Applique Hearts Boxy Bag Online Class


By Judith on July 7, 2020
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I’m delighted to announce that our Applique Hearts Boxy Bag online class is now available for general sale.

 

 

25 of my regular ladies have had lots of fun making the bag the past 4 weeks, and the results are amazing!!  Here are a few of their photos.

 

Applique Hearts Boxy Bag Class

Applique Hearts Boxy Bag Class

 

Aren’t they beautiful!

 

I love seeing all the different fabrics used, which totally change the personality of the bag!

 

Well done ladies!  I hope you (& your recipients) get lots of enjoyment out of your fabulous bags!

 

 

Here’s another little resume of what the YouTube class covers:

*hand applique (Needleturn)

*machine applique (Satin and blanket stitch)

*suitable materials for the bag

*quilting

*reinforced divider pocket

*snap fasteners for divider pocket & alternatives

*making handles

*handbag construction

 

The class consists of 1 YouTube video and 2 PDF files. You can purchase the class here.

In your order confirmation email you will receive links to 2 PDFs – one is the full list of materials needed.  The other is the heart template which also includes the link to the YouTube video. Copy and paste this link into your internet browser to access the video.

When printing the heart template, either select ‘Actual Size’ or deselect ‘Fit To Page’ printer settings.

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing some of our class finishes (always my favourite part!).

 

Happy sewing!

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Just Jude & Friends: Lola Pouches


By Judith on July 5, 2020
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Our Just Jude designer collaboration is well underway! (You can read all about this new initiative here.)

 

 

For our first week we have been making Svetlana’s Lola Pouch (there are 2 sizes to choose from).

 

Lola Pouches (sml)

 

I had the privilege of pattern testing the Lola Pouch for Svetlana so I’m familiar with this gorgeous pattern and have enjoyed making several more pouches since.

 

Lola Pouches (sml)

 

I decided to make 3 small Lola pouches as gifts for 3 sewing friends.

This time I teamed up some medium grain cork with sumptuous ‘Roads to Flowerhouse’ by Bari J for Art Gallery Fabrics. I just love the rich colours in this print.

 

Lola Pouches (sml)

 

Svetlana is a fellow stripey binding fan, so the Michael Miller narrow black and white stripe was the perfect choice here.

 

Lola Pouches (sml)

 

When I first made the Lola pouch, I feel in love with Svetlana’s cool technique for recessing the zipper underneath the binding, with the option of tucking in or leaving out the zipper tab!  Genuis!

 

Lola Pouches (sml)

 

I couldn’t resist finishing these cuties with a little leather detail.

 

Lola Pouches (sml)

 

So all that’s left to do is fill up these little pouches with sewing treats and get them posted off!

 

(All materials used in these pouches are available in our shop.)

(You can find Svetlana’s Lola Pouch here.)

 

And if you are following along with our collaboration on Instagram, you can check out the other Lola Pouches (& future collaborative projects) by searching #justjudecollaborates

 

Happy sewing!

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Giveaway!


By Judith on July 3, 2020
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To celebrate the release of our Tilda Drawstring Bag tutorial and kits, we are giving one away!

 

 

Not only will you receive everything you need to make our drawstring bag, fully pre-cut, but we are also throwing in a half metre of Retro 30’s Apples & Strawberries (Green) by Lecien and a spool of Aurifil 50wt Quilting Thread.

 

 

The giveaway opens today 3rd July and you have 4 different ways to enter:

 

* subscribe to our YouTube Channel
* follow us on Instagram (@justjudebelfast) & tag someone in our giveaway post
* like our Facebook page and leave a comment on our giveaway FB post
* leave a comment here with your email address

 

The giveaway is open to international entries and we’ll announce the winner on 11th July!

 

Good luck!

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New Tutorial: Tilda Drawstring Bag


By Judith on July 2, 2020
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If you are a regular here, you may remember I made a few linen drawstring bags in my spare time, for friends who were working hard during the pandemic.

 

 

Well I’m happy to announce that I have filmed a free tutorial on how to make these cute bags, and it is now available to watch on YouTube.

 

 

In the tutorial you will learn:

  • How to piece the exterior bag
  • How to quilt with a quilting bar
  • How to needleturn applique the heart
  • How to insert channels and lining
  • How to insert drawstring ribbon

 

And not only that, we have made up Tilda Drawstring Bag kits, to make your life even easier!

 

Tilda Drawstring Bag

 

The kit includes everything you need to make the bag (except thread) and all the pieces are pre-cut for you so you can get straight to the fun sewing stage!

 

Tilda Drawstring Bag

 

The fabrics are Tilda (base, lining and channels) and Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (outside).  There are 20 different Tilda Fabrics for the base and 2 different Tilda fabrics for the applique hearts.

 

Tilda Drawstring Bag

 

We even pre-cut freezer paper hearts ready for your needleturn applique!

 

Tilda Drawstring Bag

 

Don’t you think the kits would make a sweet gift for a sewing buddy?

 

Tilda Drawstring Bag

 

Of course the channel has to be a cute Tilda (Tea Towel) Stripe and a linen ribbon drawstring compliments the rustic character of the bag.

 

Tilda Drawstring Bag

 

The kits are available to purchase here.

 

I love making these bags, especially using my favourite fabrics!  I hope you enjoy making them too!

 

Happy sewing!

 

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IG Designer Collaboration


By Judith on July 1, 2020
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I’m so excited to annouce a new  designer collaboration during the month of July, which will be running on Instagram!

 

 

I’m teaming up with 4 talented quilting designers to make 1 pattern from each designers shop or book.  Each week we will showcase a designers pattern and let you see 4 different takes on it!

 

In addition to myself, the 4 other designers are:

 

Svetlana Sotak:

@Sotakhandmade

 

Svetlana is a contemporary quilter, bag maker & blogger based in The Netherlands.  She has the most beautiful calming style and has an amazing range of pouch and bag patterns available in her shop.

 

Svetlana has recently authored a book entitled That Handmade Touch.

 

We will be kicking off our first week by making Svetlana’s Lola Pouch.

 

Lucy Brennan:

@CharmAboutYou

 

Lucy is a British quilter and blogger who designs & sells her own patterns and regularly teaches quilting classes. Lucy worked for two years as a designer and demonstrator on TV and often has projects featured in magazines.

 

Lucy describes her style as ‘miscellaneous’, enjoying mixing modern and traditional elements in her designs. She also co-hosts #saturdaynightcraftalong on Instagram, a weekly global crafting initiative.

 

In week 2 we will be making Lucy’s Melody Mini Quilt.

 

Kerry Foster:

@Pennydog

 

Kerry is a British blogger, quilter and dressmaker living in Canada.  She designs most of what she makes and is mostly known for making animal portrait quilts with turned edge applique.
Kerry is a regular contributor to British quilting magazines and also teaches quilting classes.  Her pointer ‘Hank’ is as famous as Kerry on Instagram!

 

Kerry sells her patterns online and has published a book entitled Paint by Number Quilts. 

 

In week 4 we will be making Kerry’s Horseplay Cushion.

 

Stuart Hillard:

@StuartHillardSews

 

Stuart first appeared on our screens in the first episode of The Great British Sewing Bee!  He is a self-confessed fabricaholic and designs his own fabrics.

 

In addition to presenting programmes on TV and his YouTube channel, Stuart is a regular contributor to quilting magazines and has authored 3 quilting and sewing books.

 

In the final week of our sew-along we will be making something from Stuart’s latest book Simple Shapes Stunning Quilts.

 

And week 3 will be yours truly!  I can’t wait to see how the others interpret my Dotti Denim Pouch!!

 

 

You can tune into my instagram account @justjudebelfast to follow our sew-along or any of the designers instagram accounts.

 

But don’t worry if you’re not on Instagram, I’ll also be posting my collaborative makes here too!

 

Happy sewing!

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Plush Velvet Tote


By Judith on June 27, 2020
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The last of my recent run on gift making is this plush velvet tote bag for my youngest daughter.

 

Plush Velvet Tote

 

She requested an everyday sizeable, soft tote bag, especially when she’s too-ing and fro-ing to lectures at Uni.

 

Plush Velvet Tote

 

Now this girl of mine is super tactile! I gave her a choice between 2 different lightweight upholstery bolts I had been donated, knowing full well she would choose the sumptuously soft velvet over a paler linen look fabric.

 

Plush Velvet Tote

 

I also gave her a choice of lining fabrics and she choose the one I had my fingers crossed on! That’s my girl!

 

Plush Velvet Tote

 

At 5’11” I knew she would need long length handles.  I made a feature of them with a few repurposed denim loops and tabs.  A little scrap of leather denotes the front of the bag.

 

Plush Velvet Tote

 

A simple phone pocket on the inside is all this bag needed to make it fully functional.

 

I’m happy to report the birthday girl loved her new bag and has been using it ever since!

 

Plush Velvet Tote

Happy sewing!

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Denim Planter


By Judith on June 21, 2020
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Hi everyone,

I hope you are keeping safe and well and keeping the creativity flowing!

 

Yesterday I hosted my first socially distanced afternoon tea party in my garden, to celebrate my cousin’s birthday!

 

Wendys birthday tea party

 

I’m happy to report that the sun shone all afternoon and a wonderful time was had by all!  It was so lovely socialising again and catching up with sewing friends face to face!

 

Denim Planter

 

My ‘make’ for the birthday girl was this denim planter, a multi-functional basket for her sewing or living room.

 

Denim Planter
Lining – Tilda, Bon Voyage Lilit Blue

 

Working with denim is always ‘play time’ for me and I thought I would make a larger version of the selvedge basket I designed and taught at our quilting retreat last year.

 

Selvedge Basket

 

First I sewed the denim strips onto heavy sew-in vilene using the ‘quilt as you go’ method of piecing.  I quickly realised this wasn’t going to be sturdy enough to allow the basket to retain its shape.

 

So I quilted the panel onto flex foam using orange Aurifil 12wt wool thread. Much better!  And just look at that gorgeous texture!

 

Denim Planter

 

The lining was inserted before adding the binding and pinching in the sides to give the boxy shape to the basket.

 

Denim Planter

 

I definitely needed my heavy jeans needle for that part!!

 

Denim Planter

 

And last but not least, some leather handles secured with bronze rivets, to bring a little rustic colour and texture to the basket.

 

Denim Planter

 

At this juncture I didn’t know what I was going to put in the basket, or how to ‘prop’ it for photographing.  I grabbed a couple of my artificial plants and set them in and immediately fell in love with the contrasting greenery and inventive use of the basket!

 

Denim Planter

 

And so my denim planter was born!  I loved making it and will definitely be making one for my own home!

 

Another lovely way to use up denim scraps!

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Denim Hexie Messenger Bag


By Judith on June 10, 2020
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I’ve been working on a few gifts lately, and now that one has been received I can show you it here.

 

Denim Hexie Messenger Bag

 

This bag was made as a special thank you to a lovely lady who enjoys repurposing textiles as much as I do!

 

Denim Hexie Messenger bag

 

I had a few relaxing evenings making up the EPP hexies, but with no other plan in my head than that!

So when I had 2 panels made to a good enough size the old design juices started flowing.

 

Denim Hexie Messenger Bag

 

I got the panels quilted on to Flex Foam which I think really adds some lovely texture to the hexies.

I had a vision of a messenger bag with curved corners this time.  Once the gusset was in, the bag really started to take shape.

 

Denim Hexie Messenger Bag

 

Getting the depth and style of the flap was important.  I didn’t want anything too fussy, so as not to take away from the hexies.  So a few lines of Aurifil 12wt wool thread in contrast gold did the trick, with curved corners to mirror the bottom of the bag.

 

Denim Hexie Messenger Bag

 

When it comes to bag linings, I love the surprise of opening up a bag and getting that ‘wow’ factor from a stunning lining!

 

Denim Hexie Messenger Bag

 

This lining is Autumn Nectar Honey by Maureen Cracknell for Art Gallery Fabrics and is available here in my shop.

 

Denim Hexie Messenger Bag

 

Doesn’t it just bring a blast of sunny colour to the inside of the bag!  And the purple tones are the perfect match for a cheeky Liberty key fob tab!

No funtional bag is complete without a handy slip pocket.

 

Denim Hexie Messenger Bag

 

And the adjustable cross body strap means you can get out and about hands free!!

 

Denim Hexie Messenger Bag

 

I’m delighted to report that the new owner loves her bag and says it was a timely gift as her old bag was in need of being replaced! Yay!

