Sew a Softie: Flora the Elephant and Pin Cushion Mice – kit giveaway

One of my favourite things to do when I’ve plenty of time to sit and concentrate is to work on a new softie pattern.  I love working out shapes, and am fascinated by how only small tweaks to different pieces can make such a difference to the look of the finished design. Below is just a small selection of some Bustle & Sew softies – I seem to have made so many over the years!

It’s fun to share my love of softie-making with others and this month in particular through the Sew a Softie initiative.  This is an initiative that aims to ignite a love of hand sewing in a new generation by encouraging parents and children to turn off their computers, put down their smart phones and discover the fun and fulfillment that comes from creating a simple-to-sew softie together.  It was started by children’s hand sewing teacher, author and designer Trixi Symonds to show parents who can’t sew or think that sewing is not for young children, that hand sewing is a simple, inexpensive and highly creative activity that everyone can do and that young children absolutely love.

I’m delighted to be participating in the “Sew a Softie Month” – when for the whole of July a free pattern and/or softie tutorial will be posted daily on the Sew a Softie Facebook Page by lots of talented designer/makers.  Today it’s our turn and I was originally going to just share Flora the elephant in this post.  But ….. I’ve decided to remind everyone about our Pin Cushion Mice too as these are such a simple design, and the perfect project for children.  In fact my version of this pattern is based upon my memories of making these little mice with my mum more years ago than I care to remember!  The Pin Cushion Mice are completely hand stitched, whilst Flora is a great first sewing machine softie project.

Pin Cushion Mice

Materials

  • 9″ square felt for body and ears
  • 6″ square contrast fabric for tail and ears
  • 3″ square cardboard to stiffen base
  • Rice or poly beads to weight base (optional)
  • Polyfil for stuffing body ü Stranded embroidery floss in suitable colour to sew body
  • Black stranded embroidery floss for eyes and nose- or use small round black beads if preferred – but this means the mouse will not be suitable for a small child.
  • Pink floss for nose
  • Dark brown strong thread for whiskers (optional)

Method

  • Cut out all body pieces using the template
  • Cut a strip of fabric for the tail 4″ long x 1 ½” wide. Fold ¼” under along each long side, and then fold in half lengthways and press. Tuck one short edge in for the tip of the tail and secure with a few small stitches. Using 3 strands of embroidery floss, blanket stitch along the open side of the tail to secure. Set to one side.
  • Stitch the bottom edge of the body to the circular base with wrong sides together. First work half-cross stitch in one direction, then return and overstitch in half-cross stitch in the other direction using 3 strands of floss. Then stitch up the back for ½” in the same way, wrong sides together.
  • Insert the unfinished end of the tail with the blanket stitched seam facing upwards and secure in place with small stitches. Continue up the back for a further 1″ Leave a 1 ½” gap for stuffing and then stitch up to the nose.
  • Insert the cardboard circle into the base to keep it flat. Stuff the nose end using small pieces of stuffing to avoid lumpiness. Pour rice or granules if using into the base and then add stuffing to body. When you are happy with the shape, close the back seam.
  • Make the ears by placing the pairs of outers and inners together, wrong sides facing and cross stitch around the outer curved edge. Fold the base edge in half and secure with a few stitches, then flatten the seam and position ears on head, either side of the centre back seam so they will frame the mouse’s face.
  • The eyes are French knots worked with black floss – or stitch round black beads into place if using.
  • The whiskers are strong thread – catch them in place with a small stitch under the nose so they can’t be easily pulled out.

Flora the Elephant

I think that to include the full tutorial for Flora here would make this post a bit on the long side, so if you’d like the pattern and tutorial to make your own Flora the Elephant as a free pdf file, then click the button below and I’ll be very happy to send it to you.

Softie Kit Giveaway

And finally ….

Because I love making softies, and I’d really REALLY like to share this love with others, then I’d like to offer you the chance to win one of our hand assembled softie kits.  We have five kits in stock at present for you to choose from – please just CLICK HERE to see them all.   Then all you need to do to enter the draw is to leave a comment below telling me which kit you’d like to win – and just for fun it would be nice to know why that one in particular!  The draw will close at midnight on Wednesday 19 July and the winner will be chosen by random selection.  I am happy to post your kit anywhere in the world!  Good luck everyone – and enjoy your softie-making!!

GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED and I will be announcing the winner at the weekend.  Thank you everyone for entering.

135 Comments

Ooh, I love the unicorn kit. I love all things magical. Your work is so sweet. Thank you for the softie patterns and the chance to win a kit.

