Friday, March 26, 2010

Inspired Image: Helen Summers of Thimbletop

After a brief hiatus, I'm bringing back the Friday Inspired Image series! I know, it's exciting stuff. I'd love to feature some of you right here on a future Friday, so if you have an image that speaks to you that you'd love to share, email me at thingswemake [at] gmail [dot] com and I'll give you a chance to share the spotlight! Now for Helen's pick, which I particularly love because I'm also from near Philly...

Hello, my name is  Helen Summers

You can find me at

This image comes from

It inspires me because although I am currently living in Western Massachusetts, I'm originally from just outside of Philadelphia, so the inside of 30th Street Station is a very familiar and inviting space for me.  I love the open space, and every single time I go in I am struck by how much I love the ceiling pattern.  I have spent plenty of time sitting on those benches after having just missed that train I was supposed to take, and every time I do I end up passing the time staring at that ceiling and imagining all of the various ways that I could use that pattern in a new embroidery project.

I particularly love  the way it captures the feeling of that huge, airy space in the main area.  Particularly as spring is finally approaching, this picture reminds me of being able to just sit and enjoy the atmosphere (and the people-watching).

It makes me feel more connected to my friends and family in PA.  I actually just visited this past weekend, and I am reminded of the amazing feeling of walking up the steps into that station and just immediately feeling right back at home.

The 3 words it conjures up are breezy, open, home.

Helen makes embroidered pieces with a sense of humor. Here's how she describes it:
"I learned to sew when I was about nine years old and my mother first taught me how to sew a basic rectangular pillow. When I was ready to stuff my first project, she tried to teach me how to turn the fabric inside out to hide the seam. I refused, arguing that I had worked hard on my careful stitching and wanted to show it off, not put it inside the pillow where no one could see it.

As the years have gone by my sewing has changed and advanced, going through stages of dresses and shirts and bags. However, it seems that I have finally come full circle. Through embroidery, I have once again discovered my love of creating stitches that everyone can see. I think that my nine-year-old self would approve of the fact that I try to keep a sense of humor in many of the items I make."

 And with those nice thoughts, I bid you lovely weekend!

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