Today I'm sharing a couple of special projects, exciting news about how you can learn from me online and hopefully preempting a few concerns. The WHY matters. So I want to focus a little on why I do what I do, how sharing makes a difference and most importantly what I want to impart to you. Keep reading because it's not just pretty pictures, I would love to help you thrive and shine my spark for getting the most of out of your creativity. 

epp hexies stitched together from the back, embroidery scissors

Hand sewn projects are probably my favourite. I prefer to spend hours on the sofa, in the company of others, with the option of sewing outdoors or on the go (when possible). There is also something immensely satisfying about sitting at my machine and getting something sewn up fast too. My first project incorporates both, a happy mix of slow hand stitching and quick, easy machine sewing.

zipper pouches with curved edges epp and applique

Two new zipper pouches, made using my A Piece of Me Pouch pattern. It's super easy to adapt the pattern to different sizes and these cute versions are perfect for carrying in a handbag or holding supplies.

close up of epp hexies and quilting

The hexie pouch was made with Liberty tana lawn, starting with traditional English Paper Piecing (epp) hexagon flowers and adding in more hexagons as required. The random placement and geometric quilting make it modern. That's my favourite mix, modern + traditional.

The applique version takes on different shapes, with an epp dresden flower and centre circle. This is so fun to stitch, getting rounded curves can be a struggle but it's all in the preparation. I have a couple of ways I like to baste curved shapes and have found, through trial and error, tricks for sewing them together.

Liberty tana lawn fabric, flower print with different faces, curved dresden plate epp

EPP can be used in different ways and I thought it was nice to show that you can just sew a little and make it a feature. Applique is the most versatile form of patchwork in my opinion, you can do about anything with it! I was going to hand applique this flower but I was on a time crunch and instead decided to top stitch using my machine. This works perfectly for epp because your seams are folded over during basting so there's no raw edges. I use my walking foot and have found the best setting for top stitching on my machine, so it's neat every time.

close up of applique dresden plate flower on quilted background

As this pouch is all mine I decided to use my much loved Liberty prints - some I only have a scrap of but this makes it all the more special. The mix is maybe a little bold but each one makes me smile. I teamed it with a hot pink zip for even more pizzazz! The background is Essex Linen Metallic in Oyster - so much more beautiful and sparkly in real life. The binding here is probably my absolute favourite Liberty print, Pepper in colourway M. It's like a marble or tiny camo print with flecks of almost pinky/purple and lovely greys. It curves and frames the pouch so beautifully.

Liberty fabric epp dresden plate flower applique on zipper pouch with binded curved edges and pink zipper

If you've followed me for a while you will have seen me create a few versions of this pouch and there's some stunning ones made by others over on instagram, take a look #apieceofmepouch

This pattern has the easiest way to sew a zip, it works whether you need to cut the zip down or if you have the perfect size. No need to worry about zip ends and it's perfectly neat on the inside too! Note to self, must get more metal zips, they look fabulous.

close up view of zippers and binding on zipper pouches

Liberty epp hexie zipper pouch in pastel floral prints

My next project involves more hand work, this time embroidery. I designed two patterns, to showcase different embroidery stitches and ways of creating text. Writing can look amazing when embroidered and using the right stitch for the way the letters are formed is crucial. At the same time a sense of naivety can also add to a piece, it depends on the look you want but I do think this is when 'handmade' shines. Every stitch that goes in the project is right there on display. 

