Babies grow so quickly that parents soon find that a collection of their clothes soon builds up. Many items can be passed on to younger siblings or family and friends but there are always a few favourites that it’s tempting to hold onto. A young Orkney mother has come up with a wonderful way where you can keep the memories of those precious early days as your baby grows up.
Fiona Smith, 48, from Burray has created a successful business, ‘Peedie Handmade Gifts’, by combining her sewing skills with a great idea. Fiona makes beautiful quilts using baby clothes. Explaining the process she says, ‘To make the quilt, the customer supplies me with the clothes to be used, the items are then chosen, prepared according to the type of fabric and cut into squares.’
‘The squares are then laid out in a pattern, ready for the customer’s approval. We can also discuss any personal finishings, i.e borders, ribbons, buttons etc.’ Fiona is not sure how long it takes to make each quilt but knows it must be many hours.
Fiona started sewing when her youngest child needed a costume for a school play. From hand sewing outfits the young mother went on to acquire a sewing machine. It wasn’t until she joined a patchwork class around 4 years ago that she caught the sewing bug.
She says, ‘It’s just within the last year or so that I have taken it more seriously. I’m pretty much self-taught.’
Fiona works from home and has a large collection of fabrics, ribbons and trimmings in her craft room. This is useful when customers come to choose their custom made quilt. She believes people like the fact that her quilts are handmade and ‘it’s bespoke, an individual keepsake for them, which holds many special memories’.
Her skill in creative design has continued to grow since the first nine square placemat she made at her local class in the Burray Hall. Although she eventually stopped going to the classes she is very proud of the double quilt that she finally completed. Some of the quilts she makes are especially made for dementia sufferers and can help with the recall of memories as they are made from clothing familiar to the person.
Available from Peedie Handmade Gifts are:
- baby/kids clothing & matching accessories (made to order)
- sensory lap blankets/quilts which are ideal for dementia sufferers or stroke recovery patients (also made to order for each individual’s requirements)
- heat/cool pads (great for joint or muscular problems and can also double up as weights for physio exercises)
- cushions – bags – make-up bags – pencil cases (all of which can be personalised)
- Christmas hanging decorations – light up gingerbread houses – stockings
- bespoke wedding invitations – baby cards – anniversary cards – wedding cards – birthday cards
Peedie Handmade Gifts can be found on Face Book
Phone 01856 731492
Many of Fiona Smith’s products can also be bought at the local craft fairs and The Odin Stone, Kirkwall
Reporter: Fiona Grahame