Autumn ’19 Quilting Retreat

By Judith on June 14, 2019
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I’m ridiculously excited to tell you all about a new Just Jude Designs venture!



Retreat from the stresses of life for a weekend of relaxation, creativity and great food in the spacious and comfortable Murlough House, surrounded by the beautiful Murlough Bay Nature Reserve!


Let me tell you all about it!


Your weekend retreat experience will include:

  • Time away to indulge your stitching passion, progress your projects or start something new
  • Fun meeting and connecting with other like-minded quilting enthusiasts
  • Support from your friendly, experienced tutor
  • Two optional project workshops (Sashiko Cushion / Selvedge Projects)
  • Light-hearted sewing games
  • Pop-up shop for fabric and haberdashery supplies
  • Comfortable accommodation in single, twin, shared and en-suite rooms
  • Ground floor ‘Less Abled’ accommodation available
  • All meals provided – no cooking means more time to sew!  Special dietary requirements catered for.
  • Beautiful, extensive gardens and grounds within walking distance of stunning golden beach to enjoy some fresh air and stretch your legs

Retreat Itinerary:

5 large cutting mats, rotary cutters, irons/boards & rulers will be available

Free Tea & Coffee available throughout the day



5pm:                           Arrive, settle in

6pm:                           Dinner

7pm – bedtime:      Free sewing time / Sewing Games


9am:                           Breakfast

10am- 1pm:              Free Sewing time

1pm – 2pm:              Lunch

2pm – 5pm:              Free sewing time      or     Sashiko Cushion Workshop

6pm:                           Dinner

7pm – bedtime:      Free sewing time / Sewing Games


9am:                            Breakfast

10am – 1pm:            Free sewing time        or    Selvedge Pouch Workshop

1pm – 2pm:              Lunch

2pm – 4pm:              Free sewing time & pack up


The prices for full board accommodation at our Retreat range from Single En Suite (£160) through to a Shared Room for 5 (£120 pp).  (A full list of rooms and prices available on request to

(only shared rooms remaining at time of writing)


I’ve attended several retreats in the past, and know first hand how relaxing and fun they are!  It’s so wonderful getting alongside other sewists, chatting, sharing and getting inspired by the plethora of creative projects being worked on.  Not to mention getting away from cooking and other family responsibilities for a few days!


So if you would like to join us for some serious sewing time and lots of craic, or to enquire more about room availability, drop us a line to


Happy sewing!




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New Class: Denim Boro Bag

By Judith on June 9, 2019
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Following the immense fun I had making the patchwork denim pouch for my daughter’s friend, I just had to make a bag in the same boro style!


Denim Boro Bag


Oh I had a ball mixing one of my favourite textiles (denim) with one of my favourite pastimes (patchwork & quilting) while fulfilling one of my favourite values (recyling!).


Denim Boro Bag


This is a great project for using up all those torn and unwanted jeans, denim scraps and interesting bits!


Denim Boro Bag


If, like me, you love recycling and not adding to landfill, why not join us for some repurposing and patchwork fun at our Studio at Conway Mill, Belfast.



Over 5 Wednesday evenings I’ll show you how to reuse your old jeans to make a patchwork and quilted cross-body denim bag, with feature ‘boro’ stitching.


Denim Boro Bag


There’ll be lots of advice on the best threads and needles to use, how to quilt the denim, putting a zippered pocket into the lining, and how to make an adjustable shoulder strap.


Denim Boro Bag


If you too would like to have a ridiculous grin like mine (!!) come and join the repurposing fun!  Booking available here.


Happy recycling!


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Vinyl Pouches Workshop Finishes

By Judith on June 4, 2019
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Last Saturday we had a wonderfully productive day in the studio making Vinyl Pouches.


Vinyl Pouches Workshop


For most of the ladies it was their first time negotiating the petulant vinyl through their machines (after taming it on the cutting mat!).


Tissue paper was our secret weapon, placed under the vinyl when sewing.  This helps it to glide easily over the needleplate (a Teflon foot on your machine will also work well).


Vinyl Pouches Workshop

Vinyl Pouches Workshop


Just look at those happy faces and lots of beautifully made pouches!


Well done ladies on conquering the plastic fantastic!


Enjoy your holiday pouches!


Happy sewing


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Sample Swatch Bag

By Judith on June 3, 2019
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My youngest daughter finishes her 14 year school career and turns 18 this month! Where did the time go!


She has had one teacher in particular who has nurtured her love of literature and encouraged and inspired her for the last 4 years.


So I offered to make her a bag, as a thank you.  I already knew the bag I would make, patchworked and roomy enough to take school files.


I had it on good authority that ‘said teacher’s’ favourite colours are black and grey – sadly the 2 colours I have least of in my bag making stash!


So I scrounged requested some sample swatches from a generous friend and my vision of a patchwork bag came alive!


Sample Swatch Bag (Teacher present) June19


My daughter loves the touch of velvets and soft wools so while I quilted some of the swatches, I left some of the more ‘tactile’ ones alone!


Sample Swatch Bag (Teacher present)


I took a risk with the purple lining, but the bag was delivered today and I’m pleased to report ‘she loved it!’  Phew!


Sample Swatch Bag (Teacher present) June19


Using swatches from (often free) sample books is a great way to make patchwork projects.  Ask in Interiors and Curtain making shops for their last season’s books.


Sample Swatch Bag (Teacher present) June19



However, working with swatches is very different from sewing with cotton.


Here are a few things to consider:

    • try to remove all the paper from the back of the swatches
    • use a larger stitch length & walking foot when working with thicker fabrics
    • fuse interfacing to lighter fabrics to give them equal body to thicker ones
    • quilt onto a lightweight flex foam (I used Legacy) to stabilise the mixed fabrics & help absorb the thicker seams
    • ‘stitch in the ditch’ before other quilting
    • use size 90/14 Jeans needle (quilting) and 100/16 Jeans needle (construction)
    • for quilting use upholstery thread (top) and standard quilting thread (bobbin)
    • for construction use upholstery thread (top and bottom)


Sample Swatch Bag (Teacher present) June19


June is turning into a busy month of present making!  I will have more to show you before the month is out!


Happy sewing!



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Log Cabin Family of Blocks: Part 4

By Judith on May 27, 2019
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Welcome to the final part of my Log Cabin Family of Blocks series.

Part 1 (Log Cabin) available here

Part 2 (Courthouse Steps) available here

Part 3 (Pineapple) available here

(All sample blocks were made using Handmade fabrics by Makower)


Now in my introduction to this series, I described this part as the Mystery section!

That’s because this post is all about Partial Seams!


Partial Seams Variations


Just like the other Log Cabin Family members, in these examples fabric is pieced around a central shape.


1 Log Cabin


You may have noticed that the ‘logs’ in the Log Cabin block above are equal length in each round, unlike the Log Cabin Block from Part 1.


Partial Seams
Log Cabin Block: Part 4

Log Cabin Construction
Log Cabin Block: Part 1


This is made possible by starting each round with a partial seam (denoted here with the number 0.5 instead of 1!).


Partial Seams Construction


The first ‘log’ being attached is stitched only half way along the seam.  It is then pressed out allowing the 2nd ‘log’ to be fully attached.  This one is then pressed out before attaching log 3 and the same for log 4.  Now you can bring the unsewn section of log 1 right sides together to log 4 and finish sewing the starting (partial) seam.


Photo source: Pieced By Number


I love how clever this technique is.  Without prior knowledge of partial seams, it would be difficult to work out how to construct this block.  Therein lies the mystery!!


2. Rail Fence

In this example, the ‘rail fence’ sections are pieced separately, before being attached to the centre square.


Partial Seams


As before, the first seam will be a partial seam.


Partial Seams


(Tutorial for a similar block available here)


3. Hope of Hartford


As for the Rail Fence block above, the corner sections of this block are made separately, before being pieced around the centre square.


Partial Seams


(Tutorial available here)


4 Octagon


And just like a traditional Log Cabin block, you don’t have to start with a square!

The ‘logs’ in each round of this Octagon block start with a partial seam, just like the partial seams version of the Log Cabin block .


Partial Seams


Here is an example of a quilt I made using partial seams in the blocks:


Crossed Paths Quilt (Quilt Now Jan18)
Crossed Paths for Quilt Now Magazine


And to make the partial seams blocks a little easier to spot, here is a deconstructed block from the quilt:



Now that you know how easy partial seams are, I hope you won’t be put off trying a whole other range of blocks to enhance your quilts.


And check out my Pinterest Board for lots more fabulous examples of Partial Seams!




Thank you for tuning in to my Log Cabin Family of Blocks series.


I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have!


Happy sewing!



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Log Cabin Family of Blocks: Part 3

By Judith on May 24, 2019
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Welcome to part 3 of my series on Log Cabin blocks (part 1 available here; part 2 available here).



So far we’ve looked at the variations within Log Cabin and Courthouse Steps blocks.


This post is all about the Pineapple Block.


Pineapple Block


Like me, you may be surprised that the Pineapple block is included in the Log Cabin family of blocks.


But there are definite similarities.  Fabric strips of equal width are added in rounds from the centre square outwards (just like Log Cabin or Courthouse Steps).


Pineapple Block construction


The main difference this time is each round is trimmed ‘on point’ to create a diamond shape, before the next round is added. By alternating the background and main fabrics each round, pineapple shapes start to emerge.


Photo Source: Pinterest


There are several ways to create the Pineapple Block:


1 Foundation Pieced:


For my block (above) I printed and enlarged a paper template and sewed directly onto the paper, only removing the paper on completion of the block.


While this is a time consuming method (especially for a full quilt!) it results in precision piecing and accurate points and edges.


(Tutorial and template available here)


2 No Foundation Papers:


Photo source: Crazy Mom Quilts


You don’t have to use foundation paper to make a Pineapple Block.  Click here for a great tutorial on the ‘trim as you go’ method by Crazy Mom Quilts.


3 Creative Grids Ruler



The clever peeps at Creative Grids have made the lives of Pineapple Block makers much easier with this fab trimming tool!


It looks complicated to use, but Jenny Doan makes light work of it in her video tutorial here.


Photo source: Missouri Star Quilt Co.


