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A note to UK Customers: due to the requirement for me to charge VAT, I have made the decision to no longer sell items from my website to UK customers. If you would like to purchase any of my patterns or kits, you can do so through my Etsy Shop. You will still be charge VAT, but Etsy take care of collecting and forwarding the tax to the Uk government, which means one less thing for me to worry about! If there is something specific in my web shop you would like to purchase, please send me a message and I can do a custom listing for you in my Etsy Shop. 

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Phone: 61 414 543 858

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Slow Stitcher Profile – Zoe Mayson

Welcome to another Slow Stitcher Profile. Today I’d like to introduce you to Zoe Mayson. I first came across Zoe on Instagram where she goes by @zoemayson. I was instantly drawn to her pretty projects and enthusiasm for Slow Stitching. We quickly became Insta buddies and I had the honor of being asked to co-host the #SlowStitchAlong with Zoe and Emma (of @vintagesewingbox) earlier this year.

Grab a cuppa , get cozy and get know Zoe…

Name: Zoe Mayson

Where are you from: I live in Crewe, Cheshire, but I am a Devon girl at heart, which is where I spent most of my childhood

When did you discover your love for EPP? I first started EPP when I wanted to make a quilt for my firstborn daughter, but didn’t have a sewing machine. My mum lent me a hexagon template and I started from there.

How did you learn EPP? I think I just winged it! I don’t remember anything more than my Mum saying that you sew the papers to the fabric then join them together!

What is your favourite EPP shape? I think it must be the humble hexagon, I always come back to it!

Thread or glue baste: Most of the time I thread baste, but I have started glue basting Liberty tana lawn fabric as it is less damaging to it than thread basting.

What thread and needle do you use? I don’t have a particular needle I use, just one that is short and thin, but not thin enough that it bends as you sew. I tend to use up odd colours of thread for basting but sew pretty much everything else in Gutterman sew-all thread.

Favourite fabrics to use in EPP: Quilting cotton, the needle passes easily through it without causing damage, and it has enough stretch to it that if pieces are lining up accurately, you can manipulate them too.

What quilting method do you like to use on your EPP projects? I love the texture that hand quilting adds to small projects. I recently sent off an EPP quilt to be long armed, and I was really pleased with the result.

Do you like to embellish you EPP, for example with embroidery stitching? I have done this occasionally, but I like the patterns made by combining different fabrics to make their own statement.

Do you have a favourite EPP tip to share: Just make a start! It’s easy to be discouraged seeing people sew things neater than you when you start, but experience will bring those skills.

Favourite place to EPP: I sew a lot while waiting for kids in the car, but I love to relax at the end of the day by sewing and watching something on TV.

Favourite thing to watch or listen to while you EPP: Whatever series I am currently watching on Netflix, or an audiobook if I am by myself.

Favourite thing to drink/eat while you EPP: I don’t tend to eat or drink while sewing, I as I don’t want to risk spilling on it!

What is your current EPP work-in-progress: I have far too many! Long term projects include a Pemberley quilt, a random hexagon Christmas quilt, and a Christmas version of my Serendipity Star Quilt pattern. I am also working on some new quilt ideas that are in basic testing.

What is your longest running EPP work-in-progress (or EPP project that took you the longest to finish): I started an extra-large hexagon quilt probably about 15 years ago, that I haven’t finished yet. The quilt top is pieced but I started hand quilting it, and it now languishes in a cupboard!

What is your favourite finished EPP project: I think it must be the little clasp coin purse I made from 1cm square pieces – it took an age to make and was a real labour of love, and stubbornness at not wasting fabric.

What is on your EPP bucket list? Could be a particular pattern, shape or size: I really want to make a Passacaglia quilt! I have lots of Tilda fabric that I have saved, and once I have finished my Pemberley quilt, I will start using them for that, if I can be that patient.

Are there any other EPPer’s whose work you find inspiring? I have found so much inspiration from other EPPer’s in the last few years since discovering the creative community on Instagram. I have just bought Millefiori Quilts books 1-4 by Willyne Hammerstein, and I find her ways of using shape and colour to tell a story to be fascinating.

If you could travel anywhere in the world to EPP where would you go? I don’t really have a travel bucket list and am probably happiest sewing on my sofa at home in my pyjamas!

Serendipity Star Quilt

Serendipity Star Quilt English Paper Piecing Pattern

Zoe recently launched her stunning quilt pattern Serendipity Star. I asked Zoe more about this stunning quilt, what inspired it and what the process was like to design and make an EPP quilt pattern.

Where did the inspiration/idea come from for the quilt design? I came up with the design over Christmas 2020, when I took some time out just to be creative for the sake of it. It came about just by messing around building shapes within shapes while watching Christmas films with my family.

Is this the first EPP quilt pattern you have designed? No, I designed and made an EPP quilt for by second born daughter 17 years ago, when I needed a break from hexagons. I drew all the pieces out by hand on lined paper!

