Home again – and the April issue

by Helen on March 23, 2014

Phew… home again and a chance to relax in my nice comfy armchair with a bun and hot drink – served in my new mug – a gift from my lovely daughter …

Who very much appreciated all my decorating efforts over the last few days!  We all sat down to a fish and chip supper last night in their new dining room and, though there was still some painting left to do, it was all looking rather nice. The log burner gave a lovely cheerful glow, and before long the house was almost too warm and cosy!

I’m home again today, and for the last hour or so I’ve been catching up on my emails before I collect my furry friends from their kennels in half an hour or so.  Which gives me just enough time to tell you a little more about the April magazine.  This issue is really bright and cheerful – spring is definitely here now, and the colours I’ve used were inspired by this old school poster ….

I’ll be sending out a printable version of this poster to newsletter readers a bit later on this evening – I think it would make a lovely addition to your home this spring – perhaps as part of your Easter decorations?  One or two of the projects in the April Magazine will be good makes for Easter too ….

As well as all the projects above, you’ll discover an extract from “Heidi”, some vintage flower ideas, the next part of my “Making Money from Making” series and much more too.  The April issue is published on Thursday, and if you subscribe before then you’ll receive the March issue (and your free gifts/50% discount code) straight away, and then the April issue when it’s published – bargain!!   Just click here to learn more and subscribe.



Times gone by … and yet to come

by Helen on January 21, 2014

I remember that growing up in the seventies needlework was simply not taught once I reached secondary school.  I attended an all-girls school and in an age of feminism and women’s rights, teaching domestic science was considered to be a very bad and totally unnecessary thing since, as a liberated woman, I would be too busy forging a career to worry about looking after my home.  

Whilst I’m a total supporter of equal opportunities, I think it’s a great pity that for so many years the domestic arts were completely ignored. It’s fantastic that sewing has recently seen such an amazing upsurge in popularity and I was delighted to receive an email from Amol at Terry’s Fabrics asking me to share her infographic. I think it’s great and I hope you will too …

The Resurgence of Sewing by Terrys Fabrics
The Resurgence of Sewing by Terrys Fabrics.

And I so totally agree that it feels wonderful to make something out of virtually nothing!

I had another “times gone by” moment today when I came across these winter-flowering pansies planted along the wall of our village bus shelter.  I remember my first sighting of winter pansies back in the 1970’s and my amazement at seeing what I had previously thought were summer flowers in the depths of winter. I am sure they must have been around long before then – but certainly not in a sleepy Warwickshire market town.  

Whilst winter pansies bloom all through the colder months, there hasn’t been much else in the way of  flowers around lately.  But now I’m back to walking the dogs again I’m beginning to see the very early signs of spring all around.  Too small and shy as yet to make good photographs, apart from these daffodils  I spotted in a south-facing, sheltered part of the woods.  They’re very well ahead indeed …. a herald of times yet to come!


Yes, my new pattern for free newsletter readers is my Spring Bunny Wreath – created with an old embroidery hoop, lots of felt scraps and a hot glue gun!  If  you’d like it and you’re not already a free newsletter reader, then you can join using the box in the right hand sidebar – and you’ll receive access to lots more free patterns and tutorials as well as other Bustle & Sew goodies.  Oh, and please rest assured that I NEVER share your details with anyone else.  

Rosie visited this weekend so we took the dogs to the beach (of course!) Daisy is quite determined to keep up with her Big Brother, bustling along with her little short legs and round puppy body as he charges ahead trying to pretend that she’s nothing to do with him!  But even a little canine whirlwind has to rest sometimes and Rosie (who has endless patience with her camera) snapped this wonderful shot of a sleepy puppy….

Daisy takes a break

Every picture tells a story!


Sneak peek …. new free pattern coming soon

by Helen on February 16, 2013

Spring is definitely in the air here at Coombe Leigh – although that doesn’t mean it’s here to stay of course!  But we’ve had three days with very little rain, and the promise of at least three more rain-free days to come, which is cause for celebration here in our village. We have escaped the worst damage, though sadly a row of cottages were flooded out, hedgerows have subsided into the lanes and mud is everywhere. Everyone is feeling much more cheerful now that we’ve had a few days of sunshine that holds some real warmth and a promise of warmer (and hopefully drier!) days to come.

Although Easter is still a while off, I’ve been thinking about springtime and Easter patterns for the March issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine – less than two weeks till publication date (eek!).  I’ve had lots of ideas, including Alice the Elegant Cat and Daisies in a Teacup…

Daisies in a Teacup     Alice the Elegant Cat 

And this month our guest designer is the enormously talented Jenny of Elefantz, who is contributing  an adorable little trio of birdie patterns …. 


So, with lots of creativity going on  (must be that spring sunshine)  I thought it was time to offer another free pattern to my newsletter readers.  It’s not quite ready yet – can you guess what it is? 

Spring Bunny

Lots of felt flowers in pretty spring colours …. 

Spring Bunny

 paws and whiskers …..

Spring Bunny

 … this might be a bit of a giveaway!  All will be revealed very soon!