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A Bustle & Sew Publication Copyright Š Bustle & Sew Limited 2018 The right of Helen Dickson 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 2018 by: Bustle & Sew The Cottage Oakhill Radstock BA3 5HT UK www.bustleandsew.com


Welcome to the May Magazine May is such a cheerful sort of month I always think. The winter is now safely behind us and the countryside around my home is full of feel-good delights, from the delicate creamy pink hawthorn blossoms along the hedgerows to the prettiest garden tulips. This seasonal blooming has been eagerly anticipated by us all after what seems like the longest, most grey and cold winter we’ve endured for a very long time. The projects in this month’s issue are inspired by the new season, including my personal favourite, the little cat with blossoms. Rosie serves up spring on a plate in her recipe corner, and our Meet the Maker features Becca Hall, an extremely talented illustrator. You can also enjoy some classic fiction and poetry, discover how to choose your embroidery hoop, and I’ve shared my top tips for working from home too. I do hope you’ll enjoy this month’s magazine and just a quick reminder that the June issue will be published, as always, on the last Thursday of the month - in this case Thursday 31 May. So if you’re a subscriber watch out for it arriving in your inbox then! Until then, I hope you have a wonderful month!

Helen xx


Tip for Stitchers When using a looped skein of floss leave the paper bands on and pull out the end of the thread from the centre of the skein. The “right” end will pull out easily and smoothly, whilst pulling on the “wrong” end will lead to knots and tangles. If in doubt give both ends a little tug to decide which is the right one. When you’re using a twisted skein (this is often the case with cotton pearl) remove the bands, untwist the skein and cut all the threads once at one end. Tie loosely with a slip knot. To remove a thread, pull out a strand from the loose knot.





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Between this month’s covers … Tips for Stitchers

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Tastes of the Season: Asparagus

Page 41

May Almanac

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Rosie’s Recipes: Spring on a Plate

Page 42

Helston Floral Dance

Page 8

Tastes of the Season: Elderflower

Page 50

Cat and Blossom Hoop

Page 9

Drawstring Work Bag

Page 51

How to Embroider Fur

Page 14

Working from Home

Page 54

The Cutting Garden

Page 19

Instagram Round up

Page 56

Lovely Idea: Fabric Covered Flower Pots

Page 21

Hoop Up! Choosing your Hoop

Page 57

Cactus Tea Cosy

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Simple Stitchery: Hello Bear!

Page 59

A (very) Little Guide to Caring for Quilts

Page 25

Home Comforts

Page 61

Meet the Maker: Becca Hall

Page 26

In the Kitchen: Conversion Tables

Page 62

Poetry Corner: Sewing Seeds

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Choose Happy Hoop

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Spring on the River

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A (very) Little History of Embroidery

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The Merry Month of May

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Lovely Idea: Easy Wood Artwork Hangers Page 38 Little Pig Softie

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The Helston Furry Dance As I walked home on a summer night When stars in heav’n were shining bright Far away from the footlight’s glare Into the sweet and scented air Of a quaint old Cornish town Borne from afar on the gentle breeze Joining the murmur of the summer seas Distant tones of an old world dance Played by the village band perchance On the calm air came floating down I thought I could hear the curious tone Of the cornet, clarinet and big trombone Fiddle, cello, big bass drum Bassoon, flute and euphonium Far away as in a trance I heard the sound of the Floral Dance And soon I heard such a bustling and prancing And then I saw the whole village was dancing In and out of the houses they came Old folk, young folk, all the same In that quaint old Cornish town. Song written by musician and composer Katie Moss in 1911. Perhaps the most famous version is that released by the late Sir Terry Wogan in 1978.


Cat with Blossom Hoop One of my very-mostfavourite things to do is to stitch fur - I find it so rewarding and satisfying, and not nearly as hard to do as you may have thought. I have included lots of photos to show you how I built up the effect of fur, and also included my “How to Embroider Fur” tutorial which has lots of additional hints and tips. I gave the little cat a crown of very simple felt flowers which I thought made a lovely 3D effect and contrasted nicely with her fur. She is shown mounted in a 6” hoop (I used one from Auburn Hoops).



● Use two strands of floss throughout.

● 10” square background fabric - I used a light grey linen blend

● I have included my “How to Stitch” fur guide with this pattern and the principles apply to this design. So, rather than repeat them, I have included lots and lots of step by step photos showing exactly how I stitched my cat as well as diagrams for fur direction and floss colours, and just a few written suggestions.