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Jo Nicholl

Oh it would have to be the unicorn kit for my unicorn mad daughter. She would just love it!

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It really is hard to choose a favorite one but I think I would have to pick the Wilderness Bear. That would make such a great boy or girl gift but in particular I was thinking that it always seems that I find great gift ideas for little girls but not little boys. This bear would fit the bill for that idea. Thanks for doing a give-away! Love your dogs by the way but doesn’t everyone?

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Sherrie DeWitt

I love your unicorn softie. Unicorns are magical horses and I LOVE horses.

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WOULD LOVE TO HAVE THE FLORA THE ELEPHANT. I REMEMBER THE CIRCUS AND THEY WILL NO LONGER BE PART.

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They are all so cute! My little grandson is advancing to the Dino group this fall in his pre-school (Last year he was a green pepper.) It would be so fun to make him a dinosaur to accompany his upcoming year! I like that it looks like a really friendly one for boys! He’s into pirates too (age 3 1/2)–those pirates are pretty cool too!

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The Wilderness Bear is the cutest! I love how it includes embroidery, which is my current obsession!

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The “Let’s Go on an Adventure” bear kit is perfect because my husband and I watch our grandson four days a week while his parents work. We are always saying something like: “What adventure can we go on today?” Monday’s are our adventure day.

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I would love to win the unicorn kit because no Grandaughter should be without magic. Sophie my Grandaughter is 6 in August, so just enough time to make. Love your kits.

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My bear collection needs a Wilderness Bear to make it even more complete. He also looks ideal to take on some of life’s adventures.

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Love the Wilderness Bear. Love his expression. one could also change the wording on his tummy for a specific person which also appeals to me.

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Susan Spiers

The Unicorn kit is just too sweet! My daughter has always loved unicorns & they are still a part of her life even today-30 years later! This would make a wonderful gift for her! Thank you, Susan

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Sandi J Duvall

I love the Pea Pod Pincushion! I love making pincushion and would love to win the kit. I have the mouse and am having so much fun making them!

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Dona Couey

OMGoodness! I would like the Wilderness Bear. We have a new grandson “Lincoln”… he just turned three months. His nursery theme is “Where The Wild Things Are.” This would be such a sweet addition.

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I love the wilderness bear. His message on his belly and feather makes him so cute. I also appreciate the flora ekephant tutorial and paterrn.

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Caitlin Hart

I would love the unicorn, all my girls ride horses, it wpuld be great to make them one 🙂

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They are all so cute! I would love to make the Unicorn for my granddaughter. She loves little animals to carry around.

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Hi and thank you for the fun opportunity!
For me it would be the Unicorn kit with a special reason! I shared the photo with my 10 year old granddaughter Autumn Rose, because I thought of her the minute I saw it! She loves unicorns! She’s asked me teach her how to sew… I think this would be the perfect first project and a memory for us to treasure together for years to come!

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Jan Buckley

Oh I would choose the wilderness bear kit, I have my third grandson coming into the world in four weeks time???? This beautiful bear would make a lovely nursery gift for him xx

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They all! Look super cute I would love the chance to receive any of the kits, as it would be to hard to choose.

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Dee Motto

I would love the unicorn kit! I like her just as she! Thanks for the giveaway, Helen & Rosie!

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Donna McGraw

I love Flora the elephant. My granddaughter would just love to receive it.

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Love the Indian bear for my 2 year old nephew who’s into everything Indians and bears.

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Virginia Johnson

I woulf love the elephant for my granddaughter, she loves all animals and I love to make things

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Tina Mason

If I was so lucky as to be chosen I would love the peas in a pod pin cushion please 🙂

This encompasses my move of sewing and remind me of my son & Daughter who have just recently left home 🙂

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Whilst I love all of your Kits, the one I would like the most is the Unicorn. My 26 yr old Daughter loves Unicorn and I would make it just for her. It would join the one I knitted for her.

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Love the Elephant…… because they “never forget”. I lost my dear sweet husband recently,the love of my life, whom I will never forget….

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I would love to sew the Unicorn softie with my daughter, we both have a love for the magical creature and I really wanted to get it when you showed it a couple of months ago, but money was to tight 🙁

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Jan Beals

Since I love elephants and flowers, the choice is easy for me. I would select Flora the elephant!

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Jean Thompson

I love the Pretty Floral Elephant… For such a Big Animal she is so Feminine looking …

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Julie Lieshout

I would love the wilderness bear. He is just so cute and reminds me of a child’s drawing coming to life.

