So many ideas ….. so much to do!

It’s a funny thing how ideas come along – rather like buses – you wait for one, then two or three arrive all at the same time!  It’s been rather like that here at Bustle & Sew HQ for the last few days.  The June magazine was safely published last week and so, free of the worry that always accompanies this process – will it upload properly?  will the file be corrupted?  will my laptop be hit by lightning? (hopefully unlikely, but you get the picture) new ideas and patterns appear to fill the gap.

I’ve been planning a new, expanded book of Faux Taxidermy Heads for some time now and am working on the last few patterns.  The collection will of course include all my existing patterns, but there will also be some new ones that won’t be included anywhere else.


The new patterns will include a swan, giraffe and – cutest of all – a mouse – eek!  I also have a collection of hand embroideries planned inspired by books I have read and loved; both of these collections will be available by late summer both as digital and paperback publications.


And for a long time I have loved the current trend for geometric images – especially animals and so I have decided to try one of my own ready for the July Magazine.  My bear is coming along well (here’s a true life picture of me at work – including the snoozing Miss Daisy and her much-loved but extremely tatty squeaky crab toy!)


But of course what I failed to take into account is that satin stitch is one of my weakest stitches – but is oh, so necessary to achieve those nice solid geometric blocks of colour.  I have real problems keeping my stitches perfectly even and aligned – somehow they seem to wander off at an angle or are unevenly spaced.  Satin stitch should, after all, be easy compared to say bullion knots – but give me a good knot any day!  Still, I intend to persevere as I’m quite excited about my bear and think he will be very effective when finished.


And finally – I want to find time to develop my needle felting skills.  Above is my little grey hare – my own design, and the second project I’ve ever made using this technique.  There’s plenty of room for improvement I know, but I’m particularly excited by the idea of combining hand embroidery and needle felting.  I haven’t come across anyone else doing this and there’s probably a very good reason why that I’m simply not aware of!  But until I find out what that reason might be I’m going to persevere!


The bear is looking great. May I give you my tip for satin stitch? I draw a lines, two or three as guide lines to follow, it works for me!

Julie xxxxxxx


Love the bear – perhaps you could have a series of these next/ My tip for satin stitch is to “strip and separate the strands at regular intervals. Also to separate, starch & iron them prior to threading the needle will encourage the strands to lie straight and beside each other with less twisting and overlapping. I know that seems REALLY OTT and I though it was before I tried it. I wouldn’t say I do it every time but if I want perfect results I do.


Now that’s a thought Angela … what animals should I include though? If I do another one I will definitely try your tip – thanks so much for that xx


I struggle with satin stitch as well: I will have to try Julie’s idea to see if it helps me out.
Looking forward to your newest books!


Thanks Jenn – I have been trying Julie’s tip and it definitely seems to make a difference xx


I love your felted bunny, and the embroidery looks wonderful! I haven’t tried needle felting, but as an avid rug hooker and knitter I can attest to the joys of working with wool. There really is nothing quite like it!
I’m looking forward to your future embroidery book….sounds very interesting!
XX Linda


Thanks Linda – hopefully you will enjoy it – and yes you’re right wool is such a lovely fibre to work with xx


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