Tutorials

Two little pin cushion mice … so cute… so innocent … so …..

Greedy!!

Well .. that’s not entirely true – there was certainly a lot of greediness surrounding Carolyn’s birthday cake, but it was all of us and our friends, not the Pin Cushion Mice.  Our  Pin Cushion Mouse cake was a really fun thing to do – so if like me you enjoy sewing, but don’t enjoy spending a lot of time decorating a cake then why try this idea instead?

  • You’ll need:  Two little Pin Cushion Mice (Carolyn loved hers and is taking them all the way home to Dubai with her).  If you don’t have the pattern already you’ll find it on my free patterns page here.
  • One silver covered cardboard cake board
  • Two bamboo skewers
  • Washi tape
  • Fabric scraps
  • Bakers twine or string
  • Glue stick
  • Birthday cake

Wrap washi tape around your bamboo skewers to within 1/4″ of the pointy end.  Push the points into the cardboard cake board making sure you leave enough room for your cake to fit between them.

Cut small diamond shapes approx 3″ long and 1″ wide – I needed six for my bunting string and my cake was 10″ wide.  Fold in half widthways and press.  Fold the diamonds over the string and secure the two sides together with a dab of glue.  Knot the ends of the string around the bamboo skewers.  Position cake and add mice at the sides.  Candles are a nice touch, but be sure to position them so you don’t set fire to your bunting!  Perfect!

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Ask the Bunny … Softie Making

by Helen on August 15, 2014

Last week I asked if anyone had questions they’d like to ask the Bustle & Sew bunny.  I received quite a few queries which I’m beginning to put into some sort of order to answer in the coming weeks.  These included an email from a lovely lady called Baa who wanted to know about my free booklet “Making Beautiful Softies” as she couldn’t find the link to download it.  I had a bit of a rummage around and was amazed to discover that I actually put this together way back in 2011 (which is probably why Baa couldn’t find the link!) and it was well overdue for a dusting down and tidying up.  So I spent an hour or two on polishing it up a little and putting it into my new format, and here it is!

The illustration on the front is by my very talented friend Jacqui of Flapdoodledesigns, and shows two of my ever-popular Pincushion Mice.

Just CLICK HERE to download your free copy of Making Beautiful Softies, and if you don’t already have, and would like, the Pincushion Mice pattern, then please just CLICK HERE.

Both the booklet and pattern are free and I’m happy for you to share them with as many people as you wish, providing you don’t change them in any way.  And if you have any questions you’d like to “Ask the Bunny” then please do leave a comment below or email me direct.

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I was sent a link to this tutorial by a friend and I just have to share it with you all ….

CLICK HERE for this fantastic tutorial from Cintia of “My Poppet” blog.

As you know, I love using up all my scraps in my projects, but until now I’ve always cut off the long thin bits and saved just the wider, more “useful” pieces.  Not any more!  I think this is a great idea, and will be keeping my long thin scraps in future for some wonderful present wrapping this Christmas.  

Thanks so much Cintia for sharing with us.

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First of all, a great big “THANK YOU” for all your kind birthday wishes.  I did indeed have a lovely day – and an especially lovely time beforehand too, as I was away for a few days – I’ll tell you all about my special birthday trip later this week.   But it’s now time now  to announce the winner of the Fred – or Ginger – kit.  I absolutely adored all your comments and had to recount the winner three times as I kept dissolving into giggles when reading them whilst counting!

Fred & Ginger

And finally, after working the random number generator and having several recounts, I am pleased to announce that the winner is comment number 55 – that’s Gayle – well done Gayle – I’ve emailed you.  If you haven’t already you might enjoy reading the comments.  They are absolutely wonderful – thank you so much everyone and I’m only sorry I can’t send everyone a Fred or Ginger kit for Christmas.

And, thinking about Christmas, I wanted to share my Christmas tree stand cover idea with you.  This came about because, as usual I have been dreadfully disorganised.  I had planned to make a Three Kings tree skirt, but I didn’t get around to it so was faced with, once again, the problem of disguising the horrid plastic log at the bottom of my tree.  And I didn’t want to spend lots of money as I WILL make a tree skirt next year – I hope!  So …. I had a rummage around my workroom and managed to put together what I think is a rather nice cover, using only items I had to hand.  And it can be easily dis-assembled once Christmas is over and everything reused for future projects.  

Christmas Tree Tub

It looks a bit like a woolly tub I think!  If you’d like to make your own, you’ll need:

  • bendy card or plastic – sufficient to wrap around your tree stand/bucket  (I had a sheet of handbag base that I cut into half and joined with parcel tape – see pictures below)
  • Parcel tape if you need to join your plastic or card
  • an assortment of patches cut from old knitwear
  • toy stuffing
  • sewing machine

How I did it:

xmastreetub 002

 Measure around the base you want to disguise.  Cut your plastic into a strip that can be bent into a ring that will fit comfortably around your tree base – allowing for joins if necessary.  Make the cover as tall as you wish – mine was about 8″ tall.  I allowed a couple of inches for each join and stuck my plastic together  with brown parcel tape so I could easily peel it off and use the handbag base for its original purpose after Christmas.  

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Join your patchwork squares into a strip that’s about an inch less than your plastic strip in length, and half an inch taller.  I joined my squares with machine zig-zag stitch, allowing between 1/2 and 1/4″ seam allowance (I wasn’t too fussy) and pressed the seams open so that the machine stitching doesn’t show.  

xmastreetub 008

When your strip is the right length, join the two short ends so that it forms a circle and slip it over your plastic ring.  The woollens will be stretchy and as the woollen circle is very slightly smaller than the plastic one, this stretch will keep it in place without distorting its shape.

xmastreetub 010

 Place your cover in position with stand inside then assemble tree (you could also make this to cover an inelegant bucket or tree stand for a real tree).  

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 Optional step:  Untangle puppy from the decorations she has stolen while you were unpacking your tree and place the decorations out of reach.  

Image4Fill tub with toy stuffing to resemble snow.  Then decorate your tree – switch on the lights ….

Christmas Tree TubStand back and admire!  (I added my baby squirrel softies to my snowy scene – but I’m not sure how safe they’ll be with Miss Daisy on the prowl).

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