 

I love it when my ‘play time’ repurposing textiles brings happy smiles and pleasure to faces!

 

Happy sewing!

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Causeway Hexie Cushion Finishes


By Judith on June 7, 2020
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I promised I would show you the finishes from my first online class – The Causeway Hexie Cushion class.

 

Here are some of the finishes!

 

Causeway Hexie Cushion class
Top Row L-R: Wendy, Valerie, Rosemary, Marion, Lois Bottom Row L-R: Janet, Deirdre, Anja, Debbie, Alison

 

Janet made 2 of the same cushion, so extra kudos to you Janet!!

 

Aren’t they gorgeous! And I know there are a few more still in the making!

 

Well done ladies for your amazing results and bearing with the imperfections in my first online class and being patient with our Zoom sessions!

 

I’m so looking forward to our next class starting tomorrow! Nothing beats actual ‘in person’ classes, but for lockdown, this is definitely the next best thing!

 

Happy sewing!

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New Online Class


By Judith on May 31, 2020
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We are still very much in lockdown here, so ‘teaching’ has had to look very different for me.

 

Aside from my free video tutorials on YouTube, I trialled an online class last month with my ladies – the Causeway Hexie Cushion.

 

Feedback from the ladies was really positive and I’m looking forward to showing you their results!

 

Spurred on by their brilliant results and encouragement, I’m making another class available – the Applique Hearts Boxy Bag.

 

Applique Hearts Boxy Bag (online class)This class will be available first to my ladies from 8th June, and then to the general public from 6th July.

 

Applique Hearts Boxy Bag (online class)

 

As before, the class will consist of 4 weekly YouTube videos, with an optional zoom session at the end of each session (existing class members only).  This is when we check in with each other, talk about any issues, swoon over our progress and fabric choices etc.  and generally stay connected (as best we can!).

 

Applique Hearts Boxy Bag (online class)

 

This boxy bag design is a variation on my original Boxy Bag class I designed and taught way back in 2011!

 

Applique Hearts Boxy Bag (online class)

 

I often call it my book bag, because the short handles and sturdy body really lend themselves to carrying heavy books and files, to work, college, church or the library!

 

Applique Hearts Boxy Bag (online class)

 

However, I also think it would be a great project bag.  There is a handy divider pocket which could keep a pattern book with lots of room in the main bag for a knitting or crafting project.

 

Applique Hearts Boxy Bag (online class)

 

I chose to needleturn my hearts onto the bag, but as you will see in the ‘what we cover’ section below, I also show you how to machine applique too!

 

Applique Hearts Boxy Bag (online class)

 

So here’s what we will cover in this class:

 

*hand applique (Needleturn)

*machine applique (Satin and blanket stitch)

*suitable materials for the bag

*quilting

*reinforced divider pocket

*snap fasteners for divider pocket

*making handles

*handbag construction

 

Many of the materials I have used in this bag are available in my shop.

 

Applique Hearts Boxy Bag (online class)

 

So if you need another practical and sturdy bag in your life, or can think of someone who would love one, why not join us on either 8th June or 6th July for some step by step handbag making fun!

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Free Tutorial: Hexie Basket


By Judith on May 12, 2020
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As mentioned in my previous post, I have more baskets to show you!  And these are from my latest free YouTube Tutorial!

 

Hexie Basket Tutorial

 

In this tutorial you will learn:

 

~The English Paper Piecing technique

~Quilting the exterior panel

 

Hexie Basket Tutorial

 

~How to make and attaching Piping

 

Hexie Basket Tutorial

 

~Basket construction, including inserting the base and lining

 

 

Hexie Basket Tutorial

 

 

~Bindng the top edge to finish

 

Hexie Basket Tutorial

 

And a bonus feature at the end of the tutorial will show you how to calculate the cutting measurements for any size basket you wish to make!

 

Hexie Basket tutorial

 

So if you fancy making these cute baskets, why not check out my free video tutorial here.

 

Happy sewing!

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Basket Case!


By Judith on May 9, 2020
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I’ve been making a lot of baskets lately!

 

Some were for my next free tutorial (remember my Scrappy Hexie Basket?  Well I’ll be releasing the pattern for this one as a free tutorial very soon).

 

And some were just an excuse to have fun with teeny pieces of fabric!

 

Improv scrap baskets

 

These baskets are only 4.5″ and 6″ tall and are ‘improv. pieced’.  This means your pieces of fabric aren’t pre-cut to a specific size, rather you just keep adding pieces until you have a section that can be joined to another section.

 

Improv scrap baskets

 

Improv. piecing for small projects is the perfect way to use up tiny pieces that are too small for English Paper Piecing or regular piecing patterns.

 

Improv scrap baskets

 

To give you a sense of scale, my smaller basket is holding large spools of 50wt Aurifil thread.

 

Improv scrap baskets

 

I create my baskets with an inset base with piping.  I think the piping gives the basket more definition and shape.

 

Improv scrap baskets

 

And the structure is provided by the heavy sew-in vilene that the exterior is quilted on to.

 

Improv scrap baskets

 

I can think of a tonne of uses for these cute baskets, not least filled with goodies and gifted to loved ones!

 

Tune back soon to hear all about my free Hexie Basket YouTube Tutorial!

(And now there’s a mini tutorial on how to make these improv.pieced versions of my Hexie Baskets here.)

Happy sewing!

 

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Sashiko Minis


By Judith on April 30, 2020
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Once upon a time, in the days before lockdown, I visited an Irish linen factory and purchased some small offcuts of charcoal blue medium weight linen (among other things, ahem!).

 

Sashiko minis

 

I immediately fell in love with the muted tones of this linen and thought a striking white thread would contrast beautifully with it!

 

And that started my pursuit of a series of small sashiko designs which I could stitch and frame as a set.

 

Sashiko Minis

 

I found a few free designs I liked on Pinterest and played around printing out various sizes.  I settled for 6″ designs and cut out my linens at 7.5″.

 

Then came the problems!!

 

Sashiko Minis

 

Trying to transfer the designs onto this medium weight linen proved tricky!  First I tried my lightbox, but the linen was too dense to allow the design to show through enough to trace!

 

My pattern transfer pen is dark purple and wouldn’t show up on the linen.

 

Sashiko Minis

 

So after watching a few YouTube tutorials I ordered some yellow carbon paper.  I traced the design through the carbon paper onto the right side of the linen. But the yellow pigment barely left a mark!

Aarrgghh!

 

Sashiko Minis

 

So the only option I felt I had left was to trace the design onto baking paper, sew through the paper, and then tear the paper away at the end.  I wasn’t too keen on this idea because hand sewn stitches are much less secure than machine sewn stitches and could get pulled out of shape.

 

Sashiko Minis

 

So I fused some woven interlining onto the back of the linen and tried one design to see if I could get away with it, and bar one or two stitches that needed ‘settled down’ again after removing the paper, it worked relatively well.

 

Sashiko Minis

 

I didn’t have sashiko thread so used an old spool of fine crochet cotton instead!!

 

And the 7.5″ box frames came from Hobbycraft today, so I wasted no time getting them framed and photographed (I took out the glass for the photoshoot!).

 

Sashiko Minis

 

All I need to do now is decide where to hang them!!

 

Happy sewing!

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Textile Art Class Finishes!


By Judith on April 29, 2020
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It seems like an age since we were last in class creating a holy mess with strips of fabric, wool fibres, thread and hospital bandages (don’t ask!!)!

 

We were well in the throws of making Textile Art Pictures, using a water soluble fabric technique for the background, and then building up a picture on top.

 

I’ve had a few finished photos sent to me of completed pictures, and they are pretty amazing!

 

Class Finishes: Textile Art

Class Finishes: Textile Art

 

Aren’t they fab!  I love how each one is uniquely different, expressing favourite thoughts, colours, flowers and words.

 

I know this particular project was a real hit with some of my ladies, who had ideas and plans for several more pictures!

 

If you’d like to have a go at a similar technique, check out my free tutorial here on how to turn little scraps into applique shapes using water soluble fabric (available to purchase here).

 

And it’s soo lovely to see your scrappy pouches, made using my first YouTube tutorial.

 

Scrappy pouches video tutorial

 

Thank you everyone for sending me your pics!  They bring a smile to my face!

 

Happy sewing!

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Scrappy Heart Drawstring Bags


By Judith on April 21, 2020
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Hello there!

 

I’ve had a little extra time on my hands the past 2 days (that’s in between long lie-ins, short walks and afternoon reading in my sunny garden)!

 

I had a few leftover pieces of Tilda strips from my last free video tutorial project and thought I’d put them to good use.

 

Scrappy Heart Drawstring Bags

 

This little drawstring bag stands around 11″ tall (unfilled) and combines mostly Tilda scraps with some Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Flax).

 

Scrappy Heart Drawstring Bags

 

I quilted the front and back in a 1″ diagonal grid before needleturning a heart on each side, and a simple running stitch detail.

 

Scrappy Heart Drawstring Bags

 

The bag is fully lined with finished drawstring tabs.

 

Scrappy Heart Drawstring Bags

 

The bag took no time at all to make, so I made another one!!

 

Scrappy Heart Drawstring Bags

 

I’m not much of a hand stitcher, but I really enjoyed the slow stitching of the hearts and running stitches.

 

Scrappy Heart Drawstring Bags

 

I’m planning on filling these bags with goodies and gifting them to some friends who are fighting on the front line of the Covid19 battle.

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Scrappy Table Topper Video Tutorial


By Judith on April 12, 2020
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As lockdown continues here, I’ve had lots more time to play with my favourite scraps!

 

I’ve been needing a little mat to place under the tray that sits on my oak table.  I also love the process of making ‘stacked coins’ from scrappy strips.

 

So put the two together and what do you get? My free Scrappy Table Topper Tutorial!

 

Scrappy Table Topper Vidoe Tutorial

 

The tutorial will take you through how to make the stacked coin columns – they can be any size you wish, maximising the size of scraps you have.

 

Scrappy Table Topper Vidoe Tutorial

 

You will also see how to quilt the topper using a quilting bar – that weird looking ‘allen key’ type bar that languishes in your accessories tray!  It’s a really handy little gadget, and will save you lots of marking out time!

 

Scrappy Table Topper Vidoe Tutorial

 

I also show you how to make and finish off the binding by ‘stitching in the ditch’ from the front side.

 

Scrappy Table Topper Vidoe Tutorial

 

This is a really quick little project, and you can make these pretty and functional mats any size you like!  I now have several of them dotted around my house, bringing me joy each time my eye catches some of my favourite fabrics.

 

Scrappy Table Topper Vidoe Tutorial

 

I hope you enjoy the tutorial.  We are getting better with each one that we make, and we have more planned!

 

Happy sewing!

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Scrappy Pouches Video Tutorial


By Judith on April 6, 2020
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Hello everyone!

 

I hope you are all keeping safe and well during these strange days.  With much more time available to us, I guess you are all making lots of headway with all your WIPs and UFOs!!!!! (wink, wink!)

 

With no classes to teach, I thought I’d have a go at teaching online!!  With essential tech support from my daughter, we spent 6 days filming, editing, cringing,  re-filming and editing some more to finally produce our first video tutorial!

 

It’s far from perfect and we still have lots to learn (not sure I’ll ever get used to seeing & hearing myself on video!), but we are really pleased overall and the initial feedback is positive.

 

So if you have lots of scraps you would like to turn into something practical and pretty, then our free tutorial might just be what you’re looking for!

 

scrappy pouches video tutorial
Click on the pic and you’ll be taken to the tutorial on my Youtube Channel

 

These scrappy pouches can be made to any size, so you can cater for the scraps you have.

 

The strips are sewn down onto a foundation layer (either sew-in interlining, baking paper or wadding) and no matter the size of the pouch (or textile you use) the technique is the same.

 

I’ve made a cutesy pencil case size pouch ….

 

Scrappy Pouches Video Tutorial

 

…. as well as medium sized project or toiletry pouches.

 

Scrappy Pouches Video Tutorial
Scrappy Pouches Video Tutorial

 

And then I went large with my denim scraps, making this extra-large pouch, perfect for a laptop, files or even a knitting project!!

 

Scrappy Pouches Video Tutorial

 

The tutorial takes you step by step through making the strippy panels, creating zipper tabs, inserting the zipper and assembling and finishing the pouch.

 

Scrappy Pouches Video Tutorial

 

And you also get the measurements for all the sizes shown here.

