A Bustle & Sew Publication Copyright © Bustle & Sew Limited 2022 The right of Helen Grimes to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form, or by any means, without the prior written permission of the author, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser. Every effort has been made to ensure that all the information in this book is accurate. However, due to differing conditions, tools and individual skills, the publisher cannot be responsible for any injuries, losses and other damages that may result from the use of the information in this book.
First published 2022 by: Bustle & Sew Station House West Cranmore Shepton Mallet BA4 4QP www.bustleandsew.com
Welcome to the July Magazine Hello everyone! July brings the height of summer, and hopefully lots of fine weather for us all to enjoy - though I remember childhood holidays spent sitting in the car with my mum and dad, eating our sandwiches whilst the rain drummed on the roof! Hopefully this year we will be luckier! Whatever the weather, we celebrate coastal living in this month’s edition with fish, whales, a puffin and a walrus - and there’s also a little look ahead to Christmas (eek!) with the first of this year’s seasonal patterns to stitch. Our recipe section makes the most of all the delicious seasonal produce available around now, and there’s lots more to enjoy besides! I hope you enjoy this issue and the August Magazine will be published on Thursday 28 July. Until then I hope you have a lovely month, with lots of time for stitching! Very best wishes
July July brings high, high summer - it’s the most summer it will ever be in this country. Our gardens are alive with the buzz of bees and flutter of butterflies whilst the drone of lawnmowers can be heard in the distance - and it’s tempting to believe that summer will never end. But daylight hours have peaked now and during the course of the month the day length will decrease (in London) by one hour and six minutes, to 15 hours and 27 minutes. The dog days of summer begin on July 3 and last until August 14. They were given this name by the Roman soldiers who, almost two thousand years ago, occupied much of England and Wales. In the time of their occupation British summers became much hotter as the world’s climate generally warmed. Far from enjoying the clear blue skies and sunshine of their Mediterranean homes however, the occupying legions were subjected to sultry sticky heat punctuated by thunderstorms. They believed these were caused
by the effect of Sirius the Dog Star who rose at dawn in July adding, the soldiers supposed, to the uncomfortable effects of the sun’s heat.
“I must away to the wooded hills and vales, Where broad, slow streams flow cool and silently And idle barges flap their listless sails. For me the summer sunset glows and pales, And green fields wait for me”
Extract from “A Summer Longing by George Arnold (1834-65) The countryside is transformed once again this month as crops begin to ripen and fields turn slowly from green to gold. Soft fruits, such as strawberries, raspberries and blackcurrants are available in abundance - on garden bushes, in shops and supermarkets and at
pick your own fruit farms, and enthusiastic jam makers can sometimes be spotted slaving over their hot preserving pans late into the evening to make the most of this summer bounty. July brings the beginning of the holiday season and though it’s one of the hottest months of the year, weather lore seems to be preoccupied with rain - most famously on St Swithin’s Day which falls on the fifteenth of the month. July is also the month in which the most crop circles appear - that is to say stems of wheat, barley or other cereal crops trampled or bent into beautiful geometric patterns within golden fields. Amazingly the earliest known report of a crop circle was in 1678 in Hertfordshire, but it was during the 1970’s that they began to appear more frequently with up to fifty appearing every year. Most crop circles appear in the southern English county of Wiltshire - which as well as large flat arable fields - has a plethora of mysterious prehistoric monuments.
The circles are often found in the vicinity of Stonehenge and Avebury and the smaller prehistoric sites around them. Although many circles are without doubt the work of hoaxers, still a small kernel of doubt and awe remains.
to be playing outside, but my mum insisted I came indoors to watch history being made!) Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin collected samples, set up experiments and perfected the art of “walking” across the lunar landscape.
If the rose is the flower of June, then for me at least, July is the month of the poppy. These scarlet blooms are one of the world’s most successful weeds, as old as agriculture itself. Wherever corn was grown, blood-red flowers bloomed. They may well have reached this country with the first pioneer Neolithic farmers who came with their sacks of cereal seeds mixed up inevitably with the tiny black seeds of poppies. They can lie dormant in the ground for years, and then, once disturbed, they will erupt in a blaze of colour.
