‘Wee Coloured Houses’ Birthday Pouch


By Judith on August 14, 2018
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A good friend of mine recently celebrated a milestone birthday.

 

Now this friend is uber creative and talented, especially when it comes to ceramics.

 

Rachel has a workshop in Conway Mill, just 2 floors above me, and makes the most stunning ceramic house pictures and brooches #weecolouredhouses

 

I’m lucky to be the proud owner of 2 such creations!

 

'Wee Coloured Houses' by Rachel Julca

'Wee Coloured Houses' by Rachel Julca

 

So from one maker to another, I knew my gift had to be handmade!

 

Wee Coloured Houses Pouch (birthday gift)
approx 12″ x 8″

 

My ‘Wee Coloured Houses’ pouch is inspired by Rachel’s adorable little houses. They have been free motion sketched onto Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Flax).  Those tiny windows were a challenge!!

 

Wee Coloured Houses Pouch (birthday gift)

 

I know Rachel loves colour, so I went with a patchworked back and a bright, funky lining.

 

Wee Coloured Houses Pouch (birthday gift)

Wee Coloured Houses Pouch (birthday gift)

 

So here’s to many more creative years Rachel!

 

 

And if you would like to purchase one of Rachel’s pictures or commission her for a custom order, you can contact her here.

 

Also, keep an eye out for her at Frock Around the Clock Fares and the Fine & Dandy Markets, as well as seeing her stock in The Designerie (Bushmills), Belfast City Airport, The Crafty Barn (Carlingford) and Klover (Hillsborough) to name a few!

 

Happy sewing!

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Zippy Pouches Workshop


By Judith on August 12, 2018
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Zippy Pouches Workshop11th August, 10am-4pm2nd Flr, Conway Mill, Belfast

 

Yesterday was my Zippy Pouches workshop, a day to conquer the ‘Fear of the Zip’!

 

Zippy Pouches Workshop Aug18

 

My courageous ladies could choose from a simple but perfectly formed ‘Easy Peasy Pouch’ or the ‘Gracie Pouch’ which included a template and a flange feature.

 

And just look at what they achieved!

 

Zippy Pouches Workshop Aug18
Easy Peasy Pouches (2 sizes)
Zippy Pouches Workshop Aug18
Gracie Pouches (2 sizes)

 

Aren’t they beautiful!

 

Well done ladies! Your hard work totally paid off!

 

If you would like to have a go at making a zippy pouch, you can get the Easy Peasy Pouch pattern here and the Gracie Pouch pattern here.

 

Happy sewing!

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Class Projects: September ’18


By Judith on August 6, 2018
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Hello everyone,

It’s hard to believe that the summer is almost through, and attention is quickly turning to the new term of classes starting in September.

 

Twin Needling Sept18

 

This term our (optional) class project will be Twin Needling with Fusible Bias (incorporating Stained Glass Windows).

 

As you can see above, there are a range of makes to choose from.  Let’s look at them:

 

Mosaic Cushion (Beginner Friendly):

 

Mosaic (Twin Needled) Cushion

 

This 18″ cushion is a great starter project if you are new to fusible bias and twin needling.

 

Mosaic (Twin Needled) Cushion

 

Simple piecing creates the mosaic background, with the twin needled bias creating a dramatic (and quilted) finish!

 

Mosaic (Twin Needled) Cushion

 

I’ve made a feature of the zipper closure in the back of the cushion, but you could easily have an envelope or button closure here.

 

The digital pattern is available here (hard copies are available to purchase in class).

 

Mackintosh Flower Cushion (Intermediate):

 

Mackintosh Flower Cushion (Twin Needled)

 

This is another 18″ cushion, this time inspired by Charles Renee Mackintosh’s iconic design.

 

Mackintosh Flower Cushion (Twin Needled)

 

 

Shapes are bondawebbed onto background fabric, and the fusible bias then curved and twin needled down.

 

Mackintosh Flower Cushion (Twin Needled)

 

 

Again I’ve made a feature of the cushion back.

 

The digital Mackintosh Flower Cushion Pattern is available here (hard copies and full size templates are available to purchase in classs).

 

Applique Leaf Denim Bag (Advanced):

 

Denim applique bag

 

This project not only incorporates twin-needling (stems) and satin stitch applique (leaves), but also re-purposing textiles, zippered pocket and handbag construction.

 

Denim applique bag

 

The digital Applique Leaf Denim Bag Pattern is available here (hard copies and full size templates are available to purchase in class).

 

Mackintosh Rose Wallhanging (Advanced):

44332 Colour Template

If you love wallhangings and aren’t afraid of something a little more challenging, you could try your hand at this Mackintosh inspired ‘Stained Glass Window’.

 

I’m in the progress of making up this wallhanging in a different colourway, and hope to show you the finished wallhanging soon!  The finished size will be approx. 14″ x 21″ and full size templates will be available to purchase in class.

 

Materials:

 

Each pattern lists the materials you will need.

 

However, I will have the following available to purchase in class:

black 6mm fusible bias

4mm twin needles

pattern transfer pens

wadding

basting spray

thread

bondaweb

zips

hinged faux leather handbag handles

full size templates

 

So I hope you are inspired to perhaps try something different this term.  You will have 7 weeks to make one of these projects, or a project of your own choosing!

 

And there are still a few spaces left across all the classes (more info here), so why not join us for some creative fun!

 

Happy twin-needling!

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A 60’s Revival Tunic!


By Judith on August 5, 2018
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Hi there!

 

Yesterday we had a fun Scrap Busting Saturday up at the Mill.

 

Scrap busting Saturday Aug18

 

The classroom was alive with scraps getting turned into beautiful bags, cushions and quilts! (You can read more about the projects being made here.)

 

Oh how satisfying it is to breath new life into unwanted or left-over fabrics!

 

And speaking of fabric rejuvenating!

 

No 2 The ’60’s Revival’ Tunic!

 

60's Revival Tunic Aug18

 

This is my hippy tunic (made using New Look pattern 6068), not hippy perhaps in style, but hippy because it is made from 100% unadulterated C.R.I.M.P.L.E.N.E!

Yes you heard right!

I LOVE CRIMPLENE!

 

60's Revival Tunic Aug18

 

I don’t even know where a love for this nasty nylon came from! I love it so much I’m thinking of starting a ‘bring back the housecoat’ revolution!

 

60's Revival Tunic Aug18

 

And I feel it’s only right that I tell you now, I HAVE MORE CRIMPLENE! What joy!

That’ll be a few more hippy tunics to add to collection then!

 

60's Revival Tunic Aug18

 

And see that mug there?  That’s my new folksy mug! Isn’t it fab!

 

Hippy mug

 

Happy sewing!

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My ‘Hippy Granny’ Tunic!


By Judith on July 31, 2018
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Hi there!

How is your summer going?

 

We’ve had wonderful weather this summer, so I shouldn’t be sad to see the rain!  After all, the gardens are crying out for it!

 

As well as working on some non-work related sewing commitments, I’ve been beavering away on some new patterns for upcoming classes and workshops (more on this very soon!).

 

But I’ve also managed to snatch a few ‘dressmaking’ moments here and there!

 

I once remember my dearly passed friend, Heather, telling me about when she used to make her own trousers.  After her first successful pair, she made lots more from the same pattern, but just in different colours!

 

So as a novice dressmaker, I am unashamedly going to follow my friend’s canny philosophy!

 

Liberty Summer Tunic

 

Last summer I made this tunic from a charity shop find of Liberty cotton. The pattern is beginner friendly (New Look pattern 6068) and I love the shape and fit of it.

 

So I cut out 2 more, in vintage fabrics that I’ve collected over the years!

 

No. 1   The ‘A Little Touch of Granny’ Tunic:

 

Hippy Granny Tunic

 

I can’t remember who or where this exotic themed fabric came from, but I didn’t have enough width in the main fabric for a complete front. So I improvised and added in a coordinating navy panel.

 

Hippy Granny Tunic

 

Also I wanted a slightly longer length than the original pattern, so I added a mock under-skirt in a contrasting fabric (I call this my granny fabric!).

 

Hippy Granny Tunic

 

I’m sure you will think I’m bonkers (!!) but I love my cobbled together tunic!

I have long been trying to set my inner granny/hippy free, and I think I’ve taken another step closer to embracing a very individual and creative style!

 

Hippy Granny Tunic

 

And for tunic no.2?

 

Tune in next time for another ‘eyebrow raising’ post!

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Patchwork In The Peaks 2018


By Judith on July 22, 2018
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Hello everyone!  How are you?

 

I’m back from a little holiday over on English soil, enjoying the amazing Cumbrian countryside with my #sewingbesties …..

 

Holiday July18
L-R: Di, me, Sarah, Trudi

Holiday July18

 

….. and visiting family and friends in my old Dorset stomping ground.

 

Holiday July18
Bournemouth Beach
Holiday July18
My brother’s back garden grape vine!

 

The weather was hot, hot, hot! What a cracking summer break.

 

And I’ll be jet-setting off again in September, as the guest tutor of Patchwork in the Peaks in Morzine, France.

 

 

Patchwork in the Peaks is an Alpine Quilt Retreat, hosted twice a year by Busy Needle Quilting.

 

The retreat is held over 4 days, in a 4 storey chalet with the most spectacular views!

 

You get to take part in workshops, tutorials and have some free time to relax, explore Morzine, or fit in more sewing! There’s even an ‘in chalet’ quilting shop and you can avail of the Juki long arm quilting machine (tuition provided).

 

Doesn’t that sound wonderful!  You can read lots more about this quilters heaven here and here.

 

Denim applique bag

 

I’ll be teaching my Applique Denim Bag, showcasing techniques such as twin needling fusible bias, satin stitch applique, re-purposing textiles and a zippered pocket (to name a few).

 

So if you fancy a creative and relaxing retreat surrounded by inspiring scenery, why not come to Patchwork in the Peaks (only a few places remaining)!

Happy sewing!

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Scrappy Rail Fence Block Tutorial


By Judith on July 5, 2018
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Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)

 

This is my Autumn Rail Fence Quilt (as featured in August ’17 issue of Pretty Patches magazine).

 

If, like me, you have a healthy supply of scraps, then this is a great scrap buster project for you!

 

 

In August I am hosting a Scrap Buster Saturday, and this is one of the many quick and easy ideas folks can use to dig in to those overflowing scrap boxes!

 

 

Here’s how to make the Scrappy Rail Fence Block (12.5″ unfinished):

 

1 You will need a variety of scrappy strips, at least 13″ long and of varying widths (don’t go wider than 3″). Press them and make sure they have straight parallel sides.  Don’t worry about trimming the lengths, you get a more accurate block if you leave the trimming to the end.

