Hi, I’m Louisa! I’m the former sub-editor and proof reader for national press and magazines, then worked and managed a quilt fabric shop for a family business. I’m now working for myself on my own business, Sewmotion, where I design and make up quilt patterns and kits for all levels of quilter.
Have a read of this post to find out more about me and my love of sewing!
What inspired you to explore sewing?
I have loved sewing and all things crafty from an early age, starting with tapestry and cross-stitch kits. My quilting adventure started at art school where I was experimenting with batik, and made a very bright and funky penguin quilt for a friend’s baby.
What was your first project and how did it go?
One of my first projects was for a friend’s new home, made from navy and lime green polycottons with extravagant gold motifs cut from African dress fabric embroidered on to each square – all bought from good old Walthamstow market where I’m from. The quilt has survived, though all the gold has been lost over the years, and my friend’s girls now use it as a comfort blanket.
What is your favourite thing to make and why?
I love making smaller hand sewn projects, particularly using English paper-piecing. Having discovered curved EPP a couple years ago, I am now designing my own shapes on the computer and transferring them on to hoop art, cushions and wall hanging projects. I also get my papers pre-cut in heavier weight paper to include in kits and paper packs.
Give us three words to describe your sewing style
I would say my curved EPP designs are becoming my ‘style’, and I also like using bold colours in my projects when I can. While I’m addicted to EPP, I also like designing and making up simple quilts to help the beginner develop their skills when buying one of my kits or patterns.
What are your three essential soft craft tools?
I would definitely say a temporary glue pen, in my case the Sewline glue pen which enables me to baste curved EPP shapes. A good thimble that you’re comfortable with is a must for hand sewing, and I couldn’t survive without my Janome Horizon sewing machine.
What is your biggest sewing achievement?
A couple of years ago, I entered my Rainbow Rings quilt into the Festival of Quilts. I wanted to show off the curved EPP technique I’d been working on and just had to incorporate a rainbow into the design. I also decided to only use scraps from my stash and enjoyed planning it out on the floor. All the segments are hand pieced using EPP and then hand appliquéd onto the background. I then big-stitch hand-quilted around the rings, adding some motifs in the negative space. I am quite proud that it was entirely my own design and it features my favourite technique, and of course that I raided the stash!
If you could create any project at all, with no limitations or restrictions, what would it be?
If there were no time restrictions, I would love to make a Dear Jane quilt in modern bright fabrics, with maybe some fussy-cutting, and of course hand quilted throughout with different coloured threads.
Are there any other designers who inspire you?
I love the simple yet striking quilts of Lynne Goldsworthy, and the truly stunning work of Florence Knapp of Flossie Teacakes, who showed me how to EPP curves. And I adore the beautiful floral designs from Liberty that are now being reinvented into quilting cottons.
What are your three top tips for someone starting out on their sewing journey?
1. Start small and simple – there are so many clever tips and tricks to learn in quilt making, many of which can be learnt from making a small lap quilt.
2. Don’t be over ambitious – we all have a unfinished EPP hexagon king-size quilt in the loft!
3. When choosing a sewing machine, try and get one with foot speed control, it’s so much easier to learn when your machine’s not going ten to the dozen.
What are you working on now?
I am forever working on new projects to make up into kits for my customers who are always looking for the next new thing! I write a free monthly pattern to my newsletter subscribers, which ensures that I’m sticking to my creativity and still finding time to sew while building and running the business. February’s free pattern is for a cute EPP coaster!
See Louisa in action on John Scott’s Sewing World!