Alice the Elegant Cat – new softie pattern

by Helen on February 7, 2013

Alice the Elegant Cat

 Sshhhh…. there’s a cat in our summer house.  Don’t tell Ben.  I wonder if she’ll turn around ….. 

Alice the Elegant Cat

All the way around?

Alice the Elegant Cat

 What an elegant cat! 

Alice the Elegant Cat

A cat called Alice!

Alice the Elegant Cat is the first pattern for the March issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine.  I have felt for a long time that there was a large, feline-shaped gap in the Bustle & Sew collection of softies, but as I have never owned a cat I wasn’t quite sure how to begin.  And then I had an idea – at the end of our village is an upmarket hotel, whose resident cat is extremely snooty.  He (or she, I don’t know) is a slender, elongated brown feline who loves to perch on the hotel gate post and hiss at Ben as we pass by.  So Alice (who is much nicer and more friendly) reflects this elegant pose, tail curled around paws, exactly.  

Alice the Elegant Cat Softie

 She measures about 12″ tall and has a nice round beach pebble in her base so she stands up nicely.   Hope you like her! 



The only cat allowed!!

by Helen on October 8, 2012

I don’t know if I have ever mentioned before – but Ben, normally laid-back and placid as he is – strongly dislikes cats!  This is partly Amy’s fault as she taught him that cats were BAD.  Amy was adopted, coming to me at six years old, so I don’t know what had happened in her past to make her dislike felines so much.  

cheshire cat

I do think however, that the natural friendliness of Ben’s nature would probably have overcome Amy’s teachings  if he hadn’t been badly scratched on his tender snout when, as a puppy, he was trying to make friends with the next door cat.  From that day on he has regarded cats as good for only one thing – CHASING!!    Cat lovers do not need to worry however, as Ben is most definitely not built for speed.  He has no chance whatsoever of  catching his tormentors, who delight in adopting the pose shown above and delicately twitching their tails when they think Ben might be getting bored of staring at them.  

I remember an occasion, when Ben was still quite young, certainly less than 12 months old (but already weighing 100 lbs or more), when we all went to our local pub for a cool drink at the end of a hot day.  Townie Husband and I were relaxing, talking about the day’s events, whilst the two newfies snoozed gently at our feet.  Amy could be trusted not to wander away, and Ben’s lead was secured to our table leg.  All was peaceful – until the pub cat strolled into the bar.  


  Amy looking as though butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth!

 In a flash Amy was awake, alert and moving…. the cat shot out through the open door (luckily onto a peaceful country lane)….. Amy streaked after her….. I leapt up in hot pursuit whilst, to my horror, behind me I heard a loud crash as our table was pulled to the floor and started to travel across the bar behind the young and very active Ben who was determined not to miss any of the fun!

Townie Husband was left standing – mouth open in horror with two glasses in his hands that he’d had the presence of mind to snatch up before the table went over!  And the cat?  Quite safe and unharmed of course.  As I made it to the door I was met by a very sheepish Amy who – with her crippled legs – would never have caught it.  All that was left to do was to calm Ben and somehow restore order within!  

But even Ben can’t object to this little kitten –  the perfect gift for cat-lovers everywhere – and included in the November issue of the Bustle & Sew ezine

Cosy Cat Cushion

Cosy Cat Applique Cushion Cover 

Or can he? …..


Free Kittens Embroidery Pattern

by Helen on August 6, 2012

Kittens Embroidery

Aren’t they cute?  My friend Jacqui is a very talented illustrator who really doesn’t enjoy sewing, although I have been telling her for ages that I think her artwork would make wonderful embroidery patterns.  At last I have persuaded her to create a simply adorable design for us – I really enjoyed stitching it. The kittens and mother cat are in shades of brown with little pink noses and tiny green French knots for their eyes.  And if you’d like to stitch them for yourselves, then here’s the design ….

Kittens Embroidery Pattern

Just click on the image above to view and download a larger version from Flickr.  If you’d like more designs from Jacqui, then please could you leave a comment below to let us both know… we have plans for some more – but only if enough people like them!!

And finally ……..  a special early bird offer if you purchase my Rosie & Bear “Around the Year Quilt Book” this week …. 

Around the Year Book ad