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 (www.cocorosetextiles.blogspot.com)  Two: Cupcake Pin Cushion by CrystalCreates2001, Etsy (www.Etsy.com) Three: Personalised Sewing Machine Pin Cushion by RosieBull Designs, Not on the High Street (www.notonthehighstreet.com)  Four: Jammy Dodger Biscuit Pin Cushion by feltsofancy, Etsy (www.Etsy.comLittle Hedgehog Pin Cushion by the imagination of ladysnail, Not on the Highstreet (www.notonthehighstreet.com

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!



Elephants in Love Pattern

by Helen on April 7, 2013

I was surprised – and delighted – to receive a phone call earlier this week from a very lovely lady called Janke.  Janke lives in the Netherlands (her English is brilliant) and she was trying to track down a pattern that I’d contributed a long while ago to the now defunct Sew Hip Magazine.  It turned out that she was searching for my Elephants in Love applique – part of a series of  “in love” designs I created 2 or 3 years ago.  One of the most popular was my Owls in Love …..

Owls in Love Cushion

But I digress …. After Janke’s call I had a bit of a rummage around my pattern files (I am afraid I am not a very organised sort of person) and realised that I hadn’t shared the elephants in love pattern before.  Although it’s quite simple, I think it’s very pretty – so I dusted it down and  re-formatted it into a pdf file rather than the working notes I sent off to the magazine.  And here it is …

Elephants in Love Applique

 I’ve added the pattern to my Free Newsletter Readers’ pattern library page – so if you’d like it – and/or any of the other patterns I share with newsletter readers, then please just CLICK HERE to subscribe.  Subscribing is free – and I promise that I will NEVER EVER share your email address with anyone else!

Ben and his Teddy Bear

 Ben at about 15 months – what a cute youngster!

And finally – please keep your fingers crossed for Ben’s poor sore paw.  Sadly his recovery was very short-lived and he’s limping heavily again.  So tomorrow he’s off to the vet’s for X-rays.  Hopefully we’ll discover the problem and then begin to treat it effectively so he’ll soon start to feel better. 


Best in Show Pattern for Crufts week

by Helen on March 3, 2013

This week is Crufts week, when arguably the world’s most famous dog show prepares to open its doors for the 110th time here in the UK.  I found out when reading the paper this morning that there really was a Mr Cruft – Charles Alfred – who was born in 1852.  He worked as a travelling dog biscuit salesman before he had the idea of staging a dog show to promote his wares.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries Crufts exhibitors received special treatment when travelling by the London & North Western Railway.  Charles Cruft had helped to design their special dog carriages (each with its own water trough) and the railway regularly had representatives at the shop to help both exhibitors and dogs with their journeys.  I’m sure Ben and Daisy would approve of these travelling arrangements.  Although neither has ever been on a train, Ben does enjoy riding on the double decker bus between here and Dartmouth with his special doggy day rider ticket!  In honour of this special “doggy” week, I’m re-releasing my “Best in Show” applique pattern: 

Best in Show

It’s a really easy project – great for beginners, or a quick make for the more experienced.  If you’d like it, then please CLICK HERE to download your free pdf file.  Meanwhile – here’s another Crufts fact gleaned from my newspaper this morning…

In 1974 Crufts featured in a murder trial!  A jury at the Old Bailey heard that a man who had started an affair with a woman he met at Crufts was then stabbed to death by his wife, with the knife he had used to cut up their dog’s food.  


Free “Podge” hedgehog softie pattern

by Helen on October 3, 2012


This is Podge, the baby hedgehog softie.  Hello, Podge!

Hodge & Podge

And here’s her big brother Hodge with their cousins, Horace and Humphrey.  The pattern for Hodge will be in the November Issue of the  Bustle & Sew ezine


The really easy pattern to make Podge is can be found on my Free Patterns Page.   If you like her, and would enjoy receiving more free patterns, tutorials and special discounts, then you might like to consider to subscribing to my free newsletter.  You can join using the form in the right hand sidebar.  (It’s free, safe – and I promise NEVER to share your details with anyone else.  I also promise you’ll receive special offers, free patterns and all the Bustle & Sew news before anyone else) 

Hodge & Podge

And where are those naughty little hedgehogs heading off to? Just click on the video link below to find out! 

PS No newfies were woken during the making of this video!!