Today I would like to tell you about a wonderful company I am very lucky to be working with, Serious Readers. They are a British company who make lights for reading and for hobbies. They very kindly sent me their high definition floor standing lamp along with a compact light for me to test out and they also kindly sponsored my latest Youtube video. I have never worked with a company in this way before. I do get approached every now and then but I have always turned down offers because they have never felt like a natural fit for me. However, when Serious Readers got in touch and I learnt about their lights and the sort of company they are, it felt like the perfect fit for me.
The lights are made in the UK and I loved the personal story behind the company. The founder of the company developed the technology to make a light for his mother who had developed sight problems. They use something called Daylight Wavelength technology and I thought this sounded really interesting because I have always found using a daylight lamp essential for my sewing. We have a lot of grey days in the UK! So I actually use a daylight lamp in the daytime as well as night! Therefore I was really interested to test out the lamp to see if I liked it better than ones I had used previously. At one time, I used to use two different daylight lamps at once to try to get enough light on my work!
First of all, I love the look of the lamp, it is really beautifully made and feels high quality. I also love that it came in packaging with only a small amount of plastic, it was clear that this was a conscious effort by the company and I love that. The small, compact lamp even came in its own drawstring bag!
But the big test was the light that it emitted, and I have to say, it has surpassed all of the three other daylight lamps I have tried over the years, made by various other companies. The Serious Readers high definition floor lamp is fantastic. Other lamps I have used in the past emit a very white, almost blue light, which is quite stark and sterile. The high definition light is a much warmer light, and this took me by surprise at first as it didn’t seem like your typical daylight bulb. As soon as I started worked on my sewing, I realised how much better this light was.
It is absolutely true to natural light, it feels like you are working on a bright sunny day and that feels so nice. I found the light to be really relaxing on my eyes and the fact it has a dimmer switch means you can set it at the exact level for the conditions you are working in and this makes it so comfortable to use.
On the brightest setting, it is far brighter than the other lights I have used and I have to say, I absolutely love it and I can’t imagine not sewing with this light, it will certainly be a firm fixture in my sewing room.
A huge thank you to Serious Readers for sending me the lights and sponsoring my video. They are a lovely company to work with. If you would like to find out more about their lights, here is a link to their site and if you were to decide to purchase one, you can use the code EMMA10 and you will get a free compact light too, which means you can have a second place in your house for sewing, that’s what I am using mine for!
In this week's Youtube video, I am sharing some ideas for using those long, thin scraps that can be difficult to use. It's hard to know what to do with them because they aren't the most useful shapes and sizes but hopefully you will find some of these ideas useful. I enjoyed making yarn from them and crocheting some coasters, as well as wrapping my embroidery hoop to make it look pretty. Thank you so much for watching, see you soon!
Aside from sewing, another craft I really love is crochet and I have been doing quite a bit recently. I have a couple of blanket projects in the middle of, but I started a new one too! The pattern is for crochet hexagon blocks and they have flowers in the middle! So right up my street that is for sure. I saw the pattern in a book called Cute and Easy Crochet with Flowers by Nicki Trench, a book I have had for many years. I have a lot of her books and I really like her style. I actually learnt to crochet from one of her early books and I am still working on a project from it to this day! It will all get finished one day I am sure.
I am using a different yarn to what the pattern suggested so it is working up smaller than it should but I don't mind that. I am using Sheepjes Softfun which is cotton and acrylic DK and it's lovely to work with. I think the cold weather we have been experiencing lately has drawn me back to crochet. It's nice to work with something warm and cosy, knowing that it is slowly growing into a lovely blanket. I am using lots of pastel shades which is making think of warmer, brighter days. Do you crochet? I would love to know.
Whilst I love working on my sewing designs and Youtube videos, I have realised over the last few weeks that it is really important for my well being that I still work on projects that are just for fun and not for a pattern or tutorial. When I am working on my own designs, I have to think about how it will translate into a pattern for others to follow. I need to take careful notes to document my process as well as precise measurements and not to mention filming myself sewing. I love doing all of that but it isn't as relaxing as just creating. So it has been really nice to work on some crochet and I have also been working on a new block of the month kit I have subscribed to, but I will show you that next time. I am hoping that if I can get some balance between projects for 'work' and projects for 'fun', I won't get burnt out so quickly and I will keep my mojo going for longer, we will see!
