Meet the Makers: Catch Up Edition!

This New Year we’ve asked a handful of our brilliant makers to predict the top crafting trends for our year ahead. Catch up with what they’ve been up to since we last spoke to them, and check out what they have in store for us in 2018!


Zeena Shah | Little Button Diaries | Emma Howell | Ilaria Harris | Miss Libby Rose





Zeena Shah is a Printmaker, Illustrator and Textile artist who is consistently pushing the boundaries of each craft. Zeena frequently runs crafting workshops, and has recently been focusing on how crafting can be mentally beneficial to us all.

Click here to read Zeena’s original Meet the Maker blog post!


Catch up with Zeena Shah!
Tell us about the craft-themed project that you’re most proud of completing since you last spoke to the Hobbycraft blog in September 2016. 
My embroidery mindfulness kits were a huge hit this year. They completely sold out and I have plans to make some more for next year along with some more designs. They’re such a lovely way to get into embroidery and create something really beautiful in a few hours without having to worry about a pattern.

You can colour in the designs in my colouring in book, ‘Scandia’. I’m also really excited that my first book ‘How to Print Fabric’ launched a German edition! Plus, you can now find the UK edition in Hobbycraft stores, YAY!

I’m also super proud of learning to crochet this year, I’ve always preferred knitting but was determined to learn a new crafty skill and loved it! I made a crochet crop top for my summer holidays.


What is one Hobbycraft product that you have used in 2017 that you will continue to use in 2018?

I absolutely LOVE the hobbycraft pom pom makers ». During the summer I threw a blognic (bloggers + picnic) where we made pom poms all afternoon. It was so easy using the pom pom makers and so quick we made so many!


What projects are you looking forward to tackling in 2018?

2018 is filled with lots of new and exciting ideas. I’ll be working on a new print design collection for my agent with a January deadline so it’ll kick off the year with a bang! I also have plans to design some new limited edition screen printed pieces. So keep your eyes peeled for that. I’ll also be refreshing my blog and website and can’t wait to share the updates!


If you’re thinking about doing some new year crafting and learning a new skill, Zeena is collaborating with the New Craft House for a screen printing & sewing workshop on Thursday 1st February. Learn to sew a cotton cushion in their East London studio. For more information visit The New Craft House website ».







Laura & Tia are two good friends who share a love of all things crafty, and work together to create family crafting blog, Little Button Diaries.

Click here to read Little Button Diaries’ original Meet the Maker post!


Catch up with Little Button Diaries!
Tell us about the craft project(s) that you’re most proud of completing since your last Meet the Makers post in June 2014:
We made a little DIY version of the Elf in the Shelf last year and our children loved him way more than we anticipated. We were so happy with how he turned out, we felt quite proud. We were intending on making him a girlfriend this year but she wasn’t finished by the crucial 1st December cut off so she’s going to have to sit tight for another year!


What is one Hobbycraft product that you have used in 2017 that you will continue to use in 2018?

We’re slightly embarrassed to admit this but 2017 was the year we discovered glue guns ». We now don’t know how we ever crafted without them! We also rediscovered picture beads during the summer thanks to Hobbycraft, and are looking forward to doing more projects with them with our kids.


What projects are you looking forward to tackling together in 2018?

We’re looking forward to getting stuck into a new book we’re writing, as well as working on some exciting Hobbycraft projects together too! We’re planning on doing a real overhaul of our blog as well, to make it loads better. We’ve been busy making all the changes behind the scenes, and it’s slowly coming together, even though we are total technophobes…


The Little Button Diaries’ latest book, The Space Craft Book », is available to buy now.







Emma Howell is an adventure artist who’s work represents healing, adventure and the nourishment of a happy mind. Her artworks are abstract with emphasis on colour, flow and mark-making. They’re fueled by experiments, notebook documentation, and thoughts associated with a certain place or observation.

Click here to read Emma’s original Meet the Artist blog post!


