GLANMIRE woman Georgina Harte may be a Dub’, but her heart is in Cork now for 30 years.
She has turned her creativity into a craft from the heart, making precious mementos for people’s loved ones who have passed away.
The mother of three daughters got her creative gift from her late father who was an artist.
“And my mother, who is 88, is a seamstress,” says Georgina who makes soft teddies, soft cushions, pillows and cosy quilts out of the clothing of loved ones who have passed away. Her business is called Memory Moments Cork.
Georgina always had creative flair.
“When I was 21, I made my sister’s wedding dress and the bridesmaid dresses,” says Georgina.
She put her valuable gift to good use.
“I made my own wedding dress too,” she added.
“I loved doing anything creative. I sold paintings on Stephen’s Green in Dublin and I made jewellery and greeting cards as well over the years.”
She dreamed of making other things that meant a lot.
“In bed one night I dreamt of making memory bears and cushions as special keepsakes for people whose loved ones have passed away, using the garments belonging to them,” says Georgina.
“I said it to my husband, wouldn’t it be nice to create something that people could cherish?”
What was her husband’s reaction to Georgina’s original idea?
“He encouraged me to make a start and I ordered a special sewing machine to begin making the memory bears and cushions.”
The purchase was bitter-sweet.
“While I was waiting for the sewing machine to arrive to start making the teddies, my own dad sadly passed away. So the first requests of teddies I got were for my own family to remember dad.”
The mementos meant a great deal to the family. “They really appreciated the teddies made with items of dad’s clothing. I made bears and cushions out of an adult shirt for my sisters and for my mum a week before Christmas. Dad passed away on November 27. Having something so familiar to remind them of dad was a comfort.
“Lots of people find parting with clothes and items of loved ones who have passed away, a difficult thing to do. This way, the memory of the deceased person is always present.”
The teddies and the cushions/pillows are unique.
“I often embroider the items with initials or a nice message,” says Georgina.
She has great inspiration while doing her work with tender loving care.
“I feel dad is looking over me as I work,” says Georgina. “Because he was an artist he would have loved what I’m doing.”
What kind of garments are suitable to make a teddy bear or cushion?
“Most items of clothing are suitable,” says Georgina. “Heavy or thick chunky material or chunky knitwear isn’t very suitable though. I’ve made teddies and cushions from people’s jackets, shirts, hoodies and sweat shirts.”
The customer is always satisfied.
“They love the idea. The teddies and cushions bring them comfort and joy.”
Georgina takes pride in her work.
“I am very particular and I am a perfectionist, taking my time to make each individual teddy, cushion or pillow,” says Georgina.
“I have to be respectful with the items of clothes as they belong to someone special who is no longer with us. I am always very mindful of that.”
How long does it take to make a memory teddy or a cushion?
“A teddy bear takes me two days,” says Georgina. “A cushion takes about a day and a half on average. I use my own patterns.”
The finished goods are met with approval.
“Most people call and collect the teddy or cushion,” says Georgina.
“Often, they are overcome with emotion and they cry. They feel sad but realise the memento is good for them. I make sure I do a perfect job. The teddy bears are soft and huggable, and they are washable too.”
Georgina makes people happy.
“I make treasure teddies too. I often make these from a new-born baby’s first baby-gro and I embroider the name of the baby and their date of birth. People love them.”
Making a quilt is a bigger job.
“I make memory quilts as well,” says Georgina.
“They can often be made from up to 40 items of clothing, or from child’s clothing. Making memory quilts is much more time-consuming but it is very satisfying.”
Memory Moments Cork is a busy business.
“I seem to have a constant supply of orders and I am very busy,” says Georgina.
“I am glad my customers are always happy with their special keepsake.”
Georgina is happy crafting and sewing memory moments.
“It is a nice business. I really love making the bears, the cushions/pillows and quilts. There is great job satisfaction in the work I do. I love making people happy.”
Her dad would be proud.
“Yes, he would be so proud,” says Georgina.
“The first memory moments I made were his. I feel that he is with me the whole time I am working. It’s a nice feeling.”
You can get in touch with Georgina on her Facebook page, Memory Moments Cork