I love how cavalier the piecing can be with this method, and still end up with a beautifully accurate block!


This will definitely be my ‘go to’ method when I get around to making a Pineapple Quilt!


Photo source: The Work Room


I particularly love this pillow example of the Pineapple Block by The Work Room.


And you can see lots more wonderful Pineapple blocks and quilts to drool over on my Pinterest board here.


Thank you for tuning in!


Come back soon for my final (Mystery) part of the Log Cabin Family of Blocks.


Happy sewing!


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Log Cabin Family of Blocks: Part 2

By Judith on May 21, 2019
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Welcome back to my Log Cabin Blocks series (part 1 available here).

Log Cabin Family of Blocks


In part 1 we looked at a range of Log Cabin blocks, from Traditional to Wonky!


In part 2, we are going to look at the 2nd category in this family of blocks.

(All sample blocks are made using fabrics from ‘Handmade’ by Makower)


Part 2: Courthouse Steps


Courthouse Steps Variations


1.  Traditional:

Similar to the traditional Log Cabin Block, ‘steps’ are added in rounds to the centre square, this time attaching to two opposite edges first before adding steps to the remaining 2 edges.  The ‘steps’ are the same width.


Courthouse Steps Construction


Here is one of my traditional Courthouse Steps Quilts, this time starting with a background square (I’ve marked the block to make it easier for you to identify).



‘Garden Steps’ featured in British Patchwork & Quilting Magazine


I love how the secondary pattern from the Courthouse Steps blocks dominates in this design!

You can find a traditional Courthouse Steps block tutorial here.


2. Colour Rounds:

As with the Log Cabin Colour Rounds variation, the same fabric is used in each round, but sticking with the same traditional Courthouse Steps construction.


Courthouse Steps Blocks


3. Cornerstones:

By adding squares (cornerstones) to the ends of the ‘steps’ you will add an Irish Chain secondary pattern to your quilt.


Courthouse Steps Blocks


Photo source:


4. Rectangle

You can change the starting shape of a Courthouse Steps Block to any 4 sided shape (like Log Cabin) but not a triangle.


Courthouse Steps Blocks


As I mentioned in my last post, there are lots more great Courthouse steps variations available.  Like this ‘sliced’ Courthouse Steps:


Courthouse Steps Blocks


In this version, you make two blocks in two fabrics, one positive, one negative.


Slice them in half diagonally, switch them over and sew back together!


Courthouse Steps Blocks


Now the point of doing this lies in the secondary patterns you can achieve from Sliced Courthouse Steps.


Photo source


Aren’t they cool!

A video tutorial of Sliced Courthouse Steps is available here.


You can find more inspiring Courthouse Steps examples on my Pinterest board here.


And I’ll leave you with a picture of a Courthouse Steps block I’m currently working on, using vintage sheets.



I hope you’ll come back soon for part 3 of our Log Cabin Family series.


Happy sewing!


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Log Cabin Family of Blocks: Part 1

By Judith on May 20, 2019
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Last week in classes I taught a short lesson on the Log Cabin Family of blocks!


Log Cabin Family of Blocks


I’m going to take you through the 3 main categories in a series of posts, with a mystery post to finish the series!


Part 1: Log Cabin

Part 2: Courthouse Steps

Part 3: Pineapple

Part 4: Watch this space!


I demonstrated a few variations within each category, but there are many more than what I can show you here (follow the Pinterest links for lots more inspiration!).


(All the sample blocks have been made using Handmade by Makower)


Part 1: Log Cabin


Log Cabin Variations


1 Traditional:

The standard log cabin block starts with a square centre (traditionally this would have been red) adding ‘logs’ around the centre square (either clockwise or anti-clockwise) in rounds.  All the logs are the same width.

Log Cabin Construction

The traditional log cabin block was the first block I learned, and made a little quilt for my young daughter using chopped up clothes and linens!


Shannon's Log Cabin Quilt


You can find a tutorial on how to make a 12″ traditional block here.


2 Colour Rounds:


This variation of Log Cabin follows exactly the same construction as the traditional version, but keeping the fabric choice of each round the same.


Log Cabin Colour Rounds


Just a change of fabric placement dramatically changes the look of this block.  Here’s another similar example, the back of quilt I made several years ago.


Brit Bee Log Cabin Quilt (Back)


3 Wonky:


If you enjoy a little ‘improv’ piecing then how about a Wonky Log Cabin!


Wonky Log Cabin


Again the logs are added in rounds, but this time, the sides are sliced at irregular angles before adding the next log.



While strips are useful to start with here, the width of the finished logs will be varied.  No two blocks will be the same!


This can be a really fun block to make if you like a little more ‘freedom’ in your piecing.  Just keep adding rounds until your block is a little bigger than you need, then square it off to the required size.



Here’s an example of a Wonky Log Cabin Quilt I made for Quilt Now Magazine several years ago.


Wonky Log Cabin Quilt (Quilt Now October17)


4 Curved:

To achieve a curved effect in a Log Cabin block, the background logs must be thinner than the coloured logs.


Curved Log Cabin


The curved effect becomes more obvious when you put 4 blocks together to create a ‘circle’:


Log Cabin Circles 006 (2)


The bigger the difference between the widths of the background and coloured logs, the greater the curve!


There are lots more variations of Log Cabin, like the Quarter Log Cabin (adding logs to the same two adjacent sides each round, rather than to all four sides) ….


Quarter Log Cabin cushion Tutorial

(Quarter Log Cabin Cushion tutorial available here.)


….. or how about starting your Log Cabin block with a different shape!!


Log Cabin Variations


These are definitely on my Quilts Bucket List!


And as if that’s not enough, check out my Log Cabin Pinterest board for lots more inspiration from around the Quilty Web!


Come back soon for part 2 of The Log Cabin Family of Blocks!



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Patchwork Denim Pouch

By Judith on May 17, 2019
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My youngest daughter requested a handmade gift for her friend’s 18th birthday.


Boro QAYG Denim Pouch
Boro QAYG Denim Pouch


So last bank holiday Monday, I had a happy afternoon ‘playing’ in my sewing room with my first love, denim!



Using only my smallest denim pieces, I used the ‘quilt as you go’ method to quilt the pieces directly onto some Pellon flex foam, leaving sections here and there for a little Boro style stitching!


Boro QAYG Denim Pouch


I’m not a great hand stitcher, but I’m loving the current boro/kantha/sashiko stitching trend that is influencing the quilting community at the moment.


Boro QAYG Denim Pouch


Originating from the Japanese ethos of ‘visible mending’ these stitches are meant to be seen, functional, and not necessarily perfect! Yes!  My kind of hand stitching.


Boro QAYG Denim Pouch


I always love working with denim, and completely fell in love with this little pouch as I discovered interesting seams, shades and textures among my scraps.


Boro QAYG Denim Pouch


It was a sad and sweet moment handing over this pouch! Needless to say I didn’t even make a dent in my pile of scraps!


My appetite for making more ‘quilt as you go’ boro style denim projects is unabated, so I’ve decided to design a bag in the same style! #lovemyjob



Watch this space!


Happy upcycling!




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Spring into Summer ’19: Part 4

By Judith on May 13, 2019
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Happy Monday to you all!


Welcome to the final part in our Spring into Summer ’19 series, looking at the items on display in our classroom (part 1 available here; part 2 available here; part 3 available here).


Spring into Summer 19 Table Display
Spring into Summer 19 Table Display


11 Vinyl Pouches:

(pattern available here)

This is the final item on my table to tell you about and will be a Saturday workshop in June.

Vinyl Pouches Workshop


These cute and practical zippy pouches are great for summer holidays, or just keeping your bits and bobs organised. The handy see-through vinyl means you know exactly which pouch to reach for, and sewing with vinyl isn’t as tricky as you might think.


Vinyl Pouches


At the workshop I will be showing some clever ways to sew with vinyl (vinyl available to purchase in class).


Vinyl Pouches


There are a few places still available so why not join us for some vinyl fun!


Autumn Boho Quilt:

(pattern available here)


Autumn Boho Quilt
70″ x 88″



I know it’s not Autumn here, but it almost will be by the time I’m running this workshop!


Autumn Boho Quilt


With speedy half square triangle construction, this ‘Quilt Top In A Day’ is such a satisfying make. And there are 2 sizes to choose from.


There’s mama boho ……


Autumn Boho Quilt


And baby boho …….


Baby Boho Quilt
38″ x 48″


This is a great project for using up large scale prints (Mama Boho) or charm squares (Baby Boho).


So why not join us for some quick and satisfying piecing (booking available here).


Sun, Sea & Sky Quilt:

(pattern available here)


Sun, Sea and Sky Quilt (Quilt Now Aug17)
60″ x 72″


This quilt originally featured in Quilt Now magazine.  The repeating blocks allow you to mix up the colours and fabrics without losing the overall design.


Sun, Sea and Sky Quilt (Quilt Now Magazine August17)


I worked from my aqua blue and teal green scraps for this quilt, representing the sea and sky.  The little hits of yellow complete the summer feel of this quilt.


The final quilt on display is our current class project.


Monsoon/Frost Quilt:

(pattern available here)

Monsoon Quilt
Monsoon: 60″ x 60″
Frost (Quilt Now Jan18)
Frost: 60″ x 72″

While these look like 2 very different quilts, the construction of the blocks in both quilts are exactly the same.


Clever fabric placement in Monsoon provides the secondary patterns, while Frost facilitates a more scrappy feel.


Monsoon Quilt


Both designs are available in the same pattern, and I’m already seeing wonderful results in class (can’t wait to show you at the end of term!).



Thank you for staying with our Spring into Summer ’19 series.


I hope you feel inspired to try something new, summery or even to get some existing projects to the finish line!


Happy sewing!


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Kids Tote Bag Workshop Finishes

By Judith on May 11, 2019
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Today was a return to my Kids’ Workshops, with young proteges having fun alongside their chosen grown-up!


Kids Tote Bag Workshop


The Kids happily took on the mantle of ‘Creative Directors’ for the day. They were in charge of creativity and design!


Kids Tote Bag Workshop


Under the watchful eye of our Health & Safety Officers (mums and nannys), the kids learned how to use rotary cutters, irons and sewing machines.