Catch up with Emma Howell!
Tell us about some of the places you’ve been in 2017 and how they’ve informed your artwork:
At the end of 2016, I was lucky enough to go to Kauai, Hawaii. Here, I was able to document and collect a variety of marks, colours and written notes that transferred into many artworks » in 2017. As an artist, I was spoilt with the textures and colours of the landscapes and seascapes; overwhelmed with emotion as I was over 7,000 miles away from home; and deeply immersed in a wonderful culture brimming with history, love and adventure.

In May 2017, I explored the beautiful island of Santorini, Greece. Whilst I was here, I set myself a variety of creative challenges and produced a series of blue and white mini paintings dedicated to Mental Health Awareness. The majority of the ‘Happy Santorini’ » collection is currently being stored in my studio.

In September 2017 I visited Crete, Greece. This is where I began my Adventure Journals. Here I found myself to be overwhelmed with new sounds and feelings, and so began to transfer what I was experiencing onto surface. Sounds, textures, feelings and words had their own colour or mark, so I created page after page of moments, places and adventures.

The latter half of the year, I’ve focused all of my creative energy on Cheltenham, my hometown. For a long time, I took where I lived for granted, but since I began going on solo drives through the town and into the countryside, I’ve grown to love and really appreciate it where I was born and raised. Colours here are just as beautiful as colours in Hawaii- they’re just different. Heading into 2018, I will continue to create artwork in places closer to home.


What is one Hobbycraft product that you have used in 2017 that you will continue to use in 2018?

The most crucial Hobbycraft products that I use are Daler Rowney System 3 Brushes ». They make the application of paint smooth, free and flowing. I will continue to use these brushes going into 2018. I’m also a huge fan of Daler Rowney mixed media paper as it’s a very sturdy paper that can take quite a few layers of paint – great for taking out and about on the road!


Tell us about your new practice as an adventure artist, and the projects that you will be tackling in 2018:

As an Adventure Artist, I came up with my own definition of adventure:

Whether it be long or short, near or afar, an adventure is a physical and mental process of looking, seeking, finding and collecting. When you go on an adventure, you’re capturing moments, making minutes count and living life to the fullest.

A couple of months ago, I was browsing through social media and found myself to be agitated by the things that were labelled as ‘an adventure’. It made me feel quite sad for not being able to go on these types of adventures because usually, they cost a lot of money. If I feel insecure, jealous and saddened by these images, other people who are in my position will feel this too.

So, I wanted to change this mind-set. You can adventure anywhere. Seeing the world in your own way » can be an adventure in itself. We are all adventurous. We are all capable of adventure. Adventures can start right outside your door and continue on top of your nearest hilltop, at the park or in the car. Take advantage out of where you are, right now. Beauty is everywhere. Adventure is everywhere.

The artwork that I now make represents adventure- and not just a physical adventure, but a mental one too.

In 2018, I’m going to explore where I’m from and create a body of artwork that represents the adventures I embark upon. Many people in the UK try to escape the grey skies and retreat to the other side of the globe. So instead, I’m going to show the world that beauty can be made here. My adventure journals will be used along the way to document conversation, describe landscapes and collect moments. Limited Giclee Fine Art prints of pages from inside my journals will be available to purchase throughout the year. Once the body of canvas artwork is completed, I plan to find the perfect place to exhibit the whole collection!



By looking, listening, inhaling and then reacting, Emma translates the way she experiences the world onto the pages in her Adventure Journals »In 2018, she’s embarking on new adventures in places around the UK. Follow Emma’s journey as an Adventure Artist on her Instagram ». You can purchase Limited Edition Giclée Fine Art prints of pages from her Adventure Journals at her online store: »







Ilaria Harris is the mastermind behind creative lifestyle blog Zest and Lavender. She indulges herself in a range of arts and crafts – and features frequently as a maker on the Hobbycraft blog! Find out what Ilaris has planned for 2018 below..

Click here to read Ilaria Harris’ original Meet the Maker blog post!


Catch up with Ilaria Harris!
What craft project are you most proud of completing in the year of 2017, and why?
Definitely my espadrille and beach bag project! I really love the turquoise and green material used, which is a vintage 1960’s Pierrot Jonelle Duracolour print. I made these as I was travelling to the Côte D’Azure and wanted to have a matching look. When making them, I really enjoyed combining the vintage material with a modern feel by using pom poms and denim for detailing. The pom poms were made with a pom pom maker » pack from Hobbycraft.

