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Boo Paterson shows you how to load and unload a blade for use with Papercut This Book.

Blogger Sophie Simpson is the owner of the successful embroidery business What Delilah Did, and sells her distinctive patterns online and in boutique haberdasheries and lifestyle shops throughout the UK. Here, Sophie answers some of our questions about her work.

Which is your most cherished childhood memory?

I was fortunate enough to have a very idyllic childhood in the countryside which was chock full of amazing memories – I’m not sure I could pick just one. Building dens in the woods, camping in the garden, epic games of hide and seek, baking/eating flapjacks so hard they could crack a tooth and making crafty things in the warmth of the kitchen whilst the weather raged outside are all pretty high on the list though. I fully intend to move to a cottage in the middle of a field and recreate it all in the not too distant future.

What makes you passionate about your craft?
I love being able to make something from scratch and have it turn out exactly as it looked in my imagination. Cross stitch is the only thing I have ever been able to do that with. It is also like therapy – there is something so calming about the repetitive action of stitching and following a pattern. I am quite possibly the least relaxed person on the planet so I love that stitching forces me to switch off for a little while.

What sparks your creativity?
Stories, music, period dramas, old houses… and rather ridiculously, the weather. I feel most creative when it is cold and rainy outside. Snuggled under a blanket making something lovely whilst Stephen Fry reads Harry Potter to me – that is my happy place. I am a total granny at heart.

Could you describe a typical crafty day in your life?
There isn’t really any such thing as a typical day for me; every day is so different. Things always take so much longer than I think they are going to, so more often than not I end up spending a whole day on one thing and just keep going until it is done. That might be photographing new products, updating my website, answering emails, putting orders together, working on a commission, or designing new patterns and kits. Actually getting time to stitch in the day is a rare luxury – I normally end up doing that part in the evenings. I am trying to change the way I work so that I have more of a routine, but I haven’t quite hit the nail on the head yet.

Organised mess or creative minimalism? What does your working space look like?
Creative minimalism, definitely.  I don’t feel creative at all when things are a mess and I am a complete neat freak. I live and work in a tiny, hobbit-sized flat and everything is open plan so it can be a challenge to keep things tidy when I am working – if I am making kits it tends to end up looking like a miniature factory with piles of supplies on every available surface, but I have a rather excellent walk-in cupboard in the hall where everything gets hidden on a regular basis. I always have new designs and work in progress stuck to the walls too as I like to live with things for a while before I make final decisions about them. It is a good job I love what I do because I am completely surrounded by it all the time.

Sophie Simpson (What Delilah Did) is the author of Secret Garden Embroidery (Pavilion, £14.99)

Jane Brocket created her blog, yarnstorm, in 2005 in order to write about knitting, but the blog quickly expanded to included baking, sewing, gardening, quilting books, film and more. She is now the author of many books, including The Gentle Art of Quilt-Making. We caught up with Jane and asked her to share some facts about herself and her work.

I have been crafting and creating for as long as I can remember. I started with felt and sequins and making clothes for my dolls when I was little, and moved onto candles, belts, collages, tie-dyeing, weaving and sewing larger clothes for myself as a teenager. I had a blind spot with knitting for years, but finally worked out how to do it when I was at university – and haven’t stopped since. I’ve always enjoyed stitching and embroidery, and I took up crochet and quilting a few years ago, and welcome any opportunity to play with colour and pattern.

I’m mostly self-taught, but for the last ten or so years I have been going to crafty weekends and workshops in order to explore techniques and pick up new skills – and to be inspired by the wonderfully creative and energetic people who teach at and participate in them.

After university where I studied Russian and French, I was in the wine trade for many years (I am a Master of Wine), but I have always balanced my work life with my craft life. I started yarnstorm in 2005 in order to write about knitting, but soon expanded into baking, stitching, quilting, books, art, films, and family life. My books have been a natural follow-on from there.

What makes you passionate about your craft?
I love the way that when we make something we are creating something quite unique. No matter if it’s not perfect or exceptional – it’s just important to keep using our hands and to stay in touch with the world of textures and materials. I’m very keen on the idea of just having a go without worrying too much about correct ways of doing things. I also enjoy the fact that crafts such as knitting, quilting, and stitching connect us to previous generations of domestic makers who knew how to bring colour and beauty into their homes, and I like doing the same.

