Vintage Bluebirds for you

by Helen on April 26, 2014

Earlier this month I was enjoying a particularly satisfying rummage in my inherited box of vintage embroidery transfers when I discovered a lovely sheet of bluebirds.  “Aha!” I thought, perfect for some spring projects, and in fact I went on to use them twice in the May magazine. You may have spotted  Miss Mabel Fox embroidering them ….

and they also appeared on my Sunshine Sweetheart Pouch ….

Then Rosie saw – and fell in love with – them and asked for an embroidered pendant……

Today I selected my floss (always an exciting moment!) …

And began on my first project for the June issue of the Magazine – which will feature more of these little bluebirds …..

If you’d like to stitch a couple of these vintage bluebird designs then here they are ….

Vintage Bluebirds

 Please just click on the image above and you’ll be taken to my Flickr account where you can download a larger, printable version.  

Hope you like them! 



2013 at Bustle & Sew

by Helen on December 31, 2013

2013 was a very interesting year here in Devon.  There were lots of highs and some lows, plenty of hard work and productivity – and a new member of the family too!  In 2013 I published twelve copies of the Bustle & Sew e-magazine, taking me up to issue 36 – something I never imagined when I began it in 2011 …..

I also published three new e-books, and a new edition of the popular Rosie & Bear Around the Year Quilt Book ….

As well as welcoming a new member of the team …..

Ben and Daisy

 Who was very small and cute when she arrived, but quickly grew into a proper pest! 

Ben and Daisy

 Luckily for her a very much loved pest!

And now we’re looking forward to 2014 and all that year may bring us.  The most exciting event of the decade will of course be Rosie & Dan’s wedding in June and I’ve been busy making mice for her cake and sweet tables using my free Pincushion Mouse pattern ….

So I’ll have  lots to plan for and keep track of during 2014.  If you don’t have your 2014 calendar yet, then don’t risk missing any imprtant dates.  Just download my free printable Bustle & Sew 2014 Calendar (page to a month and formatted for both letter and A4 paper sizes).

 CLICK HERE to do so.




My friend Jacqui – this is her …. 

Flapdoodle images

is an amazingly talented designer and illustrator – but also ridiculously camera-shy!!  You may remember that Jacqui and I have collaborated on a range of Sewflapdoodle patterns for Bustle & Sew – my all-time favourite is the one she created for her little dog Lionel and Ben …. 

Less scary with a friend...

 Simply adorable!

And now Jacqui is setting out on a new venture –  her own online shop offering her artwork as printables – there will be bunting, cards, invitations, (all can be personalised) as well as her very own paper doll designs.  Her shop isn’t quite ready yet, but in the meantime she’s giving away her printable St Patrick’s Day bunting and placecards when you join her free newsletter…. 

St Patricks GiveawayIf you’d like Jacqui’s St Patrick’s Day bunting, then please just click on the image above to join her newsletter (she promises never to share your email address with anyone else) and your free printables will be sent to you straight away.



Free Liberty Patchwork Pup Tutorial

by Helen on December 28, 2012

I can hardly believe that Christmas Day is behind us now!  So much anticipation, preparation and general excitement and then – the day was gone in a flash!  Townie Husband ate lots of roast potatoes (too many to count!), I am ashamed to report that I was rather greedy with Rosie’s home-baked mince pies, whilst Rosie and Ben were observed snuggled down in a corner together scoffing chocolate Santas (Ben’s were doggie-chocs of course).  There was laughter and fun, a little (but not very serious) bickering, and a good time was generally agreed to have been had by all.  

Liberty Patchwork Pup (3)

During the holiday period between Christmas and New Year I have always loved to sit down with a sewing project – this year I’m hoping to make some progress on my rather neglected snowflake door curtain – but that’s not anywhere near ready to show yet.  So I thought this might be a good moment to share instead my Patchwork Pup tutorial, created from a selection of vintage and new Liberty fabric from their new Liberty Lifestyle Collection.

Liberty fabrics are so quintessentially English – and their new craft range works really well with their vintage designs too as the more vibrantly coloured craft fabrics beautifully complement the more muted tones of their vintage patterns. 

Libety Patchwork Pup (2)

The pup’s body is created from a cheat’s version of pieced hexagons – all machined onto a firm cotton base creating a nice strong fabric for your softie.  My finished puppy measured about 10″ long, but the pattern can easily be re-sized if you wish.  If you’d like the free tutorial then please just just CLICK HERE to download the pdf file.