Episode 45 : Preserving the Fabric of our History with The People’s History Museum

Part of the 2022 Banner Exhibition at the People’s History Museum

This time on Making Stitches Podcast, I’m taking you out on the road with me to the People’s History Museum in the centre of Manchester. It is the national museum of democracy and home the world’s largest collection of trades union banners. Being custodians of the literal fabric of our history requires painstaking conservation work to keep the banners in a stable condition for future generations to enjoy.

You can listen to the episode here

Chloe from the conservation team working on a banner for the National Coal Mining Museum

I tagged along with a tour of the current banner exhibition and was then incredibly lucky to go behind the scenes at the conservation workshop with Beth Gillions the museum’s conservation officer. My thanks to both her, the conservation team at the museum and Michael Powell who led the banner tour on the day.

Suffrage Atelier banner

To find out more about the Banner Exhibition and the work the People’s History Museum does, please visit their website


The photos above and below show both sides of the same banner which Beth Gillions referenced during our chat.

The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.
The Making Stitches logo was designed by Neil Warburton at iamunknown.

You can support Making Stitches Podcast with running costs through Ko-fi.
Making Stitches  Podcast is supported by the Making Stitches Shop which offers Making Stitches Podcast merchandise for sale as well as Up the Garden Path crochet patterns created by me & illustrated by Emma Jackson.

If you would like to buy a PDF crochet pattern for Sophia the Sunflower, (£5 from the sale of every pattern will be donated to the UNHCR Refugee aid effort supporting Ukrainian refugees) you can find the link here.

Making Stitches Podcast is presented, recorded and edited by Lindsay Weston.

Episode 44 : Crochet & Knitting at the Woolnest with Lynne Rowe

Lynne Rowe

Crochet & Knitting designer Lynne Rowe is my guest for this episode of Making Stitches Podcast. You can hear her episode HERE.

Lynne first learned to knit and crochet as a child, but it was after the birth of her own children that she turned to yarn crafts in earnest. Firstly knitting for pleasure, then to raise money for charity, Lynne then ventured into crochet and knitting design and has written several books as well as working with a number of different craft magazines.

A passionate yarn crafter, Lynne runs workshops for crochet & knitting beginners as well as mentoring crochet and knitting designers to help them progress their careers too.

You can find Lynne at her website, Instagram, Facebook, & Pinterest.


The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.
The Making Stitches logo was designed by Neil Warburton at iamunknown.

You can support Making Stitches Podcast with running costs through Ko-fi.
Making Stitches Podcast is supported by the Making Stitches Shop which offers Making Stitches Podcast merchandise for sale as well as Up the Garden Path crochet patterns created by me & illustrated by Emma Jackson.

If you would like to buy a PDF crochet pattern for Sophia the Sunflower, (£5 from the sale of every pattern will be donated to the UNHCR Refugee aid effort supporting Ukrainian refugees) you can find the link here.

Making Stitches Podcast is presented, recorded and edited by Lindsay Weston

Episode 43 : COLOUR, CREATIVITY & A COMMUNITY KICK-STARTER with Clare Albans from hellohooray.com

Clare Albans from Hello Hooray Blog

Hello and welcome to this episode of Making Stitches Podcast celebrating the joys of colour and creativity as well as community support. You can hear Clare’s episode here.

When Clare Albans left a career in music behind, hand embroidery helped fill the gap leaving her job had left her with. After blogging about her life and makes for several years, Clare launched her small embroidery business selling designs and haberdashery and filling her Instagram followers’ feeds with a riot of colour and inspiration.

The Happy Stitch Project
One of Clare’s hoop kits

Last year, Clare launched a kick-starter campaign to raise the funds needed to open her own bricks and mortar haberdashery shop and studio which she hoped to use to help her local community in the North East of England. Unsure how the fundraising would go, she was overwhelmed with support and is now celebrating her one-year anniversary of Hello Hooray Haberdashery & Studio. Clare has been enjoying spreading her love of making, meeting customers and being able to host craft social events and workshops in her studio too.

