There are many wonderful aspects to hand-made items.
Firstly, there’s knowing that you have something made with the real hands of the real person who took the time to conceive the idea, select their materials and create exactly what they’d planned.
Secondly, there’s knowing that someone’s time and attention went into it; the workmanship is always immeasurably superior to mass-produced items and very often you can be part of the designing process itself.
Thirdly, there’s the real sense of pleasure that the creator gets from having made something and seen it through to its final trims, pressings, tidies or stitches. When it’s perfected, it goes to its new owner and a little part of the maker goes with it; they’ve invested time and skill in everything they make. It’s what they do; it’s part of the creative process.
We’re sure you can think of even more benefits to small-scale production and although it’s a process that’s fallen from favour over the last few decades, there’s no doubt that many people have already started to miss it. Where are the homely creations that came down through the family? Where are the cosy soft furnishings that were unique and comforting? Where are the wonderful baby layettes and tiny, carefully-knitted garments that are well-made and warming?
Whether you want to buy one of Meadow Crafts creations or learn how to create similar items yourself, Tracy Winter and Jan Clement-May would love to meet you. They’ve managed to turn a long-term love of crafting into a successful business located in their studio in Upper Tumble offering completed goods and classes on these rapidly-disappearing skills.
Find Cath Kidston prints alongside Liberty lawns in their fabric collection; if you sew yourself you’ll also be familiar with the Moda and Timeless Treasure brands. They’re all 100% cotton and any quilt, topper or bunting made from these can be safely washed to keep them clean and bright. Cold nights are the perfect time to bring out one of Meadow Craft’s lap quilts so you can curl up with warm knees and toes of an evening: Tracy and Jan can back them in machine-washable fleece for extra cosiness and any spillages aren’t a problem because, again, they can be popped in washing machine on a gentle cycle and come out good as new despite any minor incident with the hot chocolate! They don’t have to be used to curl up under; they’re the perfect size for wall hangings too and if you love your home cottage-style, they’re a must-have to finish off the decor.
Quilts for babies and children are also a speciality but both tops and reverses are made from pure 100% cotton for safety reasons and they’re filled with a pure cotton wadding too, to make them snuggly but breathable and safe. If the colours or designs you want aren’t readily available off the peg, Tracy and Jan can make one for you with around 10 days turnaround time and you can then enjoy a bespoke gift that will last forever and hopefully keep future generations warm too. If you’re looking for something for older children, there’s also a selection of Marvel, DC and Disney fabrics available: not even Iron Man likes being cold…
Meadow Craft’s range of stock isn’t limited to the simple – they loves a challenge and they’re happy to hear from you with whatever design you have in mind, no matter how unusual it is. You’d be amazed at what can be done with a sewing machine, some pins and a great imagination!
Knitting and crochet too is available to order; there was a time when any new addition to the family would be knitted for, from vests to matinee coats and although these traditions fell from favour, they’re seeing a massive surge in popularity as people recognise fondly the time and effort that friends and family put in when making these unique items and how no babies memory box looks quite the same without these cherished, tiny, traditional items. But what do you do if you want any of these items but don’t know where to start?
Well, the good news is that you have three choices; your first one is to contact Tracy and Jan and buy some of their items from stock. Just check her out on her Facebook page or give her a call on 01269 844 398 to discuss.
Your second choice will need a little more planning but only a week or two’s wait; how about having an item made? It’s not as expensive as you think and you can choose the colours and styles to your taste; perfect!
Your third choice is… learn! From the new workshop in Upper Tumble, Tracy and Jan will be delivering classes on crochet, patchwork, quilting, cross-stitch, knitting and even sugarcraft and painting. The relaxation that comes from creative hobbies is well recognised and skills like knitting are shown to increase wellbeing by boosting the chemical seratonin which improves mood and calmness and the physical movements are good for maintaining motor skills in those who are ageing. The fun that comes from choosing your palette, your pattern and the creative process is an unbeatable lift in these stressful times and whatever you make, you’ll look upon it with real fondness and appreciation because you’ll remember the effort and enjoyment it brought and continues to bring. Is there a creative hobby not listed here you’d be interested in? Why not enquire with the team to see if it’s available or if a class is planned?
Whether you’re buying or learning, rediscover the pleasure that comes from the handmade today. Life moves quickly and Meadow Crafts would like to help you slow it down a little!
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