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.





Free Christmas Reindeer Tote Bag Pattern

by Helen on December 4, 2012

Inspiration can come from all sorts of  places, from the obvious to the less so.  Below is my latest work in progress – a Little Red Riding Hood embroidery design for the January issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine ….

Little Red Riding Hood

No prizes for guessing who was the model – and inspiration – for the “not-very-scary-woof ” sorry, WOLF!  But inspiration also can be found in all sorts of strange and much less obvious places….  Rosie sent me a picture of her Christmas manicure…..  


And I thought …. “I love the clean, simple shape of that reindeer head.”  Then I thought…… “he would look great as a machine embroidery/applique project!”

So now I am proud to present to you my next Bustle & Sew Christmas gift …… 

Christmas Reindeer Tote Bag

My Christmas Reindeer Tote Bag!  

A good-sized, sturdy tote that’s quick and simple to make – and perfect for carrying home all your Christmas Shopping!  If you’d like to make your own Christmas Reindeer Tote Bag then just CLICK HERE to download the free pattern.

Oh … and I nearly forgot to mention …. for this week only, I am offering a 25% discount on all orders that include a pattern from my Christmas Shop.  Just enter code XMAS25 at checkout to claim your discount!


November’s Bustle & Sew e-zine

by Helen on October 19, 2012

Bustle & Sew ezine

Coming next week – and I do hope you like it!  There are seven Bustle & Sew projects (all those shown above) – some vintage patterns as well – articles and features, plus subscribers’ bonuses – free printable Christmas bunting and the opportunity to purchase either (or both!) of my quilting e-books at half-price too! 

Projects for Bustle & Sew ezine

 And of course, as always, the end of the month is the very best time to subscribe as you’ll receive the October issue straight away (containing the projects above) followed by the November issue with all the projects above and your discount codes to purchase my e-books at half-price next Thursday (25th October).  So don’t delay – snap up a subscription today!!  CLICK HERE to learn more and subscribe.

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Nostalgic Mix Fair and Christmas Geese Softies

by Helen on October 16, 2012

I had a wonderful time at the Nostalgic Mix Fair in Totnes on Saturday.  This is always a great day with a very friendly atmosphere, organised to perfection by Lesley of This n That  – thanks Lesley for such an enjoyable event!  I took lots and lots of samples – and very nearly sold out!  Here’s my stall at the beginning of the day:


You may recognise some of the patterns from the last few months’ issues of the Bustle & Sew ezine.  It’s a great opportunity to empty my cupboard – though I love some projects too much to part with them!  If you’d like to see more images of the fair and some of the other beautiful stalls piled high with goodies, then just pop over to my friend Sal’s blog – that’s Sal’s Snippets.   I’m afraid I wasn’t very well organised so didn’t manage to get around the hall with my camera – but Sal’s pictures are brilliant – and yes, I did sample some of the wonderful cakes on offer in the tea rooms!  

If you look closely at the photo above, you’ll see a little goose softie – in a woolly hat!  I have revised and added to my original Little Geese Softies pattern to include woolly hats and scarves.   The geese up at Coleridge Farm popped their heads over the wall to say “Hello” while Ben and I were out and about a couple of weeks ago ….

Autumn Walk (3)

 They were very interested in us, but not completely sure that we were harmless.  And I thought – wouldn’t they look great in hats and scarves!!  And then I thought …. 

Little Christmas Geese

 Christmas Geese!!

 If you’d like to make your own, you’ll find the pattern in my Christmas store.  Both the little softies above found new homes on Saturday.  And finally … having mentioned the large black furry one, and realising that I haven’t posted his photo for quite some time,  here is a totally unrelated picture of him out on our walk today.  It was very windy, hence the slicked back  fur-style!!