Kids Tote Bag Workshop


They completely rose to the challenge (kids are fearless!) and certainly let their creativity lose when it came to decorating their bags!


Kids Tote Bag Workshop


There was much Sizzix-ing, pompom making, fusing and buttoning – a flurry of design activity.

Going by these happy faces, I’d say that was a very successful day!

Well done to all my young sewists! You nailed it!

Keeeeeeeeep sewing!


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Spring into Summer ’19: Part 3

By Judith on May 10, 2019
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Hi there,


Welcome to part 3 of my Spring into Summer ’19 series, looking at the items on display in our classroom (part 1 available here; part 2 available here).


Spring into Summer 19 Table Display
Spring into Summer 19 Table Display


Part 3 continues the Lori Holt theme, this time looking at her book ‘Quilty Fun’.


7 Lori Holt’s Quilty Fun Book:



I adore ‘row by row’ quilts and Lori’s quilt design is full of cute and adaptable blocks.  Here is my version of her quilt, hanging up in class.


Quilty Fun Quilt


I’ve used lots of scraps in this quilt, but for the bigger pieces I used Lori’s Bee Basics range of fabrics, which co-ordinate with all her other fabric collections.


There’s so much to look at in this quilt, and as always the book includes many more ideas on how to use the motifs in different ways for a whole range of projects.



All bar 1 of the books have now sold in class, which I’ll be listing soon in my shop (watch this space!).


8 Quilty Fun Mugs (Tea Cups) Cushion


Mugs Cushion


One of the additional projects in the book is a Mugs (Tea Cups) Cushion (I omitted the border included in the pattern).  Isn’t this fun! The piecing is really easy and I had a ball picking the colours I wanted all my mugs to be!


Mugs Cushion


I went for my favourite zippered cushion back to finish off this 20″ cushion.


9 Quilty Fun Leaf Mat:


Quilty Fun Leaf Mat


This is a smaller version of a table topper project in Quilty Fun.  The leaves are the same size as those in the original quilt, and I thought this would make a pretty addition to my kitchen table.


Quilty Fun Leaf Mat


And finally, a Lori Holt inspired cushion, which is on our display shelf:


Crossroads Cushion:


Crossroads Cushion


I made this cushion from Lori’s free ‘Scrappy Cross Roads Block’ tutorial, available here.


Crossroads Cushion


Using a small pack of ‘Something Blue’ by Makower, I followed Lori’s tutorial to make the block, and then brought it up to a 20″ cushion size with borders.


I had a lot of fun quilting this one!


Crossroads Cushion


The back was pieced with leftovers and my trademark ‘feature zipper’ closure.


Crossroads Cushion


And that brings part 3 of my Spring into Summer ’19 series to a close.


Just 3 more quilts and some holiday style pouches to show you in our final post.


Happy sewing!


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Spring into Summer ’19: Part 2

By Judith on May 7, 2019
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Hello again!


Welcome back to my Spring into Summer ’19 series of posts.


Spring into Summer 19 Table Display
Spring into Summer 19 Table Display


In part 1 (available here) we’ve covered items 1, 2, 10 & 12 on our display table.

Today it’s all about one of my favourite quilt and fabric designers, Lori Holt.


3 Farm Girl Vintage Book, by Lori Holt:


This is Lori’s first Farm Girl Vintage book of blocks which is no longer available in the UK (FGV2 is just about to hit the shops!).  I have sold quite a few in class already, and any that are left will be listed in our shop next week.


FGV shows you how to make all of the blocks shown on the front cover quilt, in both 6″ and 12″ size options.


The instructions and illustrations are really clear.  And at the back of the book there are several larger blocks & lots more patterns & ideas on how to use the blocks to make other projects like cushions and table runners.


4 Farm Girl Vintage inspired Table Runner:


Spring into Summer19 Display


I made a table runner using 5 x 12″ blocks from the FGV book. I chose blocks that followed a food/kitchen theme, and they were such fun to make.


Farm Girl Vintage 1 Table Runner


The pears are one of my favourite blocks in the book, and I’m working them into another bee quilt (a UFO Brit Bee quilt).


Brit Bee Block R4


5 Farm Girl Vintage Chick Cushion:


Easter Chick cushion


I first made this cushion for my Easter table display last year.  I turned a 12″ Chick block from the book into a quilted cushion.  Isn’t he cute!


6 Farm Girl Vintage Mama Hen Mat:


Mama Hen Kitchen mat

I fell in love with Mama Hen when I was helping to make a Siblings Together Quilt a few years ago.


It was a joy revisiting the block, this time turning it into a useful little kitchen mat.


Mama Hen Kitchen mat


And finally, the last item on display in my classroom from the Farm Girl Vintage book is my version of Lori’s Farmhouse Quilt pattern.



The Farmhouse block is one of the 14″ blocks in the book and all elements in my version of the quilt are included in the book.


FArm Girl Vintage1


So that brings part 2 to a close.


Next time, we continue the Lori Holt theme!  I hope you can call back again!




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Spring into Summer ’19: Part 1

By Judith on May 4, 2019
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Welcome to my Spring into Summer ’19 series, looking at the items on display in our studio for this new term.


First up is our display table (I’ll be mixing up the order as shown but stay with me!).


Spring into Summer 19 Table Display


I try to theme (or semi-theme) the table each term.  Apart from an obvious summery feel, I think you’ll see another theme emerging as we look at the items.


Spring into Summer '19


1 Aprons:

(Tie Back Apron pattern available here)


Apron Workshop Aug19


You may remember seeing my aprons on display last term.  I decided to leave my dressed mannequin again this term because we are running our 3rd Apron workshop in August (booking available here).  In this workshop you can choose from either a tie back apron (pictured) or the Japanese style cross back apron (see here).


2 Kids Tote Bags:


Kids Workshop May19


These simple and fun makes are samples for my upcoming children’s workshop.



I have 4 girls and 2 boys registered to learn how to use a sewing machine and let their textile creativity loose!




Children are a joy to teach because they don’t overthink it and are so creatively uninhibited!  We adults could learn alot from them!


10 Beach Bag:

 (pattern available here)

Beach Bag Workshop


This is my big and roomy beach bag (first featured in Pretty Patches magazine).  It features water resistant Rip-Stop Nylon lining, mesh or cotton exterior pockets and a detachable ‘wet bag’ for your soggy bikini, or drippy sun lotion bottles!


Beach Bag (Pretty Patches Aug16)


I’ve made a few of these practical bags over the years, and they’ve even been road tested by my girls on their holiday!


Bethany's Beach Bag


If you’d like to join us at our Beach Bag workshop, you can book in here.


12 Flex Frame Glasses Case:

(free tutorial available here)


Flex Frame Sunnies Pouch


If you need a secure glasses or sunglasses case, how about my flex frame glasses case.


Sunglasses flex frame pouch


The tutorial covers 2 sizes (the bigger size is for wrap around sunglasses which don’t fold flat) and the applique glasses template is also available.  You can purchase flex frames from here.


So that wraps up part 1 of Spring into Summer ’19.


Tune in again when we look at the inspiring creativity of one of my favourite quilt designers!


Happy sewing!


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Hello May!

By Judith on May 3, 2019
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Happy May to everyone!


I hope you all enjoyed your Easter break.


As a self-confessed workaholic I have to really focus on ‘not working’ and allowing my mind some down time (not easy for a self-employed sole trader!).



As part of my ‘word for the year’ – CULTIVATE, I’ve been working on cultivating rest and regeneration, not just physically but creatively and spiritually too.


I’m still learning how to do this well, and am very much a work in progress!  One way I’ve been doing this is by reading inspiring authors on personal leadership, like Brene Brown.


In her book ‘Daring Greatly’, Brene talks about the importance of being our vulnerable and authentic selves, not bowing to the ‘never (good, thin, happy, wealthy, successful ….) enough’ culture but instead resting in the knowledge that our best effort is always enough; we are enough. The strive for perfectionism and the glorification of busyness erodes the mental health of individuals, families, societies, nations. I know this to be true because I’ve seen it and I’ve felt it.


So if, like me, you want to learn how to cultivate authenticity, self-compassion, a resilient spirit, gratitude and joy, intuition and trust, meaningful work, creativity (yes!), and play and rest (yes, yes!) then I highly recommend to you Daring Greatly by Brene Brown.  Her honesty is refreshing and her professional research in vulnerabililty, shame and wholeheartedness eye opening!


“Dare to be the adults we want our children to be.” Brene Brown



Another opportunity for me to cultivate rest and regeneration comes with good weather, a beautiful location and a camera!


We were blessed over Easter with some cracking weather, which meant I could get out and about a bit with my camera.


Swan at Mount Stewart National Trust, Co. Down
Bangor Walled Garden
Bangor Walled Garden
Rowallane Gardens, National Trust, Saintfield
Rowallane Gardens, National Trust, Saintfield
Rowallane Gardens, National Trust, Saintfield


Mount Stewart, National Trust, Co. Down


Taking pictures enables me to notice details, to stay in the present, to connect my surroundings with those I’m with, to stop and smell the roses (sometimes literally!).



If you’ve never tried it, next time you go out to a beautiful park, garden, beach, woodland walk, bring a camera.  You don’t have to be skilled at taking the photos. But I guarantee your mental and emotional health will benefit greatly!


(All the photos I took are available here in my Facebook Albums)




A new month means a new Quilting Term of classes, workshops and endless creativity at the studio!


With each new term I switch out the quilts on display and re-theme the display table.



Over the next few posts I’ll show you what we have on display, and links to available patterns and tutorials.


So come back soon for the start of my Spring into Summer ’19 series!


Happy sewing!


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Folksy Tea Cosy Workshop Finishes

By Judith on April 14, 2019
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Yesterday we got all folksy at our Tea Cosy Workshop!


We were few in number, but the chatter and vibe was as warm and inviting as the cosies!


Folksy Tea Cosy Workshop


The raw edge applique was new to some, but with the easier option of top stitching also available, nothing held back these creative endeavours.


Folksy Tea Cosy Workshop


Aren’t they adorable!


Well done ladies on your cute cosies (I just know your tea will taste even better now!).


Folksy Tea Cosy


My Folksy Tea Cosy Pattern is available here, and includes a 2nd applique design and instructions on how to measure your teapot for a perfectly fitting cosy.


