Scrappy Notebook Cover Tutorial


By Judith on April 9, 2021
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After making a bright and scrappy Notebook Cover a while back for my friend’s birthday …….



I got a few requests for a tutorial!


So here is my Scrappy (Quarter Log Cabin) Notebook Cover Tutorial.

The tutorial will take you step by step through the ‘quarter log cabin’ piecing on the front, echo quilting, installing the flaps, lining, elastic pen holder and button/loop closure.



This is a great wee project for using up some of your favourite scraps, and they make perfect gifts for anyone you know who loves journalling, writing poetry, collecting recipes or writing lists!!!



You can of course quilt your notebook cover any way you choose. I went for some quick and easy echo quilting around these Art Gallery ‘Boho Fusions’ fabrics.


And of course, when your notebook is full, just pop in a new A5 Spiral Notebook and you’re off and running again!



I hope you enjoy our new YouTube tutorial!



Happy sewing!


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Triaxial Weaving Workshop


By Judith on April 1, 2021
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At the end of this month I will be teaching my Triaxial Weaving workshop for Crafty Monkies.

I first taught weaving as part of my Studio ‘in-person’ classes 2 years ago.

We looked at the simple basket weave …



Houndstooth weave (intermediate) …..



and the more advanced Triaxial weaving …


(you can see the amazing results of our classes here.)



‘Triaxial’ means 3 axis – unlike the other 2 styles where fabric strips are woven vertically and horizontally, the 3 layers of fabric strips in the triaxial weave are woven at 30 degrees to each other. By varying the order of ‘overs and unders’ different patterns can be achieved, like the Tumbling Blocks design shown here in my basket.



In my Crafty Monkies workshop I will be demonstrating simple 2 axis weaving before taking the class through

  • how to mark and prepare a foam foundation for weaving on
  • learn how to make a triaxial woven panel
  • learn how to ready your woven panel for use in another project (my new Woven Basket pattern will be available free, exclusively for workshop attendees)



The Trixial weave can be a little fiddly, but a genius invention called the Wefty Needle makes this technique a lot more manageable!!



Wefty Needles can be purchased in our store here, as well as other supplies you will need. The full list of workshop requirements (as well as a video on how to prep your fabric strips) and booking info is available here.

So if you would like to spend 3 fun hours on a Friday night learning a cool new technique with me and lots of other like-minded creatives, then book in now!

Happy weaving!

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Free Easter Tutorials


By Judith on March 30, 2021
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Can you believe it’s Easter day this Sunday (our 2nd in lockdown!).

Over on Instagram (@justjudebelfast) I’ve been showcasing our free Easter tutorials – quick and simple projects to help you decorate your table and get gift ready!



There are projects here for all ages, from baby’s first Easter bib to the teenager who would rather have a money gift (though they secretly like the chocolate too in my experience!!). And the Carrot Cornets are a fun way to hide little chocolate eggs around the garden for that all important Easter Egg Hunt!!


You can find all of these tutorials (and more) over on our Free Tutorials page (just scroll down to Holidays).

Have fun!

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Just Jude & Friends: Bird Bundle 2


By Judith on March 28, 2021
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We have had the final week of our Instagram Pattern Designers Collaboration for March.



This week we were showcasing Jo’s Bird Bundle 2, a collection of adorable applique UK garden birds.



If you are a lover of applique or birds (or both!) you will love both of Jo’s applique Bird Bundles (available via her website). Jo is currently offering 15% discount from Bird Bundle 2 using code JUSTJUDEBIRD15 at checkout.

Jo has written the pattern primarily for needleturn applique, however as you will see, raw edge machine applique and satin stitch applique are beautiful alternatives (if you’re not as keen on hand sewing!).



Katy’s Pouch:



Sonia’s Card:



My Mini Wallhanging:



I chose satin stitch applique for my Liberty Chaffinch on Irish Linen!


I’m really pleased with how this 6.5″ mini wallhanging has turned out, and it was made with a friend in mind.

So this little cutie will be flying off to my friend in time for her birthday!

I just want to say a huge THANK YOU to my fellow collaborators for joining in the creative fun and supporting each other as pattern designers, especially during these tough times. It has been a joy and a privilege working alongside these uber talented ladies!

I hope you have enjoyed seeing our patterns and how we have interpreted them, and feel inspired to have a go yourself!

Happy sewing!

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Resist


By Judith on March 22, 2021
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verb

  1. withstand the action or effect of



The verb resist comes from the Latin word resistere, meaning “to take a stand,” or “withstand.” Resistance is all about putting up walls or creating boundaries be they mental, physical, philosophical, emotional, or otherwise — a means of defending ourselves against a threat.



Even in crafts such as silk painting, resists are used to create boundaries between the free flow of inks, to stop one colour encroaching on the space of another.



But what if that threat comes from within ourselves.



It is good to resist things that are bad for us e.g. temptation, speeding, conflict, breaking the law, over-eating, blaspheming, laziness, injury, sugar etc.



The problem comes we when try to resist things we think are bad (or uncomfortable) for us, when in fact they are important signals or indicators that something needs fixed or healed e.g. change, truth, tolerance, forgiveness, compassion, love, pain, responsibility, commitment etc.



