So much easier …

by Helen on September 17, 2014

A few days ago I blogged about the trials and tribulations of making Miss Matilda Catkin.  Fortunately not every project presents as many challenges as Matilda.

Today I am delighted to present to you my Woodland Deer applique which took from start to finish probably less than 6 hours ….

Plus a bit of thinking time beforehand of course!  I hope you like her and she’ll be in the October issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine (out next week – eeek!)



P-p-p…picking a penguin

by Helen on September 9, 2014

Hmm … think I might be showing my age! British readers of a certain vintage will know exactly what I mean – remembering those p-p-p-pick-up-a-penguin biscuit ads from the 1970s.  But I digress.  One of my patterns for the current magazine is a cute little penguin softie ….

I was thinking very much about my new son-in-law (still not quite used to typing this) when I created this little fellow as Dan’s favourite animal (OK, bird) is a penguin.  And I’ve been wondering about making some Christmas PJ bottoms for the happy couple – and whether Dan might like a penguin version.  I spotted this really nice flannel by Stella Jean for Wilmington Prints over at the Fat Quarter Shop

Reminds me a bit of my softie!  And then (because I’m quickly becoming a bit of a Pinterest addict) I started putting together a little Penguins board ….

PicMonkey Collage (4)

There are some great Penguin ideas around – hope you like my selection!  Just click here to take a look!


Proud as a Peacock

by Helen on August 13, 2014

I have a confession to make…. once again being a bit slow on the uptake … I have only recently discovered – and have now become – a Pinterest addict!

So what do you think I did after I blogged earlier this week, mentioning Ben, his sad experience and my True Beauty embroidery?  Did I go and do the washing up?  Did I finish painting the porch?  Did I do any one of a hundred things that need to be done?  Oh no … what I did was go and look for peacocks on Pinterest – and after finding some truly beautiful examples I was inspired to put another board together ….

peacock collage

 You can find my Proud Peacocks board HERE.

Mind you, peacocks don’t sound as lovely as they look – when I was much younger I lived for a while in Warwick, very near the castle and was often woken early by the raucous shrieks of the peacocks that lived in the castle grounds.  But these examples really are lovely, do pop over and take a look!


I think everybody loves a pretty pin cushion, and I’m no exception to that rule!

Sometimes it’s nice to use an item that you haven’t made yourself  – there are so many talented makers out there – and as I’ve been hunting for that perfect new addition to my workroom supplies I thought you might like to see some of the delicious designs I’ve discovered online …..


One: Teacup Pincushion by Coco Rose Textiles (  Two: Cupcake Pin Cushion by CrystalCreates2001, Etsy ( Three: Personalised Sewing Machine Pin Cushion by RosieBull Designs, Not on the High Street (  Four: Jammy Dodger Biscuit Pin Cushion by feltsofancy, Etsy (www.Etsy.comLittle Hedgehog Pin Cushion by the imagination of ladysnail, Not on the Highstreet (

Of course over the years I’ve made many of my own pin cushions, and I think the most popular design ever must be my version of a classic make – the Pin Cushion Mice……

They’re just so cute – and a perfect make to keep kids busy on a rainy afternoon in the summer holidays!  If you haven’t downloaded your free Pin Cushion Mice pattern yet, you’ll find it over on my free patterns page along with lots of other goodies too.

If you do decide to download the Pin Cushion Mice, then you’ll be amongst the first to see my new logo and style – I’m so excited about it!  I’ve just begun the process of updating and revising my patterns ready for my new website coming in September, and thought the Pin Cushion Mice was the perfect pattern to start with.  I do hope you like Bustle & Sew’s new look – I’d love to hear what you think!