My new toy – and a new pattern as well

by Helen on March 14, 2014

I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few days perched on my lovely pink chair giving happy little sighs of contentment as I gaze around my cheerfully redecorated kitchen.  But today all that changed as I was totally distracted by the arrival of ….

a new toy!  Yes, I am now the proud possessor of an overlocker (or serger) and have spent most of this afternoon playing  practising how to use it.  I’ve been thinking about investing in one for some time, and now have the perfect excuse – it’s going to play a major role in Rosie & Dan’s wedding invitations.  I can’t reveal any more at present, although I am very impatient to tell all about them and will be sure to let you know when they’re done!

As well as playing with my new overlocker, I’ve been writing up another pattern for the April issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine.  This month’s issue welcomes in the spring, which of course brings the start of the gardening season (for those of us who are fair weather gardeners anyway!).  My friend Jacqui (Flapdoodledesigns) is a very keen gardener and “Digging the Allotment” is based on one of her drawings …

This would be a great beginner’s project as it only uses back stitch and would make a lovely gift for a keen gardener.  If you like Jacqui’s work, then you’ll love her Facebook page where you’ll find lots more of her lovely work – please do pop over and say “hello” if you have a moment.  And finally ….

Can you ever have too many bunnies at Easter?  I’m updating and revising one of my older patterns for the April Magazine.  Hopefully soon I’ll be back with some photos of my Woodland Alphabet Quilt to show (which is also going to be in the April issue).  It’s all finished – and quilted too – but I’m really struggling with photographing it.  Rosie’s here this weekend and perhaps she’ll be able to help me as she’s much better with a camera than I am.  Fingers crossed!



And the winner is ….

by Helen on February 7, 2014

Before announcing the winner of my Valentine Bunnies giveaway, I’d like to thank everybody who entered.  The weather here has been so grey and stormy, but I’ve felt so cheerful reading all your lovely comments and dreaming of warmer days to come ….

Rather like my naughty Miss Daisy – seen here snoring gently after a morning’s play with her best friend Lionel.  I’m sorry I don’t have a prize for everyone – I so much wish I did.  But after working the random number generator I’m pleased to announce the winner is comment number 3 – that’s Kathleen Robertson.  Well done Kathleen and as soon as you send me your postal details your prize will be on its way to you!  There’s still a chance to win my completed Valentine Bunnies stitchery over on my Facebook page though …..

Just CLICK HERE to pop across and enter.  

And finally a quick peek at another project coming in the March issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine

Hope you like it!


Little Knitted Rabbits – and some mud!

by Helen on February 10, 2013

A week or two ago Townie Husband told me he thought that everyone who read my blog and looked at my photos must think that Devon is all blue skies and sunshine.  This certainly isn’t the case.  But I don’t think mud and grey skies make very cheerful photos so I don’t normally take my camera outside on grey days (even though I would have plenty of opportunities).   I thought that maybe I should show some gritty (or muddy) reality though – so when I went outside this morning to photograph my little knitted rabbits I turned around and took a picture of our garden ….. 


Yes, my two naughty newfies have turned the bottom end of our lawn into a mudslide!  This morning Daisy dashed outside, skidded and landed on her nose in the mud!  She thought this was great fun and promptly hurled herself into it again!  But I know who has caused most of the problem….


 With his big flubbery paws chasing his baby sister round and round the garden!  She’s just out of shot in this photo and I think they were both about to pounce on that sadly bedraggled toy you can see in the foreground.  Sadly for them, I am a bit of a spoilsport and have closed the gate at the bottom of the steps to give the ground time to dry out a little.  And now for the little knitted bunnies – a family of four … 

Little Knitted Bunnies

Hand knitted by me from Debi Birkin’s lovely pattern.  But I have given this batch little cotton frocks – all apart from Blossom who was late home from her ballet class and had her photo taken wearing her pretty tutu!  They’re all now seeking adoption by kind new owners, and you can find them listed in my Etsy shop.  Just CLICK HERE to visit.


Reindeer names – oh my goodness….

by Helen on November 7, 2012

…. I am so enjoying reading all your wonderful suggestions for my little Christmas fabric reindeer pattern’s name.  I laughed until I (nearly) cried over “No Idea!” (assuming he was named before his eyes were added – groan), was very attracted to the idea of “Bertie Bustle”, loved the suggestions incorporating “Buttons” and all the other amazingly creative ideas too.  Thank you so much to everyone who has left a comment.  Then when I reached the end I realised I had forgotten to say that the draw would close on Friday night, so if you’re reading this and haven’t entered yet – there’s still time to do so. 

And the Christmas fun continues with a set of new designs from my friend Jacqui of SewFlapdoodle.  She’s created five Christmassy images that I’m busy turning into a Christmas garland – here’s a sneak peek at work in progress:

Snowballing bunnies …. 

WIP: Christmas Bunting Snowballs Flag

and … WIP: Christmas Bunting Reindeer flag

Two little reindeer. 

I’ve nearly completed all the applique and am just assembling the flags using the stitch’n'flip technique.  I’ll be listing the SewFlapdoodle Christmas Garland pattern at the weekend, and will also be sending a free Christmassy SewFlapdoodle design to all my newsletter readers and e-zine subscribers. 

I only assembled two flags this morning though – I was rudely interrupted by an extremely impatient dog (sure you can guess his name!) who was very anxious to head to the beach.  So, before he could swish his tail and send all my fabric flying to the floor in a confused mess, I packed him into the car and we set off for Blackpool Sands.  

Blackpool Sands

We haven’t been there since last March as dogs are banned from this beach in the summer months.  But in the winter it’s a great place to take your canine companion – especially as the Venus Beach Cafe remains open all year long.  It was a bit grey and chilly, but Ben had great fun re-acquainting himself with one of his favourite places to swim – a lovely stream that runs through the shingle down to the sea. 

Luckily there wasn’t any smelly seaweed on this beach for him to roll in – I don’t know if I mentioned – but after his bad behaviour in rolling at Lannacombe, Donna (his grooming lady) shampooed him twice – firstly in Apple and Avocado, and then in Rosemary and Mint, after which she rubbed him all over with Lavender fur-shine.  And it’s hard to believe I know, but even after all that we could still detect a whiff of seaweed in his fur.  Bad dog!