Seasons in the Sun Helen M. Stevens
9th April 2021
Often, when you see a project you simply have to stitch, after having worked it and completed it you may find yourself wishing that you could get the pleasure of doing it all over again. This is why discovering a companion piece can be such a joy and is also one of the reasons we began creating our Handpicked range of projects, with a new one released to accompany each issue of Inspirations magazine.
For Inspirations issue #109, we commissioned our very favourite Helen M. Stevens to design a second project to work harmoniously with her piece, Aetna’s Bouquet. The project she delivered took our breath away, and we’re sure you’ll agree with us that it is a stunner.
Seasons in the Sun utilises Helen’s trademark style. She has created a botanical masterpiece and worked it in smooth, shimmering silks so that it captures the light perfectly. Worked onto a black background, the texture and shine of the silk threads used in Seasons in the Sun are emphasised all the more in a rather incredible way.
One of the many striking features of this project is the circular shape. Helen has selected a range of meadow grasses, flowers and berries including blackberries, periwinkles and convolvulus, and arranged them to form a flowing mandala. Placed perfectly at the centre is a brilliant white butterfly, its wings tipped in gold and magenta.
The gorgeous lines of the piece force the eye to shift and circle without getting caught on a single jarring element.
The circle, or the mandala shape, has been used by many cultures as its symbolism is both powerful and universal. Specifically, the circle symbolises the idea that life is endless and that everything in life is connected.
With that in mind, Helen’s choice of the mandala shape is ideal. Each of the plants she depicts is connected in some way to all of the others in a smooth, endless line. The focal point of the piece, the butterfly, then appears to be an integral part of the botanical world surrounding it. If there was ever a design which personified the idea of connection, then this is it.
Working on black fabric can prove challenging for some people. In order to transfer the design, the best product to use is light coloured dressmaker’s carbon that will produce lines that are visible on the fabric. You may need to go over the design with the stylus a couple of times to ensure that the lines have transferred.
Dressmaker’s carbon is specifically designed to come off after a time, so if at any stage you lose the drawing, you may need re-transfer a small section again.
Then, of course, the stitching process requires good light. This isn’t a project to undertake on a dark evening with poor lighting! Ensure that you either have good day light or an excellent lamp that will help you maintain accuracy and be able to see clearly, despite the dark background.
The end result is incredibly rewarding and most definitely worth your efforts. Seasons in the Sun is a dramatic and striking project that will garner admiring comments from anyone who sees it.
For the many Helen M. Stevens fans out there, this is one project from her not to miss, and if you are yet to try one of her designs, Seasons in the Sun is a beautiful place to start.
Make Your Own Seasons in the Sun
Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions
Seasons in the Sun by Helen M. Stevens from our Handpicked Range is a magical circlet of seasonal blooms and berries.
Seasons in the Sun – HP Digital
Seasons in the Sun – HP Print
Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit
The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Seasons in the Sun includes everything* you need to re-create this delightful wreath: Fabric (unprinted), dressmaker’s carbon, embroidery threads, beads and needles.