Bustle & Sew 2014 Calendar arrives!

by Helen on October 22, 2013

Before I get to the nice part of this post, I must begin with an apology …. I have been poorly in bed for the last few days with a particularly vicious tummy bug that has completely wiped me out.  Today is the first time I’ve switched on my laptop since Saturday, and even as I type it’s still downloading lots and LOTS of emails.  So if you’ve emailed me and haven’t received a response yet – then I’m really sorry and I’ll try and get back to you as quickly as I can.

Meanwhile, having been under the weather for a few days – and the weather here has been very grey and rainy – I feel as though I need cheering up,  so I thought I’d release my 2014 Bustle & Sew calendar – stuffed with lovely colourful images and guaranteed to make you smile.  I know it’s a bit early for 2014 calendars, and I was planning to save it until at least the end of the month, but (pause for drum roll) here it is now!!

Bustle & Sew 2014 Calendar

Inside there’s a page for each month featuring some of my favourite projects – and the newfies make an appearance too!  The back cover shows all 12 months – great for planning ahead.   


 It’s available as a free pdf file in a choice of A4 or Letter size – so no matter where you live you’ll be able to quickly and easily download and print your calendar.  I’m happy for you to share this calendar as much as you like – it’s completely free for you from me and I hope you’ll like it.  

For your free calendar, just 

CLICK HERE to download the A4 version and 

CLICK HERE to download the Letter version.





Toadstool Pin Cushion Giveaway

by Helen on September 6, 2013

I’m having a giveaway as I simply don’t have room to keep everything I make!  I’ve decided to part with my two little toadstool pin cushions, created using vintage wooden cotton spools,  for the September Bustle & Sew Magazine.  I’m offering one here on the blog, and there’s a chance to win the second over on my Facebook page

Toadstool Giveaway

If you’d like the chance to win a toadstool pin cushion then all you need to do is leave a comment below – and if you like, just for fun, please tell me who you think might be living in one of these desirable little fairy residences – Tinkerbell perhaps?  Or maybe a little family of hedgehogs?  

The winner will be chosen by random selection, and the competition here on the blog will close next Thursday 12th September.  And yes, I will post worldwide.  Good luck everyone!

PS If you’d like to make your own toadstool pin cushion, then the pattern is available here.


Free bunny pattern for you

by Helen on August 23, 2013

I’m so excited!  Rosie and Dan are coming down this weekend and I’ve been busy in the kitchen all afternoon.  Rosie is a bit of a chocaholic so we have loads of chocolatey goodies, as well as some savoury delights to enjoy too.  And I’ve finished this month’s magazine as well – with SIX Bustle & Sew projects for you to enjoy ….

Bustle & Sew Magazine Sept 2013I can’t decide which one’s my favourite!   These patterns are all in the September Magazine which will be published next week.  But meanwhile,  as I’m feeling so very excited at seeing the happy couple and enjoying a whole weekend of wedding chatter, I thought I’d share the bliss by giving away a free pattern – my little “Grandmother’s Bunny”.  You can spot her in the top right-hand corner of the image above, and here she is a bit larger …

Grandmother's Bunny

 Isn’t she pretty?  And (with a little bit of tweaking from me), so modern-looking.  Why, you might wonder, have I called her Grandmother’s Bunny?  Well, unbelievably this transfer is from an embroidery magazine dated 1933!  So she’s 80 years old – definitely old enough to be a grandma!  Just CLICK HERE to download your free Grandmother’s Bunny pattern – and I do hope you’ll enjoy stitching her.



Simple Stitchery coming soon

by Helen on March 30, 2013

For a long time now I’ve been wanting to put together a guide for new and returning stitchers.  I receive quite a few emails with questions about various techniques and I’ve noticed the same subjects seem to recur quite frequently.  I was very lucky to be taught to embroider by my Mum and Grandma, but not everybody is as fortunate.  So I’ve been working hard behind the scenes, and my new  book will be available within the next week or so …. 

Simple Stitchery

It has sections on choosing your fabric and thread, tools, transferring your design and caring for your finished work, as well as a stitch directory to help the beginner with 16 of the most commonly used stitches. My friend Jacqui (of Flapdoodle Designs) has contributed some lovely little pictures for the stitch directory … here’s a quick peek at one of her illustrations – can you guess which stitch this is?

Blanket stitch

(I think Lionel might have been the model!)

“Simple Stitchery” will be published during the early part of April – and the best bit is that it will be completely free to download.  I think it’s so much fun to share – and I do hope at least some readers might find it useful.  It will also be available as a “proper” printed book on Amazon – but that version won’t be free I’m afraid.  I’ll be sure to let you know when it’s ready and where you can find it.

Have a lovely Easter weekend – and don’t eat too much chocolate!  Rosie and Dan are visiting over Easter and I’m REALLY hoping she brings some of her amazing Creme Egg brownies with her!

Oh .. and Lionel is of course illustrating Blanket Stitch