The Happy Hooray Studio

You can find out more about Clare on her website, Instagram, Pinterest & Twitter. Clare also has her own YouTube channel, which you can find here.

Clare’s first book: Colourful, Fun Embroidery

The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.
The Making Stitches logo was designed by Neil Warburton at iamunknown.

You can support Making Stitches Podcast with running costs through Ko-fi.
Making Stitches Podcast is supported by the Making Stitches Shop which offers Making Stitches Podcast merchandise for sale as well as Up the Garden Path crochet patterns created by me & illustrated by Emma Jackson.

If you would like to buy a PDF crochet pattern for Sophia the Sunflower, (£5 from the sale of every pattern will be donated to the UNHCR Refugee aid effort supporting Ukrainian refugees) you can find the link here.

Making Stitches Podcast is presented, recorded and edited by Lindsay Weston

Episode 42 : CROCHET-TASTIC with Hannah Cross from Hanjan Crochet & Amanda Bloom from Little Box of Crochet

Hannah Cross from Hanjan Crochet (l) & Amanda Bloom from Little Box of Crochet (r)

Welcome to a crochet-tastic double bill of Making Stitches featuring not just one, but two inspirational makers; Hannah Cross from Hanjan Crochet and Amanda Bloom from Little Box of Crochet. You can listen to the episode here.

Hannah Cross

My first guest, Hannah Cross has been designing crochet garments, toys and soft furnishings for over a decade and has been featured in Simply Crochet Magazine many times over those years. After leaving a career in Midwifery, Hannah now designs full time and is about to launch her first crochet course this spring. She spoke to me about how she finds comfort in her crochet and how her career has developed over the years.

Hannah’s Strawberries & Cream Blanket

Hannah can turn her hand to all sorts of crocheted items and says she has a style but not a particular niche with garments, toys, accessories and soft furnishings amongst her many designs.

Hannah’s Oliver Sweater

You can find Hannah on her website, Facebook & Instagram.

Hannah’s Cross Cable Pillow design
Amanda Bloom wrapped up in one of the Blanket of Hugs for Ukraine

In part 2 of this episode I share a chat I had last week with Amanda Bloom from Little Box of Crochet about her project ‘Blanket of Hugs Ukraine’ which has seen her appeal to crocheters around the world to send her crocheted squares to be made into blankets to raise funds for the DEC (Disasters Emergency Committee) for their work on the ground in Ukraine. The Little Box of Crochet community hasn’t let her down, with dozens of squares arriving daily at her home where she’s eagerly joining them to make beautiful blankets.

Amanda’s dog Betty who you may hear in the background of our chat admiring one of the blanket tassels!

You can find out more about Blanket of Hugs Ukraine through the Little Box of Crochet website, Facebook page & Instagram.

Sunflower detail from one of the blanket squares
A completed Blanket of Hugs for Ukraine

If you would like to buy a PDF crochet pattern for Sophia the Sunflower, (£5 from the sale of every pattern will be donated to the UNHCR Refugee aid effort supporting Ukrainian refugees) you can find the link here.

Sophia the Sunflower surrounded with Blanket of Hugs for Ukraine squares ready to be posted to Amanda


The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.
The Making Stitches logo was designed by Neil Warburton at iamunknown.


You can support Making Stitches Podcast with running costs through Ko-fi.
Making Stitches Podcast is supported by the Making Stitches Shop which offers Making Stitches Podcast merchandise for sale as well as Up the Garden Path crochet patterns created by me & illustrated by Emma Jackson.

Episode 41 : From Ukrainian Cross Stitch to Canadian Quilting with Olesya Lebedenko

Hello and welcome to the first episode in this new series of Making Stitches Podcast!

You can listen to this episode here.