Happy sewing!



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Weaving Class Finishes

By Judith on April 12, 2019
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This week saw the end of our current block of classes.


The optional class project was all about Triaxial and Basket Weaving.


Wefty Weaving info



I had made 3 class samples to showcase the different types of fabric weaving I would be teaching, but as you will see, a few creative minds didn’t stop there!


Weaving Class Mar-April19
Weaving Class Mar-April19
Weaving Class Mar-April19
Weaving Class Mar-April19


Aren’t they stunning!  A few little notebook covers didn’t manage the photoshoot, but I’m sure you can guess how wonderful they are!



In the end, we were unable to source Wefty weaving needles here in the UK, and while we managed pretty well instead with large safety pins, the Wefty needles are certainly advantageous when it comes to the more complex triaxial weave.  I would definitely recommend these genius little tools!


So a huge well done to my weaving ladies for stepping up to the challenge (especially when it came to triaxial weaving!) and producing beautiful work!


And of course, these weren’t the only projects being worked on!  Well done to all my other ladies on your pre-Easter finishes.


I hope you all have a wonderfully creative and choccy-filled Easter break!


(Classes resume w/c 29th April – booking available here.)


Happy sewing!


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Aprons 2 Workshop: Finishes

By Judith on April 3, 2019
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So with 2 of my chicks flown away again, I’m consoling myself with memories of my 2nd Apron workshop last Saturday.


Aprons 2 Workshop


Again we were making either tie back aprons or cross back aprons and my 2nd class of ladies seemed to enjoy this workshop as much as the first!


Just look at the results!


Aprons 2 Workshop
Aprons 2 Workshop


It’s so satisfying for me as a tutor to see another 9 happy ladies leaving the classroom with big smiles and finished (or almost finished) projects!


Well done ladies.  I hope you enjoy wearing your beautiful aprons.


The next Apron workshop is on Saturday 17th August, booking available here.


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Mother’s Day

By Judith on March 31, 2019
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Today in the UK it is Mother’s Day!

And this week I’ve had the best Mothers Day present ever!


Family Time Mar19


All my chicks are back home for a few days, yay!


It’s been so good to hang out together, laugh, be silly, and have precious family time, including the future sons-in-law!


Family Time Mar19


The times when we can all be together at the same time in the same place are becoming fewer, so we make sure we make up for it when we can!


Family Time Mar19


I’m not only blessed with a faithfully loving mum, but I also get the privelege of being a mum, 3 times over!



I was so excited in my first pregnancy to become a mum, but nothing prepared me for how tough the exhausting role of mother would be!





To be honest, I found the earlier years much harder than the teenage ones! I continually lacked confidence, never knew if I was doing the right thing, perpetual exhaustion, extreme loneliness and post natal depression all played their part.



Despite it being the toughest job I’ve ever had (the wages and pension benefits are rubbish!) it’s also been (& still is) the most rewarding. The thing about having kids is they force you to go beyond yourself, to step outside your comfort zones and defaults and face your weaknesses and selfishness.


Family Time Mar19


I’m thankful to my girls for stretching me and making me the person I am today.  They inspire me every day and I’m ridiculously proud of the beautiful women they are, inside and out.


Family Time Mar19


To all you mothers out there, you are amazing, keep going. It will be hard at times, but the rewards are deep and infinite. A great mother isn’t perfect (no such woman exists), she’s the one who gets up each morning and invests, sacrifices, referees, feeds, counsels, advises, all for no thanks, and then gets up again the next morning to do it all again!


You are awesome!


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Apron Workshop (1) Finishes

By Judith on March 16, 2019
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Last Saturday I ran the first of 3 Apron workshops!


Nine ladies stitched their little hearts out on either my Tie Back Apron pattern or the Japanese Cross Back Apron.


Apron Workshop


Aren’t they fab!


Every seam in these aprons are finished to perfection! And they are easily adapted to suit every body shape too!


Apron Workshop


If you would like to make your own stylish apron, then why not join in with one of the next 2 workshops, booking available here.



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Introducing ‘Monsoon’

By Judith on March 8, 2019
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Hi there!

Well Spring seems to have snuck back into hibernation here, as Winter throws us its last hoorah!

Definitely sewing weather! And there has been lots of that happening at Just Jude Designs.

At the moment I’m making our post Easter class samples and Summer Workshop samples.  Plenty to keep me out of trouble!

But I wanted to show you my latest quilt – introducing Monsoon!


Monsoon Quilt


‘Monsoon’ is named after the collection of Makower fabrics it is made from (not the current weather conditions).  I fell in love with these tropical prints as soon as they were released – just look at those adorable cockatoos!


Monsoon Quilt


Now technically Monsoon isn’t a new pattern.  A couple of years ago I designed ‘Frost’ for a winter edition of Quilt Now magazine.  Can you see the resemblance?


Frost (Quilt Now Jan18)


Apart from the fabrics (& one less row in Monsoon) these quilts are made from identical blocks.  Don’t you just love how a complete change of fabrics can totally change the look of the same design!


Monsoon Quilt



Monsoon/Frost is my first quilt pattern to be made available for both retail and wholesale.  Both designs are included in the same pattern.  It is also a Sizzix friendly pattern, using die 657622.


Monsoon Quilt


So if you own a fabric shop and are stocking Makower’s Monsoon fabrics, get in touch for more details about my wholesale digital pattern agreement.


Or grab a copy of your own pattern here (hard copies available to purchase in class).


Happy sewing!



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Harriet Hare Cushion Workshop Finishes

By Judith on February 18, 2019
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Last Saturday I held the first of 2 ‘Harriet Hare’ Cushion Workshops.



Harriet first came to life when I was designing my Woodland Friends quilt (she’s a particular favourite of mine!).


Then I made a tweed version of Harriet as a gifted cushion for a friend.  I knew then I would have to run a workshop!



There was much swooning on Saturday over all the deliciously tactile tweeds, wools and linens on display! How different all these Harriet’s look!


Harriet Hare workshop finishes Feb19


When the cute facial details are added, these hares will soon come to life as the loveable character that is my Harriet!


Well done to all my ladies for a tweed-tastically productive day!


Booking for the 2nd Harriet Hare Tweed Cushion Workshop on 24th August is available here.


Happy sewing!


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Necessary Clutch Class Finishes

By Judith on February 17, 2019
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It’s half term here this incoming week, and I’m looking forward to getting a few (overdue) jobs done around the house!


We finished another round of classes last week. There was a flurry of makes including wallhangings, cushions, zippy pouches, hot water bottle covers, baby quilts, baby baskets, and many more.


And of course, there were lots of Necessary Clutch Wallets! Check out this amazing clutch of clutches!

Necessary Clutch Bag Finishes
Necessary Clutch Bag Finishes
Necessary Clutch Bag Finishes
Necessary Clutch Bag Finishes

Aren’t they brilliant! And some of them have already been used in travels abroad.

(you can purchase the Necessary Clutch Wallet here)


Well done to all my talented ladies!  Enjoy your well deserved break!


And if you’d like to join us for some creative fun, our new block kicks off w/c 25th February.  There are 6 weekly classes to choose from – check out the vacancies here.


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Spring Class Project: Wefty Weaving

By Judith on February 9, 2019
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Already we are coming to the end of our first block of 2019 classes.  This week we will wrap up our Necessary Clutch wallets and New Year projects.


I can’t wait to show you all the finished clutches!


And I’m a little bit excited to show you our (optional) class project for the Feb-April block.


Wefty Weaving info


In our next block of classes I will be showing 3 different weaving techniques, 2 of which use the Wefty Weaving Needle.



A Wefty Needle comes in 2 sizes, 1″ and 0.5″ and enables weaving both simple and complex designs with little/no fabric waste.


Once you have a deliciously woven panel you can turn it into a pretty basket, a tactile cushion, a useful notebook cover, anything you like!


I’ll have notes available on how to make my 3 examples, but you don’t have to stick to these projects.  Just check out my Weaving Pinterest Board for lots more mind blowing inspiration!


Linen Basket Weave Cushion


Basket Weave Linen Cushion


This is a beginner friendly project, keeping the strips wider and easy to weave into a traditional basket weave pattern.


Basket Weave Linen Cushion


We don’t use the Wefty Needle on this project, a large safety pin will suffice, though there will be a little fabric waste at the end of each woven strip.


Basket Weave Linen Cushion


And if you haven’t already them sussed, how about trying some buttonholes and self covered buttons as your cushion closure?


Houndstooth Journal Cover


Wefty Woven Notebook Cover


These 0.5″ strips are woven with the Wefty Needle into a houndstooth pattern.


Again we are using a traditional basket weave here, but clever placement of strips produces the secondary pattern.


Wefty Woven Notebook Cover


I turned my woven panel into a journal cover (my notebook cover pattern is available here), but you could easily use this as a decorative panel in a bag or add some borders for a textured placemat or cushion.


Wefty Woven Notebook Cover



Triaxial Woven Basket


Triaxial Woven Basket


Triaxial means 3 angles.  Unlike a basket weave (with only vertically and horizontally woven strips) triaxial weaving involves strips woven at vertical and 2 thirty degree angles.


Triaxial Woven Basket


For my cute basket I’ve used the 1″ Wefty Needle.  Triaxial weaving is more complex than basket weaving designs, but once you get your head around it, there are many more amazing designs which can be produced from the 3 angles.


Triaxial Woven Basket


So if you fancy a spot of weaving over the next 7 weeks, or just want to carve out some therapeutic sewing time to work on other projects, why not come join the fun and book into one of our 6 weekly classes.


And it’s now easier than ever to register for a class, using our new online registration system.


Happy weaving!



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Triple Porthole Tutorial

By Judith on January 31, 2019
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Hi there, the ‘5 minute demo’ in my classes for this month was all about Portholes!


Porthole Dumpling Pouch


I first learned how to do this nifty technique from Lu Summers at the 2012 Fat Quarterly Retreat.


Porthole Water Bottle Covers


It was so much fun, and one of those techniques that is deceptively easy!