What were the challenges you faced when creating the design? I learned to use Adobe Illustrator while designing the quilt pattern, which has been an excellent tool. It took a long time to try to get the balance right in picking out secondary and tertiary patterns within the design – although you can just make it with random scraps and it would still be pretty!

Did you enjoy the process of designing and making the quilt? I did, but I think I will always enjoy the process of making over working on the computer.

How long approximately did it take to complete the pattern, from initial idea to making, and writing the pattern? It took me 9 months to go from the first trial block to the quilt being completed and the pattern written.

What fabrics did you use in the design? I chose to use Minki Kim’s Idyllic line of fabric with a co-ordinating white floral pattern from her Someday collection. I like using a complete collection from a fabric designer, as all the colour matching is done for you. There is a nice amount of contrast in the collection, which worked well to pull out the secondary and tertiary patterns worked within the main design.

How do you feel about the quilt and the design, does it hold an emotional connection to you? It is always going to remind me of COVID-19 lockdowns and home-schooling, as the majority of the quilt was made around that.

You can purchase the Serendipity Star Quilt Pattern HERE

Patterns and Handmade Goodies

Zoe is not only a busy, talented stitcher. As well as being a Mum, Zoe has a Handmade business on Etsy, Annie Thornalley and she sells her own sewing patterns at Zoe Mayson Payhip.

Here is a sampling of some of her handmade items and patterns…

Essential Sewing Wrap Pattern, Fabric Pumpkin Pattern, Scrappy Pouch Pattern

Liberty Patchwork Zip Up Pouch, Small Liberty Zip Pouch, Fabric Storage Basket

I hope you enjoyed getting to know Zoe and seeing a little peek into her Slow Stitching World.

Happy Stitching,

Miss Leela x

Flicker Beat Mini Quilt

Flicker Beat Mini Quilt English Paper Piecing Pattern

This mini quilt was made back in 2018 but I have only just now released it as a pattern. My original quilt was made with a fat 16th bundle of Liberty Fabrics I received from Westwood Acres when I was a brand ambassador for them for a little while. From the bundle I pulled out 5 fabrics that I thought would look pretty together in a mini quilt design. I decided to pair them with some solid cotton and spot fabrics. I had wanted to try using a traditional quilt block design using the English Paper Piecing method for a while. I decided on the star block created from squares and half-square triangles.

For this quilt, I created nine 4″ star blocks. I cut the papers myself and worked out the best way to handpiece them all together to create the block. I used Electric Quilt 7 to draft the initial design and work out roughly what colours and fabrics would go where. I like working in this way sometimes as it allows me to play around with fabric and colour placement until I find the right combination.

When it came to making the mini quilt I first made all of the nine blocks. I then pieced them together in rows and then pieced the rows together. I used paper clips to hold my rows in place while I stitched them to prevent them from sliding and not lining up. I attached four hand-pieced borders to the quilt by making long strip templates out of 220gsm paper the size of the border I wanted. I then used my paper clips again to hold the borders in place while I stitched them on. Adding borders this way can be fiddly, but for small quilts like this I find it creates nice, neat and even borders. If I were to machine sew borders on I would need to be very accurate and work the machine slowly to ensure I pick up the quarter inch seam allowance properly and don’t leave any holes in the seam.

I am really please with this finished mini quilt. The large center squares mean you get to see a large part of the pretty Liberty print, even though the quilt is quite small. I decided to hand quilt using a single strand of white quilting cotton ‘in the ditch’ around every shape.

When it came to writing the pattern I actually tweaked the colour/fabric placement a little. That’s the fun part about re-visiting a project to write up the pattern. You have fresh eyes and can see where things could be improved to make them even better. The pattern includes a full colour piecing chart, block piecing instructions and charts, as well as step by step photo instructions for basting the shapes and piecing the block together. The pattern also includes a colouring -in chart so you can experiment with your own colour/fabric combination.

I am terrible at coming up with names for patterns. I put a call out on Instagram for name suggestions and I got lots of great ones. The only downside was that a lot of the names were already in use for other Quilt and Patchwork designs. I wanted the name to have something to do with Stars, so I looked up an online thesaurus and came across the word Flicker. I instantly connected it to the word beat as it reminded me of the Lorde song of the same name. I think the two words together work well to describe the quilt. The stars flicker through the quilt, standing out but receding at the same time. The whole design has a rhythm to it, like the stars and squares are dancing together to their own beat.

If you would like to make your own Flicker Beat Mini Quilt, you can find the pattern here. The PDF Pattern includes a supplement Printable Shape Template file. If you don’t want to cut your own papers, you can purchase a pre-cut paper template kit separately.

Flicker Beat Mini Quilt English Paper Piecing Pattern

I think this design would look equally good as a cushion and I have plans to make it again, possibly using only solid fabrics.

Happy Stitching,

Miss Leela x