In the countryside at the end of July, the corn fields are beginning to ripen and turn golden edged with
On 20 July 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first man to set foot on the moon, stepping out of his spacecraft onto the lunar surface with the words “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” He later claimed that he said “a man” making the necessary distinction between the individual and the human race, but recordings of the historic moment seem to confirm that the crucial indefinite article was omitted! Watched by millions of television viewers across the world (including a very young me who really wanted
“July is what our old poets loved to call “sweet summer time, when the leaves are green and long,” for in such brief word-painting did they picture this pleasant season of the year; and, during this hot month, we sigh and pine to get away to some place where we can hear the murmur of the sea, or what is nearest the sound - the rustle of the summer leaves.” Chambers Book of Days (1864) blue scabious and purple knapweed, while the hedgerows bloom with willowherb, yarrow and other wild flowers. Having raised their young birds such as robins, thrushes and blackbirds are falling quiet and going into moult, while the first breathtaking blooming of roses in June has passed, there
has been a lull and now the new buds of the second flowering are waiting to burst into new bloom. Watering your garden can be a problem at this time of year, especially if it’s a long dry summer and hosepipe bans are in force. One of the best ways to get around this problem is to purchase a water butt. This can then sit discreetly tucked away beneath the downpipe of a gutter giving you lovely fresh water for your garden hopefully all year round. Towards the end of the month the cornfields are nearly fully ripe and across the countryside the golden fields are edged with blue scabious and purple knapweed, whilst the hedgerows bloom with willowherb, yarrow and other wild flowers. Purple thistles are also blooming, and are much in demand by goldfinches which love their seeds. Having raised their young, garden birds are ceasing to sing and are going into moult, but the chirping of the meadow cricket provides an evocative background sound for lazy summer afternoons, whilst on lakes and rivers you will see solemn processions of fluffy grey-brown cygnets paddling along behind their graceful and majestic parents. Summer is here and it seems for a few short weeks nature is on “pause” while we make the most of it.
We planted yellow hollyhocks, And humble sweetlysmelling stocks, And columbine for carnival, And dreamt of Summer's festival.
Vita Sackville-West from Poems of East and West
An Old Fashioned Holiday In the heat of the summer, there is a familiar, tired air about our city streets as though, for a week or two, they seem to carry a multitude slightly out of step, for thousands are strangers which tread them in the casual, dawdling footsteps of holiday; whole thousands of their workaday families have forsaken them for the mainline termini where the “Holiday Specials” await, their engines pointing north, south, east or westwards to the sea. Holiday time upon the beaches of Britain, beaches of all kinds, from the horizonless sand-flats of Norfolk to the rosy, rocksheltered covers of Cornwall, Devon and western Wales. Wherever the tides run within touch of human habitation there come the holidaymakers to shake hands with the sea. Sometimes in crowds, sometimes in discriminating ones and twos to those wild and lonely parts of the coast where the big Atlantic bursts, chocking at the feet of the tall cliffs. Here are no donkey rides, concert parties, Punch and Judy shows - just the boiling of the surf, the wind among the dead-heads of the thrift, the calling of the kittiwakes in the spray.
C Gordon-Glover Extract from 1953
A Stitcher’s Alphabet
Part 6: M and N
Malterer Hanging The Malterer hanging is a medieval wall hanging worked with wool on linen whose theme is the evil consequences of earthly love (I would not care to comment upon the activities of the couple on the right!). It was probably embroidered between 1310 and 1320 and is unusual in that, in spite of its religious overtones, it is basically a a piece of secular work, and there are very few in existence of that date. It was given to a convent where Anna Malterer was a nun by her family and this explains how it has come to survive in such good condition.
Machine Embroidery There are two basic kinds of machine embroidery - that worked by a specialist machine with a pre-loaded pattern, and freehand or free motion embroidery that depends upon the skill of the stitcher to create the design. It is often combined with applique or even hand embroidery as in the design on the right. Machine embroidery may be done either on a standard domestic sewing machine or one designed especially for embroidery. The first embroidery machine was invented nearly 200 years ago by a Frenchman, and the patent rights were bought by an Englishman in 1829. At the Great Exhibition of 1851 Houldsworth & Co displayed “specimens of patent machine embroideries” in several colours on a number of different fabrics. Switzerland was well known for fine cotton embroidery on muslin and there the new machines were used to develop this kind of work. Before too long the quality was high enough to compete with hand embroidery, though it wasn’t until the late 1920s and early 1930s that the idea of creative machine embroidery was born. Until this time it had only been used to create repetitive designs for household items and clothing, but in both Glasgow and Bromley Schools of Art a movement was born to encourage stitchers to use their sewing machines in a bolder and freer way. From that point on, the possibilities of machine embroidery have been explored in a huge number of ways, and colleges of art have trained embroiderers whose work on the sewing machine, though completely different, challenges even the best hand embroidery.
