Episode 20 : Mapping the World in Textiles with Janet Browne, textile artist

Halifax, A Yorkshire town

Hello and welcome to the twentieth episode of Making Stitches. After two episodes almost exclusively focusing on crochet, our attention is turned to textiles and textile art in particular this time. Late last year I spoke to Yorkshire-based textile artist Janet Browne about her beautiful observational work which maps journeys she has made as well as townscapes, gardens and allotments.

Janet at her sewing machine

Like all of us, 2020 and the pandemic has seen Janet’s world shrink from the freedom of long car journeys to walks around her local neighbourhood and that has had an impact on her work. She spoke to me about her love of making, how she wasn’t able to create the work she does until this particular time in her life and how she finds inspiration everywhere – even in motorway traffic signs!

Starlings and Cornflowers

You can listen to Janet’s episode here.

Stockinger Lane Allotments

To see Janet’s work, please visit her website : https://janetbrownetextiles.wordpress.com/2020/08/18/janet-browne/ or find her on Instagram

A Journey from Wharfedale to Seahouses

Making Stitches is going to be taking a short break, but will be back soon. Please subscribe to Making Stitches on your favourite podcast app or follow Making Stitches on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter so you won’t miss the next episode.


The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.

Making Stitches Podcast is recorded and edited by Lindsay from Postcard from Gibraltar.

Episode 19 : Doing What You Love with Sara Huntington, Editor of Simply Crochet Magazine

Sara Huntington

Happy New Year and welcome to the first episode of Making Stitches for 2021! In this episode we hear from crochet designer and Editor of Simply Crochet Magazine Sara Huntington. Sara tells me how she first discovered crochet by chance on a family holiday and hasn’t put her hook down since! She also explains how, several years ago, she made a conscious decision to follow her dreams and turn her passion for craft into her profession after juggling two jobs as well as motherhood to get there.

Sara has seen a boom in the number of people becoming interested in crafts, and specifically crochet, in recent months and is a keen advocate for its benefits. In this episode she shares her creative journey and the amazing determination she had to get to where she is today. Sara also shares her experiences of the process of finding inspiring designs to fill the pages of each issue of Simply Crochet magazine.

Bunting designed by Sara for Simply Crochet Magazine

You can hear the episode by searching for Making Stitches on your favourite podcast app or via this link.

Blanket designed by Sara for Simply Crochet Magazine

For more information on Simply Crochet, please visit the magazine website and you can find Sara on Instagram as @crochetdeli.

The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.

Making Stitches Podcast is recorded and edited by Lindsay from Postcard from Gibraltar.

Episode 18 : Happy Stitchmas! The 2020 Making Stitches Christmas Special

Season’s greetings! Here’s a very special Christmas episode of Making Stitches Podcast for you. I know that this Christmas is one like no other and thought you might appreciate an extra long episode of stitchy chat to lift the spirits – especially if your festive plans have been dealt a blow by the latest Covid restrictions.

Making Stitches is a product of the lockdown (it was a project for me to focus on instead of thinking about everything else that was going on). So I thought I’d take this opportunity to look back at 2020 and how crafts help get us through when things are tough. I asked Making Stitches listeners if they would like to share their ‘Stitch Stories’ and four of them very kindly stepped forward. My thanks to Diane from Merseyside, Lisa in Macclesfield, Rebecca in Ontario in Canada and Sarah in Gibraltar for sharing their Stitch Stories.

Lynda-Rose (l) & Lisa (r)
from The Crochet Sanctuary

Also featuring in this episode are Lisa & Lynda-Rose from The Crochet Sanctuary (who were my first ever guests on Making Stitches back in April) as well as Eleonora from Coastal Crochet. Lisa & Lynda-Rose spoke to me about their projects since April (3 Crochet-alongs and a podcast of their own no less!) and Eleonora spoke of the therapeutic benefits of crochet and how hosting her Beachcomber Blanket CAL this spring helped her cope with all that was happening.

Eleonora Tully & her dog Salty
from Coastal Crochet

Wherever you are in the world at this time and whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I hope you find peace and joy and let’s all look forward to a brighter, more positive 2021 with our crafts to keep us company! Happy Christmas & Happy Stitchmas!

Listen to the episode by searching for Making Stitches on your favourite podcast app or through this link.

You can find Lisa & Lynda-Rose at The Crochet Sanctuary on social media. Eleonora’s website is Coastal Crochet and you can find her on social media too.

And to find my lovely listeners who shared their Stitch Stories: You can find Diane at Stitchscape, Lisa is Teal & Tangerine on Etsy and on social media. Rebecca is at Sweet Bee Crochet and you can see Sarah as @sarahsheehangib on Instagram.

