece that I have stitched. Very rewarding but a challenge.

  560. I absolutely love the turtle! If I don’t win I will have to pursue other means to get the pattern! Hard to say my favorite embroidery item. What I have really enjoyed working on has been ring bearer pillows for girls in our family.

  561. The project that I have been happiest working on has been the needlework piece called “Abalone” by Linda Lachance at Northern Pine Designs. It’s a canvas work piece that uses a variety of specialty fibers and stitches. It is also embellished with beadwork and finished off by a beautiful abalone shell in the center of the piece. Watching it come to life as the work progressed was wonderful.

  562. Thanks for this opportunity!
    I have been so uninspired during the Pandemic, but I really like Inspirations Magazine. I don’t have a subscription, as it’s not in my current budget. I’m hoping that having some of the Magazine’s patterns will give me inspiration to go back to stitching regularly.

  563. Oh my! Inspirations is a BEAUTIFUL magazine!! I get their newsletter & I spend a LOT of time drooling over their pictures. This would be a loverly win! Thank you, Mary, for these give-aways!

  564. My happiest project was a whale making a rainbow from its blow hole. Worked in beads using Tambour. I copied the image from an online drawing class and finished it in a few weeks. I liked that I could use so many different colour beads together. I love this turtle!

  565. The project that has made me the happiest was a stumpwork frame, such as for a mirror, to hold the document that announced an award given to a dear friend. OK, that is probably as clear as mud! The frame part has embroidered stumpwork strawberries, peapod, pomegranate, borage, pansy, tulip, bee, dragonfly, and a silver peacock. I used Gilt Sylke Twist thread (from Thistle Threads) and beads. Jane Nichols’ books on stumpwork was my inspiration. It is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever made, and like most of my embroidery, it is gifted to a friend I love!

  566. Although primarily a canvas worker, one of my most satisfying projects during the past 30-40 years was a collar taken in a class by the great Mary Fry. The collar was stitched on a counted fabric, but butterflies were stitched in crewel. When completed, Mary gave me an “A+”… I felt like I’d been rewarded with a knighting!! Over the years, I’ve stitched with MANY different teachers and learned so much. “Inspirations” is such an actual inspirations and I look forward to the regular emails from them. Some projects and techniques are “not my thing”, but I never tire of reading about them and learning.

  567. That turtle is exquisite! For me I think the project I enjoyed most is a hoop I finished recently – it was part of art prompt challenge and I added to it everyday to build up a story

  568. I have recently finished a cross stitch project. The graph is from a picture of a Japanese maple in my yard that I grew from seed. I used an online graph program and got the chart using 72 colors. The shading in the picture was so much fun to work. You could see the tree coming to life. To date this has been on of my favorite projects

  569. Some 15 years ago I took some courses on thread painting landscapes and I have done many landscapes since. I really enjoy taking my own photos and then creating my own design for the landscape. Ana-Maria

  570. I have enjoyed so many projects but one that kind of sticks out is the needlepoint Chris’s stocking for my eldest niece. There was do much happiness for her addition to the family, she was the first girl, the second of her generation in our family. (my mom made the stocking for the first grandson) it was a Santa with a selection of forest animals from a kit but I did my own thing too. I used turkey stitch and cut the threads to make a pompom of the bunny trail, added kreinik threads to the floss to add shimmer go the snow, used beads for the berries on the bushes, used Ultrasuede for Santa’s boots and so on. Even though I started with a commercial kit I felt very pleased that the results are special for this special little girl, now a young woman. I enlarged around the edges of the design to make the size more generous. I finished it myself and was pleased how that came out as well using upholstery fabric for the backing and silk for the lining, handsewing close along the gimp and canvas edges so that there were no gaps. It was very fun to do and her parents were pleased when I gave it to them in time for her first Christmas. She is a January baby thank goodness. I sewed real jingle bells on over the stitched ones as the final touch.

  571. I think the project that made me happiest is probably always the one I’ve most recently finished. In this case it was a crazy quilt block for myself.

  572. I’ve done a lot of different types of needlework, but recently, I’ve been working my way through Trish Burr’s ‘Whitework with Colour’ book and have completed 5 projects in it. The third project I completed was a small owl that included both whitework and crewel stitches and I just absolutely LOVE him! While he wasn’t the most complicated project I’ve completed, I loved the different textures, the variety of stitches and the colors chosen. Plus, he’s just absolutely adorable! He’s just the trifecta of stitching happiness.

  573. The project that has made me happiest is an Elizabethan garden sampler with more than 50 different counted stitches, some of which were very challenging – it was a happy day when finished (and it looks beautiful so the happiness continues!).

  574. My joy was finishing a sampler by Just Nan and seeing it framed . It is up in my craft room to give me inspiration.

  575. Love Inspiration and their newsletter!
    That is where I first saw the Partridge in a Pear Tree by Trisha Burr, fell in love with it and made a pin.

  576. My most treasured embroidery piece is a table runner I purchased some 50 years ago when I visited Scandinavia. I bought an Eva Rosenstand kit in Denmark
    and stitched away on each train ride throughout my two month journey. It was a bit challenging as I only spoke English and the written instructions were all in Danish! There were, however, some great illustrations and diagrams. Also, every time someone came on the train who spoke English and could read Danish I asked for help. It was a fun way to meet people. To this day I place it on my dining room table every Christmas with such fond memories. It was the beginning of my love of embroidery.

  577. Over the years I have done a lot of embroidery. The pieces that give me the most joy are the silk gauze samplers that I have done. There is so much detail and the motifs are usually Quaker in style. I always felt that they deserved a special spot in my home as they bring such a feeling of accomplishment.


  578. I loved working on The Proper Stitch Sampler from the book “The Proper Stitch” by Darlene O”Steen. I learned so much, the instructions are wonderful, and best of all, I worked on it with several stitching friends who also love samplers.

  579. My most happiest project was Hidden Delights, a Schwalm runner, that just flowed out and, even when finished, I still loved the bird sitting in the heart amongst flowers.

  580. I made a running cross stitch pattern with dark blue thread, on yellow cloth, to make into a dining tablecloth. I made that entirely on my own, it took a lot of time but at the end I was so proud of it because the effect of blue on yellow, and the pattern itself, was really beautiful!

  581. My favorite was a picture my sister gave me to embroider of a bouquet of violets, it reminded of my grandmother she always had violets in her yard.

  582. I’m primarily a quilter, but I love to hand embellish pieced quilts with thread and beads and whatever can be affixed on the surface. But I’m not a crazy piecer—I just borrow their embellishment techniques. My favorite project was a Delectable Mountains wall quilt where each block had different stitches, beads, and themes, mostly along the pieced edges but sometimes in the open areas around the block. I worked my way through Judith Baker Montana’s book Elegant Stitches to learn more stitches and stitch combos. Along the way I adapted the stitches so they quilted the quilt without making a mess of the back. It was so much fun to let go and just enjoy the inventive process.

  583. I was very, very blessed, and was able to take a class with Jenny Adin-Christie to make the Wordsworth harp. As a retired English teacher and an avid embroiderer, I was in Heaven! Learning is always fun, I am blessed.

  584. Oh, my word! I LOVE THAT TURTLE!!!

    I am very, very new to embroidery. I just finished a little art quilt I donated for a fundraiser for our local library. It was a sea scene, and I added random bits of running stitches in different blues into the “waves.” Simple running stitches elevated the project to a whole new level and I was thrilled with how the piece turned out.

  585. My very favorite piece is of an underwater scene done on a piece of Congress cloth that I marbled and stitched fish and other sea creatures where the marbling design looked like them. I added shells and pearls and had it framed in glass with a bed of sand. When I move the frame the sand sifts-and looks like the water color of the marbling moves the sand❤️

  586. Oh my word! That turtle!!
    The thing I was happiest to finish was the giant full coverage cross stitch picture of the Great A’tuin from Terry Pratchett’s world (if you haven’t read any of his books, give em a try!) for my husband. Took me 5 years, I was working on other things, but he seriously started to haunt me.

