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.
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.
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.
For many of us, our crafts take a back seat as we concentrate on our careers and creativity can be stifled by everyday life. For novelist, Elaine Everest, a childhood growing up with a mother who made clothes and sewed for friends and family, that creativity stayed with her. From dressmaking as a young girl to making designer garments on a knitting machine for London boutiques to then setting up her own business sewing raincoats for dogs, Elaine achieved a lot before she embarked on yet another creative career as a novelist.
Sewing is a theme which runs through Elaine’s series ‘The Woolworths Girls’ and is centre stage in her latest book; The Patchwork Girls. The story, set in World War II, sees a group of women form a sewing circle making patchwork quilts and other items for the war effort. Elaine drew on her own experience of crafts to write the story which shows the healing effects of both friendships and creativity.
Elaine says that although her interest in crafting had waned over the years, the events of the past 18 months have reacquainted her with sewing, crochet and other crafts and that they have ‘saved’ her during lockdown. She spoke to me about her life, her love of creativity and how she ended up writing a string of novels.
Back in the days before Covid, when the notion of being able to pack up a camper van and do a road trip of Europe was a thing, former BBC Brussels Correspondent Mary Jane Baxter did just that. She did it in style in a 1986 Bedford Bambi van adorned with vintage wallpaper. Taking just a few possessions with her, including her hand-crank sewing machine and a collection of her own hand-made hats, she set off on a voyage of creativity and adventure calling in on former work colleagues and discovering new textile inspired destinations.
On her return from her tour of France, Belgium, Italy and Scotland, Mary Jane set about recording her travels in the form of a book; Sew on the Go. In it you find a travel journal, a number of creative craft projects you can have a go at as well as a searingly honest document of the highs and, at times, painfully lonely lows of solo traveling. From driving down a black run in the Alps (during summer) and camping next to a Cathedral in France to browsing flea markets and hosting craft pop-ups to help fund the trip, Mary Jane’s account of her travels is warm, emotional and utterly inspiring.
My grateful thanks to Mary Jane for sharing her adventures with me for Making Stitches.
You can listen to Mary Jane on Making Stitches here.
You can find Mary Jane’s website, where you can order her book; Sew on the Go here and her Instagram account here.
The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.
You can support Making Stitches Podcast with running costs through Ko-fi.