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Turning A Quilt-making Passion Into A Business

Published on: 4 Jun, 2013
Updated on: 4 Jun, 2013

When it comes to patchwork quilts and cushions, Sarah Bennett’s handiwork is second to none.

Having covered all the beds and spaces on the sofas and chairs in her Guildford home with her designs, she began making similar items for family and friends and for local church fairs.

Sarah Bennett quilting.

Sarah Bennett quilting.

And now she has taken the step to branch out further and has set up her own business called May Crafts making, without doubt, rather special personalised and handmade items. These she is marketing through a website for craftspeople called Etsy. Go to Maycrafts.etsy.com

It is a worldwide 24-hour giant craft market where like-minded craftspeople and artists upload images and details of the hand-made items they have for sale. It already has a huge following. And when it comes to ordering items there is a simple Pay Pal checkout service.

Child's name quilt and playmat -  a colourful rainbow quilt personalised to give as a gift or for your own little one.

Child’s name quilt and playmat – a colourful rainbow quilt personalised to give as a gift or for your own little one.

Her patchwork quilts (extremely hard wearing) and handmade cushions feature fabrics that are modern and vintage in design, new and ‘upcycled’.

For example, if you are seeking an heirloom for a grandchild to treasure, or a special gift for a baptism or naming ceremony that can include hand-painted lettering, you should check out Sarah’s work.

Retro-style handmade cushions with guitars in lavender and pink on a dark background.

Retro-style handmade cushions with guitars in lavender and pink on a dark background.

Sarah supplies to customers locally as well as further afield. Items (often gifts) can be sent overseas if required.

She has items in stock – should a customer be in a hurry to buy something, while she can create a unique item – personalised with a name and / or a phrase.

Sarah's handmade quilts are deigned to be long lasting.

Sarah’s handmade quilts are deigned to be long lasting.

Sarah is more than pleased to work with a customer on their ideas and use cotton fabric they have sourced themselves that may have special memories.  That customer may be someone who has great ideas, but not the time to work-up the design themselves.

For example, she has recently come to the help of a woman who intended to make a quilt for her daughter. The daughter is now aged 40! However, she still has the fabric that she has kept all these years, and now Sarah will be making a quilt for the woman’s grand-daughter.

Handmade vintage style patchwork cushion.

Handmade vintage style patchwork cushion.

She says she’ll even go shopping with them to choose the right cotton fabric!

Sarah said: “I learned to sew, knit and embroider when I was a little girl (yes, I was awarded my needlewoman badge at brownies) and I’ve always loved making things.

“I inherited a basic sewing machine about 10 years ago and set about making curtains, cushions and items for our home. But then the sewing machine got put away as I concentrated on work and building my business as a translator.

“And then I had children and saw beautiful quilts and cushions in magazines and thought, ’I could do that’ and so I did.”

Quilts of many colours.

Quilts of many colours.

Sarah’s business takes the form of a one-woman band, with, she adds, “lots of love and support from family and friends. I also put a lot of love into everything I make – hoping my customers will enjoy using my creations as much as I enjoy making them.”

She also has her own website, Maycrafts.co.uk, which she updates about once a week with craft tips, lots of pictures of her designs, and other similar handicrafts that have caught her eye. One of her latest blogs is about the embroidered wall hanging titled The Celebration of Guildford 2012, that can be seen on display at G Live.

Either check out her website or the Etsy site, or call her on 07956 962686. Email: Sarah@maycrafts.co.uk

Alphabet playmat and cot quilt - ABC 123 from a 1930s picture book design for little boys and little girls.

Alphabet playmat and cot quilt – ABC 123 from a 1930s picture book design for little boys and little girls.

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