 

  • Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)

 

2 I went for a ‘late summer’ colour theme of teals, oranges, pinks and golds. But you could easily use whatever colours you have for a more ‘random’ rail fence.

Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)

 

3 You will notice I have included a brown striped fabric at the edge of each block.  These strips are cut 2″ wide and give a little uniformity to the scrappiness of the blocks.  If you are going for random and bright colours, try a narrow black and white stripe here.

 

 

4 If you are working to a colour theme, try to get an even number of colours per block. The order doesn’t matter, just sew enough together using a 1/4″ seam, not forgetting the stripey fabric on the end, until you can get at least 12.5″ wide.  Set the seams (pressing the seam as you have sewn it) before pressing the seams to the darkest fabric.

 

 

5 Trim the block to 12.5″ square.  If there is excess on the width make sure you don’t take any off the stripey/end fabric.  You want these end strips to be of uniform width.  I used my 12.5″ square ruler for easy trimming, but you can trim these blocks to any size, just make sure they are square!

 

 

6 Make lots more blocks until you have enough for your quilt (or until you have used up all your scraps!).

 

Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)

 

Happy scrapping!

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Real Women Have Curves Part 2


By Judith on June 30, 2018
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It’s the end of June and classes are now finished for the summer recess.  What a wonderful first 6 months in my new classroom!

 

Our ongoing heatwave here meant the classroom was quite warm on occasion, but the ladies were smokin’ their creativity even more so!

 

You may remember Part 1 of our ‘Real Women Have Curves’ roundup, where I showed you the fabulous drunkard’s path cushions my ladies had made.

 

Well just take a look at these!

 

Butterfly Garden Class June18
Butterfly Garden Class June18

 

These beautiful ‘Butterfly Garden’ quilts are stunning on every level (my poor photos not doing them justice at all!).

 

I love how different fabrics or placement of colour value can completely change the look of the same quilt.  In this pattern, drunkard’s path units are combined with squares to make up these curvy blocks.

 

Aren’t they wonderful!  A huge well done to my ladies for ‘going large’ with their curvy project (especially as temperatures soared inside and out!).

 

If you like what you see here and want to have a go at your own ‘layer cake friendly’ Butterfly Garden quilt, you can get the pattern here.

 

Butterfly Garden DP Quilt (class project)

 

I won’t have any classes in July, but you can find out all about my summer programme of classes and workshops here.

 

Happy quilting!

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Toiletry Travel Bag Finishes


By Judith on June 24, 2018
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Two Saturdays ago I held my Toiletry Travel Bag workshop.

 

Travel Washbag

 

The classroom was buzzing as 11 ladies cut, quilted, piped and zippered their way through the workshop!

 

Toiletry Travel Bag Workshop June18

 

And despite a few new techniques to overcome, these are the amazing bags they produced!

 

Toiletry Travel Bag Workshop June18

 

Aren’t they brilliant!

 

Well done ladies on your fabulous bags!  Time to start dreaming of new places to visit!

 

Travel Washbag

 

And if you’d like to make your own sizeable toiletry bag, you can get the pattern here (includes instructions for the ‘wet bag’).

 

Travel Washbag

 

Happy travels!

 

 

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Shared Threads – Drawstring Bag Tutorial


By Judith on June 22, 2018
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As promised, here is the tutorial for the Shared Threads Drawstring Bags Tutorial.

 

Shared Threads Drawstring Bags

 

You Will Need:

1 x (11.5″ wide x 29″ tall) non-directional cotton fabric OR

2 x (11.5″ x 15″) directional cotton fabric

2 x 25″ lengths of ribbon or cord (or shoe laces)

safety pin

 

Method:

 

If using directional fabric, first join the pieces right sides together along the bottom edges using 1/4″ seam allowance.

 

1 Press under both short ends by 1/4″.

 

 

2 Press under both long sides by 1/4″ and then again by another 1/4″.

 

 

3 Sew around all 4 edges using 1/4″ seam allowance.

 

 

4 Bring both short ends wrong sides together. Measure and mark 2.5″ down from each top corner.

 

 

5 Sew from each marker down the sides to the bottom corners using 1/4″ seam allowance. Start and finish with a reverse stitch.

 

 

6 Turn the bag right sides out and press well.

 

7 Press the sides of the top flaps so they fold in.

 

 

8 Fold the top edge of the flap down until it meets the start of the side seams. Pin and sew along the hemmed edge of the flap. Repeat for the other side.

 

 

 

9 Attach the safety pin to one end of the ribbon/cord. Thread it into the top channel, all the way around until it comes out the same side.

 

 

10 Remove the pin and knot the ends of the ribbon. Cut the ends of the ribbon at an angle to reduce fray.

 

 

11 Repeat for the other length of ribbon, this time from the opposite side of the bag.

 

 

And you’re finished!

 

Shared Threads Drawstring Bags

 

 

Thank you for supporting Shared Threads.

 

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Shared Threads – Help Wanted!


By Judith on June 21, 2018
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A few months ago I had the privilege of meeting an Instagram friend, Kirsty from Song of a Nest.

We first made contact via Instagram, but it turned out we only live up the road from each other!!

Shared Threads
Kirsty is multi-talented (just check out her beautiful website), but more than that, she is a passionate and compassionate individual.  Kirsty’s heart for school girls in India is infectious, and this is why Shared Threads was created.

 

Shared Threads

 

“I have started a project called ‘Shared threads’ which makes sanitary kits for girls in India so that they can go to school.

The heart behind the project is to remove the limitations that menstruation puts on women and girls, playing a part in enabling them to live their lives to it’s full potential

So many women and girls around the world have to resort to using leaves or rags or old newspapers to manage their period due to lack of sanitary products. Our pack provides them with a free, washable, sustainable  solution to manage their period with dignity, whilst also being kinder to the environment.

Girls all over the world drop out of school due to lack of feminine hygiene products. Our pack enables them to continue with their education all year round.

Our packs and pads are made with recycled fabric.”

 

(You can read more here about the specific project in India we will be supporting.)

 

Each girl will receive a drawstring bag (tune in tomorrow for the tutorial) which will contain 2 pad holders and 6 pads.

 

Shared Threads

 

Everything is made from donated and recycled textiles, except for the PUL (Polyurethane Laminate), a waterproof, breathable and washable liner in the pads.

 

And here’s how you can get involved:

 

    • Come: join in with our get-togethers – even if you can’t sew, there are lots of other jobs we need done (e.g. cutting out, threading the drawstrings, making up the packs etc.). We hope to next meet in July.

 

Shared Threads

 

  • Donate: we need towels and brushed cotton/flannel for the pads and cotton fabrics for the holders and bags. We also need shoe-laces and ribbons for the drawstring bags.

 

  • Make: tomorrow I will post the tutorial for the drawstring bags, and soon Kirsty will be posting the instructions for the pad holders. Even if you can’t get along to the meet-ups, we would love it if you could make the items at home or why not arrange your own Shared Threads sew-in with friends?

 

So here’s what to do next:

 

    • Hop on over to the Shared Threads page and sign up for the regular updates and info from Kirsty.  This will keep you up-to-date with meet-ups, fund-raisers and progress reports.

 

 

    • Contact Kirsty via FB, IG or her website if you have materials to donate

 

I know from previous experience just how generous and supportive the sewing community is.  Thanking you all in advance of your support.

 

“Small things done with great love will change the world!”

Mother Theresa

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Machine Sewing for Beginners


By Judith on June 18, 2018
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During the 5 Wednesday evenings in August I will be running my ‘Machine Sewing for Beginners’ Course.

 

Machine Sewing for Beginners Class May13

 

I have run this course many times in the past, and it has always proven popular. The course is designed for folks who want to learn how to use a sewing machine, or refresh their machine sewing skills from long ago!

 

Here’s a run down of the topics we cover:

 

Week 1:

  • threading the machine
  • filling a bobbin
  • understanding the various buttons, dials & stitches
  • practising the different stitches

 

 

 

Week 2:

  • understanding tension & troubleshooting
  • how to change needles and feet
  • understanding uses of different feet
  • sewing control skills

 

 

Week 3:

  • understanding fabric (warp, weft, bias)
  • measuring & cutting fabric
  • seams (1/4”; 3/8”; 5/8”, overlocking; french)

 

 

 

Weeks 4-5:

  • Project: Single skein cushion cover with a zippered back

 

Single Skein Zippered Cushion Cover

 

Extra Info:

  • Cost: £45 (includes a non-refundable deposit of £20)
  • Course in Conway Mill (2nd Floor), Conway Street, Belfast, 6.30pm-8.30pm
  • Disabled Parking and Access available
  • Places are limited so book early
  • Limited number of machines available to hire (pre-booking required)
  • Full list of materials/requirements emailed in July

 

So if you fancy learning a new skill, or brushing up on an old one, just drop me an email to justjudedesigns@hotmail.co.uk.  Classes are fun and relaxed!

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Bindings & Finishes


By Judith on June 16, 2018
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Our 5 minute demo in class this month was all about the different ways to bind or finish a quilt.

 

I had lots of samples to show the variety of techniques and finishes, but it was by no means an exhaustive list!  Creativity abounds when it comes to ways to finish a quilt!

 

Here is a run down of the examples we looked at:

 

10 Ways to Finish a Quilt

 

1 Double Fold (French) Binding:

 

Using 2.5″ wide strips, this is one of the most common binding types.  Usually stitched to the front of a quilt (using 3/8″ seam allowance) with mitred corners.  Then stitched down at the back, either by hand (using the Invisible Applique Stitch) or by machine*.

 

A tutorial on making and attaching Double Fold Binding available here.

 

Fig Tree Spots n Dots Quilt (Popular Patchwork June17)

 

*To machine stitch down the binding, ‘stitch in the ditch’ from the front side. A tutorial on stitching in the the ditch is available here.

 

Baby Boy Quilt

 

2 Square Set Binding:

 

With square set binding, each edge of the quilt is bound separately, with the corners being ‘wrapped around’ and overlapped by the binding of the adjacent edge.  This results in much thicker corners, with a less professional finish than a double fold mitred corner.  For this reason, square set binding isn’t often used.

 

Square Set Binding

Square Set Binding

 

3 Single Fold Binding:

 

This technique is similar to Double Fold binding, but this time using a 1.75″ wide strip and left unironed. The binding is attached in exactly the same way as Double Fold Binding.

 

Single fold binding

 

The main difference in the 2 techniques happens at the back!  When the strip is folded over to the backside, first it is folded down to the edge of the quilt, then folded over again.

 

Single Fold Binding

Single Fold Binding

 

The binding is then either hand or machine stitched down to finish.  You can get an excellent Single Fold Binding tutorial here.

 

4 Flanged Binding:

 

A ‘flange’ is an inset piece of fabric (or lace, ric rac etc.) which enhances the main binding.