 

So with all this time on our hands, there’s really no excuse for not diminishing those scraps!

 

Have fun and keep sewing!

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Graduation Gifts!


By Judith on March 30, 2020
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My daughter has recently been serving with a Missions organisation called YWAM (Youth With A Mission).

 

As a team leader she has had the privilege of nurturing 5 students through a Discipleship Training Programme, 4 months in the UK and 2 in Japan.

 

At the end of the programme the students have a graduation ceremony, and I had the privilege of making little graduation gifts!

 

Sadly because of Corona Virus, the graduation ceremony couldn’t take place, but the gifts were handed out none-the-less and well received (I also made gifts for the other team and programme leaders).

For the Girls:

 

 

Hexie Pouches Graduation gifts

 

My evenings spent basting hexies meant I had a little collection built up! So I put them to good use and turned them into zippy pouches.

 

Hexie Pouches Graduation gifts

 

I had no idea what the girls’ colour preferences were, and even though they were individually wrapped and handed out separately, my daughter said that each person got exactly the right one for their particular style and colour choice! Yay!

 

Hexie Pouches Graduation gifts

 

All the hexie panels are made from scraps, leftovers from other projects.  The bases are either Irish Linen or Essex Yarn Dyed Linen and the exteriors finished off with little leather tabs.

 

Hexie Pouches Graduation gifts

 

I put some scented hand creams inside the pouches! An extra little surprise when they were opened!

 

Hexie Pouches Graduation gifts

 

For the Boys:

 

Journal Covers - Graduation gifts

 

These are A5 journal covers, made in Irish linen and cork.

 

Journal Covers - Graduation gifts

 

The exteriors are identical, with little scraps of navy leather riveted onto the cork pockets, which also have a handy pen slot!

 

Journal Covers - Graduation gifts

 

The cover is held closed by wrapping a leather cord around a duffle button.

 

Journal Covers - Graduation gifts

 

The linings are suitably masculine, and I even included a notebook!  So these journals are ready for immediate use!

 

I was so pleased I was able to post these over to the graduates and leaders, before they all quickly dispersed to different countries, before borders and flights were closed to them.

 

My classroom is currently closed because of the pandemic, so during this lockdown I hope to make more gifts, as well as trying my hand at video tutorials and classes.

 

You can check out my first video announcement today on FB and IG, and a mini tour of my little sewing room here!

 

 

Wish me luck!

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Scrappy Scraps Basket!


By Judith on March 16, 2020
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It’s been a while since I’ve posted here! Apologies!

 

Nothing to do with the current pandemic. I got creatively and mentally very tired after a busy first quarter, but I’m pleased to report that life is settling down for me (ironically, as Covid-19 causes chaos!) and I’m back at the sewing machine!

 

If you know me at all you will know my love of scraps and Tilda!  Put them both together and you get lots of EPP (English Paper Piecing) projects using even the littlest pieces (see some past examples here and here)!

 

I had been keeping my precious Tilda scraps in an unattractive plastic bag!

 

But now look what I’m keeping them in!

 

Hexie Tilda Scraps Basket

 

These are 1″ hexies, hand stitched together and quilted onto heavy sew-in vilene, then magically turned into a cute basket to perfectly house my pretty scraps!

 

Hexie Tilda Scraps Basket

 

I wanted a defined cylindrical shape so added some piping to the base and narrow binding at the top.

 

Hexie Tilda Scraps Basket

 

I’m hoping you can’t see where the short sides of the panel are joined together to make the cylinder! With EPP, the shapes at opposite sides will slot together (like a jigsaw) so trim away the excess stabiliser before joining the hexies with some discreet whip or ladder stitches.

 

Hexie Tilda Scraps Basket

 

My chosen lining isn’t Tilda but a pretty Lecien floral. But as a lover of all things ‘ditsy’ I’m confident it blends beautifully with the Tilda prints.

 

Hexie Tilda Scraps Basket

 

Now, what will I make next with my favourite scraps!!

 

Happy scrapping!

 

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Tucks & Pleats Class Finishes


By Judith on February 27, 2020
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You may remember the first block of classes this year was all about Tucks & Pleats.

We manipulated fabric a few different ways in 3 projects:

 

A pouch with twisted tucks:

 

 

A cushion with open tucks:

 

 

A pleated bag:

(free pattern by U-Handbag.com)

 

 

It’s fair to say that these projects went down a treat!  Check out some of the awesome finishes:

 

Tucks & Pleats Class finishes
Tucks & Pleats Class finishes
Tucks & Pleats Class finishes

 

Aren’t they amazing!  And there are a few more still being finished off (take it from me, they are equally as stunning!).

 

Well done ladies on all your tucking and pleating!  Enjoy your beautiful projects.

 

Happy sewing!

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Spring ’20 Quilting Retreat


By Judith on February 24, 2020
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Our 2nd quilting retreat at Murlough House, Co.Down was at the weekend, and just like our first retreat last October, it didn’t disappoint!

 

Spring '20 Quilting Retreat

 

There were 18 of us, sewing, laughing, eating, playing and having some much needed chill out time!

 

And like last time, the sun shone which meant the fitter few got to enjoy some scenic walks down to the beach!

 

Our swap/ice-breaker project was the humble mug-rug. Nothing humble about these beauties!

 

Spring'20 Quilting Retreat

 

The workshops this time around were Foundation Pieced Spools on Saturday (later turned into cute wallhangings) and some relaxing hand sewing on Sunday making brooches.

 

Spring '20 Quilting Retreat
Spring '20 Quilting Retreat
Spring '20 Quilting Retreat

 

Last year our charity quilt block drive involved lots and lots of scrappy 2.5″ squares, all sewn together to make a postage stamp quilt for Siblings Together.  Here is the recently finished quilt, made by 23 people!

 

Spring '20 Quilting Retreat

 

Inspired by our efforts, a small group of ladies from retreat organised themselves to make more postage stamp blocks and brought their finished quilt at the weekend to show us.

 

Spring '20 Quilting Retreat

 

Isn’t it fabulous!  So that’s 2 quilts ready to be posted to Siblings Together.

Our charity quilt block drive this year was all about half square triangles.

The ladies each  brought 5 colourful squares and 5 low volume squares with them to retreat, we mixed them up and then gave them back pairs of squares to sew, chop, press and rejoin into blocks of 9 half square triangles.

And just look what 18 people achieved!

 

Spring '20 Quilting Retreat

 

And when this quilt is pieced, quilted and bound, that will be another one off to Siblings Together!

 

And there were many other quilts in the making too this weekend. Here are just a few!

 

Spring '20 Quilting Retreat
Spring '20 Quilting Retreat
Spring '20 Quilting Retreat
Spring '20 Quilting Retreat
Spring '20 Quilting Retreat
Spring '20 Quilting Retreat
Spring '20 Quilting Retreat

 

Phew! What a wonderfully creative time we had!

 

A huge thank you to the wonderful staff at Murlough House, and of course to this crazy lot for making it a very special quilting retreat!

 

Spring '20 Quilting Retreat

Happy quilting!

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Textile Art – New Class Project


By Judith on February 16, 2020
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At the end of February we will be having a half term break from classes.

Which means, a new block of classes kicks off in March up until Easter.

And a new block of classes means a new (optional) class project.

 

 

We’re going to dip our creative toes into some textile art this term, having unadulterated play-time with mixed textiles and medium.

 

I’ve 2 class samples to showcase several fun techniques.

 

Picture 1:

 

Textile Art Pictures - Class samples

 

This is a 12″ picture in a box frame.

The background can be made with strips of torn linens, cottons, lace, voile, broderie anglaise and anything else light weight which is textured or can fray well.  I even included fine strands of felting wool!

We then use a water-soluble fabric to matchstick quilt the background before adding our composition on top.

 

Textile Art Pictures - Class samples

 

I’ve chosen some flowers and seed heads, but you could quite easily go with a bird, meadow or beach theme.  Let your creativity run wild!

In the making of my picture I used the following techniques:

couching

free motion embroidery

paper aging

embellishing

I also included some cut out some embroidered yellow flowers from an old duvet cover!!

 

Textile Art Pictures - Class samples

 

What a lot of fun!  You’ll never look at textured fabrics, bedding and apparel in the same way again!

 

Picture 2:

 

Textile Art Pictures - Class samples

 

I love word art!  There’s nothing quite like the perfectly spoken word at exactly the right time to create profound impact and legacy.

 

If you enjoy poetry and literature you can have so much fun with your composition here.  Or how about the name and meaning of a loved one?  What a special gift.

 

The background is made in the same way as picture 1.  I’ve also included free motion sketching and printed text here.  This time though, I’ve embellished my picture with text printed onto fabric.  You need an inket jet printer and freezer paper do to this.

 

Textile Art Pictures - Class samples

 

I’m so looking forward to seeing what artistic impressions are released when this class starts in March!

 

If you would like to join us for some textile creativity, check out all the classes and vacancies here.

 

Happy sewing!

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Pleated Bag – Class Project


By Judith on February 2, 2020
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In our current block of classes we are looking at tucks and pleats.

 

You may remember I had made 2 examples of tucks for our classes, but at the time was still working on a pleats sample.

 

And here it is:

 

For Pleats Sake Bag (class sample)

 

The pattern for this pleated bag is by Lisa Lam (U-handbag.com) and is called ‘For Pleats Sake!’.  You can find the free tutorial here.

 

For Pleats Sake Bag (class sample)

 

The tutorial doesn’t include quantities for the exterior and interior fabrics.

 

If you are using non-directional fabric you will need 0.5 metre of both.  However, if you have a direction to your pattern which follows the width of the bolt, you will need 0.75 metres.

 

And a further note on the fabrics.  I used ‘deco’ (decorating) weight fabric (or lightweight curtaining) from Ikea.  This fabric gives body to the bag, pleats beautifully and negates the need for interfacing or fusible fleece.

 

For Pleats Sake Bag (class sample)

 

I used the same weight for the lining (a vintage curtain) which also gets pleated. However if you wanted to use quilting weight cotton I recommend using a heavy weight sew-in stabiliser (rather than fusible fleece) on both the exterior and lining.  Spray baste the sew-in stabiliser rather than using a fusible heavy weight stabiliser as this could resist the light weight cotton and cause it to bubble.

 

For Pleats Sake Bag (class sample)

 

Sewing the faux leather handles through the exterior layers only can be tricky (the handles can’t be held in place with pins and the needle comes  out awkwardly between the exterior and lining!). So try sewing through both layers and covering the visible back stitching with glued on fabric or leather scraps.

P.s. you want to use really strong thread to sew on your handles, like linen, perle cotton or 6 strand embroidery floss.

 

For Pleats Sake Bag (class sample)

 

The bags currently being made in class are gorgeous! I can’t wait to show you them at half term, with the equally beautiful pleated pouches and cushions!  It’s a hive of wondrous activity!

(Want to know the difference between pleats and tucks?  See here)

 

Happy pleating!

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Hexie Book Bag


By Judith on January 26, 2020
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I like a little ‘hexie action’ in the evenings, and over Christmas I enjoyed working my Tilda scraps into 1.25″ EPP hexies.

 

As they grew I thought I would make a cover for my soft cover Bible.  But then I keep a journal with my Bible, as well as Bible Study books!!!

 

So a cover grew into a bag!

 

Hexie Book Bag

 

I remembered many years ago I had designed and taught a boxy bag class (my mum uses hers for keeping books in).  So I blew the cobwebs off my pattern and set to!

 

There is so much I love about this new boxy bag.

 

Hexie Book Bag

 

Firstly, it has plenty of room for my Bible and study books and a separate pocket for my A4 journal. And because it is made from flex foam it sits squat and open giving me visible and easy access to the contents.

 

Hexie Book Bag

 

I also love the combo of Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Denim) with the Tilda Hexies and a little vintage lace.

 

Hexie Book Bag

 

I even included some hexies inside.

 

Also inside is handbag mesh in the base, to ensure the shape of the bag is maintained while carrying around heavy books.

 

Hexie Book Bag

 

Now that I can keep my Bible books together in one place, I’m super organised whether reading at home or at Bible Study group!

 

I have another round of hexies being made at the moment!

 

I wonder what they’ll turn into!

 

Happy sewing!

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Sanitary Pad Making Workshop


By Judith on January 19, 2020
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Yesterday was our charity sewing day in support of Shared Threads.

