Some hexie loveliness …

by Helen on April 19, 2014

I’ve really enjoyed my hexies project using up all the lovely tiny scraps of fabric in my box that are too small for anything else.  I have cut and stitched over a hundred little hexies to create a lovely little pouch for toiletries.  And there’s more .. some vintage stitchery too.  I thought very hard about this, and as my pouch is likely to be used at the beginning and end of the day, combined the phrases “Good morning sunshine” and “Goodnight sweetheart” with some beautiful vintage bluebirds.

When photographing my pouch I decided that I needed some little models to enhance the pictures, and chose the French Hens for the morning side of the pouch, and Lovebirds for the evening.  

They all gathered round to receive some words of advice from Mr & Mrs Mouse who, after all, were professionally photographed for their cover appearance not so very long ago.  Then first it was the turn of the French Hens …..

Who did rather well.  The Lovebirds were a little nervous, but quickly got into the swing of things ….

Though Mrs Lovebird got so excited she nearly fell off her perch!  The pattern for my Sunshine Sweetheart pouch (as well as a little more about English paper piecing) will be in the May issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine – out on Thursday.

Oh, and I nearly forgot to tell you – it was soooo funny!  I was sitting on the sofa handstitching my hexagons – or was I tacking them to the papers – I can’t quite remember.  Anyway, I threaded my needle and held it up in front of me to straighten out the thread when …. along came that naughty Miss Daisy – caught the end of thread in her flubbery mouth and sucked it – right out of my needle and down to goodness knows where – it vanished completely into her insides!  I was left threadless – and speechless too.



Thought for the day …..

by Helen on April 5, 2014

CLICK HERE for printable image. 


Do I go too far? Sometimes I wonder ….

by Helen on February 9, 2014

I was brought up in a very thrifty sort of household – we never had much money when I was a child, so make do and mend was very much a way of life for our family.  These days of course, making do and mending is not just about thrift – we’re all so much more aware of our impact on the environment, so reasons to reduce wastefulness have become ethical as well as financial.  

I love to rummage around thrift shops and jumble sales, pouncing with glee upon all kinds of vintage lovelies unwanted and unloved by their previous owners.  I found this lovely old creamy-white jug at a car boot sale last year – it looks perfect on my kitchen windowsill …

And the wire rack these savoury biscuits are resting their delicious selves upon came from a charity shop in Kingsbridge …..

But sometimes I wonder ….. I am very hard upon my ironing board covers.  I use my ironing board for all my applique projects, happily cutting, fusing and spraying my pieces with fabric glue.  Over time, no matter how careful I try to be, my ironing board cover is spoiled by accidentally ironed-on Bondaweb, fused on fluffy bits and even, on one memorable occasion, by a long cut when I was cutting fabric and accidentally included the cover as well!  It’s important that my ironing board cover is nice though, as it is the background for a lot of the “how to” photographs in my patterns, so I regularly replace it – usually with a nice new Cath Kidston version.  And then ….

I cut up the old one!  This time I have saved some lovely soft white cord, trimmings from around the unspoiled edge of the cover – a small piece has already been incorporated into my latest project for the March magazine and some nice lightweight white cotton.  But looking at my rescued  - and soon to be recycled – treasures I did start to wonder … do I sometimes go a bit too far?  Do normal people cut up their old ironing covers?  How far do you go in your textile recycling?


Furry Fox & Marching Elephants

by Helen on November 24, 2013

Having a bit of a busy weekend with Rosie – we’re pressing ahead with wedding preparations and this weekend visited two florists in Totnes, Emma Vowles and Blue Geranium (the image below is a Blue Geranium bridal bouquet – isn’t it beautiful!)


 But before Rosie decides, we will return for a proper planned appointment with each florist, before which we need to work out our exact requirements, bouquet, buttonholes, table arrangements ……. so much to think about!  But nice though.  Rosie has an app on her phone now that’s counting down to the big day – to the nearest second – so we know exactly how much time we have.  Table runners and napkins after Christmas – lots of sewing for me!

Meanwhile, I’ve been doing a little less sewing this week as I’ve been working hard on my Furry Mr Fox tutorial  and I’m delighted to be able to say that my video tutorial is finished – well, actually my two video tutes as I’ve broken it into two 10 minute sessions.  

Furry Mr Fox Video Tutorial

 If you’re not a subscriber, then the pattern and tutorial for Mr Fox will be available to purchase after the December Magazine is published on Thursday.  For Bustle & Sew Magazine readers, the links to the video tutorials will be included in your December issue.

Wish upon a Star: Mr Fox

But as well as looking forward – I am planning lots more videos & extra stuff for magazine subscribers next year – sometimes it’s fun to look back too.  I received an email last week asking about my Marching Elephants pattern.  This design, based on an old childhood colouring book page, was one of my earliest, so I dug it out, dusted it off, updated and improved the pattern instructions …..

Marching Elephants

 And if you’d like to make your own Marching Elephants (I think they look a bit Christmassy – maybe I’ll make a Christmas version too?)  then please just CLICK HERE to download the free pdf file. 

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