 

Flanged Binding

 

To achieve a 1/4″ flange (as shown above), cut the main binding strips 1.5″ and the flange strips 2″.  Join them right sides together along the long edge using 1/4″ seam allowance. Then bring both long edges wrong sides together and press.  This allows the excess flange fabric to show at the top edge.

 

Flange Binding

 

The binding is then attached using the double fold binding technique, but this time sewn first to the back of the quilt.   Bring the binding  round to the front, and stitch in the ditch between the main binding and the flange. You can get a step by step tutorial here for a narrower flange.

 

5 Backing to Front:

 

If you don’t have suitable fabric to use as the binding, why not bring the backing fabric around the edges to the front!

 

The key to this technique is in the careful trimming of the wadding (level with the quilt top) and the backing fabric (left 1″ wider).

 

The backing is then folded in to the edge of the quilt and then over once more.  You can then top stitch the binding down or use a decorative stitch.

 

Backing to Front Binding

 

A great tutorial on this technique is available here.

 

6 Quilt Front to the Back:

 

This is the reverse of no.5!  Trim the backing and wadding level, leaving the quilt front 1″ wider. Fold round to the back in the same way and stitch it down.

 

7 Rounded Corners:

 

Sometimes a quilt or wallhanging needs the softer look of rounded corners. Make and trim your quilt in the usual way, then place a bowl or dinner plate at the corners and cut away the excess.

 

Ditsy Daisy Quilt (Popular Patchwork May17)

 

For wide corners like these, I still apply the usual double fold binding from straight cut strips (no bias cuts).  For a more curvier edge, you may need to use bias binding.

 

Home Sweet Home Spring Wallhanging (British Patchwork & Quilting magazine April17)

 

8 Rattail Binding:

 

Rattail, or Satin Cord Binding, is more commonly used to finish the edges of art quilts. The quilt is trimmed and the edges top stitched or zigzagged, before the satin ‘rattail’ cord is zigzagged to the edges.  You can see a great tutorial on this technique here.

 

Rattail Binding

 

9 Prairie Points (& other inserts!):

 

If you’re not one for a traditional binding finish, how about inserts!  These can be prairie points, scallops, half hexies, ric rac or lace (to name a few!).

 

Prairie Points

 

I’m not a fan of ‘bagging’ a quilt, so try this instead.  Plan ahead – don’t take your chosen quilting design right to the edges, leave half an inch unquilted around all edges.  Trim the wadding (only) back to the quilting, and then fold under the raw edges of the front and back fabrics.

 

Bindings & Finishes

 

This is where you place the inserts before stitching the edges closed.  Just make sure you have worked out your maths for prairie points, scallops or half hexies, so they are the right size to fit exactly into each edge.

 

10 Crochet Edging:

 

If you are a dab hand with a crochet hook, you can finish the edges of your quilt or cushions with a delicate crochet trim.

 

Crochet trim

 

Finish your quilt as per example 9 (for cushions, simply turn them right sides out). Then hand sew a blanket stitch around all edges.  Crochet into the blanket stitch using 4ply cotton yarn. Your first row will be chain stitches, followed by a row of double crochets and trebles.  Add as many rows as you wish!

 

Garden Trellis Cushions (Pretty Patches June17)

 

And there we have it!

 

10 different ways to finish your quilts and projects.

 

There are of course many more, just have a look in Pinterest!  The possibilities are endless!

 

Happy binding!

 

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Real Women Have Curves Part 1


By Judith on June 7, 2018
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Hello there!

 

How is everyone doing?  We are already half way through the last block of classes before summer recess!

 

I didn’t set a class project this block.  I figured I’d thrown a lot at my poor unsuspecting victims students! So instead we’ve been focusing on getting UFOs ticked off the list.

 

You may remember that last term I introduced my ladies to the no-pin method of sewing drunkard’s path curves.

 

Curves class roundup 1

 

And just look at what my curvy ladies have produced!

 

Curves completely conquered! BOOM!

 

Aren’t they fabulous!  Well done ladies, and also to those still finishing off their curvy cushions! You are all amazing!

 

And before the end of this block of classes, I will have more pics of my other group of curvy ladies who are making my Butterfly Garden Quilt.  You won’t want to miss it!

 

‘Ripples’ Cushion pattern available here.

‘Butterfly Garden’ Quilt pattern available here.

 

Happy curving!

 

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JJD Newsletter & GDPR


By Judith on June 5, 2018
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I’m sure you are more than familiar now with the changes to our General Data Protection Rules here in the UK and EU.

 

 

For small business holders like me, it’s been a time consuming and expensive exercise in trying to figure out a way through the ‘grey areas’ to make sure we are complying with the new rules.

 

So in keeping with the new rules, I have published a new privacy policy about how I collect, use and retain your data. You can read the policy here.  If you have any queries or concerns about this, please don’t hesitate to get in contact.

 

 

I have just sent out my summer newsletter, which covers the latest information on upcoming classes, new pattern releases and free tutorials.

 

If you would like to receive my termly newsletter in future and get regular updates and subscriber discounts, then just type in your email address on the right hand side of this page.

 

Happy reading!

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Rope Bowls Workshop


By Judith on May 31, 2018
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For the third installment in my series of summer workshops, we will be looking at what we can do with cotton clothesline rope and a zig-zag stitch!

 

Rope Bowls Workshop

 

The rope bowl making phenomenon hit the online quilting community about 2 years ago, and is still going strong!

 

Rope Bowls Workshop

 

When I started making these, I couldn’t believe how easy  it was to achieve the variety of 3d shapes.  The fiddliest part is getting the rope wound tightly enough at the start, but after that, it’s a doddle!

 

Rope Bowls Workshop

 

I experimented with a couple of different ropes, one softer and one coarser. While my machine still coped ok with the coarser rope, it had to work a little harder, and cheaper threads broke more often.  However, the softer rope was much more maliable and took both the Aurifil and cheaper threads with ease.  I will be supplying the softer rope to the workshops.

 

Rope Bowls Workshop

 

There are many different ways to add colour to your baskets – dip-dyeing, painting, coloured thread or adding scraps.  Check out my Kitchen Pinterest Board for many more examples of this versatile craft.

 

Rope Bowls Workshop

 

Due to the popularity of this project, I am running 2 workshop dates, 18th August and 8th September.  All workshops are £30 (includes a non-refundable £15 deposit).  Just drop me an email to justjudedesigns@hotmail.co.uk for more information or to register.

 

Happy sewing!

 

 

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Easy Peasy Pouches Workshop


By Judith on May 30, 2018
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Next up on my series of Summer Workshop posts are my Easy Peasy Pouches!

 

Zippy Pouches Workshop11th August, 10am-4pm2nd Flr, Conway Mill, Belfast

 

It’s funny how often I come across folks with an inherent fear of zippers!

 

I remember my own fear of them once upon a time. But oh, the wonderful freedom I experienced once I faced my fear, able to make and enjoy many zippered projects and gifts.

 

I want to enable others to experience this freedom and fun, and to embrace their zipper foot once and for all!

 

Easy Peasy Zippered Pouch Workshop

 

For the complete ‘Zipper Novice’ I have designed the Easy Peasy Pouch, simple construction without compromising on the little details that matter, like pretty zipper tabs and a boxed corner base.

 

Easy Peasy Zippered Pouch Workshop

 

And for those feeling a little more adventurous, you could try The Gracie Pouch.

 

The Gracie Pouch Workshop

 

These have the same simple construction as the Easy Peasy Pouch, just with a few added features and a little more quilting.

 

The Gracie Pouch Workshop

 

When I need a handmade gift idea, zippy pouches are my go to project!

 

Bookings for this workshop are now open!  All workshops are £30 (includes a non-refundable £15 deposit). Just drop me an email to justjudedesigns@hotmail.co.uk.

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Scrap Busting Saturday Workshop!


By Judith on May 29, 2018
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Hello there!

 

How is your week going?  We are (still) basking in the most gorgeous sunny weather here, leaving us with stunning, glorious sunsets!

 

Sunset (Seapark) May18
Sunset (Seapark) May18

 

This week in my classes I am presenting my summer Saturday Workshops.  The 4 Saturdays in August will all be workshops, and I will be posting about them here, starting with ……

 

Sat 4th August10am-4pm2nd Flr, Conway Mill, Belfast

 

If you’ve been sewing for any length of time, you may have a huge healthy stock of scraps, leftovers from previous quilting projects. These pieces might just be too sizeable, pretty or meaningful to throw away, leftover binding or jelly roll strips, or perhaps frugality gets the better of you!

 

Organising Scraps (Workshop)

 

Either way, there are many, many ways to put those ever growing scraps to good use!

 

Here are just a few examples of what you can make on Scrap Buster Saturday.

 

Stacked Coins Cushion: (pattern available here)

 

Scrappy Stacked Coins Cushion

 

If you have a plentiful supply of scraps, you may be able to group them into colourways like I’ve done here.

 

Scrappy Stacked Coins Cushion

 

Let your scraps dictate how wide your stacks can be!  The only preparation here is some pressing and making sure the sides are straight.

 

Scrappy Stacked Coins Cushion

 

Equally you can go completely random, and sew a variety of scraps together in the same ‘stacked coins’ way!

 

Scrappy Stacked Coins cushion

 

French Braid Handbag: (pattern available here)

 

Scrappy French Braid Bag (workshop)

 

This is another example of grouping scraps into colourways.  The French Braid piecing technique is super easy, and you don’t even need the pieces to be of equal width.

 

Scrappy French Braid Bag (workshop)

 

I’ve quilted the bag exterior onto bosal (flex foam) which gives it lovely texture and structure without losing softness.

 

(Hinged Faux Leather Handles available at the workshop)

 

Strip Pieced Quilt: (free block tutorial here)

 

Scrappy Strips Quilt (British P&Q Sept16)

 

My technique for making strip pieced blocks doesn’t involve a foundation layer.

 

Scrappy Strips Quilt (British Patchwork & Quilting Sept16)

 

I added a little ‘organisation’ to lots of random strips by making the central strip in each block white. The white strips are of uniform width, but that’s were the uniformity ends!  All other strips are random widths and lengths. I even used ‘ugly’ fabrics I still had, but I totally love the finished quilt! That’s the magic of using scraps.

 

Autumn Rail Fence Quilt (block tutorial available here)

 

Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)

 

The simple sewing together of strips means you can easily make up this quilt top in a day.

 

Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)

 

Once again, I dove into my scrap drawers for specific colours – golds, oranges, pinks and teals, all of different widths and lengths.  Some donated yardage of a brown stripe gives flow and order to the scraps.

 

But equally, this quilt would look fabulous made in random coloured scraps with a uniform ‘fence’ fabric.

