Jane Charles from Small Stitches 6

Midday Makers

I did a degree in Fashion, but before the internet I think we did degrees that were suggested by teachers – there were less opportunities, there are certainly more choice now which is great.

My work now is generally flat, so it doesn’t have to fit anyone! I still draw on my degree experience though with knowledge of fabrics, colour theory and an love of creating things out of fabric.

There was a time when I didn’t make much at all, focussing on paying the bills for 10 years living in London. I think it was moving to Milton Keynes with 2 young children in 2002 that made me think again about crafting.

I started making small things made from felt, mobiles and angels made from the poppy heads that grew in our newly acquired garden. As the (now 3) children got bigger I started working on different textile things, but it always fitted around childcare, when the youngest started school full time, I had whole days to play around and make things.

I then got involved in Adult Education and teaching Family Learning courses which led to teaching creative textiles around 12 years ago. Getting a studio 6 years ago, then meant I could take on larger commissions and experiment with different techniques, there is so much to play around with and learn in textiles….it just grows and grows!

It’s the teaching and large community commissions that pay me money, but I have to carry on making smaller things, it’s in my blood so to sell directly to the public at fairs is really important and this lockdown has focussed my attention to selling on line and it’s really paid off.

I loved taking part in the MMFH in May, setting up my stall and directing my Insta posts on promotion and telling my story.

Watch Jane’s chat with us on our Midday Makers IGTV series here.

Jane’s Folksy shop: Smallbeans

Instagram @smallstitches6