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!

 

Sample Swatch Bag (Teacher present)
back

 

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

 

Sample Swatch Bag (Teacher present) June19

 

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

 

Sample Swatch Bag (Teacher present) June19

 

 

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

 

Here are a few things to consider:

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

 

Sample Swatch Bag (Teacher present) June19

 

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

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Log Cabin Family of Blocks: Part 4


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

Part 1 (Log Cabin) available here

Part 2 (Courthouse Steps) available here

Part 3 (Pineapple) available here

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

 

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

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

 

Partial Seams Variations

 

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

 

1 Log Cabin

 

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

 

Partial Seams
Log Cabin Block: Part 4

Log Cabin Construction
Log Cabin Block: Part 1

 

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

 

Partial Seams Construction

 

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

 

Photo source: Pieced By Number

 

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

 

2. Rail Fence

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

 

Partial Seams

 

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

 

Partial Seams

 

(Tutorial for a similar block available here)

 

3. Hope of Hartford

 

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

 

Partial Seams

 

(Tutorial available here)

 

4 Octagon

 

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

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

 

Partial Seams

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Log Cabin Family of Blocks: Part 3


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

 

 

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

 

This post is all about the Pineapple Block.

 

Pineapple Block

 

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

 

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

 

Pineapple Block construction

 

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

 

Photo Source: Pinterest

 

There are several ways to create the Pineapple Block:

 

1 Foundation Pieced:

 

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

 

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

 

(Tutorial and template available here)

 

2 No Foundation Papers:

 

Photo source: Crazy Mom Quilts

 

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

 

3 Creative Grids Ruler

 

 

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

 

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

 

Photo source: Missouri Star Quilt Co.

 

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

 

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

 

Photo source: The Work Room

 

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

 

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

 

Thank you for tuning in!

 

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

 

Happy sewing!

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Log Cabin Family of Blocks: Part 2


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

Log Cabin Family of Blocks

 

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

 

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

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

 

Part 2: Courthouse Steps

 

Courthouse Steps Variations

 

1.  Traditional:

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

 

Courthouse Steps Construction

 

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

 

 

‘Garden Steps’ featured in British Patchwork & Quilting Magazine

 

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

You can find a traditional Courthouse Steps block tutorial here.

 

2. Colour Rounds:

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

 

Courthouse Steps Blocks

 

3. Cornerstones:

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

 

Courthouse Steps Blocks

 

Photo source: http://serial-quilter.blogspot.com

 

4. Rectangle

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

 

Courthouse Steps Blocks

 

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

 

Courthouse Steps Blocks

 

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

 

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

 

Courthouse Steps Blocks

 

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

 

Photo source https://mypatchwork.wordpress.com

 

Aren’t they cool!

A video tutorial of Sliced Courthouse Steps is available here.

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

Happy sewing!

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Log Cabin Family of Blocks: Part 1


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

 

Log Cabin Family of Blocks

 

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

 

Part 1: Log Cabin

Part 2: Courthouse Steps

Part 3: Pineapple

Part 4: Watch this space!

 

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

 

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

 

Part 1: Log Cabin

 

Log Cabin Variations

 

1 Traditional:

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

Log Cabin Construction

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

 

Shannon's Log Cabin Quilt

 

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

 

2 Colour Rounds:

 

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

 

Log Cabin Colour Rounds

 

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

 

Brit Bee Log Cabin Quilt (Back)

 

3 Wonky:

 

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

 

Wonky Log Cabin

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

Wonky Log Cabin Quilt (Quilt Now October17)

 

4 Curved:

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

 

Curved Log Cabin

 

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

 

Log Cabin Circles 006 (2)

 

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

 

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

 

Quarter Log Cabin cushion Tutorial

(Quarter Log Cabin Cushion tutorial available here.)

 

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

 

Log Cabin Variations

 

These are definitely on my Quilts Bucket List!

 

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

 

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

 

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Patchwork Denim Pouch


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

 

Boro QAYG Denim Pouch
Front
Boro QAYG Denim Pouch
Back

 

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

 

 

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

 

Boro QAYG Denim Pouch

 

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

 

Boro QAYG Denim Pouch

 

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

 

Boro QAYG Denim Pouch

 

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

 

Boro QAYG Denim Pouch

 

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

 

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

 

 

Watch this space!

 

Happy upcycling!

 

 

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Spring into Summer ’19: Part 4


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

 

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

 

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

 

11 Vinyl Pouches:

(pattern available here)

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

Vinyl Pouches Workshop

 

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

 

Vinyl Pouches

 

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

 

Vinyl Pouches

 

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

 

Autumn Boho Quilt:

(pattern available here)

 

Autumn Boho Quilt
70″ x 88″

 

 

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

 

Autumn Boho Quilt

 

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

 

There’s mama boho ……

 

Autumn Boho Quilt

 

And baby boho …….

 

Baby Boho Quilt
38″ x 48″

 

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

 

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

 

Sun, Sea & Sky Quilt:

(pattern available here)

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

The final quilt on display is our current class project.

