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 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 34 : Living a colourful crochet life with Emma Leith

Emma Leith

When I sat down to chat with the self-named ‘Queen of Colour’ & crochet designer Emma Leith, I was in for a treat. Emma’s enthusiasm for creativity and colour is infectious and she was a delight to speak to. She started out teaching mosaic but a couple of large scale yarnbombs brought Emma to prominence and two books of crochet patterns soon followed.

Emma’s mindful creations and colour choices are so zingy and uplifting – you can’t help but be filled with optimism when you see them.

I hope you enjoy our chat which covered subjects including how a breast cancer diagnosis gave Emma the time to focus on her crochet without pressure, how her creativity is a conduit for her Buddhist practice and how she has learned to embrace the colours of autumn.

You can hear Emma’s episode here.

You can find Emma’s work on her website & Instagram.
Mary Rose Young Pottery is one of Emma’s inspirations.

One of Emma’s mosaics


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 also 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.