This seasonal pattern is a great sampler, each leaf is made with different stitches and the resulting textures are beautiful.  I designed it with The Byrds song playing in my head (and as I stitched and even now!) to create a decorative hoop that could be displayed all year round. 

embroidery hoop with four embroidered leaves representing each season and stitched text To everything there is a season

A few of the stitches are quite dense and detailed but the whole look is simple and modern. It didn't take too long to create and I really enjoyed choosing the colours and stitches to use for each part of the pattern.

chain stitch embroidered oak leaf and satin stitch maple leaf in progress

Some of you may remember me demonstrating chain stitch before, it's one of my favourite stitches to use and makes a great filler for the oak leaf because it adds such movement. There are some hidden details to this piece, that can just be seen in the photographs, such as a line of back stitch around the oak leaf in a lighter green shade. In real life this gives it a nice glow and elevates it from being flat colour.

embroidered leaves and text

There is a mix of threads, Aurifloss and Perle cotton. I also used a variety of thread strands with the floss to allow for either more texture or finer detail. It feels so different and my techniques change depending on the number of strands used. I change needles too, usually I prefer working with two or three strands and a fairly fine embroidery needle.

embroidery hoop with text Happy and rainbow french knots

My Happy hoop is just that! A happy mix of chunky text and sweet little french knots in a rainbow of colours. There are lots of ways to make additions to this pattern too - I'm thinking Happy Days, Happy Graduation, Anniversary... a perfect gift for a happy day. And I would be happy to have you join me stitching these projects...

embroidery hoop with text Happy and rainbow french knots

Both of these projects are featured in my upcoming classes with CraftyMonkies via Zoom. I am super excited to get back to teaching because I have been missing it! And online classes mean that if you've ever wanted to take a class with me you now can, wherever you live!

These classes allow for in-depth learning, so that you can get results not just information. Follow the making journey from start to finish, with all my extra tips and tricks for every step. By the end you will have practised and absorbed all the skills to create the projects. You can ask questions along the way and engage with me so you really gain a greater understanding of the methods demonstrated. 

Of course it is convenient having me right there, in real time, to be able to show you each stage of the project in detail. I can address any issues you may be having, repeat any parts and give you encouragement and advice on your makes.

And if you've never used Zoom before it is super simple, there are plenty of guides online showing you how to use it. CraftyMonkies have developed a brilliant system so you can really see everything up close and participate in the class. For those of you that feel unsure or the thought of being on camera terrifies you, don't worry you do not even have to turn your camera on - you can join the class and watch! It's less like a conference call and more like watching a live video. Though of course I would be happy to see you / chat with you throughout, I totally understand that for some people that causes anxiety. Everyone really is welcome and this platform makes it so easy. It's just like watching me on telly ;) only better!

Join me if you want to tighten up your skills, even if you are a beginner or if you're just thrilled at the prospect of having three hours of fun making, learning and boosting your artistry. And you get the patterns included to keep! The classes are project based to give you the skills necessary for that particular make but they are also designed to provide knowledge for application in your own creative exploration going forward. The purpose is to give you expertise and fuel your artistic fire to make unique and beautiful projects!

There is a 'lot of ground' content covered in the classes...

*English Paper Piecing Pouch

  • cutting
  • basting
  • piecing
  • applique
  • quilting
  • sewing a zip
  • making binding
  • sewing binding (and curves)

A Piece of Me Pouch - charm about you - two zipper pouches with epp panels and applique

*Embroidery Hoops

  • preparing fabric
  • using pattern
  • hooping
  • variety of embroidery stitches
  • choosing stitches
  • embroidering text
  • finishing the hoop
  • added embellishments / personalisation

decorative embroidery hoop hanging on wall with kids ceramic decoration

It's a whole lot more than the techniques though. In every class my aim is to share as much as possible, to really inspire and give you the confidence to be able to use what you've learnt and harness your own creativity. Genuinely nothing fills me up more than a student telling me how much they've enjoyed a class. When I teach a technique or method that inspires you, share something that sets off a light bulb moment or help you create a project you are proud of - that is my why. 

▚ I [attended] your brilliant class for this pouch Lucy and the resulting pouch I was so happy with and still use and love - Happy Days! Highly recommended! ~ Gill 

Join me for one (or both!) of the classes, English Paper Piecing and Embroidery Hoop: Seasonal Theme. 10% of profits from the class go to my chosen charity, Children in Need.

Thank you, as always, for reading and commenting with such kindness and enthusiasm. Your support encourages me as I continue being able to teach on this new route.