The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.

Making Stitches Podcast is recorded and edited by Lindsay from Postcard from Gibraltar.

Episode 17 : Finding colour inspiration in a lockdown veg patch with Agnis Smallwood

Agnis Smallwood
(Photo credit: Joanne Crawford)

This week, designer, maker, educator and weaver Agnis Smallwood speaks to me about her craft, her creative journey and how she found inspiration for her work this year among the carrots and radishes she grew in her small veg patch during lockdown. Agnis, who is based in Yorkshire, works on solo weaving projects as well as collaborations with organisations like museums. She also teaches weaving and other crafts like rag rug making and felting.

Table Loom

Just a few generations ago looms were a familiar sight in domestic settings giving artisans the chance to work from home. Just like the generations of weavers who have gone before her, Agnis is currently working on her loom from home which is where she spoke to me from.

Woven fabric
Lockdown veg patch inspired woven scarves
(Photo credit: Joanne Crawford)

You can see Agnis’ work and find out about her workshops on her website.

Agnis’ radish inspired scarf
(Photo credit: Joanne Crawford)

Listen to this episode either by searching for Making Stitches on your favourite podcast app or here.

This episode is dedicated to the memory of Anu Dent, a crocheter and a much valued supporter of Making Stitches who very sadly passed away in November 2020. My condolences go out to her family and friends.

The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.

Making Stitches Podcast is recorded and edited by Lindsay from Postcard from Gibraltar.

Episode 16 : Creativity for Mental Health with Emma Jones from the Vintage Sewing Box & Looking Ahead to Christmas with The Apex Singers

Creativity whether it’s music, craft or art has long been seen as having a positive impact on mental health, and after the year we have all experienced, it’s something many of us have had to focus on. This week on Making Stitches, Emma Jones from Vintage Sewing Box speaks about the benefits of focusing the mind on stitching and how that simple repetitive activity can calm the mind and our thoughts look ahead to Christmas with the Apex Singers.

Emma Jones from Vintage Sewing Box

Emma Jones says on her blog that she ‘loves sewing’ it’s been an important part of her life since early childhood. In this episode Emma not only explains how stitching has helped her deal with difficult times, she also discusses her love of English Paper Piecing and hand embroidery and has a truly lovely tale about a quilt dedicated to the memory of her Gran.

Mabel’s Garden – Emma’s quilt dedicated to the memory of her Gran
Emma with ‘Mabel’s Garden’ on display at the art exhibition

To find out more about Emma Jones’ work please check out her website: Vintage Sewing Box

The Apex Singers

Also this week, as our thoughts turn towards Christmas, we hear from The Apex Singers about a special Christmas Concert they are hosting online. The young vocalist group, which is based in Manchester, launched its first album back in March just as the UK went into lockdown and is now looking forward to performing together for the first time since that launch. Lydia Wonham from The Apex Singers explains how 2020 has changed the way the group has made music and how they now want to share their Christmas performance with as many people as they can online.

You can find out about The Apex Singers here and you can buy tickets for their Christmas Concert ‘Snowed in at Home’ here.

** YOU CAN LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE HERE OR BY SEARCHING FOR MAKING STITCHES IN YOUR FAVOURITE PODCAST APP! **

The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.

Making Stitches Podcast is recorded and edited by Lindsay from Postcard from Gibraltar.

Vintage Sewing Box

Episode 15 : From Alpacas to the 3 Wise Men with Kerry Lord from Toft UK

Kerry Lord

Kerry Lord took up crochet for the first time when she went on maternity leave from her family’s alpaca yarn business less than ten years ago. She watched some YouTube tutorials and created a cuddly elephant for her baby; Edward, who was still yet to be born. Little did she know back then that Bridget the Elephant would eventually go on to be made thousands of times by crocheters around the world and the book of crochet animal patterns she would go on to write would be translated into 22 different languages.

Kerry’s first pattern book: Edward’s Menagerie

This week on Making Stitches, I have a chat with Kerry Lord, the founder of Toft and creator of more than 200 crochet patterns. Kerry has gone on to write 11 pattern books, the most recent of which; A Partridge in a Pear Tree, has been released in time for Christmas. She told me how the business first got started and how after shaky beginnings it’s become the flourishing creative hub it now is.

Toft Alpacas
The Three Wise Men from the new Toft Christmas Collection

We chatted last week in the first day of our most recent National lockdown here in the UK and just before Kerry launched the brand new Toft Christmas campaign which you can find out all about on the company’s website.