 

‘Quilt As You Go’ Handbag: (pattern available here)

 

QAYG Shopping Bag class sample

 

Here’s another roomy handbag idea for all those colourful scraps!

 

This ‘quilt as you go’ method involves the quilting of each individual piece of fabric onto a larger piece of wadding.  There are no raw edges, and the condense quilting gives the bag lots of structure.

 

The pattern also includes this secure recessed zipper closure.

 

QAYG Handbag class sample 056

 

‘Birch’ Quilt (in progress):

 

Birch Quilt in progress

 

I took inspiration from this quilt and decided to make a grey and low volume version (given that I have an overflowing drawer of LV scraps!).

 

I plan on using up my stash of Kona Greys to make this into a bigger ‘man’ quilt.  Somehow, I think it will take me a lot longer to use up my LV scraps!

 

Birch Quilt in progress

 

So there you have it!  A little inspiration on how to use your scraps, and a date for your diary on how to have a day of fun turning them into something wonderful!

 

And if you need even more inspiration, check out my Scrap Busting Pinterest Board!

 

All Saturday workshops are £30, including a non-refundable deposit of £15 to register.  Just drop me an email to justjudedesigns@hotmail.co.uk to book a place.

 

Happy scrapping!

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Applique Sailboat Cushion Workshop


By Judith on May 20, 2018
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Yesterday was a big day here in the UK!

 

There was the small detail of a Royal Wedding (and an even smaller football final!!), but the main event was happening in my classroom at Conway Mill!

 

Applique Sailboat Cushion Workshop

 

6 ladies rocked up for a day of sewing, making my Denim Sailboat Cushion.

 

And even though The Wedding was playing on my laptop in the background, these women were serious about learning hard and barely stopped for a lunch break!

 

 

For some, it was a first time venture into satin stitch applique and a little free motion sketching too (I think the celebratory tipple of Proseco might have helped, wink, wink!)

 

Applique Sailboat Cushion Workshop

 

I’m sure you’ll agree, that these finishes (and almost finishes) look amazing!

 

Well done ladies on your focus, fun and fabulous creativity!

 

Full kits were available at the workshop, and I have a few left which I’ve listed in my shop.

 

The pattern is included in the kit, but if you would just like the pattern, you can find the digital download here.

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Mental Health Awareness Week


By Judith on May 18, 2018
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Mental Health Awareness Week is 14th – 20th May here in the UK (photos explained at the end of the post!).

 

 

Did you know that 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health issue and 5% of the world’s population currently suffer from depression? That’s 350 million people!

 

I’m sure, like me, you have either experienced some form of mental illness in your life, or know someone you care about who has.

 

 

During a particularly low point in my life, I started seeing a counsellor, who recognised that after seeing to my husband, my children, my home etc. I did nothing for myself.  She introduced me to the notion of ‘play’ and asked me to name one thing that I used to enjoy doing when I was younger.  I said sewing!

 

 

She encouraged me to reclaim this activity that gave me so much fulfillment and joy, and so I enrolled in my local college to study in City & Guilds Textile & Design.

 

I can honestly say that getting back into a creative environment and learning how to ‘play’ again, was instrumental in my recovery from depression.

 

 

That was 12 years ago, and little did I know then, that I would be teaching others how to release their creativity and learn how to ‘play’ and enjoy life again.

 

 

My first experience of teaching patchwork and quilting was to a group of women with various mental health needs (depression, self-harm, addiction, domestic violence, grief, bi-polar disorder, cancer survivors, eating disorders to name but a few).  For 2 years I  saw first-hand the therapeutic benefits they experienced after only a few short weeks of sewing.  One lady in particular, old before her time, stooped with low self worth and heavily reliant on a walking stick, made her first patchwork cushion and within 6 weeks was coming to class without her stick and walking tall!!  Like many others, learning a new skill within a caring community, and having something to show and be proud of, elevated her self-esteem and ignited hope and positivity in many areas of her life.

 

 

Seeing the wonderful benefits sewing was having on these ladies’ lives ignited a passion in me to encourage others to let go of negativity, worry, anxiety & perfectionism, even if only for a few hours a week, and discover the healing and therapeutic powers of sewing.

 

 

It’s encouraging now to see emerging evidence from neuroscientists and doctors that support what we sewists already know – that sewing (& crafting) is good for our brains and mental health!

 

The authors of the ‘Sew Your Blues Away’ blog have written an informative article about this here.  They say:

 

“In short, mentally engaging movement (sewing) helps to break the cycle of negative thoughts, as well as allowing the brain to recover and improve by generating newer, healthier brain cells.  Specialists state that an engaging hobby is often more effective than just taking an antidepressant, which typically targets only one neurotransmitter.  While sewing not only heals, it also improves the brain’s resistance to future bouts of depression by reminding our brains that we have an impact on the world around us.” 

 

So not only is sewing mentally good for us, it is helping our brains physically too! How cool is that!

 

 

This article from 2014 explains not only why crafting like knitting and sewing are good for our brains, but why crafting with others is so important too.  Check it out!

 

And I’m sure the ladies who come to my classes will testify to many of these benefits (& more!) too! We certainly have a lot of fun together!

 

 

Now my work as a sewing tutor is my passion, my calling and it has gotten me through some of the toughest periods of my life. I’m so privileged to get to ‘play’ everyday as my day job.  But of course, turning a hobby into a business means I needed to find a new hobby!

 

 

At the moment I’m learning about photography, and I enjoy getting out into nature and noticing details that I would otherwise miss had I not brought my camera along. In the busyness of this modern world I’m trying to literally ‘stop and smell the roses’!  (I hope you have enjoyed the pics I’ve shared here.)

 

 

 

So as we focus on Mental Health this week and bring this once taboo subject into the open, let me encourage you to find something that returns to you the same enjoyment, fulfillment and escapism that playtime once did. Let yourself be absorbed by creativity and fun, and released from the stresses and demands of life!

 

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Octosaurus Rex Quilt


By Judith on May 10, 2018
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Hello there!

 

We have just had a wonderful bank holiday weekend here in UK.  And what made it so wonderful?  The beautiful sunny weather!

 

I spent the bank holiday Monday in Florence Court, Enniskillen, with 2 of my girls, having lots of photo fun, and enjoying this wonderful National Trust house.

 

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Florence Court May18

 

It was a beautiful day, learning all about the women (upstairs and downstairs) in Florence Court’s history.

 

Also this week, the current issue of Quilt Now hit the shops, and in it you can find my Octosaurus Rex Quilt, designed for Makower using their Rex Collection of fabrics.

 

Octosaurus Rex (Quilt Now May18)

 

This quilt design is full of secondary patterns, and the larger Placement print is perfect for fussy cutting.

 

Octosaurus Rex (Quilt Now May18)

 

Here’s what I wrote as my source of inspiration:

 

“I live not far from the Giant’s Causeway, a 60 million year old formation of multi-sided volcanic stones. So I thought it would be fun to design Jurassic sized shapes around these cute dinosaur fussy cuts and fabrics. The Octagon blocks slot neatly side by side just like the stones at the Giant’s Causeway!”  

 

Octosaurus Rex (Quilt Now May18)

 

There is a lot of piecing in this quilt, and it is a decent size at 60″ x 72″.  However you could easily reduce the number of blocks and make a smaller quilt for a younger dinosaur lover!

 

Octosaurus Rex (Quilt Now May18)

 

So if you have a little one who is mad about all things Jurassic, then these fabrics are your perfect choice!

 

You can see the full collection here, and my Octosaurus Rex Quilt pattern is also available via the Makower UK website.

 

Happy sewing!

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Improv. Curved Placemats Tutorial


By Judith on May 4, 2018
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In keeping with our ‘curves’ theme this term, my monthly ‘5 minute lesson’ in classes this week was all about Improv. (improvisational) curves.

 

As the name suggests ‘improv.’ means you pretty much go with the flow and make up the curves as you go.  No two curves are the same, and there are much fewer rules to abide by than with standard pieced curves. You don’t even have to worry about an even seam allowance (gasp!).

 

You can imagine how well this technique went down with all my rebellious non-conformists (you know who you are!!).

 

There are many examples of improv. curves on Pinterest (see my Curves Pinterest Board here).  And to give an example of these in class, I made some improv. curved placemats, in the lovely coastal Beachcomber fabrics by Makower.

 

Improv Curves Placemat tutorial (2)

 

Here is the tutorial on how to make my Improv. Curved Placemats (makes 4 x 15 1/4″ diameter mats).

 

You will need:

Between Nine and Twelve 10″ squares (I used Beachcomber by Makower)

50cm of Wadding or Insul Bright Heat Resistant Wadding

50cm of calico

1 metre of Heat Resistant Non-Slip Table Protector (at least 35″ wide)

4.5 metres of 3/4″ wide bias binding

Co-ordinating threads

505 Basting Spray

 

Method: Assume 1/4″ seams

1 Place 2 squares of fabric on the cutting mat, right sides facing up, and overlapping.  The wider the overlap, the deeper the curves can be.  I usually overlap by 2-3″ (I am using up a smaller piece of fabric here to overlap the 10″ square).

 

 

2 Using a rotary cutter, cut a curve up through the overlapped section.

 

 

3 Remove the excess pieces (this will be the smaller piece of the right hand fabric and the smaller/underneath piece of the left hand fabric). The remaining pieces should fit neatly together.

 

 

4 Sew the 2 pieces right sides together.  It is easier to do this by straightening the underneath piece with your right hand and lifting up the top piece with your left hand.  Don’t worry if your seam allowance isn’t even the whole way down, just make sure there are no tucks.

 

 

5 Press the seam to the darkest fabric.

 

 

6 Repeat steps 2-5 for a third piece of fabric, over lapping the left hand edge of the first piece.

 

 

7 Spray baste the curved pieces, wadding and calico together (tutorial on spray basting available here).

 

 

8 Quilt the mats, starting centrally and working towards the outer edges.  I quilted in the ditches and then’echo’ quilted the curved seams 1/2″ apart.

 

 

9 Place a round plate or bowl on top and draw around it.  Cut along the line and remove the excess.  Put to one side.

 

 

10 Place the same plate/bowl onto the felted side of the non-slip table protector.  Draw around it and cut out.

 

 

11 Machine tack the table protector to the wrong side of the mat, making sure the felted side is on the inside. Machine tacking means using a large stitch on your machine, and stitching close to the edges.  If you find the rubberised table protector resisting or sticking to your sewing machine, make sure the rubberised side is facing up and engage the dual feed/walking foot on your machine.  If you don’t have these, stick some matt scotch tape to the underside of your presser foot keeping clear of the needle opening.

 

 

12 Open out the bias binding, and leaving a few inches unsewn at the start, attach the binding around the edge of the mat using a scant 1/4″ seam allowance, stopping a few inches short at the end (remember to use a quilting size stitch length here, not a tacking stitch).

