My name is Lisa and I work for the fantastic online craft company SewandSo in Tewkesbury. I used to work in the thread room but recently started in the fabric room cutting all types of fabric. I have a passion for beautiful patchwork and quilting cottons; I can’t walk out of a craft shop without at least buying a few fat quarters, even if I have no idea which project I’ll use them for at the time!
After working in the fabric room for a while, I began to collect fabric off-cuts and decided to make a scrap quilt as they were just lying in a box unused. I saw that SewandSo were doing a blog for mental health awareness and as I have bipolar disorder and emotionally unstable personality disorder, I thought I could make a quilt and auction it to fundraise for Mind.
When I started to make the quilt top I didn’t realise that I was going through a period of hypomania with my illness, and I took time off work due to personal stress. By the time my depression hit, I had completed the quilt top (which took less than a week). It was at this point I knew that I needed to seek help for my illness. It’s ironic that I made a quilt to help Mind, while I was struggling with my mental health at the time. So the quilt is something quite special. I decided to back it in super-soft teddy bear fabric, because it’s so comforting and warm.
I think that craft can help people with mental health problems because it’s a distraction, but it’s also meditative – with every stitch you can let your thoughts go. I think I’ve tried out most crafts, including knitting, crochet, bobbin lace making, cross stitch and embroidery. I’ve just been accepted to make “knitted knockers” for ladies who’ve recently had mastectomies.
I hope other people are inspired to have a go at crafting, whatever that may be, because for whatever reason you do it, craft is a great way to relax and create something beautiful too.