  587. I really enjoyed embroidering a portrait of my dog Evie and seeing her come to life stitch by stitch. I’d love to repeat that experience with the gorgeous little Jewel of the Sea designed by the wonderfully creative Georgina Bellamy.

  588. My favorite project has been a series of Christmas cross-stitch stockings that are different room of a house. They were above my skill level when I first began but they brought me great joy and stretched my abilities as I customized each one for my family members.

  589. My biggest accomplishment and favorite embroidery so far is Kathy Schmitz’s Eastmoreland. I love wool and have done a lot of embroidery projects in this category. Would love to win, it is a marvelous prize!

  590. The project that made me the happiest while I was doing it was the cot blanket I made for my granddaughter in Australia. I have only seen her once, when she was about 6 weeks old. A tiny baby, even then she loved being held by everyone. The cot blanket was in Inspirations 97, Sunflowers and Daisies. I had never embroidered on wool flannel before, and it was so rewarding. A beautiful design. It took me ages, but the different flowers and leaves in the design delighted me all the time. I do hope she used it!
    With Covid-19, we have been unable to get to see each other. She is now going on for 3. I hope I see her soon.

  591. Being self taught, it gave me great enjoyment when my friends and children asked me to help with their stitching too. No greater compliment!

  592. A long time ago I did a cross stitch design that looks somewhat like an old fashioned hanky. I loved doing the work and was so happy with the results. It has been hanging on a wall of my home since February of 2005.
    I have finished many other embroideries/cross stitch designs but this one has made me, personally, the happiest.

  593. Hi, The project that has given me the most pleasure, both stitching and finishing was a set of two Celtic Cross Stitch cushions. The first one featured white/blue Celtic dogs and was in a magazine I was given. Part way through stitching this I decided that I wanted some black Celtic cats to go with it. So based on the first design I drafted out another pattern featuring my Celtic cats. When I finished both I was encouraged to enter them in the coming local Embroidery Exhibition.
    I was chuffed when they were accepted, but totally blown away when they won the prize for the Best First Time Exhibitor.

  594. I happened to realize that each of the women I work with have a unique birth month – no repeats! We had each of the 12 months covered! How cool is that. So I just had to stitch a “birth flower” for each of them. Each small project worked up quickly and they made adorable Christmas gifts when finished as hanging sachets. That was a fun project, for sure.

  595. Morning Mary – Not entering the drawing here but just wanted to tell that you could think of the turtle as the best thing since Pet Rocks were born, ours passed away and is buried in the brick wall behind the fireplace. Love to see the DIYer’s face if they ever rip that out. You really need to get a pet turtle that is only going to smile and give you twinkly looks.
    Best wishes for a happy and fruitful season that continues into the coming New Year.

  596. I have two little projects I was doing to teach myself a few things about stitch before beginning my Magnum Opus 🙂 One was a simple stitch exercise that I was doing through Textileartist.org. It was a just a curved grid pattern experimenting with stitch size, colour and thread. I got so swept up that I was so disappointed when I finished it. The other was my own form of stitch sampler. It was a very small piece but I crammed as many techniques into it as I could without losing the overall design. It was a continuous challenge and I loved every minute.

  597. Can I pick two? I was very happy working on Jenny Adin-Christie’s Wordsworth Harp. It’s such a beautiful delicate piece, and so creative. Her detailed instructions are amazing, and I love the gold threads.

    My other happy piece was Thistle Threads Gentleman’s Nightcap, because it held several firsts for me. First time using a slate frame, first time using gilt silk twist etc.

    Love your blog, thank you!

  598. My most cherished piece of hand embroidery (to date) is a free form sampler I worked on periodically over about three years – I carried it around to meetings and such. It was a wool-on-flannel base (the wool shapes were rectangles of various shapes, tiled onto the flannel background) … with whatever embroidery I felt like doing on each rectangle (various threads, stitches, etc; very spontaneous). I have to quilt it now and then I will hang it with pride somewhere I can see it daily.

