by Jo Saunders founder of Sew & Saunders

I’ve always felt a passion for all aspects of needlework – in particular embroidery; the colour options, the texture, the unique quality that comes only with hand embroidered techniques. My favourite element is that once a piece of work is completed, you have something that is truly bespoke and made with love.

Embroidery is included in that list of items that one would pass down to their loved ones; beloved family china, wedding dresses and of course, your grandmother's beautiful tapestry etc. These are sacred items, involved in a loving cycle, which I hope my own items will become part of.

When I was first approached by Royal Albert to work alongside their new Sustainable Gifting, I became immediately excited to start the project.  In my opinion, Royal Albert is everything that a premium British brand should strive to be - timeless, elegant and aspirational.

I own a Royal Albert Tea Set, handed down by my grandmother to my mother, and then to me. I am drawn to their beautiful prints, not only because they are stunning, but because the Royal Albert Brand has a special meaning to me; it brings back memories of sitting at home with my family, of relaxing, of special occasions and enjoying time together.
I have always connected beautiful florals with Royal Albert, but it is only recently that I have discovered the wide range of floral designs they offer, varying from large quintessentially British roses to contemporary butterfly and Confetti patterns.  As someone who loves the beauty and details in all flowers, I was overjoyed when I received a few sets from Royal Albert.  I’ll hold my hands up and admit it - I’m a lucky girl! I received the ‘Tea-for-One’ sets in Rose Confetti and Old Country Roses patterns.

The Rose Confetti from Royal Albert is exquisite. I am often drawn to a more ditzy print, and the Rose Confetti pattern from Royal Albert fits the bill perfectly, the pattern is so dainty and subtle with soft pinks and lilac details, which only come into view upon close inspection.  Stunning! Royal Albert described the print as “Youthful and exuberant” and I agree.
If you like a pretty print, or are drawn to pink hues, there is no shortage of them here. I adore the tones, including Rosewood, Lilac & Blush.  My favourite part is finding a delightful little rose detail on the inside of the cup.  What a beautiful touch.

When I started working on the Rose Confetti print, I was inspired by its sense of movement but really wanted to focus on the print by scaling it up to really enjoy the feeling of fun and joy the design evokes.
I believe The Royal Albert ‘Old Country Roses’ pattern is the epitome of classic British style and elegance in a floral pattern that is truly timeless. The colours are classic dark red, mustard yellow tones and there are even a few pink buds nestled in the foliage. For this design, I wanted to create large romantic burgundy rose buds and scatter the pattern to celebrate its variety. I emphasized the green tones within the varying leaves, something that particularly stands out to me within the design is that the blooms are all framed by lush botanicals.
Both of my final pieces, inspired by Old Country Roses and Rose Confetti, are stretched framed art, mounted on 100% brushed linen, and the embroidery has been created using ethically sourced wools.

 I’ll raise a floral cup of tea to that!

Jo Saunders