around the year: a rosie & bear quilt book from bustle & sew

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This book was inspired by memories of a little girl's happy childhood when her constant companion was her faithful friend, Bear. Use simple stitches and straightforward quilting techniques to create a stunning heirloom quilt that will be treasured forever. Full e-book available from the Bustle & Sew website.


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  • 2For my daughter Rosie, a little girl so long ago and far away, who still loves to setoff on adventures!

    A Bustle & Sew Book

    Copyright Bustle & Sew Limited 2012

    The right of Helen Dickson to be identified as theauthor of this work has been asserted inaccordance with the Copyright, Designs andPatents Act 1988.

    All rights reserved. No part of this publicationmay be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system ortransmitted in any form, or by any means, withoutthe prior written permission of the author, nor beotherwise circulated in any form of binding orcover other than that in which it is published andwithout a similar condition being imposed on thesubsequent purchaser.

    Every effort has been made to ensure that all theinformation in this book is accurate. However,due to differing conditions, tools and individualskills, the publisher cannot be responsible for anyinjuries, losses and other damages that may resultfrom the use of the information in this book.

    First published 2012 by:Bustle & SewCoombe LeighChillingtonKingsbridgeDevon TQ7 2LEUK

    www.bustleandsew.comISBN: 978-0-9570093-1-8

  • 3CONTENTSThe Story Begins .

    Using this Book

    Tools and Materials

    Transferring your Designs

    Material Requirements

    How to Embroider Fur

    Around the Year Quilt Blocks













    Testing your Seam Allowances

    Piecing your Quilt Top

    Finishing your Quilt

    Adding your Label

    Glossary of Embroidery Stitches

    Page 5

    Page 7

    Page 9

    Page 13

    Page 15

    Page 17

    Page 21

    Page 22

    Page 27

    Page 32

    Page 37

    Page 42

    Page 47

    Page 52

    Page 57

    Page 62

    Page 67

    Page 72

    Page 77

    Page 82

    Page 85

    Page 89

    Page 90

    Page 91

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  • 5THE STORY BEGINS .The idea for my Rosie & Bear Calendar Quilt came to I like to keep things simple when Im designing and so,me as I was looking through my collection of whether youre a quilter who is trying out freestylephotograph albums from those long-ago, far-away days embroidery, or a stitcher who wants to create a specialwhen I had a very small daughter called Rosie

    My albums contained photos of Rosie enjoying summerholidays (above), Christmas celebrations, picnics on thebeach and parties in the autumn. Even when hecouldnt be spotted in the pictures, you could be surethat her faithful companion, Bear, was not too far away.Indeed, he was probably just out of camera range,getting into some mischief or other while nobody wastaking any notice of him.

    Although Rosie is all grown-up now, she still treasuresBear, who has become quite an elderly gentleman.These days he is content to wait quietly on the end ofher bed, snoozing away the hours until Rosie returnshome in the evenings to tell him all about her days. Heis such a very good listener, and never reveals thesecrets he learns.

    I have always loved vintage blocks of the month,featuring all kinds of animals or flowers through theseasons of the year, so popular in the mid-20th century.Although I have discovered lots of lovely contemporaryembroidery designs, when I started searching forcalendar blocks to make into a quilt, I couldnt find anythat really appealed to me. That was when I decidedto create my own Rosie and Bear series.

    Finally, I hope you have as much fun making yourvery own quilt as I had putting this book togetherfor you.

    Helen DicksonJune 2012

    I like to keep things simple when Im designingand so, whether youre a quilter who is trying outfreestyle hand embroidery or a stitch who wantsto create a special quilt, youre sure to achieve agood result. Theres nothing complicated at allabout this project. In fact, the only problem Ihad along the way was deciding what to put in andwhat to leave out of the set of quilt blocks. Thatswhy youll find some additional Rosie and Beardesigns on my Bustle & Sew website if youd liketostitch some extra Rosie and Bear pictures.

    And of course if you have a special child of your ownin your life, then why not consider customising Rosie- change her hair, or skin colour to reflect your ownchilds? This is sure to make your quilt very veryspecial to, and treasured by, its lucky recipient.

  • 6Details from May and Octoberl blocks

  • 7USING THIS BOOK .You will find all the material requirements for making As different stitchers prefer different methods ofthe whole quilt on page , before the individual patterns transferring the design to the fabric, I have providedfor each block of the month.