You can listen to the episode here.

Ellie from the new Toft Christmas collection

The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.

Estella the Clockwork Nightingale
Kerry’s latest book: A Partridge in a Pear Tree

Episode 14 : Stitching at the bottom of the garden with Cathy from Dear Emma

Many of us choose to seek a different career path after starting a family, and Cathy Emmott is no different. She took the time she spent on maternity leave with her young family to look at ways of developing her creative side rather than returning to a job in finance.

After a lifetime of being creative, she dusted off her sewing machine and began creating fabric pictures inspired by her surroundings in the Yorkshire Dales. Her business ‘Dear Emma Designs’ was born and after initially selling her work at local craft fairs, she branched into online sales and leading workshops to pass on the skills she has learned over the years.

I had great fun speaking to her about her work, her inspiration, how her business has developed over the past 15 years and about her wonderful workshop in her garden where all the magic happens.

Cathy’s fabulous garden workshop

You can find Cathy on social media as ‘Dear Emma Designs’ and here: dear-emma.com

Where the magic happens…


The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.

One of Cathy’s beautiful lampshades inspired by the wildflowers growing near her home

You can listen to this episode by searching for ‘Making Stitches’ on your favourite podcast app or by clicking onto this link.

Making Stitches Podcast is recorded and edited by Lindsay from Postcard from Gibraltar.

Episode 13 Crochet & Community with Jill from Gumleaf Crochet

When Jill picked up a crochet hook after a period of ill health and a serious injury three years ago, she had no idea where it would lead. Her Gum Leaf Crochet Instagram account now has over 14,000 like-minded people forming part of the Gum Leaf community.

Jill says she has formed deep bonds with some of her fellow online crocheters across the globe as well as in her native Australia. She offers support and encouragement to anyone who wants to get involved, especially those who may have had health problems like she has.

Jill says she’s inspired by the nature which surrounds her on the eastern coast of Australia, and has begun dying yarn using natural dyes & pigments.

You can hear this episode with Jill from Gum Leaf Crochet here. You can also find Making Stitches on podcast apps like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher as well as many others.

This episode was recorded and edited by Lindsay from Postcard from Gibraltar.

Music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops

Episode 12 : Bag making with Mrs H & Yarndale@home 2020

Samantha Hussey aka Mrs H

This week on Making Stitches I have two guests for you; Bag Maker Extraordinaire Samantha Hussey (also known as Mrs H) and Carole Rennison from Yarndale. Last weekend saw the first ever Yarndale@home as the yarn festival was forced to go online because of the current Covid restrictions. I caught up with Carole earlier this week to find out how the new-look festival had gone.

Before that though, you will hear from Samantha Hussey of Patterns by Mrs H. A bag maker who is on a mission to share the love of her craft with anyone who wants to have a go. Her book The Complete Bag Making Masterclass is packed with tips and ideas for creating your own beautiful bags. It comes with several patterns with detailed instructions on how to make your own.

In addition to that, Samantha runs bag making retreats and supports an online bag making community. She tells me all about how her bag making journey developed and why she believes she has a very special super power which helps with her designs.

You can find Samantha here: mrs-h.com Swoon patterns can be found here.


You can find Yarndale here: yarndale.co.uk

The bloggers Carole & I spoke about during our chat were Martin Up North & Kwannie Cheng from Studio Manya


The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops

YOU CAN LISTEN TO THE PODCAST EPISODE HERE

Episode 11 : Making Stitches is back for a new series!

Hello there! Making Stitches is back for a new series after a long summer break. In this series, as with the first one, I hope to be sharing the stories of interesting creative projects as well as hearing from creators themselves about their own creative journeys. 

In this first episode of series 2 I recap on what’s been happening over the summer for myself as well as some of my guests from series 1. Since I last spoke to you, a new crochet podcast has been born, a lockdown quilt has been completed and is now on tour raising funds for charity and just like many other events this summer a yarn festival is going online so you can enjoy it from the comfort of your own home.

For more information on the subjects covered in this episode, please check out:

Lynda-Rose & Lisa from The Crochet Sanctuary

The Crochet Sanctuary Website or find the new Crochet Sanctuary Podcast on your favourite podcast app.

The Creativity in Captivity Quilt

Search for ‘The Quilt. Spring2020 Creativity in Captivity’ on Facebook.

For full details of Yarndale@home please visit the Yarndale website and follow Yarndale on social media for all the details.

For full show notes for this episode, please visit theMaking Stitches Podcast

Music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops

**You can listen to this episode here! ** You can also find Making Stitches on podcast apps like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher as well as many others.