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I WOULD LOVE THE PEA POD. I MADE UP A SONG FOR MY 12 YEAR OLD WHEN SHE WAS A BABY ABOUT HER, HER DADDY AND ME, THEN WE ENDED UP WITH A BLACK LAB AND 2 CATS. MY DAUGHTER ADDED TO THE SONG WITH THEM IN ANOTHER POD CONNECTED TO MAKE OUR FAMILY, SO PEA PODS ESPECIALLY WITH 3 PEAS IS SPECIAL AND CLOSE TO MY HEART. THANK YOU, HELEN FOR ALL THE FUN THINGS TO DO AND MAKE. PEOPLE LIKE YOU ARE BLESSINGS, GIFTS. YOU ARE A PERSON THAT HELPS US EASE OUR MIND IN THESE CRAZY TIMES. YOU HAVE A LONG TIME CUSTOMER FROM ME. 🙂

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I’M ON A BIG BEAR ADVENTURE WITH MY FIRST GRANDCHILD AND WILDERNESS BEAR WOULD BE A GREAT ADDITION AS I WANT TO EMBROIDER SOMETHING FOR HER

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Either of the bears ❤️ The adventure bear would go perfectly in my sons room (adventure room with mountains painted in his walls). Would be a lovely addition to his room, and I’m sure I would enjoy making it.

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The wilderness bear. When my boys were little and we were in the car lost (before GPS) I would tell them we were on an adventure so they wouldn’t get scared.

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Brenda DeShazo

I would love to win the unicorn kit, as I have two granddaughters that absolutely love unicorns. They share a bedroom and have their room decorated with everything unicorn. Thank you for the opportunity. It would make my granddaughters very happy little girls if I win.

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Dorothy Griffiths

Hi Helen a lovely post thank you. I would absolutely love to win the unicorn for my besotted 7 year old granddaughter, Catherine. It would be lovely surprise for her birthday. Fingers crossed ????????XxxxxxxDorothy

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I love Flora the Elephant! I love almost anything floral and especially if it is vintage. Flora just has that special something! Thank you for a chance to win her.

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Lynda webb

We love the elephant. My daughter is a special needs teacher and uses props to engage her children. Ellie would be just the job! Thank you

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Mary Ann O'Brien

Just love Flora, & she is primarily machine stitched – something I can do.

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Karen Heron

I especially love the baby elephant sewn in a floral print. She looks so precious and shy with her head posed downward. I love her!

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I have been teaching my grand kids the joys of stitching and I just know that they (and me of course) would love Flora. It is such a lovely shape

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The UNICORN please!!!! My niece is expecting her first child and has chosen a “unicorn” theme for her nursery! This would be PERFECT! That being said, as many others have already commented-ALL of your designs are adorable!
Thanks for sharing your talents!

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Linda Ferrier

I would love to win the mouse pincushion kit. I love the fabric colours and design on it. I would really enjoy making them as I love softies

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My granddaughter just had a baby sister and she’s kind of down in the dumps because everyone fawns over the brew baby and brings her presents. I told her Mema loves her and she would make her a very special unicorn. I made one but she didn’t like it because it was too small. But she doesn’t want a big one either. This one looks like what she wants. So I would love to win the pattern so I can make her a unicorn. She will be estatic!!!

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I would love to have the Bear. He’s so cute!! I would make him for my granddaughter.

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Beverley Walsh

I love them all, but if forced to choose I’d go for the dinosaur, he’s bright and cure and my granddaughter would love him to bits. ????

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I love all your softies, but I think my favorite kit is the Wilderness Bear. I love the look on his lovely face and (of course) his feather. He reminds me of childhood play with two older brothers….(smile).
XX Linda B

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I’d like to win Flora, as she will be a Holiday surprise to be given to my local police department for a needy child at Christmas. Many thanks for the opportunity to win!

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Karen Stalker

Without a doubt, my favourite softie kit would definitely be your beautiful unicorn. My second eldest daughter is madly obsessed with unicorns at the moment, and your softie would be a lovely gift for her.
Thank you for sharing your talents.

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Luann Bourgo

I think that the wilderness bear kit would be great I could make one for each of our newest members in the family one grandson and one great grandson. This Christmas will be their first one.

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They’re all adorable! I’d go with Flora because she’s got a beautiful vintage vibe 🙂

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Jenny Hooker

My 5 year old grand daughter Cody loves unicorns. It would be wonderful to make her a new one to go with all the others she has. Thankyou for the opportunity.