How often have I ignored my body’s signals to stop, rest, change direction, heal and in doing so have resisted the uncomfortable truth that something needs to be done differently, to ask for help, to make a difficult decision, to forgive.



‘What we resist, persists!’

This profound statement was first coined by the Swiss Psychiatrist Carl Jung (1875–1961). It means the more we resist things in our lives the more they will continue to happen. Or as the evil robotic Borg enemy of Captain Kirk in Star Trek famously said ‘Resistance is futile!’



Sadly I can testify to this reality, through creative, emotional and physical burn-out at various intervals, not acknowledging the effects of increased demands and responsibilities on my physical and mental health, fooling myself into thinking I can just absorb more and push through, blindly and numbingly going through the motions not realising the motions where getting bigger and faster, ignoring the natural hormonal changes in my body as I enter ‘middle-age’!



It took the immediate ‘stop’ of a Global pandemic for me to fully realise and acknowledge that I was peri-menopausal!! For a year previous I couldn’t understand why I had lost my zeal, my passion, my stamina, my concentration levels. Things that used to be easy became harder, I had less motivation to socialise or do ‘extra’. My get-up-and-go had got-up-and-gone!!

I had been resisting listening to the signals of mind, body and soul and so it not only persisted, but increased!



Now that I had time to rest and reflect and really take time to listen to my body and mind and re-evaluate priorities, I started to feel better! I gave myself time and space to acknowledge this new season that I’m in and the changes it brings (some good, some not so good – what’s my name again!!).

Brene Brown calls it an unravelling (read the full article here):

“As it turns out, I was right about one thing – to call what happens at midlife “a crisis” is ?/@*!$*. A crisis is an intense, short-lived, acute, easily identifiable, and defining event that can be controlled and managed.

Midlife is not a crisis. Midlife is an unraveling.

The truth is that the midlife unraveling is a series of painful nudges strung together by low-grade anxiety and depression, quiet desperation, and an insidious loss of control. By low-grade, quiet, and insidious, I mean it’s enough to make you crazy, but seldom enough for people on the outside to validate the struggle or offer you help and respite. It’s the dangerous kind of suffering – the kind that allows you to pretend that everything is OK.



Struggling with being peri-menopausal, menopausal or post-menopausal are not usually the topics of easy conversation outside of our besties! Historically, society has deemed them taboo! Which makes it a secret suffering, and like so many other secret sufferings, they expend much more energy and inflict more internal damage by keeping them secret.



And while we might not be ready to declare all, we can start by not resisting what our body, mind and soul are trying to tell us, to stop and submit to & acknowledge the season we are currently in, to confide in a trustworthy friend, to ask for help. Regardless of where life has you just now, don’t resist!


So I’m embracing the unravelling and reconstruction and trying not to resist it, giving my self permission to say no when I need to, not being so hard on myself when I forget something for the twentieth time that day (I recently spent 5 minutes looking around my bedroom for my glasses only to realise I was already wearing them!!), getting to know this new version of myself much better and redrawing the parameters of my emotional and physical stamina. Like most seasons, they come and go. But there is living in the now.

Make the changes needed to stop resisting and release the blessings of your new season.

“Victory will never be found by taking the path of least resistance.” W.Churchill

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Just Jude & Friends: Travel Toiletry Bag


By Judith on March 21, 2021
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This week in our Instagram Pattern Designer’s collaboration for March we have been making one of my patterns.



I first designed this bag several years ago for a summer issue of Quilt Now magazine. It is a carry-all type bag for the many toiletries and sun creams you take away on holiday (Holiday? What’s that?!)

I just love the unique creativity and interpretations the other designers brought to this project.

Sonia:



Katy:

Jo:



And Sonia had the genius idea of incorporating a handle into the zipper tabs, which she has kindly given me permission to include in the pattern.



I’ve now updated the pattern with new ‘Carry Tabs’ and included lots more photos (you can never have too many photos right?!)



As you can see, there is lots of room for your essential toiletries (or in Jo’s case, sewing project supplies!). And the detachable ‘Wet Bag’ is lined with water resistant ‘Rip-Stop’ nylon to keep your toothbrush and flannel contained.



You can find the pattern here.

We’ve one more week to go in our IG Designer’s Collaboration! Come back soon to see what we’ll be making, or follow us on Instagram by searching #justjudecollaborates

Happy sewing!

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‘Tucked Away’ Pouch Pattern


By Judith on March 19, 2021
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I’m excited to announce that my new ‘Tucked Away’ Pouch Pattern is now available for general sale!



I first designed and taught the large size of this pouch over a year ago as part of my ‘Tucks and Pleats’ class, fully intending to write up a full pattern!!

Well it’s only taken me 13 months! Better late than never!!

Small Size

This is a comprehensive (instantly downloadable) pattern with step by step photos throughout. There are 2 sizes of pouch available, small 8″ x 6″ and large 10″ x 7″.



In this pattern you will learn how to make twisted tucks, zipper installation (including how to shorten a zip that is too long!) and pouch construction!



You may be interested to know how tucks and pleats differ – pleats are formed by folding the same length of fabric into folds which are only stitched down at the top and bottom ends, whereas tucks are constructed separately and then sewn into the project.



