Falling in love again…

As it is Valentine’s Day I thought I would blog about my new love.  Not my baby grandson, though he is indeed the most adorable new love and we’ve been having lots of lovely grandma cuddles over the past few days.  Indeed his Polar Bear Rug and sparkly new rattle are waiting in my living room ready for him to enjoy again later on today …

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He met the Newfies for the first time last week and it’s fair to say that I have never seen a pair of dogs more besotted!  They have turned into baby worshippers, following his every movement with soulful eyes and instantly alert should he squeal or wave a plump little arm in their direction!  It will be a while yet before he can play with them of course, but they are eagerly anticipating the moment!  Nanna in J M Barrie’s Peter Pan was a Newfoundland dog and they are renowned for their love of small children, but I didn’t expect such a strong and immediate reaction from them both.

Even so this is not the love I was planning to blog about but rather that I have rediscovered my younger self’s love of cross stitch.  I have in the past been quite frustrated by this technique, always miscounting my stitches and forgetting which way the top stitch should be angled.  Perhaps it’s as I’ve become older I’ve learned more care and patience – but I have really enjoyed creating my first-ever cross stitch pattern for Bustle & Sew.  I decided to keep it simple …..

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And easy to count.  I don’t think at the moment I will be attempting to put together very realistic – almost photographic – designs like some very clever designers do.  Rather I am planning on keeping the cross stitch part of my patterns fairly simple as what I really want is to try combining cross stitch with free hand embroidery.  Although I’ve been googling around I haven’t discovered anyone trying this at present – perhaps it doesn’t work – though I am fairly confident it will and in fact have already begun to stitch my first “fusion” pattern for the April Magazine.

I don’t want to work my new design onto evenweave as it won’t be the best background for the freehand embroidery.  So I will first stitch the cross stitch element using waste canvas (obtainable from the fabrics section of Sew and So and other good sewing stores).  This is a canvas held together with a starch glue agent. It’s used to add hand-stitched cross-stitch to garments or other plain weave fabrics, and is easily removed once you’ve finished by dampening your work and pulling out the canvas threads, leaving behind your cross stitch.  I’ll then add the freehand embroidery, overlapping with the cross stitch.

If you haven’t used waste canvas before, then please don’t be put off, it’s really easy to use and does give a nice finish to your work.  A little while ago I included an article on waste canvas in the Bustle & Sew Magazine and I’ve now uploaded it as a free guide.  If you’d like it then please do CLICK HERE to download.  My new Deerly Loved “fusion pattern” will be in the April issue of the Magazine, but meanwhile I’ll leave you with a shot of the little zebra head for this month’s issue  ….

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Which, needless to say, has already been snaffled for the nursery!


Helen, I don’t comment on many things, but I have to tell you the zebra head is very upsetting. As cute as he is, he reminds me too much of trophy hunters, whom I abhor. Why would I want something like that on my wall?


Hi Evie, I’m sorry you find the head upsetting. I personally feel that creating something from faux fur and felt shows that there are alternative ways to enjoy an animal’s beauty without harming it in any way at all. It is after all, I feel, no different to painting a picture, making a sculpture or embroidering an animal’s image. I hope that my little grandson will grow up loving and caring for animals, and not wanting to harm them. Like you I abhor shooting them for pleasure and would NEVER have a real taxidermy head anywhere near my wall. It’s good I think to be able to discuss these things and respect others’ points of view and I hope you will still enjoy other parts of Bustle & Sew.


One day I will tell you about our youngest son at about six weeks old, two poodles and the workmen!
Julie xxxxxx


Bonjour, j’aime beaucoup cette tête de zèbre ainsi que toutes les autres que vous avez réalisées. Chez moi ,j’ai un trophée de cerf en carton brun et un autre en carton très décoré.Je déteste la chasse et j’aime , avec ces têtes , me moquer des chasseurs qui viennent à la maison.
Profitez bien de tous vos instants avec votre petit-fils ,les enfants grandissent si vite.
Très bonne journée ,amicalement ,


Je vous remercie beaucoup pour vos commentaires belles Elisa, et oui, c’est une façon de se moquer de ceux qui chassent ! Meilleurs voeux xx


Love the zebra head. Have already made the elephant, fox and deer and can’t wait to try this one! Patiently waiting for you to design a cow (have bought some gorgeous fabric in anticipation).


Haha! I hadn’t thought of a cow before Jeanette, but will definitely give it some consideration. So pleased you like my little zebra xx


Seriously ! It is obviously a stuffed toy. My 8 year old daughter has already put an order in for one and i can’t wait to make it .We love the whole collection so please keep them coming.Have a great weekend with the newfies and little one 🙂


Thanks so much Zoe, I’m so pleased you like them – I do have one or two more ideas for heads – still working on how to wire a giraffe!! xx


Love the cross stitched rabbit. Cross stitch is my favorite go-to craft. I find it so meditative and relaxing, especially when it’s a repetitive pattern that doesn’t require much thinking.

Love the zebra. That’s a clever idea to mount him on an embroidery hoop!


Thanks so much Fawn, and I was pleased to feature your blog in the magazine – it’s just such a lovely place to visit xx


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