Which is your most cherished childhood memory?
My Nana was a wonderful knitter who made very light pastry and allowed me to trim her pies, and she also taught me the names of all the flowers in her garden. She encouraged any sort of creativity. I remember her showing me how to make little needle books using her felt and fabric, which I then sold to various members of my family – including my Nana.

What sparks your creativity?
Often the sight of a pile of beautiful, colourful fabrics, a basket full of gorgeous yarns, a drawer full of cotton perlé threads is enough to inspire make to make something. So, the materials and supplies can be the starting point, or it can be when I see something in a book, magazine, exhibition or even in someone’s house. Other times, it’s listening to inspirational people – at workshops or events – or, in recent years, reading my favourite blogs. The world of blogging is what got me started with writing books and I am still amazed by the incredible amount of creativity that goes on in other people’s lives which we would never have known about it without the Internet.

Could you describe a typical crafty day in your life?
When I’m writing a book, I make myself work at the computer in the morning as this is my best time with words, and then I allow myself to spend the afternoon making and creating. I may be cutting out fabrics for quilts, or using the sewing machine, and I can have the radio on (always Radio 4) for company. In the evenings, I knit or stitch or crochet – things I can do with a glass of wine and the family around, or while watching a good film. You can tell what I’m doing and where I’ve been during the day by the piles I leave behind me.

Organised mess or creative minimalism? What does your working space look like?
(See above. I am an inveterate pile-maker.)

Mostly organised mess, but sometimes messy mess. Every so often I have a major sort-out in my study and love the way it looks immediately afterwards. Sadly, it doesn’t stay this way for long. I have to admit I enjoy being surrounded by books, fabrics, threads, and yarns, and like to have everything to hand. I would feel very lonely and uninspired in a minimalist room.

The Gentle Art of Quilt-Making (Pavilion, £14.99) by Jane Brocket is available now

So, for those of you who are interested, I am Wife of Brian. That is, Wife of Brian is me. And I am Vicky Eames. I’ve been a wee bit obsessed with knitting for a few years now. Nothing to worry about, really… But to be fair, it’s a rare day indeed when I don’t create some sort of woolly item. (I’m actually crocheting as I write this.) I like to think that my work is entertaining and I know I’ve made quite a few people smile and that’s definitely good enough for me! I live in England, and am very cozy in my little flat (when I’m not working away). It’s obviously bedecked with plenty of handmade nonsense and is hopefully a welcoming nook in the madness of the capital.

Which is your most cherished childhood memory?
Gosh, there are so so many. In terms of crafts, I still remember making finger puppets with my Mum when I was very small. A few years ago she found the one I made and snuck it into my advent calendar, along with lots of beautiful things she had made. I do definitely get my craft skill and imagination from my Mum.

What sparks your creativity?
Anything and everything. From things I see in the street to the work of other artists, and from my friends to celebrities. I would say I’m particularly inspired by people – either by the way they look and that I want to imitate (i.e. a particularly brilliant moustache), or by what they might want to wear and their sense of humour – entertainment is incredibly important to me.

Could you describe a typical crafty day in your life?
Due to the nature of my ‘proper’ job, I don’t have a lot of free time and I also spend a lot of time travelling with work. As a result, I squeeze my craft work in to whatever time and space I have available! I will nearly always go to bed with some knitting, which I will pick up again in the morning before I head off. I tend to have some small piece of crochet work in my handbag at all times, so I can keep busy on the train, and then get on with the bigger stuff when I get home. On the glorious days when I don’t need to leave the house, I will sometimes forsake getting out of my pyjamas for the sake of getting on with whatever project is occupying my brain at the time! And I do tend to have tons of ideas going on at once – I’ll pick up whichever most appeals to me in the moment and switch around until they all eventually get completed.

Organised mess or creative minimalism? How does your working space look like?
Definitely organised mess! This often surprises people who know me, as I used to be a mathematician and they expect me to have a tidy minimalistic nature, but I am afraid to say I am far from that. I like to be able to see what I’m up to, and will often surround myself with pictures and wool and projects. Although, of course, everything has a place – it just may not look like that to the untrained eye…

Knit Your Own Moustache by Vicky Eames (£9.99, Collins & Brown) is available now