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'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
Hello everybody, I hope you are all well and staying safe at home. I feel like life is a battle at the moment, trying to deal with what is happening and the constant worries about so many things. Keeping busy is my strategy so I have two new things to share with you. First up, I've started a YouTube channel. I get asked frequently if I have a YouTube channel and also told I should have one! I didn't have much confidence in my video making skills so I didn't pursue it but after some thought I've decided to give it a go. The thumbs down feature on YouTube has always put me off. I know that when I get a thumbs down on a video, I will be a bit hurt. I don't have thick skin but I think I need to work on that, I know I will never please everyone! Currently there are only a few short videos on there as I work on uploading videos I have already shared on other platforms but I have big plans and ideas for what I'd like to share. First of all, I want to bring clear, concise 'how to' style videos to show people how to do English Paper Piecing and embroidery. These will be a combination of short videos teaching one or two techniques, and also longer, more in depth videos. As well as techniques, I have some ideas for project tutorials that I want to teach through video. My other idea is to do some lifestyle videos showing how slow stitching can be a beneficial part of every day life. What I show on YouTube will be different from Instagram. Instagram will be more of a daily snapshot at what I'm making and Youtube will be more tutorial led. What are your thoughts? Would you like to see videos like these from me? Do you have any other ideas for videos you think I should make? If you'd like to subscribe to my channel, I would be truly honoured. It's completely free and it means that you will see my new videos when I make them. You can find my channel here.
The other thing I have been working on is updating my Hexagon Needle Book tutorial and putting it into PDF format. It's still available as a blog post but I thought it would be easier for people to download the PDF and save it to their computers rather than having to search for my tutorial. The PDF download is of course free and can be found here. Thank you to everyone who has made one so far, it's so exciting to see them popping up on Instagram. If you do make one and share it on Instagram, please tag me so I can see it.
Take care, until next time, happy sewing!
As March draws to a close, I thought I would do a little round-up of the wonderful Slow Stitch Along that has been happening on Instagram. March hasn't really gone to plan due to the crisis we are all facing but so many wonderful makers have come together to share their love of slow stitching of all types on Instagram and it has been such an inspiring distraction from the world around us. I would like to thank everybody for their enthusiasm in taking part, it has been truly wonderful. There are currently over 730 posts on the hashtag which is amazing!
Zoe and I have decided to keep the hashtag going as we know how much slow stitching is helping everyone deal with difficulties we are facing, and it is helping us too. There's such a wonderful community there and we would love to continue that so if you'd like to carry on with us then share your slow stitch project at any time and tag us so we can see. I've also been doing a live virtual stitch group on Instagram at 9pm uk time on Friday evenings and it has been so much fun. I've decided to make this a regular thing so please join me if you can as it is a lovely way for us all to connect and share our passion for sewing.
I didn't quite make as much progress as I wanted to on my quilt, but I have progressed and I am pleased that I am getting closer to completing it. I have one full row to do, another to finish off and a couple to appliqué to the backing fabric, so I am getting there.
I'd just like to say thank you again for joining in with the slow stitch along and if you haven't been able to join remember that you can join in any time. If you aren't on Instagram, you can still view the posts on the hashtag.
Hello lovely friends. It seems that the world has changed dramatically since my last blog post which was only a couple of weeks ago. So I thought I'd pop on here just to let you know what my plans are for my blog and little shop going forward. First of all, thank you to everyone who bought the Hexagon Sewing Case pattern or if you bought a kit. I was blown away by the response I had to this and I can't express in words how grateful I am for the support I've received. I know there were some people who wanted a kit but missed out and I'm so sorry about that. I was planning to make a few more but with the current situation as it is, I won't be going to the post office. So for now, just the PDF pattern will be available.
I have lots of plans for things I want to do such as free patterns and videos and maybe even going live on Instagram to sew together! I'm hoping the current situation we find ourselves in will allow me the time to create these. I very much want my blog, website and Instagram to be a positive place where we can escape into a world of sewing to relax and detach from the stressful situation around us. So that will be my primary focus going forward. The previous plans I had for this year in terms of in person workshops are unlikely to go ahead now.
