A MOTHER and daughter who were reunited under one roof during lockdown have launched a crafts business after taking up an old hobby.

Interior designer Wendy Newman and her 24-year-old daughter Maisie started doing cross stitch patterns while stuck indoors during the coronavirus lockdown at their home in Hastings.

Now the pair have founded their own company, Mills & Fred – named after their two cockapoo dogs – offering make-it-yourself cross stitch kits to create retro, colourful textile gifts which can be framed as pictures, used as wall hangings or attached to cushions.

Wendy, 56, said: “Maisie moved back from London for lockdown so we were suddenly under the same roof again.

The Argus:

“Like many people we started doing crafts at home and took up cross stitching again.

“We were using patterns where we really enjoyed the process.

“But we found 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 have also created a design which can be personalised for any year, to commemorate a special date or anniversary.

The Argus:

Maisie, who works in corporate responsibility and PR, said: “Anyone who can count and loves their home will enjoy making one of our kits. They’re fun to make yourself and they make lovely gifts.

“The year design is ideal to celebrate a birthday, wedding or special anniversary.”

Wendy and Maisie hope their designs will appeal to people who enjoy crafts, following the renewed interest for making things during the coronavirus crisis.

Wendy said: “The old crafts are totally coming back to the fore.

“Partly because of the lockdown, I think people are hunkering down and enjoying the process of making things again, and also creating something lovely for their home.

“Not so many people learn these skills from their families any more but I think it is really important to make things.

The Argus:

“There is also the mindfulness side to it.

“We have such busy lives these days but when you’re doing something like a cross stitch you have to really focus on what you’re doing, so you don’t have the weight of the world on your mind.”

Mills & Fred kits come with Appletons 100 per cent pure English wool, a sturdy fabric and practice fabric, detailed instruction sheet, needle and colour chart.

Large kits are priced at £35 and the smaller year designs are £25, all available from the Mills & Fred Etsy shop on the internet.

The kits are suitable for anyone over 10, including complete beginners, and Wendy and Maisie hope they will appeal to people looking for more unusual Christmas gifts and DIY presents.

The Argus: Wendy Newman, right, with her daughter MaisieWendy Newman, right, with her daughter Maisie

She said: “You don’t have to consider yourself to be an ‘arty’ person or already have innate sewing skills to do it.

“We’ve got all sorts of plans to do different colours and we have more designs on the go.

“Who knows what Christmas is going to be like this year but it’s probably going to be a lot more close to home than normal.

“We hope people will 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.