● Small scraps of felt for flowers ● Glue gun or PVA glue to adhere flowers


How to Embroider Fur: Bear in a Hat Tutorial

10 (c) Bustle &8Sew 2017

You will need: ● 10” square white linen, cotton or other non-stretch fabric suitable for hand embroidery. Don’t use anything lighter than a quilting weight cotton as it will need to support quite a lot of stitching. ● DMC stranded cotton floss in colours 310, 352, 436, 437, 640, 945, 3023, 4124

I have always loved stitching fur, though I know some people are a bit put off by a technique they consider might be difficult and/or time consuming. I won’t deny it does take a little while, but though the results are impressive, it isn’t really difficult to do. You need very few colours to make your fur look convincing - the fur on my little Bear in a Hat uses only 3 shades of brown and - a bonus for me(!) - Your stitching doesn’t need to be too neat either ! You do need to give your project some thought before you begin though, but once you’ve done that then there are only a few basic principles you need to follow. This little bear also uses a variety of embroidery stitches for his coat and hat - back stitch, blanket stitch, cross stitch, chain stitch, French knots, ghiordes (or turkey) stitch and satin stitch. If you don’t want to try your hand at stitching fur, then he’d look nearly as nice with his face and legs simply outlined in back stitch, as are his coat and hat.


The first principle of realistic fur is getting the DIRECTION of your stitching correct.

Method ● First transfer the bear design to the centre of your fabric. It is full size and also provided both the right way round and reversed to suit your preferred method of transfer.

● Below is another picture of the bear with arrows indicating the direction in which you should angle your stitches.

● Use two strands of floss throughout and use colours according to the diagram below.

● You can see how the fur on our bear (above) is all directed away from the nose. Imagine smoothing him - you never smooth an animal from tail to nose as that would ruffle their fur the wrong way - always nose to tail.

● Hoop up and take a good look at your soon-to-be furry bear. If you have a pet, then take a look at him or her too. - always away from the nose.

● The only variation on the “away from the nose” rule is around the eye. Fur radiates away from the eye so you will need to blend the directions of your stitches together to take account of this. Don’t be tempted to simply stitch around the eye in circles - fur doesn’t grow like this at all.

● Take notice also of how your pet’s

fur overlaps so that the fur nearest the nose lies on top of that further down the body.


The Cutting Garden


A (very) Little Guide to Caring for your Handmade Quilt ● Be especially careful not to store your quilt in a place where there could be a problem with bugs or moths causing damage. Some brands of fabric softener sheets have been credited with repelling these pests. In addition, the fabric softener sheet will keep it smelling fresh. A cedar chest - cedar is a natural moth repellant - is an ideal storage place.

● Wash your quilt rather than having it dry cleaned. The chemicals used in dry cleaning are too harsh for the thread and fabrics typically used. ● Always wash your handmade quilt in warm or cold water using the delicate cycle on your washing machine. The individual blocks may be made up of slightly different fabrics which will shrink differently. Also, the vibrant colours may fade over time if the water is too hot.

● By all means, display your lovely handmade quilt but do make sure that it isn’t exposed to direct sunlight for long periods of time. This will eventually cause fading and deterioration of the delicate fabrics.

● Use a gentle laundry detergent. An inexpensive alternative to special "quilt wash" crystals is baby shampoo. ● Spin using the gentle cycle. If you need to remove excess water, roll the quilt in an old blanket or large towels placed side by side before putting it into the dryer.

● Don't be afraid to use your handmade quilt. The layers and the warmth of the batting make it perfect for keeping you warm cold winter nights. ● Refold your quilt every few months. If it is folded the same way for long periods of time, the batting will become permanently creased and thinner where it is folded. A lovely handmade quilt is something you can show off with pride. It should be used, displayed and enjoyed. However, the many hours spent in its creation would be wasted if it became shabby due to lack of proper care.

● Always use the low setting on your dryer. It is okay to hang your quilt outside for a short period of time, or you can spread it out flat to finish drying. Make sure it is completely dry before folding or storing. ● When you store your handmade quilt in a closet or drawer, if you feel the need to wrap it up in something, use tissue paper rather than a plastic bag. Storing it in a plastic bag for a long period of time may result in yellowing and discoloration.

Looking after your quilt well will ensure that it lasts a lifetime and may be passed down to your children and even your grandchildren.


