Helen hails from Hobart, at the very bottom of Tasmania, which is an Island state at the very bottom of Australia. Growing up on a farm near a very small country town, Helen learned to entertain herself from a young age. Learning to use her hands to achieve her ideas was a necessity. Hence, with a dressmaker and embroiderer for a Grandmother, a mother as a pianist and florist, and a father who could make anything from wood or metal, it was nearly pre-determined that she was going to be creative!
Her first career path saw her artistic talents emerge as a professional musician – a career path that she pursued for many years. During this time, she used the many hours spent on tour buses to perfect her skills as an embroiderer and stitcher. Moving around the country, often with her husband (also a musician), her business developed into the internationally known business of today – Hugs' n Kisses. Self-publishing over 200 patterns, two books and many products, Helen has been featured in many internationally well known craft, quilt and embroidery magazines – including American Patchwork and Quilting, Quilters Home, Australian Quilters Companion and Quiltmania to name a few. She has also developed the Colourqué® technique – as published by AQS in the book Faux Appliqué – and a glue stick appliqué technique which she has taught across Australia, USA and Europe. Helen has won several awards for her exhibition quilts including Best Machine Workmanship at Paducah in 2007 in collaboration with her sister – a master quilter. In 2013, their collaboration quilt Cornelian won Best of Show Tasmania, and is currently touring the country in the Best of Australia exhibition.
Her latest book, Simply Appliqué, based on her gluestick appliqué technique and her own branded appliqué paper, will be available in May.
Helen also began and administers the charity Quiltaid™ program around the world along with a Snugglybug program in her home state.
Today, Helen lives with her three beautiful daughters and husband. She works from her home studio at the bottom of the world, travelling to teach and share her love of all things stitching. Her newest venture is fabric design that completes her dream of making beautiful things from beautiful fabrics for all to enjoy.
Visit www.hugsnkisses.net to see all Hugs' n Kisses products, www.hugsnkisses.typepad.com to share in her daily happenings or www.patternpress.com.au to access her patterns wholesale.