I think these cute bags would be great for small sewing projects, make-up bags or keeping all the essentials of your handbag in order! They are also great for gifting!!



The pattern is available here (you will receive a download link in your order confirmation email).

And if you’d like more inspiration, check out the finished ‘Tucked Away’ Pouches here from our class in 2020!

Happy sewing!

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Just Jude & Friends: Retreat Pattern Pack


By Judith on March 13, 2021
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The end of the 2nd week of our Instagram Designer’s Collaboration has produced some inspiring ‘retreat ready’ projects!



Katy had very kindly made available to us her bumper Retreat Pattern Pack, a collection of 6 patterns for items to get you organised and equipped for going on a sewing retreat!!



And what do you know, we all chose something different to make!


Jo:

Tool Roll



Sonia:

Pincushion



Me:



I went for the Project Book, a 14″ square book with lots of pockets and see-through sections, including batting pages which serves as a mini design board to keep your cut out block pieces in order!



I chose to quilt my book exterior and my only other deviations from the pattern where using straight grain cut strips for single fold binding (instead of bias binding – I didn’t have enough co-ordinating colours) and using ribbon closure ties instead of wrap around elastic (I don’t have any pretty elastic!).



The clear vinyl sections make it super easy to locate items!!

This project book can certainly accommodate ALOT of stuff you would need to take away with you to sewing retreat, or even to a regular sewing class or Guild gathering (ah, if only we were allowed to do any of those at the moment!).





Katy has been offering her great value Retreat Pattern Pack at 15% off (until tomorrow) using code PATTERNPACK15 at checkout.



What a fun week it has been!



Tune in next week, or follow the hashtag #justjudecollaborates on Instagram, to see what we will be making next!



Happy sewing!

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Kindred Spirits Sampler Quilt Class


By Judith on March 8, 2021
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I’m delighted to annouce that our Kindred Spirits Sampler Quilt class (previously run as a quilt-along) is now available for general sale!



We had so much fun in the quilt-along. Here are a few of the finished quilts!



I love how different they all look made in different fabrics!



This stand-alone, skill-builder class is made up of pre-recorded tutorials, taking you step by step through each block, and teaching you a wide variety of techniques along the way!



As well as all the block making videos, you also receive a video instruction on how to construct the quilt top (flimsy) and how to quilt & finish your Sampler quilt (we’ve even included our Blooper Reel)!



Supporting the video tutorials are the following notes:

  • Materials, Block Schedule & Equipment List
  • Understanding Measurements & Seam Allowances
  • 14 Block Cutting Sheets (including templates)
  • Flying Geese Borders Cutting Sheet
  • Quilt Top Assembly Notes
  • Basting, Quilting & Binding Notes



The wonderful thing about learning from video tutorials is that you get to watch step by step, detailed demonstrations, where you are in control of the pace of your learning by pressing pause (or rewind!) as you need to!



But don’t take my word for it! Pop on over to the product listing here and read some of the testimonials from the quilt-along!



So if you fancy learning lots of patchwork and quilting techniques in the comfort of your own home and at your own pace, then why not give this sampler quilt class a try and become one of our Kindred Spirits!



Happy quilting!

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Just Jude & Friends: Automatica Projects


By Judith on March 7, 2021
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We’ve just finished the first week of our Instagram Designers Collaboration for March.



This week we were making our own interpretations of Sonia’s (@fabricandflowers) fabulous Automatica Quilt Pattern (currently available with 15% discount).

Here’s what each of us made:

Katy:

Jo:

Sonia:

Me:



I decided to go with bright Amy Butler fabrics teamed with Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Denim) and turned my block into a fun table mat!



This is a really striking pattern by Sonia and makes for a dramatic quilt (check out the original quilt pattern here).

The quilt pattern includes 2 sizes of block. I made the smaller 12.5″ one, which is charm square friendly!



There are so many fun ways you can use Sonia’s creative pattern. I hope we’ve given you a wee flavour!

Come back soon to see how we showcase Katy’s pattern this week!

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IG Designer Collaboration 2


By Judith on February 28, 2021
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I’m excited to reveal my 2nd Instagram Collaboration, starting tomorrow!

You may remember last July I teamed up with 4 other pattern designers to spend a month making and showcasing a pattern from each designer!

It was a lot of fun and we had lots of engagement over on Instagram, so I definitely wanted to do it again!



Let me introduce you to our new designers:

Week 1: Sonia Spence @fabricandflowers

www.fabricandflowers.co.uk

Sonia lives in England and has enjoyed crafting from a young age, often playing on her mum’s old Pfaff sewing machine. As an adult she learned to crochet and then quilting in 2012. She has made many patchwork projects and her patterns have been published in several quilting and crafting publications.

Sonia is passionate about quilting and inspired by colours and shapes. You find lots of helpful tips and tutorials, as well as her pattern shop here.



For our pattern collaboration Sonia has chosen her Automatica Quilt pattern (currently discounted for our collaboration during March). I’m so looking forward to making the striking Automatica block and seeing the other designers’ interpretations!