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Anita Gambrell

I’d love to win the elephant. He’s cute! I know several kiddos that would love him!

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I would love the unicorn for my little granddaughter’s birthday coming up in a few months. She is crazy for horses and she would love this.

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Candace Geary

I would love to win the dinosaur to make for my 1 year old grandson. He is the perfect age for it!

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Jennifer Essad

the wilderness bear catches my eye, he’s a topic of conversation for us camping and watching out for him. We love our adventures when we camp and he could be our mascot

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Let’s go on an adventure! What a wonderful thought! Afterall adventures are fun, and not all adventure turn out like you planned! Thanks for the fun giveaway.

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Brenda Farmer

They are all so cute, but I would to make my grandson the dinosaur.

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Thank you so much for a chance to win! I would like to win Flora the Elephant. I too enjoy making softies. I began making them when my children were young, and started making them again when my first grandchild was born. She is 10 now. Why I would like the Flora kit is I have 2 young granddaughters who she would work well for. I guess Flora would tell me as I was sewing her which one she was supposed to go to.

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Robin Klein

I believe I will have to choose Wilderness Bear. The unicorn is perfect for my grand-daughter, the dinosaur for my grandson the the peas in the pod for me but everyone, male or female, young or older will love an adventure.

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I’d like the unicorn kit – I have a granddaughter who loves unicorns and they’re hard to come by.

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I’m so glad I have come across your site I found you on pintrest and live your newsletters. I have become disabled at the age of 34 and have always loved sewing my mum used to have her own business making beautiful mice velvet rabbits that covered a broom she was also an interior designer unfortunately she lost her sight and by the time I wanted to expand my sewing my mum couldn’t teach me. Iv started to learn how to use a sewing machine and it distracts me from the pain I can just engulf myself with beautiful fabrics. I’v made your pin cushion mice and gave them for presents I’m now working on flora I would love to win the unicorn kit to take me back to the days of going fairy watching in the country side with my mum she brought so much magic into our childhood & I’d love to do the same for my neices iv already got my eldest sewing felt brooches she loves to create as much as I do. This would be for her. Thank you for your inspiration your patterns are device and your passion for making shows that’s what I love about your site. Looking forward to the magazine and more wonderful creations

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Mary Miller

I would love to sew the unicorn, putting some fantasy and magic into my sewing

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Fiona Moore

I love them all. But it would have to be the wilderness near that I choose to make for my granddaughter. She would adore it as do I.

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My favourite one is the wilderness bear. I’d like to win it, because my world of the year for 2017 is “wild” and maing the kit would be perfect to stay connected with my world 🙂

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Sandie Wishart

I have already purchased the wilderness bear kit, and downloaded the elephant pattern, so it would hacpvd to be the bear for me. I’d love to mKe this for my new grandson Lawson, which is who
I’m making the wilderness bear for too! Your patterns are devine! Oh, and I’ve also purchased the faux taxidermy one too! Just have to find time tomake them now ????

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Gill Parsons

Would love the Unicorn kit as you’re never too old to have a bit of magic in your life.Thankyou for the giveaway xx

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Sue Thomas

Helen, you are very generous in passing on your talents.
I would love to win the elephant. I was lucky enough to have a ‘special’ birthday holiday to India and saw elephants there.
Your elephant would remind me of a very wonderful time.

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Agnieszka

I would like to win – Wilderness Bear Kit. I have an obsession about a bear. When I trek in mountains, I often think of about this huge big creatures which surround me. But I loved painting and sew bear 🙂

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Lesley UK

My favourite is Flora the Elephant. I have a small collection of them, but not a soft toy. I would love the chance to make her. Peace and Blessings

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I’d love to win flora the elephant, the flowers remind me of an English garden, and I’d love to gift it toy friend who laves elephants and gardening in the sun

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I don’t have any grandbabies yet, but if I did, I would love to make the unicorn. Thanks so much for sponsoring this giveaway!

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Love these! Reading and seeing your work is inspiring me to pick up a needle and thread, dust off the sewing machine and at add this to my art

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Sandra Rea

When my granddaughters in Colorado were a little younger, they were frightened by a story book in which a bear came right into a house. I would reassure them that “there were no bears in Boulder” every time I’d visit. Now that they’re a few years older, I’d love to put the wilderness bear in their room to show that there ARE bears in Boulder!

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Helen, your softies are adorable and what a fun drawing. My choice would be the Unicorn. My daughter who is challenged with a handicap called Prader-Willi Syndrome gravitates toward Unicorns. Her room is Fairies, Frogs and Unicorns. What a delight it would be to make for her!!!