Olesya Lebedenko with some of her previous books

Kicking off this new series is a chat I had with Ukrainian artist Olesya Lebedenko. Olesya first got creative as a young child making up stories for her toys, then at the age of 5 she was taught to cross-stitch by her grandmother. Crafts would stay with her throughout her life – she says she has never been able to sit and do nothing with her hands.

An example of traditional Ukrainian cross stitch along with quilted button in Ukraine’s National colours

When the global economic crash hit in 2008, Olesya found herself without a job and expecting a baby with her husband, so she turned to craft as a way of making money. Firstly with craft supplies to make rag dolls and then also teaching students how to make them. However, when Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, things changed, and Olesya and her family began planning to move to Canada to begin a new life closer to her brother and supported by her quilt-making and applique work.

A traditional quilted Ukrainian cottage scene used to make a glasses case

Now based in Toronto, Olesya runs workshops, writes for several craft magazines and has written a number of books, the latest of which is due out in May featuring applique designs of flower animals.

One of Olesya’s fox poppies

At the beginning of this interview, we spoke at length about Ukrainian folk embroidery, the war in Ukraine and Olesya’s fears for her family and friends still living in there. She also spoke about the online abuse she and other Ukrainian artists have experienced since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

The quilt block of a dreaming cat which Olesya referenced in our chat
One of Olesya’s books

To find out more about Olesya and her beautiful work, please have a look at these links:

Olesya Lebedenko Design
Olesya Lebedenko Instagram
Olesya Lebedenko Etsy Shop

You can find out more about traditional Ukrainian embroidery here.

A quilt block from Olesya’s 365 days quilting challenge

If you would like to buy a PDF crochet pattern for Sophia the Sunflower, (£5 from the sale of every pattern will be donated to the UNHCR Refugee aid effort supporting Ukrainian refugees) you can find the link here.

The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.
The Making Stitches logo was designed by Neil Warburton at iamunknown.

You can support Making Stitches Podcast with running costs through Ko-fi.
Making Stitches Podcast is supported by the Making Stitches Shop which offers Making Stitches Podcast merchandise for sale as well as Up the Garden Path crochet patterns created by me & illustrated by Emma Jackson.


Making Stitches Podcast is presented, recorded and edited by Lindsay Weston.

Episode 40 : Forgiveness, Hope & Knitted Bears with Figen Murray

Figen Murray OBE

Figen Murray first took up knitting seriously to help her cope with hearing loss. At the time, she was working as a psychotherapist, and decided to practice what she preached and turned to creativity to help lift her mood. Little did she know then that just a few years later her knitting would help her cope with the dreadful loss of her son, Martyn Hett, who was one of the 22 victims of the Manchester Arena attack in 2017.

Figen’s knitted bears

By the time of the attack, Figen had taken to knitting bears which she sold online and which she used to help people with various mental health issues. In May 2017, her life was (in her words) “turned upside down”, and she left psychotherapy work to look at why people are compelled to commit acts of terrorism and to try to prevent it happening so that other families wouldn’t have to experience what happened to hers.

Figen’s book which was published in 2017

Figen’s bears became ‘Peace Bears’ and not only have they given her a constructive way of coping with her own grief, but she has used them to reach out to the victims of other attacks too. Figen now visits schools to speak about terrorism and the dangers of radicalisation as well as the good and positivity there is in the world in a bid to “break the cycle of hate”. In December 2021, Figen graduated with a Masters Degree in Counter Terrorism from the University of Central Lancashire and was recognised for her work in counter terrorism when she was awarded an OBE in this year’s New Year’s Honours List.

Figen’s Bears doing yoga!

It was utter pleasure to speak to Figen for Making Stitches and I’m incredibly grateful for her time and openness in speaking to me for the podcast.

Jordan Bear whose travels are documented on Facebook

You can find out more about Figen here and to see Jordan Bear’s traveling adventures you can find him here.

The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.
The Making Stitches logo was designed by Neil Warburton at iamunknown.