 

 

13 Place the end of the bias binding over the start and measure and mark 1/2″ overlap.  Trim off the excess.

 

 

14 Open out the binding and sew the short ends together using 1/4″ seam allowance.

 

 

15 Finger press the seam open and finish sewing down the remaining binding to the mat.

16 Snip all around the edge of the mat at 1cm intervals, taking care not to cut the stitches.

 

 

17 Push the binding over to the back of the mat.  Pin in the ditch from the front, making sure the binding is caught at the back.

 

 

18 Stitch in the ditch from the front side finishing with a reverse stitch.

 

 

And you’re finished!

Improv Curves Placemats

 

Adorn your table with your beautiful mats and wait for the compliments!

 

Improv Curves Placemats

 

So why not have a go at this organic and fun technique!

 

I hope you enjoy your venture into improv. curves!

 

Happy curving!

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Spring into Summer Table Projects


By Judith on April 28, 2018
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Hi everyone!

 

My, isn’t April whizzing by too quickly!!  I managed a little sewing this week, despite the chaos of having more work done in my home!  But more on that another day!

 

In the meantime, here is a run through of the projects on my Spring into Summer table.

 

Spring into Summer Classroom Display

 

At the front of my table are 2 little Dumpling Pouches.

 

Medicine (Dumpling) Pouches

 

The original tutorial is for the small size, and I characterised it into a handbag friendly medicine pouch with a little applique!

 

Medicine (Dumpling) Pouches

 

To achieve the larger pouch, simply enlarge the template on a printer and use a longer zipper.

 

Medicine (Dumpling) Pouches

 

Also at the front of the table are my Flex Frame Glasses cases (tutorial available here) and my Travel Toiletry Bag.

 

Travel Washbag

 

I’ll be teaching the Toiletry Bag as a Saturday Workshop on 16th June (pattern available here).

 

Next up is my Beach Bag.

 

Beach Bag (Pretty Patches Aug16)

 

This roomy bag is lined with water-resistant Rip-Stop and includes a useful ‘wet bag’ for your soggy swimsuit and lotions!

 

Beach Bag (Pretty Patches Aug16)

 

The pattern is available here!

 

Finally, 3 summer bags!

 

Pineapple Bag for Quilt Now

 

My Pineapple Tote was a fun design for Quilt Now, mixing a little scrappy piecing and foundation paper piecing.  You can read lots more about the features of this tropical tote here!

 

Beach Ball Bag (Sewing World June16)

 

My Beach Ball Bag uses the porthole technique to cleverly turn a square pinwheel block into a round beach ball.

It’s another roomy bag for keeping all your summer shopping secure!  Read more about it here.

 

Summer Flowers Bag (Popular Patchwork Bag special May16)

 

And finally, my Summer Flowers Shopping Bag!

 

I used ‘economy’ squares to showcase the prettiest floral fabric and a sweet stripe border, mitred at the corners (look closely!).  Aren’t they lovely with the Essex linen background!

 

 

 

While the faux leather handles can be a little tricky to sew-in, they are totally worth it!  I love the finish they give to this sturdy shopper! And here’s where I get them!

 

Well, including previous Spring into Summer posts (here and here), that’s the roundup of the projects currently on my classroom display table.

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing a little more about them!

 

Happy sewing!

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Denim Applique Sailboat Cushion Workshop


By Judith on April 22, 2018
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I promised to post this week about the projects on my ‘Spring into Summer’ Table.

 

Never one to break a promise, I’m starting with my Denim Applique Sailboat Cushion.

 

Denim Sailboat Cushion (Pretty Patches July16)

 

I originally designed this cushion for a summer edition of Pretty Patches Magazine.

 

Denim Sailboat Cushion (Pretty Patches July16)

 

I loved re-purposing some denim and scraps for this nautical cushion.  My recent discovery of Aurifil 12wt wool thread also made a significant contribution!  You can read more about my designing process here.

 

The great news is that I’ll be teaching a workshop on this cushion on Saturday 19th May at my classroom in Conway Mill.

 

 

 

And not only that, kits will be available with everything you need to make the cushion, including lush Essex Yarn Dyed Linen, denim pieces, stripey binding and a bright red button for the back!

 

How cool is that!

 

 

So if you would like to spend a fun Saturday with other like minded creatives learning new skills like appli-quilting and free motion sketching, then just drop me an email to register: justjudedesigns@hotmail.co.uk

 

More ‘Spring into Summer’ posts coming soon!

 

Happy sewing!

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Applique Leaf Workshop Finishes!


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Hello everyone!  I hope you’ve been enjoying some glorious sunshine in your part of the world!

 

We have had several beautiful days here.  Doesn’t a sunny day just lift one’s spirits!!

 

Time got away from me a bit this week, but don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten to bring you the posts on my Spring into Summer projects.  I will get those posted this week.

 

In the meantime, I have a few pics to share with you from our Applique workshop yesterday!

 

 

8 courageous ladies decided to put their ‘big girl’ pants on and tackle satin stitch applique head on!  And not just satin stitch applique, but ‘appli-quilting’ – combining the techniques of applique and quilting into one step.

 

Applique Cushion/Wallhanging Workshop April'18

 

After practising a few leafy shapes, they got stuck into either a Tree Wallhanging, or a leafy cushion.

 

The sun shone all day, and despite the temperature rising in the room, there was no swearing or major catastrophies!!

 

 

Aren’t these beautiful!  We had a definite ‘blue theme’ running through some of the leaves, as well as fresh spring yellows, reds, pinks and purples!

 

 

And even a dramatic black and grey variation (the leaves on that one will be linen creams).

 

Well done everyone! You brought your willingness to learn a new skill, and some fun and banter with it!  Enjoy your new creations!

 

(The Autumn Tree Wallhanging pattern is available here.)

 

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Quilt Now Designer Feature


By Judith on April 13, 2018
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If you are a regular subscriber to Quilt Now magazine, you may recognise someone in the ‘Designer Spotlight’ this month.

 

Quilt Now Designer Spotlight

 

It was a privilege to be asked by Quilt Now to feature my new classroom and classes in the latest copy of their magazine (issue 48).

 

Quilt Now Designer Spotlight

 

I have very much enjoyed working with Katy and designing for Quilt Now in recent years, but now I’m giving almost all of my design attention to my classes.

 

Conway Mill/QN Designer Feature

 

I’m nearly 4 months into running Patchwork & Quilting classes here at Conway Mill, and I’m delighted with the response and feedback so far.

 

Conway Mill

 

My ladies are loving the wonderful light and space in the room, and I try to keep them inspired with themed quilts and project displays.

 

Conway Mill/QN Designer Feature

 

One of the things I love about working here is being surrounded by the wonderful story of what it used to be, a 19th Century Flax Mill.

 

Conway Mill/QN Designer Feature

 

Some of the original features of the Mill have survived, even through the Belfast blitz of 1941 and being set on fire during our political troubles here in the 1970’s.

 

Conway Mill/QN Designer Feature

 

How serendipitous to be bringing the art and love of textiles back into this beautiful Victorian Mill!

 

If you would like to know more about my classes, click here, or pop in to see us on the 2nd floor, grab a coffee (or lunch) in the Little Mill Bistro, or come see the many other businesses, trades, creatives and artists who work here!

 

Happy sewing!

 

 

 

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Tutorial: Quilted Plant Pot Cover


By Judith on April 10, 2018
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As promised, here is my tutorial for these uber cute Plant Pot Covers (fits an Ikea small plant pot).

 

Quilted Plant Pot Cover

 

Measurements listed are width x height

Assume 1/4″ seams

Finished Size: 4.5″ (w) x 5″ (h) x 4″ (d)

 

Quilted Plant Pot Cover

 

You will need:

Exterior: 2 x (9″ x 8.5″)

Lining: 2 x (9″ x 8.5″)

Sew-in Flex Foam (Bosal): 2 x (9″x 8.5″)

505 Basting Spray

20″ length of lace or trim

 

Make the Exterior:

1 Spray baste the exterior pieces to the flex foam pieces & quilt as desired.

 

 

2 Measure and cut out 2″ squares from the bottom corners of both exterior pieces.

 

 

3 Pin both exterior pieces right sides together. Sew both sides and bottom edges, using a reverse stitch to start and finish (leave the corners unsewn).

 

 

4 Put your hand inside the basket and push the base down flat. Then push the side seam down on top of the base seam – this brings the raw edges of the corners together. Pin.

 

 

5 Sew along the corners, using a reverse stitch to start and finish. Turn right side out.  Put to one side.

 

 

Make the Lining:

6 Repeat steps 1 – 5 for the lining, leaving a 2″ gap in a side seam for turning (do not turn right side out).

 

 

Assemble the Basket:

7 Place the exterior basket inside the lining, right sides will be together. Align & pin the side seams and top edges.

 

 

 

8 Sew around the top edge (removing the accessory tray from your machine will help here).  Start and finish with a reverse stitch.

 

 

9 Turn the basket right sides out through the gap in the lining.  Push the corners well out and hand or machine stitch the gap closed.

 

10 Push the lining into the basket and pin around the top edge, making sure the lining isn’t sitting proud above the exterior.

 

 

11 Sew around the top edge, starting and finishing with a reverse stitch.

 

12 Pin and sew the lace around the top edge, pointing upwards, and overlap the start and finish by 1/2″.

 

 

13 Fold the top of the basket out and pop in your potted plant!

 

Line ’em up and wait for the compliments!!

 

Quilted Plant Pot Cover

Happy sewing!

 

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Spring Into Summer


By Judith on April 9, 2018
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Hello there!

 

It’s a new week and a new season of Just Jude Designs classes!

 

Our focus in class this term is ‘Curves’ in particular the Drunkard’s Path, and the ‘no pin’ method of sewing this wonderfully versatile block (read all about the projects here).

 

I can’t wait to see my ladies conquer a new challenge!

 

To celebrate our new term, I have changed the quilts on display in my classroom, and also my little display table has been given a new theme!

 

Spring into Summer Classroom Display

 

Spring into Summer!

 

Gone are all the Easter projects, and we are now focusing on lighter evenings, temperatures on the rise (finally) and a building excitement of Spring into Summer!

 

Spring into Summer Classroom Display

 

As before, I’ll be doing a series of posts on the items displayed, pointing you in the direction of patterns and tutorials.

 

Spring into Summer Classroom Display

 

And to kick us off, I’ll be giving you a free tutorial tomorrow on how to make these cute pot plant holders!

 

Quilted Plant Pot Covers

 

Tune in tomorrow for more creative fun!

 

 

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New Class Project: Drunkard’s Path


By Judith on April 2, 2018
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Happy April to you all!

