st patrick’s day

For the past few years I’ve held a giveaway on St Patrick’s Day in honour of my Irish grandmother.  But this year I’m afraid I haven’t had chance to arrange one – not only am I busy with Rosie’s wedding, but – and I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before – she and Dan are moving into their first home of their own this week, and I have been nominated as decorator-in-chief.  So lots to do!  However … all is not lost!

My friend Jacqui, of Flapdoodledesigns, is hosting a wonderfully generous giveaway over on her Facebook page.  She’s offering the chance to win one of her beautiful patchwork fairies – created especially for you and handpainted in the colours of your choice.  To enter please just pop across to her page and leave a comment.   



St Patrick’s Day Free Giveaway

by Helen on March 16, 2013

Last year I hosted my first St Patrick’s Day giveaway, and enjoyed it so much that this year I’ve decided to do it all over again!  I myself am not Irish, but my grandmother (my mum’s mother) was an Irish McDowell whose family came to England in the early 20th century.  She was a brilliant needlewoman and seamstress, training as a “lady tailoress” in the 1920’s, and her skills were much in demand in the “Make Do and Mend” years of the second world war.  My mum has many memories of ladies and girls trooping in and out of the house and up the stairs to her sewing room where their worn out or outgrown garments would be transformed into wonderful stylish new creations.

So, once again in honour of my grandmother, from whom I am sure I inherit my love of stitching, I have a giveaway for you.  You may have spotted in a recent post, when I mentioned the bears softie pattern for the April issue of my magazine, that one of the little bears was a beautiful soft shade of green – and this little bear is the prize for my St Patrick’s Day giveaway…..

St Patricks Bear

 All you need to do to be in with a chance to win this adorable little fellow is to leave a comment below telling me what his name should be.  You have until midnight GMT on Monday 18 March to leave your comment and the winner will be chosen by random selection.  I will post worldwide.

And don’t forget to download your free St Patrick’s Day bunting from Flapdoodle if you’re marking the day…. 

St Patricks Giveaway

Just click on the link above to join Jacqui’s newsletter list and receive your free St Patrick’s Day gifts.  Meanwhile, don’t forget to leave your comment below – and I’ll be back next week with the results.  Good luck everyone!


My friend Jacqui – this is her …. 

Flapdoodle images

is an amazingly talented designer and illustrator – but also ridiculously camera-shy!!  You may remember that Jacqui and I have collaborated on a range of Sewflapdoodle patterns for Bustle & Sew – my all-time favourite is the one she created for her little dog Lionel and Ben …. 

Less scary with a friend...

 Simply adorable!

And now Jacqui is setting out on a new venture –  her own online shop offering her artwork as printables – there will be bunting, cards, invitations, (all can be personalised) as well as her very own paper doll designs.  Her shop isn’t quite ready yet, but in the meantime she’s giving away her printable St Patrick’s Day bunting and placecards when you join her free newsletter…. 

St Patricks GiveawayIf you’d like Jacqui’s St Patrick’s Day bunting, then please just click on the image above to join her newsletter (she promises never to share your email address with anyone else) and your free printables will be sent to you straight away.




Today is St Patrick’s Day… and although I’m not from Ireland, my stitching grandmother was – she had the very Irish name of Mary McDowell.  Her family settled in England in the early 1900’s when she was a young child.  She met and fell in love with my grandfather before the First World War but before they could marry he was sent to the trenches of Flanders.  In 1916 she received an official telegram notifying her that he was missing, presumed dead and she grieved for him for 12 long months before she received further notification that in fact he had been injured and was now in a prisoner of war camp.  Imagine how she must have felt!  They married upon his return and were together for 30 years before her tragically early death in the 1950s. 

I never met Mary, but my own Mum (her daughter) told me many stories about her – she was an accomplished seamstress and needlewoman, skills that were in great demand in World War 2, and the era of “make do and mend.”  She passed her talent and store of stitching knowledge onto my Mum who in turn taught me to sew – and I still have one or two examples of her work tucked away.

So I thought it would be a great idea to celebrate St Patrick’s Day with a giveaway – one of my little knitted bunnies.  Above you see Teasel, dressed in a suitably coloured jumper of Irish green.  But if he’s going to be a St Patrick’s giveaway I feel he should have an Irish name.   If you’d like the opportunity to win him, then please leave a comment below and – just for fun – please suggest a new Irish name for him.  The winner will be chosen by random selection and yes, I will post overseas.  The draw will close at midnight GMT tomorrow Sunday, 18 March.  Good luck everyone!!