You can support Making Stitches Podcast with running costs through Ko-fi.
Making Stitches Podcast is supported by the Making Stitches Shop which offers Making Stitches Podcast merchandise for sale as well as Up the Garden Path crochet patterns created by me & illustrated by Emma Jackson.

Episode 39 : Celebrating Freedom & Crafty Resolutions for 2022 : The Making Stitches Podcast Review of the Year 2021 (Part 2)

I hope you’ve had a lovely Christmas! I have one last gift for you this year before the clock strikes midnight again and we begin another year. Following on from the Happy Stitchmas episode published on Christmas Eve, this is my Hogmanay offering with a celebration of some of the freedoms I was able to enjoy this year as well as hearing about peoples’ crafty New Year’s Resolutions for 2022.

Among my guests for this trip down Memory Lane are Crochet Sanctuary regulars Diane & Sam who I met on my visit to the Crochet Sanctuary in Cheshire in Spring. There’s the hugely inspiring Sarah Corbett from the Craftivist Collective and Evie & Gemma from the Manchester Flock of Canary Craftivists which took place in the city centre in July. Former BBC Europe Correspondent, Mary Jane Baxter, spoke to me about her amazing crafty road trip around Europe and Scotland in her camper van – Bambi, plus there was my fabulous trip across the Pennines to the Yarndale Festival in Skipton in September.

You’ll also be able to hear from a couple of the ladies from Black Sheep Wools in Warrington, crafter Kate Blackburn who makes beautiful handstitched cards, Christine Perry aka Winwick Mum and someone who has helped me a great deal this year; Amanada from Mrs G Makes.

You can hear the episode here!

My thanks to everyone who has spoken to me for Making Stitches this year and made it a year to remember for the podcast. My thanks to you too for listening! Happy New Year – I hope 2022 is a good one for you.

My guests on this episode were:
Sam & Diane who I met at The Crochet Sanctuary
Sarah Corbett from The Craftivist Collective
Evie & Gemma from the Manchester Flock of Canary Craftivists
Tracy & Lucy from Black Sheep Wools
Kate Blackburn from Katie Did This UK on Etsy & Instagram
Mary Jane Baxter author of Sew on the Go
Yvonne, one of the volunteers from the Yarndale Festival
Juey from Juey Jumbo Crarft Tools
Carole Rennison from Hooked by Design & Yarndale Festival Organiser
Christine Perry from Winwick Mum
Amanda Greenhough from Mrs G Makes Etsy Shop & Mrs G Makes You Tube Videos

The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.
The Making Stitches logo was designed by Neil Warburton at iamunknown.

You can support Making Stitches Podcast with running costs through Ko-fi.
Making Stitches Podcast is supported by the Making Stitches Shop which offers Making Stitches Podcast merchandise for sale as well as Up the Garden Path crochet patterns created by me & illustrated by Emma Jackson.

Holly, Ivy, Hope the Snowdrop
& Flora the gardener

Episode 38 : Happy Stitchmas 2021! The Making Stitches Podcast Christmas Special & Review of the Year 2021 (Part 1)

It’s Christmas Eve, so here’s my Christmas gift to you dear listener! This year I’m splitting my Christmas Special into two halves, the first one is here for you today, and the second one will be out one week from today on New Year’s Eve.

In Part 1 I look back at a few of my personal highlights of the year so far on Making Stitches and feature little snippets from interviews with Sara Huntington – Editor of Simply Crochet Magazine, Louise Armitage aka Gini’s Dorset Buttons, Great British Sewing Bee 2021 contestant Adam Brooks, Heather Griffith from HGDC Crochet & Louise Murray from Hooked by Lou. You’ll also hear from Tracy, Julie and Lucy from Black Sheep Wools in Warrington and Kate Blackburn from Katie Did This UK hand-stitched cards.

You can find links to all my guests below. My thanks to everyone who spoke to me for the Podcast this year – I couldn’t have done it without you!

I hope you enjoy listening to this special festive episode and I very much look forward to sharing Part 2 with you soon! Have a great Christmas! You can listen to it here.