 

Well despite it being ‘Spring’ with sweet crocuses in full bloom in my garden, today I drove through snow showers with 2 degrees registered on my dashboard! Brrrrrrr!

 

So let’s leave the present for now, and think ahead 1 week instead, when hopefully the weather will be much better as my new term of classes start up again after the Easter break!

 

For a while now I’ve been threatening exhorting my ladies to confront their fears and give curved piecing a try!

 

So we’ve decided to get our ‘big girl’ pants on and jump in to this exciting new technique!

 

 

I will be teaching the ‘no pin’ method of curved piecing, as well as how to trim a drunkard’s path unit to achieve different effects.

 

Small Projects:

 

For those who want to make a smaller project, I have designed and written several patterns.

 

‘Ripples’ Cushion:

 

Ripples DP Cushion (class project)
19.5″ x 19.5″

 

 

In this cushion you can use up lots of your colourful scraps, alternate with just a few colours, or use a different fabric in each ‘ripple’ as I have done here.

 

Ripples DP Cushion (class project)

 

The cute ditsy fabrics I’ve used here are ‘Katie Jane’ by Makower, which were leftovers from this quilt project.

 

Pattern available here.

 

‘Baubles’ Table Runner & Mats:

 

DP Table Runner & Mats (British Patchwork & Quilting, April'16)
Photo courtesy of British Patchwork & Quilting

 

 

There are 5 ‘bauble’ shapes in this runner, but you could easily add more or less to suit your table.  Wouldn’t this be lovely in Christmas fabrics for a festive table dressing!

 

The pattern includes instructions on how to make & attach bias binding, and 4 complimentary mats.

 

Pattern available here.

 

‘In The Round’ Heart Cushion:

 

In The Round Heart DP Cushion (Class project)

 

I love the versatility of the drunkard’s path block, and the heart shape in this pom pom trimmed cushion is a great example.

 

For the background I have used Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Flax) (available to purchase here).

 

Pattern available here.

 

Quilt Projects:

 

And for those ladies who want to ‘go large’ here are my quilt designs:

 

Butterfly Garden Quilt:

 

Butterfly Garden DP Quilt (class project)
48″ x 64″

 

 

The drunkard’s path block here creates pretty wing/petal shapes, a lovely way to showcase your floral fabrics and some echo quilting.

 

Butterfly Garden DP Quilt (class project)

 

Pattern available here.

 

Autumn Garden Quilt:

 

Autumn Garden Quilt (Popular Patchwork Nov16)
56″ x 56″

 

 

By not trimming the drunkard’s path units, you can get a different effect, as shown in this lap quilt.

 

Autumn Garden Quilt (Popular Patchwork Nov16)

 

I’ve used Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Denim) as the background in this quilt (available to purchase here).

 

Pattern available here.

 

Drunken Hearts Quilt:

 

Drunken Hearts Quilt - Sewing World Feb16
79″ x 76″ Photo courtesy of British Patchwork & Quilting

 

 

Just like the ‘In The Round’ Heart Cushion, this quilt is made from drunkard’s path heart blocks.

 

For the background of this quilt I have used Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Black) available to purchase here.

 

Pattern avaialable here.

 

I have two more quilt examples of drunkard’s path variations, the patterns for which I hope to be able to make available soon.

 

Hippy Blush Quilt (Popular Patchwork March18)
Hippy Blush Quilt – read more here.

 

 

Oriental Clamshells Quilt (Popular Patchwork Jan18)
Oriental Clams Quilt – read more here.

 

Wow! That was a long post!  Thank you for sticking with all my ‘curves’!

 

If you would like to learn how to make drunkard’s path units (& all of these projects) & have a lot of fun along the way, then why not join in with our other crazy creatives and register for our class starting w/c 9th April. More details on classes available here.

 

Happy curving!

 

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Denim Hexie Bag: Class Finishes


By Judith on March 30, 2018
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For the past 6 weeks some very talented ladies in my classes have been beavering away on my Denim Hexie Bag Pattern.

 

 

This pattern combines techniques such as English Paper Piecing (EPP Hexies), eyelet holes, zippered pocket, handbag construction as well as some serious denim upcycling!

 

At times it looked like a missile had gone off in a jeans factory in my classroom, as scissors and blades feverishly amputated legs, pockets and loops! While denim is one of my favourite textiles to work with, it doesn’t half shed!

 

But oh boy, the results of this serious crafting were so worth it!

 

 

 

Not all the bags being made are represented here, a few are still being finished off.

 

But aren’t they brilliant!  Sturdy, stylish practical bags that I know will get lots of use!

 

And I also know that the bags still being finished are equally as fabulous!

 

I haven’t been able to capture all the individual details in the bags here, but trust me when I tell you that each bag has it’s own unique characteristics.

 

Details like repurposed loops, tabs and pockets from the jeans, as well as complimentary fabrics like cotton and tweed, buttons, badges and even embroidery and printing.

 

A huge ‘well done’ to all my wonderful ‘Bag Ladies’!

 

If you would like to have some re-purposing fun of your own, you can get my Denim Hexie Bag Pattern here.

 

 

I also have 3 part-kits available in my shop, which include the pattern, pre-cut hexie papers, various coloured denim squares (for the hexie panels) , 1 metre of heavy weight sew-in vilene and 4 eyelet rings.

 

But be quick!  When they’re gone, they’re gone!

 

Happy recycling!

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Applique Leaf Workshop


By Judith on March 28, 2018
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Have you ever wanted to master satin stitch applique, but are too afraid to try on your own?

 

Why not surround yourself with like minded creatives and spend a Saturday learning this technique with all the help and support you need!

 

Applique WH & Cushion workshop

 

 

At the workshop you will not only learn how to set up your machine for satin stitch applique, you can also make one of two projects:

 

Family Tree Wallhanging:

 

 

 

Autumn Tree Wallhanging (Pretty Patches Oct16 issues)
27″ x 30″

 

This pretty wallhanging can be made with your favourite treasured scraps, seasonal fabrics, or how about embroidering the names of family members onto the leaves!

 

Autumn Tree Wallhanging (Pretty Patches Oct16 issues)

 

This type of applique is called ‘appli-quilting’.  The leaves will be appliqued onto an already quilted background.  The process of stitching the leaves down combines both techniques of applique and quilting (appli-quilting).

 

Applique Leaf Cushion:

 

Applique Leaf Cushion Workshop April 18
20″ x 20″

 

The same leaf motif can have many applications.  How about a pretty cushion in fabrics that co-ordinate with your home!

 

Applique Leaf Cushion Workshop April 18

 

Once again, we are using the appli-quilting technique here, applique and quilting all in one go! Simples!

 

Applique Leaf Cushion Workshop April 18

 

And how about making a pretty feature of your zipper closure!

 

Applique Leaf Cushion Workshop April 18

 

So the choice is yours!  Join us for lots of coffee, chat and craic in a fun and safe learning environment at Conway Mill.

 

Just drop me an email to book a place: justjudedesigns@hotmail.co.uk

 

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Easter Table (part 3)


By Judith on March 26, 2018
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Hello everyone, well with less than a week until Easter day, I thought it was about time I finished off my Easter Table series.

 

 

As promised, I’m giving this post over to the 2 remaining items on my table.  Can you spot them?

 

The totally brilliant book ‘Farm Girl Vintage’ by Lori Holt is jammed packed with lovely blocks and quilt ideas.

 

Easter Chick cushion

 

A long while ago I made the 12″ chick block from the book.  I had thought about putting it into a quilt, but instead decided to turn it into a cushion for my Easter table!

 

 

Cushions are basically mini-quilts, so you can always have a little more fun with the quilting without getting overwhelmed by a big quilt.

 

Easter Chick cushion

 

And the 2nd converted block is Mama Hen!  I have made a few 12″ Mama Hen’s, along with some bee mates, for a Siblings Together quilt.

 

Mama Hen Kitchen mat

 

This time, I have converted the block into a fun kitchen mat!  I have even used some of the text which came on a Lori Holt Bee Basics panel! Cute or what!

 

Mama Hen Kitchen mat

 

If you haven’t already gotten hold of this book, I highly recommend it!  (There is a copy of the book in the class library for my ladies to borrow.)

 

 

So that concludes my Easter series!

 

I hope you enjoyed it and have fun getting creative for Easter.

 

Keep sewing!

 

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Flex & Framed Purses Workshop


By Judith on March 21, 2018
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Last Saturday we had my first all day workshop at the Mill.

 

Flex & Framed Purses workshop

 

Myself and 9 adventurous ladies settled in a for a St.Paddy’s Day knees-up with a difference!

 

Flex and Framed Purses were the order of the day, with lots of tea, coffee and craic thrown in!

 

Saturday Workshop (Flex & Framed Purses) Mar18

 

By lunchtime the ladies had reached the half-way mark by conquering the tricky glue stage on one side of their purse frames!

 

Saturday Workshop (Flex & Framed Purses) Mar18

 

Then it was onto the flex frame glasses cases.  Sadly I forgot to take some pictures, so trust me when I say they turned out brilliantly!

 

Saturday Workshop (Flex & Framed Purses) Mar18

 

I think it’s safe to say that everyone had a lot of fun, and now have 2 more handmade gift ideas for next Christmas!

 

 

And if you enjoy a little EPP (English Paper Piecing) but hate all the cutting out, my newly listed Hexie Framed Purse Kits are available again in my Etsy shop.

 

Happy sewing!

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Easter Table (part 2)!


By Judith on March 16, 2018
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So, I’m going to completely ignore the impending snow forecast and pretend it is spring and enjoy my narcissus and daffs and the blissfulness of denial!

 

 

With just over 2 weeks to Easter, let’s crack on with part 2 of my classroom Easter table.

 

Garden Shed Tidy (Pretty Patches May16)

 

At the top right hand side of the picture, you will see my Garden Shed Tidy.

 

 

Sewing with clear vinyl isn’t as tricky as you might think!

 

 

This was made for the May ’16 issue of Pretty Patches magazine.  As the garden starts to come to life again, I get sporadic urges to amble down the ‘garden’ isles of my local homeware shop,  buying packets of seeds with renewed vigor that this year I will plant them (!!)

 

And if (like me) you aren’t much of a gardener, you could easily use this cute tidy in your bathroom, the teenagers room, or in the study keeping stamps, envelopes and stationery organised (people do still write letters, right?).

 

 

Hanging on my diy Easter tree are my Easter Egg Zippy Pouches, made with older children in mind who might prefer money or vouchers for Easter!  You can get the free tutorial here.

 

DIY Easter tree

 

Also hanging on my Easter tree are some crochet bunnies.  I followed this tutorial, however mine seem to resemble some kind of dysmorphic bat!

 

Harriet Hare Cushion

 

Now one of the cushions on my table is an old friend.  You may recognise her from this quilt!

