giveaway result

And the winner is …..

by Helen on January 28, 2013

Thank you very much to everyone who entered my second birthday giveaway to win a year’s subscription to the Bustle & Sew Magazine.  I am pleased to announce that, chosen by random number, the winner is comment number 163.  And if I have counted correctly, that is Nancye Aitken.  Well done Nancye and once again, “Thank you” to everyone else for entering.  Thank you also once again for all your lovely comments about my patterns.  

Reading through your comments, I was interested to see that softies are particularly well-liked and that hedgehogs and mice are definite leaders in the popularity stakes, together with Charlie the Patchwork Elephant who I think has been my most popular softie ever!  I’ve made other elephants to sell, but Charlie still lives in my workroom today, presiding over a collection of smaller softies - Aviator and Cotton Spool Mice of course, Little Geese and Hodge and Podge the hedgehog siblings.

Charlie the Patchwork Elephant (3)

I have been wondering for a while if it would be a nice idea to collect my softie patterns together – with a few new ones too – into a book and I now think that  I will … it would be lovely to have them all in one place, and I could add lots of extra notes on cutting, stuffing and stitching – not to mention positioning eyes, ears and tails!  Mentioning eyes, ears and tails ……


Rosie snapped this fantastic picture of Daisy in full-on “attack” mode at the beach.  Isn’t it wonderful!?!?  She has definitely settled in now and is a bundle of energetic happiness – delighting in chasing, wrestling and annoying her devoted big brother in as many ways as she can dream up!  Luckily, like the rest of the family, he has fallen for her charms and spends many happy hours playing silly dog games with her until they both collapse into exhausted furry heaps!  But I will be very glad when the rain stops and the garden dries out so I can send them outside to play.



How we used to do it ….

by Helen on November 11, 2012

First of all, thank you so much to everybody who entered my Reindeer Kit draw.  I can hardly believe the number of comments – and all your wonderful – and so creative – suggestions for his name.  I am sorry to say that I have been so busy reading and chuckling over(!) your ideas, that I haven’t yet counted all the entries, taken out any duplicates, applied the Random Number Generator and identified the winning commment.  I will do that later on today after I’ve taken Ben out and announce the winner tomorrow.  Promise!

Meanwhile .. I thought you might like to see how, when Bustle & Sew was very young, giveaway winners were chosen – below is an extract from a blog post from 3 years ago when Amy (Ben’s adoptive mum) was still with us …

 The comments were numbered in the order they appeared on the blog. Thank you to everybody who entered. The judges were ready ….

A yummy selection of dog-biscuits were numbered. (with non-toxic pen. Also testing was undertaken to ensure no preference for a particular shape of biscuit!)

The paw (Amy’s) came out …. watch carefully or you’ll miss it – she’s very quick! (In fact I missed the winning biscuit – it had vanished by the time I pressed the button on the camera! This was a special re-run so you could see exactly how she did it). 

 And when the biscuits were lined up again, amid great objections from the judges, number 14 was found to be missing, so (back in 2009), number 14 won the prize!
This isn’t the result of the 2012 Reindeer Kit draw, just a reminder of how we used to do it!    The Reindeer kit was amazingly popular with  many more than 29 entries, and I think I might lose the will to live if I had to write numbers onto 250 dog biscuits – though I think the black furry one would enjoy munching his way through them! 

Christmas Garland

Meanwhile, just to let you know – I have listed the new set of Christmas designs from SewFlapdoodle in my Christmas store, “A Christmas Garland of Patterns” – that’s it above.  And, later on today, I’ll be sending out not one, but two free SewFlapdoodle designs to all my free newsletter readers…. so don’t forget to check your in-box later!
Back tomorrow with the Reindeer kit giveaway result! 


