rosie and bear

Congratulations to Her Majesty!  

On this day sixty years ago,  Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in Westminster Abbey.  It was a ceremony full of pomp and circumstance, colour and ceremony and must have seemed almost magical at what was still a very grey and austere time for Britain and many other countries too following WW2.  

And, for the first time ever, those who had a new-fangled television could watch the ceremony, albeit as grainy black and white images shown on a tiny screen.  In the days leading up to the big event, viewers adjusted their sets while picking up the build-up programmes. The television chef Marguerite Patten told them how to prepare melon cocktails and salmon mousse to eat in front of the television. while two Metropolitan Police officers gave advice on preventing house burglaries on the big dayIndeed, in our British folk memory, the 1953 coronation is usually seen as the moment when television was instantly transformed from a minority activity into communication and entertainment for the masses.

Diamond Jubilee Quilt

 Of course quilting has always been a mass activity, and to celebrate this sixtieth anniversary, I’ve reduced the price of my Rosie & Bear Diamond Jubilee Quilt book by 60% (seemed to be the perfect number!) for the next 24 hours only.  This means that you will receive 12 Rosie & Bear designs – celebrating the Commonwealth countries and a special Friendship block for the USA – and instructions for sewing the Diamond Jubilee Quilt for just $10 instead of $25.   Here’s a preview of the contents for you: 

This book is an instant download, so there’s no waiting about to receive your patterns – 12 Rosie & Bear patterns for less than $1 each!  

To get your copy at the special Coronation Anniversary rate of $10, just click on the purchase button below.  Remember, this offer is only valid for 24 hours!



Exciting day tomorrow!

by Helen on November 21, 2012

Or … an alternative title … how Ben is going to be totally disgusted with the new addition to our home!   This is because we have decided to invest in a wood burning stove to toast our toes during the chilly winter months.  Our central heating is oil-fired and has become more and more expensive to run but – we live in a rural area and nice, well-seasoned logs are in plentiful (and cheap) supply.  We do have an open fire, but tend to light it only at the weekends, whereas a stove can remain lit all day needing, hopefully, much less attention than the fire. 


 Our fireplace

 Ben will not be happy that we’ve acquired a stove.  Like all of his breed, he has an exceptionally thick and woolly coat.  This means that, even in the depths of winter, he loves to stretch out on the cool slates of the hall floor, totally ignoring his lovely cosy bed strategically positioned just under the radiator. Although a cold draught often blows under our front door (the perils of old houses), I have never needed a draught-excluder  as he loves to lie with his spine along the bottom of the door – effectively stopping any chill air from entering the hallway.   Amy was just the same – and it was so funny watching her when we lit the fire – she would start off stretched out on the rug in front of the fireplace, then as the heat built, would edge further and further away until she could stand it no longer and, casting many reproachful looks at the basking humans, would take herself off to cool down in the hall!  

As tomorrow (when the stove is arriving) is likely to be busy, I thought I’d take a moment today to show you the completed embroidery for my 2013 Journal Cover pattern.  It’s going to be in the December magazine next week ….

Rosie & Bear Journal Cover

… and shows an apple orchard through the seasons of the year.  I need to add some patchwork borders and make up the actual cover before I take more photos.  I thought it would be a nice sort of project to stitch over the Christmas Holidays ready for the New Year.

 And finally – while thinking about  holidays – I would like to wish all my readers in the US a very happy Thanksgiving tomorrow.


Happy Thanksgiving to you all!


Reindeer Kit/Quilt Book Giveaways to enter!

by Helen on November 3, 2012

I haven’t had a giveaway for a long time – and now I am having two at once!!  There is a chance to win a paperback copy of my “Around the Year Quilt Book” featuring Rosie and Bear and also a chance to win a kit to make your very own Reindeer Head – using exactly the same fabrics as I used to make mine.  Here’s what you have to do ……

 To enter the giveaway for a paperback copy of  my book …

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Just pop over to my Facebook Page where you’ll see how to enter.   If you can’t wait to get your hands on a copy, then it’s also available from Amazon and as a download from this site

For a chance to win the Fabric Reindeer Kit - including everything you need to make your reindeer apart from toy stuffing……..

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 Just leave a comment below – and for fun – please tell me what you think his name should be.  For both draws, the winner will be chosen by random selection and yes, I will post worldwide.  Good luck everyone!!

PS I still have one Reindeer kit for sale on Etsy.  And then there won’t be any more as I only had enough vintage fabric to put 3 kits together - and now it’s all gone. Sorry, now sold.

PPS  A couple of people have asked about the pattern – it’s available to purchase as an individual pattern here, or as part of this month’s ezine here Thanks so much for all your lovely comments – I am loving reading all your suggestions!


Letting go is hard…..

by Helen on September 5, 2012

Sometimes it can be hard to let go.  Even when you know you should … indeed that you must.  Every last stitch has been finished, every single thread has been snipped and the last binding on the corner carefully stitched into place.  But now the time has come to admit to myself that there’s nothing more to be done – one of my most favouritest projects ever – my Rosie & Bear Diamond Jubilee Quilt is complete.

Diamond Jubilee Quilt

This has been a work in progress for the last 6 months, and I’ve been sharing the designs with my e-zine subscribers on a monthly basis.  The quilt commemorates the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II and comprises 12 blocks – one is the Royal Coat of Arms and the remaining 11 are countries of the Commonwealth, with a special “Friendship” block to reflect the USA’s friendship with Commonwealth countries.  

In the embroidered blocks Rosie & Bear had lots of adventures!  They met a koala in Australia and an elephant in India, whilst Bear got rather closer than he might have liked to a lovely young lioness in South Africa.  They swam in Mozambique and sailed in Barbados, and even watched some rugby in (current world champions) New Zealand before meeting George Washington himself.  

I’m currently in the middle of combining the patterns and all my notes on the project into a new book – and if you’d like to learn more about it when published please do sign up for my free newsletter as I’ll be keeping everyone informed that way.  There’s a form in the right-hand sidebar.   I’ll really miss my quilt, but will just have to fill my stitching time in other ways ……