    I am sure though, that some readers might be planningto make individual blocks - maybe stitching a singledesign for a particular project, or perhaps making theirquilts over an extended period of time. To make iteasier for those who intend to do this, I have also giventhe material requirements for each individual block atthe beginning of its section.

    As different stitchers have different preferenceswhen it comes to transferring the design to fabric,Ive included the embroidery patterns both the rightway round and reversed to suit your preferredmethod of transfer. I have also included guidanceon how to transfer your design.

    As well as a glossary of perhaps the less familiarstitches at the back of this book, I have also includedguidance for embroidering fur. Whether youre anewbie stitcher or more experienced, I recommendyou read this before starting to stitch as you will findlots of hints and tips to help you make Bears fur thebest it can be. Lots of stitchers are put off by theidea of embroidering fur, but it really isnt that hardat all.

    Bear is the only solid part of the embroidery - thisis because hes the only character that remainsunchanged to the present day. Childhood is veryfleeting and the little Rosie in those blocks simplydoesnt exist any more. Now my daughter is alovely young woman, and Im very proud of her,but she is quite different to the child of 20 yearsago of course!

    I think youll discover that both the embroideryand piecing the quilt top are suprisingly easy, andvery enjoyable to do. So, whether youre anembroiderer whos never assembled a quilt top,or a quilter whos never tried freestyle hand embroideryyoure sure to achieve a good result.

    And finally dont forget to label your quilt onthe back when youve finished. Ive included aRosie & Bear label for you to use for this purpose.Future generations will thank you for taking thetime and trouble to do this as Grannys Quilt issure to be loved by your children and your childrenschildren too!

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    Before you can begin to stitch your first block, youllneed to transfer the design to your fabric. I haveincluded all the designs at their actual size so you dontneed to spend time re-sizing them. Youll also see thatIve reproduced them in both original and reverseversions. This is because there are various ways oftransferring your design to your fabric and the methodyou select will affect which way round you need theoriginal printed design to be.


    This works well onto plain, light-coloured fabric, so isperhaps the best method to use for these blocks. Youcan use either a water soluble or a permanent markerwith a fine tip.

    Print the design outline and tape it onto a light box orwindow (a bright sunny day is best for this). You caneven display the design at the size you want on yourcomputer screen and max the brightness. If you donthave a lightbox you can make your own using anyempty plastic storage box and a light bulb (but dontleave it unattended when its switched on).

    Now tape your fabric over the tracing, ensuring thatits square (ie the grain is aligned horizontally andvertically). Trace the design onto the fabric withyour marker. Use a smooth continuous line forbest results.

    Note: Air or light fade pens are not suitable asthe design will fade and vanish over time, especiallyin strong light.


    This comes in small packages containing aboutfive different colours of carbon. Place your fabricright side up on a clean, smooth, hard surface(you may wish to tape it down to stop it slipping).

    Tape your carbon onto the fabric and your printeddesign on top of that. Using a sharp pencil, stylusor ballpoint pen and a firm steady stroke, carefullytrace over the lines of your design in long continuouslines.

    Be very careful not to puncture the paper as thiswill leave a nasty blob on your fabric. As the transferpaper is available in many colours, just choose theone that shows best on your fabric.

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    October August


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    You might like to practise yourfur embroidery before startingyour quilt, in which case you willneed a 6 square piece of cottonor linen fabric suitable forembroidery. You will also needstranded cotton embroideryfloss in dark chocolate, milkchocolate, toffee and fudgecolours (Thats very dark brown,mid to dark brown, light brown andgolden yellow colours. But as I recallthat Bear was always very fond ofsweets I thought Id use our common language!) Youll alsoneed some black for his eye and the tiniest little bit ofwhite to put the sparkle in his eye. Using linen floss inwith the cotton gives interest to the texture as the linenis matt which contrasts nicely with the shine of thecotton. But if you cant get linen floss, then its fine touse all cotton.

    First transfer your Bear onto your fabric. My Bearmeasures between 2 and 3 tall - small enough sothat theres not too much stitching but large enough tobe able to delineate the different shades of fur clearlyand effectively.

    IMPORTANT: You will be using 2 strands of flossthroughout unless specified otherwise.

    Hoop up and take a good look at the soon-to-be furryfellow. If you have a pet, then take a good look at himor her too - or check out some animal pictures.

