Friday, 24 February 2012

Stitching All Day

 In the mid ninties i began working as a cross stitch designer....almost by chance...i had been designing surface patterns to go on all sorts of products, for years, from cards and gift wrap to chopping boards and china...i called it painting flowers all day and loved being able to work freelance this way (it also fitted in well when my children were growing up).......at the same time i designed and stitched cross stitch samplers for my home in my spare time........as well as making quilts and knitting jumpers...i was always a busy crafty bee....
...one day a friend of mine from the US who was living over here at the time and loved stitching and crafts as much as me, gave me a stitching magazine which had a little piece in it asking for designers to submit stitching designs to them......so i did.......
 ....and the next thing i knew i was stitching all day....i would wave my husband off to work, take my girls to school and then stitch the day away creating new designs as i went along...sometimes adding buttons, charms or beads to the samplers and having such an inspiring time......
 ....eventually, as well as working for magazines, i also wrote my own cross stitch books, and contributed to lots of others..................one of the first magazines i ever worked for was Cross Stitcher.....
 ....and out right now is the 250th issue, as Cross Stitcher celebrates its 20th birthday this year...so Happy Birthday Cross Stitcher....it's been a pleasure to work with the team all these years....and the magazine is looking fresh, new and inspiring....you can find out all about it here.... and join in with the celebrations and amazing competitions .............
 .....some of the recent charts i've created for Cross Stitcher, and some of the little cross stitch tags and charms i love to make and add to things.....i don't always stitch using a hoop but sometimes it's a good idea....
.......as well as making samplers for framing i love to make a sampler style design and use it for objects like needle rolls...love the words amongst the patterns and motifs, i think that is what drew me to samplers in the first place...
 ....at the moment i am interested in exploring vintage cross stitch motifs like silhouettes and monograms, and combining them with other crafts such as papercrafts, sewing, patchwork and collage........
......and i still love how just a few stitches in various shades can bring a small motif to life as you sew....

Thnak you for popping in to see me today...as you know i love your visits :-)  Wishing you a wonderful weekend with sunny happy times and maybe a little crafting too.....back soon xxxxxxxxxxxxx

53 comments:

greenrabbitdesigns said...

Your work is so beautiful Helen!
It's no surprise that you have been snapped up by all these publications and that your books have been so successful.
You definitely are an inspiration to others. :)
The little pincushion in your first photo is the sweetest thing!!!
Happy weekend,
Vivienne x

KC'sCourt! said...

I used to buy Cross Stitcher and all the other magazines tewnty years ago, and also saw the advert for designers, I was going to do it because I abolutely love samplers but never sent it away becaue I didn't think I was good enough! Have you ever wished you tried...........I regret it now but its too late!
I love your needle roll, and the hanging rose and strawberry.
Julie xxxx

Simone said...

How wonderful to design for so many different magazines and to have so many books published too! You are an inspiration to me Helen! I have a dream to one day have a craft book published but I have so many other distractions! I wish you continued success in all your stitchy pursuits. Have a lovely weekend Helen. I bet you are a fine gardener too! x

henny designs said...

Beautiful, just beautiful, Helen.
Henny xx

Country Rabbit said...

your designs must have been such an inspiration over the years helen, even now they're 'new' and beautiful to see ;0)...such a wonderful talent!!
Always a pure 'blissful' joy to see your posts- they lift my spirits so much x

Country Rabbit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hazel said...

Beautiful. I will look out for this new edition of the mag. I like it much better these days. x

ByVonneThuis said...

Hoi,
I love crossStitcher.
They also sell it in the Netherlands. And you don't need to know how to read Englisch to stitch. I will look out for your work the next time I buy the magazine.

Groetjes Yvonne

Bee happy said...

I love your work Helen I have a couple of your books, your makes are so pretty, you are very talented :) thanks for sharing and hope you have a wonderful weekend sweetie

Bee happy x
Have a delicious day!

Cindy said...

I love your pretty designs! I was a crossstitcher years ago, and after discovering your books I have been at it again.

Mary Janes TEAROOM said...

Your work is always so pretty and inspiring Helen and resulted in me recently buying my first Cross Stitcher magazine which I really enjoyed...You are a lovely, talented lady and truly deserve all your success!
Hope you have a wonderful weekend,
Susan x

Annie said...

