04 Nov

#shoutoutrevolution – Just Sew Helen

Who are you and what do you do? 
I’m Helen & by day I’m a midwife working with high risk pregnancies. I have a small textile art business ranging from dressmaking to embroidery and fabric ornaments.

When did you begin embroidering? 
I have been sewing all of my life, well as long as I can remember, as Mom taught me as a little girl.  She worked from home as a dress maker in the 1970’s and I made little dresses for my dolls and teddies whilst she took in orders.  Over the years, I have undertaken many different projects and returned to needlework & embroidery in 2015 when I started creating remembrance pictures.

What inspired you to create your beautiful pictures and keepsakes?
Sadly, after a very short illness in 2015, my mom died from Ovarian Cancer (OC) and I wanted to use the skills Mom taught me to raise money for an OC charity.  At the same time, two friends also lost their Moms to cancer and I created each of them a picture in memory of their Mom using applique and embroidery.  Over time I researched the handmade market and joined Etsy and finally created my own website and launched my small business in 2016.  My most popular items are Angel Baby Remembrance pictures and I’ve been privileged to create some very personal keepsakes.

What is your one essential tool that you cannot live without (for your art)?
As with any craft, many tools are required to complete a job – some vital and some just to help overall process.  However, I think my most essential tool would have to be my sewing machine as many of my items involve additional construction rather than just decorative hand embroidery.

Where can I find you on the web? 
I can be found in lots of places and would love you to come and say ‘hi’ –

justsewhelen.com
twitter.com/justsewhelen
instagram.com/justsewhelen
facebook.com/justsewhelen
justsewhelen.etsy.com
pinterest.com/JustSewHelen

What do you like to do when you are not creating? 
I procrastinate very well and can get lost on the laptop on Pinterest etc but I’m usually researching projects or techniques and so actually spend a lot of time creating in one way or another.

Our family is expanding, now with 5 grandchildren, elderly parents and our two boys at home are still at school, so spare time is precious.  We enjoy spending time as a family at our holiday home in Wales  – such a beautiful country and I can sit and embroider to my heart’s content.

Have you got any pets? 
We have two 15 year old ginger cats,  a boy Tigger and a girl Winnie.  Tigger is showing his age and is slowing down but is perfectly content to plonk himself on top of me and my laptop. His sister is a bit more particular often enjoying her own company.

What is your favourite art book?
My go to craft book is The Embroidery Stitch Bible by Betty Barnden and although I research a lot online nothing beats being able to flick through pages for inspiration. I also have a nice collection of vintage sewing & embroidery books that I inherited from my mom and I love flicking through and reminiscing my childhood and memories of Mom using these books for her crafts.

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