Mai's Makes

Sew Saturday

It’s been a while since I shared any of my craft projects with you all, so in honour of it being Sew Saturday, I thought I would give you a little update of what I have been working on so far this year.


Let’s start with this little bundle of joy. I picked up the kit for this sweet, innocent looking dog at the Sewing Quarter’s stand at last year’s Knitting & Stitching Show. It was a simple case of cutting out the pre-printed fabric and stitching it all together – or so I thought. In reality, this is probably the hardest project I have taken on, and involved blood loss and rather a lot of swearing! Still, the video I was sent by the mum of the little boy it was for when he unwrapped it made everything worthwhile – even if I did almost heft my sewing machine through the window in the course of making it.

Moving back to projects that mainly involved sewing in a straight line, my sewing machine finally got it’s much needed cover in Spring. I love these gorgeous fabrics from Makower, and it was surprisingly easy to put together considering assembly involved manhandling six layers of fabric and two of wadding. It was a little bit of a challenge for my poor little sewing machine, but I was so please with how it turned out!

My love affair with my little reversible bags continues, and I have even been playing around with different sizes. I love making these for other people as it makes me work with fabrics I probably wouldn’t have chosen for myself, and I am always pleasantly surprised with how they come together. I admit that the red runes and the linen ducks might seem a strange combination, but fans of Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter Chronicles will understand the significance.


My new favourite things to make are these cute little zippy bags. I have gone a bit crazy with giving these as presents this year, but I have loved playing with different dimensions to produce bags in a variety of shapes and sizes. I am also very chuffed with myself that the majority of the time, my zips went in straight first time! I will admit that construction of the first one did not go according to plan, and it easily took me half an hour to work out what I actually needed to do to make it into a boxy shape rather than a flat pancake, but once my little brain got to grips with it, they are incredibly straightforward.

I will be spending today at my favourite fabric shop, Sew Creative, taking part in their Sew Saturday activities and helping them to celebrate their fifth birthday! No doubt I will also be picking out some more fabric to feed my stash ready for all my Christmas projects! How are you all spending the day?

Book Review

Let’s Make Pom Poms – Katie Scott

I have a really fun craft book to tell you all about today. As you all know, I love all things crafty so I am so happy to be on this particular blog tour. Many thanks to Katie, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part, and for providing me with a copy of the book.


Fun and easy makes for all the family. Get crafty with pom poms with 15 easy to follow step by step guides. Make your own set of fluffy dice, sushi that looks good enough to eat and an everlasting Christmas tree as well as many other exciting projects.

by Katie Scott


Amazon UK


I love making pom poms, there is something very therapeutic about it, and had hoped to be able to share a couple of pictures of some of my creations from Katie’s book. However, my pesky pom pom kit has gone into hiding (probably made a run for it after being over used!). As soon as I hunt it down, I will share my makes with you all. In the meantime, let me just share with you my thoughts on the book.

This looks a really lovely book, full of ideas for all the family to get involved with. I am particularly excited about Flurry the snowman and snowy Christmas tre (I do love Christmas), although I am quite tempted to try the sushi too, as well as the floral burst, and of course the bookmarks. Who am I kidding? I want to try all the projects!

The photographs that accompany each project are bright and eye-catching, and the detailed instructions are easy to follow. I seriously can’t wait to get stuck in, and I just know that my friends’ children of all ages would love this book just as much as I do. In fact, I might borrow them for an afternoon to help me out with a project or two.


Katie Scott is a craft and book blogger who lives in the county of Kent, UK. Living at home with her husband and infant daughter, Katie loves nothing more than long evenings in with a good book, a pile of crafting goodies and a very large pot of tea.

Let’s Make Pom Poms is her first crafting book.

Find more work from Katie Scott on her blog.






Don’t forget to have a look at the other blogs taking part in the tour.

Let's Make Pom Poms Full Tour Banner


A Fresh Start

When I first set up my blog just over a year ago, it was intended to be somewhere to chat about all things bookish, and to also share my writing progress. Since then, apart from the very occasional post about craft and other things that are going on in my life, it has really become a site that is totally focused on book reviews, which as much as I love a review, just gets a bit samey after a while, so I have decided to shake things up a bit. Don’t worry, the reviews aren’t going anywhere, because I do really enjoy sharing the books I love with you all.

Image by Sierra Clark


I have been busy brainstorming and scouring the internet (well, Pinterest anyway), and have come up with what I think is actually a pretty great list of ideas for future blog posts. I will also be jumping on board with some regular book blog tags, which I am really excited about.

With Camp NaNo fast approaching, I am also hoping to share more of my writing journey with you all. After all, the whole idea of setting up the blog in the first place was to improve my writing, and work on my confidence about sharing it.

Image by Engin Akyurt

I want to keep up with the craft posts too, so you can all see my latest projects – who knows, once I have more of a clue about what I’m doing and an not just making it up as I go along, there might even be a tutorial or two.

Image by Zsuzsanna Toth

I can’t wait to get stuck in to all my new plans, and I really hope that you are as excited as I am about them.

(Thanks to Pixabay for all the photos. Just as soon as I get my writing area looking more presentable and polish up my photography skills, I am hoping all images will be my own!)

