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March 2022 Edition

We did it again! A Month of Mending in March is now behind us for the third year running. With the help of our friends in the Still Point Stitchers Facebook group we managed to make a start on our mending pile. A lot was accomplished: holes were filled, tears were repaired, friends were made, new techniques were learnt. A huge thank you to all who joined in making it a thoroughly enjoyable affair taking all the onerous dread and procrastination out of the task of mending!

A Month of Mending in March Highlights

Creative Mending Online Workshops!

Our first Sashiko Mending Online Workshop was held attended by a lovely international group of mending enthusiasts. We learnt about the history of Sashiko mending, how to create repeating patterns, how to transfer them onto denim and how to stitch them with running stitch. Great chats and skills learnt!

I finally learnt how to do the Swiss Darning method and have a Swiss Darning Online Workshop coming up soon. This neat and versatile darning method is now my number one favourite for it's relaxing rhythm and pleasing result:

To book onto future Sashiko Mending & Swiss Darning Online Workshops

Interviews with Special Guest Stitchers

I had great mending chats with the lovely Emily Mae Martin, repair specialist for the sustainable clothing brand, Toast.

Interview with Slow Stitch specialist, Yvonne Fuchs, author of The Art of Knowing Yourself Through Slow Stitch

is coming soon at 4pm UK time on Tuesday 12th April on Instagram Live.

To listen to the recording of the interview with Emily Mae Martin on Instagram Live,

Live Mending Sessions

There was much interest in the Live Mending sessions held every Tuesday on Instagram Live throughout March.

Thanks to all who came along and to watch all the recordings on Instagram, click here.

Still Point Stitchers Online Community

As always, the Still Point Stitchers online community was busy and buzzing throughout March, thank you to all who contributed to this community through sharing, posting, liking, cheering, watching and asking mending questions. Mostly, we laughed a lot at our mending fails and methods of procrastination! Do come and join if you're looking for a more sociable approach to stitching:

New Embroidery Course Launch!

30 Embroidery Techniques Online Programme

*offer valid until 1st May 2022

Learn 30 embroidery techniques and create a stylish, modern sampler. Work your way through 30 embroidery lessons to complete your sampler.

Each lesson includes:

- Embroidery Stitch Illustrated Print Out with a pictorial guide to each stitch and example stitch outcome picture.

- Embroidery Stitch Video Tutorial outlining step by step stitch instructions

Suitable for:

  • Beginner embroiderers wanting to learn 30 embroidery stitches from the comfort of their own home

  • More experienced stitchers wanting to expand their stitching repertoire

  • Stitchers needing motivation and accountability to finish their Modern Sampler stitching template

To join the new 30 Embroidery Techniques Online Programme,

Last Modern Sampler Kit!

Only one 4th Edition Modern Sampler Kit remains!

5th Edition Modern Sampler Kits coming soon...

Seed Pod Series Embroidery Subscription is re-open for new subscribers in April only!

A 6-month artisan embroidery kit subscription offer.

Helping busy people make time for making.

Looking a for a stylish homeware craft project to bring the creativity back into your everyday life?

I don't know about you, but I find that life always feels better when I have a hand stitching project on the go. I love projects that I can pick up and put down easily, take with me wherever I go and work on in whenever I have a spare moment. ​

This limited edition, 6-month, artisan embroidery kit subscription, brings a new Seed Pod Kit containing 4 beautiful, hand printed templates and all the materials and instructions you’ll need right to your door every month.

This is for you if:

  • You love hand stitching projects but you just don’t have the time to think about what to make or where to start.

  • You love to know there's something new and exciting arriving in the post each month for you to get started on.

  • You're looking for something you can put your own stamp on as well as have a bit of guidance.

  • You'd like to have a stylish, hand-stitching project at hand that you can pick up and put down easily.​

And the good news is that you don’t need to be an expert embroiderer to enjoy the benefits of this subscription, each kit comes with a step by step guide and illustrated stitch instructions making it ideal for beginners or people in need of some encouragement to pick up a needle for the first time.

What people say:

“It’s ideal because it fits nicely in my handbag allowing me to stitch on the go - I actually look forward to my commute time now!”

“It’s fantastic - I now spend less of my time wistfully looking at other people’s creations on Instagram and more time making my own!”

“It’s the perfect excuse to just sit and be still for five minutes. I find it so relaxing just having a bit of quiet time to sit and stitch, it’s like my meditation, it’s a really mindful activity and it helps to soothe away my worries and anxiety.”

Features and benefits:

  • Subscribe for as little as £25 a month!

  • Each kit contains 4 hand printed lino-cut designs giving it a unique, artisan aesthetic.

  • Every month a new Seed Pod Kit is delivered adding an element of surprise to the monthly subscription experience.

  • With 24 designs to collect in total, they are designed to look great as a full set, in smaller sets of 4 or as single pieces.

  • You can have fun arranging, sorting and making your finished pieces into beautiful objects for your home - a quilt, wall hanging, set of cushions, textile book or framed pieces.