Week 2: Katy Cameron @the_littlest_thistle

www.the-littlest-thistle.com

Katy lives in Scotland and is a fellow Brit Bee member. She describes herself as a computer geek by day, and sewing ninja by night!! Katy has crafted most of her life.  The Littlest Thistle originally started out selling one of a kind, collectible mohair teddy bears but one day, after searching online for a way to dress the bears, she stumbled across Sew Mama Sew website during giveaway day and was hooked on all things sewing again!

Currently Katy quilts, make bags, clothes and the occasional bear.  She is a regular contributor to several quilting publications and has taught both evening and weekend classes within the UK and Europe in both bag and quilt making. In addition to selling her patterns Katy also sells parts for vintage sewing machines, specialising in Singer Featherweights. You can find her website and pattern shop here.



Katy has chosen her Retreat Pattern Pack for our collaboration. This is a pattern pack of 6 projects that will get you sewing retreat ready! Katy has spoilt us for choice, it’s going to be fun seeing what we all choose to make!



Week 3: Me!! @justjudebelfast



Well I don’t need any introduction!

So which pattern of mine will the other designers be making??



This is my Toiletry Travel Bag, originally designed for Quilt Now Magazine a few years back!

I’m looking forward to seeing any variations the others add to the bag, a handle maybe??



Week 4: Jo Avery @joaverystitch

www.stitchgathering.co.uk

Jo also lives in Scotland. Her lifetime of playing with fabric and yarn has culminated in a career as a teacher, entrepreneur and designer. Jo’s natural affinity with colour and detail informs all her quilts as well as a love of intricate techniques such as needle-turn applique and embroidery. Straddling both modern and traditional quilting, she enjoys inspiring others through her workshops and retreats.

Jo organises the annual Stitch Gathering retreat and designs quilts and embroideries for a wide range of quilting publications and books. Her first solo book ‘New Patchwork and Quilting Basics’ was recently published by Stash Books. Jo is also 1/3rd of  The Thread House,  a UK based quilting retreat and pattern venture.



For our collaboration Jo has chosen her recently released Bird Bundle 2, a pack of 4 applique garden birds. There are many applications for these cute birds and my mind is already whirring on the variety of projects I could apply these cute motifs to!


And that’s our collaboration team for March ’21!



I hope you will be able to follow us on Instagram and Facebook to see our progress (I will also be posting here at the end of each week).


Happy sewing!

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Scrappy Journal Cover


By Judith on February 18, 2021
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A good friend of mine had a birthday recently, and now that she has received her gift I can show you it here!



My friend is a spiritual person who journals, so I made her a colourful A5 journal cover, using mostly Anna Maria Horner and Art Gallery scraps!



I had seen this pretty cover on Pinterest and it inspired me to make a scrappier version.



I included a nifty pen holder and button/loop closure, as well as an A5 notebook which can be replaced when full!



The cover & flaps are echo quilted onto sew-in interfacing, which gives it texture & durability without bulk.



The construction of this notebook is similar to my Hexie Notebook Cover pattern, with an altered patchwork design on the cover and flaps!



I’ve already had several requests for a pattern for my Scrappy Journal Cover, so I will definitely add it to the list of ‘Patterns to Write’ and hopefully get to it sooner rather than later!



I’m pleased to report that my friend loves her ‘blast of colour’ journal – a book that will brighten up any dull day!



Happy sewing!

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Malmo Foldover Pouch


By Judith on February 14, 2021
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Last night I attended the Crafty Monkies Live Zoom Malmo Pouch workshop.



My sweet friend Svetlana was teaching us how to make her pretty foldover pouch (large size).

It was a lot of fun sewing along with ladies from all around the world, under the expert guidance of my friend.



This was a little bit of social playtime for me (there hasn’t been much of that this past year!) and a new experience being a Zoom student rather than a Zoom tutor!!



I love the idea of attending a first class workshop from the comfort of your own home, connecting with old and new faces, and being surrounded by all the supplies you need in one’s own sewing room! Unlike in-person classes, if you forget to bring something to the workshop, you don’t have far to go to get it!



I paired some Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Denim) with an Art Gallery print for the exterior, and a cute pink polka dot from my stash for the lining.

Another trademark of Svetlana’s brilliant bags are the quality details she includes, like leather handles and metal zippers.


Svetlana’s Malmo Pouch class will soon be available to watch on Crafty Monkies YouTube channel and can be purchased via their website.



But if you’d rather just purchase the pattern, you can find it here (includes 2 sizes).



Happy sewing!

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Stained Glass Windows Workshop


By Judith on February 10, 2021
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This month I’m teaching 2 Twin Needle (live Zoom) workshops.

One of these workshops is a Stained Glass Windows panel, hosted by Crafty Monkies on Friday 26th February. The finished panel can then be turned into a cushion, bag or wallhanging.



Unlike traditional Stained Glass Windows, our background panel is pieced rather than appliqued.

The fusible bias tape is then twin needled in place! But the real magic here is that the quilting and twin needling is all one step!



Fusible bias tape comes in a range of colours and widths. Black is the most common colour for the Stained Glass effect, and definitely suits bright modern prints.

Here are a few more examples of the same technique, using different coloured fusible bias.




6mm Black fusible bias tape and 3mm and 4mm twin needles are available in our online shop.



So what does the workshop cover?

