Choosing colour and a sleepy Fox

by Helen on January 7, 2014

I so much love dreaming up new patterns and designs, playing with texture and colour to (hopefully) create something that I love – and that I hope others will too!   When I’m starting a new project, choosing the colours I am going to work with is possibly the most exciting moment of all.  I simply adore tipping out a rainbow of floss onto my workroom table, then picking  colours and laying them out to make my final selection. For my little Cupid Bear I had to choose 4 colours for his fur that would work well together, as well as deciding upon those for his balloon and wings: 

I must admit I tend to work by eye and choose colours that appeal to me, though when I check back I usually find that my choices do fit within colour wheel theory.  However I know through sad experience – and much unpicking – that making the right choices isn’t always an easy process, so last year I put together a few pages that I hoped others might find useful about choosing and using colour…..

If you don’t already have it and would like a copy, then please CLICK HERE for the free download.  Sometimes though, colours just seem to come together without my even having to think about it – and this is definitely the case for my next design for the February issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine……

Proving, I think, that woodland works for spring as well as autumn projects.   This sleepy little fox is still very much a work in progress, although coming along very nicely indeed.   I’m afraid there may be a slight delay in showing you the finished design though, as I won’t be doing a lot of stitching over next few days. This is because the date for the operation on my knee has finally arrived and I’m off to the  hospital tomorrow.  I shall be so pleased to get it fixed as I’m getting a bit fed up of limping around.


“I didn’t mean to hurt you Mum!” 

 All of this trouble is  thanks to Miss Daisy who, when we were out on a walk, charged into the back of me, knocking me flying.  Unfortunately when I returned to earth I landed mainly on my left knee which was already a bit wonky due to an old horse-riding injury).  So this will be me for a while …

I’m the one at the end!!  Still it will be a good excuse to take it easy for a while!



Bustle & Sew Magazine: Second Birthday

by Helen on January 15, 2013

At last peace and quiet reigns here at Coombe Leigh.  My two canine “assistants” have been rolling around play-fighting for most of the evening, but finally they have collapsed into a large warm furry heap, both snoring very loudly indeed.  I’m sure this moment of peace won’t last long, so I’m making the most of it! 

I can hardly believe that the Bustle & Sew Magazine is now 2 whole years old!  It seems such a short while since I began back in January 2011 – and now I’m working on issue 25 in between Daisy’s playtimes.  I thought you might like to see the first two patterns for this month’s issue – I think I already showed you “Birds on a Wire” 

Birds on a Wire

 and now they’ve been joined by my “Three Patchwork Eco-Totes”

Three Patchwork Eco-Totes

These are great to keep rolled up in your handbag in case of impromptu shopping – and each applique motif features a different patchwork technique.  I’ve lots more planned for this issue too. 

And …. as it’s the magazine’s second birthday I’m having a giveaway at the weekend – the prize will be a whole year’s subscription worth over $60!  I’ll be posting the giveaway at the weekend so don’t forget to check back then!

Finally – I realised that when I uploaded my “Thinking About Colour” mini-guide, I added the wrong details on the back and didn’t put “please feel free to share”.  So here it is again, this time with the correct information – and please do feel free to share as much as you want!Thinking About Colour



Thinking about colour ….

by Helen on January 13, 2013

First of all – thank you so much everyone who left such kind and generous comments about my quilt as you go project – now christened the Countryside Quilt.  Since Christmas everyone who has visited Coombe Leigh has been taken upstairs to admire it – and without exception they have all said how much they like the colours and how they would never have thought of putting them together, although it does in fact conform very closely to colour wheel theory.  So I thought maybe I’d write down a few hints and tips on using and combining colours in case anybody might find it interesting and/or useful perhaps?  

Thinking About Colour

If you’d like it, then it’s free to download,  just CLICK HERE or on the image above for the free pdf file.  And finally … here’s a peek at the first project for the February issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine… “Birds on a Wire”

Birds on a Wire

Lots of colour here!  And a great way to display children’s artwork, postcards, fabric samples or anything at all that can be pegged to a line!   


 If you’d like to learn more about my magazine and take advantage of my special $1 trial offer (must end soon), then please CLICK HERE.