This year has held a lot of changes for me, both in lifestyle and health. Regular readers will know I'm passionate about the environment and a keen recycycler. I've become even more fascinated about the positive health benefits of all types of needle crafts, and how creating and making can improve our well being.
With that in mind, I'd like you to meet a special guest to Adventures in Thread. Over the last year I have become a regular follower and reader of 'Frugal Queen'. Rather than my explaining why I think this is such a wonderful blog, let me introduce Frugal Queen herself, to tell you all about it;
Could you tell us a bit about your blog, for readers who aren't familiar with it, please?
My blog documents my journey, which started in 2009 to being debts free and now documents my long journey to being mortgage free.
Frugal Queen has well over a thousand followers, you've won awards and been featured in the media. It feels as if there is a real community spirit which has built up to support you. Apart from the practical aspect of saving money, why do you think your posts have touched a chord with so many people?
I'm honest. It's not great at times, sometimes I have days where I'm really down and I think that resonates with people who equally are having difficulties in hard times. Mostly, I look at the sum of all my days and life is really good and I share the great fun that living simply can be.
You make beautiful quilts from old clothing/textiles and charity shop fabrics - saving money and helping the planet. What would your advice be to someone who wanted to begin sewing or quilting and is short of cash?
You don't need much money, I have made king size quilts on a sewing machine I bought from Argos for £65, you can use polyester wadding if you have to, but I use good wadding so it lasts. I go to every jumble sale I see and get a lot of fabric there.
How did you learn your sewing skills?
I'm completely self taught, using common sense and you tube tutorials. My first quilts and sewing attempts were hit and miss but I'm forgiving and allowed myself to make mistakes. I've got better and made my first dress last summer just by following instructions on the pattern.
Frugal Queen is very much about helping others and sharing knowledge. You now hold communal stitching days (such as quilting and bag making) at your home, for your readers. Can you tell us about this and how the idea came about?
I was asked, by blog readers if I could hold tutorials and now I teach others (my trade is teaching) - I also like the concept of paying it forward.
Worry and anxiety over finances is incredibly stressful for many people. Stitching, knitting, crocheting and creating can be very therapeutic, and recent studies have proved creative tasks are good for us. How has your health and well being improved through doing/making things yourself?
It has massively increased my own sense of self worth. I can make things therefore I am! It sounds extreme but I'm a whole lot happier. I couldn't work for a while due to stress and sewing filled my day with purpose and now it fills my time with utter joy.
Do you think that having less resources can make people more creative ?
Totally, it's the drive. I look at the posh how to instructions from companies such as Moda and then find fabric from cheaper sources. My local charity shops sells shirts for 50p and dresses for £1, I can get over a metre of fabric from either, if not two from a skirt.
Finally, as so many of us are looking for ways to economise these days, do you have a last frugal sewing tip to share?
Use every little shred and make 'crumb' quilt blocks and eventually, you'll have enough for a quilt.
Thank you for sharing with us Froogs!
'Frugal Queen' is at http://frugalincornwall.blogspot.co.uk
Frugal sewing, recipes, simple living, and good plain speaking!
Go and visit her for an inspiring read - I guarantee you will learn something new!x