At the workshop I’ll show you…

  • how to set up your machine for twin needling
  • how to piece the background
  • how to apply fusible bias tape
  • how to quilt the panel by twin needling

All those who attend the workshop will receive my comprehensive Mosaic Cushion pattern for free! So you can turn your fully quilted panel into an 18″ zippered cushion cover!


This is a really fun introduction to twin needling, achieving a dramatic Stained Glass Windows project. You’ll be hooked!!

So if you fancy learning a new technique, booking for the workshop is via the Crafty Monkies website, where you will also find the full list of materials needed.

Happy sewing!

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Half Price Heart Patterns


By Judith on February 4, 2021
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Hi everyone, how is your February going so far?

It has been very wet and grey here all week, so I thought I’d cheer ourselves up during this ‘month of love’ with a sweet pattern offer!



During all of February, 2 of my Heart Patterns will be half price! Nice!

Chenille Heart Cushion

Pattern available here



I love the snuggly tactile effect you get when you chenille fabric! It’s such a simple technique but always makes a statement!



No special equipment is needed, just a really sharp pair of scissors, and several layers of cotton fabrics.

Included in this pattern is how to insert a zipper into your cushion!

‘Drunken’ Hearts Quilt

Pattern available here



Did you know you can create a heart shape using 4 drunkard’s path units and a square?

That’s exactly how we make the heart blocks in this pretty quilt.



And of course, you could make any size quilt you like once you know the block technique.

This pattern is also available in a Dyslexic Friendly version, also half price.


Seeing lots of heart projects online and in social media is definitely cheering me up! How about you?



Happy sewing!

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Denim Pouch Workshop Finishes


By Judith on February 1, 2021
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Last Saturday afternoon I had my Denim Pouch Workshop, hosted via Zoom by Crafty Monkies.


16 ladies (some in different time zones!) got chopping and repurposing as they used their denim finds to create Denim Zippy Pouches.


The class was following my 9.5″ x 5.5″ samples, using the Quilt-As-You-Go technique to piece and quilt the denim onto interfacing, adding in those all important loops, seams and special features that are unique to denim.



We also learned how to insert a zipper with tabs to give a lovely finish to the pouches, a first for some of the ladies.

And here are a few of the finished pouches.


Aren’t they fab! And feedback from the ladies was that they definitely see more denim pouches and bags in their future!

I always get excited when I see repurposed denim projects. For fun I decided to create a collage of some of my own denim projects!



Lots of bags and pouches there – denim is the perfect hard wearing textile for creating these!

I have several denim patterns available in the shop, but if you’d like to try the Quilt-As-You-Go denim method, check out my Denim Boro Bag pattern here – a larger version of the zippy pouch!


Happy repurposing!

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Vintage Drawstring Bag Tutorial


By Judith on January 31, 2021
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After posting about the Vintage Drawstring Bags I made for Christmas, (and my recent Log Cabin Heart drawstring bag) I got a lot of requests for a tutorial.



So I happily obliged and have filmed a YouTube tutorial on how to make these cute drawstring bags using 2″ squares!


You can of course make these bags any size you wish, and vary the patchwork design on the front. After that the construction method is the same regardless!


I hope you enjoy my tutorial and have lots of bag making fun!


Happy sewing!

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HST Heart Tote Bag


By Judith on January 28, 2021
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A few years ago I wrote a free tutorial on how to make a Half Square Triangle (HST) heart block.



The heart can be sized up into a 12″ quilt block ….



… or turned into a pretty 18″ cushion!



I’ve been focussing a lot on hearts over the past few weeks and thought I would do another interpretation of my HST Heart block.



This time, a tote bag for a friend who is a front line National Health Service worker. All our NHS workers are under huge mental, physical and emotional strain at the moment, so I wanted to remind my friend how much she is loved and appreciated for all that she is doing.



Apart from staying home and obeying the restrictions, the best way I know how to do this is through handmade gifts!


This time I turned the heart block into a patch pocket – there’s one on each side. I added some rivets for extra detailing!



For the main body of the bag, I repurposed 2 legs from a pair of wide leg jeans (the cuff that was at the bottom of the trouser legs now forms the top of the bag!).



I wanted to create a soft, non-quilted tote bag that is strong enough to carry around files or shopping, but also lightweight so it can be folded away easily when not in use.



The bag is lined with a vintage sheet and edged with another vintage offcut with cute blue strawberries and a soft stripe. I decided to leave a little of the lining proud at the top to give a mock binding effect.



And in keeping with my repurposing theme, the handles are made from a belt from a hand-me-down shirt dress!!



The bag has now been gifted and very well received!!


Maybe there’s someone in your life who needs reminding of their value and worth! No better way to express it than with a handmade heart!


Happy sewing!

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Kindred Spirits QAL: Final Week


By Judith on January 25, 2021
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It’s the final week of the Kindred Spirits Quilt-Along!



Wow! It seems like only yesterday when we started with our very first Friendship Reel block back in September!

Initial feedback from the group reveals that having the quilt-along to focus on and a new block to tackle each week has definitely helped to distract from the pandemic and kept minds and hands busy in all the right ways!!

Last week we started to see some completed flimsies! What a delight!



And this week is all about the quilting, binding and finishing our quilts!

