Today I’d like to introduce you to an inspiring young lady from my home town back in Northern Ireland, Louise Taylor from the punch needle paradise of Little Forget Me Nots.
Little Forget Me Nots is an embroidery and punch needle business which has a huge passion for handmade goodies. They design and sell their own products, host workshops, and most of all want to encourage everyone to see that anything is possible with punch needle embroidery.
Little Forget Me Nots is a husband and wife run business. Louise has been punch needling for three years since becoming hooked after watching some YouTube videos. “I needed to understand how the thread just stayed in the fabric without popping out, my mind was baffled,” explains Louise. “I purchased some supplies and quickly learned it is definitely a lot more complex than what you see on the internet. While spending a small fortune I built up my knowledge and it has been completely worth it, I don’t know where I would be without it.”
One thing Louise loves about the craft is that she says it is more forgiving than hand embroidery, and quicker too. “I’ll be honest, I over complicate things in my head so anything that has a stitch pattern confuses me. I admire a few ladies hand embroidery skills, their work is absolutely incredible but I definitely prefer admiring the final hand-embroidered product than creating it myself.”
With their aim of helping people unlock their creativity, Louise and her husband, Steven, spent a lot of their lockdown building a workshop where they can teach and help others. Louise says, “We want people to know it’s okay to pop a bit of embroidery onto their denim jacket or go all out and make a new set of cushion covers. The world is pretty eerie at the moment so we have tried to create a safe space both online and offline that promotes thinking of designs and not problems.”
One of the best things about Little Forget Me Not’s Instagram feed is how honest the stories are. Like another of my favourite Instagram sewing inspirations Angeline Murphy (who you will remember from the Great British Sewing Bee and our festival headband column) she just starts the camera and chats. And Angeline and Louise have been known to collaborate as well – check this out. Whether it’s about the DIY at the workshop or things like punch needled Crocs, Louise’s Instagram is always fun.
“The Crocs! They were a middle of the night eureka moment,” she says. “I was remembering how my little boys love Crocs. I love the pink and red combo and came up with this design. Croc Life is definitely a comfy life. People went mad for them! Watch this space, Croc covers will be a thing!”
As well as Crocs, Little Forget Me Nots specialises in punch needle kits that are beginner friendly because for Louise the key is making sure she provides people with the right tools for their punch needle journey. Her “Punch & Hang” pre-stamped kits are the perfect way to get everything you need and produce a gorgeous finished product, while other kits let you work on your own design with all the right tools. Workshops are now also up and running (with the relevant social distancing requirements met of course) and are aimed at adults and older teens, they can be solo or group events and they will even provide afternoon tea if you want it. Count me in!
Louise also creates much larger bespoke pieces for clients when she can, size is no barrier. To find out more about Little Forget Me Nots you can visit their website here, email Louise here, or follow them on Instagram (which I highly recommend you do) here.
Louise’s final words of advice for you all – “If you have been struggling with your punch needle journey, don’t be afraid to get in touch. I am so happy to help. Be warned, once you get going it’s extremely hard to stop!”
The Little Forget Me Nots Trust
I can’t tell this story without making reference to where the name came from. Louise found embroidery after losing her first born son. Someone told her how therapeutic craft was for them and not long after she saw some embroidery on television. Her gut instinct told her to go for it, she picked up a six-headed embroidery machine and her passion for embroidery started.
“The meaning is close to us and we have heard many stories along our journey,” says Louise. “We established a charity called the ‘Little Forget Me Nots Trust’, that aims to provide art therapy sessions for bereaved families of pre-teen child loss. It is important to us to get the message across to others that it really is okay to ask for help. We all grieve differently, but what helped us was creating something that looked nice and guided us through our thoughts.”