Shared Threads is a Belfast based charity that makes cloth sanitary pads & hygiene packs, and in doing so seeks to “remove some of the limitations that menstruation puts on so many women and girls across the world, replacing it with dignity and the freedom to get an education and live their lives. 

We also believe in making a positive impact on our environment by using secondhand cotton and towels. We love that we can gather makers together around a creative project with the common purpose of helping women.”

 

 

These ladies willingly gave up their time and talent to learn how to make reusable sanitary pads, holders and drawstring bags for Shared Threads.

 

 

And what a productive day it was!  Just look at all this …

 

 

Almost all of the materials used are repurposed or donated.  Cotton fabrics make the pad holders and drawstring bags. Brushed Cotton and old towels make the pads.  The only item to be purchased is a waterproof layer called P.U.L. (Polyurethane Laminate) which is sewn into the pads.

 

P.U.L. was originally designed for use in the medical industry to withstand repeated washing as well as a high heat steam sterilising clean system. It is  durable, it doesn’t crease, doesn’t fray and doesn’t stain easily and has the wonderful properties of being both waterproof as well as breathable which means it will keep moisture from passing through and yet heat is able to escape.

 

P.U.L. is now widely available online.

 

Our sanitary haul and donated fabric and towels have already been handed over to Shared Threads with grateful thanks.

 

If you would like to make the pads, holders or bags you can find the templates and tutorials here.

 

A big thank you to the ladies who made it to the workshop yesterday and your eagerness to continue making for Shared Threads.

 

Happy sewing!

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Feb’20 Retreat Workshops


By Judith on January 12, 2020
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It’s only 6 weeks until our next Quilting Retreat at the tranquil Murlough House, Co. Down.

 

 

It will be another fun filled weekend, chilling out, sewing, eating, games and lots more!

 

There will also be 2 workshops to choose from:

 

 

Foundation Pieced Spools:

On Saturday afternoon we will be trying our hand at foundation paper piecing, making these cute spool blocks, which can be turned into a sweet wallhanging.

 

Spools Wallhanging

 

Foundation paper piecing is a lovely technique for achieving accuracy  and clean, crisp lines and points!

 

 

I used cork fabric for my spool ends, which I think adds a lovely bit of texture.  And the fun doesn’t stop there – you get to decorate your spools with ribbons, lace, trim or even selvedges!

 

 

This is a great workshop for using up those favourite ‘wee’ bits!

 

 

Brooches:

On Sunday morning we will be using a weaving method to create ‘rosette’ brooches.

 

 

I experimented with different textiles here, tweed, quilting cotton, Liberty Lawn, satin ribbon, hessian, crocheted and antique lace.

 

I even used a fluffy Essex Linen selvedge for one of the centres!

 

 

I love how diverse and vintagey they look, and again, you don’t need big pieces of fabric for this project.   I also love an excuse to use vintage buttons, but equally you could use beads to decorate.

 

 

The brooches are completely hand sewn, a lovely relaxing way to spend a Sunday morning!

 

 

So if you want to learn a new technique or present idea, or get using up some of your scraps, one of our retreat workshops might just hit the spot!

 

There are still a few places available on the retreat.  Just drop us an email at justjudedesigns@hotmail.co.uk to get more info and a booking form.

 

Happy sewing!

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AGF Giveaway Winner!


By Judith on January 5, 2020
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A huge thank you to everyone who entered my Art Gallery Fabrics giveaway to celebrate my 9 year blogiversary.

 

 

It was so lovely reading about all the favourite projects you have made this year!  What a creative bunch you are!

 

Over 760 of you entered across Facebook, Instagram and here!  But there can only be one winner, and the lucky winner is ……

 

@rhonaleduc (selected by Random Number Generator)

 

Congrats to Rhona!

 

Sorry to everyone else who commented here and on FB and IG.  I wish you winning success next time!

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Blogiversary Giveaway!


By Judith on December 30, 2019
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It was my 9 year blogiversary on 20th December!!  A huge thank you to everyone for sticking with me thus far and continuing to read my creative ramblings!

 

I’m a little late in launching my annual blogiversary giveaway this year, but it was a tad crazy around the 20th (hmmm, I wonder why!)

 

So I’m squeezing my giveaway in just before 2019 runs out – a happy New Year celebration and blogiversary present combined!

Blogiversary giveaway dec19

 

This year I’m giving away 10 Maureen Cracknell fat quarters.

 

 

This bundle has been specially curated by Maureen for Art Gallery, for their Colour Master Designer’s Palette range and it comes in a lovely presentation box.

 

Art Gallery make the most deliciously soft fabrics, which are wonderful to work with and make the most sumptuously soft quilts!

 

 

So here’s how you can win (each step below counts as a separate entry):

 

  1. leave a comment here telling me what your favourite make of 2019 was.
  2. follow me on Instagram (@justjudebelfast) and tag someone else in the comments.
  3. Like my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/justjudebelfast/) and leave a comment and share the Blogiversary Giveaway post.

 

I will announce the winner on Sunday 5th January. International entries welcome.

 

Good luck everyone!

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Juniper Baskets 2, 3, 4


By Judith on December 26, 2019
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Happy Boxing Day!

 

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas Day with your loved ones, enjoying great food and timely rest and relaxtion.

 

Now that all my handmade presents have been gifted and opened, I can show you 3 more!

 

3 more Juniper baskets in fact!

 

You may remember my first Juniper basket here.  I enjoyed Svetlana’s pattern so much I thought these would make the perfect presents for 3 more friends.

 

Juniper Basket no.2:

 

Juniper Baskets

 

Juniper Baskets

Juniper Baskets

 

Juniper Basket no.3:

 

Juniper Baskets

Juniper Baskets

Juniper Baskets

Juniper Baskets

 

Juniper Basket No.4:

 

Juniper Baskets

Juniper Baskets

Juniper Baskets

Juniper Baskets

 

And that brings to an end my run of Juniper Basket present making!!

 

The Juniper Basket pattern is available here.

 

I hope you’ll call back again soon (p.s. tune in for my blogiversary giveaway on 30th December!).

 

Happy gifting!

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Cork Pouches


By Judith on December 22, 2019
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I’ve recently gifted a selection of ‘cork pouches’.

 

I love working with cork!  It goes with just about everything, comes in lots of different colours (including sparkly!) can be rotary cut, pieced, quilted, ironed (medium-cool heat setting) and is 3d friendly!  Did you know it’s vegan too (though I don’t recommend eating it!).

 

Here’s the first cork pouch:

 

Cork Pouch Gift for Zoe

 

This was made for a friend of my daughter who has been through a tough time lately.

 

Cork Pouch Gift for Zoe

 

I had a very small offcut of this gorgeous animal fabric (Echino, I think!) and managed (just about) to fussy cut the animals.   I particularly like the zebras as my daughter’s friend is a young mum and it reminded me of the lovely bond she has with her son.

 

Cork Pouch Gift for Zoe

 

The pouch was sent off with an inspirational notebook and lots of love!

 

Cork Pouch Gift for Zoe

 

Pouch no. 2 was made as an ‘end of year’ thank you gift.

 

Cork Pouch gift for Joanne

 

As with most of my pouches, I make them up as I go along!  I’d seen some lovely curved pouches on Pinterest and thought I’d have a go!

 

Cork Pouch gift for Joanne

 

The 2nd side of the zipper is a little tricky as you are sewing against the curve, but completely manageable with patience and deft fingers!

 

Cork Pouch gift for Joanne

 

All of the fabrics in this pouch are available to purchase in my studio.

 

And last but not least, a geographical pouch for a special girl!

 

Lucy's Map Pouch

 

My middle daughter has already left for a 3 month missions trip, so I thought a useful but easy to pack pouch would come in handy.

 

Lucy's Map Pouch

 

With another offcut of map fabric I managed to include 2 countries that hold significance for my daughter, Brazil (a country she would love to visit one day) and Japan, where she will be spending the first 2 months of 2020.

 

Lucy's Map Pouch

 

I quilted both sides of the pouch along the longitude and latitude lines that were already printed on this ‘old style’ map!

 

Lucy's Map Pouch

 

So that’s my round up of cork pouches gifted this Christmas.

 

If you’ve never sewn with cork before give it a try! You’ll soon discover how versatile and user friendly it is!

 

Happy sewing!

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Two Robin Hoops!


By Judith on December 21, 2019
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Today I handed over 2 more pressies to my monthly breakfast buddies!

 

Robin Hoops Xmas Presents

 

You may remember I ran my Robin Hoop Art workshop last month.  Robins are so iconic at this time of year and I thought these sketchy hoops would make the perfect handmade gifts for my craft-loving friends.

 

Robin Hoops Xmas Presents

 

While the theme is the same, each hoop has subtle differences.  The background fabrics are different and the character of each robin is different.

 

Robin Hoops Xmas Presents

 

Also, for the first time I’ve introduced (tea stained) paper to my textile pictures. The quote for each friend is different and personal.

 

Robin Hoops Xmas Presents
Robin Hoops Xmas Presents

 

These 8″ hoops are the perfect size for gifting, and are such fun to make, especially if you love free motion sketching!

 

Robin Hoops Xmas Presents

 

I definitely see more of these in my future!

 

Happy sketching!

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Strip Pieced Birthday Quilt


By Judith on December 19, 2019
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A very good friend of mine had a ‘special’ birthday this month, and last night I got to hand over the quilt I had made for her.

 

Ruth's Birthday Quilt

 

This is a strip pieced quilt, made in Amy Butler fabrics (mostly Soul Blossoms).

 

Ruth's Birthday Quilt

 

I love this type of piecing, and it’s a great pattern for using up leftover binding and Jelly Roll strips too! (see the free tutorial for my scrappy version here).

 

Ruth's Birthday Quilt

 

A friend of mine long arm quilted it.  I always think that when a quilt is quilted, that’s when the fabrics just seem to come to life!

 

Ruth's Birthday Quilt

 

The backing is Tilda, and the navy and white stripe binding is from a collection called England Swings (my birthday friend is English!).

 

Ruth's Birthday Quilt

 

I love how bright and cheery this quilt is, and it totally reflects my lovely friend’s bright and cheery personality!

 

Ruth's Birthday Quilt

 

I’m happy to report that she loved it! Yay!

 

Happy sewing!

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Folded Wreath Class Finishes


By Judith on December 17, 2019
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After classes finished last week I whisked off to England for a fabulous weekend with my girls!

 

 

All 3 of my girls currently live in England and it’s so precious when we all get to be together.

 

That’s the reason I’m only now getting around to posting about our class project finishes.

 

You may remember our class project this term was all about the Folded Wreath.  Well check out these fine examples of Single and Double Folded Wreaths:

 

folded wreath mosaic

 

The photos really don’t do justice to these amazing works of art!

 

If only you could see the beautiful details in each wreath, decorative stitching and sweet beads!

 

And here are a few plaited wreaths I managed to snap along the way too!

 

Plaited Wreaths

 

There were of course many other projects and Christmas gifts worked on this term!

 

Well done to all my hard working ladies!

 

I hope you all enjoy a creative and well deserved peaceful Christmas!

Happy sewing!

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Secret Santa Gifts


By Judith on December 12, 2019
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During our last week of classes we have adopted the tradition of ‘Secret Santa’.

 

I love this fun tradition, seeing the variety of handmade and bought gifts, all for under £5!

 

6 weekly classes means I have 6 Secret Santa presents to either make or buy. This year I’m trying not to buy as many presents, but making gifts where I can.

 

So here are my handmade Secret Santa classes gifts:

 

Tilda EPP Pin Cushions (Secret Santa)

 

As you know I’ve been EPP-ing in the evenings, enjoying working with my Tilda scraps from past projects.

 

Tilda EPP Pin Cushions (Secret Santa)

 

I saw some cute pincushions on Pinterest and thought my little Tilda Grandmother’s flowers would make pretty pinnies!

 

Tilda EPP Pincushions (Secret Santa)

 

I appliqued the flowers onto some Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Flax) and hand stitched with pale pink embroidery floss around the outside of the flowers.

 

Tilda EPP Pin Cushions (Secret Santa)

 

I really like the recessed buttons on this design. I covered some buttons with more Tilda scraps and pulled the thread tightly through to the back of the pincushion to give it a more cushiony look!

 

Tilda EPP Pin Cushions (Secret Santa)

 

I paired each pincushion up with a packet of pins and I’m pleased to report that the ‘secret’ gifts were very well received!

 

Tilda EPP Pin Cushions (Secret Santa)

 

So my secret Santa pinnies are not so secret anymore!

