Thursday, 21 October 2010

Meet the stallholders...

Sheila Wilkins
Have you always been a 'crafty' person - how did you start making things to sell?
I have always loved 'making things' but while my family was still young, space and time limited me to making practical pieces that we needed for the house, like curtains and cushion covers. As the children got older and started to leave home I began to paint and now love working with acrylics on large canvases, mostly land and seascapes. Then more recently a very close friend started a charity in memory of the baby she lost, to raise funds for a new baby heart monitor at our local hospital. I wanted to help but my paintings were too large for my friend to sell so I returned to the sewing machine and started making door hangers and then cushions covers with fabric remnants that I had. I found it to be so enjoyable that I carried on making them for family and friends.
Tell us a bit about what you make...
I'm a bit of a magpie when it comes to collecting fabrics, which became worse when I discovered the Silk Mill at Sudbury and the beautiful remnants that they sell. Some pieces are quite sizeable and lend themselves to being made into cushion covers - 'envelope-style' ones are simple to make but the quality of the fabrics make them look quite luxurious. And being made from remnants, most of my cushions are one-offs.
The chicken door-hangers have 'evolved' - I started ambitiously with templates including elephants and rabbits but chickens soon became my favourite as they can be embellished with fancy wings, tail feathers etc. Making heart door-hangers was a simple step-on, and again I love to use beads , buttons and other trimmings to make them extra special.

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