Since I started this website, I've always had a contact form on the website homepage just in case anybody would like to get in touch. Thank you to everyone who has used that and asked me to send them emails. I've had a big think and I've decided to create 'lovely letters' each month that will be delivered to your inbox. I'm excited to start this and I hope you all love them. If you'd like to sign up then please head to the homepage and leave your details. I'm hoping my first proper email will go out this week.
I must admit that I've felt frozen over the last two weeks and I haven't done much stitching at all. I know sewing helps me so much through times of anxiety but there are also those times when things feel so difficult everything grinds to a halt. I wish that wasn't happening to me now, particularly during the Slow Stitch Along. I'd like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has been keeping it going whilst I've felt like I've been absent from it (although I've read every single post). This is due to a series of things happening all at the same time which has completely thrown me. I'm hoping that once my little boy is better I will feel more focused to sew and share again and I am excited to work on the things I've mentioned above too.
Look after yourselves during this time and I hope that together we can support each other in this wonderful and creative online community.
I'm so excited to tell you that the Hexagon Sewing Case PDF pattern is finally ready and in my shop! It's taken me a long time to get it ready because I wanted to make sure it was the absolute best it can be.
Thank you so much to Zena @mycreativepottylife, Sarah @sarah.costello.10 and Jen @jenthepiecemaker for testing it for me. They are such wonderful makers and helped me so much. I am so grateful to you for giving up your precious time to help me with this, I honestly cannot thank you enough.
I'm also really excited to tell you I have teamed up with Ashmead Designs who produce the fantastic Hexiform shapes I love to use, and Rose Garden Patchwork who I buy wonderful zips from (she also sells amazing fabrics and notions) to create some supplies kits for the case.
In these kits there will be:
The idea behind the kit is to make it easy for you to get started on your case and to have all of the supplies in one place, rather than having to source them from different places.
It also gives you an opportunity to try the wonderful hexiform EPP shapes from Ashmead Designs. Kits will be available to buy from Monday 2nd March 2020.
Thank you so much and have a great day!x
When Elise Baek asked me if I would like to be part of the book tour for her soon to be released Patchwork Gifts book, I was absolutely delighted! I've never been asked to be part of something like this before, what an honour! I've been following Elise for about a year on Instagram and her work is wonderful. Her designs are fresh and exciting, she uses beautiful fabrics and she is really inspiring, so I knew her book would be fabulous, and I was right!
On receiving my copy of the book, I quickly opened it as I couldn't wait to see the projects inside. They are all wonderful and it was so hard to narrow it down to one. I love the Double Wedding Ring Table Topper as I've been wanting to make one for so long. But I decided on the Meadow Mini Quilt. I fell in love with this design as soon as I saw it because I knew it would be perfect for the many Liberty prints I have. Also, I want to give this as a gift to someone special and I knew that person would love this. It also speaks to my love of tiny EPP so it was clearly the right project for me!
I enjoyed every stitch of working on this project. I really took my time over it, doing a little bit each day. I think the finished result is joyful, bright, cheerful and makes me think of Spring.
If you are thinking of buying this book, I really recommend it. The projects are so lovely and very well explained. I know this won't be the last thing I make from this book, as well as the double wedding, I have my eye on the toadstool pincushion and the kite lavender sachets. I hope my version of the Meadow mini quilt did justice to the original. Thank you to Elise for letting me be part of this book tour, it really has been an honour and the highlight of 2020 so far for me. Make sure you check out the rest of the people on the book tour, every single one is a fantastic maker and it is so inspiring to see what they make. Elise is also running a really fun bingo competition so head over to her Instagram and be sure to follow the hashtag #patchworkgiftsbook.