Oh, it's too long since I did any cross stitch. My girls used to love to do it growing up and I'm sure had a couple of your books. Like you I always preferred to design my own motifs, which of course takes longer than stitching from a chart and so turned out to be the thing I dropped when time was short. Your beautiful designs have been inspiring folk for a good while Helen, and you may have just inspired me to pick up some cross stitch again x

Mummy Boo Bear said...

I love all your pretty cross stitch designs, that rose is very beautiful.

I had a little go just before christmas with cross stitch and can see it can be soothing but very addictive!

Hope you have a lovely weekend.


MBB x

Teje said...

Dear Helen, you make so beautiful things and I'm sure that there are so many who have found inspiration from you! Always so talented, sweet and beautiful!
Have a lovely weekend! x Teje

Thoroughly Modern Me said...

I was a big fan of doing cross stitch in the 90's as well. Thanks for the update on the magazine. It does look new and fresh. I will have to check it out. Sounds like you have had a fun freelance career. I collect vintage embroidery and do tend to love the cross-stitch designs. There are some cute vintage pillows out there with roses on them, children's bibs and other linens. I hope you find some nice examples to inspire you!

mynestofyarnandbuttons said...

Hello Helen,
So nice to be back and enjoying such a lovely post. All your x-stitching is so beautiful. I was also part of the x-stitch world back when the kids were young and everything had a motif on it! Many a sampler I counted and crossed. I have them somewhere. I love the looks of all your books. I will try to get my hands on the magazine!
Hope you have a relaxing weekend, xoRobin❤

Puppet Lady said...

I used to buy Cross Stitcher, and did a lot of cross-stitch in the past, but not any more. I seem to be too impatient for it now, but it is a very relaxing passtime. I sometimes make my own designs for a special occasion, but have never had anything published. Your designs and pictures are lovely.

delia hornbook said...

Wow Helen what a great feeling that must give you. Knowing you have helped so many women in making something special for their homes. Cross stitching is lovely although its not something i have tried yet but my mum loves it. dee x

Cris said...

I love crossStitcher!

Kisses,

Cris

Frances said...

Congratulations to you, Helen, and also to Cross Stitcher magazine! It's very inspriring to see just how contemporary and sophisticated the cross stitch can be in the hands and eyes of a creative lady like yourself.

(You made me laugh with your mention of waving your husband away when you were in deep stitching mode.) xo

my4lilgirls said...

I'm always so inspired by your work Helen, always love the sweet colors & patterns. What a blessing to work at something you love :D
Have a lovely weekend
Karen x

Lori ann said...

dear helen,
you are a complete and total inspiration to me. and i have just a twinge of 'what if?' or 'why didn't i'. not that i am anything at all the creative one you are, but i love how you took the chance and then made all this happen yourself.
i probably had your books as cross stitch was a big part of my life in the 90's also. and i've decided that i need to collect them again. you've made me want to pick up my needle again too. just looking at all your lovely stitches, and colors and designs...
i wanted to ask you, do you use a magnifing lamp? and if so do you have one you recommend? my eyes are not what they were in the 90's and i do need some help now.
thank you for sharing here and bringing such inspiration and joy into my (and so many others) life. from across the sea,
lori xx

Ali said...

I love your work and your photos are always so clean & fresh looking xx I thought this months cross stitcher magazine was the best for a long time xx

Pene said...

Oh they are all lovely, your a great stitcher.
Hugs
Pene

claire said...

I had no idea that you had written so many books and were famous :0 I wish you lived around the corner - I'd love a natter about your surface pattern designing days! Interesting to hear some of your journey. Have a fab weekend.

Людмила said...

Это восхитительно!Ваш пост приносит счастье и радость во все наши блоги!

Natalia Glazacheva said...

Helen, so cute things you made! Love`em all :o) You always inspire me :o) Your cross stitched motifs are ADORABLE!
Have a very happy weekend
love
Natasha

Jewel said...

I have literally just bought this magazine for the first time this evening! I haven't cross stitched since school, but I am inspired by all the beautiful projects to learn!

I can't wait to master this beautiful skill! Thank you for your contribution and any tips for a first timer would be appreciated! xxx

Madelief said...

Congratulations Helen! I didn't realise you are a celebrity....to have a book published. That's quite something. You are really talented; to sew, knit & embroider. Love the little rose you just made and the sampler bag. They are both very pretty!

Happy weekend!

Madelief x

Fleur Cotton said...

Absolutely love your cross stitch tags and charms ... perfect for decorating gifts for mother's day and easter.