Take care, thank you for reading and happy crafting,
One thing I love is working with scraps, especially if they are tiny! It feels so good to make something useful from fabric that would otherwise be thrown away. I don't actually throw any scraps away anymore. I tend to use scraps in my projects more than new fabric! But in my most recent video on Youtube, I challenged myself to use as many small scraps as I could and this is what I came up with. I hope you enjoy it and I hope you make one too!
Hello! Happy New Year! How are you? I hope you are well. The end of last year did not go to plan for me but the start of this year has been much much better! I have been easing myself into the year, taking it slow and doing lots of dreaming and thinking. There were lots of things I feel I didn't achieve last year so I hope I can do them this year instead. One thing I have learnt throughout this pandemic is that things can quite quickly become out of our control, and that is really difficult to deal with. Whilst I have been planning this year a little bit, I am really going to try to just take a day at a time. Last year I felt like each time I said I was going to release a pattern or make a video, I didn't do it for reasons out of my control. So this year it's just a day at a time for me.
As well as planning and thinking through lots of my ideas for my sewing projects this year, I have actually been working a lot out in my garden. Whilst I was unwell leading up to Christmas (not covid) I did a lot of thinking about what I want my garden to be like this year. Last year we got rid of the dangerously deep pond and overgrown plants that were in one corner of the garden and I began to create the rose garden of my dreams over there. In the other far corner, I want it to be more of a working garden where I can grow cut flowers and vegetables. I have my name down for an allotment because we have some allotments that are just three minutes walking distance away from my back gate. However the waiting list is really long and it could be five years before a plot is available. So hopefully I can create a mini allotment in my garden. My Dad has been helping me to put the base in place for my greenhouse and I am super excited about that. Don't worry, my blog is not going to become gardening focused but you may see bits from time to time if my plans work out. Nature, and flowers in particular, are my main source of inspiration when it comes to my sewing. I can't describe the feeling I get when I see beautiful flowers in the sunshine, it is something that is fundamental to my wellbeing that is for sure. I am hoping that between working on my sewing projects and working out in the garden, I can start to feel more positive during the day whilst my little boy is at school because this is still a transition that I am struggling with if I am honest.
As well as making more sewing videos for Youtube this year, I also want to spend more time writing here. I absolutely love writing, I find it really relaxing and enjoyable and I am so grateful to everyone who stops by to read my blog. So all being well, I hope to write here once a week, even if it's just a short lifestyle piece to show you what I am getting up to. There will of course be the usual tutorials and sewing content, that definitely isn't going anywhere. I have a monthly newsletter that you can sign up for if you would like. I usually share a recap of what I have been doing that month, along with any new things that are happening. The sign up for can be found at the bottom of the home page.
Thank you ever so much. Take care and I hope to see you soon,
When the very lovely Jo Avery asked me to be part of the book tour for her wonderful new book, I was over the moon! I love Jo's work and I also love Crewel embroidery so I was excited to pick a project and get started. Her book is full of colourful, fun designs, it was hard to pick just one thing! I chose to make the Tendrils Pot because I love the variety of stitches involved and it will also be so pretty to have on display when finished.
I love working with Appleton's Crewel Wool. They have a beautiful array of colours and it gives a lovely, fluffy, wooly texture when stitched up. If you've never used it before, it has some bounce to it whilst stitching, so the experience is very different to using embroidery stranded cottons.
I chose to stitch it on Essex linen in the oyster colour. Combining the texture of linen and wool gave the piece a really unique feel. To line the pot and add a contrast, I paired the linen with some Liberty tana lawn in a beautiful turquoise colour with pops of pink.
The only adjustments I made (apart from the colours) was to just make the pot a bit taller that the original. I'm so happy with how it turned out I might make another one!
Modern Crewel Embroidery is an excellent book, great for anyone who enjoys crewel embroidery or is looking to try for the first time. Check out Jo Avery's website here to find out more about her and how to buy the book. I am also giving away a free E book on my Instagram page if you'd like to enter. Thank you so much Jo for inviting me to be part of this book tour and congratulations on another wonderful publication.
