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.
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.
For a while now, I've been on a search for my favourite needle and thread for epp. I often get asked what I like best, and I haven't been able to give a proper answer because I've been undecided. I've tried a lot of needles over the last six months and I've finally settled on these Clover Gold Eye Appliqué No 10 sharps needles. Needles are such a personal preference. I remember getting a few comments on Instagram from people saying my needles were too big and looked like tree trunks! But I find tiny needles cause me to grip tighter and give me hand and wrist pain. I also didn't like long thin needles as they can be too flexible and bend. So I've been looking for a needle that isn't too long or too short, is sharp and thin but not too flexible and I think I've found it. I do a lot of appliqué so these needles are great for that but they are brilliant for epp too. You might like these needles but again, it is personal preference and what feels comfortable to you. These needles are relatively inexpensive and a packet of 15 is around £1.65. I also really love the John James brand of needles and I use them for embroidery and general sewing.
I've also been testing threads over the last few months so I thought I would share what I've found here. Again, it's all about personal preference and the result you are after. I mostly use Aurifil 50wt or 80wt. I love the Aurifil colours but the one I use the most is 2311 muslin. Aurifil is strong, fine and glides through the fabric. The 80wt thread is finer but can snap so I tend to use 50wt the most these days. I was having lots of thread breakage problems a while back and discovered that it wasn't the fault of the thread, but it was my needle. The eye of that particular needle was so sharp is was breaking the thread and stabbing my fingers. So I'm really happy I've found the Clover ones. Pictured below is the results of stitching two half inch hexies with Aurifil 50wt. The stitches are hardly visible. Aurifil 50wt is around £3.50 for a 200 metre spool.
Next I tried Gutermann 100% cotton thread colour 919 which cost £2 for 100 metres. Again this thread was strong and fine and had excellent results, see below.
Finally I've been using Superior Threads The Bottom Line polyester thread which is 60wt in colour 621 and this cost me £6.95 for 1298 metres. The results were excellent, the stitches were almost invisible but as this is polyester and not cotton, it is slippy to use and sometimes the needle slides off. This has resulted in me gripping more tightly and causing me hand and wrist pain. (I am susceptible to this pain as I've suffered from carpel tunnel syndrome and RSI so please don't let this put you off this thread, the issue is my body not the thread!)
Overall, I've decided the Superior Threads is great for quarter inch hexies as my stitches can seem really big in comparison to the size of the hexies so I like that this thread minimises that and I will continue to use it for that. I love cotton thread and will use that for everything else.
All this being said, you don't need to have this thread or these needles to do epp, just use what you have to get started. I recently saw an epp starter kit on Etsy that was over £40 and it didn't include any fabric or paper templates and this got me thinking, what does a beginner need to start out for epp? How much does it need to cost? EPP is a simple craft that requires simple tools and materials and therefore shouldn't cost a lot of money and you shouldn't need to invest a lot of money into it to start out. As a thank you for the support I've received on Instagram and over here on my blog, I've decided to host a little giveaway. All you have to do is leave me a comment on this blog post telling me what your favourite needle and thread is. I will leave the giveaway open for a week and then I will pick a winner randomly and it will be announced on Instagram and on this blog. You will win an epp starter kit designed by me that contains a few of my favourite things such as needles, thread, a Sewline glue pen, paper templates and some pretty fabric. This giveaway isn't sponsored by anybody and it's open worldwide but please just one entry per person. If you follow me on Instagram and on Bloglovin then it will be easy for you to see when I announce the winner. Thank you and good luck!
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.