Crafting Galore in Woodside, Telford, was created by Paula Wheatley and has helped people regain their confidence after struggling alone during the pandemic.
And the group is keen to welcome new members, as well as appeal for craft donations and financial assistance so they can reach more people.
On a chilly Thursday morning, we visited the band at the Park Lane Center in Woodside, to find out what it’s all about.
There was a treasure trove of teddy bears, toys, quilts and more as around 20 women enjoyed themselves while chatting with each other.
Some of the group’s activities include knitting, crocheting, felting, needle felting, pyrography, patchwork and quilting. They also made memory bears and made angels and wreaths for Christmas. A few ladies were even working on their Christmas decorations for 2022.
Paula said they will try any craft activity, they are open to suggestions from members and eager to help people do what they want.
Some of the items created are purely fun, some of the ladies are selling their work, and other pieces have special meaning.
One of the members, Emma Boden, showed off a teddy she had made. “It’s made with my grandmother’s clothes,” she said. “All body parts are moving. It’s just a nice way to remember her.”
Several cubs had been made and a lady had created a miniature version of her deceased dog.
Other impressive creations include an octopus named Luna, made by Emma. The hand-stitched piece comes with suction cups on the tentacles.
“That one will probably go on Etsy,” she said.
Along with the fun they get from creating, it’s also about making friends and having people to talk to.
Fellow member Liz Smith said: “That’s probably my highlight of the week. It’s mentally uplifting. Everyone is so friendly.
“We want to encourage everyone to come. Any age. It doesn’t matter if you’re a mom and you’re worried about kids running around. This is a band for the community, even if it’s not just Woodside. We have people from Dawley and other parts of Telford, everyone is welcome.
She also praised the work of Paula, who provides most of the crafts herself, and only charges members £3 to cover the cost of the venue.
“She provides so much and it comes out of her own pocket,” Liz said.
Paula created the group in December to try to give people the opportunity to meet and have a little more human contact. A passionate craftsman herself, she wanted to pass on her know-how to others.
“My mom was an amazing seamstress. When she died, all of her skills died with her, and I don’t want that to happen to me. I want to pass that on.”
She added: “We want more people to come. It’s a friendly group. We are also looking for donations and help to pay for the hall. I would like people to come for free because not everyone don’t have any money to spare.”
The group currently runs Thursdays from 10am-12pm at the Park Lane Center in an upstairs room. Anyone wishing to donate or sponsor the group can call Paula on 07791 288746.