At last I can show you the 2 finished Kindred Spirits quilts that I made during our quilt-along!


Coastal:

64″ x 76″



This is the Coastal version of the Kindred Spirits Quilt, based on the main quilt-along graphic (above).

The fabrics used are all by Makower (see below) and are available in our online shop.


One of our Kindred Spirits, Trudi Wood, is a professional long-arm quilter (& a very good friend!) and she worked her quilting magic on the quilt, using one of her pretty fan pantographs!



Isn’t it spectacular! I love the wonderful texture and superior effects that are achieved from long-arm quilting!

Thank you Trudi for finishing off this quilt so beautifully!


Scrappy Tilda:

64″ x 76″

I tested all of the quilt-along blocks by making them first with mostly Tilda scraps. I love how different fabrics can completely change the look of a quilt, even when the design is the same!



I quilted this one on my domestic machine, using an organic wavy line across the width of the quilt.


A video tutorial on how to achieve this quilting design and also a demo on Free Motion Quilting is included in this week’s teaching video.



I’m delighted with both versions of my quilt, and I just know the Kindred Spirits are going to produce equally beautiful quilts! I can’t wait to see them!

We are currently working to reformat the Kindred Spirits Quilt-Along into a stand alone class for general sale. We’ll keep you posted!

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Log Cabin Hearts Tutorial


By Judith on January 20, 2021
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February is the month of love, and no better way to celebrate than with a free patchwork heart tutorial!



I first created a placemat size Log Cabin Heart a few years ago for Patchwork & Quilting Magazine, when they asked their contributors to design a mini quilt that represented 3 favourite things.


For me it was Log Cabins (my first love in quilt blocks!), scraps (of course!) and the colour purple (my favourite colour since childhood!).

But now I can add a 4th favourite element – piecing!



I love piecing much more than quilting, and the thought of downsizing my Heart block (while dialing up the cuteness!) thrilled me no end!



So my free YouTube tutorial means you can choose from the large (original) size – which makes a 14″ square unfinished block, the medium size – which makes a 10″ square unfinished block and the baby of the family – which makes a 6.5″ square unfinished block.

Perfect for using even the smallest of prettiest scraps!

But of course, why stick with squares!!



You can turn your blocks into anything you like. How do you like my trio of mats, made with my favourite Tilda scraps and Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Denim)?

The large size would be perfect as a table centre.



Or how about the medium one as a candle or potholder mat.



And the mini mat is the perfect coaster size for your co-ordinating mug!



At the risk of sounding like Goldilocks and her 3 bears, there’s a size perfect for everyone!!



I love cross-hatch quilting, and it’s the perfect design for ditching through the ‘logs’ of these hearts.

And despite having a drawer full of pretty pre-made bias bindings, I didn’t have just the right colour for my trio, so I made my own!!


I also made a little gift bag with the small size heart pieced into the front and another one on the back.

This is filled with goodies for my friend’s birthday!


So if you love piecing, log cabins or cute hearts as much as me, why not check out my free YouTube tutorial. A link to the accompanying PDF Cutting and Measurements chart is in the description.

Happy sewing!

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Kindred Spirits Quilt-Along: Update


By Judith on January 11, 2021
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I’ve been very neglectful in keeping you up-to-date here on our Kindred Spirits Quilt-Along! Apologies! I think perhaps Christmas put paid to my QAL rhythm and blog routine!!



Since I last updated you on the QAL we have made….

1 Light of Life Lantern (18″ Drunkard’s Path) block:


2 Flying Geese borders:


2 Spools blocks (9″ each):




And this week the ladies are making …

1 Circle of Hearts (9″ Applique) block:



2 Orange Peel (9″ Applique) blocks:



This week marks the end of all our block making! Wow! 17 weeks has gone by in a flash! The photos the ladies put up in the private Facebook Group are wonderful and it’s so exciting seeing the quilts growing week on week.


That just leaves 2 more weeks where we will be covering quilt top assembly and quilting and binding techniques bringing our QAL to an end on 31st January.


I’m very much looking forward to showing you some of the finished quilt tops in a few weeks time!

Stayed tuned!

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Crochet at Christmas


By Judith on January 8, 2021
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This is my mum!



She’s an amazing knitter, and she beavers away knitting 7″ squares that are made into end of life blankets.

She gives me the leftovers of her yarn, when there’s not quite enough to make up a square.

And with the leftovers I crochet 7″ squares for end of life blankets.

But at Christmas I like to crochet something different with the extra time I have. So here are my ‘Christmas Crochet’ makes, using mum’s leftovers and a couple of rogue balls of Double Knitting yarn I had kicking about!


Scrapsadelic Groovy Cushion

by Creative Crochet Workshop



First up was this colourful 14″ cushion! A friend encouraged me to try something different, something that would teach me something new and maybe stretch me a little more.

This boho style cushion certainly suited my scrappy yarn stash, and I really enjoyed the variety of stitches included in the pattern.


I didn’t go for the envelope back, instead crocheting the opening closed around the filler and then finishing it off with my made up version of the frill (I couldn’t get my pompom frill to look like the one in the pattern!!).


Scrapbuster Beanie

by Caab Crochet


I really enjoyed making this little hat, particularly the ribbed band which was a new to me stitch!