And a big thank you to all my ‘Secret Santas’ for the lovely gifts that I received!

 

Happy gifting!

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Tilda Juniper Basket


By Judith on December 10, 2019
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A special friend of mine had her birthday at the weekend, and this is what I made her.

 

Tilda Juniper Basket Gift

 

This is my take on the Juniper Basket, by my uber talented quilty friend, Svetlana of SOTAK Handmade.

 

Tilda Juniper Basket Gift

 

Svetlana’s patterns are always so well written, and she includes 2 sizes for this cute basket.  I made the small size.

 

Tilda Juniper Basket Gift

 

I’ve been  doing a little EPP (English Paper Piecing) in the evenings, using up some pretty Tilda scraps.

I know my friend likes Tilda too so it was a no brainer when it came to choosing fabrics!

 

Tilda Juniper Basket Gift

 

I quilted some Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Flax) for the exterior – always a great partner for Tilda!

Tilda Juniper Basket Gift

 

I think this would a perfect basket for a knitting or crochet project, or  even  some  EPP!!

 

Tilda Juniper Basket Gift

 

Svetlana’s Juniper Basket pattern is available here, but be sure to check out the rest of her store!  She has lots of beautiful bag and pouch patterns to choose from!

 

Happy sewing!

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New Class Project: Jan’ 2020


By Judith on December 6, 2019
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Well it’s hard to believe that we only have 1 more week of classes left for 2019!  Where on earth did that year go!!

 

I can’t wait to show you the beautiful wreaths folks have been making as part of our (optional) class project this term.  They’re stunning!

 

But before one term is out I always present to my classes what the next term’s (optional) class project will be.

 

Our technique focus next term will be Pleats & Tucks.

 

 

The main difference between pleats and tucks is that pleats are formed by folding the same length of fabric into folds which are only stitched down at the top and bottom ends, whereas tucks are constructed separately and then sewn into the project.

 

You will of course be more familiar with seeing pleats and tucks in clothing and apparel, but I love how different techniques in textiles can cross over into other disciplines, usually with a little creative tweaking!

 

So far I have 2 class samples made (both tucks!), but I hope to have one more pleated sample completed before the start of term!

 

 Cushion with Tucks:

There are many different effects you can achieve by manipulating tucks.

 

Cushion with Tucks (class sample)

 

I really like the ‘spread’ effect you get from this variation of the Wave Tuck.  You can see each of the feature fabrics standing out nicely against the black Essex Yarn Dyed Linen.

 

Cushion with Tucks (class sample)

 

Zippy Pouch with Tucks

 

Pouch with Tucks (class sample)

 

This is an example of Twisted Tucks. Before sewing along the bottom edge of the pouch, the tucks are twisted back, revealing the secondary colour. This effect adds a lovely decorative touch to bags and pouches.

 

Pouch with Tucks (class sample)

 

So that’s us (almost) ready for next term.  If you would like to join us for some creative sewing fun, you can see all the available classes here.

 

In the meantime I have a few Christmas presents to make, and the small matter of workshops for February’s Retreat to make too!

 

No rest for the wicked!!

 

Happy sewing!

 

 

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Robin Hoop Art Workshop Finishes


By Judith on December 1, 2019
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Yesterday was our Robin Hoop Art Workshop, and what ‘sketchy’ fun we all had!!

 

 

Nine ladies spent a glorious Saturday getting in touch with their artistic side.

 

Robin Hoop Art Workshop

 

They built up their low volume backgrounds, a little matchstick quilting and lacey additions before bondawebbing their scrappy robins and starting the sketching fun!

 

Robin Hoop Art Workshop

 

And just look at their awesome results ….

 

Robin Hoop Art Workshop

 

Aren’t they so cute!!

Well done ladies on your festive works of hoop art!

 

So that’s the last of our Saturday workshops for 2019!  We will soon be releasing new classes and workshops for 2020 so stay tuned!

 

Happy sketching!

 

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Plaited Wreath Tutorial


By Judith on November 22, 2019
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A big thank you to everyone for entering my ‘Katha on Tweed’ giveaway last week.

 

I announced the winner on Monday via Instagram, and was pleased to deliver the prize to local winner Jaele @a_million_paper_stars!

 

But don’t worry if you missed out this time.  I’ll be doing another giveaway at the end of the year to celebrate my 9 year blogiversary!  Stay tuned!

**********************************************************

 

So what have we been up to this week in class?  Well, as our class project this term has been the Folded Double Wreath, I thought I would do a quick demo on another type of wreath – the simple plaited wreath!

 

plaited wreath tutorial

 

This wreath uses much less fabric and is quicker to make! Win, win!

 

To make this wreath you will need:

3 x 3″ strips cut width of fabric

1 x 5″ strip cut width of fabric (bow)

Toy stuffing

Large Safety Pin

Wooden skewer or knitting needle

Co-ordinating thread

 

Method:  Use 1/4″ seam allowance

1  Fold each 3″ strip in half lengthways, right sides together, and sew down the long side.  Leave the short ends open.

 

 

2  Use a large safety pin to turn the tubes right sides out. Do not press.

 

 

3  Stuff the tubes from each open end towards the middle.  I used a wooden skewer for this. Make sure the tubes aren’t so well stuffed that they can’t be plaited.

 

4  At one end of each tube, tuck under the raw edges and pin and sew together across the top (I hand sewed a whip stitch here). Make sure the seams are all facing the back of the tubes.

 

 

5  Plait the wreath tightly ensuring no gaps between the tubes.

 

 

6  When you get to the end, trim the tubes to the same length, tuck under the raw edges and whip stitch them together as with the other end.

 

7  Neatly join both ends of the wreath, trying to continue the plaiting order.

 

8  To make the bow, fold the strip in half lengthways, right sides together, and sew down the long side, leaving a 3″ gap half way down.

 

 

9  Angle the ends of the bow by drawing a diagonal line a few inches in from one corner and down to the adjacent corner. Sew along this line.  Cut away the excess leaving 1/4″ seam allowance. Make sure the angled ends of the bow are pointing in opposite directions.

 

 

10  Turn the bow right sides out, push the points out with the skewer or knitting needle and press, making sure to tuck in the raw edges of the gap.

 

11  Stitch the gap closed and tie the bow to the wreath, covering the join.

 

Tip:  Tying the perfect bow – after the first tie, turn the wreath upside down and complete the bow.  The pointed ends of the bow will hang down towards the bottom of the wreath!

Magic!

 

 

And you’re done!

 

Plaited Christmas Wreath

 

A pretty wreath ready to hang up or gift!

 

Happy plaiting!

 

 

 

 

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French General Quilt Gift


By Judith on November 13, 2019
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Hi there, if you are looking for details of my giveaway you can find it here.

 

Since the summer I’ve been working on 3 quilts, getting them ready to gift later in the year.

 

Well the first has been completed and gifted and I can show you it here.

 

French General Quilt Gift

 

 

This is a lap quilt made for an elderly couple, using a French General Layer Cake (Rouenneries I think!).

 

I’ve always loved French General fabrics, oh the richness and depth of those reds! Yum!

 

French General Quilt Gift

 

I used this free tutorial to carve up the full Layer Cake without creating waste.

 

French General Quilt Gift

 

Some simple organic vertical wavy quilting adds a little movement and lovely texture through all the squares.  Not to mention it being a quick and easy ‘go to’ quilting method.

 

French General Quilt Gift

 

The obligatory striped binding finished the quilt off.  I got it labelled and handed over last week.

 

My prayer is that this quilt will bring some comfort and joy to the lovely recipients.

 

So that’s one quilt down.  2 more to go!

 

Happy sewing!

 

 

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Kantha on Tweed & Giveaway


By Judith on November 9, 2019
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If you read my last post, you will know that I’ve been making gifts for my #Threads Across the Sea quilting friends.

 

Here’s what I made:

 

Kantha Tweed Drawstring Pouches

 

I love the organic nature of kantha stitching, an ancient form of Indian embroidery.  Originally used on saris, kantha now makes appearances on apparel, home furnishings and quilts.

 

Photo source: SewGuide.com

 

Combined with my love of tweed and woollen textiles, I thought wouldn’t it be radical fun to try a little tweed/kantha combo!

 

And so 3 Kantha/tweed drawstring bags were formed!

 

Kantha Tweed Drawstring Pouches

 

Most of the fabrics in the exteriors of these bags are from free sample books (love a bit of recycling).

 

I pieced the exteriors, then bedded down the seams with a little top stitching onto heavy sew-in vilene.

 

And then the kantha fun began!

 

Kantha Tweed Drawstring Pouches

 

Aurifil 12wt wool threads are perfect for this type of naive embroidery.  I choose saturated colours to compliment the soft tones of the tweed and wool.

 

Kantha Tweed Drawstring Pouches

 

Now I sized these bags for a particular purpose.  Inside where funny mugs the girls could take along to their respective Modern Quilt Groups!

 

Kantha Tweed Drawstring Pouches

 

Aren’t they funny! You can find a great selection of craft, sewing and knitting slogan mugs here.

 

***************************************************

And now onto my giveaway!

 

Kantha Bag Giveaway

 

How would you like to win one of my Kantha Tweed bags?

 

Giveaway

 

Not only that, you will also get a copy of Hoop Art by Christin Morgan (20 hand embroidery projects) and 4 spools of Aurifil 12wt cotton floss.

 

Giveaway

 

To enter please …..

1  follow me on Instagram @justjudebelfast and tag a friend

2  like my Facebook Page

3  and leave a comment here or on FB or IG telling me what’s your favourite textile to work with.

You have until Monday 18th November to enter, when I will announce the winner (international entries welcome).  (Please ensure you leave your email address with your comment if you are a ‘no reply blogger’.)

Good luck everyone!

 

Happy sewing!

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Threads Across the Sea 2019


By Judith on November 8, 2019
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For the past few years, an annual tradition has started among 3 of my long time quilty friends and myself.

 

Threads Across the Sea 2019
L-R: Sarah (@sewmesarah), Me (@justjudebelfast); Trudi (@trudi_wood); Di (@willowbeckdesigns)

 

2 of us live in N.Ireland and the other 2 in England.  We try to meet up each year to sew, taking it in turns to meet on either side of the Irish Sea!  And that’s why we call ourselves #Threads Across the Sea!

 

Threads Across the Sea 2019

 

This year, Trudi and Di came to not so sunny Belfast and spent a weekend of chatter, natter, lots of eating (delicious home baked yummies by Trudi and Sarah!) and of course some sewing in my studio!

 

One of our traditions is to gift handmade items to each other!  This is like Christmas come early!!

 

Threads Across the Sea 2019

 

From Sarah we each received these personalised Arm Chair Caddies (pattern from the book ‘Zakka Home’).  Aren’t they cool!  And Sarah got me spot on with my love of denim and all things ditsy!

 

Threads Across the Sea Gifts
Threads Across the Sea Gifts
Threads Across the Sea Gifts

 

I will definitely be using mine when hand stitching in the evenings in front of the telly!

 

Threads Across the Sea 2019

 

From Trudi we each received a beautifully hand embroidered Clearly Carry All Pouch by Sewing Illustration.

 

Threads Across the Sea Gifts

 

Trudi is an amazing hand stitcher and quilter, and being recently laid up with injured ankles facilitated the huge amount of time she invested in these pouches.

 

Threads Across the Sea Gifts
Threads Across the Sea Gifts

 

 

I particularly love the sashiko stitching on Art Gallery Denim! Yum!

 

And from Di we each got a treat bag of goodies!

 

Threads Across the Sea 2019

 

Di lives in the Lake District and the particular area she lives in is known as the Cake District!!!  Fab or what!

 

Included in the bag were thread snips, mobile thread cutter/needle threader and wood turned items made by Di’s uber talented hubby!  Check out the gorgeously tactile needle holder and Christmas Tree decoration!

 

Threads Across the Sea 2019

 

See what I mean by Christmas come early!  I’m so blessed to call these talented women my friends.

 

And if you want to know what I made for my 3 friends, you’ll have to tune in again to find out (and there might be a wee giveaway too! wink wink!).

 

Having a sew-social with like minded creatives and wonderful friends is one of my favourite things!  Already looking forward to TATS20!

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Post Retreat Roundup


By Judith on November 3, 2019
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Sorry it has taken me so long to post about our first Quilting Retreat (last weekend).  I’ve had some very special visitors this week (which I’ll tell you all about soon).

