When Helen Philipps invited me to be part of the book tour for her gorgeous new release Home Sweet Home Sewing, I was so super excited! I've followed Helen for quite a while now and have some of her other books. She is an incredible designer, her projects are so inspiring and her style and photography is beautiful.
When the book arrived I had a hard time choosing a project. There is a lovely mix of projects that are quite quick to make, and projects that take a bit longer and have lots of hand stitched details. The book has projects in that use a range of techniques too from machine piecing, to embroidery to English paper piecing. I chose the Little Birds Doll Quilt because it uses a lovely combination of machine piecing, embroidery and appliqué.
I'd recently received a beautiful bundle of Liberty exclusive fabrics for my birthday and I new they had to feature in this little quilt. I'd also received a new mini iron as a birthday gift and it is literally the best mini iron ever! I wanted to improve my machine piecing skills and I spent a couple of lovely afternoons cutting the little squares and sewing them up. I found that just taking my time, pinning the seams carefully and pressing with my new mini iron really helped me to get the seams to line up well.
Once the quilt top was done, I took my time over the subsequent weeks, embroidering the little birds and stitching the flowers on. The pattern uses buttons in the centre of the flowers but the buttons I had didn't look right so I just added some French knots instead.
This is a doll quilt but I am going to use it as a wall hanging in my sewing room. Therefore I just quilted it simply by hand with a diagonal running stitch.
This was one of those projects that I didn't want to end (even though I am thrilled to have a new mini quilt in my sewing room) because I loved every stitch. Thank you so much Helen for inviting me to be part of this lovely tour. Make sure you check out the rest of the tour, there are so many wonderful makers taking part. The hashtag is homesweethomesewing. The book is available at local bookshops as well as Amazon. Thank you so much to Helen and Tuva Publishing for my copy of the book and for having me on the tour.
Giveaway now closed. Thank you to everyone who entered, I enjoyed reading about your favourite flowers. Random number generator picked number 25 and that was Janet Lockland. Congratulations! I've sent you an email Janet.
Every day I am blown away by the incredible support I am shown by all of you. I am truly thankful and I wish I could find a way to give back to each and every one of you. As a small gesture, and to say thank you also for the 20 thousand followers I now have on Instagram, I thought I would do a little giveaway. I tried to host it on Instagram but for some reason Instagram seemed to think my post was branded content (which I have never done) and they seemed to think I was breaking their rules if I didn't tag a brand. I think it's just a case of their computer algorithm getting it wrong. But just in case my account would be compromised, I thought I would have it here instead.
Over on Youtube this week I showed a little video where I made some floral art work. For the giveaway prize, I will make something similar for the winner. To enter, leave a comment on this blog post letting me know what your favourite flower is! I will leave the giveaway open until October 20th 8pm UK time and then I will randomly pick a winner and announce it on Instagram. You will have to leave your name on your comment so I can get in touch with you.
Thanks so much, for your incredible support.
I'm really excited, and equally nervous to share that I am going to be adding more things to my shop on a regular basis! If you've read my newsletter or seen my latest Youtube video, you will have heard that as a family we have decided that it might be a good idea for me to try to sell a few extra things along side my patterns, rather than go back to my teaching job. So I have been working hard to find lovely, high quality items for my shop.
First up, I am going to offer kits for all of my patterns. So far, I just have hexagon needle book kits available. I'm hoping that next month I will have the hexagon storage basket kits available and that it will continue to grow from there. The kits contain everything you need to make the item and are really good quality materials. Of course there is some Liberty Tana Lawn in there too!
I absolutely love the French brand Sajou. Their products are beautifully made in France and have a vintage style to them. So I was delighted to become a stockist. Currently I have some of their needles and also their embroidery and gloving threads available. The gloving thread is a fine but stiff waxed thread that is strong and excellent for English paper piecing. I love the Sajou Retors du Nord embroidery thread so much! The colours are so pretty and the thread has a gorgeous lustre to it. It glides through the fabric and is just perfect for all hand embroidery. It is colourfast only up to 40c so shouldn't be used on any items that need regular hot washes.
I also have some of the beautiful Sajou sewing boxes and I have filled them with Liberty charm squares, needles, threads, bobbins and some pretty scissors. These boxes are such a treat for anyone who loves tiny patchwork!
I have lots of plans for more things that will be coming to the shop, so I really hope that you like what I have. Thank you to everyone who has made a purchase already, the response has been amazing.
