18 March 2020


Yesterday afternoon I sat with a mug of tea to post on Social Media and I was completely at a loss as to what to say...something that doesn't happen very often, Andy will tell you!

My phone and Ipad had been beeping all day with the latest COVID 19 news.  Email updates from various suppliers and from school had been coming in throughout the day.  As a consequence, it had then inevitably also dominated most of mine and mums telephone conversations and also my text messages with Andy.  By the time I sat down with my mug of tea, all that I could think about was the effect and impact Coronavirus was having on my family and my friends and customers lives.

Clearly, it's something we're going to have to get used to and live with, this ever changing situation is not going to go away for some time.  In the end, I simply posted a picture of my British Wild Flowers Embroidery Heart Hanger kit, saying "pretty flowers...just because".  But it got me thinking of ways that I could maybe help positively within our stitchy community, particularly for those facing isolation for many weeks to come.  I think that community spirit is going to be the thing that really helps gets us through this situation.  However for our generation, our community is not just the one that we live in, it also the one that we take part in virtually, by the power of the internet.  Being able to share my love of stitching within my 'online' community is one that beings me great joy!

I talked about the power of Positive Stitches a couple of weeks ago, so I thought it would be particularly nice in this time of uncertainty, to have a community project, something which we could all participate in and share our progress daily, weekly or as much as you like.  Something that would enable us to find a moment to sit down and lose ourselves in our thoughts for 5 minutes, 10 minutes, half an hour, as much or as little as you wish.  Something that would bring us a little happiness everyday.

So here's my idea....I am going to sew a stitchy sampler, and fill it with a mix of little embroideries, applique, EPP, buttons, lace, felt...whatever takes my fancy.  I'm thinking that I will complete one box a day and I have enough boxes to last for just over 120 days, which fingers crossed should see us on to the homeward stretch.  Last night I drew up my grid on graph paper.  I've decided to make mine a 20" x 20" square, which is filled with a mix of squares and rectangles ranging from the smallest being 1" squares up to the largest being 6" square and then everything in between.  Here's a close up for you...each square on the graph paper effectively equates to 1" square:

If you prefer, you could go for all squares in a simple 11 x 11 layout.  Obviously you can make the squares as big or as small as you like.  Mum is going to go for this, with 1 1/2" squares and use it as a great excuse to sit down and sort out her vintage button collection that she has stashed throughout her house!  Another idea would be to applique a little heart, similar to what I did in February's page in the Happy Stitches Journal...the ideas are endless. 

None of the grids are prescriptive though, so please do feel free to grab some graph paper and map your own!!

All that you need to get started is a piece of fabric for your background.... remember to allow for some extra inches of excess fabric surrounding your grid, so that you have room to finish it as you desire.  For example, my grid is 20" square and my piece of fabric will be approx 26" square, which happens to be half the width of the fabric that I'm using.  I'm also going to machine zig zag stitches all around the outer edge to help prevent any excess fraying.  Mum and I were talking about it this morning.  I shall make my sampler eventually in to a quilted wall hanging.  But mum intends on mounting and framing her button sampler as it's probably going to be pretty weighty.  Both us are using a linen for ours.

Then, I'm going to use an erasable fabric pen and my quilting ruler to draw the grid on to the fabric.  I think quilting rulers will be great for this, the printed lines will really help.  However, I am not going to have my usual OCD hang up for accuracy, if a square goes a smidge off measurement then so be it...in the scheme of things this is not a big deal!  My plan is to eventually 'Back Stitch' over the grid lines, but if the pen is erasable that I won't panic if I make a mistake.

Let's use the hashtag below, as a way of sharing:


I will also continue to share my progress and ideas for my boxes on here and on Instagram and Facebook and I hope that you will join in to and spread the word!

Obviously, I will also be working on all my copious amount of other projects too, one can never have to many happy stitches...right!  

I'll post my next update, as soon as I have my grid drawn out.  For my first 'box' I've already decided that I'm going to embroider the text 'sew a little happiness everyday' and I will add this as a download for you to print at home, if you would also like to include it on your samplers.  I'll share this also next time.  

Wishing you all lots of happy stitches,
Sarah xo


  1. What a lovely think to create amongst the panic and stress we are ALL going through.

  2. Lovely idea Sarah especially for thoes in isolation. My life is a little hectic at the moment but goung to try to sew along. X

  3. Sarah you brought a tear to my eye, such a wonderful and caring idea. The generosity and kindness of people has been overwhelming during this troubled time. I will certainly be joining in. Love to you and your Mum. Best wishes Christine x

  4. Thank you thank you! Just been told my college is shutting because of the virus and I need something to stop the panic rising. This will be a perfect distraction!

  5. Sarah what a fantastic idea, I think I can fir this in whilst I finish quilting my summer sampler, which looks amazing by the way xxx

  6. A wonderful idea Sarah & Penny. Such a positive distraction. Will be joining along as well. Take care everyone.

  7. Sarah, what a lovely, inspirational idea!!! Thank you so much for sharing it. I can't wait to get started!!

  8. I like this great idea!

  9. Please may I join in. I have followed you on Instagram awhile and only just found your lovely blog.


  10. Muchas gracias por la idea,Sarah,hace tiempo que quería hacer un sampler así y ahora que tenemos tanto tiempo en casa es buen momento para empezar,espero que me quede bonito...
    Un saludo desde España y un besito


Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment, it really does make my day! If you have a question, please do ask away and I will do my very best to answer. Sarah xo

Update July 2020: Unfortunately, due to a large increase in spam and inappropriate comments, I have turned on 'Comment Moderation', so your comment will not appear immediately. My apologies for this!

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