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Alistair Macdonald studied fashion design at Central St Martins School of Art and Design in London and set up his own womenswear label, House of Alistair, in 2008. Since then he has gone on to work on a variety of projects from high fashion and costume design to creating his own brand of sewing accessories and Liberty pattern giftware collections. 

On top of this, he has also published six successful books with Search Press and his brand new book ‘Quilting on the Move with English Paper Piecing’ is publishing this month as part of our ever popular ‘Love to Sew’ series. Whether you are an absolute beginner or a more experienced sewer, this book is brimming with useful tips and techniques to kickstart your new year of crafting! 

English Paper Piecing (EPP) is a popular and easy method of creating beautiful, hand-sewn patchwork designs. The fabric is cut and folded over a paper template and the resulting shapes are stitched together by hand, making it ideal for sewing whether you're on the move, or at home. 

Alistair’s signature quirky and colourful style can be seen throughout, with 18 delightful and imaginative projects to make using English Paper Piecing. Choose from a range of designs including a tea cosy, baby’s play mat, tote bag or man’s scarf. Highly portable and perfect for working on while you travel, these stylish creations will be a source of inspiration for anyone who enjoys quilting on the move! 


We caught up with Alistair to find out a bit more about his new book and to see what 2019 holds in store for him. 

Q: Hi Alistair! Can a complete novice pick up English Paper Piecing?

A: Simply, the answer is ‘yes’! English Paper Piecing is an amazing craft for everyone both young and old. If you have ever thought about wanting to get into quilting this is the craft for you. With a simple technique, and minimal outlay of equipment and materials, you will see spectacular and fast results; you will never again throw even the smallest scrap of fabric away! 

Q: What do you like especially about quilting on the move?

A: I think the clue is in the title - LOL! Just as it says ... you can EPP literally anywhere. I take my little hobby bag everywhere, stuffed full of paper shapes and my pre-cut fabrics - and I'm good to go!

Q: Which project in the book should the complete beginner who wants to take up quilting as a new hobby start with?

A: It was important when I wrote ‘Quilting on the Move’ to start the book a little differently to other titles by both my colleagues and myself. ‘QOTM’ starts by showing the basic techniques but then goes straight into a mini project allowing the reader to produce a beautiful, but very useful, flower pincushion using small hexagon shapes. From this, a second project can be completed to make a hobby bag with matching diamond pincushion - ideal to hold all of your essentials and ‘makes’ on the move. Then, you are all set to try your hand at some of the other exciting projects that follow.


Q: How much do changing fashion trends impact your crafting projects?

A: Fashion trends are always evolving and the crafting world is no different. I like to experience everything and this helps me when coming up with projects that people would want to make and enjoy. I think the key is to make sure that what you offer as a designer is relevant to the customer and useful in a modern day setting.

Q: If you had to pick one craft which one would it be?

A: EPP wins hands down followed by general sewing and of course pompoms (who doesn’t like to pom?!) ... oh sorry that’s three - what can I say... I’m a hungry crafter haha.

Q: Have you any exciting launches planned for ‘Quilting on the Move’?

A: Funny you should mention that. I have just done an exclusive launch on ‘Sewing Quarter’ where I signed every book! Let’s just say that I sat there for quite a few hours and by the end needed to buy some new black marker pens. A great start to 2019 though and I’m really pleased with my new book. Thanks to everyone for supporting my new project - it really does mean a lot!

Q: What does House of Alistair have planned for the year?

A: Oh we have lots and lots of new products! We have been in the lab developing some new scents for 2019 so watch this space...

For more information visit


Buy your copy of Alistair's book here:


To see more books by Alistair click here.

Join our Search Press Craft Group and try an exclusive free project from Alistair's book!

Want to try your hand at English Paper Piecing? We are offering an exclusive free project from Love to Sew: Quilting on the Move by Alistair Macdonald to all members of our Search Press Craft Group on our Facebook page.

Follow the link below to become a member and learn how you can make Alistair's fun and floral Tote Bag (as featured on the front cover of Love to Sew: Quilting on the Move.) Don't forget to share photos of your finished piece! 

Search Press Craft Group is a space for fans of Search Press books to show us what they've been making from the books, meet a community of other like-minded crafters and discuss what they’re currently crafting - best of all, it's absolutely free to join! 

Click here to join the Search Press Craft Group now for FREE!

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