Inspired by Anne Brooke #Sew for the Soul


All images of textile work on this page are my own creations, but inspired by the YouTube videos of Anne Brooke, Textile Artist #hannemadebyanne.

Please respect the copyright of creative artists and do not copy or use without attribution.

Like many people I lost my creative mojo during the lockdown restrictions of the 2020 Covid pandemic. For a few months nothing creative came out of the sewing room despite having a very long list of things to do. Trying to recover from the dreaded illness I started looking around for small stitching projects that would aid my recovery only using stuff already in the house and stash cupboards.

Anne Brooke came to the rescue! I met her at a Guild meeting several years ago, so was familiar with her work and sense of Yorkshire humour. Anne is very generous with her time and expertise providing tutorials free on YouTube that follow her theme of sew4thesoul. She encourages us to enjoy mindful hand stitching using techniques with found objects to create beautiful textural pieces of stitched art. These few slides show some of my favourite pieces created from the #52tags prompts. Then read on for my story of participating in #sew4thesoul.

Anne's first community project of 2020 was the sew4thesoul bobbin project. Using a selected colourway to work with the piece evolves over time. Starting by pinning down fabrics add simple stitch : add lace : Suffolk Puffs : Knots : Embellishments : Paper piecing : Beads and bling : Couching : Edges : Adding words : Keep extending the piece. Mine is still growing...

Covid happened and suddenly confined to our homes we needed something to keep us going, Anne ramped up the videos and we stitched and stitched and stitched. In three months her bobbin project was finished (i still hadn't started mine!). As Anne became more popular on YouTube and Instagram a happy band of stitchers start sharing works using variations of the hash tag #sew4thsoul. A new textile community begins and many IG friendships form.

Ever resourceful, Anne started the sew4thesoulbook project. Using similar stitching techniques and ideas from the bobbin project, we started with 30x15cm pieces of wadding that would eventually become the pages of a very chunky hand stitched book. Lockdown paused then came back with a vengeance over the winter months. Another sew4thesoul project, 12 days of Christmas started to get us through to the end of the year.

And suddenly it was 1st January 2021, and yes we were still in lockdown, but eagerly awaiting vaccinations.... Anne the magnificent had another project ready. This one will take a whole year to complete! #52tagshannemade was born.

Anne was so successful at motivating me to get stitching again that I started working on some of my other projects again. This meant I didn't finish my bobbin, or the sew4thesoul book, but they are there, just waiting, occasionally peaking out of the box tempting me to go back... I have managed to keep up with the tags (sometimes a few weeks late!!). Mostly the weekly prompt brought a whoop of delight with a favourite stitch or technique, others caused a bit of groan if the prompt took me out of my comfort zone (e.g. use red!). Sometimes I was inspired to create a really interesting tag, but with others I struggled to get the creative juices going...

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And here they are... Each tag is 10cm x 5cm, one month on each row (click on the thumbnail to see a larger version and description of each tag): <v <


I started my book in July 2020 while I was recovering from a period of post viral fatigue. Anne had already started the new series of videos so I could enjoy watching the first three and choose one to get started. I only managed to complete two of the pages. I put the book pages aside until July 2021 when I started stitching them again... This time I could choose any of the pages to work on, coming back to less favoured ones later, and adding more details to earlier pages. I eventually finished by sew4thesoul book on 3oth September 2021.

I liked this project as I could stitch a little bit at a time without having to think too much when I had another bout of PVF. The images below follow my progress. Firstly with a view of the double page (approx 30cm x 15cm), followed by close up images of my stitching. The main colour theme is yellow and grey, with additions of other colours as suggested by Anne. Descriptions of working the pages are beneath each slide.

Pages 1 & 2 Squares & Circles:
Pages 3 & 4 Rectangles, a pocket & tags
Pages 5 & 6 Suffolk Puffs
Pages 7 & 8 Woven fabric with stitch & notions
Pages 9 & 10 Breather Page
Pages 11 & 12 Positive & Negative
Pages 13 & 14 Pockets for a tiny book and a heart
The tiny book for page 13 (with extra images)
Pages 15 & 16 Index pages with envelope and motto
Wrap around cover

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Come back to this page again soon to see more images of my tags and book pages

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