Hello! How are you? I hope you are all doing well. I took a really long break over the summer. I always planned to have a big break so that I could spend quality time with my son before he started school in September. I was really struggling with the thought of him starting school, I have enjoyed my time at home with him as a stay at home more than I can express, it really has been the best time of my whole life. Unfortunately we weren't able to do everything we had planned due to him being quite ill but I am so happy to say he is much better now. After he recovered, I pulled my back so badly I couldn't move out of bed! But luckily that has made a quick recovery too! So things haven't gone to plan but that's the way life rolls isn't it. As a result, I didn't actually do any sewing over the summer which is very unlike me. The ups and downs of what we were experiencing just left me without any motivation to pick up a needle and when I feel that way, I just ride it out as I know it won't last forever.
Right now, I am definitely in a better place and I feel ready to carry on. Thank you to everyone who has patiently waited for me to reopen my shop. I have to admit I am still struggling with the huge change that is my son being at school and also my husband being at work. Over the course of the last 18 months or so, we have all spent so much time together due to the pandemic that it now feels incredibly quiet here at home whilst they are out. I know that I must now throw myself into my work, creating videos, patterns and running my shop, and hopefully in no time things will feel normal again and this sad feeling will go. So thank you to all of you who follow along to keep me company, it really helps me to keep going.
Every time I make plans and let people know what I have coming up, something happens to set me back. So I am not going to announce any concrete plans yet. I am still working on the spring flowers mini quilt pattern and I have a mountain of other ideas for things I want to share. September always feels like the start of a new year to me. I think it is because I was a teacher and it is the start of the school year here in the UK. Also, the change in the season as Autumn begins just feels like a natural start to me. January never feels like a fresh beginning as we are always in the midst of winter. It can be so dark and I find that time of year really difficult. So now I feel refreshed and ready to continue and I am excited to connect with you all again.
Over the summer, I did manage to take part in a lovely interview with Karen Brown of the Just Get it Done Quilts Youtube channel. I was so honoured when Karen asked if I would take part in her Karen's Quilt Circle series, she has interviewed some incredible people so I certainly felt the impostor syndrome kick in. Karen is so lovely and quickly put me at ease and I loved talking to her. She has such a wonderful Youtube channel, if you haven't seen it I highly recommend that you check it out, she shares wonderful tutorials, hacks, hints and tips and is such a lovely person. You can find my interview here.
Take care and thank you so much for reading this far. See you soon, happy sewing!
I'm so excited to share my latest video on Youtube, all about how to customise this lovely tray to make it into a portable hand sewing station. I show you how I made this zipped insert using English paper piecing techniques and I take you on a fun journey to a special place too! The great thing is, you can apply the principles of this project to any tray and customise it however you would like! I hope you enjoy the video, thank you for watching!
Today's Youtube video is an attempt to answer a lot of the questions I receive, so I really hope I've managed to do that well! I use both paper and hexiform in my projects and I think both are really great. They have very different properties, paper is stiff and hard, hexiform is soft and lightweight, so it really depends on what you want to create. I use Hexiform for small projects...
I think it is great in sewing cases, pouches and baskets because it holds its shape and adds a nice, soft structure. Another benefit of hexiform is that it is designed to be left inside your project, meaning you don't have to spend time removing it as you would with papers. It isn't reusable though, but papers are. Papers also cost less than hexiform. But using hexiform might mean you don't want to use a layer of wadding. There is lots to think about when it comes to choosing paper or hexiform, but I nearly always choose hexiform for appliqué projects because I love that you don't need to turn the seam allowance over yourself using a method like needle turn. I tend to choose paper mostly when I am making a large quilt project. So what do you think? Take a look at the video and let me know your thoughts and any questions you have. Thank you and happy sewing!
I'm super excited to share that I have been featured again by Be Creative magazine. It was such an unbelievable honour to have my needle book project in this issue and to have a photo of it actually on the cover! I cannot get over this! As well as the instructions for making the needle book, I also wrote a short piece about how I create with an audience in mind. I never imagined in my wildest dreams that my work would be in a magazine, let alone twice! What an honour that I am so so grateful for. Thank you so much Be Creative.
About the Author
My name is Emma and I love all things sewing, especially EPP. My little blog is the place where I document what I'm making. I hope you enjoy reading what I'm up to! All opinions are my own and I only share things that I think you will love. Thank you for taking the time to stop by.