What is one Hobbycraft product that you have used in 2017 that you will continue to use in 2018?

Felt » – I’ve used it this year to make crafts in the shape of felt cakes, biscuits and macarons. I made a range of these and ran a workshop at Il Mondo Creativo (The Creative World) in Bologna. Here is a blog post » that I wrote about the event! I will be working more with felt in the coming months, and revisiting Il Mondo Creativo in 2018.  


You mentioned in your Meet the Maker post that you would like to create clothing inspired by the natural environment – have you expanded upon these initial plans? If not, what projects are you looking forward to tackling in 2018?

After doing some market research, my husband and I decided not to focus on the outdoor clothing. Instead, I have been commissioned to create wedding table decorations and centre-pieces for a wedding in Italy.


Early next year, Ilaria will be featuring her project ‘How to Make Wedding Table and Centerpiece Decorations’ on the Hobbycraft Instagram ». Look out for that! You can also commission Ilaria to produce beautiful decorations for your wedding.






Miss Libby Rose is Hobbycraft’s sewing expert. Last year, she traveled up and down the country in The Pink Sewing Bus to over 60 Hobbycraft stores! This year, Libby will be contributing her talents more frequently to the blog, and you can catch her short videos on the Hobbycraft social media channels, as well as over on her own YouTube Channel.

Click here to read Miss Libby Rose’s original Meet the Maker blog post!


Catch up with Miss Libby Rose!
Tell us about your year of Hobbycraft store visits, and the craft project that you’re most proud of completing since you last spoke to the Hobbycraft blog in May 2016:

The Pink Sewing Bus was launched in May 2016, with the first visit being at the Reading store. Ella, Rhona and the team were magical for this first visit and it carried on into a whirlwind tour, and it was wonderful to be welcomed by so many stores and I thoroughly enjoyed the store visits!

I have loved seeing the participants in my workshops get creative by taking my patterns and ideas to the next level. Children from the morning sessions have gone on to set up charity stalls selling bags made from fat quarters using the patterns from the workshops, and in Stevenage we now have a whole group of sewing ladies that meet regularly. It was wonderful to hear them all chat away and as a result of the intermediate class they were able to form a sewing meet up with the help of the lovely Hobbycraft colleagues they now meet regularly in store.


What is one Hobbycraft product that you have used in 2017 that you will continue to use in 2018?

I absolutely love using Fat Quarters », I hadn’t really used them before working with Hobbycraft! Now, I have discovered this wonderful world of fat quarters and have designed so many creative projects to use in the workshops. Some of the other makes that I have been pleased to see are stuffed toys being made again and again at home, lined wrap skirts and funky appliques using Heat ‘n’ Bond ».


What sewing trends do you forecast for 2018, and what crafting projects will you be setting for yourself?

2018 is an exciting year for sewing and craft, we are constantly being inspired by creativity all around us, from the gorgeous outfits on Strictly Come Dancing to the marvelous bakes on the The Great British Bake Off! 

I foresee 2018 being a year for functional crafts. Firstly, I will be creating sewing, cooking & gardening tool belts for handy ways to keep your utensils close by. Next, it’s over to your Big Sewing Questions, which I will be using as a springboard to design new makes in order to answer them! I’d like to involve as many of the participants as possible in the #bigsewingquestion campaign. Send your question’s in by using this survey » and I will answer them throughout the year in videos and blog posts! Libby Rose and friends via the video blogs and posts.

I will be online a lot more in 2018, so keep an eye out! I’d like to run more online sewing courses, as the online festive sewing course at the end of 2017 was a lot of fun.


Miss Libby Rose will feature frequently on the Hobbycraft Facebook and Hobbycraft blog throughout 2018! Keep your eyes peeled for her fantastic ‘how to’ projects, as well as her new video series that will cover sewing basics for the beginner. The Pink Sewing Bus will also continue to travel to Hobbycraft stores nationwide throughout the year.





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