It was tricky trying to guess-timate how much yarn each row needed, I played yarn-chicken on more than one occassion!! But I’m happy to report that I didn’t run out of any colour mid row and managed a relatively thoughtful colourway despite working from scraps!

I was so pleased to find the perfect size and colour pompom I had made last year, to perfectly finish off this beanie!


Boho Bunting

by Lulu Loves


I was waiting on some ivory cotton double knitting to arrive before starting this bunting, so thought I’d have a go with some of my colours while I was waiting.

The original pattern includes wooden beads at the top of the tassels, which I didn’t have. But I don’t think they look too bad for not having them.


I think these colourful flags would be pretty in a little girl’s bedroom! Sadly my little girls are now ‘even-bigger-than-me’ girls, so I’ll have to think about another little girl who might like this in her room!



I’m half way through the ivory version, which will look even more boho than the coloured version.

I’m happy to have run down quite a few of mum’s yarn leftovers even though I have a few more crochet projects pinned on Pinterest which I hope to get to soon!

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Denim Zippy Pouch Workshop


By Judith on January 4, 2021
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To enter my 10 year blogiversary giveaway click here.

At the end of this month (30th January, 4pm – 7pm) I will be teaching another live zoom workshop for Crafty Monkies.

Their theme for January is all about using what you have available (following the post Christmas slump!) and so repurposing some old jeans into practical zippy pouches fits right in!



During this workshop you will learn:

  • How to prep and repurpose denim
  • Best interfacings to use
  • How to set up your sewing machine (needles & thread) for sewing denim
  • The ‘Quilt As You Go’ quilting technique
  • Zippy pouch construction, including covered zipper tabs, inserting a metal zipper and pouch lining



If you have never sewn with denim before, or if you have some experience and want to get a little more creative, then this workshop is for you!



There are 2 pouches to choose from. Pouch A is simpler in style and uses thinner interfacing, making it easier to construct and beginner friendly.



Pouch B is a little more involved, incorporating more denim features and characteristics and is quilted onto thicker interfacing to give a much more textured look.



Whichever pouch you choose to make, you need to have confident use of your sewing-machine (including attaching walking foot) and how to measure and cut fabric using a rotary cutter & ruler.



Material/Fabric requirements for this Online Interactive Workshop:-

*Available to purchase at here

  • Several pairs of non-stretch denim items e.g. jeans, skirts, shirts (a variety of colours is best). Pay particular attention to interesting sections of the jeans e.g. seams, pockets, worn sections, feature stitching, labels, tabs & loops etc., especially if making Pouch B
  • Fat quarter* of cotton lining fabric or cotton shirt (not denim weight)
  • 8” metal (or nylon) closed ended zipper*
  • Co-ordinating Polyester thread (standard weight)
  • Button to decorate (optional)
  • Ribbon or fine leather cord – Zipper pull (optional)
  • Embroidery Thread for Boro Stitching (I used Aurifil Wool 12wt) Optional
  • Pouch A – ¼ metre Heavy Sew-in Interfacing (Vlieseline S13)* & 1/4 metre Light Woven Fusible Interfacing (Vlieseline G710)*
  • Pouch B – ¼ metre Legacy Flex Foam*

Equipment requirements for this Online Interactive Workshop:-

  • Rotary Cutter, ruler and mat
  • Iron & ironing board
  • Sewing machine
  • Walking Foot
  • Zipper Foot
  • Hand sewing needle (for Boro stitching)
  • Needles*: 90/14 Jeans Needle, 100/16 Jeans Needle, 80/12 Standard Needle
  • 505 Basting Spray*



​If you would like more information about this workshop or to book, click here to access the Crafty Monkies website (scroll down and click on my workshop listing to access more info).

You can also access a printable List of Materials & Workshop Prep here.

I hope you will join me for 3 hours of denim ripping fun!!

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Denim Messenger Bag


By Judith on January 1, 2021
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To enter my 10 year blogiversary giveaway click here.


Happy New Year everyone!!

I love new year, so much more than Christmas. It’s a turning of the page, a new start, fresh hope, renewed motivations and goal setting!

Bringing in this new year definitely feels a lot different from previous years, but positivity and hopefulness are generated from gratitude and thankfulness. I hope like me you can find many things to be thankful for as we start a new year together.

A good friend of my daughter’s very kindly invested her time and expertise in my stunted photography skills a few months back.

So when I heard she was in need of a laptop bag for Uni ……….



I based this new bag on a previous laptop bag I made, just reducing the measurements a little to accommodate a smaller laptop (everything is getting smaller!!) and leaving off the front pockets.



Denim is strong and durable so I’m hoping this bag will stand the test of time (just like the previous one has done!).

Of course I couldn’t resist adding in the characterful features of the denim and a little Italian wool for strokability!!



This is my first time using a buckle clip. I think this chunky one suits the robust-ness and proportions of the bag.



And just in case you thought the bag was getting too masculine, check out the lining, in the recipient’s favourite colour!!



This fabric is ‘Joie De Clair Woodland’ by Art Gallery Fabrics (and is available here).