Porthole Journal Covers/Quilt Now Nov15


You can pretty much porthole any shape, and show off some patchwork, feature fabric or pretty vintage embroidery. But my advice is not to get too intricate with the shape otherwise the outline may not keep its definition.


Spring Rain Quilt


At the Retreat I was sitting beside this talented lady, and inspired by her triple porthole cushions, I’ve made my own 18″ version and written up the tutorial for you here.


Triple Porthole Tutorial


You Will need:

Fabric 1 (centre): 7″ square

Fabric 2: 12.5″ square

Fabric 3: 16.5″ square

Fabric 4: 18.5″ square

5.5″ diameter bowl or plate to draw around (alternatively use template plastic and compass)

9″ diameter bowl or plate to draw around

13″ diameter bowl or plate to draw around

Calico: Same 3 cuts as Fabrics 2-4 above



Use 1/4″ seam allowance


1  Press the 12.5″ calico square in half both ways to find the centre.



2  Centre the 5.5″ diameter bowl (or template plastic) onto the calico and draw round the circle.



3  Place the calico onto the RIGHT side of Fabric 2, with the circle facing up.  Pin the layers together and stitch on the circle.



4  Carefully cut away the fabric in the middle of the circle leaving an 1/8″ seam allowance.



5  Push the calico through the hole and round to the back. Press well so there is no calico showing from the front side.



6  Position and centre Fabric 1 (feature fabric) behind the calico, before pinning and sewing around the hole, 1/8″ from the edge.



7  Peel back the top fabric from the calico and feature fabric laying behind.  Carefully trim away all the excess calico and feature fabric leaving 1/8″ seam allowance.  Do not cut through Fabric 2!  Put to one side.



8  Repeat steps 1-5 for the 16.5″ piece of calico and 9″ diameter bowl/plate.



9  Pin the first porthole (with feature fabric) behind this porthole.  Sew around the 2nd porthole 1/8″ from the edge, as before.



10 Peel back the top fabric from the calico and feature fabric laying behind.  Carefully trim away all the excess calico and feature fabric leaving 1/8″ seam allowance.  Do not cut through Fabric 3!  Put to one side.



11 Repeat steps 8-10 for Fabric 4 and 13″ diameter bowl/plate.



Tip:   If you want to turn your piece into a cushion, I recommend not trimming away the last layer of calico and excess feature fabric.  This will add more stability to the outer edges.


Now you have your triple porthole piece, you can turn it into a pretty cushion!


Triple Porthole Cushion


I spray basted wadding and calico behind the cushion front, hand ‘echo’ quilted the portholes, before adding some mini pompoms and an envelope back!


Triple Porthole Cushion


I hope you enjoyed my tutorial and have lots of fun giving portholes a go!



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New Year Table Display: Part 2

By Judith on January 20, 2019
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(Read part 1 here)

Thank you for tuning back for part 2 of my classroom’s New Year Table Display.


New Year 19 Display Table


8  Placemats

(pattern available here)




I made these Irish linen & French General placemats for a class a few years ago now, using up some leftover Jelly roll strips and linen offcuts.




But they seem to have a classic timelessness and were my best seller on Craftsy (before Craftsy deleted 95% of my patterns last month!).


They include a handy cutlery pocket, and showcase the different ways you can have fun quilting them!


PicMonkey Collage


I have fond memories of past classes making these!


9  Moroccan Mix Table Runner & Trivet


Moroccan Mix Table Runner


This is my celebration of the wonderful colours of Morocco, a Moroccan Mix table runner & trivet published in a colourful issue of Quilt Now in 2015!


Moroccan Mix Table Runner


It’s another one of my patterns awaiting reformatting for general resale (anyone got a few minions to spare!!!).


Moroccan Mix Trivet


I would love to remake it in a completely different colourway (perhaps inspired by another country!).  All suggestions welcome!


Moroccan Mix Trivet


10  Microwave Bowl Cosies

(free tutorial available here)


These are a little difficult to see in the main photo.  But here they are up close!


Microwave Bowl Cosy
Microwave Bowl Cosy


I first came across this tutorial several years ago, and made myself a couple for my morning porridge bowl!  I haven’t stopped using them since!


The recommended materials are all 100% cotton (including the wadding) if you plan to put the cosies into the microwave.


Microwave Bowl Cosy


But don’t worry, if you don’t have 100% cotton materials, simply heat up your bowl separately in the microwave and carefully lift it out into the cosy!


Then you can transport your comforting bowl of goodness to your favourite spot!  Great for soup too (and hot apple crumble, yum!).


Microwave Bowl Cosy


11  Cutlery Trays

(free tutorial available here)


Cutlery Trays


Ayumi’s brilliant tutorial is for the largest tray you see here.  They are so easy to make and resize to suit your own requirements (keep the width the same, and simply shorten the length: L:13″, M:10.5″, Sml:7.5″).


Cutlery Trays


The changes I made to the pattern were to use Flex Foam Bosal instead of wadding, to give more structure, and to sew a few stitches at the corners to help them retain their shape.


Cutlery Trays


I’m sure like me you can think of a multitude of uses for these handy organisers (desk tidies perhaps?).


12 Pixie Cups

(free tutorial here)


And keeping with the organising theme, how cute are these!



Pixie Cups


These are literally made from scraps – Tilda and leather scraps from other projects, and offcuts of Flex Foam Bosal.


Pixie Cups


The bosal was a little tricky to work with when it came to the smallest basket! But I think this will be the case with any interfacing stiff enough to give these little pots the structure they need.  Just cut your interfacing smaller to try and keep whatever interfacing you use, out of the seams.


Pixie Cups


13  Casserole Carrier

(free tutorial here)


Casserole Carrier


If you know someone in need of a meal, or you’re helping out a friend, here’s a great way to transport it.


Casserole Carrier


Using Insul Bright heat resistant wadding, your casserole will stay warmer for longer in this carrier.


The construction is quick and simple.  One change I would make to the pattern is to shorten the handle (I feel it’s a little too long and ‘swingy’ for it’s heavy load!).


Casserole carrier

So that’s the full roundup of my New Year Display Table.

Thank you so much for sticking it out to the end of 2 lengthy posts!

I hope you’ve been inspired to try something new!

Happy sewing!


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New Year Table Display: Part1

By Judith on January 14, 2019
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We are well into our stride again with the new term of classes.

So it’s time to show you my New Year Display Table!


New Year 19 Display Table


I’ve gone for a ‘kitchen’ theme this term, getting you inspired to pretty up your table and domestic space, as well as lots of gift ideas for those friends who love being in their kitchen!


So let’s get started!


1  Trivet Mats


EPP Trivet Mats


Over the years I have gathered up lots of free EPP (English Paper Piecing) packs and templates, most of which came free with quilting magazines.




Often there is a useful little book or pattern ideas that come with them, and I spent my free time over Christmas doing some relaxing hand sewing, and having fun with my Tilda scraps.


Trivet Mats


I used some Essex Yarn Dyed linen (Flax and Denim) for the backgrounds, appliqued and quilted them onto Polyester Insulating Wadding (available here) and made my own bias binding to finish.


Trivet Mats


I purposely used the thicker poly wadding (also used in oven gloves) to give my mats some durability when being used as trivets.  I also love the lush texture you get from the denser batting.


Trivet Mats


You could easily replace this wadding with Insul Bright heat resistant wadding and turn them into placemats (all materials mentioned are machine washable).


2  Aprons


I have 2 types of Aprons on display, and I will be teaching them both as a Saturday workshop on 9th March.


Apron workshop


The popular Cross Back apron is available here.

The pattern for my Tie Back apron will be coming soon (adult and child sizes will be available).


apron in a jar 005


This apron is designed to fit into a decorative mason jar so it can be gifted!

Cute or what!


3  Lunchbags (2 styles)


 (Pattern coming soon)




I had a lot of fun designing these lunchbags several years ago for Popular Patchwork magazine.




The raw edge applique designs can be child or adult friendly (or you could even made a patchwork version – that’s next on my list!).




Both bags are insulated with Insul Bright heat resistant wadding, and the linings are made from wipeable Rip-stop nylon (or you could re-purpose a machine washable shower curtain!).




The pattern (includes both styles) is currently being tested and will be available soon.


4  Teabag Wallet


(free tutorial available here)


Teabag wallet


I’m not a tea drinker, but I have family and friends who not only love their tea, but like something a little more ‘individual’.


Teabag Wallet Tutorial


These portable (and uber cute!) little wallets will hold 4 individually wrapped teabags, in all your favourite flavours.


Teabag Wallet Tutorial


They are ridiculously easy to make (all the pieces are cut the same size!) and would make great little gifts for tea lovers everywhere!


5  Oven Gloves

(free tutorial available here)


Oven Gloves


For a long time now, I’ve badly needed to replace my tatty old oven gloves.

Like my trivet mats, I have used Polyester Insulating wadding in these oven gloves (also known as ‘oven glove wadding’!!).


Oven Gloves


The quilting and assembly of the gloves is straightforward, and I used pre-made bias binding to finish.


Oven Gloves


Only problem is, with the way that I cook, these are just waaaaaay too nice to risk the kind of food mess that I’m particularly good at!!


6  Tea Cosy

(pattern available here)


Folksy Tea Cosy Workshop


I’ll be running my Folksy Tea cosy pattern as a Saturday workshop in April.


I originally designed this for Sewing World magazine, and it combines insulating wadding and fun felt applique.


Folksy Tea Cosy


The pattern takes you through how to measure your teapot and calculate your bespoke teacosy measurements.  It also includes the additional applique design ‘Sit Long Talk Much’.


Tea cosy class sample


7  Bottle Carrier


(free tutorial available here)



Bottle Holder


If you like to take a bottle of wine round to a friend’s house, or to your favourite ‘BYO’ restaurant, then you might find this reusable bottle carrier a handy addition to your kitchen cupboard.


Bottle Holder


One fat quarter will make the whole carrier, but why not jazz it up with a contrast fabric!



I hope you’ve enjoyed part 1 of my New Year Display Table roundup.

Do come back again for more kitchenalia tutorials and patterns in part 2.


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Teabag Wallet Tutorial

By Judith on January 7, 2019
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Teabag Wallet Tutorial


If you’re not a standard tea drinker, how about keeping a few of your favourite flavours in a portable and handy wallet!