Take care, until next time,
I've always loved vintage sewing items, from fabric to patterns to books and magazines, they've always fascinated me. It's the reason I got interested in sewing, it's the reason I named myself Vintage Sewing Box on social media many, years ago! A few weeks before Covid changed our world, I visited the Bronte Museum in Haworth and I was in awe of all of the wonderful vintage sewing and patchwork items that were there.
The Bronte sisters were avid sewers and painters as well as readers and writers. They were such a creative family. I love the quilt on this bed and I want to recreate it someday, in my own colour palette.
There was even an exhibition by an artist called Tamar Stone, of tiny patchwork quilts. This was displayed in the Bronte house and it was lovely to see. If you can visit one day, I highly recommend it. The Brontes are an important part of British literary history and it is so interesting to learn about their lives.
I've been looking through the vintage sewing things my Gran left to me. It's really inspiring to see them, but also very emotional as they bring back memories. Unfortunately she did not finish much of what she had, and many of her kits are untouched. It makes me determined to use and enjoy what I have. If you'd like to see more in detail, I have a video showing everything on my YouTube channel and there's an unexpected twist in the middle as I decide to start working on one of her table cloths. I hope I can do it justice.
Have you collected any vintage or antique sewing things? What do you treasure? I'd love to know.
Hello! Today I am here with a little tutorial for how to make this tiny sewing case which is perfect for carrying around tiny stitching projects. The case has the little house block appliquéd onto it. You will find the templates for the house and the video showing how to make it here.
To make the tiny sewing case, you will need:
1. Take one of your pieces of cotton that measures 10 1/2" wide by 5 1/2" tall and find the centre by creasing it.
2. Applique your little house block to the right hand side.
3. Create a quilt sandwich by placing your other piece of cotton measuring 10 1/2" wide by 5 1/2" tall right side down, place the foam on top and then your piece with the house on top of that. Pin in place and sew all the way around the edge using a 1/4" seam allowance to secure the layers.
4. Next construct your pocket. Iron the interfacing to one of your pocket pieces. Place the two pieces of pocket fabric wrong sides together, pin and sew all of the way around the edge with 1/4" seam allowance.
5. Press your pocket binding piece in half length ways with the wrong sides facing each other. Line up the raw edge with the raw edge of the top of your pocket piece. Pin in place and sew with 1/4" seam allowance.
6. Fold the binding to the back and sew in place with 1/4" seam allowance or by hand if you prefer.
7. Place your exterior piece with the house on face down and put your pocket on top with the right side of the pocket facing up. Align the pocket with the bottom edge. Secure the pocket in place by sewing a 1/4" seam around three sides
8. Measure 5 1/4" in from one side to find the middle and stitch down the middle of the pocket to split it into two pockets. Tip - I used a Hera marking tool made by Clover to mark the central line to give me an accurate sewing guide. This is a great tool because it makes a crease in the fabric which is not permanent so you don't risk ruining the fabric.
9. Next fold your felt in half width ways and open again to find the centre and place it on top of the centre line you just sewed down the middle of your case. Make sure the felt is equidistant from the top and the bottom. Sew down this line to secure it in place.
10. I appliqued an EPP flower to the front of my felt and stuffed it with toy filling before sewing all of the way round so that the flower can be used as a needle stop. You could do this with a hexagon flower if you prefer.
11. Line up both parts of your felt pocket and add a running stitch around three sides to keep the two pieces together and to form a pocket.
12. Apply bias binding around the entire edge of the case. Finally add a snap fastener of closure of your choice and the case is complete!
I hope you liked this little tutorial and I really hope you enjoy making the case if you do give it a go. I think I will definitely be making another one soon! They make lovely little gifts for sewing friends.
Take care, until next time, happy sewing!
Hello Friends, I hope you are really well. Today I am excited to share my new pattern release for the Hexagon Storage Basket! I've been working on this pattern for months now as the pattern writing and testing process is a long one. Also, the pandemic happening has affected my creativity and drive and I know this has happened to many people. Couple this with changes at home and it has led to me taking a long time to get the pattern finished so thank you so much to everyone who has been so patiently waiting for it.
The pattern is a downloadable PDF file and it has a full instruction booklet with step by step photographs, along with templates. If you've bought my previous pattern, you'll know I like to make the instructions as detailed and clear as possible. The pattern has instructions to make two sizes of the basket, a small one which measures approximately 7 1/2" in diameter and has three internal pockets, and a large one which measures approximately 10" in diameter and in addition to three internal pockets, it also has special places to keep embroidery scissors and EPP glue pen refills!
