Free Christmas Reindeer Tote Bag Pattern

by Helen on December 4, 2012

Inspiration can come from all sorts of  places, from the obvious to the less so.  Below is my latest work in progress – a Little Red Riding Hood embroidery design for the January issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine ….

Little Red Riding Hood

No prizes for guessing who was the model – and inspiration – for the “not-very-scary-woof ” sorry, WOLF!  But inspiration also can be found in all sorts of strange and much less obvious places….  Rosie sent me a picture of her Christmas manicure…..  


And I thought …. “I love the clean, simple shape of that reindeer head.”  Then I thought…… “he would look great as a machine embroidery/applique project!”

So now I am proud to present to you my next Bustle & Sew Christmas gift …… 

Christmas Reindeer Tote Bag

My Christmas Reindeer Tote Bag!  

A good-sized, sturdy tote that’s quick and simple to make – and perfect for carrying home all your Christmas Shopping!  If you’d like to make your own Christmas Reindeer Tote Bag then just CLICK HERE to download the free pattern.

Oh … and I nearly forgot to mention …. for this week only, I am offering a 25% discount on all orders that include a pattern from my Christmas Shop.  Just enter code XMAS25 at checkout to claim your discount!



Back from the Beach

by Helen on July 18, 2012

We had a lovely time on the beach on Sunday.  Townie Husband threw lots of balls for Ben, and took him rock-pooling too so I could take some photographs of my Seagull Cushion without fear of it being splashed, or even knocked flying into the water … 

Seagull Cushion

It’s another project for the August e-zine (out next Thursday). I didn’t manage to get any good images of my Lighthouse Height Chart as this was badly splashed (Ben of course) and unfortunately we haven’t had any sunshine here to try to take more photos.   It was a wonderful outing though, in spite of this …

Lannacombe Beach

 Ben loves rock-pooling.  He is very fond of underwater digging – scrabbling away with his two strong front paws – trying to capture stones, shells and once even a very startled starfish!! (I made him put it back).

He’s never caught a crab, though these are very common around here – both locals and visitors love to devour tasty crab sandwiches in the summer months, washed down with a nice cool glass of local Luscombe lemonade.  And inspired by this – and having acquired some of Maude Ashbury’s “Crabtastic” fabric, I am in the process of finishing off another project for the August e-zine, the Blue House Crab Tote….  some patchwork – a little simple quilting (optional) and an applique panel – here’s a quick sneak preview….  

Blue House Crab Tote


In which I discover time flies …

by Helen on June 19, 2012

Eeekk!!  Time flies too fast!!  I can hardly believe that next week is magazine publication day!! Where has the month gone?  Luckily I have been fairly well-organised and have all my contributors lined up, and am quite well ahead with my stitching.  I shall be busy with my needle though for the next week – but that’s a very nice kind of busy-ness (though Ben thinks it’s boring!). 

I thought you might like a sneak peek at a few of the projects I will be including in the July issue – which has as it’s theme “Out and About”  Last month we were in the garden, but July is definitely the month for venturing further afield, perhaps to the beach … 

Birdie Beach Tote

Taking your Birdie Beach Tote with you…  This was huge fun to make – lots of bright colours for the most tropical of days, and with an interior zipper pocket to tuck your phone, sunglasses and keys safely inside.  I’m not sure if you can tell from this picture, but it’s a bucket shape and sits firmly on its oval-shaped base.  I’m going to try to take some better photos – perhaps I’ll take it down to one of our beaches, though I don’t think my furry friend will approve!  Then there’s the Summer Lady embroidery – you might remember my Spring Lady of (is it really!?!) 3 months ago – now she’s joined by her new friend …

Spring and Summer Ladies

Much more vibrant colours, and textured stitches for summer. I chose a palette of pinks and reds to reflect the roses flowering in such abundance in my garden at present.  I think the Summer Lady has been out in the sun as well, her skin is a lovely golden brown and tiny pink and purple beads sparkle amongst her flowers.  The last project that I’ve photographed up until now (though there are more to come)  is “Where shall we Adventure?”  It’s a re-working of a 1930s vintage design showing a ship in full sail….

Where shall we adventure? (detail)

 I couldn’t resist working the rigging in freestyle machine embroidery – I knew all that stippling practice would come in handy, I feel uber-confident with my embroidery foot now.  Though it’s surprisingly easy to embroider along the pattern lines once they’re transferred.  This one isn’t quite finished yet, but will be very soon.  Plenty to keep me busy for the next few days…


What’s in this month’s magazine ….

by Helen on March 23, 2012

Exotic Hobo Tote (3)

This month’s Bustle & Sew magazine is absolutely stuffed with goodies for you to create.  As I publish the magazine on the last Thursday of every month, sometimes I get five weeks to work on new projects – and March was a five week month so there’s loads for you to enjoy!  Above is the Exotic Hobo Tote – a lovely roomy embroidered linen tote, just right for the summer months.  It’s small enough to sling over your shoulder, and large enough for all those summer essentials – sun cream, shades and a good book for the beach!  Also in the April issue you’ll find the pattern for my Quilted Laundry Bag … 

Quilted Laundry Bag

And the first of my Four Seasons embroideries … Spring ….


 But that’s not all …. there’s the Easter Muddle of Bunnies …

Easter Bunnies

As it’s Easter, there have to be eggs …

Easter Eggs

 And some printable bunting flags to decorate your garden for your Easter Egg hunt …

Easter Bunting

The second instalment of my Rosie & Bear Diamond Jubilee partwork will also be included – this month’s blocks are Kenya and Canada (still finishing off Canada, will show you shortly).  Plus features, articles and blog of the month too!   Of course now is a very good time to subscribe as your subscription will start with the current issue (March) – that will arrive in your in-box straight away, and then you will receive the April issue when it’s published on the 29th. 

And finally … I’m having a special offer – all new subscribers to the Bustle & Sew magazine will receive a copy of my book “The Stitcher’s Companion” to download absolutely free as a bonus gift.  So for your first $5.50 subscription payment you’ll receive 2 magazines, 4 Diamond Jubilee quilt blocks and the Stitcher’s Companion too – but only until the 29th.  So if you are thinking about subscribing, then please don’t delay or you’ll miss out!  Just click here to learn more and subscribe.

{ 1 comment }