Teabag Wallet Tutorial


This simple tutorial will have you ‘bagged’ up in no time!

(And a great little gift idea for a tea loving friend don’t you think!)


You will need:

Exterior: 1 x (5″ x 7″)

Lining: 1 x (5″ x 7″)

Pockets: 2 x (5″ x 7″)

Heavy Sew-in Vilene: 1 x (5″ x 7″)

505 Basting Spray

chalk pen or non-permanent fabric marker

elastic hair bobble





1 Spray baste the vilene to the wrong side of the lining.



2 Bring both long edges of each pockets wrong sides together and press.



3 Place the first pocket onto the right side of the lining, with the folded edge of the pocket positioned 1.5″ down from the top of the lining.



4 Sew along the bottom of the pocket 1/8″ from the raw edge and through all layers.



5 Place the last pocket on top, this time with the raw edge aligned with the bottom of the lining. Chalk a line through the centre as shown.



6 Sew along the chalk line, through all layers.



7 Machine tack a hair bobble just above the front pocket, on the right side. The loop of the elastic must face in towards the wallet.



8 Pin the exterior right sides together with the pocket section. Sew around all sides using 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving a 2″ gap along the bottom edge.



9 Turn the wallet right sides out through the gap in the lining. Press under the raw edges of the gap.



10 Sew around all sides of the wallet using 1/8″ seam allowance, closing the gap as you go.



11 Press the wallet in half and sew a button onto the front and aligned with the elastic.



Fill up with your favourite teas and off you go!


Teabag Wallet Tutorial



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Another Necessary Clutch Wallet

By Judith on January 1, 2019
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My classes start back next week, and our class project this term is The Necessary Clutch Wallet by Emmaline Bags.



This is a great pattern, and with a little bag making experience, one can start to experiment a little with the design (you can read all about my first 2 wallets here).


Necessary Clutch Wallet (class project)


For my 3rd Necessary Clutch, I went for a stiffer interfacing in the flap, keeping the design simple to show off the Japanese fabrics ( Kimono by Makower).


Necessary Clutch Wallet (class project)


2 other additions to this clutch were the shoulder strap (instructions available here) making this more of a stylish evening bag,


Necessary Clutch Wallet (class project)


… and rivets instead of sewing the thicker sides (big thanks to Svetlana for this inspired idea!).


Necessary Clutch Wallet (class project)


I think is my new favourite Necessary Clutch!


Necessary Clutch Wallet (class project)


Now all I need is a little black dress and a handsome man to go with it (actually, forget the last part!!).


Necessary Clutch Wallet (class project)


There are still a few spaces available if you’d like to have a go at making this clutch, in a friendly and supported environment.  Just drop me an email at


Happy sewing!


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2018 Roundup & Happy New Year!

By Judith on December 31, 2018
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It’s the final few hours of 2018.  At the end of each year I like to do a little round-up of things I’ve made.

Understandably, the majority of my makes have centred around my classes.

The statistics are quite something (ah, so that’s why I’m so tired, wink, wink!!):


5 Class Projects:

(taught at 6 weekly classes, over 38 weeks)

2018 class projects


12 Saturday Workshops:


2018 Saturday workshops


11 Free Tutorials:

(available here)

2018 Tutorials


23 New Pattern Releases:

(available here)

2018 New Patterns


What an amazing year it has been, both inside the classroom and outside it!


Patchwork in the Peaks 14


One of my professional highlights in 2018 was attending Patchwork in the Peaks Quilters Retreat, Morzine, France, as guest tutor.


And on a personal level, hosting a memory quilt party for my special friend’s 50th birthday in February was a wonderful day!


Shirleys Friendship Birthday Quilt


Helping 2 charities, Shared Threads and Flourish, launch their new sewing initiatives, both aimed at improving the lives of women, locally and internationally was (and continues to be) a pleasure and a privilege.


Shared Threads
Shared Threads Drawstring Bags


Among the many highs and lows that come in a year, I’m reminded of my ‘word for the year’ back in January ’18 – RHYTHM.


I set a word at the start of each year to give me a focus to my professional and life goals.


After a massive year of change in 2017, I feel I definitely achieved some rhythm, allowing life to settle some, and to get into my stride with the new classroom and home.


Of course there were still changes in 2018, some happy, some sad, some expected, some unexecpted; the normalcy of life demands it.


But amidst it all, I have much to be thankful for and am content to leave 2018 with a smile, and embrace the exciting new chapter that is 2019.


Come back soon to find out all about my word for 2019!


In the meantime ……


Happy New Year!


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A Flurry of Finishes!

By Judith on December 16, 2018
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My last class of 2018 finished last Thursday!


What a wonderful term (& year!) it was!  And I think, one of our most productive!


Here’s a little snapshot of some of the amazing makes my ladies have been beavering away at!


Christmas 18


There are many more amazing projects and gifts that will be bringing smiles to lots of faces this Christmas.


Let’s just say there will some truly blessed recipients out there!  My ladies are some of the most talented and generous people I know, and they have continued to inspire me all year!


For me, I plan to continue working on patterns, plans and projects for next year. But I will be taking a break over Christmas, to spend time with 2 of my girls, a little EPP, some reading and much needed rest!




Whatever you are planning over the next few weeks, I pray you will be happy and healthy!



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Saturday Workshops 2019

By Judith on December 7, 2018
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In classes this week I presented my 2019 (January-April) Saturday workshops.

They got a wonderful response, and I’m happy to share them with you here.


2019 Sat workshops jan-apr


So let me tell you a little more about what you can expect in each workshop:


FMQ Workshop


I’ve scheduled again my most popular workshop – Free Motion Quilting and Sketching.


In this workshop you get lots of practice time to learn at least 6 ‘beginner friendly’ free motion designs, fillers and how to quilt a cot size quilt.


The 2nd half of the day is all about Free Motion Sketching, where you can relax a little and have fun with this raw edge applique and writing technique.



Harriet cushion workshop


My cute friend ‘Harriet Hare’ (from my Woodland Friends quilt) makes her appearance in tweed!


Tweed is a favourite textile among many sewers, and mixed with pretty cottons and satin stitch applique, you have one gorgeous cushion!


(The pattern for Harriet Hare Cushion will be released after the workshop.)


Apron workshop


At our Apron workshop in March there will be 2 styles to choose from – the Japanese style ‘Cross-over’ apron and my ‘Apron in Jar’, a practical and stylish apron which folds into a decorated mason jar for gifting.



The pattern for the Apron in a Jar includes a child’s size template and will be released after the workshop.


Folksy Tea Cosy Workshop


We wrap up our first term of ‘Sewing Saturdays’ with some folksy tea cosies.


Bring your teapot along to this workshop, and we will have fun appliqueing a ‘made to measure’ cosy for your pot.


I will be posting more information about each workshop nearer the time.


Places are limited, so book early (waiting lists available if fully booked). Just drop me an email at


Happy sewing!


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2019 Class Project: The Necessary Clutch Wallet

By Judith on December 1, 2018
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Happy December to you all!


We are on the final countdown to Christmas, and with only 2 more weeks of classes left, my attention has turned to the new class project for next term!


Necessary Clutch Wallet (Class Project Jan19)


This is the Necessary Clutch Wallet, by Emmaline Bags.


This is a well designed and written pattern, and I can think of many occasions when a stylish and compact little clutch would be perfect.


The Necessary Clutch Wallet (class project Jan19)


During this class project you will learn:

  • how to insert hardware (twist/turn locks, D-rings, swivel fobs)
  • how to make a zippered pocket
  • to use different interfacings for different parts of the clutch
  • how to vary the flap design
  • how to sew cork fabric
  • how to insert rivets


The Necessary Clutch Wallet (class project Jan19)


You will have the option of adding a wristlet or shoulder strap (not shown here) and also how to insert rivets into the bulky sides (still waiting on my rivets to arrive to show you my 3rd example!)


The Necessary Clutch Wallet (class project Jan19)


Rivets will replace the step where you sew down the thicker sides. If not using rivets here, I recommend a heavier thread and needle in your machine for this.


The Necessary Clutch Wallet (class project Jan19)


The many pockets and compartments in the wallet allow plenty of space for your essentials (phone, cards, money, passport, makeup etc.) while still folding up into a compact and easy to carry clutch.


The Necessary Clutch Wallet (class project Jan19)


The design of the flap is easily altered.  You can have fun with different fabric placement, or why not try on-trend cork fabric.


The Necessary Clutch Wallet (class project Jan19)


Cork fabric is vegan and harvested from the Cork Oak Tree. It is scratch resistant, stain resistant and water resistant, much more durable than leather (and easier to sew with too!).


There are 6 weeks in the next block of classes, plenty of time to get at least one Necessary Clutch Wallet made!


Further information about the requirements for this project (& what is available to purchase in class) will be emailed to all registrants, but you can purchase the actual pattern here.


Happy sewing!


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Inspiring Women

By Judith on November 23, 2018
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I’m so privileged to be surrounded by inspiring women!  My mum, my Grandmothers, my brilliant besties, not to mention my 3 amazing daughters who I’m ridiculously proud of!


My girls


And then there are all the lovely ladies who come to my classes.  I’m honoured to know some of their stories, struggles and triumphs!


Several weeks ago I had the most wonderful encounter with a lady I have long admired.


Rachel McBride Visual Artist


This is Rachel McBride, visual artist.  I first met Rachel several years ago at the Kings Hall, and immediately fell in love with her art.


Rachel McBride Visual Artist - 'Brush it Off'
‘Brush it Off’



Fast forward to November 2018, and I’m visiting Rachel’s newest exhibition in Newtownards entitled ‘At a Loss for Words’.


Rachel McBride Visual Artist - 'Moments of Clarity'
‘Moments of Clarity’



Oh my! Once again she took my breath away.  Rachel has an unbridled (and in my opinion unrivaled) talent for expressing depth of emotion through colour and texture.


Rachel McBride Visual Artist - 'A Picture says 100 Words'
‘A Picture says 100 Words’


5 years ago Rachel lost her speech for a short period of time and wrote these words:

“If someone cannot communicate and interact with others are they just ‘a being’ and at what point do they become invisible or unknown to society? A frightening and disturbing thought which ultimately forced me to consider my world without the ability to speak.”