I’ve included a slip pocket for the laptop, which is secured with a velcro tab. And I repurposed some pockets from a denim skirt to make a double pocketed section on the other side. Lots of storage for notebooks, pens, phone and leads!


I’m delighted to say my daughter’s friend loves her new bag! Yay!


This bag was my last finish of 2020, a year in which I didn’t complete a single quilt!! But it seems it was a mostly bag kind of year!



I hope you have a creative start to 2021!

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Blogiversary Giveaway!


By Judith on December 29, 2020
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I’m 10 years old!! Yay!

I started blogging on 20th December 2010, encouraged by of one of my best friends @sewmesarah who had just started her blog a few days previous!

What a lot has happened since then, and oh my, how the time has flown by!

To celebrate, I’m hosting a giveaway!



I recently made a Mixed Textile Clutch as a secret santa gift, and enjoyed the process so much I just had to make another!



Similar to the last clutch, this one includes Italian & British wool, Irish Linen, Liberty cotton, sumptuous Jersey suiting, repurposed denim and vintage sheet lining!



I really enjoyed the slow hand stitching of the boro patches before, and included this same technique in this pouch.



The reused duffle coat button and leather buckle piece are sensitive to the re-loved ethos of this entire pouch.



I love everything about this pouch, and I hope you do too!



I’m also giving away a half yard bundle of selected Art Gallery fabrics and 4 spools of Aurifil 12wt wool threads, perfect for hand embroidery or boro stitching!


So if you fancy getting your hands on these goodies, here are 3 ways you can enter:

  1. leave a comment here telling me something you would like to make in 2021
  2. follow @justjudebelfast on Instagram & leave a comment there
  3. like and leave a comment on the giveaway post on our Facebook page

International entries welcome! 

You have until Tuesday 5th January to enter.  The winner will be announced across all social media accounts on 5th.

Good luck everyone!

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Vintage Christmas Gift Bags


By Judith on December 24, 2020
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I can’t quite believe it’s Christmas Eve and another Christmas celebration is upon us!

I’m sure, like for us, Christmas will look and feel a little different this year. But I hope you can still find some light in the darkness and keep your spirits and creativity going through this festive season.

Every Christmas I have a few friends I always make a little handmade something for. About a month ago I was in desperate need of some light relief and ‘playtime’ which coincided nicely with a donated bag of fabric scraps!

I’m particularly drawn towards vintage style textiles and have recently discovered the quirky style of a Korean hand sewer called @sososewing070 (check out her thoughtful scrappy style on Instagram).

Using her sweet drawstring bags and styling as my inspiration I decided to use the donated scraps to make one and see if I liked the concept!


Turns out I really liked the concept and ended up making 5!


The base is linen and the patchwork sections include vintage fabrics, table cloth embroideries, fussy cuts, ditsy florals, even embroidered flowers from a blouse!


I hand quilted all of these bags onto wadding using Aurifil 12wt wool thread! It was so relaxing sitting in front of the TV in the evenings hand quilting and stitching decorative red accents on all 10 panels!


I love the way sososewing070 places seemingly random pieces of lace or buttons on her work, contrasting with the organised neatness of the patchwork. So of course, I did the same!!


All the bags are lined with a vintage style print (from Ikea, also donated!) with linen drawstring handles.


They are the perfect size for filling up with Christmas treats and goodies!


All the bags have been gifted, and of course they can be reused or regifted again and again, for many more Christmasses to come!


I would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported us this year by buying patterns, classes, fabric and haberdashery, this year in particular! It has been a difficult year for many small businesses and your purchases, comments, encouragements and post shares have been invaluable to us these past months.



We wish you and your loved ones a happy and healthy Christmas. May 2021 bring us new hope and lots more inspiration!

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Table Topper Secret Swap!


By Judith on December 18, 2020
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Myself and 3 other quilty friends (Sarah, Trudi & Di) call ourselves ‘Threads Across the Sea’ because 2 of us live in N.Ireland and the other 2 in England. We meet up in person at least once a year (Corona virus put paid to our 2020 gathering!!) and organise ourselves into themed secret swaps and handmade gift exchanges!

October 2019


We decided to set ourselves a secret swap for Christmas, but not Christmas themed. We are unified in our love of mats and table toppers. And so the challenge was set!

Now that we have all exchanged and opened our swap parcels I can tell you that I was making for Trudi and based on her mood board, this is what I made her:


Trudi has a long table in her kitchen, so I went for more of a runner than a topper.

Her mood board was strong on geometric and symmetrical shapes and lines, so I copied a flying geese design which I found on Pinterest (originally designed by my fellow Brit bee mate Laura Jane!).


Trudi is a fellow lover of Art Gallery Fabrics. I’ve had a mixed AGF FQ bundle knocking around for a while (Pat Bravo and Maureen Cracknell), waiting for that perfect project!


I carefully picked out some of the colours from Trudi’s mood board and teamed them with Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Oyster). I love how the richness of Essex Yarn Dyed Linen compliments the sumptuous softness of Art Gallery Fabrics.


With the waste corner cuts from the main flying geese, I made a trivet, bolstered by an extra layer of heat resistant wadding. A complimentary kitchen accessory to the runner!


Isn’t it cute! The extra wadding certainly adds more definition to the quilting!


And who was making for me?