I have four finished baskets in my sewing room and I love them, they are so handy for keeping your current project in and I love that I can take everything I need in it from room to room. The hexagon needle book fits perfectly in the pockets of both sizes of basket and the hexagon sewing case fits into the large one by standing it upright or you can place it on top like a lid.
During lockdown in the UK, I was talking to my Dad over the phone and he told me that he was getting interested in sewing as he had been playing with an old sewing machine he had found. When I told him about my pattern, he offered to test it for me. This is the first time he has ever sewn anything and he did a brilliant job. I dropped the materials he needed at his back fence and then he completed the basket without any help from me at all. He has also been watching my Youtube videos and it has been so lovely to chat about sewing with him.
In addition to my Dad testing the pattern, I also had some help from some amazing Instagram friends. The super talented Zena @mycreativepottylife made such beautiful versions of the pattern using gorgeous Tilda fabrics and adding sweet details like she always does.
The lovely Sarah @Sarah.costello.10 made this really pretty version below and it matches the hexagon sewing case she made when she tested that pattern for me back in February. Sarah has fabulous sewing skills and I love the quilting details she added.
The very talented Brittany made a large and a small basket. Her skills are incredible and I love her fabric choices. Her stitching is perfection, she is such a wonderful maker and a brilliant pattern tester.
I feel so incredibly lucky to have had such fantastic support from such wonderful and talented makers. The pattern writing and developing process is a long one and I could not have got there without their help, so thank you so so much. If you would like to make a basket too, the pattern is now available in my shop. Thank you so so much, it really means a lot to me. I hope you love the pattern.
Hello friends, I hope you are all well. Today I am going to tell you about my seasonal sampler mini quilt. I've been making this lovely quilt for a few months and it's finally finished. I loved combining EPP, appliqué and embroidery, it was so fun and relaxing to make. Each of the blocks represents one of the seasons of the year and conjures up lots of lovely imagery of nature for me. I decided to make this a free pattern but I've decided to release it in parts over the next few weeks. Rather than written instructions, there will be video tutorials and guidance along with downloadable templates. You can find the videos on my Youtube channel and I will link to the playlist here. You can also find the downloadable templates and any brief written instructions here on my website, in the free patterns area.
There's already a video showing how to do the butterfly block and the proper introduction video will go live on Youtube at 9pm on Monday 22nd June. I hope you will join me in making this lovely mini quilt, I'm so excited to be sharing this pattern with you all. Thank you to everyone who has left me lovely comments about my design, it really means a lot to me.
I hope you are all well and staying safe. This is just a very quick note to let you know that I will be removing my blog from Bloglovin and deleting my account from there in the next couple of days. Since I set up my Bloglovin account, I have been inundated with spam followers which has left me feeling uncomfortable. The spam followers promote things that have nothing to do with sewing and I do not wish to be associated with such things. There is no way to delete or block followers there so I sent numerous DMs and emails to Bloglovin about this issue, but I got no replies. I decided to just try to ignore the spam followers as I know I also have lovely real followers there too. But today was the last straw when I noticed my actual blog had been spammed with spam comments. Unfortunately my website provider isn't great at notifying me of comments, and because I hadn't checked in a while, I didn't know they'd been there for days. I feel embarrassed about this as I know I have had lots of lovely people come and read my blog and follow me recently. I haven't updated this little blog for a few weeks and I am really sorry about that. I will be back in a couple of days with an update about things and what you can expect from me over the coming weeks. But in the meantime, I'm so grateful to everyone who follows me on various platforms, reads my blog, subscribes to my newsletter and takes the time to engage with me, it really means a lot and I am sorry I have been absent lately. I'm sorry if you follow me through Bloglovin as I will delete my account very soon. If you'd like to continue following me, I will always announce my blog posts over on Instagram so that's a great place to follow me. Or I do have my email letter, which is only once a month but I will link to any blog posts there too.
Many thanks for reading this, I hope you are all well
When I first saw this Cute Cathedral Cube pouch by Ali - Arabesque Scissors, I knew I had to make it! It is small, and cute, and the possibilities for the fussy cut in the centre make it so much fun! I've made two other patterns from Ali's Cathedral windows range and they are so well written, I knew this was the perfect project for me.
Her instructions are easy to understand and her patterns have wonderful diagrams. She also has a video on her Instagram page to help with the tricky bits. I loved making this little pouch, I know I will be making more! I used Liberty quilting cotton and I added a tiny, quarter inch hexie flower to the centre. I think this pouch will store my tiny hexagon projects, it's just perfect for that.