Rachel McBride Visual Artist (Butterfly Kisses)
‘Butterfly Kisses’


Rachel was born with Cerebral Palsy and has had to overcome many hurdles in her life.

Every time I speak with her I’m overwhelmed by her positivity, strength and beauty.


Rachel McBride Visual Artist - 'Childhood'


Her pet hate is being seen as an inspiration, but it’s always the first adjective that comes to my mind when I read the extracts about each of her pieces, admiring the incredible vulnerability and vigor within each piece and knowing the limitations of her body which she fights against to live a fulfilling and boundless life.


Rachel McBride Visual Artist - 'Absolutely Floored'
‘Absolutely Floored’


I can whole-heartedly recommend you to Rachel’s (free) exhibition, which continues at Ards Arts Centre, Newtownards until the end of this month. And you can sometimes bump into her in the gorgeous coffee shop she owns with her husband called Haptik (the food is ‘out of this world’ awesome!).


And you can read a great write-up about her in the Irish Times here.


What amazingly creative talent we have here on our wee island!

Let’s keep celebrating our local, inspiring women!



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Christmas Baubles Roundup

By Judith on November 20, 2018
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Last week in classes I gave a little run down on all the Christmas ornaments hanging on my decorative tree!


Christmas Baubles


Most of them are free tutorials I’ve either found on Pinterest or written myself.


I thought you might like to take part in our little Christmas Baubles club too!  So here are all the links!


Zippy Baubles Pouches

(great for gifting money or vouchers)

Free tutorial available here – simply adapt the ‘egg’ shape into a circle


Bauble Zippy pouches


Stitchy Trees

Free tutorial available here


Stitchy Christmas Trees


Christmas Cornets

Free tutorial here – switch the Easter fabrics for Christmas fabrics & add a bell!


Christmas Baubles


Mini Hoops

No tutorial but lots of free inspiration and ideas on Pinterest (search for Christmas mini hoops)


Christmas Baubles


‘Oh My Eye’ Birds

(2 sizes)

Pattern available here


Christmas Baubles

Christmas Baubles


Star Pentagon Decoration

Free pattern available here


Christmas Baubles


Faux Cathedral Windows Decoration

Free pattern available here


Christmas Baubles



So that’s my Christmas baubles roundup (my  little tree is completely full!).

I hope you enjoy making sweet gifts and decorations this year!


Happy sewing!


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Scandi Christmas Stocking Workshop

By Judith on November 17, 2018
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Today we had the most festive fun making Scandi Christmas Stockings.


Scandi Stocking Workshop Nov18


At one stage the classroom looked like a massacre in a fabric factory, but boy what results!


Scandi Stocking Workshop Nov18

(Apologies to one of my ladies whose stocking I forgot to photograph!)


Aren’t they fabulous!

And everyone went home with a completely finished stocking! Win, win!


Well done everyone!


If you fancy making your own Scandi Stocking, you can find the pattern here.  (A dyslexic friendly version of the pattern is available here.)



I also have a few kits left from today, listed here. Each kit includes everything you need to make the stocking (pattern incl).


Happy sewing!


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Stitchy Christmas Tree Tutorial

By Judith on November 14, 2018
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It’s all about the festive makes at the moment at Just Jude Designs!


So I thought I’d bring you a fun and easy little Christmas tutorial to get you in the festive spirit!


Stitchy Tree Tutorial


For 1 Tree You will need:

2 x (5″ wide x 6″ tall) pieces of background fabric

2 x (5″ wide x 6″ tall) pieces of heavy weight sew-in vilene

2 x (4.5″ wide x 5.5″ tall) thin card

Green, red and gold/yellow threads

Thread to match background fabric

1″ x 2″ wide ribbon (trunk)

4″ length of narrow ribbon

Hand sewing needle

Non-permanent fabric marker



1 Cut the card into an isosceles triangle – draw a line from each bottom corner to the middle of the top edge. Cut away the sides.



2 Place the vilene behind the background fabric (I use a little basting spray here).  On the vilene, I centred and drew around the card triangle as a guideline for stitching.



3 From the right side, draw 1″ lines across the background fabric using a non-permanent fabric pen.



4 Select a decorative stitch on your machine and sew along one of the lines.


5 Continue sewing decorative stitches along all the lines (for the lines near the top of the tree you only need to sew 0.5″ wider than the triangle marking).



6 Now sew decorative stitches in lines between the ones already sewn. Repeat steps 2-6 for the other background piece.


7 Cut out a generous 1/4″ wider than the triangle.



8 Pin the triangle card to the wrong side of one of the pieces. Using the English Paper Piecing (EPP) method, wrap the edges around the card and hand tack in place.



9 From the right side, machine stitch around the edges 1/8″ from the edge. At the bottom edge of the tree, catch the folded ‘trunk’ ribbon as you sew past. Remove the tacking stitches & leave in the card.



10 Hand tack a ribbon loop to the top of the tree (inside edge).



11 EPP & top stitch the remaining card triangle to the other stitched piece in the same way as before. Remove the tacking stitches & leave in the card.


12 Bring the 2 trees wrong sides together and whip stitch (by hand) the 2 trees together.



Hang up and admire!



Happy stitching!


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New Patterns (& Discount!)

By Judith on November 7, 2018
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Well the 1 year celebrations are over, so it’s back to class prep, pattern writing and sample making!


Some of you have availed of my online pattern shop discount code BIRTHDAY1.  I hope you enjoy making the projects.


However, there were a few glitches with the discount code which I’m pleased to say are now fixed!  Apologies, and thank you for your patience.


So if you didn’t manage to use the code first time around, I’m extending my discount offer, so please feel free! The code will expire this Saturday, 10th November.


And if you need a little tempting, let me show you some of my recently listed patterns!


‘Dotti’ Denim Pouch

(pattern available here)


Dotti Denim Pouch (new pattern)


Festive Stars Table Runner

(pattern available here)


Christmas Table Runner Class sample


Gingerbread Men Garland

(pattern available here)


Gingerbread Men Garland (new pattern)


Hot Water Bottle Cover

(pattern available here)


Hot Water Bottle Cover Pattern


And there are many more patterns and Christmas gift ideas for you to choose from!


Happy sewing!


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Happy 1st Birthday!

By Judith on November 1, 2018
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(Subscriber newsletters dispatched today – please check your inbox and junk folders!)


Exactly 1 year ago today I signed the contract and got the keys to my classroom in this stunning converted Victorian Linen Mill in Belfast!


Conway Mill


After teaching in various places for more than 10 years, it was lovely to step into a bright a spacious room, which I knew would meet all our classroom needs.


Scrap busting Saturday Aug18


The room takes 12 students per class, and we also have 5 separate cutting tables and 4 ironing stations.


The ‘Basting Bay’ gives the ladies room to spray baste their quilts, and the design wall facilitates the laying out of blocks and quilt design.


Toiletry Travel Bag Workshop June18


The ‘Tea/coffee’ making station is an essential feature (no mini-bar yet!) and I even have room for a themed display table and a small haberdashery and pattern shop.


Conway Mill/QN Designer Feature


I teach 6 weekly classes and monthly Saturday workshops from September to June, with a slightly different programme over the summer months.


Take Wing Butterfly Class Feb18


Since I started the classes in January ’18, we have had a total of 203 weekly classes, 11 Saturday workshops, 1 50th birthday party and several charity sewing days!


Phew!  What a brilliant year!


And to celebrate my first birthday in Conway Mill, we not only have chocolates in class, I’m also discounting all my online patterns by 50%.  Just use the coupon code BIRTHDAY1 at the checkout (one use only).


Thank you to everyone for making this new venture an exciting and fulfilling one!  I can’t wait to see what 2019 brings!


Happy sewing!


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Christmas Table Display: Part 2

By Judith on October 31, 2018
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Welcome back to part 2 of my Christmas Table Display! (part 1 available here)


Christmas Table Display 18


I’ve had great reactions to my Christmas display in my classes this week.

I hope you enjoy reading about them too!


6 Festive Stars Table Runner

(pattern available here)


Christmas Table Runner Class sample


This is one of my newest patterns available for general release!


It is a ‘charm pack friendly’ project, but the pattern also includes yardage quantities to make the runner  in 3 feature fabrics.


I’ve seen my runner made in non-Christmas fabrics (I love seeing different interpretations of the same pattern!), and I have this variation done in Retro 30’s prints hanging up in class.


Economy Stars Table Runner


7 Christmas Gift Bags

(free tutorial available here)


Christmas gift bags tutorial


This is another ‘Eco Friendly’ way to ‘gift wrap’ a smaller present. Waaaaay nicer than paper which gets torn up and thrown away!


I’ve made so many of these easy peasy bags, housing sweet jams or chutneys, sumptuous bubble baths and creams or decadent chocolates and liqueurs!


Drawstring Gift Bag


So if you want to ‘upgrade’ a small gift into a ‘wow’ gift, give my drawstring gift bags a try!


8 Zippered Bauble Pouches

(free tutorial available here)


Bauble Zippy pouches


The link above is to the Easter Egg version of these pouches, but simply draw a circle instead of an egg and follow the same tutorial.


If you know someone who prefers money or gift vouchers (or diamonds!) pop them into this compact pouch.  The addition of a key-fob attachment turns it into a useful little coin purse!


Christmas Bauble pouch


Then hang them on the tree, or stuff into stockings and wait for the smiles!


9 Christmas Coasters

(no pattern available)


Christmas coasters


These 5″ Christmas themed coasters are made using the foundation paper piecing method and are great for using up small Christmas scraps!


Christmas coasters


I first saw them here, but the link to the maker’s website is no longer available.


However, if you are attending my classes, I can easily take you through the making of these!


10 Christmas Cracker Tree Skirt

(pattern available here)


Christmas Cracker Tree Skirt (class project)


This fun tree skirt forms part of our class project this term.


The pattern is by my talented quilty friend, Reene, and you can read more about this project here.


Well I hope my Christmas table display and projects has fueled your Christmas inspiration and motivation!


With less than 8 weeks to go til the big day, I guess we’d better get our sewing machine ‘skates’ on!


Happy sewing!


