Helen lives in Kidderminster, West Midlands with her three beautiful dogs. The town is famous for carpet making and also for Roland Hill, the man who invented the first adhesive postage stamp. Kidderminster is also known for its steam railway, the Severn Valley Railway, which Helen is passionate about.
She works as a geography teacher in a Secondary School and has stitched since learning how to do a cross stitch card in primary school. She was a big fan of cross stitch and has done a lot over the years. She also enjoys knitting and crochet.
Helen joined 52 Stitched Stories at the beginning of 2020 when, after seeing a post in a Stitch Meditation group on Facebook she discovered 52 Stitched Stories and postcards. When Helen started her postcard journey, she didn’t have much confidence in her stitching. However, her stitching and confidence soon grew stronger with the support and encouragement from the group. She has enjoyed learning new techniques, becoming braver and more confident. She feels that stitching is beneficial for mental health and is a great coping mechanism. She has always contributed to all the open calls and her work has been proudly exhibited at the 52 Stitched Stories exhibition at the Barony Centre.
Helen was quite committed and did one postcard a week, as she enjoys working to a deadline. During lockdown she looked forward to the 11 o’clock posts, learning so much from them and has found friends for life. She said it’s great talking to likeminded people who get excited if you tell them you are getting new buttons. She enjoyed working with the postcard size and having the freedom to do her own thing. Helen doesn’t do sketchbooks and doesn’t really plan ahead, she just pulls a piece of fabric from the drawer and finds bits to go with it and off she goes. Helen is a Suffolk puff expert and loves making them, and she also enjoys running stitch and variations on cross stitch, preferring to make them vertical and horizontal. Helen prefers to keep things simple and use nice fabric and threads.
Helen has completed her 52 Stitched Stories and although she has given quite a few postcards away she stores the others in a beautiful wooden cheese box and is planning to make them into fabric books at a later stage. The advice Helen would give to others starting out would be to keep going, keep it simple taking small steps, look and listen to what others are doing, ask questions and allow yourself time.
Helen has enjoyed learning new techniques and becoming braver with her stitching making her a more confident stitcher. She feels that her stitching has certainly developed through her 52 Stitched Stories journey, and that she is now able to help others who ask questions in the group, as she was helped a year ago when she first started stitching postcards. She has recently completed a kantha stitching course with Stitched Stories Academy and is enjoying developing pieces in this style. She is also now making pieces in the Artist Trading Card size, smaller than postcards so they can be completed in an evening and are really satisfying to make.
We are grateful for Helen’s Stitched Story and enjoyed watching it unfold. We hope that it inspires others to pick up a needle.