Friday, 27 March 2020

Finding Calm

Wow, how the world has changed since my last blog post! From excitement for the year ahead with new shows and projects to look forward to, to a feeling of loss, fear and confusion that, to be honest, I'm struggling to get my head around. How can this have happened so damn fast!? 

As a mainly online business, working from home or alone at my unit isn't really any different for me, but it breaks my heart to hear about other business owners fearing for their survival. Us sole trader entrepreneurs have taken that leap to follow our dreams and have worked so hard to make it work - to see it all come to an end through no fault of our own, is just killing me. Many of us don't have back up funds in the bank, let alone any profit as it is all ploughed back into the growth of the business.

Anyway, enough with the worry and stress I tell myself, there's nothing I can do about it other than keeping going as best as I can, support other businesses where I can, and to help my customers in the best possible way. I am very fortunate to be in an industry that can offer amazing help to people at this unsettling time, as we all know sewing and craft can bring great calm and relief in times of stress, and we have never needed it more. 

It has been said that us quilters have been preparing for this our entire crafting lives and this is the perfect time to hit the stash, so if you are looking for inspiration, I have a number of free patterns on the website, including the All Squared Up quilt, and my Curved EPP Flower Cushion for those lovers of hand sewing. Click here to see the collection.

So far I have found hand sewing to be my saviour, together with an engrossing audible book really helps to switch off the world for a while and just concentrate on one thing. Which is why I have a new EPP Diamond Cushion kit out, this one features lovely soft blues and greys from Makower's Bloom collection. The kit includes all the fabric you need for the front, pre-cut papers and full instructions. I am also offering 15% off all EPP Cushion kits to my Newsletter subscribers, so if you need a project you can lose yourself in, why not sign up now and treat yourself to some sewing sanity. Once you have subscribed and received the verification email, the discount code will be in the final Welcome email.

Linking up with Midweek Makers, Needle & Thread Thursday and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?

I really wish you all the best of health, stay inside as much as possible and look after each other. xx

Monday, 10 February 2020

February's free pattern and show news

As we all know, now that the longest month of the year is out of the way, the remaining eleven are going to fly by, and this year looks to be a very full one for Sewmotion. I've got some great shows coming up starting with the Spring Quilt Festival in Harrogate - Friday 21st - Sunday 23rd February, 10am - 4.30pm (4pm on Sunday) 

This show is smaller than the Autumn one and creates a much more intimate atmosphere, visitors are able to walk around a lot easier, see the quilts on display at their leisure, have a lovely lunch and then start shopping in a non-rushed relaxed manner. Harrogate is also my nearest venue to home so it means I get to sleep in my own bed every night, though I'm just hoping the snow stays away...
You can learn more about this event by clicking here.

My second show this month is brand new to me. Formerly known as the Knitting & Stitching Show held at Olympia in London, it has now changed name and venue to The Stitch Festival, to be held at the Business Design Centre in Islington, north London, about 20mins from my mum, so it would have been silly not to really! 

I'm very excited about this one as it's my first in London so it will be interesting to see how it does - I won't bore you with the kit and fabric prep for these shows, but I'll just say I'm needing nightly baths to ease my back and feet at the moment. 

You can find out more about this show by clicking here.

I also have a discount code for tickets - instead of paying £15 for an advance adult ticket and £13.50 for concession, you will pay just £12.50 - to book tickets visit the website or call 0844 854 1349 and quote code STITCH113 when prompted. (Unfortunately there is a £2.20 booking fee and £2.50 for postal, which you would have to pay anyway, but hopefully this discount will help). 

In more exciting news, I am lucky enough to have been asked to be involved in John Scott's very first show on his new venture, John Scott's Sewing World!!!

For those who don't know who on earth I'm talking about, John Scott was one of the presenters on Sewing Quarter where I was a guest designer. He's also had quite a fascinating life himself having worked as a costumier on Hollywood films and a fashion expert on TV, and so many other amazing things over the years which he is sharing in his own regular blog. He is also mad about sewing, and happens to be one of the most genuine people I have ever met. 

So, once Sewing Quarter closed, the wonderful people at Crafter's Companion snatched him up and he's now got his own show under their umbrella of Crafters TV. To begin with, it will be aired every Tuesday 8-12noon, with plans to expand over the year. 

I was very chuffed indeed to be asked to be one of his first guests on his inaugural show on Tuesday 3rd March where I will be selling my own EPP cushion kit in two colourways - as I am launching them on the show, I can't show them yet, but here is a pic of the mammoth kit production underway to give you a clue, yep, that's a bit of Liberty and Alison Glass! :) 

In all this excitement, I nearly forgot to tell you about my latest free pattern for my Newsletter subscribers. For February, I have returned to my favourite curved English paper-piecing to make these cute Coasters - for your own free copy, plus 10% off the two available kits, subscribe to the Newsletter today.

Wishing you all a creative and sunny week, linking up with Monday MakingMidweek Makers and Needle & Thread Thursday

Thursday, 9 January 2020

New Year, New Month, Free Pattern!

Ok, this year is already going too fast for my liking!! Happy New Year everyone, even if it's already the 9th January, I hope you had a wonderful break surrounded by love and happiness, be it with friends and family, or some quiet sewing time to yourself.

We had a lovely quiet Christmas with my mum, then went to our best friends in Germany for New Year which was so much fun. Now I'm back full of more ideas than ever and great plans for 2020.

2020 has already started with a bang thanks to the final airing of Sewing Quarter. As I may have mentioned, this great sewing TV Channel had to close at the end of 2019, which really was very sad for everyone involved. However, they had some airtime to fill at the beginning of January and gave us guest designers the chance to film solo shows to let viewers know how to keep in touch with us and learn more about our businesses. We weren't too sure when these shows were to be aired, but when I suddenly started getting Newsletter subscribers and orders online, I knew my show had to be on, what's more they were on a loop, so every few hours this would happen again, so funny! I really enjoyed doing my shows at SQ and I'm so glad so many viewers have decided to carry on following me and Sewmotion, so if you are one of them, thank you very much!

On my SQ show, I demoed my latest cushion kit, the Overlapping Circles and Flower cushion in Liberty Pinks. Having watched my YouTube tutorial on my EPP Curved Flower cushion, customers have been asking for one on the overlapping circles, so I'm really pleased I got the chance to record this one - if you have purchased this kit in the past and need a little extra help - maybe you learn better from following a demo rather than reading instructions - then you can view this recording on Sewing Quarter's YouTube channel

I have also been working on this month's Free Pattern to send out to my Newsletter subscribers, a little late again, but I really do plan to get on top of these this year and not leave them til the last minute, honest! This month I fancied some hand sewing, but instead of EPP, I have returned to the first patchwork technique I learnt, American hand piecing, which involves sewing a tiny running stitch along a drawn line. I had forgotten how much I love this method and plan to do more of it! This wall hanging (or table runner, it's up to you) was inspired by my love of Orla Kiely's graphics, and is a kinda homage to her Stem design. Subscribe to the Newsletter now to receive your own free copy straight to your inbox.

Wishing you all a warm and creative week, linking up with Midweek Makers and Needle & Thread Thursday