A MOTHER and daughter reunited under one roof during lockdown have started a craft business after taking over an old hobby.
Interior designer Wendy Newman and her 24-year-old daughter Maisie began doing cross stitch patterns as they were stuck inside during the coronavirus lockdown at their Hastings home.
Now the couple have started their own business, Mills & Fred – named after their two cockapoo dogs – offering do-it-yourself cross stitch kits to create retro and colorful textile gifts that can be framed like pictures, used as wall hangings or attached to cushions.
Wendy, 56, said: ‘Maisie came back from London for the lockdown so we suddenly found ourselves under the same roof.
“Like many people, we started doing crafts at home and picked up cross stitch again.
“We were using models where we really enjoyed the process.
“But we found out that we didn’t really want the end product in our homes, so we decided to design our own. ”
So far, Wendy and Maisie have created Mills & Fred patterns to create cross stitch designs with the words “Home”, “Hello Sunshine” and “Good Times”.
They also created a design that can be personalized for any year, to commemorate a special date or anniversary.
Maisie, who works in corporate responsibility and public relations, said, “Anyone who knows how to count and loves their home will enjoy making one of our kits. They are fun to make yourself and they make great gifts.
“The design of the year is ideal for celebrating a special anniversary, wedding or anniversary.”
Wendy and Maisie are hoping their designs will appeal to people who love crafts, following the renewed interest in manufacturing during the coronavirus crisis.
Wendy said: “The old trades are totally coming back to the fore.
“Partly because of the lockdown, I think people crouch down and enjoy the process of creating things again, and also creating something beautiful for their home.
“Not many people learn these skills more from their families, but I think it’s really important to create things.
“There is also the mindfulness side.
“We have such busy lives these days, but when you do something like a cross stitch, you really have to focus on what you are doing, so that you don’t have the weight of the world on your mind. ”
Mills & Fred kits come with 100% pure English wool appletons, sturdy fabric and training fabric, step-by-step instruction sheet, needle and color chart.
Large kits are priced at £ 35 and smaller models are £ 25, all available from the Mills & Fred Etsy shop on the internet.
The kits are suitable for anyone over the age of 10, including complete beginners, and Wendy and Maisie hope they will appeal to those looking for more unusual Christmas presents and DIY gifts.
She said: “You don’t have to think of yourself as an ‘arty’ person or already have innate sewing skills to do it.
“We have all kinds of plans to create different colors and we have other designs going on.
“Who knows what Christmas will be like this year, but it will probably be a lot closer to home than usual.
“We hope people like the designs and give the kits as gifts. ”
For more information or to purchase a cross stitch kit, go to www.etsy.com/uk/shop/millsandfredshop.