Melon Seed Embroidery This type of embroidery (no I’d never heard of it before either!) uses the seeds of the small musk melon which are first washed and dried. In the Ladies Treasury of 1887, a design of barley is shown to be embroidered on black lace with the melon seeds used to depict the grains of barley and the leaves worked in silk. This embroidery was intended for “blouse frontals and insertions in the upper parts of sleeves.”
Mercerised Cotton Thread In 1844 an English dye chemist, John Mercer, discovered how to treat cotton thread with a solution of caustic soda which both made it stronger and gave it a beautiful silky lustre. Although he patented his discovery in 1850 it wasn’t used commercially until 1895 since which time many cotton weaves as well as threads have been mercerised, of which the best known for embroidery is stranded cotton floss.
A (very) Little Guide to Cotton Embroidery Threads You can use all kinds of threads for hand embroidery, offering almost limitless possibilities for variety of colour and texture, especially if your work is intended for display only. If it’s likely to be used and possibly washed then you will need to bear more practical considerations in mind! The most common types of fibres used for surface embroidery today are cotton, silk and wool. The most common cotton thread used for hand embroidery today is 6-strand cotton floss. This comes in skeins, and the whole thread that comes off the skein can be split into six separate, fine threads. Each of these threads is made up of two smaller plies that are softly twisted together.
It’s really important to pull the “right” end of the skein when you’re using your floss - this will mean you can pull out the length you require really easily. Pulling from the “wrong” end will leave you with a nasty tangled mess! And of course the right end is always the hardest to find! When embroidering with stranded cotton, you can choose to use any number of strands. When using one strand your embroidery will be quite fine. As you add strands, the resulting embroidery becomes heavier. If you stitch with all six strands, the stitches become chunky. Pearl (or perle) cotton, unlike 6strand cotton floss, cannot be divided. Pearl cotton is a two-ply tightly twisted thread that gives quite a textured effect to your 10
stitches. Because it is normally heavier than floss, line stitches like stem stitch and chain stitch usually sit higher up on the fabric, compared to the same stitches worked with floss. Perle cotton comes in four sizes normally used in needlework: #3, #5, #8 and #12, with #3 being the heaviest and #12 being the finest. In addition to floss and perle cotton, there are other cottons created specifically for hand embroidery, including floche and coton a broder, both of which are excellent hand embroidery threads. DMC and Anchor are the most widely available quality brands today. Never be tempted to buy be cheap thread - you disappointed!
Cheese and Tomato Gnocchi Bake Ingredients
● 1 vegetable stock pot ● 400g fresh potato gnocchi
● 1 tbsp olive oil ● 1 red onion, chopped ● 3 garlic cloves, crushed ● 1 aubergine, cut into 1cm chunks ● 2 sliced mixed peppers ● A large handful of basil leaves and stalks, chopped, plus extra to serve ● 400g tomato passata
● 2 x 125g balls of mozzarella, drained and sliced
Method ● Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based ovenproof casserole. Add the onion and garlic, then cook over a medium heat for 6-8 minutes. Add the aubergine, and cook for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. ● Heat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7. Stir in the peppers and basil, then cook for 5 minutes more. Add the passata and stock pot dissolved in 200ml boiling water. Stir well, then pour into the casserole. ● Stir in the gnocchi, top with mozzarella, then bake for 15-20 minutes until golden. Scatter over a few more basil leaves to serve.
Rosehip Syrup is the Latin name for the pretty wild dog rose that, in early summer, flowers along our hedgerows in pastel shades of pink and white before producing lovely shiny scarlet hips later in the season. These are an amazing natural source of vitamin C and have all kinds of benefits as a herbal remedy, including helping with arthritis, preventing urinary tract infections and easing of headaches. During WW2 rosehips were such an important source of vitamins that children were paid 3d (three old pennies, 1½p in today’s money) to harvest them. The syrup will keep for a few weeks in the fridge freeze any excess in plastic bottles until needed.
Ingredients ● 1kg rosehips ● 2 litres boiling water ● 500g sugar
Method ● Chop or mash the rosehips and put them in a pan with 1 litre of boiling water, boil for two minutes then allow to stand for 15 minutes. ● Strain through a jelly bag. ● When the bag has stopped dripping, put the pulp back in the pan with a further 1 litre of boiling water and boil this for two minutes, allow to stand and strain as before. ● Discard the pulp and put all the juice back into the pan. Boil to reduce the volume to approximately 1 litre. ● Add the sugar and boil for five minutes, ensuring that all the sugar has dissolved. ● Pour into sterilized bottles and refrigerate until needed.
