Daventry sewing queen Demelza shares benefits of crafting for physical and mental health
A Daventry woman was just seven when her granny taught her how to sew.
Demelza Addy's hobby turned into a lifelong passion and she now turns to sewing to help her cope with ulcerative colitis and a series of mental health issues.
Demelza, 45, said: "The first sewing piece I ever did was a little Christmas tree for my mum as a gift.
"I did simple patterns and my love for cross stitch grew from there."
She said her work has become bigger and more complicated in the past 15 years.
"I have a home made 4 foot frame that I use for my large sewings," added Demelza.
"The biggest had over half a million stitches and 256 colours in it. They can take up to a year to complete."
Demelza, who is mainly housebound, digs out the sewing needle in tough times.
"I have a lot of health issues, mental health issues and ulcerative colitis to name a few that have made me pretty much housebound, so when able, I sew," she said.
"Arts and crafts can help a lot, be it with mental illness or other health issues. It's relaxing and helps you escape the everyday life."
On really tought days, Demelza finds it too hard to get out her sewing box.
"My brain just gets too frazzled," she said,
"Sometimes I can sew for hours; others only an hour all day.. Other times I don't touch it for weeks or even a few months depending what health issue decides to play up."
But she said cross stich has helped improve her life in so many ways.
She added: "It has helped me through alot of things, mental health being one of them
"I will always have my nan to thank for this lifeline."