 

It’s hard to believe that a week ago today we were heading home after a wonderful weekend of sewing, eating, fun and games!

 

Quilting Retreat Oct19

 

Murlough house is a 150 year old stately house situated only 5 minutes walk from the beach and surrounded by beautiful and calming gardens. The staff that run the house were so accommodating and friendly and the meals ……. oh my! We were spoiled!  Their generous and servant heartedness combined with this beautiful setting established our retreat vibe from the first day.

 

Quilting Retreat Oct19

 

There was of course lots of independent sewing time in the big hall. I have lots of photos of fabulous finished projects, but here are just a few!

 

Quilting Retreat Oct19
Quilting Retreat Oct19
Quilting Retreat Oct19
Quilting Retreat Oct19
Quilting Retreat Oct19
Quilting Retreat Oct19
Quilting Retreat Oct19
Quilting Retreat Oct19

 

After dinner in the evenings, we had a few fun games like a our pincushion swap, sewing bingo and the postage stamp charity block race, before getting down to more serious sewing time.  (The hard core stitchers were still in the Hall to the wee hours of the morning!!)

 

Quilting Retreat Oct19
Postage Stamp Blocks for Siblings Together

Quilting Retreat Oct19
Quilting Retreat Oct19
Quilting Retreat Oct19
Quilting Retreat Oct19
Quilting Retreat Oct19

 

In addition to all of this I ran 2 workshops:

Sashiko cushion (Saturday afternoon) ……

 

Quilting Retreat Oct19
Quilting Retreat Oct19

 

….and selvedge projects (Sunday morning).

 

Quilting Retreat Oct19
Quilting Retreat Oct19

 

A few folks also managed to fit in some walks (& runs) around the bay!

 

Phew! What a lot we managed to pack in!

 

From the feedback forms I can safely say that everyone had a fabulously relaxing and productive weekend.

 

Quilting Retreat Oct19

 

A huge thank you to everyone who came and participated in all the activities so eagerly and to all the staff at Murlough House for spoiling us.

 

Thank you too to my 2 lovely friends, Ruth and Barbara, who valiantly helped and supported me from conception to conclusion (they are 2nd and 3rd from the right in the photo above).  I couldn’t have done this without you!

 

I already have Murlough House booked for 2 more retreats in 2020!  So watch this space!

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Soft Toys Finishes


By Judith on October 28, 2019
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Hi everyone, how are you all?

 

I have just had my first quilting retreat this past weekend, and what a weekend it was! I’ll be writing a post on what we got up too soon!

 

But before that, last week saw the end of our season of soft toys in class!

 

Are you ready for cuteness overload (and a little education)?

 

Class Projects - Toys
Francie Fox pattern by AngelLea Designs

Collective nouns for foxes: Leash, Skulk, Earth, Lead, Troop

(did you spot the giraffe?)

 

Class Projects - Toys
Trunk Show pattern by Jodie Carleton

Collective nouns for elephants: herd or memory

 

Class Projects - Toys
The Purl Bee Penguin by Purl Soho

Collective nouns for penguins: waddle, rookery, colony, huddle and raft (when in water)

 

Aren’t they adorable!

 

Half way through the block I demo-ed how to make sock monkeys using the free pattern by Craft Passion (read more here).

 

And in no time at all, a troop of monkeys started to appear!

 

Class Project - Soft Toys

 

These monkeys are so tactile and soft, and a few have already had some serious play time with enthusiastic grandchildren!

 

Well done to all my toy makers this term!  There are some seriously satisfied children (& adults) out there now!

Happy sewing!

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Folded Double Wreath


By Judith on October 18, 2019
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We have one week left of our current block of classes before the half term break.

Folks have been beavering away on their Soft Toys and Sock Monkeys – can’t wait to show you our amazing menagerie!

But looking ahead to our final block of classes of 2019, our optional class project will help to sharpen our focus on Christmas preparations!!

 

 

The original pattern for the Fold ‘n Stitch Wreath is by Poorhouse Quilt Designs, available here.

 

But then I saw this amazing triple version of the wreath and thought I’d have a go at making my own interpretation of it.

 

Folded Double Wreath Class Project

 

I have used 3 fabrics in my double wreath.  I like the versions which have a 3rd fabric peeping out at the edges of the folds.  I’m a bit fussy when it comes to Christmas fabrics so I chose 2 Tilda fabrics (a Christmas red and a non-Christmas pink) and a non-Christmas cream by Lewis & Irene.

 

While the construction of this wreath may look complicated, let me assure you that it isn’t (I love it when patchwork deceptively portrays complexity!).

 

Folded Double Wreath Class Project

 

Each row is made the same way. The repetitve nature of making square ‘coasters’ and cleverly joining them into a circle means you can stop at a single wreath (as a candle mat or door-hanging) or keep going and make additional rounds.

 

Folded Double Wreath Class Project

 

I stopped at 2 rounds and decorated the centre with a Scandi birdhouse.  But at the class you will have the option of making a single, double or triple wreath.

 

Folded Double Wreath Class Project

 

And if you like your bling, you’ll love decorating your wreath!  Metallic threads, beads, bells and baubles are all up for grabs!  Let your Christmas creativity go wild!

 

Folded Double Wreath Class Project

 

And of course, if you’re not a Christmas fan, why not make a beautiful autumnal or winter wreath!

 

Lots of options and variations are open to you with this optional class project.

 

The new block kicks of w/c 5th November and runs for 6 weeks. Booking available here.

 

Happy sewing!

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Sock Monkeys


By Judith on October 4, 2019
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This term in class we have been running a soft toys theme.  And in keeping with this theme, this week I have been demo-ing the hugely affectionate Sock Monkey!

 

Sock Monkeys
Large & Medium monkey

 

This pattern is by Craft Passion and includes 3 sizes – Adult, Toddler & Baby!

 

You need one pair of socks to make 1 monkey. The pattern suggests using crew length socks (approx 8″ from heel to cuff) however I adapted knee length socks for my large monkey and used a pair of ladies ankle socks (approx 5″ from heel to cuff) for the medium monkey.

 

Sock Monkeys

 

I found these monkeys surprisingly easy to sew, especially as the pattern directs you to mark and sew the limbs and features on the complete sock first, before cutting out! Genuis!

 

Sock Monkeys

 

And there is a nifty way of getting stuffing into that narrow channel of a tail!! (It’s so clever!)

 

Sock Monkeys

 

The toys we have been making in class require lots and lots of stuffing, really well packed in to achieve the finished shape.  However, that is not the case with these little fellows!

Because socks are made from a stretchy knit fabric, the more you stuff, the more it will stretch! So my advice is not to over stuff, just enough for maximum cuddle factor!

 

Sock Monkeys

 

A little hand sewing brings all the features together. Don’t worry if you’re not that neat a hand sewer like me. The stitches just seem to get absorbed into the knit fabric! Magic!

 

Sock Monkeys

 

Aren’t they cute!  And great gift ideas for little (& big) kids (I recommend using safety eyes instead of buttons if gifting to small children).

 

So no need to discard those old or odd socks!  Get sewing your very own troop of monkeys!

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Denim Boro Bag Finishes


By Judith on September 19, 2019
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Our studio in August looked a little bit like a jeans factory, as many pairs of jeans were massacred in the honourable pursuit of making my Boro Denim Bag pattern.

 

 

Repurposing projects are among my favourites, and it was exciting to see the ladies’ bags grow in a very organic, non-prescriptive way.

 

While some of the techniques are the same e.g. ‘quilt as you go’ and measured bag construction, each bag looks uniquely different because of the different denim placements and features used.

 

Denim Boro Bag Class

 

Like an archeological dig, there was much excavating through the pile of jeans for pockets, loops, leather labels and interesting design features which were rescued and treasured for embellishing the bags!

 

Denim Boro Bag class

 

Doesn’t Glenda looked pleased with her finished bag!

 

There are a few more bags that are still in the making, but to all my ‘bag ladies’ I’d like to say a big well done on your repurposing and bag making skills!  The variety and creativity you showed in the hand and machine quilting of your bags was inspiring!

 

If you would like to have a go at your own Denim Boro bag, you can find the pattern here. 

 

(Newsletter subscribers will have received a 50% off coupon code for this pattern in the Autumn ’19 edition – expires 25th Sept.)

 

Happy sewing!

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Autumn Quilting Retreat Workshops


By Judith on September 16, 2019
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It was a milestone weekend in the Hollies’ household!

 

 

I dropped my baby off at University of Liverpool to start her 3 year degree, and came back to an empty nest.

 

 

I’ve had children at home for the past 24 years, so not having ‘on hand’ mummy duties and living alone for the first time (ever) will be quite an adjustment. But I know that once the grieving ends I will learn how to grow a new set of wings and step into new rhythms and adventures.

 

In the meantime I have lots of exciting work ventures to focus on, one being our inaugural Quilting Retreat next month.

 

In addition to oodles of time to sew, chat and relax, there are also 2 optional workshops to choose from.

 

Saturday Afternoon: Sashiko Cushion

 

Sashiko Cushion

 

The Japanese sashiko stitching trend has swept through the quilting world in recent years.

 

Sashiko Cushion

 

This is my simplified take on what can be beautifully intricate hand stitched Japanese designs, often based on themes of nature and geometric patterns.

 

Sashiko Cushion

 

At this workshop you will learn how to trace patterns onto traditional indigo backgrounds and how to make the sashiko stitches and designs.

 

Sashiko Cushion

 

Sunday Morning: Selvedge Projects

Quilters are a frugal lot, and we don’t like throwing away even small pieces of fabric!

 

Selvedges

 

So when it comes to selvedges, the edges of fabric that prevent it from fraying, to me they aren’t the pieces you trim off and throw in the bin, but rather the unsung treasures of your yardage!

 

Selvedge Basket

 

Selvedges not only display the colourful dye shades used in the print, but also the manufacturer and designer’s names and the name of the pattern.

 

Selvedge Basket

 

It can take a while to save up enough selvedges to make something from them, but don’t worry, at this workshop I will have lots of selvedges available.

 

Selvedge Pencil Case

 

At the workshop you will learn how to cut and sew selvedges with finished edges and how to stabilise them into a new piece of fabric for project making.

 

Selvedge Pouch

 

And you can choose to make a small basket, pencil case or project pouch.

 

So start looking at those selvedges differently and hoard them like precious treasure!

 

Those are the workshops taking place at our Quilting Retreat in October.  It’s going to be one fun and creative weekend!

 

Happy quilting!

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Sample Swatch Pouch Gift


By Judith on September 10, 2019
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I got to hand over another little handmade gift last week!

 

Sample swatch pouch gift

 

You may remember the Tilda & Cork pouch I made for a friend during the summer?  Well this one is for her mum.

 

Sample swatch pouch gift

 

My friend recently gave me a bag of small fabric samples, the perfect size for pouch making!  And she also guided me on her mum’s favourite colours – sage & olive greens, gold and oatmeal.

 

Sample swatch pouch gift

 

Well I just had to sneak in a rich autumnal red with this classy colour scheme.  And a little vintage trim to boot!

 

Sample swatch pouch gift

 

Quilting the swatches onto Legacy Flex Foam really gives them definition and structure.

I also found an old jewellery pendant which I thought worked well as a zipper pull!

 

Sample swatch pouch gift

 

I’m happy to report the recipient is tickled pink with her new pouch!

And because I love making cute little pouches from repurposed textiles, I’d call that a win, win!

 

Sample swatch pouch gift

 

Happy sewing!

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Syringe Driver Bag Workshop 2


By Judith on September 8, 2019
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Yesterday was the 2nd of my charity sewing days.

 

Syringe Driver Bag Workshop 2

 

Once again the studio was filled with generous ladies donating their time, talent and fabric to make syringe driver bags for Macmillan Cancer Care and N.I. Children’s Hospice.

 

It was lovely meeting old friends and new, and at least one bag was completed by all!

 

Syringe Driver Bag Workshop 2

 

I’d like to thank everyone who has beavered away making bags for our 2nd appeal, the total of which is now over 350 (and they’re still coming!).

 

For many of the contributors to our Syringe Driver Bags appeal, it is a very personal and heartfelt gesture of giving back.  These bags will be winging their way to palliative care units and hopefully bringing a little cheer to an otherwise dark corner.

 

Happy sewing!

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New Crafting Workshops


By Judith on September 7, 2019
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I’m delighted to announce a new initiative I’m piloting in my studio this term.