 

Monsoon/Frost Quilt:

(pattern available here)

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


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

 

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

 

Monsoon Quilt

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

Happy sewing!

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Kids Tote Bag Workshop Finishes


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

 

Kids Tote Bag Workshop

 

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

 

Kids Tote Bag Workshop

 

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

 

Kids Tote Bag Workshop

 

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

 

Kids Tote Bag Workshop

 

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

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

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

Keeeeeeeeep sewing!

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Spring into Summer ’19: Part 3


By Judith on May 10, 2019
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Hi there,

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

7 Lori Holt’s Quilty Fun Book:

 

 

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

 

Quilty Fun Quilt

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

8 Quilty Fun Mugs (Tea Cups) Cushion

 

Mugs Cushion

 

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

 

Mugs Cushion

 

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

 

9 Quilty Fun Leaf Mat:

 

Quilty Fun Leaf Mat

 

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

 

Quilty Fun Leaf Mat

 

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

 

Crossroads Cushion:

 

Crossroads Cushion

 

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

 

Crossroads Cushion

 

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

 

I had a lot of fun quilting this one!

 

Crossroads Cushion

 

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

 

Crossroads Cushion

 

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

 

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

 

Happy sewing!

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Spring into Summer ’19: Part 2


By Judith on May 7, 2019
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Hello again!

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

3 Farm Girl Vintage Book, by Lori Holt:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

4 Farm Girl Vintage inspired Table Runner:

 

Spring into Summer19 Display

 

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

 

Farm Girl Vintage 1 Table Runner

 

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

 

Brit Bee Block R4

 

5 Farm Girl Vintage Chick Cushion:

 

Easter Chick cushion

 

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

 

6 Farm Girl Vintage Mama Hen Mat:

 

Mama Hen Kitchen mat

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

 

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

 

Mama Hen Kitchen mat

 

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

 

 

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

 

FArm Girl Vintage1

 

So that brings part 2 to a close.

 

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

 

 

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Spring into Summer ’19: Part 1


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

 

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

 

Spring into Summer 19 Table Display

 

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

 

Spring into Summer '19

 

1 Aprons:

(Tie Back Apron pattern available here)

 

Apron Workshop Aug19

 

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

 

2 Kids Tote Bags:

 

Kids Workshop May19

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

10 Beach Bag:

 (pattern available here)

Beach Bag Workshop

 

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

 

Beach Bag (Pretty Patches Aug16)

 

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

 

Bethany's Beach Bag

 

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

 

12 Flex Frame Glasses Case:

(free tutorial available here)

 

Flex Frame Sunnies Pouch

 

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

 

Sunglasses flex frame pouch

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Happy sewing!

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Hello May!


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

 

I hope you all enjoyed your Easter break.

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Mount Stewart, National Trust, Co. Down

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

Happy sewing!

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Folksy Tea Cosy Workshop Finishes


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

 

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

 

Folksy Tea Cosy Workshop

 

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

 

Folksy Tea Cosy Workshop

 

Aren’t they adorable!

 

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

 

Folksy Tea Cosy

 

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

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Weaving Class Finishes


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

 

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

 

Wefty Weaving info

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Happy sewing!

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Aprons 2 Workshop: Finishes


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

 

Aprons 2 Workshop

 

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

 

Just look at the results!

 

Aprons 2 Workshop
Aprons 2 Workshop

 

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

 

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

 

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

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Mother’s Day


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

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

 

Family Time Mar19

 

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

 

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

 

Family Time Mar19

 

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

 

Family Time Mar19

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

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

 

 

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

 

Family Time Mar19

 

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

 

Family Time Mar19

 

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

 

You are awesome!

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Apron Workshop (1) Finishes


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

 

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

 

Apron Workshop

 

Aren’t they fab!

 

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

 

Apron Workshop

 

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

 

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Introducing ‘Monsoon’


By Judith on March 8, 2019
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Hi there!

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

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

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

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

 

Monsoon Quilt

 

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

 

Monsoon Quilt

 

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

 

Frost (Quilt Now Jan18)

 

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

 

Monsoon Quilt

 

 

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

 

Monsoon Quilt

 

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

 

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

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Harriet Hare Cushion Workshop Finishes


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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

Harriet Hare workshop finishes Feb19

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Happy sewing!

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Necessary Clutch Class Finishes


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

 

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

 

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

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

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

(you can purchase the Necessary Clutch Wallet here)

 

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

 

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

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Spring Class Project: Wefty Weaving


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

 

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

 

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

 

Wefty Weaving info

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Linen Basket Weave Cushion

 

Basket Weave Linen Cushion

 

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

 

Basket Weave Linen Cushion

 

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

 

Basket Weave Linen Cushion

 

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

 

Houndstooth Journal Cover

 

Wefty Woven Notebook Cover

 

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

 

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

 

Wefty Woven Notebook Cover

 

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

 

Wefty Woven Notebook Cover

 

 

Triaxial Woven Basket

 

Triaxial Woven Basket

 

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

 

Triaxial Woven Basket

 

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

 

Triaxial Woven Basket

 

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

 

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

 

Happy weaving!

