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The Happy Stitch Project

The Happy Stitch Project | Hello! Hooray!

Welcome to The Happy Stitch Project! I’m so excited to be launching today – yay! This whole project basically came about when I got stuck in a creative rut a couple of months ago, and I knew that I wanted to come up with something to get me out of it. It was during a period when I felt a bit lost and unmotivated creatively, and that’s never a great place to be in (but trusting in the process is key and I know that this will get me out of it). The last few weeks have been crazy busy (for which I am truly thankful!) but it didn’t leave me much time for being creative, and I felt like I didn’t know what to work on next anyway. Over the last couple of years I’ve come to understand that when I feel a bit lost, learning something new can help to encourage me to get creative again. It always feels like a big kickstart to get me going again, if that makes sense?!

So I decided to go big or go home and take on a year-long project in 2021. I went from feeling lost to feeling hugely motivated and excited before I’d even done a stitch! And I think this is a good sign, so I’m really hoping that it will not only get me going creatively but also encourage you to get involved as well – whether you’ve stitched before or not!

What is The Happy Stitch Project?

So in a nutshell, I am going to be learning (and teaching you!) a new embroidery stitch in every week of 2021. This is a project that you’ll be able to join in with in a way that suits you. It will be something that you can dip in and out of, use either as a refresher or as a way to learn completely new stitches. You’ll get to see all the outtakes of me learning new things along the way too – I really want to show you the full process throughout, whether it goes well or not! I have always done this on my blog and it’s a really important part of how I work creatively. We learn such a lot when things don’t quite go to plan, and I try to embrace this as much as possible. I’d love to encourage you to do the same!

There will be lots going on as part of the project, including:

  • Blog posts full of ideas, tips and tricks
  • Tutorial videos on YouTube and IGTV
  • Free digital patterns for you to try out
  • New kits available to purchase throughout the year
  • Newsletter subscribers will also receive additional free patterns throughout the year – you can sign up in the footer or via the popup too!

Watch on YouTube!

The first videos are live on YouTube already – yay! You’ll find an introduction to the project below if you’d like to watch me talk about it 😊 The first two stitch tutorials are on there (you get a bonus one this week as it’s the first week!), so we’re starting with straight stitch and back stitch. I’ll be writing additional blog posts for these as well, so stay tuned.

The project in more detail

I really want #TheHappyStitchProject to be an exploration of stitching for us all, and something which encourages you to explore hand embroidery a little further. There are a few things that are super important to me, and I wanted to highlight them individually:

Work at your own pace

One of the key things about The Happy Stitch Project is that I want you to work at your own pace. Comparing your speed to other people can take some of the joy out of it, and I want this to be an enjoyable project for you! Try to enjoy the process, however fast or slow your stitching is going. There’s really no rush at all. Also, there isn’t a test at the end so remember that you don’t have to complete each week! Simply dip in and out and take what you need. You might skip a few weeks if you feel like you’ve mastered those stitches already. The content will be available afterwards anyway, so you can always come back later. It’s okay to change your mind!

You don’t have to be an expert

In my book, Colourful Fun Embroidery, I talk about using only a small number of stitches to be create a variety of different pieces. I only use about 5 different ones in my book, which are the stitches I have used for basically all of the projects I have ever stitched, and I’ll let you into a secret…they are actually the only ones I know! That’s right – I wrote a book, an ACTUAL BOOK that I am so so proud of, and I only used 5 stitches. Which firstly goes to show how how versatile hand embroidery is, and secondly that you can produce beautiful pieces without knowing everything there is to know about embroidery. I’m here to remind you that you don’t have to be an expert to get started; you certainly don’t need to be an expert to join in with The Happy Stitch Project. (Also if you haven’t got a copy and you’d like one, you’ll find them here!)

Colourful Fun Embroidery cover | Hello! Hooray!

You may wonder why I’m telling you this, in a world where Instagram and social media in general presents us with perfect stitches and expert crafters. Well, I guess what I’m getting at is that this is a learning process for me as well as for lots of you, and that is absolutely okay. Being open to this is a really important part of being creative – we can’t expect to learn anything unless we are open to learning. We can’t become more expert at something until we learn and practise (and practise some more!). Making mistakes is key to this process, as we often learn more from making mistakes – or at least by allowing ourselves to see mistakes as a way to explore and develop creatively. Whatever stage of the creative process you find yourself in, keep going. You’ll get there, just trust in the process! 

There is more than one way of doing things

One of the things that I find frustrating about the creative world is that there can sometimes be this idea that there is only one way to do something. I firmly believe that there are plenty of ways to do things to achieve the same or similar results! You may find that I am teaching you stitches in a different way to how you’ve learnt before – you don’t have to follow what I’m doing, keep doing what you’ve always done if you have a technique that works. Feel free to adapt my methods in a way that suits you – we’re all different and that’s a good thing!

Get involved

This project isn’t just about me learning or teaching you new stitches – I’d love to see what you’re stitching too! Use the hashtag #TheHappyStitchProject and tag me @hellohoorayblog on social media because I would LOVE to see what you create! Please feel free to ask questions as well, as I’m happy to help.

Use what you have

I really want you to be able to make the most of materials and tools that you already have, so raid your fabric stash and see what you can use! I have a huge stash and I’ve been working on trying to use more of it before I buy anything new where I can. But, if you do need some additional supplies then I have loads in my haberdashery. Really excited to say that I have my first fabric available (only in one colour at the moment as we have no space here!) and more will be available soon. So if you do want to treat yourself to new supplies then that’s absolutely okay – no judgement here (and I’ll probably start doing the same haha!).

Are you ready to get started?!

Let me know if you’re joining in! I am so excited to feel inspired by learning new things, and by what you’re all stitching too. If you have any comments or questions, you can leave a comment below or get in touch by email, through Instagram or Facebook. Let’s make 2021 a happy, creative year!

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  1. Pauline Willans on April 17, 2021 at 10:48 am

    Hi. I know it’s a bit late in the year but I would like to join the Happy Stitch project. I am looking forward to learning new stitches and really don’t mind having to catch up. I think this will be a good way to focus on a project to stitch, with the knowledge that online tutorial will guide the way. Looking forward to receiving your book and materials that I am ordering.

    • Clare Albans on April 19, 2021 at 1:34 pm

      Hello Pauline! Oh thank you so much – it’s never too late to start, I’m so pleased that you’re joining in 😊 yay! Looking forward to seeing your stitching, and please just ask if you have any questions along the way!

  2. Helen on June 3, 2021 at 3:35 pm

    What a wonderful project and how generous you are with your time and your creativity. I am going to try and join as well. So exciting and thank you!

    • Clare Albans on June 16, 2021 at 1:25 pm

      Thank you so much, Helen! I am so happy that you are going to join in – just take your time and enjoy the process. And let me know how you get on! x

  3. Anna Gillings on October 17, 2021 at 4:45 pm

    So I am REALLY late to this party, but now its October Im giving it a go! I’ll keep you updated! Thanks so much – you are in inspiration!

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