Helen M Stevens, award-winning embroiderer and bestselling author of One Simple Stitch and the associated range of beautiful epatterns on Vivebooks.
‘Helen shows you that there is no need to know fancy stitches, or to follow complicated stitch guides, instead you work from a template (which you can print from the book) and a directional guide and use just ‘one simple stitch’ to make all the stunning projects in this book.
The book includes useful integrated video clips showing Helen demonstrating the techniques used in the book.‘ – The Sewing Directory
After a childhood travelling with her father, a Royal Air Force officer, Helen’s secondary school education in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk. Bury, an ancient market town in the east of England, and the beautiful countryside which surrounds it, had a huge formative effect upon her love of history and nature.
Leaving school at 16, Helen went to business college, leaving with qualifications in office management, accounting, Pitman shorthand and typing. Five years in legal and architectural work were enough. With a knowledge of how the world of business worked and a belief that art and commerce need not be mutually exclusive she began her own business. In 1981 the True Embroideries Studio was born and took wings.
Throughout the 1980s, Helen’s work continued to expand in popularity, earning her commissions from Harrods of Knightsbridge, The Stanley Gibbons Gallery, the NHS, RSPB, the House of Commons and the British Museum, the latter sparking her interest in Anglo Saxon embroidery.
Exhibiting by invitation as a member of the Society of Women Artists, at Central Hall, Westminster, The Mall Galleries, the Palace of Westminster and as a regular contributor to the Arts Pavilion at the East of England Show, Helen honed her exhibition skills, later holding a one-woman show regularly every two years at a number of prestigious venues, both in the UK and overseas.
The coming of the 1990s heralded a new dimension to Helen’s work when publishers David and Charles commissioned her first book. Twelve bestsellers followed, each exploring a different aspect of her art and giving her a place on the international stage which led to invitations to lecture and teach worldwide.
Throughout the 1990s and 2000s Helen traveled widely in the UK and internationally to teach and lecture, visiting Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States, often at the request of Fine Arts and Embroiderers’ Guilds. Exhibitions featuring her work included events at Sydney Olympic Stadium (Aus), the Camberwell Brown Art Gallery (USA), and St. Johns University, Newfoundland (Canada).
Since 2013 Helen has lived in Bury St. Edmunds, in a cottage dating back to the early 1800s. The atmosphere of the Cathedral and Abbey, the beauty of the surrounding countryside and the love of her home and garden – and numerous animals – continue to be an inspiration for her unique creations.
To see the full range of Helen M Steven’s work, visit her website.