    🙂 Linda

  599. Hmmmm…..The project that gave me the most joy, and will be hard to top, wasn’t actually a project. It was the first time I made a French knot that actually stayed knotted and on top of the fabric! Because I’d finally learned to put the needle back through the thread NEXT to the hole! I squealed. I cheered. I did a little happy dance. I think I was somewhere in my teens when it happened. Otherwise, I’ve been pretty pleased with some of my Hardanger projects.

  600. That is a tough question to answer, I think it relates to yesterdays answer about wishing I had undertaken the apprenticeship at the RSN I stitched a Silk Shading Tulip for my Certificate in Silk Shading. I started with a photo and recreated the Tulip in DMC and Anchor thread. It is beautiful and even now I am amazed I stitched it. It is a testament to the tutors at the RSN.

  601. I just completed a 4-block crazy quilt wall hanging for my sister. Though it took me forever to finish, my favorite stitching parts were the silk ribbon motifs and seam embellishments I used on each block.


  602. My happiness comes when I embroider something as a gift. To this day I like to embroider tea towels for my loved ones.

  603. I was most happy when I recently completed my first reproduction sampler. The women in my EGA chapter do the most beautiful linen work and being a needlepointer I always aspired to that challenge. Well, I did it, and now my needlepoint has found itself a resting place while I spend time with my new love!

  604. My favourite stitched piece ever is my “Encrustation” depicting with three dimensional stitches and beads my interpretation of the sea bed.

  605. What a wonderful giveaway. I don’t know what this says about me, but my best project is always the next one

  606. Every time I finish a project it seems to be my favorite, until I start the next one. Last week I finished Betsy Morgan’s Swan’s Bower. I took the class from her a couple of years ago. The stitching had been done & sitting all this time. My Sampler Guild had a UFO challenge & I decided that was going to be the project I would finish. But, I even went one step beyond the finish. I am a bead embroiderer so I had to embellish all of the pieces with seed beads. It now sits proudly in my curio cabinet among all my other favorite pieces.

  607. For me the most satisfying embroidery I have done where wreathes of bullon stitches roses and leaves to go with it. I love the three dimension of it!!!!
    I now want to work in Stump work and create an entire world

  608. That’s another tough question. I will have to say a little outfit I made my granddaughter some years ago for her to wear for Easter. It was a smocked dress with a coordinating little wool jacket with bullion bunnies embroidered on it. Design by Gail Doane. I never got to see her in the outfit as they forgot to take a photo. She spit up on it, and they were so panicked about cleaning it that I think she only wore it once. Never fear, when she grew out of it they gave it back to me, so I can admire it whenever I want. (Still, I would have preferred a photo of her in it. 😉 )

  609. This is an easy question for me right now. I have just completed an embroidered tablecloth which was started 57 years ago. The story of it was that a local lady and her mum were clearing the house of her aunt who had gone into a nursing home. They came across the tablecloth and threads and miniature pattern amongst the aunt’s possession. The cloth was a quarter finished. It had been intended as a wedding present for the lady’s mum (the aunts sister) but not finished. The aunt was a nurse and stitched in quiet moments during night shifts. The lady was asking on facebook if people could advise her on where the work could be completed and how much it was likely to cost – she said she saw the look on her mum’s face when they found the cloth and knew she had to find a way for it to be completed. I offered to complete it for her (no charge – I loved the story), and I have been working on it since June this year. I have stitched for 275 hours – it takes around 100 hours per corner, so Auntie would have stitched about 125 hours as well. I finished the cloth last week and the lady is going to surprise her mum with it. She will collect it from me this week. Its been a labour of love and I have spent many an hour thinking of this family, and I think the love and concern that goes with this is somehow incorporated into the piece. I am sure that her mum will be blown away, and the lady herself is very excited. I have sent pictures but she has not yet seen the finished item. She works in the public health sector and consequently has been incredibly busy and stressed with the current pandemic. Bringing a little happiness to this family is so special for me and it has made the working and finishing of this tablecloth an incredible time.

  610. The best thing I have achieved and enjoyed every stitch was kneelers in memoriam for the service men at Deal who were killed in a bombing, I designed the arms of the Royal Marines to be stitched on graph paper, and it was a success.
    Very humbling but very worthwhile.