The Scot bring­ing joy to kids with her cud­dly cre­ations

Creator of love­able toys on ton­sil op that changed her life

The Sunday Post (Newcastle) - - NEWS - By Tracey Bryce TBRYCE@SUN­DAY­POST.COM Sue will be host­ing work­shops at the Cre­ative Craft Show at Glas­gow’s SEC from Oc­to­ber 25-28

Life­for chil­dren around the world would be a lit­tle less bear­able if it wasn’t for Sue Quinn.

Af­ter all, she’s the woman who has been cre­at­ing favourite teddies for over half a cen­tury.

Sue, 67, was in­spired to start mak­ing bears at the age of eight, af­ter be­ing gifted “Teddy” by her par­ents for hav­ing her ton­sils out.

Pen­sioner Sue, from Kil­barchan, said: “He was a mo­hair bear and I was ab­so­lutely in love with him.

“I wanted more bears, so I de­cided to make them my­self.

“My mum was a clever seam­stress and al­ways sewing and mak­ing things so I picked up the ba­sics from her and used to use her old trea­dle sewing ma­chine.

“I made my first bear us­ing a can­dlewick bed­spread… I’m not sure she was too im­pressed!”

Sue turned it into a busi­ness in 1978, mak­ing syn­thetic an­i­mals for trade.

But she soon moved on to col­lectable mo­hair bears.

Now she solely con­cen­trates on those, per­son­ally tak­ing care of ev­ery sin­gle de­tail, from draw­ing the de­sign and pat­tern cut­ting to the stuff­ing, stitch­ing and, of course, adding the all-im­por­tant eyes and but­ton nose.

Sue said: “It’s like be­ing com­mis­sioned for a work of art. Ev­ery one of the bears is unique.

“They’re much more than just stuffed toys.

“It can take from a few days to a whole week from start to fin­ish. It’s the tiny de­tails that take time.

“And some­times mak­ing the out­fits ac­tu­ally takes longer than the bears!” Sue’s teddies have been snapped up all over the UK, and she has a steady stream of cus­tomers in Europe and Amer­ica too. She’s also made beau­ti­ful bears for some fa­mous faces – although she couldn’t pos­si­bly re­veal who.

Now Sue, who has pub­lished books on heir­loom bears, makes up to 100 col­lectable bears each year, which can sell for up to £600. And she re­stores those that have been loved just a lit­tle too much. “It’s such a re­ward­ing job,” she said. “Peo­ple of­ten ask what it’s like to be sur­rounded by teddies all day and I have to say it’s fan­tas­tic.

“Even at my age, I still love pick­ing them up for a cud­dle. And I still have my own favourite bear – Teddy, the in­spi­ra­tion be­hind it all. Thank­fully he’s still in good con­di­tion and hasn’t needed brought back to life just yet!”

It’s like be­ing com­mis­sioned for a work of art

Cre­ative Sue says she just loves be­ing sur­rounded by teddies in her Kil­barchan home Pic­tures Chris Austin

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