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
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.
Miss Leela x