Crowning Glory by Helen M. Stevens

28th October 2022

You’ve probably heard the theory that it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill. This idea was first suggested by Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers where he suggests it takes 10,000 hours of intensive practise to achieve mastery of complex skills and materials.

Helen M. Stevens’ career in needlework first began in 1981, today 41 years on with 12 bestselling books published, countless exhibitions held, commissioned pieces stitched and hundreds of projects designed and taught, it would almost be an understatement to call Helen a master in needlework.

A true artisan of our generation and a captain of our industry, it is always a great privilege for us to publish her projects.

Crowning Glory from Inspirations issue #116 depicts a glorious Victoria Crowned Pigeon nestled in a New South Wales Christmas bush worked in silk floss and stranded cotton.

Few designers have the mastery of technique Helen demonstrates when working with silk floss.

Firstly, it’s helpful to understand the different applications one can deploy when stitching with silk. You can choose from spun silk, filament silk or twisted filament silk. For further reading on understanding the difference between the three, Mary Corbet has an excellent article you can check out HERE.

With Crowning Glory, Helen uses Pipers Silks floss in an array of 16 different colours. These filament silk threads are quite robust and strong, and if they get twisted can be untangled. Non-twisted silk is highly lustrous compared to twisted filament silk, as it’s mainly laid flat to help catch and reflect the light.

Part of the secret to the spectacular finish Helen has achieved with Crowning Glory is due to large sections of the piece being worked using three strands laid together, reducing to two and then just a single strand for some of the finer details.

The striking red breast of the pigeon and the pops of white and red flowers from the Christmas bush are all the more vivid against the perfectly chosen black background.

Few designers have the depth of experience and the rich history spanning so many decades as does Helen M. Stevens. To help capture her life’s work Helen has recently launched a brand-new website that is a joy to explore. You can check it out HERE

Thank you, Helen for once again lighting up the pages of Inspirations magazine with another wonderous silk creation.

Make Your Own Crowning Glory

Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

Crowning Glory by Helen M. Stevens is a silk embroidery featuring a colourful crowned pigeon and Christmas bush.

Printed Magazines

Inspirations Issue 116

Digital Patterns

Crowning Glory – i116 Digital

Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Crowning Glory includes everything* you need to re-create this colourful crowned pigeon: Fabric with pre-printed design, embroidery threads and needle.


Crowning Glory – i116 Kit

*Please Note: To cater for flexibility of purchase, instructions are not included with our kits. For step-by-step directions on how to create this project, please refer to the magazine/digital pattern.

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