Bad Blogger! But I have been busy ……

by Helen on August 29, 2012

It seems like an age since I last put fingers to keyboard and blogged – indeed looking back at my posts I see that it is indeed nearly a week since my last entry, an almost unheard of period of time for me who always has something to say.  Everyone is waiting for the result of the giveaway too…. but I have been so busy.  I am up to my ears in mouse whiskers, plane wheels and posting bags as I have been happily occupied preparing the kits to send out both to those who have purchased them and also to our lucky giveaway winner (read on for the announcement)   

aviator mouse kit

Tomorrow is e-zine publication day, so I have also been bustling round putting the final touches to this month’s issue.  It has a very different feel to the sun-bleached cottons and linens of the August edition as summer is fading and autumn is just around the corner.  You’ll discover warmer colours and lots of textures – and of course the pattern for the Brave Aviator Mice!  

September Mag Montage for web

There are articles too – and Rosie’s recipes – this month with a definite back-to-school flavour (groan!).  There’s just 24 hours remaining to subscribe now and receive the August edition immediately followed by September tomorrow.  That’s 2 magazines and a free book too for just $5.50 – only $1 more than the price of a single individual pattern!  If you’d like to learn more and see the full previews of both August and September issues please CLICK HERE

Diamond Jubilee Quilt Blocks

For the last six months I have been issuing a Rosie & Bear part-work free to magazine subscribers – celebrating this very special Diamond Jubilee Year.  The theme is Friendship and the Commonwealth and there are 12 embroidered blocks each featuring Rosie & Bear in a Commonwealth country – and including a special “Best of Friends” block representing the USA.  This month I’ve been stitching the final two blocks and beginning to assemble the quilt top – all of which has added to my extreme busyness!  (More about this project in a future post).

But enough of my excuses – now is the time to announce the winner of the Brave Aviator Mouse Kit.  And the winner (chosen by random selection) is ….. drum roll …… NUMBER 27 – that’s CHRISSIE BRETT.  Well done Chrissie – and thank you to everyone who entered!  

I loved reading all your suggestions for names, they are absolutely wonderful!  So, as a special consolation prize I am sending copies of the pattern to vickyb (would love to hear the end of your story Vicky) and Lyn Lewis for reminding us of the brave women pilots of the Second World War.

Thank you so much again to you all – will be having another giveaway before too long I think – they are just so much fun!


Thank you so much to everyone who entered the giveaway for the printed vintage linen blocks to make the Calendar Bunnies Quilt.  I was blown away by the number of entries … but sadly there could only be one winner – the very lovely Donna Joy.  (number 47 on my list – chosen by random selection). 

One or two people did ask about the vintage linen that I use – it is really lovely to stitch on and is at least 100 years old!  I was lucky to acquire a suppy of these European mangle cloths two or three years ago, and hoard them jealously as since then prices have risen sharply, though they’re still reasonably easy to get hold of, and remain good value when you consider the quality and quantity of fabric. 
Each cloth measures roughly 27″ wide and 120″ long, so that’s a lot of linen for about £35 ($60 approx), although you can often find seconds quality, ie with slight damage or stains for a lot less on Ebay.  These mangle cloths were used to protect laundry when it was squeezed through the mangle to get rid of excess water, so had to be long and strong. 
1930s mangle (Wikipedia)
Do you know what a mangle is? Think pasta machine but much bigger. This is how the laundry was dried back in the old days by first being folded inside 9ft long linen cloths then squeezed between rollers.  (My grandma had one just like this in her utility room.  I was forbidden to touch it as a child – too dangerous for little fingers).
If the cloths haven’t been used they have a sort of shiny dressing – I wash them to remove this and also to shrink – I would say shrinkage is about 3% in the first wash. Then I press them while they’re still damp for a nice finish. They are slightly slubby in texture, but not too much and are fantastic to stitch on, they don’t stretch or distort in the hoop and nothing will show through from the back either!
Calendar Bunnies: November
I’m going to be printing the Calendar Bunny blocks onto vintage linen for Donna Joy this week, and while I’m doing this, if anyone would like to purchase a set, then please email me and I’ll be happy to print a set for you too.  The price will be $37 including postage. 
And finally, I’m extending the 50% sale in my shop for a final 24 hours, after which it will have to end, so don’t lose this final chance to snap up a mega-bargain. 
Just enter the code BUNNYBOOK at checkout and you will receive an enormous 50% off any single order (no matter how large or small) placed until midnight Monday 14 May 2012 (BST).