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Christmas Table Display: Part 1

By Judith on October 29, 2018
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My new block of classes started back this week, and I have a few surprises in store for my ladies!


The first surprise is the change to my table display.


Christmas Table Display 18


Not hard to guess what theme I’m going for here!


This is the first of 2 posts that will take you through most of the items on display, giving you links to patterns and tutorials along the way!


So let’s get started!


1 Scandi Stocking

(pattern available here)

(Dyslexic friendly pattern available here)


Scandi Stocking Dec Issue Sewing World Magazine


My Scandi Stocking pattern was first published in Sewing World magazine several years ago.


It combines one of my favourite fabrics, Essex Yarn Dyed Linen, with Makower’s gorgeous Scandi Christmas fabrics.


Scandi applique


A little fussy cutting and simple applique add manageable and fun stages to this project.


Which is why I decided to run it as a Saturday workshop, on 17th November. (Full kits are available for those attending the workshop, but any leftover kits will be offered out!).


Only 1 place left on the workshop – get in touch if you would like to join us for some festive fun!


2 Mini Christmas Stockings

(free tutorial available here)


Christmas Stocking Workshop Dec12


If you have a small present to gift why not pop it into a cute mini stocking!


Stockings for Fabric Yard


These mini projects are great for using up scraps, leftover jellyroll or binding strips. And you can patchwork & quilt them anyway you like!


3 Dresden Coasters

(pattern available here)


EPP Dresden Christmas Coasters


If you fancy a little hand sewing in your Christmas crafting, how about some Dresden coasters.  The blades are English Paper Pieced for accuracy, and the rest is done on the machine.


EPP Dresden Christmas Coasters


Again, these made their debut in Sewing World  magazine. I used more Essex Linen here, this time Black, with a few leftover Christmas 5″ charm squares.


EPP Dresden Christmas Coasters


Of course you could make these anytime of the year, making the dresden blades in non-Christmas fabrics.


4 Robin Cushion

(Pattern available here)


Christmas Robin Cushion pattern


This cute fellow first appeared in Pretty Patches magazine, and has been a big hit ever since!

He is a mixed textile cushion, making him super tactile and cuddly!

If you like mixing in a little tweed, wool or linen with your cottons, then you will love making this Rockin’ Robin!


Christmas Robin Cushion for Pretty Patches (Dec16)


I have used satin stitch applique here, but you could easily use raw edge applique or blanket stitch applique (more guidelines on machine applique here).


5 Christmas Baubles Cushions

(pattern to come)


Christmas Baubles Cushions


I first made a Christmas Baubles cushion for a Brit Bee friend as part of a secret santa cushion swap several years ago!

These are great fun to make because there is no end to the ‘style’ of bauble you can have.

And you can let your creative ‘quilting’ juices flow too when it comes to the quilting.

One day I will get around to writing a pattern for these cushions – it’s on the long list!


So that’s the end of part 1!

Tune in again for part 2 and my 2nd surprise reveal!

Happy sewing!


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Class Project: Christmas Tree Skirt

By Judith on October 23, 2018
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Next week starts a new block of classes, the last block of 2018!!

In this final term, our attention will turn towards preparations for Christmas!


xmas tree skirts (class project)


Following several requests for a Christmas Tree Skirt, I’ve curated a selection of patterns which my ladies can choose from.


I don’t have time to make all of these wonderful examples, but I did make this one!


Christmas Cracker Tree Skirt (class project)


This cracker themed tree skirt was originally designed by my lovely quilty friend Reene of Nellies Niceties.


I have never used a tree skirt around my Christmas tree before, but as soon as Reene released her free pattern, I pinned it and knew one day I would make it!


Christmas Cracker Tree Skirt (class project)


While Reene’s instructions are on how to make the top only, they are really clear and the easy piecing means it works up really quickly!


This tree skirt is a good size, but if you needed a smaller one, simply omit one or two crackers until you have your desired size.


Christmas Cracker Tree Skirt (class project)


I had fun quilting this ‘skirt’ using my quilting bar, and decided to finish the opening with buttons and hair bobbles!


This was a fun venture into my first Christmas Tree Skirt! And I’m looking forward to seeing many more tree skirts over the next few weeks!


And we’ll also have lots more tutorials and inspiration for your Christmas gift and decorating ideas!


So if you would like to join in the Christmas fun, spaces are still available across all 6 classes.  Give me a shout if you would like to book a spot!



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Twin Needling Roundup

By Judith on October 19, 2018
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This week rounds up the end of my current block of classes where we’ve been learning about twin needle quilting.



My ladies had several patterns to choose from, and as always, they completely rose to the challenge of a new technique


Just check out these amazing results!


Mosaic Cushion

(pattern available here):


Twin Needling (Mosaic cushion) class



Mackintosh Flower Cushion

(pattern available here):


Twin Needling (Mackintosh Flower Cushion) class



Applique Denim Bag

(pattern available here):


Twin Needling (Denim Applique Bag) class



Mackintosh Rose Wallhanging

(pattern to come):


Twin Needling (Mackintosh Rose Wallhanging) class



Aren’t they fabulous!


I’m so proud of all my ladies, not just those who tackle the class project, but also those who work continuously on their generous gift making, charitable fund raisers, sharing inspiring new projects and continuing to fuel and feed their creativity.


And I get to call this my day job!! #lovemyjob


We are taking a one week break, and when we return it will be the last block of classes of 2018!


Tune in again soon to find out what our new class project will be.


Happy sewing!


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Chenille Workshop

By Judith on October 14, 2018
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Yesterday was my Chenille Workshop, and I’ve been beavering away this past week getting samples ready.


Chenille Workshop


My ladies learned how to make a fluffy, tactile texture in their fabrics, and turn it into a snuggly cushion or a soft and useful bathmat.


Chenille quilted bath mat


We learned about how cutting across the bias can create a very different effect from cutting in line with the warp and weft (straight grain).


Denim Chenille Pouch (class sample)


And how some fabrics will fray better than others, and where some will reveal little surprises after washing and drying (a frayed selvage will give a clue to secondary coloured threads).


Chenille Waves Pouch (class sample)


The best way to chenille fabric is to cut across the bias, but that in no way limits the different effects you can achieve.


Check out some of these examples:




Chenille Class samples




Chenille Waves Pouch (class sample)




Chenille Tucks Pouch (class sample)


Layered Shapes:


Chenille class sample


Applique Bias Strips:


Chenille Class samples
Chenille Class samples


You don’t need any special equipment for this technique.  The clever peeps at Olfa have made the Chenille cutter, but you can get the same results from sharp scissors (recommended for smaller projects).



And if you don’t have a Chenille brush to help with the fluffing-up, just use a regular hairbrush (the washing and tumble drying are usually sufficient, but brushing the chenille can help with those fabrics that are a little more fray resistant!).


So huge well done to my ladies for a great day’s work sewing and chenilling (& chatting too!).


And if you haven’t tried chenilling yet, why not give it a whirl! You’ll be pleasantly surprised!


Happy chenilling!


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50th Birthday Quilt

By Judith on October 6, 2018
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Waaaaaaaay back, in February, I facilitated a very good friend’s special birthday request!


50th Birthday Sew-In at the Mill


16 friends squished into my classroom, each of them charged with making a patchwork block about their dear friend.


Shirley has been a nurse, midwife, missionary and lecturer. She is one of the most generous, caring and just people I know and I feel truly privileged and blessed to call her ‘friend’ these past 21 years.


It took a wee while for a few postal blocks to come in, and then I set to work, finishing up the sketching details and chosen texts, as well as assembling and quilting the quilt.


Shirley's Friendship Birthday Quilt


And then the final handover happened last week (took a while to get us both in the same country at the same time!).


Shirleys Friendship Birthday Quilt



I’ve made a little mosaic of the individual blocks so you can see more of the details (I promise they aren’t as curvy as they seem here – I took pictures of them while the quilt was on the line! It was windy!)


Shirleys Friendship Quilt blocks


There is so much thought, love and creativity in all of these blocks, a moving tribute to our funny, coffee loving, brilliant friend!


Shirley and me


Even though I had already gifted Shirley a quilt for her birthday back in February (read more about this quilt and the sew-in here), I wanted to contribute a block to her Friendship Quilt.


And here it is….


Shirley's Friendship Birthday quilt


That’s Shirley in the middle (portraits were never my strong suit!) between me on the left (I told you portraits weren’t my strong suit!) and Rosie (amazingly this actually looks like Rosie!). We first met 21 years ago at Bible College, and are the self named ‘Breakfast Club’ (we still meet once a month for breakfast, coffee and catch-up!).


I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about this very special quilt and its very special recipient!


Happy sewing!


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Infinity Scarf Tutorial

By Judith on September 28, 2018
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My 5 minute demo in class this month was how to make these super easy infinity scarfs.




You can use anything between 1 and 4 pieces of fabric for your scarf.


Infinity Scarfs


The sumptuous softness of Art Gallery fabrics  or Liberty Lawns work particularly well, but you can also use quilting cotton, or for a more cosy scarf, try brushed cotton or snuggly fleece.


Would you like to know how to make them? My tutorial shows you how to make a scarf from 4 fabrics.


Infinity scarf tutorial


You will need:

Scarf made from 1 fabric: 1 x (20″ x 60″) or

Scarf made from 2 fabrics: 2 x (10.5″ x 60″) or

Scarf made from 3 fabrics: 2 x (10.5″ x 30″) & 1 x (10.5″ x 60″) or

Scarf made from 4 fabrics: 4 x (10.5″ x 30″)

3 metres mini pom pom trim (optional)

Adjustable zipper foot


Use 1/4″ seam allowance


1  Sew 2 panels right sides together  along the short edges. Press the seam open.  Repeat for the other 2 panels.



2 On the right side of one of the pairs, pin and machine tack 2 x 60″ lengths of mini pom pom trim down both long sides. The pom poms should be facing away from the outer edges.  I used my zipper foot for this part so I could sew past the pom poms.



3 Place both paired panels right sides together and sew down both long sides.  Again, I used my zipper foot here.



4 Turn the scarf right side out.


5  Iron under the raw edges of one short end by 1/4″.



6  Take the other short end and twist the scarf once before tucking it into the ironed under short end.