Flying Pigs … and thank you everyone

by Helen on May 22, 2013

Wow!   Thank you so much everyone who left a comment on my giveaway!   So many of you – and such wonderful softie ideas – I would certainly never have considered a dragon or crocodile – though I have been thinking about a fox for an autumn issue of my magazine.   I will definitely be creating one or two of your suggestions over the coming months.  

For the moment though, I have a confession to make.  I have been away playing – visiting Rosie in Bath – and so I have not yet worked the random number generator and counted down to the winner.  I promise I will do so before Friday, and let you know the lucky recipient of the little blue cashmere bunny who will have to wait on my shelf just a little while longer before setting off to his new home.   

Flying Pigs

Inspired by everyone’s ideas, before I went to Bath, I had a good sort through all my softie patterns to remind myself of my earlier creations… and came across the Angel Pigs softie pattern that I designed for Christmas 2011.  I’d always meant to tweak the pattern slightly and create some Flying Pigs – and now seemed like the perfect time – what do you think?  

Flying Pigs

 I must admit, I think they’re rather cute!  And the little blue pig is standing on a bundle of Cath Kidston fabric I treated myself to whilst in Bath.  I think they’d make a great present – perhaps for a teenager who has actually tidied her room when asked – pigs will definitely be flying if that happens too regularly! 

Flying Pigs

 If you’d like to make your own Flying Pigs, then the Angel Pig pattern works absolutely fine, though I’ll publish the tweaked version in the July issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine.  

Back on Friday with the results of the bunny giveaway!



New Readers’ Makes Gallery

by Helen on April 9, 2013

My main passion is creating new designs.  I love the thrill of seeing something coming together just right – even though it will usually take many attempts to perfect the curve of a rabbit’s paw or the positioning of a whisker.  I don’t make to sell, which is why I have absolutely no problem with others offering for sale items they have personally made using my designs – although I do ask for a credit as the pattern designer.  This is why I was delighted to discover a brilliant Facebook page – Charlie barlee Studio …..

Charlie barlee reindeer heads

 where the very talented Sherrilee offers items made using her own patterns as well as “Flannidermy” Deer Heads made using my Bustle & Sew Fabric Deer Head pattern.  Aren’t they wonderful?  I love how she’s interpreted my design ….

Charlie barlee reindeer heads

This made me think – I know there are lots of other talented makers out there who love to create, whether for sale or not – so I decided to start our very own Bustle & Sew Readers’ Makes Gallery.  I’ve added Sherrilee’s beautiful deer to it already – and would love others to add their own creations too.  The link to my new Gallery page is in my right-hand sidebar  and I’m hoping lots of you talented people will contribute – I love to see others’ beautiful creations.

And finally ….. thank you so much to everyone who sent best wishes for Ben’s speedy recovery.  I think I correctly understood what the vet said – that he has a form of dry arthritis in his paw, because of which the actual ends of his bones have been grinding on each other – extremely painful.  He has been prescribed a course of 4 special injections for pain relief and to encourage his body to produce more joint fluid, and we are very hopeful this will work.  Certainly he is much happier already after just the first injection, so please all keep your fingers crossed for him.  Oh … he is also on a diet having put on 10 lbs(!) over the last year (now weighing 168 lbs) ….. no more choc drops for him! 


Stop sewing and play with me!

by Helen on February 20, 2013

Daisy at 14 weeks

 ”OK Mum.  That’s enough sewing.  I want to PLAY!  Stop playing with those hens – yes those ones – and play with me instead or I will CHEW them!” 

Two French Hens

 (Two French Hens – Easter softies for the March Bustle & Sew Magazine)

Daisy at 14 weeks

 ”I will snuffle on your camera lens too!  Come outside and play – NOW!”

So I went …….


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.