    Notice the direction in which the fur grows. ALWAYSaway from the nose

    The nose, therefore, is the focus of all your fur stitches.And look at how their fur overlaps so that the furnearest the nose lies on top of fur further down thebody.

    This is the first key to achieving realistic Bear fur -getting the direction of your stitching correct.

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    January brings the snow,Makes our feet and fingers glow.

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    February brings the rain,Fills the frozen lake again

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    March brings breezes sharp and chill,Shakes the dancing daffodil

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    April brings the primrose sweet,Scatters daisies at our feet

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    May brings flocks of pretty lambs,Sporting round their fleecy dams

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    June brings tulips, lilies, roses,Fills the childrens hands with posies.

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    Hot July brings cooling showers,Apricots and gillyflowers.

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    August brings the sheaves of corn,Then the harvest home is borne.

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    Warm September brings the fruit,Sportsmen then begin to shoot.

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    Brown October brings the pheasant,Then to gather nuts is pleasant.

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    Dull November brings the blast,Hark the leaves are whirling fast.

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    Cold December brings the sleet,Blazing fire and Christmas treat

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    TESTING YOUR SEAM ALLOWANCEIts vitally important that you maintain an accurate and some have and other markings either on theseam allowance when youre piecing your quilt top or foot or the throat plate of the machine.otherwise your pieces simply wont fit together. Andif you try to make them fit then your quilt will develop To test your seam allowance:ripples and distortions will which make it impossible tofinish properly.

    It is therefore, well worth taking the time to test yourseam allowance before you begin your quilt top,especially as you have invested so much time institching your calendar blocks.

    Most sewing machines do have various needle positionswhich you can use to make any necessary adjustments,

    Accurately cut 3 rectangles, each measuring 1 x 2 from scrap fabric

    Sew two rectangles together down the longer sideand press your seam to one side.

    Now stitch the third rectangle across the top of theother two, aligning the long edge with the two shorttop edges (see diagram below).

    If the third rectangle doesnt fit across the top of theother two exactly then youll need to adjust your seamallowance.

    If the top rectangle is too long, then your seamallowance is too wide, and if its too short then yourseam allowance is too narrow.

    You can adjust your seam allowance by resetting yourneedle to the right or left - or simply by taking care tofollow the guide you normally find on your machine.Take especial care at the ends of seams - I find myseams have a tendency to run off to the left, sodistorting my shapes and so Im now very careful notto let this happen. Accuracy is everything!!

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    PIECING THE QUILT TOPThe importance of accuracy in cutting and piecing your not for March, May, November and December whenquilt top cannot be overstated. If you cut wonky edges some of the design falls outside the border.or sew an uneven seam allowance your quilt top willnot lie flat. It will develop ripples in the borders orpuckers in the fabric. Or - your pieces simply wontfit together properly. Please do take the time to readthe previous section - Testing your Seam Allowancebefore beginning this stage in your quilt construction.

    I have given all measurements in inches. This isbecause an inch is still the standard unit used in quiltingand giving alternative (not exactly the same) metricmeasurements simply doesnt work.

    You will see from the pictures of the finished quilt,that unusually the on-point squares have no points.

    This is quite deliberate. I have called them enfoldedsquares. I wanted to show in my quilt that Rosie, nomatter where she was, or what she was doing, wassurrounded by - enfolded by - her mothers love. Byenfolding the blocks within the sashing I have alsoremoved the sharp points - and Im sure youll agreewith me that there is no room at all for sharp pointsin any loving parent-child relationship!


    Before you start cutting your pieces you will need toprepare your embroidery blocks.

    If necessary wash your work. Press all the blockslightly on the reverse and ensure all ends are properlysecured.

    Then fold your block in 4 to find the centre point.Using a template trim your fabric to a 9 diameter cirlecentred upon the embroidery. This circle should fallabout outside most of the stitched borders (though

    Then select the 12 squares you want to use for theinner, on-point squares from your layer cake. It mightbe helpful to lay out the blocks at this point andre-arrange the layer cake squares until youre happywith their order.

    The next stage is to cut the windows in these squaresto frame your embroidery.

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    Back stitch is an outline stitch and is the best stitch to choose for makinglong straight lines, but can also be used for curves, though its not assmooth as stem stitch when curving.

