We absolutely love your latest book Felt Ornaments for All Occasions! What inspired you to write this book? What do you want readers to take away from it?
I had always wanted to write a sewing book so I was delighted to be approached about doing a book of felt ornaments. I was inspired to design projects for all seasons of the year, as well as Christmas.
The part of the making process I enjoy most is putting together different colour palettes, and adapting patterns to change the finished look, so I wanted to encourage readers to use my designs as a starting point for their own creativity. I still treasure the books which inspired and taught me to sew and have never lost the joy of working with fabrics and making things by hand, so I really hope my own book will start others off on a lifelong passion for stitching!
What is your favourite project from the book and why?
My favourite ornament in the book is the lighthouse from the summer section. The colour of the stripes can be changed for a different effect, and the simple flower motifs can be made in pink for thrift or yellow for buttercups!
I’ve always been fascinated by lighthouses, and this was the first project I designed and submitted to the publisher, which led to the book being commissioned. It’s perfect for coastal décor in a nursery or any part of the home and, as lighthouses symbolise hope and safety for many people, it would also make a lovely gift.
For our readers who haven’t worked with felt before. What would be your top tips for working with this medium?
Felt is a wonderful fabric to start sewing with, as it’s easy to cut and stitch, doesn’t fray, and comes in a huge array of colours. The quality and fibre content varies quite a bit, so I recommend wool or wool blend felt, which holds its shape and maintains a firm edge when stitched. For small, appliqued details where a crisp edge is needed, a thinner acrylic felt works well.
It’s tricky to draw on the fuzzy surface of felt so I always pin paper templates to the felt and cut around them with small pointed scissors. Cutting one layer at a time helps keep the shapes accurate.
Luckily felt is available in small squares, either individually or in mixed packs, so it’s easy to try out different types and collect a nice range of colours for small projects.
Finally, what’s next on the agenda for Tilly & Puffin in 2022?
I’m currently working on another felt ornament book, this time with a Christmas theme. I plan to develop more doll and soft toy patterns, including more outfits and accessories for Tilly and her friends. I would love to do a doll book at some stage.
I’m also venturing into tutorial videos for my fledgling Youtube channel, which is a steep learning curve!
Quick Fire Round
1. Favourite season? ~ Spring.
2. Must-have sewing tool? ~ A tiny ceramic dish, handmade by a friend, which holds the buttons and tiny pieces for whatever I’m stitching, so they don’t get lost.
3. Top three colours? ~ Impossible to choose only three! I love almost all colours but shades of blue-grey and green are my favourites.
Your patterns are lovely. I have a passion for hand stitching with felt, and I like to encourage others to give it a try! Who will be the publisher of your next book? When will it be available?
Hi Robyn, lovely to hear from another person with a passion for hand stitching with felt! I don’t have any date for the next book yet – I hope to have more news in the next few weeks – but in the meantime I’m working on some new digital patterns for the autumn.