Log Cabin Hearts Tutorial

By Judith on January 20, 2021
0 Comments (Leave comment)

February is the month of love, and no better way to celebrate than with a free patchwork heart tutorial!

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

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

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

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

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

Perfect for using even the smallest of prettiest scraps!

But of course, why stick with squares!!

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

The large size would be perfect as a table centre.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy sewing!


0 Comments (Leave comment)

Kindred Spirits Quilt-Along: Update

By Judith on January 11, 2021
0 Comments (Leave comment)

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

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

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

2 Flying Geese borders:

2 Spools blocks (9″ each):

And this week the ladies are making …

1 Circle of Hearts (9″ Applique) block:

2 Orange Peel (9″ Applique) blocks:

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

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

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

Stayed tuned!


0 Comments (Leave comment)

Crochet at Christmas

By Judith on January 8, 2021
0 Comments (Leave comment)

This is my mum!

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

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

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

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

Scrapsadelic Groovy Cushion

by Creative Crochet Workshop

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

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

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

Scrapbuster Beanie

by Caab Crochet

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

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

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

Boho Bunting

by Lulu Loves

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

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

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

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

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


0 Comments (Leave comment)

Denim Zippy Pouch Workshop

By Judith on January 4, 2021
2 Comments (Leave comment)

To enter my 10 year blogiversary giveaway click here.

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

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

During this workshop you will learn:

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

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

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

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

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

Material/Fabric requirements for this Online Interactive Workshop:-

*Available to purchase at here

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

Equipment requirements for this Online Interactive Workshop:-

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

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

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

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


2 Comments (Leave comment)

Denim Messenger Bag

By Judith on January 1, 2021
2 Comments (Leave comment)

To enter my 10 year blogiversary giveaway click here.

Happy New Year everyone!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you have a creative start to 2021!


2 Comments (Leave comment)

Blogiversary Giveaway!

By Judith on December 29, 2020
34 Comments (Leave comment)

I’m 10 years old!! Yay!

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

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

To celebrate, I’m hosting a giveaway!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

International entries welcome! 

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

Good luck everyone!


34 Comments (Leave comment)

Vintage Christmas Gift Bags

By Judith on December 24, 2020
6 Comments (Leave comment)

I can’t quite believe it’s Christmas Eve and another Christmas celebration is upon us!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


6 Comments (Leave comment)

Table Topper Secret Swap!

By Judith on December 18, 2020
0 Comments (Leave comment)

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

October 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And who was making for me?

This is what I received from Di! Isn’t it lovely! Made mostly from Tilda fabrics (swoon!).

These fabrics are so pretty and blend perfectly with the accents in my home.

And, the extra goodies included were yummy fabrics and a pretty folded star ornament! Win, win!

Thank you Di for my perfect topper! I have a selection of surfaces where it will look right at home!!

All 4 of the runners and toppers revealed in our swap are stunning! You can check them out by searching #threadsacrossthesea on Instagram.

Let’s hope our next gift swap will be in person (on the English side) in 2021!

Happy swapping!


0 Comments (Leave comment)

Mixed Textile Clutch

By Judith on December 13, 2020
4 Comments (Leave comment)

My daughter needed a secret Santa gift for a female work colleague so I offered to make her a pouch!

With no information about the likes or dislikes of the recipient, I had free reign to come up with whatever I wanted! Yay! Let the playtime commence!

I had recently been pinning some mixed textile pouches on Pinterest with sashiko and boro stitching, and loved how cohesive they looked, despite the variety of patches and textures!

So I thought I’d have a go and see where this organic process would take me!

You already know I love recycling textiles and I also love mixing my textiles. Here I have used repurposed jeans with lush Italian wool, Irish linen & jersy suiting, ditsy and vintage cottons with sample book tweed.

I didn’t want a particularly ‘quilted’ look to this pouch but knew I needed to stabilise all the different fabrics. So I quilted in the ditches onto wadding and heavy sew-in vilene.

I then boro quilted over 2 bondawebbed patches, giving the pouch a relaxed Japanese feel.

The addition of fusible lightweight stabiliser to the lining enhances the structure and body of the clutch. It feels substantial and very tactile!

I had a lot of fun re-imagining the textiles for this clutch! Even the duffle coat button and leather tab & label are recycled!!

I will definitely make another!

In the meantime, I’ve got everything crossed that the recipient loves her foldover clutch as much as I do!!

Happy sewing!


4 Comments (Leave comment)

Vintage Quilted Cushion

By Judith on December 12, 2020
0 Comments (Leave comment)

I’m often donated fabric bags and offcuts from friends or their creative relatives when they’re having a ‘clear out’, to use or pass on! Most of what I’m given is donated on to sewing charities or Primary Schools for their after schools clubs.

But I can’t resist scavenging for particular vintage prints, and squirrelling them away!

I’ve made many projects from my vintage sheets collection, but I also have some older prints with a more retro vibe!

