Profile feature: Helen Wilde

Helen Wilde is obsessed with the ocean. As we chat over Zoom, it’s hard to miss the seascape hanging behind the Derbyshire-based embroidery artist. “There’s a clam shell up there that’s the size of my head!”, she laughs, pointing offscreen and gleefully describing how the postman is delivering seashells for her collection at an increasing rate. This is no mere infatuation: “Our dog is up at seven in the morning for her breakfast, and I think: ‘Fantastic! I can go and finish that scallop!’.

Feature: Quilting outside the lines

Part of the beauty of quilting lies in precision. Isn’t there a wonder to the neat geometry of a finished quilt and the way the fabrics, shapes and colours come together in harmony? This creative destination can be reached by one of two paths. Makers can follow a pattern, or throw out the map and operate on instinct. The latter is known as improvisational quilting, or ‘improv quilting’: a go-with-the-flow approach to the craft we know and love.

Feature: Behind the skeins

Indie yarns know how to tug at a crocheter’s heartstrings. With dreamy colour effects, squishable fibre blends and the most imaginative shade names, it’s easy to fall in love with a one-of-a-kind skein. But what about hard work that goes on behind the scenes? To demystify all things indie dyer, we’ve spoken with some of our favourites and put together a guide. Discover the who, what and how of the hand-dyed yarns we love to love.

Profile Feature: Senorita Lylo

The artist behind Señorita Lylo is stitching a vivid path through loss and child-free living “At the beginning, I was always saying that I started embroidery because I was bored of working on the computer, but it’s not true,” admits Loly Ghirardi. You might know the Argentinian artist better as Señorita Lylo – that’s her embroidery business moniker. Loly’s joyous, texture-rich pieces tell one heck of a story on their own, but there’s a thread within her work that runs deeper still.

Feature: In Praise of the Secret Hobby

The cult of busy is pervasive and there’s a pressure to create. With side hustles and multi-hyphenate careers on the rise, it feels like women are always working. And outside of the grind it’s a pics or it didn’t happen world, we’re just Instagramming in it. But what if we made space instead for a pursuit that didn’t need tagging and sharing, something just for us? Perhaps it’s time to explore the benefits of keeping a nourishing hobby quiet.

Personal essay: What a Surf Lesson Taught Me About My Body Hang Ups

The story of comfort zones, surprising yourself and trusting the body you thought you hated ... “I arrived in St Ives sleep deprived and jangling with anxiety. Four words had been keeping me up at night – hen party and surf lesson. Much as I love the sea, the term beach body coupled with a childhood spent dreading PE classes will fill in enough of the blanks for you. I tried to swallow down the nerves but the swimwear fear was real.