I used some Clover tools that I haven't used before so I thought I'd share. Clover sent me these tools to review but all opinions are completely my own. First up is the Roll and Press. I thought I wouldn't need this but it is a brilliant tool! I love it for pressing seams when you don't want to set the iron up. It works a lot better than finger pressing and it's great if you are doing foundation paper piecing.
The Hold-it Precision Stiletto was so useful in making this little cube pattern. There are a couple of tiny areas to sew and using this lovely tool means you can hold the fabric down under the presser foot of your machine without getting fingers in the way! Safety first!
I started using these patchwork scissors and I have to say they are excellent. They have a serrated edge and they cut so crisply, I really love them and I won't be going back to my ordinary fabric shears. Another great thing about these scissors is the plastic protective case. This means you won't get them mixed up with other scissors, and we all know that would be a disaster don't we! Plus it keeps the blade away from any little hands that might pick them up when they shouldn't. Thank you so much to Clover for sending me these tools.
If you are looking for a quick, fun project that will be lovely to make but will also teach you some new skills, I really recommend this pattern by Ali Arabesque Scissors. You use foam inside the cube to give it structure and I love sewing with foam, the results are wonderful and it isn't difficult as I initially thought foam would be. In fact, I use foam in all of my patterns.
Take care, happy sewing x
I've been sewing since I was five years old, on and off of course, but it has always been a huge part of my life. Recently, I've been thinking a lot about how my sewing has evolved and changed and I've realised that at this point in my life, I am enjoying sewing more than ever before. And I think I've realised why. There have been three big changes in the way I go about my sewing and those three things have increased my enjoyment so much. So I thought I'd share these changes with you because maybe it will give you some ideas for getting more enjoyment out of your hobby.
1. Let go of Perfectionism
I used to undo my stitches all of the time when I wasn't happy with them. I used to feel frustrated that they didn't look perfect and get annoyed at myself when I felt I couldn't produce something how I thought it should look. But somehow, I've let go and realised I am human so I will never be perfect. I now see my embroidery stitches like handwriting, I am making my mark on the fabric and if it's not perfect that's ok because it is an extension of me. We don't constantly use tip-ex to correct our writing when it is a bit shaky and uneven, so why keep undoing stitches? Also, the same principle applies to choosing fabrics for a project. I used to overthink it all of the time. I'd go back and forth over choosing colours and fabrics, changing my mind and ending up frustrated. My early quilts were very calculated in terms of pattern and colour placement. I didn't think I could do random patchwork. But last year when I started doing tiny patchwork, I let go of that and started just going for it. Choosing fabrics without thinking and just putting together what feels right to me. The colours and patterns and how they are placed in what I make are an extension of me and represent my point of view. Once I started working in this way, sewing from the heart rather than the head, I started to love and enjoy what I was doing more.
2. Slowing Down
In the past, I would rush to finish a project because I was fixated on the end product. I was desperate to have a new quilt, cushion, dress, whatever it might be. I let the end goal overshadow the process and I would rush to get there. I don't work well in a hurry and rushing in this way caused mistakes which led to frustration. Last year, for some reason, I began to slow down. I think doing more EPP projects led me to this slow state but I now approach all projects, even those on machine, in a slow, methodical manner. Slowing down allows me to immerse myself in what I am doing, to notice every tiny detail in the fabric and to enjoy each and every stitch. It's taught me that although I love the end product, it is the process that I enjoy most of all.
3. Allowing myself to make what I want, when I want
Sewing is my hobby and therefore should always be enjoyable. It is also an important part of my wellbeing and intrinsic to my positive mental health. It's my creative output and my relaxation. So I decided a while back to let go of the guilt when it comes to how many half done projects I have because this was stopping me from starting new things. Now, If I want to start something new, I will. If I want to switch between projects, I will. And if somebody asks me to hem their trousers or fix a hole, I won't! Just kidding, I will of course. But first and foremost, I have thrown out the rule book of obligation. If I don't feel like making something that day, I won't force myself because that will take away the joy. I've found that by going with what I feel like doing, my enjoyment has increased and I am also finishing more projects than I usually would.
So what about you? Do you have any little rules or mantras when it comes to sewing? What do you do to ensure you are enjoying your stitching and not becoming frustrated? I'd love to know so please leave me a comment.
Take care and stay safe,
Happy sewing x
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.