Today it's our pleasure to welcome a guest, Helen from Bustle & Sew:
"Hi, I'm Helen and I live in an old farmhouse by the sea in the beautiful South Hams area of Devon, with my beautiful Newfoundland dog, Ben. My husband commutes weekly from Portsmouth, so is here to help walk him at weekends!
I work part-time for a local charity, supporting elderly people to stay in their own homes, and also have my own, very tiny, business, Bustle & Sew, selling my patterns online.
These are just a few of my designs:
I don't have any formal textile training, but come from a long line of skilled needlewomen, learning from my mother and grandmother from a very young age. I love to create with fabric and thread - embroidery and applique are my favourite techniques. I love sharing my ideas for designs with others, not just experienced stitchers, but also, hopefully, those new to the pleasure and satisfaction of making something yourself.
I was thrilled when Eleanor suggested I might like to contribute a guest post to IACW, and thought long and hard about suitable ideas - I hope you like the projects I've chosen.
Hand embroidery is my main passion - I love the feeling that I am part of a long line of embroiderers stretching back through the ages, and also the portability anbd low cost of materials and equipment - hoop, needle, scissors, floss and fabric - embroidery really is a hobby accessible to everyone. So I thought for my first gift to you (I was always told as a youngster that visitors should bring a gift with them), I'd offer you one of my hand embroidery patterns. This one is a little bunny who doesn't seem at all sure what to make of the bunch of brightly coloured balloons he finds himself holding!
Please just CLICK HERE to download my Bunny and Balloons pattern absolutely free.
One of my most popular series of hand embroidery designs has been my "Rosie & Bear" series, based on my memories of my own Rosie's childhood days (a long time ago now!) and the naughty Bear she adored and took everywhere with her - he's waiting for her next visit now, perched on her bed just as always.
It's fun mixing real memories with imagination - below is my Rosie & Bear Royal Wedding pattern. Here Rosie is peeping through the railings at Buckingham Palace, hoping for a last glimpse of the beautiful princess, whilst Bear, who couldn't care less about rose petals and lace, is tugging at her hand - he wants to go and march with the soldiers in the parade!
Of course, you don't always have the time to spend hand stitching - it can take a while, and I also enjoy machine applique - a look that's become very popular recently, that can be very expensive to purchase.
So my second gift to you is another pattern - this time four cheerful marching elephants inspired by a 1950s children's colouring book...
If you like these patterns, then please do visit my shop, Bustle & Sew, where I have lots more listed. And, as the final part of my gift to you, just enter the code
at checkout and you will receive 20% off your first purchase.
Come and visit me soon at my blog … – I’d love to meet you there!
Best wishes, and thank you again to Eleanor for inviting me."
It's been delightful, thank you Helen.
Don't forget to check out the lovely free patterns Helen is so kindly giving away.