Fairy Tale in Blue…

I have had such fun creating this applique panel over the last two or three weeks.  It’s my re-interpretation of a vintage design I found as a torn-off page in the back of a 1970s embroidery book I found in our local Oxfam Bookshop.  The original was quite heavy with crewel work and 1970s flourishes, but I’ve lightened the feel using lots of different fabrics and machine applique techniques..
…. together with hand embroidery details – can you see the bird’s nest in the tree?  There’s a bunny as well of course – you can see him in the top picture.  This pattern, with detailed instructions for working, will be included in the January issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine, together with my Autumn Bunny stumpwork
design (again with detailed “how-to” for working him).  There will also be the next Rosie and Bear block – this time for February – only 3 more to go after this one before the whole “block of the month” set is complete.  (PS the Magazine is still only $4.50 if you subscribe before the end of this month!)
This month the Bustle & Sew Magazine has quite a lot of stitching – this is in response to feedback from magazine readers who have very kindly told me they enjoy my embroidery patterns.  I’m also conscious that in the run-up to Christmas I included quite a few softie patterns with Christmas in mind so I’m redressing the balance.  But back to my Fairy Tale in Blue panel …
Here it is in its entirety.  I used a fairly coarsely woven brown blanket for the base as a nod to that brown hessian that was so popular in the 1970s!  But as I put together my fabrics and floss I thought about other stitchers recreating the design, knowing that they would not have the exact combination of fabrics I had used.   I know that sometimes putting a whole collection of pieces together can seem a little daunting, so I wondered if you might find a Bustle & Sew free guide on choosing and using colour useful? 
Please could you let me know during the next few days by completing the mini-poll at the top of the right-hand sidebar – and if it’s something you’d like then I’ll put a little guide together over Christmas.  And now .. back to the mince pies!!
PS Thank you so much for all the lovely birthday wishes – especially to those kind folks who said they liked my photo – all I can say is candlelight is well known to be very flattering to the more mature!!


I love this piece of work so much! This type of project can really stretch your boundaries, there's so much you can do with it. I don't think there were too many stuffies, I love them. It's kind of fun not having expectations of what's to come and all your work and ideas are wonderful.

Hoola Tallulah

I love vintage craft books! This is an incredible piece of work, beautiful details.


You are clever. Hope I can manage something half as good in a few years perhaps! Starting with the Carol Singing Mouse!

Stitching By A Cornish Sea Shore

I just love it, everything about it appeals. Your rabbit is so cute.

Julies Knit and Sew Corner

Oh my this is so creative and a lovely piece of work, lots of good detail.

Nanette Merrill

I love it Helen. I really love how you took everything and made it work together. Love the texture and design. It feels like a real city. And that I'd love to reach out and feel the different art techniques.


Lovely piece! And belated Birthday wishes to you, dear lady!! May your Christmas and New Year be the best ever. Hugs, Cathy


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