 

Harriet Hare Cushion

 

My trusty Woodland Hare, Harriet, has been enlarged and appliqued onto a bespoke cushion cover.  She’s been stuffed and in the absence of piping cord, I top-stitched the side seams.

 

Seeing Harriet’s endearing smile always brings me joy!

 

Picnic Bobble Quilt (Popular Patchwork Aug16)

 

 

Finally, for part 2, all of these items are sitting on my Picnic Bobble Blanket.

 

This was another magazine commission, this time the August ’16 issue of Popular Patchwork.

 

It’s a great pattern for showing off a larger scale print.

 

Picnic Bobble Quilt (Popular Patchwork Aug16)

 

It is double backed, the outer layer being a machine washable shower curtain (we don’t want any soggy bottoms!).

 

Picnic Bobble Quilt (Popular Patchwork Aug16)

 

This is another pattern I will commit to re-write for general sale!

There is a lot of work involved in converting a pattern from a magazine template to one of my own formatted patterns.  I have a long ‘to do’ list and will be announcing some new releases soon!  Thank you for your patience.

 

There are still 2 projects left on the table to tell you about.  But I will give them a post all of their own!

 

In the meantime …..

 

Keeeeeeeeep sewing!

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Easter Table (part 1)!


By Judith on March 14, 2018
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When I was at Primary School we had a ‘Nature Table’, decorated according to the seasons, with items mucky hands would triumphantly find and trophy into class the next day!

 

The Autumn Table was my favourite.  I can still see the bright orangey-red ovals of rosehips, shining like jewels among the tattered leaves and empty conker casings.

 

Well I may be all grown up now (sort of!), but in the childhood-spirit of celebrating the season, I thought it would be nice to have an ‘Easter Table’ in class!

 

 

Not all of these items are strictly ‘Easter’ related – I’m using a little Spring inspiration (& a lot of creative license!) too.

 

So over the next 2 posts, let me talk you through my table and I’ll give you the links to the free tutorials too!

 

We’ll start with the left hand side of the table.  The items are sitting on my blue chenille mat.  If you’ve never tried chenilling before, I highly recommend it.  Great fun and super easy too!

 

Chenille

 

Chenille involves lots of layers of fabric, sewn together on the bias in half inch channels.  The fabric between the channels is then cut, through all layers except the bottom one.  Give it a rigorous wash and tumble dry, and hey presto, you have the fluffiest fabric which you can then turn into anything you like!

 

So far, I’ve chenilled a baby play mat,  a bath mat (below) and a heart cushion!

 

 

In my trug we have my Carrot Cornets ….

 

Easter Carrot Cornets tutorial
filled up with mini eggs!

 

 

……and my Bunny Bags ……..

 

Easter Bunny Bags tutorial

 

The large and small baskets are based on this tutorial by Pink Penguin.  These are so versatile, with a multitude of applications!

 

Easter Basket

 

Above the trug we have my easy cutesy baby bibs ….

 

 

… and my large and small Bunny Tote Bags.

 

 

These were made for Pretty Patches magazine last year.  One day I will get around to re-formatting the pattern for general sale!

 

And above these Bunny Tote Bags are my hanging Scented Houses.  I ran this as a workshop a few years ago, but I need to update the pattern. So it’s not available just at the moment, soz!

 

Scented Fabric Houses Feb13hang them in your wardrobe to keep clothes smelling fresh!

 

I think that’s enough to be getting on with!

 

Tune in later in the week for Easter Table Part 2!

 

I’ll leave you with my crocheted spring garland (another invention of mine for which I haven’t yet written the pattern! Soz again!).

 

 

Happy sewing!

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Disappearing Blocks!


By Judith on March 11, 2018
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In my classes last week, I gave another ‘5 minute demo’.  This month the demo was all about Disappearing Blocks!

 

No, not magic tricks or a trick of the eye.  But how to turn a well known quilt block into something rather special (without lots of intricate piecing)!

The following are pictorial instructions on how to make the disappearing blocks.  A few notes to consider before we get started:

 

    • please work on the basis of colour placement being the same in each series, even if the fabrics are slightly different! (A big thank you to my daughter for making all the blocks)
    • I haven’t included sizes here.  You need to start with the finished block size and work backwards allowing for extra seam allowances per cut.
    • The position of the ‘cut’ lines can vary to give different effects, as long as they are equidistant from each seam.
    • check out my pinterest board for tutorials, sizes and variations.

 

1. Disappearing 9 Patch:

 

 

Here’s what to do:

 

2. Disappearing 9 Patch Variation:

 

 

Here’s what to do:

 

3.  Double Disappearing 9 Patch:

 

 

Here’s what to do:

 

4. Disappearing Hourglass:

 

 

Here’s what to do:

 

 

 

5. Disappearing Pinwheel:

 

 

Here’s what to do:

 

 

6. Disappearing Pinwheel Variation:

 

 

Here’s what to do:

 

 

7. Disappearing Four Patch:

(assume finished block is in same fabrics!)

 

 

Here’s what to do:

 

 

 

8. Disappearing 4 Patch Variation:

Start with another 4 patch block.

 

 

 

These are just a sample of the many disappearing blocks you can make! Aren’t they cool!

 

photo courtesy of British Patchwork & Quilting magazine

 

And if you make a quilt with one of these disappearing blocks, you can get some lovely secondary patterns emerging too, like my Disappearing 9 Patch quillow (pattern available here.)

 

I hope you have been inspired and have fun making some impressive (yet easy) quilt blocks!

 

Happy sewing!

 

 

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Goodbye My Friend!


By Judith on March 10, 2018
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Today I lost a very dear friend to cancer!

 

 

As a single mum to 3 gorgeous girls, her strength, courage and love for life has been (& will continue to be) my inspiration.  Over the past 13 years we have laughed and cried together, prayed and worked together, and sewed together (Heather was a very talented quilter).

 

3 weeks ago, she had her last birthday, in hospital sadly.  I had made her a quilt, which she got to see.  It made her smile!

 

Heather's Quilt Feb'18

 

I wanted a bright, colourful and happy quilt for Heather, to reflect her sunny personality.  These fabrics are called Soul Blossoms by Amy Butler, and the symbolic cream motifs are Friendship Stars.

 

Heather's Quilt Feb'18

 

She had a great sense of humour and was selflessly devoted to her girls. I’m blessed to have had many opportunities to spend with Heather these past 18 months during her illness.

 

Heather's Quilt Feb'18

 

We loved a good rummage in charity shops (she knew all the best ones), hours and hours in coffee shops (she was the best listener) and nights out at the flicks (even if she did nod off occasionally!).  And of course, we both shared a love of fabric and sewing.  She was even attending my classes until a few weeks ago (I finished the quilt she was working on and it was on her bed when she passed).

 

Heather's Quilt Feb'18

 

I will miss my lovely friend, and my heart is breaking for the 3 beautiful girls she leaves behind, on the eve of Mothers Day.

 

But we share the same faith, and while we said ‘goodbye’ on Monday, through love and tears, we both know that it is only ‘farewell’ until we see each other again in heaven.  And then we will have endless years of fun, frolics and friendship together!

 

Goodbye my friend.  You had courage, grace and dignity right to the very end.  See you on the other side.

 

 

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Katie Jane Quilt


By Judith on March 6, 2018
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Hello everyone!

 

Well I’m so glad the snow has gone from Belfast! I had to cancel 2 classes last week because of it!  It’s s(n)oooooooo(w) disrupting!

 

Classes were back to normal yesterday, and I’ve been enjoying showing my ladies a little ‘magic trick’ in this month’s 5 Minute Demo (more on that at the end of the week!).

 

What I can show you, is one of my quilts which is currently featured in the March issue of Pretty Patches magazine.

 

Katie Jane Quilt (Pretty Patches March18)
64″ x 64″

This is Kate Jane, named after the Makower fabric collection of the same name!

 

Katie Jane Quilt (Pretty Patches March18)

 

I love any ditsy, flowery prints, so I was in heaven working with these lovelies!  Wouldn’t some of these prints make the prettiest summer dresses!

 

Katie Jane Quilt (Pretty Patches March18)

 

You could loosely describe this quilt as a medallion quilt, or a giant one block quilt (with a border!).

 

Easy piecing and large scale half square triangles mean this quilt can be assembled quickly and without too much fuss.

 

Katie Jane Quilt (Pretty Patches March18)

 

And I’m happy to report the leftovers are being worked into my next class project (all in good time!).

 

Katie Jane Quilt (Pretty Patches March18)

 

So if you’re looking for a girly, slightly vintagey themed quilt, you should definitely consider Katie Jane!

 

Katie Jane Quilt (Pretty Patches March18)

 

 

Happy sewing!

 

 

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Tilda ‘Lemon Tree’ Blog Hop: QST Mini Quilt


By Judith on March 2, 2018
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Hi there to all my regular readers!

 

And a special welcome if you are visiting as part of the Tilda ‘Lemon Tree’ blog hop.

 

There have been so many gorgeous projects made in this blog hop, I hope you’ve enjoyed them as much as I have.  Here’s a little reminder:

 

Monday 19th February – SewandSo

Tuesday 20th February – Little Black Duck

Wednesday 21st February – Vicky Myers Creations

Thursday 22nd February – Tea and a Sewing Machine

Monday 26th February – Helen Philipps

Tuesday 27th February – Strawberry Patch Ramblings

Wednesday 28th February – Dinki Dots

Friday 2nd March – Just Jude Designs

 

Tilda Lemon Tree Blog Hop: QST Mini Quilt

 

These are the adorable, fresh Tilda fabrics I was sent.  I’m totally swooning over those 60’s style florals!  You can read more  here about Tilda’s inspiration behind these prints.

 

As you can see, I’m the last ‘stop on the hop’ and this is what I made:

 

Tilda Lemon Tree Blog Hop: QST Mini Quilt

 

The 6 fat quarters have made this cutesy quilt, measuring at 35″ x 53″.

 

I wanted to stretch the fabrics out as far as they would go, so I kept the piecing to a minimum.  Here’s what I did:

 

  • trimmed the fat quarters to 18.5″ square
  • paired them to make double sets of half square triangles (HSTs)
  • paired them again to make double sets of quarter square triangles (QSTs)
  • sewed the QSTs together, free motion quilted it and bound it.

 

Tilda Lemon Tree Blog Hop: QST Mini Quilt

 

I used more Tilda (from other collections) for the backing and binding.

 

Tilda Lemon Tree Blog Hop: QST Mini Quilt

 

Isn’t it clever how the QSTs technique distributes all the fabrics evenly throughout the quilt!

 

And if you’d like to have a go at making your own QSTs and HSTs, check out my tutorial here.

 

This little quilt is now the perfect addition to my recycled church pew!