To subscribe, click here

Recipe for Chicken Kievs

Feeling sad, despairing and helpless after watching the news in which more devastating destruction unfolded in Ukraine I noticed I was already, just a few days into the war, starting to feel numb at the sight of the reality Ukrainians were facing. In an effort to connect with their reality, I decided to make the process of making our dinner a vigil, a prayer, or kind of homage to all those affected.

I had two chicken breasts in the fridge and the first recipe that sprang to mind was the old 80s favourite, chicken Kievs! Who doesn't love a chicken Kiev? What's not to love about crispy coated chicken with a secret pool of garlic butter hidden inside ready to ooze forth onto your plate? I don't even know if Ukrainians even consider the Chicken Kiev as one of their traditional dishes, but it is certainly popular in the UK. So I set about making it for the first time. Usually, it's associated with quick and easy, not very healthy, secretly comforting, frozen dinner options. But if it's made fresh it'll be considered a healthy meal, right?

The recipe called for garlic and parsley, I was out of both so walked to the local Polish shop nearby, giving thanks for every step I walked without fearing for my safety in my own streets.

I poured the anger I felt towards Putin into crushing the garlic. As I whizzed the breadcrumbs, I thought of the millions suddenly displaced. As I cooked in my own kitchen, in my own home, I imagined Ukrainian refugees making their evening meals, in foreign countries, foreign kitchens, with strangers, unfamiliar food, shops, utensils. I imagined the humiliation they must be feeling at being labelled a victim of war, suddenly being in the position to have to ask for help and accept help from others, when days before they'd been making food in their own homes, bought from their own local shops with familiar comforting ingredients paid for with money they'd earned from their jobs that they now no longer have. As we sat down to eat it, we gave thanks not just for the food we ate but the freedom, the safety, the security of our home, the money in our banks, the jobs we are able to perform.

There are many Ukrainian recipes aside from this one, found on the #cookforukraine Just Giving site. I encourage you to cook Ukrainian food, as homage to the victims of the war. Donate to this cause and consider your fortunate position as you cook and eat in your own homes. Donations received go towards the Unicef Ukraine project.

Chicken Kievs

Serves two

2 large chicken breasts

2 slices white sourdough, toasted

2 eggs, beaten

2 tablespoons plain flour

Large pinch of paprika

Handful of grated parmesan

2 tbsp ground nut oil for frying

For the garlic butter:

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

Large handful of finely chopped flat leaf parsley

100g butter at room temperature

Large pinch of salt

Large squeeze of lemon juice

  1. Mash all the ingredients for the garlic butter together in a bowl then shape into two balls and leave in the fridge to set.

  2. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4 or 180 degrees.

  3. Make an incision into the fat end of the chicken breast with the sharp tip of a knife and slide towards the centre being careful not to go right through, you're aiming for a deep pocket in the fat end of the fillet.

  4. Push the ball of garlic butter into the pocket and reseal by pressing down around the slit with your hands.

  5. Now to coat the stuffed chicken breasts, you'll need three bowls: in one place the breadcrumbs and parmesan, in the other the beaten egg and in the other the flour and paprika.

  6. First coat the breast in the flour mix, then dip both sides into the beaten egg and finally coat the outside with the breadcrumbs then place on a plate ready for frying.

  7. Heat the oil in a large frying pan on a medium heat and fry both sides of the breaded fillets for about 2-3 minutes until golden.

  8. Place on a tray in the oven for 20-30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through (you'll need to pierce with a sharp knife to check the thickest part of the breast is cooked, the juices should be clear and the breast white). If in doubt give it another five mins, I didn't and I poisoned Dan and haven't heard the end of it since.

  9. Then head to #cookforukraine and donate.

And finally....

The new pottery studio opens!

I've been counting my lucky stars and wondering if I actually manifested this new pottery studio myself. It's newly opened in a beautiful south facing listed building on the corner of my local park and I've got a space in it! It couldn't be closer and I couldn't be happier. I skip down the road and spend a happy few hours a week practicing my newly learnt throwing, turning and glazing skills. I'm giving myself a year before I put anything up for sale as this is a skill that needs honing - there's so much to be learnt and I'm enjoying the freedom of experimenting and learning from the pottery studio manager and my failings. Here's a few things I've made recently - the glaze was supposed to come out black and the wax resist is yet to be finessed but I enjoyed throwing the form of these bud vases:

Following a trip to Kettles Yard, Cambridge I was inspired by the piece on the left and have been exploring creating lines with inset slip technique.

And in-person workshops return

After a two year break due to never ending covid restrictions, I'm pleased to say that in-person workshops are now back and taking place in my home in East London. Here's a sneak peak into what we got up to in the recent Mono Printing Workshop:

Click here to book onto the next in-person Mono Printing Workshop and make your own set of matching cards and envelopes or series of prints to be framed.

What's coming up...?

Stay tuned for details on the annual, free, #draweverydayinmay Still Point Sketching online community event!

It's high time we got back on that page...


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