Sara Huntington – Editor Simply Crochet Magazine & @crochetdeli on Instagram
Louise Armitage aka Gini’s Dorset Buttons
Hayley Shelton aka DotCraftStudio
Adam Brooks
Matthew Downham Art
Heather Griffith from HG Designs Crochet
Louise Murray from Hooked by Lou
Tracy, Julie & Lucy from Black Sheep Wools
Kate Blackburn from Katie Did This UK on Etsy & Instagra
The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.
The Making Stitches logo was designed by Neil Warburton at iamunknown.

You can support Making Stitches Podcast with running costs through Ko-fi.
Making Stitches Podcast is supported by the Making Stitches Shop which offers Making Stitches Podcast merchandise for sale as well as Up the Garden Path crochet patterns created by me & illustrated by Emma Jackson.

Episode 37 : Alyson Chu from Moorit & Keep Calm & Carry Yarn

When Alyson Chu spotted a gap in the market for a high-end crochet magazine, she decided to draw on her publishing experience and put one together herself. With Kick-Starter backing of over 600 individuals and the support of a group of crochet designers, Moorit was born this autumn showcasing beautiful crocheted garments to make as well as articles and a very cute sheep project too.

A podcaster herself for more than 4 years along with her mother, Vivian, with Keep Calm and Carry Yarn, Alyson is well used to speaking about her ongoing projects and her love of crochet. I think you’ll really enjoy hearing about how Moorit came into being, as well as Alyson’s hopes for the magazine going forwards and whether she will be won over by the dark side (knitting) or not!

Sivu Jumper designed by Linda Skuja (from Issue 1 of Moorit)

My sincere thanks to Alyson for speaking to me for Making Stitches Podcast. You can hear the episode here.

Spraoi Mittens & Cowl designed by Anne-Michelle Phelan (featured in Issue 1 of Moorit)

You can find out more about Moorit Magazine here and Keep Calm and Carry Yarn Podcast here.

The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.
The Making Stitches logo was designed by Neil Warburton at iamunknown.

You can support Making Stitches Podcast with running costs through Ko-fi.
Making Stitches Podcast is supported by the Making Stitches Shop which offers Making Stitches Podcast merchandise for sale as well as Up the Garden Path crochet patterns created by me & illustrated by Emma Jackson.

Episode 36 : Crafting a Dream Sewing Business with Sarah Wadey & Freya Gilbert of Crafty Sew and So

Sarah Wadey (L) & Freya Gilbert (R)
from Crafty Sew & So

When Freya Gilbert and Sarah Wadey met at a sewing workshop in 2014, they knew they had met a kindred spirit. Within months they followed their dreams of setting up a sewing business and opened their bricks and mortar shop Crafty Sew and So in Leicester selling fabric haberdashery and offering award-winning workshops. They used their skills gained in retail and the fashion industry to build their business which included a variety of craft workshops as well as dressmaking patterns and kits.

When Covid forced the shop to close, undeterred, Freya and Sarah moved to the Crafty Sew and So workshop and put their business online. During the past 18 months they have not only continued to sell sewing essentials but have run online workshops attracting participants from overseas as well as closer to home. Now that Covid restrictions have eased they are beginning to offer in-person workshops too.

I’m thrilled that Freya and Sarah were able to share their story with me for Making Stitches. You can hear their episode here.

If you would like to find out more about Crafty Sew and So, you can do here. You can also find them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

If you would like to take part in the Christmas episode of Making Stitches with your own ‘stitch story’ please get in touch with me via social media or email: makingstitchespodcast@gmail.com
The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.
The Making Stitches logo was designed by Neil Warburton at iamunknown.

You can support Making Stitches Podcast with running costs through Ko-fi.
Making Stitches Podcast is supported by the Making Stitches Shop which offers Making Stitches Podcast merchandise for sale as well as Up the Garden Path crochet patterns created by me & illustrated by Emma Jackson.