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June 2018

Stitching to sew

Buttercup pouch  from Stitch And Sew book by Aneela Hoey

I'd like to share a closer look at some of the projects and thinking behind my new book Stitch And Sew.  My original idea was that the book should include fresh, modern looking designs that had a grown up appeal.  I wanted the designs to be pretty but not overtly sweet and saccharine.  Most of the patterns originated from drawings in my sketchbook, which I developed in various pattern formations.  At the time I'd been playing around with the idea of mirrored repeats for fabric design but quickly realized that these also had great potential to be used for embroidery patterns.

I had also been thinking a lot about planning my projects better so that once I'd finished stitching up a pattern it didn't get stashed away and forgotten.  I concluded that if I could come up with some quick, simple sewing patterns that could really showcase the stitched pieces I'd solve that problem easily.  All I had to do was to develop a sequence of steps that kept the sewing project in mind when starting the embroidery.  Once the piece was completed I could cut out the remaining pieces and sew up the project.  Since all of the projects are designed to be used, it was also important that they should be durable and this needed to be addressed through the choice of fabric.  I picked out some Essex Yarn Dyed linen in Black by Robert Kaufman and used this to stitch up my first pattern idea and the result of that is the Buttercup drawstring pouch in the photo above.  As soon as I had finished making this project, I instantly knew I was working along the right lines and that this should serve as a blueprint for developing the other patterns in the new book.

Buttercup pouch 2  from Stitch And Sew book by Aneela Hoey

I learnt so much along the way, even as someone who stitches a lot.  There is always something new to learn!  I kept a notebook of everything I found useful to know as I sewed my way through the projects and included all this information in the basics section of the book. 

Vintage pouch  from Stitch And Sew book by Aneela Hoey

Here are some of the other pattern variations for the Drawstring Pouch project.  The above design is called Vintage and is stitched in cross stitch on unbleached calico fabric.  I've added detail with some lawn and cotton for the channel and ties respectively. Below is the Colorwork design which uses a variety of stitches and techniques for fun, playful effects.  

Colorwork pouch  from Stitch And Sew book by Aneela Hoey

I contrasted the yarn dyed linen with some corduroy and leather for this one, along with some super soft flannel on the inside (leftover from backing a quilt).

Colorwork pouch 3 from Stitch And Sew book by Aneela Hoey

Circles pouch  from Stitch And Sew book by Aneela Hoey

Finally, for today's post is the Circles pattern.  Another sampler style project, using a variety of stitches but only shades of pink this time.

I hope you've found something in today's post to inspire you to create!   

Stitch And Sew is now starting to arrive in shops.


Stitch And Sew

Stitch and sew book by aneela hoey

I have something new to show you today.  For the past couple of years, I've been busy working on my third book and I'm exciting to share the details with you.

This book combines my love of both sewing pouches and embroidery.  I wanted to create fresh modern embroidery designs that would be fun to stitch up and also provide the instructions to sew up your stitched pieces into something both beautiful and practical that could be used everyday.

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There are five sewing projects in the book - the photo above shows the drawstring pouch.  Each project is showcased in six different embroidery/fabric variations.  I wanted to emphasize how it is possible to personalize a sewing project in a multitude of different ways - there are simple repetitive patterns, fun sampler designs and pretty floral motifs to choose from.  Instructions are included for all embroidery designs and the sewing project.

The five sewing projects are all great basics - I wanted the sewing element to remain quick and simple to stitch up after your embroidery has been completed.  

There is also a comprehensive embroidery section - covering both basic and advanced stitches and techniques.  As well as a sampler project which will help develop your skills whether you are new to embroidery or have been stitching for many years.

If you're ready to get stitching and sewing, the book has just started arriving in stores.  You can pick up a copy at

- Amazon (US)

- Amazon (UK)

as well as many other online retailers, quilt shops or book shops.