 

 

There is a wealth of creative talent here in Northern Ireland, and I want my studio to be used a lot more in facilitating this creativity and supporting local artists and crafters.

 

So I am hosting a range of workshops taught by talented and experienced tutors and artists!

 

At the time of writing we have scheduled the following workshops:

 

Paper Flower Craft

by Debbie Thompson

 

 

Needle Felted Landscapes

by Jennifer Cunningham

 

 

Linocut Printmaking

by Jenni Robinson

 

 

Weaving Wallhanging

by Little Tangle

 

 

Botanical Printing on Irish Linen

by Ruth Osborne

 

 

Dorset Button Jewellery

by Debbie McCann (Wee Yarn Designs)

 

 

Booking for all of these workshops is available here.

 

These workshops will be a mixture of Saturdays, weekdays and evenings and you are guaranteed expert and professional tution (places are limited).

 

 

I will keep you up to date with additions to the crafting programme as we go along.  But I hope you are excited as I am about celebrating our homegrown talent and supporting our local artists.

 

Happy crafting!

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Autumn ’19 Workshops


By Judith on September 4, 2019
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This week saw the start of our new Autumn ’19 programme of weekly classes and workshops.

 

Autumn19 Saturday workshops

 

Here is a flavour of what we will be getting up to on Saturdays!

 

Rope Bowls Workshop Sept19

 

Booking available here

 

At this workshop you will find out how much fun you can have with cotton clothesline and a zigzag stitch!!

Previous Rope Bowls workshops have proven to be creative and productive, with everyone going home with several completed items.

You can read more about our Rope Bowls workshops here and here.

 

Dotti Denim Pouch Workshop

 

Booking available here

 

If you have a fear of zips then this is the workshop for you!!  At this workshop you will learn how to make a sizeable pouch and neatly insert a finished zipper.

 

You can upcycle denim for your pouch, or try out some durable cork fabric (available to purchase in class) or perhaps use up some pretty scraps!

 

 

Kids Pencil Case workshop

 

Booking available here

 

Bring along your young protege to learn how to sew their very own pencil cases (great gift ideas for friends too!).

At this workshop your child will learn how to cut and prepare fabric for piecing and pencil case construction, including inserting a zip!

This is a fun day out with your creative young person!

Children must be aged 9+

 

Robin Hoop Art Workshop

 

Booking available here

 

Hoop Art is a popular and satisfying way of creating textile art.

At this workshop you will learn how to layer a background, matchstick quilting, raw edge applique/free motion sketching and how to finish and mount your hoop.

A great little project for using up scraps of cotton, lace, ribbon and tweed.

8″ wooden hoops available to purchase in class.

 

So that’s the roundup of our Patchwork & Quilting Saturday workshops.  I hope you see something you like!

And come back soon for some exciting news on our new Autumn craft workshops!

 

Happy sewing!

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2019 Online Quilters Meet & Greet


By Judith on September 3, 2019
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Hi there, I’m taking part in Victoriana Quilt Designs 2019 Online Quilters Meet & Greet.  A special welcome to those visiting from Benita’s blog and taking part in her annual Meet & Greet Grand Prize Draw!

 

Just Jude Designs Classes & Workshops

 

By way of introduction, I’m Judith of Just Jude Designs.  I’m a Patchwork & Quilting Designer and Tutor working from my spacious studio in a beautifully converted Victorian linen mill in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

 

Conway Mill

 

I’ve been teaching now for 12 years, not only designing projects to teach but also designing quilting projects for magazines and a UK based fabric distributor.

 

Autumn Boho Quilt
Autumn Boho Quilt (Mama & Baby sizes). Pattern available here.

 

 

I’m particularly fond of sewing with scraps (I generate a lot of them in my line of work!) and this is reflected in many of my designs.

 

Sun, Sea and Sky Quilt (Quilt Now Magazine August17)
Sun, Sea & Sky Quilt for Quilt Now Magazine Aug’17. Pattern available here.

Popular Patchwork cover.July
Summer Starburst Quilt for Popular Patchwork June’16

 

Scrappy Strips Quilt (British P&Q Sept16)
Scrappy Strips Quilt for British P&Q Sept’16. Free tutorial here.

DP Table Runner & Mats (British Patchwork & Quilting, April'16)
Baubles Table Runner & Mats for British Patchwork & Quilting Magazine April’16. Pattern available here.

 

I wouldn’t say I have a particular ‘style’ to my quilts.  Sometimes I take inspiration from the fabrics themselves, or a themed brief from an editor, nostalgia or patterns I see in nature and objects around me.

 

Woodland Friends Quilt (Popular Patchwork, Oct issue)
Woodland Friends Quilt for Popular Patchwork Magazine Oct’16. Pattern available here.

 

 

Some of my best work comes from not having a design brief, and simply grabbing a handful of fabric or scraps and just allowing an organic creative process to develop!

 

Oriental Clamshells Quilt (Popular Patchwork Jan18)

 

I don’t always know what I’m going to end up with, but when I mix a little courage with an open mind, I’m rarely disappointed!

 

Denim Boro Bag
Denim Boro Bag. Pattern available here.

 

I’m also fond of recycling textiles in patchwork and quilting – linen, denim, tweed, wool and vintage sheets are particular favourites!

 

Harriet Hare in Tweed, Wool & Linen
Harriet Hare Cushion in Tweed, Wool & Linen. Pattern available here.

Vintage Sheets Cushions
Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

So that’s a little flavour of my patchwork & quilting life. You can read more about me here, and see more of my patterns here.

 

And if you would like to enter Benita’s Grand Prize Draw (4 pre-cut bundles, 3 Aurifil thread sets, Warm & Natural Batting, 2 Sewline Start sets & lifetime membership to Victoriana Quilt Designs) then just click on the button below to enter your details.  Winners will be announced by Benita on 1st October.

Happy quilting!

 

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Syringe Driver Bag Workshop (1)


By Judith on August 24, 2019
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Today was the first of 2 Syringe Driver Bag Workshops at our studio in Conway Mill.

 

Syringe Driver Bags Workshop (1)

 

These amazing ladies donated their fabric, time and talent to learn how to make Syringe Driver Bags for Macmillan Cancer Care and N.I. Childrens Hospice.

 

Syringe Driver Bags Workshop (1)

 

It was a lovely day of sewing, chatting (and eating …. mostly chocolate!).

 

And half way through the day, the lovely Eleanor dropped in 21 donated bags!!!!!

 

Syringe Driver Bags Workshop (1)

 

 

So including all the bags made and donated today, our total number of bags stands at 294!

 

A huge thank you to everyone who has been beavering away making bags for these 2 amazing charities.

 

And if you would like to make some bags for your local palliative care unit, you can follow the free tutorial here.

 

Happy sewing!

 

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‘Giant’s Causeway’ Pillow Gift


By Judith on August 22, 2019
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The 2nd of my gifts being handed out this week is this English Paper Pieced (EPP) Hexie Pillow.

 

Giants Causeway Hexie Pillow Gift

 

This gift is actually a ‘thank you’ from my daughter to a family who’ve been like a 2nd family to her for many years, and have faithfully supported her missionary training!

 

The family in question love the North Coast of Ireland, and holiday there every year (with my daughter included!).

 

 

They have a particular affection for The Giants Causeway, a geological phenomenon of mostly hexagonal shaped basalt stones, created from volcanic movement 50-60 million years ago.

 

But despite what Wikipedia and National Heritage say, we all know it was in fact built by the Irish Giant, Finn MacCool! Of course!

 

Giants Causeway Hexie Pillow Gift

 

So this coastal coloured pillow with it’s columns of ombre hexies is my textile ode to The Giant’s Causeway and our legendary and affectionate giant, Finn MacCool!

 

Giants Causeway Hexie Pillow Gift

 

This is my first time appliquing EPP hexies in this way.  It’s important to draw your placement grid first onto the background (Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in this instance), before bondawebbing the starched hexies in place.

 

Giants Causeway Hexie Pillow Gift

 

I’m delighted to say the pillow was very well received and the recipients immediately got the inferences to their favourite little corner of the world.

 

Giants Causeway Hexie Pillow Gift

 

I love making cushions (well they’re just mini quilts really aren’t they!) and trying out new things.  I’ll definitely chalk this one up as a success (especially as I would like to have one in my own home!)!

 

Happy sewing!

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Tilda Cork Pouch Gift


By Judith on August 20, 2019
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This week I’ll be delivering 2 more handmade gifts.

 

Today, I handed over a sweet little Tilda and Cork patchwork pouch!

 

Tilda & Cork Pouch Gift

 

My friend is an interior designer and very kindly supplied me with the sample swatches I needed for my daughter’s Teacher’s present.

 

Tilda & Cork Pouch Gift

 

This is another sewing friend, so I though she might like a little pouch to keep some sewing bits and bobs in!  Though when she saw she said she was in need of a new make-up pouch!

 

Tilda & Cork Pouch Gift

 

I love making projects from ‘wee bits’ – I think the cork compliments the Tilda scraps beautifully, as well as giving the pouch a sturdy and robust feel.

 

Tilda & Cork Pouch Gift

 

The exterior quilted beautifully onto Legacy Flex Foam, so while it is soft and squishy, it can stand up proud all by itself!

 

Tilda & Cork Pouch Gift

 

But what do you think of the mini pompom trim?  I’m still not entirely sure if I should have added it or not!

 

Tilda & Cork Pouch Gift

 

Pompom trim or no, my friend was tickled pink with her new pouch!

 

Tilda & Cork Pouch Gift

 

I so love giving handmade gifts to friends, don’t you!

 

Happy gifting!

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Aprons (3) Workshop Finishes


By Judith on August 18, 2019
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Yesterday was our 3rd and final Aprons Workshop of 2019.

 

 

Once again, most of the ladies were making the Cross Back (Japanese) Apron (free pattern available here).

 

Aprons (3) Workshop

 

This is a brilliant pattern with beautifully finished french seams on the inside.

Just look at these gorgeous examples!

 

Aprons (3) Workshop

 

And one of my lovely ladies was making my Tie Back Apron (pattern available here).

 

Aprons (3) Workshop

 

Doesn’t she look wonderful (and the apron’s not bad either!).

 

I adore the fabrics Anja has used, combining Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Denim) with some pretty geometric flowers.

 

I hope you all enjoy your aprons ladies, and being the dometic goddesses I know you are!

 

Happy sewing!

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‘Quilt Top In A Day’ Workshop Finishes


By Judith on August 14, 2019
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Last Saturday was sultry and wet, the perfect day for sewing!

 

 

We had our ‘Quilt Top In A Day’ Workshop at the studio, with 7 ladies making either my Mama Boho or Baby Boho Quilt pattern (see if you can spot my Mama Boho Quilt in the picture below!).

 

Quilt Top in a Day workshop

 

Mama Boho is a great quilt design for using large and bold prints, and the simple half square triangle construction means blocks are made in double quick time!

 

Look at these dramatic Mama Boho Quilts …..

 

Quilt Top in a Day workshop
70″ x 88″ finished

 

And while there is a little waste generated from the triangle corners that are cut away, even these can be repurposed into a co-ordinating cushion cover!

 

Quilt Top in a Day workshop

 

The Baby Boho quilt is ‘layer cake friendly’ – just look at these cuties!!!

 

Quilt Top in a Day workshop
38″ x 48″ finished

 

Aren’t they adorable!

Well done ladies on a productive day sewing your flimsies!

So if you need a quilt made up quickly why not try Mama or Baby Boho Quilt pattern, available here.

Happy sewing!

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Vintage Sheets Cushions Gifted!


By Judith on August 6, 2019
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Today I got to hand over 2 special gifts!

 

Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

Angie, my very good friend and fellow sewist, had been travelling for a year and before she left she gave me her precious and treasured stash of vintage sheets!

 

Vintage sheets

 

I too am a collector of vintage sheets, so I instantly understood the value and meaning of this archival gift.

 

When I protested to Angie that I couldn’t possibly accept her treasures, she jokingly said I could make her a cushion from them for when she returned.

 

Well she returned last month and I got to hand over the cushions today.  She was delighted!

 

Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

Among this vintage stash were lots of strips and smaller pieces.  So I went with ‘strippy’ friendly designs.

 

Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

I popped in a little table cloth embroidery to kick start this scrappy Log Cabin, one of my favourite quilt blocks.

 

Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

The quilting was sinple ‘echo’ quilting of the Log Cabin rounds and some of the bigger pieces went into the envelope back.

 

As you can see, I was having so much fun that I couldn’t possibly stop at just one cushion!