 

Tilda Lemon Tree Blog Hop: QST Mini Quilt

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing what I’ve made in this blog hop.

 

And I also hope we have inspired you to try something new using these delicious fabrics!

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Hippy Blush Quilt


By Judith on February 28, 2018
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Hello there, well most of the nation is in white-out this week, with our worst snow fall in many years.

 

My little green patch of home however, is still ………. green, but it might not stay that way for long, with more snow in the forecast!

 

Definitely the weather for snuggling under cosy quilts!

 

Hippy Blush Quilt (Popular Patchwork March18)
72″ x 72″

 

 

This is Hippy Blush!

 

I had a lot of fun designing this one!  The editor of Popular Patchwork wanted me to work with one of Art Gallery’s recent collections, Blush by Dana Willard.

 

Hippy Blush Quilt (Popular Patchwork March18)

 

These bold, retro prints needed an equally bold, retro design.  So I got in touch with my inner hippy (she’s still waiting to ‘come out’!) and went with big statement circles and curves.

 

Hippy Blush Quilt (Popular Patchwork March18)

 

By now you will know I love ‘curvy’ quilts, and especially the versatility of the humble drunkard’s path!

 

And of course, the larger the curves, the easier they are to piece!

 

Hippy Blush Quilt (Popular Patchwork March18)

 

I will be teaching curved piecing after Easter in my classes, so stayed tuned for a project update on that.

 

Hippy Blush Quilt (Popular Patchwork March18)

 

In the meantime, you can check out the full Hippy Blush pattern in the March issue of Popular Patchwork, out now!

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Birthday Quilt & Sew-In


By Judith on February 26, 2018
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A few months back, a good friend approached me with an idea for her 50th birthday celebrations – a ‘Sew-In’ at The Mill.

 

Her wish was to gather around her closest friends and equip them to each make a personalised quilt block for a birthday memory quilt.  Isn’t that a lovely idea!

 

50th Birthday Sew-In at the Mill

 

So at the weekend, 18 of us had a wonderful breakfast in The Little Mill Bistro, before heading upstairs to my classroom to get creative!

 

50th Birthday Sew-In at the Mill

50th Birthday Sew-In at the Mill

50th Birthday Sew-In at the Mill

While not all of the ladies were confident sewers, creativity and ideas weren’t lacking!

 

50th Birthday Sew-In at the Mill

 

My daughter Shannon assisted with a little free motion sketching where needed, and by lunchtime, we had 15 almost completed blocks (not all displayed here).

 

50th Birthday Sew-In at the Mill

 

All that is left to do, is machine sketch some text the ladies have requested, and make the blocks into a quilt for my friend!

 

It was a really fun morning and all the ladies (& the birthday girl!) left with big smiles and happy memories!

 

Of course I couldn’t not make my friend of 20 years a quilt myself!!

 

Shirley's Birthday Quilt
63″ x 63″

 

These fabrics are mostly Honeysweet by Fig Tree Quilts, with a little complimentary Tilda thrown in for good measure!

 

Shirley's Birthday Quilt

 

Working from a layer cake, I wanted to stretch out the yardage as far as it would go, so I kept the cutting to a minimum.

 

Shirley's Birthday Quilt

 

Some Tilda Harvest Bird Tree (Ginger) seemed like the perfect yardage for the back!

 

Shirley's Birthday Quilt

 

I gifted the quilt to my friend at the sew-in yesterday and it was very well received! Yay!

 

 

Another successful day!

 

“The noblest art is that of making others happy!” P T Barnam

 

Happy sewing!

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FAL 2017: Q4 Winners


By Judith on February 23, 2018
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Today is the day we are delighted to announce the winners for Q4 of the 2017 Finish-A-Long, thus bringing the 2017 Finish-A-Long to an official close.

 

If you are low on inspiration or maybe your sewing mojo has been missing lately, we highly recommend you visit some of the finishes from the last quarter of the year.  There are a lot of beauties linked up and ready to inspire you!

Thank you again to our generous sponsors. Without further ado, the winners – each picked by the random number generator – of the Q4 FAL prizes are:

The Q4 Winner of the 2 PDF patterns from Just Jude Designs goes to Kristin, she blogs at Gumdrops and made this really pretty colorful scrappy quilt:

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The Q4 Winner of the $25 gift certificate from Sew Sisters Quilt Shop goes to Julie on Instagram (@julieschloemer) and she finished this stunning Criss Cross Applesauce quilt:

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The Q4 Winner of the 2 PDF patterns from Charm About You goes to Swooze who blogs at Swooze’s Quilts and Tall Tales and she finished this lovely quilt:

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The Q4 Winner of the $50 gift certificate from Fat Quarter Shop goes to Crystal who blogs at Crystal’s Creations and she made this really fun Halloween tote:

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The Q4 Winner of a surprise package from Marci Girl Designs goes to Cathy who blogs at Sane, Crazy, Crumby Quilting and she finished this lovely scrappy quilt:

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The Q4 Winner of the $25 gift certificate from Tartankiwi goes to Chiska who blogs at Muddy Spring and she finished this adorable little baby turtle quilt:

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The Q4 Winner of the 3 PDF patterns from Blossom Heart Quilts goes to Mary who blogs at Mary Emmens and she finished this handy fold up pouch (along with a ton of other projects from Aneela Hoey’s book):

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The Q4 Winner of the $50 gift certificate from Mad About Patchwork goes to Anne who blogs at Said With Love and she finished this stunning quilt:

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The Q4 Winner of the 3 PDF Patterns from During Quiet Time goes to Jenny who blogs at The Lilac Cat and she finished this bright and colorful quilt:

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The Q4 Winner of your choice of 3 individual patterns from Happy Quilting goes to Kate who blogs at Katie Mae Quilts and she finished this awesome Minecraft quilt:

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The Q4 Winner of the 2 PDF patterns from Cooking Up Quilts goes to Becky on Instagram (@thesparrowstitchery) and she finished this bright and cheery throw pillow:

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The Q4 Winner of the 3 PDF patterns from Sew Sweetness goes to Lisa who blogs at Lisa in Port Hope and she finished this super cute little pouch:

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The Q4 Winner of the $30 gift certificate from Knotted Thread goes to Kim who blogs at The Quilter at Osage Hill and she made this pretty four patch quilt:

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The Q4 Winner of the Camp Bag Pattern Pack from The Littlest Thistle goes to Sheila who blogs at Chez Budsmam and she made this fun and pretty quilt:

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The Q4 Winner of the $15 gift certificate from Green Fairy Quilts goes to Kirsten who blogs at Gemini Stitches and she crocheted this festive Christmas bunting:

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The Q4 Winner of the 2 PDF patterns from Quilting Jet Girl goes to Nicole who blogs at Handwrought Quilts and she finished this simply stunning quilt:

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The Q4 Winners (3) of a six month subscription each to Make Modern Magazine goes to


1. Beth on Instagram (@bhaferko) and she made this lovely quilted set for her son:



2. Beth who blogs at The Anonymous Blueberry Muffin Thief Sews and she embroidered this spooky bat wall hanging:



3. Katy on Instagram (@pudgypenguincrafts) and she finished this lovely Sew Together bag:

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The Q4 Winner of the $30 gift certificate from Clover & Violet goes to Tracey who blogs at It’s A T-Sweets Day and she finished this crochet Stardust Melodies Afghan:

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The Q4 Winner of the $20 gift certificate from Sew Me A Song goes to Terry who blogs at On Going Projects and she finished this black swimsuit:

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The Q4 Winner of the $40 gift certificate from Imagine Gnats goes to Mindy at Operation Domestic Goddess and she finished this adorable My Little Pony costume for her little one:

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The Q4 Winner of the $25 gift certificate from Studio 39 Fabrics goes to Anja who blogs at Anja Quilts and she finished a mini letter A quilt:

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Congratulations to all the winners!! Thank you for joining us in 2017, we truly hope the Finish-A-Long has helped you finish up those works in progress this last year.

A special thank you to our hosts this past year for all of their hard work and time.  A big thank you the sponsors for 2017.  Last but not least thanks to those of you that have played along with us during this past year and previous years, the Finish-A-Long wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for all of you and your WIP’s and finishes!


We hope that you are joining us in 2018, the first quarter is about half-way through so you still have plenty of time to finish up those projects.  If you missed the first quarter link up, please consider joining us in April when the second link up opens.

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Tilda ‘Lemon Tree’ Blog Hop


By Judith on February 19, 2018
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Hello there!

Can you believe we are over half way through February already!

 

I hope you have been able to spend some time sewing this weekend!  I’ve been beavering away on some special birthday quilts, photos coming soon!

 

If you are a regular visitor to my blog you will know that Tilda fabrics are some of my all time favourite fabrics!

 

A few of my Tilda projects

 

I am never disappointed when they bring out new collections each year.  And their Spring ’18 collection is no exception!

 

 

 

This is ‘Lemon Tree’ and oh how my hearts skips a beat!  Some of these delicious fabrics are calling loud and clear to my inner hippy – come out! come out!

 

Here is the inspiration behind the collection:

 

 

And to celebrate the release of this gorgeous collection, today is Tilda ‘Blog Hop’ launch day, hosted by Sew and So.

 

If you are unfamiliar with a blog hop, let me explain!  A selection of sewing bloggers are approached to make something with the fabrics, review them and blog about it. Simples!

 

Here is the blogger line up:

 

Monday 19th February – SewandSo

Tuesday 20th February – Little Black Duck

Wednesday 21st February – Vicky Myers Creations

Thursday 22nd February – Tea and a Sewing Machine

Monday 26th February – Helen Philipps

Tuesday 27th February – Strawberry Patch Ramblings

Wednesday 28th February – Dinki Dots

Friday 2nd March – Just Jude Designs

 

Yep that’s me right at the end there!

 

So if you want to see what lovely things you can make with Tilda Lemon Tree, tune into each of the bloggers on their selected days!

 

And don’t forget to come back here on 2nd March to see what I’ve made for the blog hop!

 

Happy hopping!

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‘Take Wing’ Classes Roundup


By Judith on February 17, 2018
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This was the last week of our ‘Take Wing’ Butterfly wallhanging series.

 

31 brave ladies have been diving into the exacting and at times demanding technique of foundation paper piecing using Lillyella’s ‘Take Wing’ butterfly pattern.

 

And just look at some of the results!

 

Take Wing Butterfly Class Feb18

 

Aren’t they majestic!

 

Each one a unique metamorphosis of creative energy and courage into raw talent and beauty!

 

Some will be transformed into wallhangings and some into cushion covers.

 

I’m so proud of all my ladies for undertaking this project, especially for those who found themselves well and truly out of their comfort zone!

 

Well done everyone!

 

Enjoy your amazing creations!