Clotted Cream Fudge What could be nicer than popping a piece of homemade fudge in your mouth while you’re beach combing, paddling or just sitting enjoying the view? I can’t pretend this is in any way healthy, but am sure it’s good for you - when enjoyed in moderation that is! Makes 1 ½ lb.
Ingredients ● 50g butter, plus extra to grease ● 450 g granulated sugar ● 170 g can evaporated milk ● 113 g carton clotted cream ● 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Method ● Lightly grease a shallow 7” (18 cm) square tin. ● Put the sugar, evaporated milk, clotted cream and butter into a large heavy based pan and heat gently to dissolve the sugar. ● Bring to the boil and boil steadily, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. The mixture is ready when it reaches the soft ball stage - or registers 115C on a sugar thermometer. ● Remove from heat, add the vanilla extract and beat with a handheld electric whisk, scraping down the sides form time to time until the mixture is thick, paste-like and no longer glossy. This will take around 5 minutes. ● Pour the fudge into the prepared tin, patting it into the corners with the back of a spoon. Cover and chill overnight until completely set. ● Cut into squares and pack into boxes. Will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Homeward Bound They were the gentlest of chalk hills crested with trees - Thrift Hill, Gallows Hill, Crouch Hill, Pott’s Hill, Rain Hill, Wheat Hill, Windmill Hill, and Weston Hills - and at their highest points there were villages, like Therfield, Kelshall, Sandon, Wallington, Clothall, Weston. I had still four or five miles to walk at the feet of these hills, through a silence undisturbed by the few market carts at long intervals ….. A wood pigeon came sloping down from the far sky with fewer and fewer wing strokes and longer and longer glidings upon half-closed wings as it drew near its home tree. It disappeared; another flew in sight and then slanted downward with the same ‘folding-in’ motion; and then another. The air was silent and still, the road was empty. The birds coming home to the quiet earth seemed visitors from another world. They seemed to bring something out of the sky down to this world, and the house and garden where I stayed at last were full of this something.
Edward Thomas (1878-1917) from “The Icknield Way, written in 1916
Carnival Banner July is of course the month the summer holidays begin as children are released from the classroom, students are finished with exams and the long hot (we hope!) days of summer seem to stretch almost endlessly in front of us. This year is likely to be a little different, but I’m sure many of us will be planning at least one trip to the beach even if holidays appear to be off the agenda for now. And of course the coast brings to mind driftwood, faded colours - and fish too! These little fish are simple to make using the stitch and flip method and each measures 10” long (approx)
colours. They are linen but any nonstretchy fabric without a raised pile will work.
● Two small buttons for eyes ● Toy stuffing
● 12” x 6” lightweight cotton fabric for base for front of fish
● Wooden base and stand (easily available online or from craft shops). The bases I used were 3” square.
● 12” x 4” felt or other fabric for reverse of fish
● Sharpie or other felt tip pen
● Assortment of fabric scraps. I was lucky enough to acquire a selection of Vanessa Arbuthnott scraps on ebay which I think work very well with their soft muted
● Temporary (optional)
A (very) Little Look at Sewing Needles The needles we use today have come a long way since the first days of sewing when thorns or fish bones were used to stitch two pieces of fabric together. Steel needles were introduced in the 16th century and have become finer as technological advances have been made in their manufacture. There are a range of types, sizes and gauges available to us today which have all been developed for specific uses.
Used for cross stitch or other work on canvas, aida and evenweave fabric. They have blunt ends so they can pass through your work without splitting the fabric threads. Similar to a tapestry needle, but with a sharp point to pieces the fabric, a chenille needle is useful for stitching with textured yarns.
These are all-purpose needles with easy-toUsing the right needle for the task in hand will make your thread eyes. They’re available in 12 sizes, but the most work so much quicker and easier. Be sure to keep your generally useful are sizes 6 to 9. needles safely in a needlebook as they can easily blunt if you leave them rattling around loose in a box or tin. : Beading needles are fine and flexible so they can easily go through the holes in even the tiniest beads The following are the kinds those you’re most likely to and are able to hold several beads at once. come across: Strong and sturdy with a large eye and blunt Crewel or embroidery needles have a sharp point and a long eye that allows you to thread many end, these needles are easy to thread with wool and to thread in and out of the weave of a woollen fabric. strands.