Beautiful pictures as always. Your blog is always a delight to visit.

Fleur xx

bellaboo said...

Oh my goodness,is there no end to your talents?! It's all fabulous.
Have a very happy weekend! :0)

Nia Cross Stitch said...

Hi Helen,

I identified you as a cross stitch designer before I came across your blog. Therefore it was a lovely surprise for me to catch up with your news. I remember purchasing a few of your charts when you sold your designs on your website.

I hope that you continue to be busy and happy working with all the different mediums which you work with.

Nia

purple-roses-country-cottage said...

Dear Helen,
I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. You are listed on my blog today with a link to your blog. Congratulations!
Nicole xxx

My Little Home and Garden said...

It snowed, it rained, it blew, and then I found your lively colours. Have a fabulous weekend, Helen.

Jill said...

I am so impressed I didn't know you had written any books or contributed to a magazine! Your sticthing is beautiful. Have a lovely weekend. Jillx

Mia said...

Thank you, dear Helen, for sharing some of your career steps! It's not only interesting read but also very inspiring! And those books...I am very impressed (but not surprised, your work is adorable) - fantastic!

Lovely, lovely stitching weekend!

Yours,
Mia

T's Daily Treasures said...

I love all your stitchwork and how you use it in so many different and wonderful ways to embellish anything and everything. We are having such a gloomy, drizzly, dark day here so it is lovely to see your colorful posts. Have a great rest of the weekend. Tammy

Scented Sweetpeas said...

Lovely to read more about your Helen, you may find this site inspirational on the silhouettes front : http://www.whatdelilahdid.typepad.com/ they makes some lovely silhouette cross stitch patterns. I do however love love love the colours you use so I hope you don't move too far away from that style x

Jenny said...

Beautiful Helen, it is lovely to hear a bit more about your design past and all the cross stitch work you have done - I find the samplers ever so pretty to look at, and really really want to find the time one day soon to try my hand at a little cross stitch. Anyway, here's to lots more successful, happy crafty years ahead for you, you are an inspiration :) Enjoy the rest of your weekend xx

Jane said...

What a wonderful crafty life you have been able to live Helen. Your work is so detailed and beautiful I am not surprised you have made it such a success. Looking forward to sharing more of your stitching world with you. Enjoy the sunshine,
Jane x

koralee said...

Oh how I love to cross stitch...but I am afraid I have not done it for years! I have ooooodles of unfinished projects...your work is stunning. You amaze me my friend ....so inspiring and such a wonderful background you have. Hugs for a wonderful new week. xoxoxo

Kentish Keg-Meg said...

You are so creative and I love your designs.

Pink Milk said...

Right, I've only gone and bought it!!! I haven't cross-stitched for absolutely ages but that little rose was just too much to resist. I'll keep you posted!

You are an inspiration my friend.

Hx

Crafty Mermaid said...

Thanks for sharing your story. It's great to hear how you've shared your crafty-ness :)

gillyflower said...

Beautiful cross stitch pin cushions Helen - so pretty.It must have been a lovely way to spend time and be paid for it whilst your children were growing up!

flowers on my table said...

Dear Helen, it was really fascinating to read about your work and how you got started.It must be a lovely job, but you must have to be very disciplined. Everything you make is so beautifully finished.

Thankyou for your comments on my last post, so glad Sparky made you smile! Love Linda x

Jooles said...

your work is absolutely gorgeous helen, so neat and perfect. It was so lovely to hear about your work too. I am going to try and get my sticky mits on the mag :o)
have a great week
love jooles x

pipian said...

Lovely work!
Congratulations!

Poppy said...

Is there no end to your talent Helen? I loved reading more about you, thank you for sharing. I will look out for the magazine! :0)

Lou xxx

Cozy Little House said...

Congratulations on such a long and wondrous career! And fun to boot!
Brenda

greenthumb said...

Oh, I just spent the day with mum making a cushion for a cross stitch I made, I love to do all sorts of croos stitch things.

Andrea said...

Hi Helen,
A true inspiration is what you are! to have worked as you have for all the magazines and your lovely books is such a great achievment and so well deserved. I love the sound you new ideas to mix your styles together, they will be a treat to see.
Have a happy rest of the week Helen,and enjoy the lovely sunshine while it lasts.
Andrea x

dutch sisters said...

You are such a creative woman! Always so much inspiration here...I love those small cross stitch hangers/tags.