 

Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

The solid pink fabric in cushion number 2 was also in Angie’s vintage stash because it was edged with a sweet trim (used in the back).

 

Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

Using my ‘strip pieced block’ tutorial, I made 4 x 10″ blocks, joined them together, quilted them and then hand quilted some coordinating running stitches.

 

Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

A little crocheted scallop trim finished the cushions.

 

Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

I had so much fun making these, enjoying the vintage prints and softness, and reminiscing back to my childhood bed linen (oh those 1970’s purples!).

 

Thank you Angie for entrusting me with your vintage treasures and giving me an excuse to ‘play’!  I hope you too get new opportunities to ‘play’!

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Autumn Class Project: Soft Toys


By Judith on August 4, 2019
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It’s only 4 weeks until my Autumn term of classes starts back!

 

Autumn19 classes

 

Our classes are ‘open’, which means they are mixed ability and you can work on any Patchwork and Quilting project you like, getting all the help and support you need.

 

But I also provide an optional class project each term. These might focus on a new technique, one of my new patterns or a new challenge to keep growing those brain cells!

 

 

soft toys class project

 

In our new term we will be tackling soft toys!

I know these will be a hit with Grannies, Mummies and big kids alike!

 

I’ve curated 3 toy patterns from around the creative web to tempt my lovely ladies to try these cute 3d shapes!

 

Francie Fox:

Pattern available here (by Angela Lea Designs)

 

Francie Fox Class Project

 

This cute girl was a dream to make, following Angela Lea Designs’ fab pattern.

She finishes at 11.5″ tall and has moveable ‘arms’ and tail.

 

Francie Fox Class Project

 

I went a little less scrappy than the original pattern, but still had fun choosing from my Art Gallery scraps! Yum!

 

Ric Rac Trunk Show

Pattern available here (by Jodie Carleton)

 

Elephant Class Project

 

This little darling stands proud at 10″ and the pattern includes 3 trunk variations.

 

Elephant Class Project

 

It also includes an adorable ‘Elmer-esk’ patchwork version!

 

The Purl Bee Penguin

Free pattern available here (by Purl Soho)

 

Penguin Class Project

 

This cute little fella (I’m calling him Percy!) is the smallest of our curated toys, at only 9″ tall.

 

The free pattern and templates are really clear, and could be easily enlarged if you’re after a bigger penguin.

 

Penguin Class Project

 

So there you have it!

3 gorgeous soft toys to make, and 8 weeks in which to make them!

 

If you would like to enrol for a class, to make these soft toys or to work on your own project, you can get registered here (places are limited).

 

Happy sewing!

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New Pattern Release: Denim Boro Bag


By Judith on July 31, 2019
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I’m excited to share with you my latest bag pattern!

 

Denim Boro Bag

 

This is my Denim Boro Bag, created from some ‘denim playtime’ in my sewing room, and crafted into a 5 week class starting today.

 

Denim Boro Bag

 

I always love playing with denim on my sewing machine, but I was surprised at how much I also enjoyed the boro/sashiko style hand stitching! (You can read more about my joyful process here.)

 

And my pattern testers told me they also enjoyed making their bags!  Just check these out….

 

by Jennifer aka Patchwork Mummy


by Wendy aka Bothybird

by Nicola aka Nicola Foreman Quilts

by Mary aka Handmade by Mary Emmens

 

(no picture yet from Di aka Willowbeck Designs)

 

Aren’t they amazing!!  And it’s great to hear that the bags are being used and loved!

 

A big thank you to my 5 pattern testers for your constructive feedback, comments and support!

 

 

And if you would like to have a go at your own Denim Boro Bag, the pattern is available here.

 

Happy sewing!

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Brit Bee R3 Medallion Finished!


By Judith on July 25, 2019
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Hello everyone, I hope you’ve been getting some gorgeous summer weather like we have been here!

 

We’ve enjoyed being day tourists in our homeland, visiting some of our favourite spots!

 

Ballycastle July19
Ballycastle

Ballycastle July19
Watertop Farm, Ballycastle

Dark Hedges July19
Dark Hedges

Mountstewart July19
Mountstewart

 

Delamont July19
Delamont Country Park

 

My middle daughter is only home for a few more days, so it’s been lovely spending quality time with her in our green and pleasant land!

 

So, on to more quilty things!

 

In 2014 our Brit Bee Quilting group designed a medallion quilt as our year long project.  This meant we would all end up with our own quilt, identical in design and made by the same 12 people, but different in choice of fabrics.

 

I’m sheepishly delighted to announce, ahem,  that I have finally finished my R3 Brit Bee Medallion quilt (only 4 years after the round finished!!).

 

Brit Bee Medallion R3

 

I chose a soft ‘ditsy’ type palette, pastel pinks, warm neutrals, clear aquas and raspberry reds and my Brit Bee mates (who had to make each round from their own stash) didn’t disappoint!

 

Brit Bee Medallion R3

 

We started by making our own centre block, I chose a foundation pieced star variation. This was month 1.

Then we posted it to the next person on the list!  We then all made & attached the next set of borders on the centre block we had received (in the owner’s chosen colour palette of course) before posting it to the next person on the list.  This completed month 2.

And so it went on for a whole year, with the final posting being a completed flimsy back to the original maker!

 

Brit Bee Medallion R3

 

It was so exciting opening my medallion! We had somehow managed to keep the progress on the quilts a secret until the final reveal!

It was love at first sight!

 

Brit Bee Medallion R3

 

And then, I’m ashamed to say, I parked it!  I knew I had to add a final border and didn’t know what to put on it, so I stalled ……….. for 4 years!!

A recent flurry of Brit Bee activity on our outstanding projects on Instagram got me motivated again to get this medallion finished.  I owed it to the 11 other contributors of it.

A month ago I added the final border and got my friend to quilt it on her long arm machine (I didn’t want another 4 year hiatus!).

 

Brit Bee Medallion R3

 

And today I finally got around to attaching the binding and getting it photographed!

 

Brit Bee Medallion R3

 

Oh how satisfying to move this long standing UFO (unfinished object) onto the Completed list!!

Now to get Brit Bee R4 quilt finished (it started in 2015!!!! Yikes!).

Happy sewing!

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Syringe Driver Bag Appeal 2


By Judith on July 11, 2019
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Almost 2 years ago I launched our first appeal for Syringe Driver Bags for Macmillan Cancer Care in Antrim Hospital.

 

Macmillan staff ‘modelling’ the bags!

 

As the name suggests, the bags carry Syringe Drivers, the vehicle for administering pain or sickness medication.  The patient receives the meds via a tube, which means they have to carry the Syringe Drivers around with them all the time.  Sometimes they have one syringe driver, sometimes 2.

 

Providing bright and colourful bags instead of the standard issue grey ones is a small way of bringing a little cheeriness to the patient, especially when they get to choose one they like!

 

 

For our first appeal we had a brilliant response from generous sewists across Northern Ireland.  So much so, we were able to pass on some bags to other palliative care units.

 

These bags can’t be reused, and the supply of bags from the first appeal has been exhausted.

 

Macmillan have asked us for more, so we are launching our 2nd Syringe Driver Bag Appeal!

 

 

If you have some sewing machine experience and cotton fabric, would you consider making one or two bags for those receiving palliative care or cancer treatment?  You can find the tutorial here.

 

Previously we have only made for adult males and females, but now we also have a request from The Children’s Hospice, N.I., so we can receive bags in child-friendly fabrics too!

 

I launched the 2nd appeal on Facebook 10 days ago and we’ve already received 25 bags!  THANK YOU!

 

I’ve always known how generous our sewing community is! Please, please help us to make many more bags!  The bags can be posted or delivered to me at home.  Email me at justjudedesigns@hotmail.co.uk for my address.

 

And if you live locally to Belfast, keep your eyes and ears open for an announcement about a free Syringe Driver Bag Workshop at our studio in Conway Mill!

 

Thank you!

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Monsoon/Frost Quilt Finishes


By Judith on July 1, 2019
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Each term we have an optional project or technique focus, where ladies can try their hand at something new!

 

 

Monsoon Quilt

 

In our Easter to Summer term some of my ladies decided to try their hand at my recent Monsoon/Frost Quilt Pattern.

 

This project was all about accuracy, both in cutting and piecing lots of triangles (with pesky bias edges).  Everyone found it a little tricky at one stage or another, learning how to create pointy points, correct fabric placement or bringing the blocks in on size.

 

But I’m so proud of my ladies for rising to the challenge and pushing through their comfort zones to accomplish a more advanced pattern.

 

Monsoon/Frost Quilt Class

 

Here are a few finishes and progress shots, but there are quite a few more still in the ‘Work In Progress’ category!

 

I’m hoping with the summer recess I’ll see a few more Monsoon and Frost finishes by September!

 

If you would like to make your own version of Monsoon or Frost, the pattern is available here.

 

Happy sewing!

 

 

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18th Birthday Quilt


By Judith on June 28, 2019
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My baby girl turned 18 this week!

 

Bethany

 

Wow!  How did that happen! I’m now the proud new owner of 3 adults!

 

 

 

I’ve made all my girls quilts for their 18th birthdays, and I try to reflect something of their personalities in the quilts.

 

18th Birthday Quilt

 

My youngest daughter has a sunny nature, loves colour, texture and random things! So her quilt has lots of colour, random prints and non-geometric design, sunny blues and mustard and the cosiest fleecy backing!

 

18th Birthday Quilt

 

Despite having our warmest days of the year this week, she has very much enjoyed snuggling under her new quilt!

 

18th Birthday Quilt

(A big thank you to my friend Hilary for quilting this quilt on her long arm.)

 

So that’s another family milestone and another milestone quilt!

 

I wonder what the next one will be???

 

Happy sewing!

 

 

 

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Beach Bag Workshop Finishes


By Judith on June 26, 2019
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Hello everyone!

 

This is my last week of classes before the summer break.  The sun is finally shining and I will have a few more photos to show you from this term’s project focus.

 

 

In the meantime, I can show you some stunning bags from our Beach Bag Workshop last Saturday.

 

Beach Bag Workshop

 

It was a warm and clammy day in the studio, perfect weather for thinking about holidays by the beach!

 

All the ladies beavered away on their bags, and just look at their results!

 

Beach Bag Workshop

 

Such classy and colourful bags!  The webbing handles are sewn onto the exterior and base of the bag, making them nice and strong for all your beach or picnic gear.

 

The bags are lined with Rip Stop Nylon, a water resistant and washable fabric, which is really easy to sew with too!

 

And you can see a few examples of the additional ‘wet bag’ above, which is included in the pattern.  This is also lined with Rip Stop Nyon, the perfect place for wet swimwear or drippy sun lotion bottles!

 

Well done ladies on your hard work.  I hope you get many opportunities to use your bag this summer!

 

And if you would like to make your own roomy beach bag, you can get the pattern here.

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Autumn ’19 Quilting Retreat


By Judith on June 14, 2019
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(Edit: retreat is now fully booked)

I’m ridiculously excited to tell you all about a new Just Jude Designs venture!

 

 

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

 

Let me tell you all about it!

 

Your weekend retreat experience will include:

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

Retreat Itinerary:

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

Free Tea & Coffee available throughout the day

 

Friday

5pm:                           Arrive, settle in

6pm:                           Dinner

7pm – bedtime:      Free sewing time / Sewing Games

 Saturday

9am:                           Breakfast

10am- 1pm:              Free Sewing time

1pm – 2pm:              Lunch

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

6pm:                           Dinner

7pm – bedtime:      Free sewing time / Sewing Games

 Sunday

9am:                            Breakfast

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

1pm – 2pm:              Lunch

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

 

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

(only shared rooms remaining at time of writing)

 

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

 

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

 

Happy sewing!

 

 

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New Class: Denim Boro Bag


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

 

Denim Boro Bag

 

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

 

Denim Boro Bag

 

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

 

Denim Boro Bag

 

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

 

 

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

 

Denim Boro Bag

 

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

 

Denim Boro Bag

 

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

 

Happy recycling!

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Vinyl Pouches Workshop Finishes


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

 

Vinyl Pouches Workshop

 

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

 

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

 

Vinyl Pouches Workshop

Vinyl Pouches Workshop

 

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

 

Well done ladies on conquering the plastic fantastic!

 

Enjoy your holiday pouches!

 

Happy sewing

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Sample Swatch Bag


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Sample Swatch Bag (Teacher present) June19
Front

 

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