Just sharing some photos of another needle book I made as a gift for a friend just before Christmas and I think this one might be my favourite so far! I love the blues and greens and the Betsy Ann print I used for the edge/inside is one of my favourite ever prints.
If you'd like to make one too, I have a tutorial that you can follow here. It's a lovely project as it is all made by hand and there's something really nice about that I think.
I love adding little embroidered details like this lazy daisy stitch, I think they are sweet and add a lovely touch.
I've made myself two of these needle books and I wish I needed more as they are so enjoyable to make! Thank you to everyone who has tried my tutorial and made their own already! It really does make me so happy to see your versions. So if you make one too, please share it with me either here or on Instagram as I would love to see.
Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful festive period and I wish you all health and happiness for the coming year ahead. What better way to start the year than with a new project! I've been thinking for a long time about making a quarter inch hexagon wall hanging and I decided over Christmas that it was now or never. If I don't start it this year, I never will. So I set to work gathering scraps and basting my tiny hexies ready to start. If you are anything like me, you like to know the details behind projects so I thought I'd share with you why I want to make this quilt, my inspiration and my method, just in case you'd like to join me with your own quarter inch hexie project. I know quarter inch hexies aren't for everyone but already one lovely person has asked to join me and I'd love it if more people would like to join in too.
I've wanted to make a large piece from tiny quarter inch hexagons ever since I saw Miss Leela's Wedding Medallion Quilt. Please click the link and check it out as it is amazing! I've also compiled a Pinterest board with some ideas and inspiration from other quarter inch projects I've seen. I don't know the layout of my piece yet but I will use these designs as a guide to get me started.
There's a little bit more to making this piece than just wanting to though. Firstly, it will be predominantly made from scrap fabric. I am conscious of the effect the textile industry has on the environment and I strongly believe in making sure the fabrics we do buy are carefully considered purchases and are not wasted in any way. So this project will use floral fabric scraps left over from my other sewing projects in addition to some solid coloured fabrics that I have purchased specifically for this piece. As I am making quarter inch hexagons, even the tiniest of pieces can be used so this is a great way to use up scraps.
Sewing has always been a sort of therapy for me. It allows my mind to be calm and the rhythm of stitching helps me to relax and reduces my stress levels. I've recently struggled again with low mood and feelings of anxiety and worry. I want this project to be the one that I turn to to help me through those feelings and to provide relief from them. Nature has always had a positive effect on my well being and so I plan to fussy cut tiny flowers for many of the hexagons. I know that seeing these tiny blossoms will lift my spirits and will also remind me to focus on the small things in life that can bring us joy. I hope that by thinking in this way, I can feel better. Only time will tell but I will be sure to let you know how it goes and if it does work.
Staying true to myself, I will be making this quilt up as I go along, it seems to be the way I do everything these days! I will be using Hexiform shapes from Ashmead Designs and I'm buying them bit by bit as I think I will need 1000s! I love the Hexiform because you don't need to remove it at the end as you do with papers. It acts as a layer of wadding/batting and it gives a lovely structure to the piece.
I'm using Superior Threads Bottom Line Thread in colour 623 because it blends really well with most colours of fabric. As it's polyester, it is really strong and I need to use a strong thread as I've decide to sew the hexagons together using a ladder stitch rather than the usual whip stitch. When working with such small hexagons, I was finding that my stitches looked really big when I whip stitched, no matter what thread or needle I used. Ladder stitch definitely takes me longer than whip stitching at the moment, and it feels like I'm learning from the beginning all over again. But hopefully I will find my rhythm with it and when I do, I will post some video tutorials on Instagram just in case there's anybody who would like to see.
I don't really have a name for this project yet, but I'm sure one will come to me in time. For now I'm calling it the tiny hexie project! I'm hoping I can spend about 45 minutes a day on it most days and if you want to follow my progress, I will probably show where I'm up to once a week on Instagram.
If you fancy joining me with your own quarter inch hexie project or similar, let me know! It will be fun to stitch along together.