 

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Triple Porthole Tutorial


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

 

Porthole Dumpling Pouch

 

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

 

Porthole Water Bottle Covers

 

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

 

Porthole Journal Covers/Quilt Now Nov15

 

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

 

Spring Rain Quilt

 

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

 

Triple Porthole Tutorial

 

You Will need:

Fabric 1 (centre): 7″ square

Fabric 2: 12.5″ square

Fabric 3: 16.5″ square

Fabric 4: 18.5″ square

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

9″ diameter bowl or plate to draw around

13″ diameter bowl or plate to draw around

Calico: Same 3 cuts as Fabrics 2-4 above

 

Method:

Use 1/4″ seam allowance

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

Triple Porthole Cushion

 

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

 

Triple Porthole Cushion

 

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

 

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New Year Table Display: Part 2


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

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

 

New Year 19 Display Table

 

8  Placemats

(pattern available here)

 

P1130144

 

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

 

placemats

 

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

 

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

 

PicMonkey Collage

 

I have fond memories of past classes making these!

 

9  Moroccan Mix Table Runner & Trivet

 

Moroccan Mix Table Runner

 

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

 

Moroccan Mix Table Runner

 

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

 

Moroccan Mix Trivet

 

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

 

Moroccan Mix Trivet

 

10  Microwave Bowl Cosies

(free tutorial available here)

 

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

 

Microwave Bowl Cosy
Microwave Bowl Cosy

 

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

 

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

 

Microwave Bowl Cosy

 

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

 

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

 

Microwave Bowl Cosy

 

11  Cutlery Trays

(free tutorial available here)

 

Cutlery Trays

 

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

 

Cutlery Trays

 

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

 

Cutlery Trays

 

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

 

12 Pixie Cups

(free tutorial here)

 

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

 

 

Pixie Cups

 

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

 

Pixie Cups

 

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

 

Pixie Cups

 

13  Casserole Carrier

(free tutorial here)

 

Casserole Carrier

 

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

 

Casserole Carrier

 

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

 

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

 

Casserole carrier

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

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

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

Happy sewing!

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New Year Table Display: Part1


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

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

 

New Year 19 Display Table

 

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

 

So let’s get started!

 

1  Trivet Mats

 

EPP Trivet Mats

 

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

 

EPP

 

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

 

Trivet Mats

 

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

 

Trivet Mats

 

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

 

Trivet Mats

 

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

 

2  Aprons

 

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

 

Apron workshop

 

The popular Cross Back apron is available here.

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

 

apron in a jar 005

 

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

Cute or what!

 

3  Lunchbags (2 styles)

 

 (Pattern coming soon)

 

Lunchbags

 

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

 

Lunchbags

 

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

 

Lunchbags

 

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

 

Lunchbags

 

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

 

4  Teabag Wallet

 

(free tutorial available here)

 

Teabag wallet

 

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

 

Teabag Wallet Tutorial

 

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

 

Teabag Wallet Tutorial

 

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

 

5  Oven Gloves

(free tutorial available here)

 

Oven Gloves

 

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

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

 

Oven Gloves

 

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

 

Oven Gloves

 

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

 

6  Tea Cosy

(pattern available here)

 

Folksy Tea Cosy Workshop

 

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

 

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

 

Folksy Tea Cosy

 

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

 

Tea cosy class sample

 

7  Bottle Carrier

 

(free tutorial available here)

 

 

Bottle Holder

 

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

 

Bottle Holder

 

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

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

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

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Teabag Wallet Tutorial


By Judith on January 7, 2019
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Teabag Wallet Tutorial

 

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

 

Teabag Wallet Tutorial

 

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

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

 

You will need:

Exterior: 1 x (5″ x 7″)

Lining: 1 x (5″ x 7″)

Pockets: 2 x (5″ x 7″)

Heavy Sew-in Vilene: 1 x (5″ x 7″)

505 Basting Spray

chalk pen or non-permanent fabric marker

elastic hair bobble

button

 

Method:

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

6 Sew along the chalk line, through all layers.

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Fill up with your favourite teas and off you go!

 

Teabag Wallet Tutorial

 

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Another Necessary Clutch Wallet


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

 

 

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

 

Necessary Clutch Wallet (class project)

 

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

 

Necessary Clutch Wallet (class project)

 

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

 

Necessary Clutch Wallet (class project)

 

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

 

Necessary Clutch Wallet (class project)

 

I think is my new favourite Necessary Clutch!

 

Necessary Clutch Wallet (class project)

 

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

 

Necessary Clutch Wallet (class project)

 

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

 

Happy sewing!

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2018 Roundup & Happy New Year!


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

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

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

 

5 Class Projects:

(taught at 6 weekly classes, over 38 weeks)

2018 class projects

 

12 Saturday Workshops:

 

2018 Saturday workshops

 

11 Free Tutorials:

(available here)

2018 Tutorials

 

23 New Pattern Releases:

(available here)

2018 New Patterns

 

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