If you love Becca’s cheerful, quirky illustrations and would like to learn more, you can find her online at:

https://www.etsy.com/uk/people/Beccaillustrates https://www.instagram.com/beccahallillustration/

Sowing Seeds I’ve dug up all my garden And got the watering pan, And packets full of seeds I mean to sow; I’ll have marigolds and pansies, And Canterbury bells, And asters all set neatly in a row. I’ll have mignonette and stocks, And some tall red hollyhocks, If sun and rain will come to help them grow.


Cuddly Sock Sheep

Making Merry in May!


The Great British Cake

It’s no secret that mum loves baking - her Victoria Sandwich is one of my husband’s favourites! I am more of a chocolate brownie lover myself, but recently Mum and I found ourselves wondering where all the classic British bakes originated - and why do we love them so very much? Cake baking has enjoyed something of a revival in recent years with the popularity of programmes such as The Great British Bake Off. Whether you’re stirring a classic Victoria Sandwich, melting chocolate for shortbreads or chopping cherries for a delicious rock cake these teatime treats are as popular now as they were when they were first served often a century or more ago. The idea of making something absolutely delicious out of basic store cupboard ingredients continues to be irresistible, and an affordable luxury for most of us.

fruity kind of bun made with lard) actually a cake or a bread for instance? They are made with yeasted bread dough, but mixing the lard with the sugar makes a kind of delicious toffee layer - very unlike your average loaf! The Welsh speciality, Bara Brith, is the cause of a similar dilemma as it can be made in two ways, one with yeast and the other with self-raising flour. The direct translation is “speckled bread” but the loaf itself is moist and sweet - the classic end of the week cake that used up anything sweet in the larder.

Depending on whereabouts in the country you are, your traditional cake could be anything from a Lincolnshire Hopper to a Lancashire Eccle, a London Bun or a Yorkshire Fat Rascal, all local specialities that have evolved over time. Cakes are indeed a window into the kitchens of the past! Our modern cakes, with their sweet, soft and spongy texture are less than 300 years old, but the word cake, or “kaka” is much older and used to describe sweetened breads, made with honey, fruit, nuts and spices. The addition of eggs and imported sugar in the eighteenth century and raising agents like bicarbonate of soda, along with the development of modern kitchen ranges in the nineteenth century led to a cake baking revolution and the development of the cake as we know it today.

Before frosted and decorated cupcakes crossed the Atlantic, the traditional British sweet treat was the bun - again every region had its speciality - think of Bath Buns, Pembrokeshires, Chelsea Buns and more. Georgian and Victorian London would have echoed to the cries of bun sellers offering their wares. First created in the 1700s by the Hands family at the Bun House in Pimlico Road near Sloane Square, the swirly-topped Chelsea Bun became popular after it was favoured by the Hanoverian Royal Family. Modern day Chelsea buns are quite light and fluffy, but the earlier versions would have been more like rock cakes or scones.

While all cake recipes have their roots in early breadmaking techniques, some still keep a foot in either camp - is a Lardy Cake (a

As kitchen equipment continued to improve through the nineteenth century, the Victorian era saw bakers and housewives inventing a huge variety of cakes, buns and biscuits. One of the most iconic was the Victoria Sponge, or Sandwich, famously invented for Queen Victoria

and the archetypal British cake. It’s most often associated with the WI, with a class dedicated to the recipe included in most fairs and competitions. The “creaming method” when the sugar and softened butter is beaten until fluffy and light, and the eggs and flour are folded in separately is considered to be the most perfect method, though Mary Berry’s all-in-one approach is the one that we favour here at Bustle & Sew HQ. The Battenburg cake was also said to have been created in honour of Queen Victoria, and in particular the marriage of her granddaughter to Prince Louis of Battenberg with the four brightly coloured squares representing the four princes - Louis, Alexander, Henry and Francis Joseph. But not all cakes have retained their popularity over the years. Seed cakes made with caraway seeds are now almost forgotten, as is the eggless Vinegar Cake, created during the Second World War and made to rise by the magic of milk, vinegar and bicarbonate of soda! Whatever our favourite may be, it seems unlikely that our love for a sweet teatime treat will fade any time soon. For many of us they’re a sweet childhood memory, and recall the comforting presence of our mothers and grandmothers. They help mark birthdays and weddings and form a special part of our family history. And the act of baking itself can give a great sense of achievement, brightening up your day.


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Bustle & Sew Magazine May 2018 Sampler  

A peep between the covers of the May 2018 (that's issue 88) of the Bustle & Sew Magazine - the independent, slightly eccentric publication t...

Bustle & Sew Magazine May 2018 Sampler  

A peep between the covers of the May 2018 (that's issue 88) of the Bustle & Sew Magazine - the independent, slightly eccentric publication t...