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I love the unicorn! The mane looks amazing & I would enjoy using doll hair instead of yarn or floss. Of course, there are three Grands I may have to share with!!

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I would love to win the Flora the Elephant kit. My eldest daughter loves elephants, and I’d love to make her a stuffed elephant. She’s hoping to have little ones of her own one day, and I think it would be nice for her to have an elephant for the wee ones.

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Mona Lind

I adore Flora and her vintage appeal! Elephants are a symbol of strength & wisdom, something I need during this season in my life.

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Helen, thank you for the awesome giveaway! I would love the Wilderness Bear. He is just adorable!!

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Irina Saarenmäki

I have had so much drama and misfortune in my life so far for this year that I think I need some magic in my live for a change – that’s why I choose the lovely unicorn. (if there would have been a bunny (brown) in patterns to choose- I would had taken it as a remembrance for our dear little pet bunny we lost a little while ago.. miss her so much)
My luck has been so bad, that I’m not daring to hope winning, but it’s so cute I just have to give it a try

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Would love a Flora kit please. I have a new niece due soon and it would ba a great gift.

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jan mishin

Wilderness bear!!! I love this fellow. Your kits are great. Easy to follow directions and its great to have all the materials gathered for you so you can just start creating!!! I made your unicorn kit and it was perfect!!

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Donna Scott

Hi Helen, thank you for the opportunity to win! I love that there’s an initiative like this to get kids and parents sewing. I have such fond memories of sitting beside my auntie as she taught me to sew on her machine, it’s a love I’ve always had!
I’d love to win the unicorn kit so I can hopefully inspire my niece to sew too. Many thanks

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Flora the fabulously floral ???????????????? elephant ???? is a frivolous, fascinating and fantastically fun fantasy of fabric!????????
I would love to make her, as my pain condition, which is similar to yours, makes it difficult to do much hand sewing, so I avoid softies for this reason. Normally I stick with my little fabric bag-making business. I’m thrilled to see that she can be made by sewing machine.❤️????????????????

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Justine Willis

I would love to have the wilderness bear kit, I feel like it is relating to me mentally.

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Connie Cappello

Helen, your work is so wonderful and would like to make the Wilderness Bear for my new grandson…I have made a few things for his big sister, she’s 2…and cannot leave him out…thank you for sharing with us.

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So hard to decide between the unicorn and the Wilderness bear which are both adorable! I will go for the bear though, good luck everyone.

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Jan Bailey

Flora the Elephant would be a delightful gift for me to make for my first great granddaughter Evie who is 16 months old and lives in Timsbury.

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Pip Chambers

Eight years ago, my husband and I were told that, due to health issues, our baby-bearing years were over. With great sadness, we packed up the toys, books, clothes and blankets. Two years ago, we found out we were pregnant – a full decade after our previous baby. This bonus baby, Rowan has been the delight of our entire family. I am a sewer and my 14 year old daughter is beginning to learn. She would love to make something for her baby sister and the floral bear would be such a gift for them both.

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Gwyn Grahan

Oh would love the unicorn kit. My granddaughter is having a unicorn birthday party in August. This would be so cute!!!

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Judie Buckfield

I would love to win the elephant kit.I am not very proficient with my sewing as i have not long started with this ad a hobby but as my first great grand child was born yesterday 17-7-17 it would be lovely if i won a kit so that i could make a special gift for her.

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I would sooo like to have the Little Wilderness Bear too.
I live in NW MT and they do have bears here. I have been collecting bears just about all my life. I have over a hundred or so of all sizes. One as big as Rosie.

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Brenda J Moore

LOVE the Pink Flamingo trophy head softie!
It just makes me smile.????

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Judith Martinez

I love the unicorn kit best because my 12 year old daughter is completely obsessed with unicorns.

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Adventure bear. My grandson and I always have an adventure to go one He will soon be three we have special back packs with supplies and you just never know what you will come across even everyday things that take on a new meaning with each discovery. Thank you and Thank you for letting share my little story

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Shanda Williams

I would love the Peas in a Pod softie kit. Love the colors, and I have two little granddaughters that I am always saying are like two peas in a pod!

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Hello! The unicorn seems to be a favourite , and I also would love to win this kit for my newly born grandaughter who is just 1 monthe old … This would be a nice present for her !

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Sandie Cornish

I need some adventure in my life – So the wilderness bear would be perfect!

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