I thought it would be nice to look back over 2019 and tell you a little bit about my journey as it’s been quite an exciting year! At the end of February I decided to start consistently blogging here and to share what I was up to more regularly on Instagram. I’ve always wanted to share more online but I’ve always been afraid. This year I told myself to be braver and I have really pushed myself to do so.
I'm naturally a quiet person. I don’t like to make a fuss and I really am quite shy. I’ve been longing to share my passion with likeminded people and I knew the only way I could do that was to show up and speak out about my sewing so that’s what I did! I can honestly say it has changed my life. Through being more active online, I’ve met so many inspiring and creative people and a whole world of sewing and community has opened up to me. It’s such a joy to switch on my phone and see the incredible things that people are making and the wonderful friendships that are blossoming. Anybody who thinks social media is a negative thing only needs to look to the sewing and quilting community to see just how supportive it is.
It’s in my nature to constantly doubt myself and to think I’m not good enough. I know that without the support of this community, I would have stopped sharing online a long time ago. I can’t really express just how grateful I am for the amazing comments I've received on this blog and on my Instagram page. If it wasn’t for all of you, cheering me on, I wouldn’t feel as positive as I do today.
This year has seen my work featured by a blog that I’ve always loved and that really was a highlight for me, along with exhibiting my work in a local art gallery. But the friendships and community aspect of sharing online has really changed my life for the better. I wish there was a way I could give back to everyone who has supported me, as a way to show just how appreciated it is. I hope this blog post is a small gesture towards showing my gratitude.
In terms of my making, I can see a vast improvement in my sewing and this is definitely due to the increased volume of stitching I'm doing. I sew almost every day and next year I am really going to make sure stitching is part of my daily routine as it is beneficial for my wellbeing. My aim for this year was to finish my Sew and Quilt Row by Row block of the month quilt and to finish my log cabin quilt, neither of which have been completed! I think the log cabin quilt can be completed in a few hours and my Row by Row quilt has a lot of work left to do on it but that's great because I absolutely love working on it. Hopefully it will be completed next year. 2019 has been the year of EPP for me and I have days where I cannot stop dreaming up ideas for designs and patterns that I want to create. I have managed to create some free patterns for my website and it has been so exciting to see other people make their own versions of my patterns. I cannot tell you how happy I am when somebody posts something they've made from my tutorial or pattern on Instagram, it really is the best thing ever. I hope to design more patterns next year.
Looking forward, I have some exciting plans for next year. First of all, I am planning to record good quality video tutorials explaining and showing my process when it comes to English Paper Piecing, in great detail. This is something that has been requested many times and I hope it will be another way I can give back. I also plan to release a full sewing pattern for my hexagon sewing case which I’m super excited about! This will of course depend on being able to find somebody to test the pattern first but watch this space! I’m currently collaborating with an Instagram friend on some exciting plans we have for a stitch along. When all of the details are finalised I will be sure to let you know all about it. I also have lots of fun ideas for projects I want to make next year, none of which are finalised yet but I think there will be lots more tiny stitching to come from me.
The final thing I have in the works for next year is quite exciting but also nerve wracking for me too! I am in the process of setting up an in person, in real life, EPP workshop! I am super passionate about EPP as you know, and there are lots of people out there who I know would love to learn. I want to spread the joy of EPP and hopefully show others just how beneficial it is to mental health and wellbeing as well as being so fun. I have a lovely location for us to work in and a very pretty project planned. I'm just waiting for dates to be finalised and then I can reveal all of the details. I'm really excited about the prospect of meeting people in real life, stitching together and sharing the joy of EPP. So if you are in northern England and think this would be something you'd like to do, keep your eye on my Instagram page and my blog and soon enough I will be able to tell you all of the details.
I'd like to thank every single one of your again for the support you've given me, it really does mean so so much to me. Wishing you a very happy rest of 2019 however you celebrate it and I will be back here soon to tell you about the Stitchalong we have planned!
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.