Support us with our Raffle – you’ve got to be in it to win it !

Did you know Designs in Mind runs an Annual Raffle?

This is one of our ideas that supports in-house fundraising where all the proceeds come back to the Studio. The profits are spent on purchasing materials for our studio and more support for our members.  The raffle is a collaborative venture where we involve as many of our members as possible.

When it comes to creating our Raffle Prize each of our members is highly skilled in their crafts, many of them deft with a needle and thread producing varied embroidery stitches, such as the French knot, running stitch, back stitch, seed stitch, satin stitch to name but a few.

Each design for our prizes is produced by the members involved.  This year the designs were created with pre-planning illustrations, these ideas and subjects were hand drawn and sketched before sewing commencement. Each piece was beautifully thought out to create the individual embroideries.

We like to mostly keep to practical items for use around the home, each time ensuring every item is stunning to look at as well as being very tactile, not just for the members making them but for those who may be fortunate enough to win them as coveted prizes.

For example, this year’s 1st Prize is a beautifully embroidered patchwork quilt, which has involved many of our member’s hands and nimble fingers beavering away to create each square. Every single piece is made with love and dedication.

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Once all the pieces were ready to be constructed into a patchwork quilt, two of our highly skilled sewists were ready to bring it together to finalise our first prize, which could be adorning your sofa or bed providing you’ve got the winning raffle ticket of course!

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We have further prizes with the 2nd Prize being a comfy Cushion and our 3rd Prize is a Moonlight A3 print. These two products were manufactured outside of our studio however the designs on them were created by our talented members.

You can view them here if you’d like

The Raffle will be drawn on this coming Sunday the 29th of January, 2023 at 2 pm.

Our members are often working on the raffle prizes in between the ongoing collaborative work and any current commissioned works happening each day in the studio.

Due to our varied projects these hand-crafted raffle prize items aren’t only being worked on in the studio, as more often than not, these pieces will be taken to members’ homes to spend their own time on perfecting them. This is wonderful as it gives members free rein with a great time filler to feel that all-encompassing and immersive experience that sewing creates.

Embroidery truly lends itself to be a delightful method for combating loneliness, raising wellbeing and providing that sense of achievement. All essential prerequisites for keeping Mental Health on an even keel.

There are many reasons embroidery is a great pastime as it releases the neurotransmitter dopamine, which often presents as low in people with chronic depression or anxiety. Dopamine is often referred to as the “feel good” hormone which brings feelings of joy and happiness. Embroidery, like other arts and crafts, can also boost self-awareness, so there is a lot to like about it.

One of our members Nicki said “I’ve fallen back in love with hand sewing having recently been reintroduced to it at Designs in Mind. My mother made many of her and our clothes so taught me at an early age how to mend and make. I went on to make my wedding gown, bridesmaids’ dresses and usher’s outfits, then from there to my child’s christening suit.  I’d cross stitch, embroider, make toys and add embellishments to my clothes. But then I lost it as life got in the way. For the past 25 years I” ‘ve lost the joy of stitching and making, alongside losing my love of fabric and the colours of threads. That was until we made our pocket project with Rosie. I wanted to be involved with this project but it coincided with a trip I was taking so wouldn’t be around for 4 weeks. Rosie gave me material, and threads and encouraged me to work on it whilst away. I fell in love with stitching and embroidery all over again. The slowness of the process calmed my mind and relaxed me, the joy of something ‘becoming’ in my hands, the fact that I made it, mistakes and all brought me absolute joy. Since September 2022 I’ve stitched, crostitched, mended, embroidered and even taught my son to sew and mend as well, to share with him the joy and simplicity of sewing a button back on! He’s also quite impressed that I made his christening suit all those years ago”

Perhaps you’ve tried embroidery yourself or you’re already an avid fan of this creative leaning, if so you’ll know how time-consuming, magical and fulfilling the planning, creation and completion of embroidery is. If you’ve not tried it before we thoroughly recommend giving it a bash!  It can be so immersive it’s akin to meditation and/or a mindfulness practice, so it’s wonderful in a solo setting.

That being said sewing and embroidery have for many years had a very social side to it too.  “The first Embroiderers’ Guild formed in the UK in 1906. It arose from a meeting between 16 ex-students of what was then the Royal School of Art Needlework in London”. Google 3 Jun 2022

The Mental Health benefits are quite vast as embroidery gives so much. It’s a great project to focus energies on that ends up with a wonderful finished piece that leaves you with an enormous sense of achievement.

In the 18th century, embroidery became an integral part of a young woman’s education across Europe. In England and its colonies, learning how to embroider was part of a youth’s transition into adulthood and all young ladies who had the relevant social standing were trained into the craft of embroidery. Google 24 Jan 2017

In modern-day settings, women would get together within groups known as sewing bees.  Perhaps you watched The Great British Sewing Bee aired on BBC 2 which has been running since 2013.

Within our Studio, our members find a good mix of working on pieces while chatting over coffee just like these sewing bees, or perhaps at times when talking is too overwhelming it can sometimes be necessary and quite appropriate to say to other members “I’m just taking a while out in quietness to absorb myself fully in this piece” which is always welcomed and respected by other members.

We’re hoping we’ve wetted your whistle to try embroidery either just for the thrill of it or to help you balance your life and mental health too. Maybe you are now curious to know more about embroidery on the whole so we’re sharing more here as it’s quite a fascinating subject.

Where did embroidery originate?

Embroidery is the craft of decorating fabric or other materials using a needle to apply thread or yarn. The word embroidery comes from the French word broderie, meaning embellishment. In various forms, embroidery has existed since the production of fabric. While embroidery is practised across the world, its origin stems from China and the Near East. Early embroidery can be traced back to Cro-Magnon days or 30,000 B.C. Archaeological finds from this period reveal fossilized remains of heavily hand-stitched and decorated clothing.

Later, in 18th century England and its colonies, embroidery was a skill marking a girl’s passage into womanhood as well as conveying rank and social standing. Soon after, however, the development of the embroidery machine and mass production came about in stages during the Industrial Revolution.

While the style and technique of modern embroidery may be different from its ancient roots, much of the purpose and use of embroidery remains the same. Embroidery has and always will be, a popular way for people to decorate their homes and themselves with personalized brands and logos.

These excerpts are taken from this online article should you wish to read it in its entirety