Mai's Makes

The Joy of Craft

I am taking a leaf out of my friend, the wonderful K.A. Kenzie’s, book today, and opening up another piece of myself to you all. Katie wrote a wonderful piece the other day, and whilst I don’t know that I am ready to be quite as brave as she has been just yet, I am taking a baby step in that direction. You can find Katie’s post here, and I would encourage you all to have a read of it.

Some of you will already know that two and a half years ago, a change in my health led to a career change for me and instead of heading out to an office everyday, I started working from home. Going from working in a room with forty other people to sitting on my own all day was a massive adjustment, and although I knew it was the right decision for me, I still had more than a few days when I felt quite low. But then I discovered the wonders of crafting! I had always dabbled with various crafts, but never really had the time to get properly stuck into anything and really learn all the intricacies involved. Becoming self-employed meant that I had more freedom to decide my own working hours and explore my hobbies further. Stumbling across an amazing fabric shop in a town close to where I live, and getting to know the wonderful staff and customers, was a major turning point for me and gave me such a boost to have a crack at projects I would have been too scared to even consider a short time ago – more on the shop in a future post.

Fast forward to October 2018 and my spare room has been converted to an office/craft room, and I can now usually be found sat at either my laptop or sewing machine. Honestly, something as simple as having somewhere to sew in peace has been life changing. Yes, the pain and fatigue and all the other nasties that come with chronic illness are still there, but when it is just me, my sewing machine, and some music, I can completely lose myself in my project and forget about the stresses of modern life for a few hours. My mum tells me that this is something called “craftfulness,” a sort of crafters version of mindfulness.

I have been in mindfulness courses, and read countless books, and while I do believe there is something in it, it is something that I have struggled with myself and I find my mind wanders off on all kinds of tangents if I am just sitting. However, when I am trying to muddle my way through a project, I have no choice but to be completely focused on what I am doing, otherwise the chances are I’m going to sew my fingers together!

Whatever you want to call it, the effects on my mental health have been so good. I get so much pleasure out of completing a project, especially if it is something I have made as a present for someone else. I made quite a few Christmas presents this year (as you can see in the photos, I have got the hang of the reversible bag now), and the reactions I have got for them have been such a confidence boost. I am starting to feel like I might actually be okay at this! I still have lots to learn, and am known for vastly under estimating how long projects will take (to the point that I was still making Christmas presents on 23rd December), but I am excited for the coming year, and I promise to share some of my projects with you all as I go, if you promise not to laugh at some of the dodgy stitches!

Coming soon…



Made With Love

IMG_1017  I want to take a break from the book chat today to talk about another subject close to my heart. Some of you will know that when I am not reading, or talking about reading, I can usually be found up to my neck in one craft or another. When ill health meant that I was no longer able to work full-time, I felt a bit lost and alone, and trying out new crafts helped keep me sane. One day I was lucky enough to come across a fabulous fabric shop in a town near where I live, and even more lucky to, quite literally, stumble through the door just in time to bump into one of the lovely ladies from the shop’s weekly “Sew Social” sewing group. After giving me the grand tour of the shop, she encouraged me to come along to the group the following week. When the big day came around, I found myself, quite uncharacteristically for me, headed off to spend the morning with a group of complete strangers for a couple of hours sewing. Cut to almost two years later and those strangers have become some of my closest friends, and have been an absolute lifeline for me.


Anyway, enough about me, that is not really what I want to talk to you about today. What I really want to do is tell you all about a beautiful quilt that these talented ladies have been working on for the past few months. Using the “quilt-as-you-go” technique, they have each produced some lovely squares for the quilt, which have now all been stitched together to produce a 6ft x 7ft quilt (think double bed sized). This quilt is now being auctioned off to raise money for Home-Start Butser, the charity that the recently appointed Town Mayor of Petersfield has chosen to support.

hs-logo   Home-Start Butser is a fantastic charity which operates a team of equally fantastic volunteers who step in to help local families during times of crisis. You can read all about their good work and other fund-raising activities here.

If you would like the chance to make our quilt your own, you can bid in the silent auction from today until Saturday 21st July. Because of the amount of love and hard work that has gone into making the quilt, we are only able to accept bids in excess of £100, and I would stress that we are not able to arrange delivery of the quilt, so if you do bid, you must be able to collect from the Petersfield, Hampshire area. All the details of how to do this can be found on the Facebook page, which I would love if you could share the link to:-

Petersfield Town Mayor’s Charity Silent Auction


The full terms and conditions for taking part in the auction are as follows (these are also available on the Facebook page):-

  • Please send your bid to stating your bid, full name, e-mail address and contact telephone number.
  • Bids will be accepted from 21st June 2018 until 21st July 2018.
  • The minimum bid we will accept is £100.
  • Bids will only be accepted from people aged 18 or older.
  • The successful bidder will be notified via e-mail or telephone by 23rd July 2018.
  • Payment is to be made via BACS to the Town Mayors Charity account by 1st August (full details will be sent following notification of the successful bid).
  • If payment is not received by 1st August, the quilt will be sold to the next highest bidder
  • Owing to the size of the quilt, it must be collected by the successful bidder (full details will be agreed following the notification of a successful bid). We are not able to post the quilt.
  • All personal data collected will be used for the purpose of the auction only, and will be deleted upon completion of the auction. With the possible exception of the winner’s name, with their consent, this will not be shared with any third parties.

Happy bidding, and good luck everybody. xx