    Back stitch is worked from right to left. Bring your needle out a shortdistance from the beginning of the line you want to stitch (see the arrowin the diagram above). Then insert it back through the fabric at thebeginning of your line - effectively taking a step back - and bring itforward again an equal distance forward from where you first started.You are actually taking along stitch forward beneath your fabric, then ashort backward stitch on the right side - joining with the previous stitch.

    Threaded back stitch is a very pretty variation - you could use threedifferent floss colours to achieve the effect above. First work a line ofordinary back stitch, then thread it up and down alternately as shown byneedle A. Needle B shows the second threading process, worked inexactly the same way as before, except that this time youre filling in thegaps you left before.

    This is a very useful stitch to outline floral or leaf shapes, or to use as aborder.

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    Blanket stitch is often used as an edging to cover a turned-over raw edge- just as in an old-fashioned blanket - hence the name!

    Working from left to right, bring your needle out on the bottom line [A],insert it above on the top line a little to the right and bring it outimmediately below, drawing your needle through over the working thread.Then re-insert your needle again on the top line a little further along andbring it out again immediately below on the bottom line, over th eworkignthread.

    You can see how this is worked in the flower shape in the left-handdiagram.

    The diagram on the right shows how you can use blanket stitch to edge apiece of fabric - using a contrasting thread to your fabric makes for adecorative and hard-wearing finish for items such as table and bed linen.In this diagram, the stitch has been varied by making the upright stitchesalternately long and short.

    There are a number of ways in which you can make blanket stitch moredecorative. Try grouping your stitches in pyramid form, in groups of twolong and two short, or any other variation that you choose.

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    Check out Bustle & Sews range ofSimple Stitcheries - easy designs fornewbie stitchers that will give you greatresults your family and friends are sureto admire!

    Youll also discover more complexdesigns that will challenge your newly-discovered skills as you become moreexperienced . Just visit the Bustle &Sew store to discover a whole world ofstitching!

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    FinallyI thought that, if you havent heard of Bustle & Sew before, youmight like to hear a bit about us.

    Im Helen Dickson, and I started my online pattern business, Bustle & Sew,in 2009. I was taught to stitch by my Mum and Grandma at a very earlyage and as I learned from them, I would look at my work, and then at theirsand think that I would never ever be able to stitch as well as them. My ownhand embroidery was always a bit messy and my stitches uneven. But myMum and Grandma never made me feel bad about it - they just helped mewith loving advice and encouragement, showing me the right way to makemy stitches look neat and even. Over time, I gained in skill and confidence,and now I create and sell my own designs to others through my online store.

    I am passionate about stitching and I try to create patterns that are lively,interesting and fresh, and that will encourage you to pick up fabric and threadto produce your own unique piece of work, with all the sense of achievementand satisfaction that will bring to you.

    You can see some of my designs in the picture above. Bustle & Sew isntjust about embroidery, youll discover patterns for softies, home accessories,bags and scarves as well!

    You can keep up-to-date with all goings-on at Bustle & Sew on my blog orwhy not consider joining my free newsletter and be first to receive all mynews, special offers and free patterns too?

    Just visit my website to subscribe - oh and I will never share your emailaddress with anyone else - promise!

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    I do hope youve enjoyed the Rose & Bear Quilting Book. But beforeI go, I just wanted to tell you a little bit about my Bustle & SewMagazine - positively the nicest and best way to build your collectionof Bustle & Sew patterns.

    The Bustle & Sew magazine is a monthly e-magazine delivered directto your email in-box on the last Thursday of each month ready to readin 2 formats firstly on which lets you read the magazineon your computer screen and also as a normal pdf file which is quickand easy to download and print.

    So if youre like me and have a stash of irresistible fabrics, just waitingfor you to find the perfect project to show them off in all their glory,Im sure youll enjoy my magazine.

    And trying my magazine comes with absolutely no risk at all. Theresno minimum subscription period and no penalties for leaving. If forany reason, or no reason at all, you decide not to continue with yoursubscription, then all you need to do is drop me an email to cancel.Thats it - no penalties and no tie-in period.

    Some projects from previous issues

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    And its great value too - every month youll discover five or six originalBustle & Sew designs, for all levels of stitchers, not all of which will bemade available later for individual purchase.

    Techniques include

    Hand and freestyle machine embroidery





    And many other projects for your home and family.

    The magazine also offers vintage patterns, projects from guest designers,features and articles about all the topics as well as extra information to helpyou with your own projects.

    You can learn more about the magazine and subscribe on the Bustle & Sewwebsite.

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