Vintage Quilted Cushion

During our first lockdown I had a little playtime with a selection of these fabrics, keeping with a pink and green theme, to replace an existing cushion cover which has become ‘tired’!

I made the flimsy and then parked it! Until this week when I was motivated to get it finished!

I love the contradiction of bold chintz linens and graphic floral cottons. My starting point was this cute fella, building up around him the clashing contrasts of ditsy prints and 70s pattern.

My favourite print in the whole cushion is this vintage chintz linen.

I’ve used it in several projects before …..

…but I’ve only a few tiny scraps left now. I’m so glad I could use up the last of the larger pieces in this cushion.

I kept my zipper as a feature in the back, rather than hiding it under a flap. And I quilted the front with a 2″ cross hatch grid, using my beloved quilting bar!

The cushion is now nestled happily on my sofa between 2 other handmade cushions!

It feels good to move this lockdown project from UFO to FO!

Happy sewing!


0 Comments (Leave comment)

HST Drawstring Bag

By Judith on December 6, 2020
0 Comments (Leave comment)

I recently made a load of Flying Geese from some Tilda scraps.  These are going to be borders in a quilt I’m currently working on.



Because I was working from scraps, I couldn’t use the ‘No Waste’ method to make all of the geese. When making one ‘goose’ at a time, you trim off the corner fabrics as waste.



Never one to throw away even tiny pieces of delicious fabrics, I sewed them together to make the equivalent of HST (Half Square Triangle) units.  They are only 2.25″ square unfinished!!


I already knew what I wanted to do with these cute HSTs!


HSTs Drawstring Bag


I was inspired by a similar bag by @inghelhoe on Instagram who used similar orphan blocks to decorate her drawstring bags.


HSTs Drawstring Bag


I had enough HSTs to make a block for the front and the back of the bag!


HSTs Drawstring Bag


Lush Irish Linen works so well with the soft Tilda tones.  I used more Tilda for the lining (Old Rose – Lucy Teal, avaialable here).


HSTs Drawstring Bag

HSTs Drawstring Bag


Some repurposed denim gives the bag a sturdy and structural base!  And a little leather tab for that personal touch!!


HSTs Drawstring Bag

HSTs Drawstring Bag


The finished bag is 12″ by 11.5″ tall by 5.5″ deep, the perfect knitting or crochet project bag don’t you think!!


HSTs Drawstring Bag


So the lesson of this practical bag is never throw away your favourite fabric offcuts!!!  You just never know how a little creativity and sewing know-how can transform waste into wonderful!!


HSTs Drawstring Bag


Happy sewing!


0 Comments (Leave comment)

Crossed Paths

By Judith on December 3, 2020
1 Comment (Leave comment)

This week in the Kindred Spirits Quilt-Along we are making three 9″ Crossed Paths blocks.



This block column will add a dramatic geometric contrast to the softer curves and sharp points of its surrounding blocks.


The technique focus in making these blocks is how to successfully sew long strips together.


For these blocks we are sewing 3 Width of Fabric strips together (42″-44″) and then chopping them into smaller units to create the striped sections.



If you have ever worked with a Jelly Roll (precut 2.5″ strips) or narrow border strips you may have experienced some curving or bowing when sewing the long strips together.


Here are some helpful tips to avoid curving when sewing long strips together:


1 Pin/clip the strips right sides together, first at the top and bottom edges, then the middle and the quarter points.  This will prevent the top strip from ‘travelling’ further than the underneath strip.

2 (If sewing more than 2 strips together, place a pin marker at the top of the first 2 strips so you remember which end you started sewing at.)

3 Use a new 80/12 standard needle and attach a walking foot to your machine (or engage IDT). Sew 1/4″ seam down the length of the strips.

4 Remove the pins/clips and set the seams (press the seam as you have sewn it). Now press the seam either open or to the darkest fabric. This is best done on a large ironing board where you can easily keep the length of the strip straight as you press.

5 Pin and attach the next strip in the same way as before, this time sewing from the bottom end (remember your pin marker donotes the top end). Changing direction of the sewing will resist curving.

Now you should have straight sewn strips with no ruffles or curving along the seams!!


Happy sewing!


1 Comment (Leave comment)

EPP Decoration & Label

By Judith on November 26, 2020
0 Comments (Leave comment)

English Paper Piecing (EPP) is our theme in our Kindred Spirits Quilt-Along this week!

As our Unity Tile block making draws to a close at the weekend, we are showcasing other ways the EPP templates can be used in other projects.

Earlier this week we showed you the beautiful Spring Wallhanging made by Di @willowbeckdesigns.

Today I can show you 2 smaller projects that Sarah @sewmesarah has made for us.


Christmas Decoration:



How cute is this double sided Christmas Decoration, using the diamond and square shapes! And beautifully finished with a rustic blanket stitch.



The centre square really lends itself to a festive fussy cut. But these could also be personalised too, with a photo printed onto fabric sewn into the centre!! Or someone’s name or Merry Christmas message hand stitched onto the shape.


Quilt Label: