Garden Shed Tidy!


By Judith on April 26, 2016
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Despite the chill factor, the sunny skies we’ve been having recently mean it is gardening weather once again!

Have you got your summer seeds ready yet?  I’ve already planted some beetroot and sunflowers, and am trying purple carrots for the first time this year!

So here’s a wee project for all you keen gardeners (& sewers) out there!

Garden Shed Tidy (Pretty Patches May16)
Photo courtesy of Pretty Patches


This is my Garden Shed Tidy, in the May issue of Pretty Patches.

Garden Shed Tidy

Handy see through pockets mean you can easily keep an eye on all those seed packets and smaller knick-knacks!  Don’t worry, sewing with pvc isn’t as tricky as you might think!

Garden Shed Tidy

 

And you can keep your scissors and string handy on the clip-on key fobs!

You could easily adapt this tidy to suit a bathroom or bedroom, or even keeping stray envelopes and stamps in order!

Whatever you decide to tidy, enjoy the process and the results!

Happy gardening!

Jude xo

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Light And Leaves!


By Judith on April 20, 2016
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We had the most gloriously sunny day today!

I tried to capture the light on the limited features in my small garden.

Light in my garden
Light in my garden
Light in my garden
Light in my garden
Isn’t light so inspiring, and seems to make everyone feel much more positive! One of my daughter’s names means ‘bringer of light’ and she does just that, every day!
And here are a few more leaves to tell you about!
Applique Leaf Cushion (Sewing World May16)
Photo courtesy of Sewing World Magazine

This is my Applique Leaves Cushion in the current (May) issue of Sewing World, out now!
Applique can be a little intimidating for novices, especially when thinking of satin or blanket stitching the edges.
‘Raw edge applique’ is a great way to introduce new shapes and pictures to your quilting.

 

This pattern uses bondaweb to fix the stem and leaves in place, and simple top stitching close to the raw edges completes the picture. No special foot needed, no changing the stitch settings on your machine.  Simple, fun and quick!
So if you’ve never tried applique yet, why not have a go at raw edge applique!  The possibilities are endless!
Happy sewing!
Jude xo

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Siblings Together Quilted Blocks


By Judith on April 15, 2016
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Since I started blogging over 5 years ago, I quickly became part of a wonderfully giving and generous community of quilters.

I have made friends with folks around the world, we have laughed and cried together, shared our achievements, disasters, tips and tricks!

And now and again I get to meet some of these wonderful people in the flesh!

This is an old pic of me and Marie, who comes to Belfast each year, all the way from Oz!
I’m so privileged to call Marie a friend, she is a talented quilter and a truly generous and inspirational person. Today we met again for coffee, and our short time together always goes too quickly!

And she ALWAYS has a gift for me!

Roses from Marie
Thank you Marie for my pretty roses, and your smiling and passionate heart!
Another way to be a part of this amazing online quilting community is to donate blocks.
QAYG Blocks for Siblings Together

Over on the Siblings Together blog, they have put out the call for quilted 20.5″ blocks, following this tutorial.
These are super quick and easy to make, and if you want to practise your patchwork and especially your quilting, then what better way than on these ‘mini quilts’.
QAYG Blocks for Siblings Together

The tutorial says you can either ‘quilt in the ditch’ (see my tips on ditch quilting here) or quilt them another way.
Here are some examples:
Echo quilting the seams (sewing at least 1/4″ either side of the seams) …
Diagonal lines (mark these out first with chalk or non-permanent fabric marker) …
Free motion squiggles (you need to drop your feed dogs and attach a darning foot to do this).
Whatever way you decide to make your blocks, have fun with them, and know they will be made up into a quilt for a sibling separated by the care system.
Happy quilting!
Jude xo

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Spring Rain Quilt!


By Judith on April 14, 2016
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Spring rain is something we get lots of here in N.Ireland!!  In fact we also get lots of Summer, Autumn and Winter rain too!

But I’m hoping you could live with this kind of spring rain all year round!!

Spring Rain Quilt (April Issue Pretty Patches)
63″ x 63″

 


This is my ‘Spring Rain’ quilt, as seen in the April issue of Pretty Patches.

Pretty Patches very kindly sent me the cutest bundle of fabrics called ‘Spring Walk’ by Little Cube.

Spring Walk

While spring can inspire many images, I immediately thought of raindrops (I wonder why!!) and showcased the fabrics in raindrop shaped portholes.

Spring Rain Quilt (April Issue Pretty Patches)
I really enjoyed making this quilt and it was such a lovely bonus to see it on the front cover!
Spring Rain Quilt (April issue Pretty Patches)
One of the many things I love about spring is that it is the season of growth!  I have been doing a lot of personal growing lately, getting fitter physically and mentally.
And all the new growth in my little garden is a lovely reminder that no matter what is going on in our lives, there are always new opportunities to grow!
My garden (spring)
My garden (spring)
My garden (spring)

Happy growing!
Jude xo

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Mama Hen Quilt Complete!


By Judith on April 13, 2016
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The drive to make 100 quilts for Siblings Together summer camps 2016 continues.

The lovely ladies in the Siblings Together Bee 2 have been helping me put together a quilt full of hens!

Siblings Together Bee 2 Mama Hen quilt finished!

 


11 Mama Hens flew back to Belfast to join my blue Mama Hen!

Siblings Together Bee 2 Mama Hen quilt finished!

Aren’t they sweet!  And the backing was donated by Sarah (love this generous quilting community).

Siblings Together Bee 2 Mama Hen quilt finished!

 

So that’s my ST quilt all labelled and ready to be posted.

The siblings who receive these quilts have been separated by the care system, and get to spend 2 weeks together each summer. The feedback from the charity is that these quilts mean so much to the children who receive them, especially when they realise they get to keep them!

You can read more here about Siblings Together and the stories behind the quilts.

And I’ll have another post later this week on how you can help with the ST quilt drive in a super easy and quick way!

Happy Sewing!

Jude xo

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Dog Gone Cute!


By Judith on April 10, 2016
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This month in Siblings Together Bee 2 we were making doggie blocks.

Dog Block for STB2/April16
18″ x 14″

 
This is the large block pattern by Sew Fresh Quilts, as chosen by Sally.
Sally gave us free reign regarding colour, as long as the background was bright! I really love how these blocks turn out, but be warned, they are stitch-ripper friendly!!
In other bee news, Bee Blessed are asking for Modified Bento Blocks this month, untrimmed and unquartered:
Bee Blessed blocks April16

At this stage the blocks are 16″ square, but the talented ladies at Bee Blessed will work their magic on them to turn them into something like this.
If you would like to make a small dent in your scraps box, and contribute to a very worthy charity group, Bee Blessed would love to receive a few blocks.  You can get all the details and tutorial here.
And before I go, I’ll leave you with a few pics of my own cute doggy, Poppy.
Poppy
Poppy
Happy sewing!
Jude xo

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‘Nicey Jane’ Birthday Quilt


By Judith on April 7, 2016
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On 3rd April 2015, I photographed this flimsy:

'Nicey Jane' quilt top

 


I had acquired some ‘Nicey Jane’ squares by Heather Bailey, an old line which has long since been discontinued.

I sewed the squares together, with no purpose in mind.  Then folded it away, out of sight, out of mind!

But I’m happy to say, exactly 1 year later (spookey eh?) I finished the binding and it now looks like this:

(Heather Bailey) 18th Birthday Quilt
A friend very kindly quilted this for me on her domestic frame, which enabled me to get it bound, finished and posted to my ‘pink loving’ niece for her 18th birthday!

(Heather Bailey) 18th Birthday Quilt

I love how pretty these fabrics are.  And did you know that ‘Nicey Jane’ has been reprinted and is currently available in The Fat Quarter Shop!
(Heather Bailey) 18th Birthday Quilt

I guess if you hold on to something long enough it all comes around again!
Happy hoarding!
Jude xo

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Another Runner!


By Judith on April 4, 2016
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In Sewing World this month, I submitted my Half Hexie Table Runner!

Half Hexie Table Runner - Sewing World (April16)
Photo courtesy of Sewing World Magazine
If you have a cute charm pack and 2 long quarter metres you can have this runner top made in no time!

Don’t worry, there are no tricky ‘Y’ seams in this pattern. I used the 5″ half hexie ruler to chop up my charm squares (Marmalade, by Bonnie and Camille). (Sizzix also sell a 5″ half hexie cutting die).

I love this runner and it sits proudly on my dining room table now!

Half Hexie Table runner / Sewing World April16

And if you like your hexies a little bigger, try the 10″ half hexie ruler and you can make a quilt using the same construction method.
Rosie's 50th Quilt: Scrumptuous Half Hexie
April issue of Sewing World is in the shops now!
Happy ‘running’!
Jude xo

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Back In The Saddle!


By Judith on April 1, 2016
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(Message for Rosemary/Nellieduclos: I’m unable to reply to you directly as your email address doesn’t register with your comment.  The tutorial you are looking for is here on my Tutorials page.)

We’ve had some beautiful sunny days here this week!  And March seemed to go out like a lamb yesterday!  A perfect end to the Easter holidays.

But the Lion seemed to come back today! Boo!

Nevermind, it’s a new month, which means new seasons to come! Yay!

Here is my round up mosaic for March:

March16 Roundup

 


I also got these bee blocks done for Siblings Together Bee 2 …

Siblings Together Bee2 blocks for Theresa

…and some scrappy rail-fence blocks for Bee Blessed.

Bee Blessed Rail Fence blocks March16
Bee Blessed is back at the production wheel tomorrow!  You can keep up to date with all our progress and monthly block requests over on the Bee Blessed Blog!  And check out the 2 quilts Bee Blessed are donating to Siblings Together this year!
Happy sewing!
Jude xo

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Table Runner & Mats!


By Judith on March 28, 2016
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Seapark, Holywood

It was a typical spring day here today!  Sunshine and showers!

 

Seapark, Holywood

 

Our walk along the beach was what you would call ‘bracing’! But no matter the season, there is always beauty to be found.

 

Seapark, Holywood

 

Back in the warmth of the indoors, let’s talk table runners!

 

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

 

This is my Drunkard’s Path Table Runner and Mats set, as featured in the April issue of British Patchwork & Quilting.

 

DP Table Runner & Placemats - British Patchwork & Quilting (April16)

The inspiration for this design came from the lovely Aylin, who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in person (love our blogging community!).  Aylin very kindly gave me permission to develop this design further, following the beautiful cushion she made.

 

DP Table Runner & Placemats - British Patchwork & Quilting (April16)
The curves are achieved by using an age old patchwork technique called ‘drunkard’s path’.  This is a modern twist, and I love the many variations the Drunkard’s Path units can create.
It is important to cut out the templates accurately when tackling curved piecing, but if you have a Sizzix cutting machine, you are guaranteed speed and accuracy! The Drunkard’s Patch Sizzix dies don’t come cheap, (you need 2 dies to make up the DP unit) but in my opinion they are well worth the money.
DP Table Runner & Placemats - British Patchwork & Quilting (April16)

There are several ways to sew curves, and as with any technique you haven’t tried before, I recommend practicing on some fabric scraps first. This pattern explains the ‘no pin’ method of sewing curves, which may seem daunting at first, but it is much quicker than traditional methods and you quickly get into a rhythm with it.

 

So if you love sewing curves as much as me, pick up a copy of BPQ today!

Edited: This pattern is now available to purchase from here.

 

Keep warm!

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Happy Easter!


By Judith on March 26, 2016
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Here in the UK, the clocks go forward an hour.  That means 1 hour less sleep tonight (boo!).

But it also means 1 hour closer to Easter Day (yay!).
Easter Day is a very important day to me and my faith.  I hope you enjoy your day, how ever you celebrate it.
I’ll leave you with a few of my favourite pics from our recent visit to Mounstewart, Co. Down.

My Girls
Mountstewart March16

Mountstewart March16

Mountstewart March16

My Girls

Happy Easter!

Jude xo

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Staggered Strips Cushion


By Judith on March 23, 2016
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Are you a ditch quilter?

Ditch quilting is when you quilt in the seams of your patchwork, so that it won’t be seen! This secures all 3 layers (top, wadding, backing).

Traditionally, quilts and other quilted projects were always ditch quilted first, before any decorative quilting was added.

However, as with most things, attitudes and trends have changed. No longer do we have to try to ‘stay in the ditch’ and hold our breath as we try to get from one end of a seam to the other!  (Imagine how nerve wracking that is for a beginner!).

As long as you quilt sufficiently (manufacturers state the minimum intervals on wadding packaging) so that there is no bagging between layers, then ditch quilting isn’t always required.

However, that doesn’t mean it can’t still be used as a quilting technique in its own right.
Sometimes when you have pretty fabrics and an effective design, decorative quilting isn’t required.

Simple Strips Cushion

 


This is my Staggered Strips Cushion.  Hopefully you can tell that it is quilted without seeing the quilting!

Simple Strips Cushion

I have quilted in all the vertical seams using my ditch quilting foot.  If you don’t have a ditch foot, use an applique or open foot to maximise your view of the seams and ditches!

If you would like to learn more about ditch quilting, get my step by step guide in the current issue of Popular Patchwork (pg 34).  You can also get the pattern for my Staggered Strips Cushion.

Staggered Strips Cushion / Popular Patchwork (April)


Happy Ditching!

Jude xo

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Mini Easter Baskets Tutorial (& more)!


By Judith on March 22, 2016
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It’s so lovely having my ‘Uni daughter’ back home for a wee while.

Fun with Family
We visited one of our all time favourite places (Mountstewart, Co.Down) today, and took some wonderful pics.  But more on that another day!
Today’s post is all about this wee bundle of goodness:
Easter Basket
Now I can’t take credit for this basket pattern, the original tutorial is here. It is quick and easy to make and great for using up tiny scraps.
Easter Basket

And if you don’t want to work with 2″ squares, you could vary the pattern using 6 x 3.5″ squares, or no squares at all!

And here are more free Easter tutorials from Blogland you might enjoy!

Felt Daffodils by Abby Glassenberg (While She Naps)
Applique Easter Basket by Peta (She Quilts A lot)
Fabric Basket and Eggs by Amy Smart (Diary of a Quilter)
Bunny Face Bag by Veronica (Sew Very)
Scrap Fabric Bunny Softie by Kim (Seven Thirty Three)
Fabric Birds by Hobbycraft

And as if that’s not enough, there are lot’s more tutorials on my Easter Pinterest Board – as well as my previous Easter tutorials. Go check them out!  There’s something for everyone!

So that marks the end of my mini Easter series of tutorials.

I hope you have enjoyed them! You still have a few days left before Easter to make them, so don’t panic!

Happy Sewing!

Jude xo

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The Best Model Ever!


By Judith on March 20, 2016
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It so hard to get good models these days!  They can be so fickle and demanding!!

But not this one!

Easter Bib as modelled by Cutesie Tootsie!
How adorable is this wee lady, modelling one of my Easter bibs!
Easter Bib as modelled by Cutesie Tootsie!
So obliging, especially when it came to cuddles and playtime! I think I’ll be hiring her again for sure!
If you would like to make one of these easy peasy bibs, you can get the free tutorial here.
And talking of small and cute, I had a little play with my collection of vintage wooden spools and some Liberty scraps.
Old Spools clothed in Liberty scraps

Old Spools clothed in Liberty scraps

So nice to finally have these out on display instead of hidden away in a drawer!
Hope you’ve had a lovely weekend!
(No. 1 daughter comes home tomorrow!  Yippee!)
Jude xo

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Easter Egg Zippy Pouches Tutorial!


By Judith on March 18, 2016
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Thank you to everyone who has been following along with my Easter mini series!

You can find previous tutorials here:

Easter Bunny Bags
Easter Baby Bibs
Carrot Cornets

Apologies if you have had trouble downloading the PDF templates.  I have amended the ‘sharing’ settings within GoogleDocs so I hope from now on you will find it a little easier.  Please don’t hesitate to get in touch otherwise.

One final bit of housekeeping before we move on to another Easter tutorial.  I’m always grateful to folks who take the time to leave a comment here on my blog.  I will ALWAYS reply to comments, so if you don’t get a response from me, it’s because your email address doesn’t register with your comment.  In blogging terms you are known as a ‘no reply comment’ blogger. If this is you, I would love to be able to connect and chat with you more, so here and here are some tips you can try to fix your settings.  Alternatively, just leave me your email address with your comment (especially important when entering giveaways!).

On to our next Easter Tutorial!

Easter Egg Zippy pouches tutorial

Easter Egg Zippy Pouches!

This one is for older (or grown up) kids! As you can see, this is a fun way to gift money or vouchers!

And here’s how to make them:

What you need:

Front:
From outer and lining fabrics & sew-in vilene (med/heavy) cut 2 x (5″ wide by 3.5″ tall)
Back:
From outer and lining fabrics & sew-in vilene (med/heavy) cut 2 x (5″ wide by 6″ tall)
5″ plastic zipper (or longer)
1.25″ wide key fob
Basting spray 505
Zipper foot

Assume 1/4″ seams

Download the ‘Egg’ template here.

1. Spray baste the vilene to the wrong sides of the corresponding outer pieces.

2. Place the zipper right sides together along the top edge of a 5″  x  3.5″ outer/front piece.

3. Pin a corresponding lining piece on top, right sides together with the outer fabric.

4. Using the zipper foot, sew through all layers.

5. Flip the lining over to the back and press away from the zipper.  From the front side, sew 1/8″ finishing seam beside the zipper.

6. Now lay the other outer (front) piece on the table, right side facing.  Place the zippered piece right sides together with the zipper aligned at the top edge.

7. Pin the remaining corresponding lining piece on top, right sides together with the attached lining piece.  Sew through all layers as before.

8. Again flip the lining to the back side, press and sew a finishing seam 1/8″ away from the zipper.  Your pouch front should look something like this.

9. Place the template onto the lining side and draw around with a pencil.  Before cutting out on the line, bring the zipper pull inside the pouch and sew a few stitches across the zipper (just inside the line) to secure.

10. Place the outer/vilene back piece WRONG sides together with the corresponding lining piece.

11.  Place right sides together with the egg front.  Pin and sew 1/4″ inside the edge.

12. Trim away the excess and zigzag the raw edges.

13. Turn the pouch right side out through the zipper and press well.

14. Attach the keyfob & ring to the top of the ‘egg’.

Stuff with money, goodies (or diamonds!) and gift to your favourite big person!!

Easter Egg Zippy pouches tutorial

Happy Zipping!

Jude xo

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Carrot Cornets!


By Judith on March 17, 2016
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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Ready for another Easter Tutorial?

Easter Carrot Cornets tutorial

 


Today we are making Carrot Cornets!

Aren’t they cute, and perfect for little chocolate eggs (& fingers!).

Here’s what you need for 1 cornet:

Outer:
2 x (6.5″ wide by 8″ tall) orange fabric
2 x (6.5″ wide by 3.5″ tall) green fabric

Lining:
2 x (6.5″ wide by 10.5″ tall)

Ribbon:
1 x (0.25″ wide by 18″)

Assume 1/4″ seams

1. Join the green tops to each piece of orange fabric. Press the seams open.

2. Sew the mid-way point of the ribbon to the centre of the seam.

3. Keeping the ribbon out of the way, trim the sides at an angle, from the top corners to the centre of the bottom edge.  Do this to both outer pieces and the 2 lining pieces.

4. Place both outer pieces right sides together and sew down both sides (use a reverse stitch at the start and finish).

5. Carefully trim the bulk out of the point before turning right sides out and press.

6. Sew the 2 lining pieces right sides together (same as for the outer) leaving a 2″ gap in one side, near to the top. Do not turn right sides out.

7. Pop the outer cornet inside the lining so that right sides are together. Line up the side seams, pin and sew around the top edge.

8.  Pull the outer cornet through the gap in the lining.  Hand or machine stitch the gap closed.  Push the lining down inside the cornet, and press well around the top edge.

Stuff full of mini treats and tie closed with the ribbon!

Easter Carrot Cornets tutorial

Wouldn’t these be great fun to discover in the garden at an ‘Easter Egg Hunt’!

Wishing you lots of carrot fun!

And if you missed previous tutorials in my Easter series here are the links:

Easter Bunny Bags
Easter Bibs

Happy carrots!

Jude xo

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Shape Sorter Street Quilt


By Judith on March 15, 2016
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Popular Patchwork asked me to design a ‘houses’ quilt!

Quite a few wonderful houses quilts have already been designed over the years so it was a tough challenge to come up with something ‘original’!

But the creative juices started flowing and I came up with this:

Shape Sorter Street Quilt / Popular Patchwork (April'16)
65″ x 64″

I knew I wanted a modern, simple design, and as I started thinking of bringing in porthole shapes to the houses, they reminded me of the wooden shape sorter toy that my kids used to play with when they were small!

And so ‘Shape Sorter Street’ was born.
Shape Sorter Street Quilt / Popular Patchwork (April'16)
It was a lot of fun to make, matching up the shape of the trees with their corresponding houses!
Shape Sorter Street Quilt / Popular Patchwork (April'16)

Apologies for the poor indoor pics! It was a dreadfully dull day when I finished this quilt.  When I get the quilt back from Popular Patchwork I’ll take some better, outdoor pics!
The April issue of Popular Patchwork is out now!
Shape Sorter Street Quilt / Popular Patchwork (April'16)

 
Jude xo

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Patchwork Bibs!


By Judith on March 13, 2016
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Have you had a wonderful weekend?

The weather here has been positively balmy!!  15 degrees today (that was the average temperature last July)!

Following on from my Easter Bibs tutorial last week, I thought I’d show you some patchwork versions!

Baby Bibs Tutorial

 


These are great scrap buster projects, using 28 x 2.5″ squares (perfect for leftover jellyroll & binding strips).

Patchwork Bibs
Made with quilt leftovers – ‘Spring Walk’ by Little Cube

I used the same template as before, and quilted the patchwork front and towelling together, before sealing the raw edges with bias binding.

Patchwork Bibs
Made with leftover Bonnie and Camille jelly roll strips


These days there is a lovely selection of pretty bias and trims to choose from. Here’s a small selection I picked up locally.

Bias Binding
And if you don’t want to fuss with bias binding, quilt your patchwork front with a little wadding before following my original tutorial.
Baby Bibs Tutorial

These bibs took no time at all to make!  Wouldn’t they make gorgeous baby-shower gifts?
Patchwork Bibs

Whatever the occasion, I hope you are enjoying my Easter tutorials series.  More to come this week!
Linking up with Scraptastic Tuesday!
Jude xo

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A Personal Best!


By Judith on March 12, 2016
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Today I ran my very first 5k Park Run!

L-R: Lucy, Bethany, Me, Ruth & Rebekah (Ruth’s daughter)

I know lots of folks go running, run marathons, go to the gym, run 10k’s, every day of the week perhaps! To some it might not seem like a big thing, to run 5k, it is only 3 miles after all!

But for me, starting the 10 week ‘Couch to 5k’ programme in January was huge.  Ever since being diagnosed with M.E. at the age of 19 I’ve had pretty rubbish stamina, embarrassingly so! While I’m thankful I no longer suffer from M.E. it left a definite mark on my energy levels.

First 5k complete!  Woohoo!

 

My biggest fears were not being able to run the allocated slots; being too exhausted and sore the next day!! I needn’t have worried, and I couldn’t have done this without the support and accountability of my 2 lovely girls, one of my bestie’s and of course the inspiring and well run Jog Belfast programme.

Over the 10 weeks we ran through rain, sleet, snow, freezing temperatures and wind (there was the occasional sunny spell too!), I had to dig deep to go out on Tuesday nights after 2 days on my feet, into the cold and rain, Thursday nights with Ruth (in the cold and rain), and Saturday mornings (when I just wanted to stay in a warm cosy bed!). So I’m even more proud of myself for sticking with all 10 weeks.

It was thoroughly enjoyable, and while I don’t yet consider myself a ‘runner’ (my time was 42 minutes!!!!) I hope to continue running Park Runs on Saturdays and with Ruth through the week too. If I can run through the dark nights of January I can run anytime of the year, right!!

If you have ever considered doing a ‘Couch to 5k’ programme, I would highly recommend it.  Join a group and improve your stamina and well being!  Let’s face it, if I can do it, anyone can!

Happy running!

Jude xo

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Easter Bibs Tutorial


By Judith on March 10, 2016
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Welcome back to the second tutorial in my mini Easter series, and thank you to everyone for your lovely comments and responses to my Bunny Bags tutorial.

Today’s tutorial is for the youngest members of the chocolate fan club Family!

Baby Bibs Tutorial
Approx. 7.5″ by 11″ tall (buttoned)

These cute Easter bibs are so simple to make, using some cotton and towelling! In fact, 1 hand towel yields 5 bibs!

Baby Bibs Tutorial

 


Here’s what you need:

Materials:

Cotton (at least 8.5″ wide by 14″ tall per bib) good quality to withstand lots of washing!
1 white hand towel
1 set of snap fasteners

Method:  Assume 1/4″ seams

Download the bib template here.

1. Using the bib template, cut out 1 from the cotton and 1 from the towel.

2. Place right sides together and sew around all sides, leaving a 2″ gap in the bottom edge.

3. Carefully snip into all the curves at 1cm intervals. Turn bib right sides out through the gap. Press well and turn under the raw edges of the gap.

4. From the top side, sew around the bib 1/8″ from the edge closing the gap as you go.

5. Attach snap fasteners according to the manufacturers instructions. I found these KAM fasteners really easy to use (for similar snaps and pliers see here).

And you’re done!  Attach to baby (sorry, I don’t have one of those!) and feed!

And if you have a real dribble bucket teething baby on your hands, check out this tutorial for making cute dribble bandanas.

Baby Bibs Tutorial


Have fun!

(I’ll have more on my patchwork bibs tomorrow!)

Jude xo

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Bunny Bags (Part 2) Tutorial


By Judith on March 7, 2016
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Happy Monday everyone!

With less than 3 weeks until Easter Day, I think it’s time we got started on some fun tutorials, don’t you!

And to kick us off, how about some cute drawstring Bunny Bags!

Easter Bunny Bags tutorial

How cute are these!  The perfect size for filling with small chocolates and eggs!

Bunny Bags!

Approx. 4″ wide by 7″ tall (incl. ears!)

You will need:

Outer Bag: 2 x (6″ wide by 8″ tall)
Lining: 2 x (6″ wide by 8″ tall)
Ears front: 2 x (2.5″ wide by 4.5″ tall)
Ears back: 2 x (2.5″ wide by 4.5″ tall)
Lightweight iron-on vilene: 1 x (2.5″ x 9″)
0.5″ wide ribbon: 2 x 17″
small safety pin

Assume 1/4″ seams

Download ‘Ear’ template here.

1. Iron the vilene onto the wrong sides of 2 matching ear fabrics. Cut the 2 pieces apart. Using the ears template, draw an ‘ear’ onto the wrong sides of the other ear fabrics.

2. Place (different) ear fabrics right sides together and sew on pencil line (use a reverse stitch to start and finish). Trim away excess fabric, leaving 1/8″ seam allowance.

3. Turn the ears right sides out, press and turn under the open ends. Sew across the ends as close to the edges as you can.  Put to one side.

4. Place the outer fabrics right sides together.  Mark 2″ down from both top corners.

5. Sew around sides and bottom from marker to marker.  Repeat for the 2 lining pieces, but leave a 2″ gap in the bottom edge.

6. Pull the corners apart and place the side seam on top of the bottom seam. Measure 1″ along the seam from the point (this will give you 2″ vertically).  Mark the vertical line and sew along this line. Repeat for both corners on outer bag and lining.

7. Place the top ‘flaps’ right sides together, outer fabric with lining. Pin at the point where the side seams meet.

8. Sew around both ‘flaps’ between pins at both sides. Use a reverse stitch to start and finish, and take care not to sew into the existing seam.

9. Turn bag right side out through the gap in the lining. Hand or machine stitch the gap closed and press well.

10. Press the flaps under by approx. 0.5″ or until they reach the side seams. Pin and sew one flap down (as clos
e to the edge as possible).  Use a reverse stitch to start and finish.

11. Pin the ears onto the remaining (turned under) flap leaving approx. 1″ between the ears at the bottom. Sew along the edge of the flap and along the bottom of the ears. Use a reverse stitch to start and finish.

12. Attach the safety pin to one end of the ribbon and pass through both channels until it comes out the same side where you started.

13. Knot the ribbon ends together and repeat for the other piece of ribbon from the opposite side.

And you’re finished!
Fill up the bag with chocolate goodies and pull the drawstrings to close!
(I guarantee you it won’t stay closed for long!!)
Tune in again for more tutorials on everything you see here in my Easter basket!
Easter Tutorials on my blog

Happy Easter Sewing!
Jude xo

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Selvedges, Discounted Fabrics and More!


By Judith on March 5, 2016
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We had some beautiful sunny days recently!

Mama Hen Quilt Top for Siblings Together

 


Just look at that blue sky!

This is my Siblings Together Bee 2 quilt top – borders are on and all ready to be quilted.

Siblings Together Bee2 blocks for Theresa

 
And these 8″ Disappearing 4 Patch blocks are on their way to Theresa/Hilly Filly as Miss March in Siblings Together Bee 2.

I had a little sort through my selvedges the other day.  These are my selvedge jars AFTER I have sorted through them and eliminated those I can’t use!!

Sorting Selvedges!

 


As you can see, it’s quite a squeeze!!  I hope I get some play-time soon with these lovelies.

And speaking of lovelies, have a look at these!

Discounted Fabrics in my Etsy shop

 
These fabrics (& more) are now listed in my Etsy shop at silly prices!  Designers like Amy Butler, Valori Wells, Tanya Whelan, starting at £4 per metre.

So if you want to bag a bargain, be quick as stock is limited.

Happy shopping!

Jude xo

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Tumbler Stacks Baby Quilt


By Judith on March 3, 2016
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Earlier this year, Quilt Now sent me a few fat quarters from the ‘Pitter Patter’ collection by Michael Miller, and asked me to come up with something for their March issue.

The fabrics have adorable little clouds, raindrops and stars! So I thought a baby quilt was in order.

 

I decided on a tumbler quilt, mainly because I could whizz the fabrics quick smart through my Sizzix (don’t worry, templates are provided by the magazine)! But also because the tumbler shape would lend itself nicely to these cute directional prints.

Tumbler Stacks Cot Quilt for Quilt Now
Approx. 37″ x 45″

If using directional prints like me, you will need to alternate the direction of your prints when cutting out the tumbler shapes. As you can see, they get stacked top to toe!

Tumbler Stacks Cot Quilt for Quilt Now
I decided to keep the zigzagged edges, and it wasn’t difficult at all to get the binding around those gentle angles.
Tumbler Stacks Cot Quilt for Quilt Now

A lady in one of my classes has already made this and it is beautiful (wish I’d taken a pic)!
If you’d like to make one of your own, then pick up a copy of Quilt Now (March). And if you subscribe to the magazine, you get a free bundle of Pitter Patter fabrics!!
Happy Tumbling!
Jude xo

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Bunny Bags (part 1)!


By Judith on March 2, 2016
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Now that we are into March, the focus turns to Easter!

With just over 3 weeks to go, there’s still plenty of time to get in some fun Easter crafting (especially if the weather continues like this)!

Rainy day

 


Over the next week or two I’ll be running a mini-series of tutorials on ‘Easter makes’ (as you can imagine, most of them involve chocolate in some way or another!).

But before I get to that, let me show you my Bunny Bags currently featuring in the March issue of Pretty Patches Magazine.

Bunny Bags / Pretty Patches March'16

I love piecing more than applique, and so designed a patchwork bunny with hand embroidered details on the face.  I knew this bunny would become a bag, (perhaps for collecting eggs during an Easter egg hunt) but thought it was a little too big for a smaller child.  And so the mini bag was born!

Bunny Bags / Pretty Patches March'16
The ‘heads’ are both worked to the same dimensions, despite the mini bunny looking bigger!


They are called ‘Big Sis, Little Sis Bunny Bags’ and I used my trusty Essex Linen for the main bags.

Bunny Bags / Pretty Patches March'16
So if you need fun bags for collecting Easter eggs, or just love bunnies, then pick up a copy of Pretty Patches for the patterns for both bags.
Easter Bunny Bags in Pretty Patches (March)

Jude xo

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Marvellous March!


By Judith on March 1, 2016
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Despite the rather damp and dull day today, it’s so lovely to officially start spring!

February may have been a shorter month, but it was a busy one for me!

Feb'16 Roundup

Mostly sneak peeks here again I’m afraid, and one or two of these not made (but published) in February.  But I will tell you about them all in time.

And here are my bee blocks for February:

Reverse Churn Dash blocks for Bee Blessed
Bee Blessed

L-R: Brit Bee R4 block for Ceri; Hedgehog blocks for Anne/Siblings Together Bee 2

So that’s my round-up for February!

And before I go, a wee shout out for donations of fat quarters for my bloggy friend Sheila, who is raising funds for Yorkhill Children’s Hospital in Glasgow, and a special little girl called Beth.  You can read more about Beth’s story and Sheila’s fund raiser here.

Jude xo

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Photo Fun!


By Judith on February 29, 2016
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I love taking photos in my parents’ garden!
Mum & Dad's garden

Mum & Dad's Garden
Mum & Dad's Garden

 

And the outakes…….

Jude xo

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Hoooked Zpagetti!


By Judith on February 24, 2016
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Today I get to tell you about something totally cool!

This is Hoooked Zpagetti (not a spelling mistake!).  This stuff is made from ……. T-shirts! How cool is that!

And if you’re wondering what on earth can you knit or crochet with it, just take a look at this for inspiration!

Hoooked Zpagetti Yarn - Fabric Yard
Source – Pinterest

And there’s more!

 

This is Hoooked Ribbon, made from ………….. recycled yarn!!  Super duper cool!
If you love recycling as much as me, and also enjoy crochet and knitting, then check out all the wonderful Hoooked Yarns over at Fabric Yard!
And to tempt you even further, Fabric Yard are having a Spring Sale!
You’ve got until 1st March to bag yourself a bargain!  And remember, only £1 shipping on all UK orders.
Happy Shopping!
Jude xo

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Hedgehogs!


By Judith on February 21, 2016
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The theme this month in the Siblings Together Bee 2 is Hedgehogs!

Hedgehogs for Ann/Siblings Together Bee 2
My blocks

These cute little fellas are the brain child of Melly and Me!

This is the original pattern by Melly and Me, which you can purchase here.
(As you can see, in Siblings Together we are going for a more ‘brights and scrappy’ look with our blocks!)
I know some people adore hedgehogs, so get ready for some cuteness overload!
Meet Hollie!  Isn’t she a cutie (and also made and designed by Melly and Me)!
To make your very own Hollie the Hedgehog go here to get the Melly and Me pattern.
Now if you know me well, you may know that I haven’t always had such positive encounters with said ‘hogs’!  Suffice to say, several early morning experiences involving my dog, a large mixing bowl, and airborne hogs into the local school grounds will just about cover it!  ‘Nuff said!
(No hedgehogs were injured in said relocation – I know because THEY KEPT COMING BACK INTO MY GARDEN!)
And breathe!
Jude xo

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My Favourite Bag!


By Judith on February 17, 2016
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Also in Popular Patchwork (March issue) is one of my most favourite bags!

Qayg bag for Popular Patchwork Mar16

 


It’s my favourite bag because the ‘quilt as you go’ technique is one of my favourite quilting techniques and I get to continue my love affair with scraps!

QAYG Shopping Bag class sample

 
I love the texture QAYG creates, and it’s perfect for projects where you need a little more structure.

QAYG Mosaic
My pattern will show you how to ‘quilt as you go’ and also how to insert a recessed zipper, perfect for keeping all your fabric purchases essentials secure!
Hmmm, all this talk about QAYG makes me want to make something else using this fun technique! It’s not like I don’t have plenty of scraps to choose from after all!
Do you have a favourite quilting technique?
Jude xo

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Spring Greens!


By Judith on February 15, 2016
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It was a beautiful Spring day here in Belfast.

The perfect day to show you my Spring Greens quilt.

Spring Geese Quilt for Popular Patchwork Mar16

 


I’ve used different sized ‘geese’ in Sandi Henderson’s ‘Secret Garden’ fabrics.

This was a lot of fun to make!

Spring Geese Quilt for Popular Patchwork Mar16

 
My mind starting thinking about our migratory Brent Geese (who occupy Strangford Lough during our winter months), which inspired me to quilt arcs across the geese. My thinking here was to give some ‘movement’ to the geese!  Do you think it works?

Spring Greens Quilt (back)
More Sandi Henderson in the back.


The quilt finishes up at 67″ x 72″ and if you fancy making your own version, you can find the pattern in the March edition of Popular Patchwork.

Spring Geese Quilt Popular Patchwork Mar16


Our Brent geese will fly away again in April!  So glad I’ve got my own resident geese, all year round!

Jude xo

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Spring Walk!


By Judith on February 13, 2016
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Spring Walk
This is Spring Walk by Sarah Betz/Little Cube. Aren’t they gorgeous!  I particularly love the cute umbrellas and swans!
I’ll be working on these this weekend for a magazine commission.
There was plenty of the wet stuff about today, but isn’t it lovely to see spring winning out!
Spring Drops

And walking of a different kind happened yesterday!
I took my family to Gaol!!
We have long been wanting to visit the historic and Victorian Crumlin Road Gaol in Belfast.
An informative and engaging tour, and well worth a visit.  
But don’t worry, they let you out again!!
Have a great weekend!
Jude xo

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Back to it!


By Judith on February 9, 2016
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On Saturday I returned to Bee Blessed, after a 7 month break!

It was wonderful sewing with old and new friends again, and seeing all the wonderful in-progress quilts.

This month we are working on reverse churn dash blocks, to compliment last month’s churn dashes.

I got these 3 made, and there’s a lovely collection of others growing too.

Reverse Churn Dash blocks for Bee Blessed

We would love it if you could make us a block or two. You can find the tutorial here, and check out more wonderful pics of donated quilts and blocks on the Bee Blessed blog.

Jude xo

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Cushion Love!


By Judith on February 6, 2016
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Continuing the ‘Love’ theme this month, here are the 2 cushions I submitted for publication:

Quilt Now (Feb issue):

My DP Heart Cushion in Feb16 Quilt Now

Similar to my ‘Drunken Hearts’ quilt, this cushion is made using drunken path units to form the curved tops of the heart (Katy the editor named it ‘Dunk Your Heart’ because it reminded her of Jammie Dodger biscuits!).

I chose the sweetest red Lecien 30’s Fabric Collection with Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Flax for the background.

DP Heart Cushion in Feb16 Quilt Now

Frumble sell a wonderful range of pom pom trim and I couldn’t resist going for giant red pom poms to finish off this round cushion.

Sewing World (Feb issue):

Chenille Heart Cushion Feb16 Sewing World

This is my Chenille Heart Cushion, with a positive and negative front and back.

Chenille

Chenille is a ‘layering and slashing’ technique, creating raw edges which turn fluffy when washed. It’s a wonderfully tactile finish, perfect for a snuggly cushion don’t you think!

Chenille class sample
So if you are looking for a valentines gift idea for that someone special, grab yourself one of these magazines and get cracking!  You’ve still got time!
Jude xo

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Feeling the Love!


By Judith on February 2, 2016
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February is the month of Luuuurrrrrvvvv! (so I’m told!)

So I submitted a few ‘heart related’ projects to magazines!

Drunken Hearts Quilt - Sewing World Feb16
This is my ‘Drunken Hearts’ quilt in British Patchwork & Quilting (Feb), so called because I used ‘drunkards path’ units to make the heart blocks. 
I have to say I ‘fell in love’ with this quilt as I was making it, and can’t wait to get it back from the magazine. 
I used Art Gallery’s ‘Bijou’ and ‘Dreaming in French’ for the hearts and Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Black for the background.
My sweet Trudi did a beautiful job quilting this for me on her long arm machine (you can just about see the hearts quilting pattern).
Tune in again for another ‘Luuuuurrrrrvvvvv’ installment!
Jude xo

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Leaping Into February!


By Judith on February 1, 2016
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How wonderful to leave January!

Storm ‘Henry’ decided to usher in February here, very kindly sending the contents of my recycling bin up and down the length of my street!!

On a happier note, it’s nice to see at a glance my makes & bee blocks for January.

Jan16 Roundup

Technically, not everything here was made in January, but if they are published in January then I’ve decided to include them! The usual clues are in there for future reveals.

Bee Blocks Jan16
L-R: Brit Bee; Siblings Together Bee 2; Bee Blessed

It was a good month for bee blocks too.

So what will February bring?  2 family birthdays, a trip to prison (!!), guests and lots more running and sewing!

Another regular month then!!

Stay safe!

Jude xo

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Giveaway Winner!


By Judith on January 29, 2016
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Thank you to everyone who entered my blogiversary giveaway!

(If you didn’t receive a reply to your entry comment, it means you are a ‘no reply comment’ blogger & therefore I had no way of getting in contact with you.)

Somewhere along the line I lost a year!  I’ve actually been blogging for 5 years and not 4!!!  Talk about feeling old!!
Anyway, onto the winner!
Mr Random Number Generator picked no. 27, who is my amazingly talented bloggy friend Josie!!
Congrats J!  I hope you enjoy your winnings!
So tomorrow I’m doing another round of Couch to 5K training, even though snow is forecast!  Let’s hope I don’t resemble an out of breath Yeti by the end of it!!
Have a great weekend!
Jude xo

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12 Hens-A-Laying!


By Judith on January 27, 2016
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To enter my giveaway until Friday 29th January, click here.

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

Don’t worry!  I’m not regressing back to Christmas, or stuck in the wrong season!

P1100082

It’s definitely the end of January, and spring has just about sprung!

It’s so nice to still have daylight well after 4pm!

Up on my design board today are these lovely ladies!

Mama Hens (Siblings Together Bee 2)

Aren’t they a happy bunch!

When I was bee mama in Siblings Together Bee 2 last year, I asked everyone to make me a Mama Hen from Lori Holt’s book ‘Farm Girl Vintage’.

Mama Hens (Siblings Together Bee 2)

With 12 different makers, scrappy works best, so I kept the scrappy theme going in the Low Volume sashing and cornerstones.

I’m still debating whether or not to add a border, probably more scrappy LV, just to make it a bit bigger.

So nice to see the brood altogether at last!

Cluck! Cluck!

Jude xo

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Total Cuteness (and a giveaway)!


By Judith on January 24, 2016
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Last night I got to hang out with some of my favourite people!

Special Times
Special Times

It’s always lovely hanging with one of my besties, but it was especially good to catch up with Di and Tina too!

And of course there was this little bundle of cuteness to melt our hearts!

Special Times

Shame she’s not handbag size or she would have been making a trip home with me!!

And talking of handbags, how would you like to win this bundle of goodness to make your own!

Blogiversary Giveaway

It was my 4 year blogiversary back in December, but life (& Christmas) got a bit in the way!

I’m not one to break my promises and thanks to the generosity of Fabric Yard, you can win a half metre each of Kokka Pink Polka Dot and Premier Prints Trail (both in Deco weight cotton) and 2 sets of faux leather handbag handles.

Blogiversary Giveaway

I’m also throwing in a set of fimo row markers (made by my super clever daughter) and some quilting magazines.

Blogiversary Giveaway

Just leave me a comment by Friday 29th January, when I’ll draw the winner (sorry to my international friends, but due to the weight of the package this is open to UK & Ireland peeps only).

If you are a ‘no reply comment’ blogger you will not be entered unless you leave your email address in the comment box.

Best of luck everyone!

Jude xo

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Ahead of Schedule!


By Judith on January 21, 2016
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What with all the secret sewing going on around here, I’ll show you what I did at the weekend!

No, not that!  (though I am particularly chuffed that my ‘Couch to 5K’ training is up to 2.6k after only 3 weeks!).

Brit Bee R4 block for Ange
This is the next block installment in Brit Bee R4.  Designed by Di and made for Ange!
The block isn’t due until next month, but I knew AMH feathers can be a bit challenging.  I decided to foundation piece mine, and it worked a treat!
Churn Dash blocks for Bee Blessed

I also got a couple of Churn Dash blocks made for Bee Blessed.  They are collecting these in until 14th February, so still plenty of time if you fancy making one or two!
Happy Thursday!
Jude xo

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Signs of Spring!


By Judith on January 14, 2016
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The sun was shining in Belfast today (while everyone else was getting snow apparently!).

It’s so lovely to see a stretch in the day and vulnerable signs of spring pushing up in the garden!

Sunshine in January!

Today I’m showing you my mixed textiles ‘Man’ quilt!

Popular Patchwork Feb'16 - Man Quilt

This quilt was a return to my first love, recycling textiles. Despite it being a ‘man’ quilt, it was made mostly from women’s suit clothing and linens!

Mixed Textiles Man Quilt
Quilt top pic taken on a sunny October day!

I wish I had taken more ‘up close’ photographs to show you all the lovely textures here!  Perhaps when I get it back from Popular Patchwork I’ll take a few more pics.

Making a quilt from recycled textiles can be a very organic process.  If you like reusing cottons, shirts and linens, then why not have a go at making your own quilt!

It’s so satisfying seeing how unused clothing and unwanted textiles can be transformed into something snuggly and useful once again!

Linking up with Scraptastic Tuesday!

Keep warm!

Jude xo

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February Already?


By Judith on January 13, 2016
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No, no, not really!!

But the February issue of Popular Patchwork is out now, and I have 2 projects in this issue.

Popular Patchwork Feb'16 - Cathedral Windows Cushion

This is my Cathedral Windows cushion, made in Essex linen and Heather Ross. Mustard and purple might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I really love this colour combo!

Cathedral Windows Cushion
If you’ve attempted Cathedral Windows before, you will know about the ‘fiddle factor’!  Fiddly ironing, fiddly folding and fiddly sewing!!  But I’m pleased to say the Essex linen behaved beautifully!
Cathedral Windows Cushion

This is one of those patchwork techniques where the results definitely make the process so worth while!  My advice? Don’t rush it!
My 2nd PP project will be a separate post and link up.
Keep sewing!
Jude xo

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Tova The Younger!


By Judith on January 11, 2016
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My ‘uni girl’ returned to Uni today!

It’s been so lovely having her home again over Christmas.

You might remember a few months back I made my first Tova Tunic.  Well my daughter liked it so much she asked for one for Christmas!

Wikstein Tova for my girl!

Thankfully we are the same size (ish) and have similar tastes in prints. So no adjustments were needed!

I miss that cute smile already!

Jude xo

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Keep it Tidy!


By Judith on January 6, 2016
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I love storage! (sad, I know!)

I’ve made a few fabric storage buckets, and was pleased when Pretty Patches magazine commissioned this one!

Fabric Storage Caddy

I made it with Lecien fabrics from Sarah’s lovely shop, Pretty Fabrics & Trims.

I haven’t managed to pick up a copy of the magazine yet, but it is in the current issue (19) on sale at the moment.

At the weekend I managed to get the next round of Siblings Together Bee2 blocks made.

STB2 wonky crosses blocks for Sue Jan16

These are wonky cross blocks, made for Sue.  This is going to be a fabulous ‘boy quilt’.

I’ve been doing lots of sewing this week, and it’s frustrating not being able to show you yet! But there are many projects afoot, which will be revealed eventually, promise!

Happy Wednesday,

Jude xo

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A Year in Quilts!


By Judith on January 2, 2016
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I always do a wee roundup each month of my productivity and what I can show you for that month!

Here is what December looked like:

December15


And at the end of each year, I like to see what quilts (& table runners) I’ve managed to make:

2015 in Quilts
2015 has been a great year for productivity, working with 6 magazines and teaching 5 weekly classes.
I have some new business ideas I want to explore this year, as well as continuing to teach and develop new patterns (if there are any well behaved minions out there looking for work, send them my direction!).
So watch this space!!
Jude xo

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H.O.P.E.


By Judith on January 1, 2016
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I love New Years, perhaps even more than Christmas!

Not everyone shares this sentiment, but for me, it’s a blank page, a new start, fresh hope!

My word for 2015 was ‘Restoration’ – after burning out in 2014, I needed time out, time to reflect, time to restore and to just be!

As I look back, it certainly wasn’t the year I had envisaged this time last year! But there were many positives and blessings.  And for those I am thankful and grateful.

For some reason, it’s perceived as a bad thing to fail! Whether that’s in business, relationally, spiritually, creatively!  I’ve learnt that sometimes failure is good, because you learn stuff!  You learn so much more about yourself and those around you, and if you are open minded enough to absorb that learning, look forwards and not backwards, you might just take a step forward, develop vision and start believing in better once again.

From all the highs and lows in my 2015 I have done some restoring, but mostly I have done a lot of refining! I have refined my dreams, my capabilities, my boundaries, my self-confidence.

And as I go into 2016, my word for the year is HOPE.  I know there will be some down days, a failure or two, lows as well as highs, but that’s ok, because that is glorious, wonderful life.  And this life is worth living from a place of hopefulness and expectation.

I pray that as you go into 2016, you will be unburdened by your past, you will choose to live this year differently from the last many years, that no matter your age, you will grow wings and fly on the thermals of hope and expectancy that this year will be different and better.

I’m waiting for an awesome 2016! How about you!

Jude xo

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The Other Side!


By Judith on December 27, 2015
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Well, that’s it for another year! We made it through to the other side of Christmas, relatively unscathed (if several pounds heavier)!

Christmas '15
Christmas '15

I hope you got some time to relax and have fun too!

When all my work-sewing commitments settled down, I was able to catch up on the next Brit Bee block:

Brit Bee Block R4 for Sarah, designed by Jo

This block was designed by Jo and will soon be on its way to Sarah, made in her choice of colours.

It is quite an involved block, and I was disappointed to lose a point here and there, but overall I’m pleased with it and I think it looks really pretty!

Wheel of Time blocks for Bee Blessed

And speaking of blocks, I made these blocks for Bee Blessed earlier in the month but forgot to blog about them!

These blocks will be destined for a ‘Man’ quilt, and there’s still time to make one or two for the lovely ladies at Bee Blessed.  You can get the tutorial here.

And the final bit of December sewing to show you was a box of treats I sent over to the ‘Fab Five’ in my daughter’s uni flat!

Uni Box Christmas Treats
‘Stocking’ door decorations and cornets filled with chocolates!
Uni Box Christmas Treats
Key fobs and recycled denim coasters!

The box also contained candy canes,  fun beer mat masks & homemade peppermint creams!  Needless to say it went down a treat!

Happy Holidays!
Jude xo

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Quillow Up Front!


By Judith on December 21, 2015
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I’m delighted to be working with British Patchwork and Quilting magazine and submitted my first project to them several months ago!

Imagine my surprise when my first project is presented on the front cover!

British Patchwork & Quilting Jan16

It’s always a contributor’s delight to make the front cover!!

This is my Disappearing 9 Patch Quillow.  The disappearing 9 patch block is one of the quickest and most satisfying blocks to make.  And a quillow is a quilt which folds up into a pillow!!

British Patchwork & Quilting Jan16

Quillows are great for taking camping, to sleepovers, caravans, or in the car!

D9P Quillow 003

So if you’d like a quick and fun pattern to make one, get the January issue of British Patchwork and Quilting, out now!

D9P Quillow 001 (3)


Jude xo

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Keeping Secrets!


By Judith on December 20, 2015
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The last of my Secret Santa presents was gifted last night.

EPP hexie journal cover

I keep my hands busy on free evenings with a little EPP, and before you know it, a nice wee panel has come together!

EPP hexie journal cover
I recently acquired some 12wt Aurifil and wanted to see how it compared to Coats Creative threads. While it’s not quite as thick as Coats Creative, it sewed these hearts beautifully with a size 100 needle.
EPP hexie journal cover

I’m pleased to report that my notebook loving friend loved her present!  (for similar pattern see here).
EPP hexie journal cover

And I finally sourced a super bright daylight bulb for my sewing room which means I can still photograph projects when I’m working in the evenings.
EPP hexie journal cover
Photo taken at night under my daylight bulb!

It is also my 5 year blogiversary today!!  I’ve been blogging for 5 years, and while blogging in general seems to have taken a hit through IG & other mediums, I still really enjoy doing it and will continue for as long as I still do.
It has completely snuck up on me this year, so I’m not prepared with my customary giveaway, but don’t worry, I will have a little something special for you all in the new year!  Thank you for continuing to read my creative ramblings!
Only 5 more sleeps!!  
Jude xo

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At Last!


By Judith on December 19, 2015
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Christmas has finally arrived in the Hollies’ Household!

Jude xo

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Thankful!


By Judith on December 15, 2015
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I love working with magazines, because mostly I get to design and make stuff straight out of my head, or sometimes I’m given some ideas and then I can put the old creative grey cells to work!

For me the design process is the best part, I even tolerate all the maths much better than I used to!

The lovely peeps at Sewing World have published 3 of my projects in the January issue (out on Friday, 18th)! And their photography and staging is stunning!

First up, my nesting baskets:

Sewing World Jan16
A simpler version of my Foundation Pieced Schoolhouse cushion:
Sewing World Jan16
And my Rainbow Geese Quilt, made using the Rainbow and Low Volume Charm packs I sell in my Etsy shop:
Sewing World Jan16
It’s such a privilege to have my work published in this beautiful and professional way!  I still get all giddy when the next issue comes out and I see my projects in there among so many wonderful designers.
There are lots more inspiring projects in this issue to get your creative juices flowing!  So grab yourself a copy and spend some wonderful ‘play time’ sewing this holiday. 
And one more reason to be feeling giddy tonight – guess who’s back home for Christmas?
Jude xo

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Keep It Covered!


By Judith on December 14, 2015
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Do you bother to cover your sewing machine when it’s not in use?

Have you ever had one of those awful plastic covers, that quickly start to tear and become useless?

I’ve definitely been victim of the latter, which is what originally inspired me to write a pattern for a sewing machine cover!

Sewing Machine Cover for Hector!

The affectionately named ‘Hector’s House’ was the first ever cover I made, for my daughter’s machine.

Interest grew among my classes and so I developed a pattern for a bespoke cover, where you could take the dimensions of your machine and make a made to measure cover!

wee brother cover 002

Well now this pattern is available to everyone!

Popular Patchwork Jan'16

In the January issue of Popular Patchwork, you get all the details you need to make this cover, which includes a handle opening (again made to measure to your machine’s unique measurements) and 2 functional side pockets.

sewing machine cover 006 (2)

Doesn’t your machine deserve to be well ‘dressed’ and dust free!

The January issue of Popular Patchwork is packed full of great projects, and is out now!

Popular Patchwork Jan'16

Happy Sewing!

Jude xo

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Peek-A-Boo Birdie!


By Judith on December 10, 2015
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My classes finished last night for Christmas, and we had a little Secret Santa exchange at break time!

Porthole Dumpling Pouch

I made this little porthole dumpling, with some precious diminishing Kaufman ‘Double Happiness’ fabric.

Porthole Dumpling Pouch

The outer fabrics are leftover Irish linens from a quilt I made recently.  I love the contrast in textures between the Irish linen and the Kaufman cotton.

Porthole Dumpling Pouch

It may be small, but I was able to stuff some sewing notions inside, and I think this particular Secret Santa got it right!

2 more Secret Santa gifts still to make though!  Better get a shimmy on!

Linking up with Scraptastic Tuesday!

Jude xo

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It's A Boy!


By Judith on December 9, 2015
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A good friend of mine recently had the cutest little bundle of joy!

She already knew she was having a boy, which meant I could get a little something made in time for the important arrival!

Baby Boy Quilt

My friend loves bright, scrappy and low volume!  I don’t often get the opportunity to ‘think boy’ so I couldn’t resist sticking to a blue colourway.

Baby Boy Quilt

It was pure ‘playtime’ pulling fabrics that would work in a graduated way. I tried to graduate the LVs also, but it’s not just so obvious.

Baby Boy Quilt

Even the free motion stippling went smoothly!

My friend has now received the quilt and with a dino print on the back (no pics sorry!) ‘Mr Cute and Cuddly’ can hopefully enjoy lots of gurgle time on his new quilt!

Jude xo

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Christmas Placemats!


By Judith on December 8, 2015
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Fabric Yard have the funkiest, most festive and fun Christmas fabric in stock!

So I thought I’d make some cheery placemats with the aptly named Joy (multi) by Michael Miller!

Christmas Placemats for Fabric Yard

And Riley Blake’s Fancy Pinwheels on the back remind me of snowflakes (also available from Fabric Yard).  Don’t they just shout ‘Christmas Cheer’!

Christmas Placemats for Fabric Yard

So if you need a quick and easy make that will ‘wow’ your Christmas guests, pop on over to the Fabric Yard Blog for the full tutorial.

Jude xo

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Small Business Saturday!


By Judith on December 5, 2015
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Here in the UK, 5th December is Small Business Saturday, a day to encourage shoppers to get out to their local independent retailers and support small & unique businesses.

In keeping with this wonderful idea, I’ve restocked my shop with new Low Volume charm packs, and am offering 20% off everything until Monday, using coupon code SMALLBUS20!

Low Volume Charm packs (42 squares)

So if you fancy some discounted fabric, a pattern for a quilt, Christmas stocking or handbag, or a rainbow or mini charm pack for a quick and easy make, then pop on over to Just Jude Designs and enter SMALLBUS20 at the checkout!

Happy Shopping!

Jude xo

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Countdown to Christmas!


By Judith on December 1, 2015
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Well the advent calendar is up, the Christmas cactus is in full bloom, and the yarn bombed lampost outside my house received new attire today!

Christmas Cactus
Yarn bombed lampost

That can only mean one thing!  The countdown to Christmas has begun! Eeek!

Nov15 Roundup

My roundup for November looks a little scant, but once again there are projects I’ve been beavering away on which can’t be revealed just yet!

Ollie the Owl for Dotti/STB2

2 Ollie Owls were made and sent on their way for Siblings Together Bee 2.  And check out the brand spanking new Siblings Together Quilt Group blog! What a fab idea, a place where all contributors and supporters of Siblings Together Quilts can meet to chat, inspire and support one another. You can also read all about the wonderful charity that is Siblings Together.

So that’s my roundup for November.  I’ve quite a few deadlines in December, so there’ll be no slacking until Santa’s almost ready to come down my chimney!!

Keeeeeeep Sewing!

Jude xo

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Popper The Penguin!


By Judith on November 27, 2015
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This cute little fella popped into my head a while back, and now I can share him with you all!

Popper Pengiun in Dec Issue of Popular Patchwork

The remit from Popular Patchwork was a foundation pieced ‘winter animal’ cushion.  And so Popper was born!

Popular Patchwork Dec'15 Issue

In actual fact, when he first ‘grew’ on paper he was quite podgy, and so we affectionately named him ‘Fat Boy’!!  I think he’s been on the mince pies already!

You can find him in the December issue of Popular Patchwork. I hope you like him as much as I do!!

Popular Patchwork Dec'15 Issue

Also this issue is my Giant Log Cabin pattern, which Elizabeth, the editor, made up in beautiful Christmas Fabrics! Isn’t it gorgeous, keeping Popper company there on the front cover!

Popular Patchwork Dec'15 Issue

And, the monthly ‘Let’s Visit’ issue features Belfast written by yours truly!!  It was difficult to condense all the wonderful things about Belfast in just a few short paragraphs!

Popular Patchwork Dec'15 issue
So now you can pppppppppick up a ppppppppppppppenguin in ppppppppppopular pppppppppppatchwork! (sorry, couldn’t resist!)
Happy Sewing!
Jude xo

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Key Fobs Tutorial


By Judith on November 22, 2015
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Keyfobs make for great wee gifts, for family and friends of all ages!

And they are super easy to make too!  Here’s my tutorial on how to make them:
You will need:
8″ piece of 1.25″ wide webbing (or recycle a canvas/fabric belt)
1.25″ metal keyfob and ring (available from here)
8″ x 2″ piece of fabric (or use 1″ wide ribbon)
matching thread
fabric glue
small hammer
jewelry pliers
Method:
1. Press the long sides of the strip of fabric under (to wrong side) until you are happy with the finished width (a 2″ wide strip will need pressed under 0.5″ at each side). If using ribbon, no need to press under sides.

2. Place the strip of fabric right sides up on top of the webbing.

3. Stitch down both sides of the strip of fabric, close to the folded edges.  If you like, stitch a few more lines down through the centre of the fabric.

5. Bring the short ends together (with fabric facing out) and stitch across the top, through all layers. Place a little amount of glue along the top raw edges.

6. Place the key fob over the glued end of the webbing. You will want to cover the metal fob with fabric before hitting it closed with a hammer.

7. Finish clamping the fob with jewelry pliers, taking care not to mark the metal.

8. Finally, pop on the ring, and make lots more!

Key fobs

Happy Sewing!

Jude xo

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Scandi Stocking


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The lovely peeps at Sewing World sent me some gorgeous Makower Scandi fabrics to play with.

And if you pick up the December issue of Sewing World, you can see what I made with them!

Scandi Stocking Dec Issue Sewing World Magazine

I love how these fabrics, teamed with Essex linen, evoke the cosy Christmas feeling!

Scandi applique

Have you started your Christmas sewing yet?  Only 5 more weeks to go!

You can find more stocking patterns here in my Etsy shop.

Jude xo

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Aaaaachooooo!


By Judith on November 19, 2015
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Tis the season for snot and sniffles!!

So how about keeping those tissues at the ready in pretty fabric covers!

Tissue Box Covers in Issue 17 Quilt Now

I like to keep a box in several rooms, in fabrics to match the decor. But wouldn’t they also make sweet gifts too?

You can get the pattern for these in the December issue of Quilt Now, (however the cutting instructions for top and sides are the same for all layers (outer and lining fabrics, wadding and vilene) and not as listed).

QAYG Tissue box cover

These are great fun to make and I’m sure will be much needed this winter!

Happy Sewing!

Jude xo

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Little Itty Bits!


By Judith on November 17, 2015
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I didn’t quite make it in time to Scraptastic Tuesday with Leanne and Nicky, but here’s my scrappy contribution this week!

Key fobs

I’ve made over 70 keyfobs to sell in Well Made, and a few as stocking fillers.

I’ll have a little tutorial soon on how to make these wee gifts.

I also made 14 framed purses, but completely forgot to takes pics before they went into the shop! Doh!

Anyway, one last scrappy project to show you is my kids drawstring backpack, currently in issue 18 of Pretty Patches magazine.

Kids Drawstring bag in Pretty Patches issue 18

If like me you have lots of little itty bits of fabric kicking around, and need a Christmas present idea for your grandchild, niece, nephew or friend, then a colourful and practical bag could be just the ticket!

Kids Drawstring bag in Pretty Patches issue 18

Pretty Patches is a really sweet magazine full of cute and crafty projects, large and small. You won’t be stuck for ideas to make this Christmas!

Kids Drawstring bag in Pretty Patches issue 18

Jude xo

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Brrrrrrrrrr!


By Judith on November 13, 2015
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Temperatures have taken a tumble here, with log fires and cosy quilts becoming more and more alluring!

Or how about a hot water bottle!

Porthole Water Bottle Covers
Wet and stormy days make great sewing days, so why not rustle up some comforting hot water bottle covers?
I’m sure you know by now that I can’t resist a little patchwork porthole!! 
Porthole Water Bottle Covers
And a great way to use up those smaller scraps (that just seem to multiply when my back is turned!).
If you fancy making your own hot water bottle cover (fits standard size hot water bottles) then pick up the November issue of Popular Patchwork! (If you are local to me and have difficulty finding PP in the shops, email me for a list of retailers who stock it).
Porthole Hot Water Bottle Covers - Popular Patchwork Nov15

Stay warm!
Message for Sharon McCartney – thank you for your comment but I have no way of replying without an email address. Please leave your email address in another comment and I will get back to you. Thanks Jxo
Jude xo

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Pink For A Girl!


By Judith on November 9, 2015
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This summer, the most beautiful and perfect little girl came into the world!

(Check out some gorgeous pics here!)

I wasted no time in ordering an uber cute bundle of pinkness from an equally cute shop called Pretty Fabrics and Trims and got a cot quilt made (eventually)!

Baby Girl Quilt
I adapted a sweet pattern by Camille Roskelly called ‘Dapper’ (from her book Simply Retro, pg 45).
Baby Girl Quilt
For the back, I used a soft lemon flannel, which I hope will bring many cosy nap times for this little princess!
Jude xo

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Festive Apron Tutorial!


By Judith on November 5, 2015
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With only 7 weeks to Christmas (eek!) time to get started on some Christmas gifts!!

Here’s a super easy project to get you started!

Christmas Apron Tutorial for Fabric Yard

This fun and festive apron is made from 1m of Holly Jolly Gnomes by Michael Miller.

Christmas Apron Tutorial for Fabric Yard

A great stocking filler for any member of the family!

Pop on over to the Fabric Yard blog for the full tutorial!

Ho ho ho!

Jude xo

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Better Late Than Never!


By Judith on November 3, 2015
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The first of the month has been and gone, which is when I usually do my previous month’s roundup!

But better late than never right?

Oct15 Roundup
You can probably see Christmas creeping in here, and a few sneak peeks too! 
And of course there were the monthly bee blocks:

Brit Bee R4 Susan's block for Hadley Oct15

It was my mum’s birthday this week, and I made her this little ‘mobile medicines’ dumpling pouch!

Medicines dumpling pouch

I love how these cute little pouches fit perfectly into handbags, and can be personalised for all sorts of uses!
Medicines dumpling pouch
I hope to have more secret sewing reveals for you soon!
Happy Tuesday!
Jude xo

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Today Was ……


By Judith on November 1, 2015
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…. serene!

Castle Espie Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Comber

 

A lovely way to end the weekend and start a new month!

Jude xo

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Boiling Beetroots!!


By Judith on October 29, 2015
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It’s been a milestone week for me, for several reasons!

My 2 ‘at home’ daughters have been away from me for a total of 6 days this half term holiday! The longest I’ve ever been ‘home alone’!!  I resisted from having ice-cream for tea every evening (just 4 times!! Joking!)

And just so that I didn’t feel completely like a non-parent, my precious first-born turned 20 on Tuesday!!  T W E N T Y!!!  Crikey-oh!  No more a teenager!  Trying hard not to feel old, and missing her all the more!!

And today, I boiled by beetroots!!  You heard right!!

A first for me, from my hearty first crop of ……. 6!! Just enough to make my mean chocolate and beetroot cake!! YUM!

And finally, let me show you my porthole notebook covers, as seen in the November issue of Quilt Now:

Porthole Journal Covers/Quilt Now Nov15

I love making portholes and the cute critters in the Dashwood Studio ‘Nature Walk’ range inspired me to create butterfly and hedgehog shaped portholes!

Porthole Journal Covers/Quilt Now Nov15

Normal service has resumed – 2 daughters back home, 40 minute telephone catch-up with first-born and freezer re-stocked with Ben and Jerry’s for the weekend!!

Jude xo

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Brit Bee Round 4!


By Judith on October 25, 2015
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We are off and running!

Brit Bee Round 4 is a go, and it’s just as well we have a super-complicated clever table to keep us on the straight and narrow!

Said table was designed by the equally clever Hadley, who I just happen to be making for this month!!

Here’s the science bit…

Brit Bee R4 Susan's block for Hadley Oct15

This block was designed by Susan, made by me, for Hadley!! (next month I will make Jo’s block for Sarah! Savvy?)

You see, we have each designed a 15″ x 30″ block, so over the course of the year, we will make each other’s blocks, in the colour/fabric preferences of the next person in the table!  At the end of 12 months, we will each have received 12 blocks (made by others) in addition to our own 15″ x 30″ and 15″ square starter blocks, to make up the quilts as we please.

I’m so glad I’m in a bee with really smart & talented people!!

Jude xo

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More Christmas Coasters!


By Judith on October 19, 2015
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If you are not ready for more Christmas projects, then look away now!!

EPP Dresden Christmas Coasters

These are my dresden Christmas coasters, as seen in the November issue of Sewing World!

EPP Dresden Christmas Coasters

Nov15 issue Sewing World

This project combines EPP (english paper piecing) with a little machine quilting and finishing. Perfect for using up leftover charm squares too!

EPP Dresden Christmas Coasters

I teamed the Christmas prints with some Essex linen (black) for the background, but you could quite easily make non-Christmassy versions of these!

This cute little set would make a happy stocking filler don’t you think!

Jude xo

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The Best Bit!


By Judith on October 18, 2015
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The best bit about being involved in a charity quilting bee, is donating finished quilts to good causes and those in need.

Bee Blessed donating quilts
Me with Pat, Senior Social Worker at RVH

Last week I had the privilege of bringing 15 baby and children’s quilts from Bee Blessed to The Royal Victoria Hospital’s Mums and Babies HIV unit.

Bee Blessed donating quilts

You may remember contributing to these quilts over the past year, or seeing them on my washing line!!

Bee Blessed children's quilts Aug15Bee Blessed Children's quilts

It is a privilege to pass on these quilts to families in much need of support and blessing. This was our 2nd bulk donation to RVH and we hope it won’t be the last.

Remember, if you would like to contribute a block or two to this charity bee, check out this month’s block tutorial here.

Jude xo

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Scrappy Scissors Cozy!


By Judith on October 13, 2015
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My scrappy project for this month are scissor cozies!

Scissors cozy

The genius behind this clever pouch is my lovely friend Svetlana! She has a brilliant eye for shape, design, colour and style! And very generously shares lots of tutorials on her blog!

Scissors cozy

For this pouch, I dipped into my large ‘sweetie jar’ of leftover half square triangles and just randomly sewed a low volume triangle to a coloured print!

Scissors cozy

And this one got the EPP treatment, using up small red scraps with leftover Essex linen (black) pieces to create a diamond/harlequin piece.

Scissors cozy

I think these pouches would make great presents for those who love to sew.  You could even keep a rotary cutter or two in them!

I highly recommend this pattern from Svetlana – in fact all her patterns are clearly written and easy to follow!

Linking up with the Queens of Scraps, Nicky and Leanne!

Jude xo

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Tova Tunic Trials!


By Judith on October 12, 2015
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I have long admired the Tova dress by Wikstein!

Some time ago, I bought the pattern, even printed out all the pages, stuck them together and cut out my size!

And then I parked it, convincing myself it was too complicated for my basic dressmaking skills!

Well, this weekend I bit the bullet and did it!

Wikstein Tova

I was pleasantly surprised at how easily this all came together, especially as I had never sewn a placket before! The pattern is really easy to follow & includes the option of a shorter/blouse version.

Wikstein Tova

I used a lovely piece of (donated) vintage fabric, and teamed it with accents of Essex yarn dyed linen in denim.  I’m particularly pleased with the fit!

Wikstein Tova

I love tunics, and definitely see a lot more of these in my dressmaking future.

Jude xo

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Too soon for Christmas?


By Judith on October 10, 2015
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No?

That’s good!

Because I have some Christmas coasters to show you!

Christmas coasters
Inspiration for these coasters found here.

My friend and I worked on these foundation pieced coasters together! (I couldn’t find templates for them, so I drafted my own patterns.) Don’t you think they would cheer up any coffee table at Christmas-time!

Christmas coasters

I’m getting my Christmas class samples ready for that moment when we realise that Christmas isn’t that far away after all, and creative panic sets in!!

And if you need to stock up on supplies, don’t forget about my lush Essex yarn dyed linen for sale in my Etsy shop, now available in half metre cuts.

Pop on over and grab yourself a bargain!

Happy Christmas weekend!

Jude xo

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Easy Baby Blanket!


By Judith on October 4, 2015
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My tutorial this month for Fabric Yard is so easy, even a complete novice quilter will enjoy making this!

Baby Quilted panel for Fabric Yard
28.5″ x 42″

This cute crib blanket is made from a printed panel called Saltwater by Riley Blake. (The backing is also from Saltwater).

This fabric has the cutest mermaids, fishies and even cute turtles!

Some simple quilting and binding and you’ll have a sweet gift in no time!

Baby Quilted panel for Fabric Yard

You’ll find the full tutorial here on the Fabric Yard blog.

Jude xo

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Blocks and Bear Paws!


By Judith on October 3, 2015
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This month in Bee Blessed we are making Friendship Stars:

Friendship Star blocks for Bee Blessed
Super easy and quick to make! These will make a lovely ‘friendship’ quilt.
In Siblings Together Bee (2), Jenny has asked us to make the blocks from Cloud 9’s Field Crossing Quilt. 
STB2 Blocks for Jenny
Another fab boy quilt in the making for Siblings Together camps next year. 
A few months back I made a few ‘girly’ blocks to go into a collaborative quilt for a very special little lady!
Photo from Sarah’s blog
My special friend, Sarah, had a baby girl in July, and this quilt has been made with love from several of Sarah’s quilting bloggy friends!  
Isn’t it gorgeous!  Here are my blocks (sorry about the washed out light – it was a very grey summer!)

Blocks for special baby quilt

You can read more about it (& see the cutest baby girl EVER) on Sarah’s blog!
And finally, October issue of Popular Patchwork is in the shops now! (I might have a wee project in it! Just sayin’!)

My BearPaw quilt in Oct issue Popular Patchwork

Bye for now!

Jude xo

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Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder!


By Judith on October 2, 2015
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Apologies for the blogging absence!

Not intentional, and certainly not because no sewing has been happening in the Hollies’ Household!

I’ve been beavering away on more magazine commissions and gifts. I was so busy I barely noticed we had moved seamlessly into a new month!

Here is my September Roundup.  (I’m using artistic license to include some magazine items revealed, as opposed to made, in the same month.)

Sept15 Roundup

The weather here this week has been so beautiful, a reminder of summer.  It got me thinking back to fun times in August!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Jxo

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Doing The Double!


By Judith on September 21, 2015
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At the risk of boring you all rigid, I’m pleased to show you my latest magazine submissions!

I didn’t realise I would be twice featured in the October issue of Quilt Now (out in UK this week). The theme this issue is ‘Single Block’ designs.

First up, Dissected blocks:

My Projects in Quilt Now Oct15

I thought, ‘what would happen if you take a traditional block and pull it apart!’ (sad, the places my mind goes!).

'Dissected block' wallhanging

First I created a mini quilt (30″ x 30″) based on a dissected ‘churn dash’ block.

The old grey matter kept smokin’ and out came 2 more blocks which I turned into cushions.

L-R: Courthouse Steps, Grandmother’s Cross

Keeping to a Kona Snow background with a limited colour palette helps achieve the effect of the dissected blocks.

Next up, Moroccan Mix Table Runner and Trivet:

P1070395

I actually made this first, back in May.

Inspired by the ‘Antique Tile’ block I started pulling fabrics that I thought would represent the depth of colour in Moroccan Tiles. The trivet was simply an after-thought, using up the leftovers!!

Moroccan Mix Table Runner & Trivet

I hope you don’t mind me sharing my publications here!  I’m not trying to blow my own trumpet – it’s just so nice to finally be able to show you stuff I’ve made which I’ve had to keep under wraps for a bit!

And just to give you some warning – there are lots more publications in the pipeline!!

Jude xo

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Blackberries and Maples!


By Judith on September 19, 2015
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You may be surprised to know that I was quite the domestic goddess today! (even I’m surprised!)

I made soup from homegrown tomatoes, basil, tarragon & celery; YUM

Made a fruit crumble from homegrown apples, white currants & 2 raspberries (and no shop bought crumble mix either! Oh no!  I made my own cinnamon crumble!); DOUBLE YUM

And …. (hold on to your hats) made a Victoria sponge, from scratch, with homemade plum jam (made by my friend!)!

I even took my youngest blackberry picking!!

Blackberry picking!

I’m in danger of growing my hair long, dying it black, and considerably upsizing my hips!!

And there was some sewing too!

Brit Bee Block R4
Pears & Mini Maple leaf blocks from Farm Girl Vintage

This is my block in Brit Bee Round 4.

This year we are each designing a block to make up 1 quilt design. At the end of our year(ish) we will all have the same quilt design, but made with a block from each of the other 11 members to go with our own block.  Clear as mud?!

Brit Bee Block R4

We also make a 15″ centre block to get started.  Because of the Farm Girl Vintage vibe going on round here, I thought I’d use the baby chick block I’d previously made from the book, bringing it up to size with Low Volume borders.

Farm Girl Vintage blocks
Thank you everyone for your lovely comments about being Cover Girl for Sewing World this month!
Sewing World Oct15

I heard today I made a double entry in October issue of Quilt Now!  Woohoo!  When I get to see a copy I’ll post some pics here of what I made!
Have a fab weekend!
Jude xo

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Giveaway!


By Judith on September 18, 2015
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It was a gorgeous sunny day today!  The hint of an Indian summer perhaps!!

AND it’s Friday!  2 good reasons to pick the winner of the Fabric Yard giveaway!

Drumroll please………

Congrats Benta! I’ve emailed you for your details.
I’ve been secret sewing and pattern writing like a demon this week.  But I did manage a little bit of Brit Bee sewing too! Too dark for photos now, but I promise some tomorrow!
Sweet dreams!
Jude xo

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Ever Seen A Blue Hen?


By Judith on September 16, 2015
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To enter my giveaway until Friday 18th September, follow this link.

I’m Miss September in the Siblings Together Bee 2, which means I get to set the block for everyone else to make!

Mama Hen for STB2 - Sept15

As I’m still crushing on Farm Girl Vintage, I choose the 12″ Mama Hen Block.  And in true (un)traditional style, went for a blue hen!!

The chooks have already started rolling in to the coop!  Here’s the little family so far:

STB2 mama hens so far!

Thank you everyone for your donations so far. This is going to be a fun quilt for a child separated from her sibling/s in the care system.

Feathered fowl seem to be a theme happening this month!!!

Jude xo

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Art Supplies Backpack Tutorial


By Judith on September 14, 2015
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Giveaway is now closed!

My September tutorial for Fabric Yard is one all budding artists will love!

Kids Art Supplies Backpack

Kids Art Supplies Backpack

These simple backpacks are made using 2 half metres of fabric, some cord and eyelets.

You can get all the necessary art equipment in these for a fun day out!  And check out this cool ‘Colour Me Fabric’ by Michael Millar – nothing to colour in?  Then why not decorate your backpack!

The full tutorial is here!

Kids Art Supplies Backpack

And here’s an extra treat for you!

Fabric Yard are kindly giving away 1m of ‘Colour Me Fabric’, a pack of fabric pens, and I’m throwing in the latest Issue of Quilt Now.

Giveaway Sept15

For a chance to win these goodies, just leave me a comment (‘no reply comment bloggers’ will not be entered unless you leave your email address in addition to your comment).

Giveaway closes Friday 18th September, international entries welcome.

Jude xo

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Dresden Sunburst Quilt


By Judith on September 4, 2015
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After 1.5 hours in the dentist’s chair this morning, I gave myself a gentler work schedule this afternoon.  Making & attaching bias binding (all will become clear soon!).

In the meantime, I thought I’d show you something else I’ve been working on this week.

Dresden Sunburst

In keeping with my ‘dresden’ theme this summer, I made the Missouri Star Quilt Company’s Dresden Sunburst pattern.

This pattern uses a layer cake and background yardage.  I used the oh so pretty Rambling Rose collection by Sandy Gervais, available from Quilter’s Quest.

These prints really ‘speak’ to my love of all things vintagey – I even love the brown!!

Dresden Sunburst

As usual I went off pattern a bit and used the leftover pieces from the layer cake to piece borders and fill the central negative space with an EPP mini dresden.

This quilt is now receiving the magical long-arm treatment (squeeeee!). Can’t wait to see how it turns out!

Tonight I lit the fire (2nd one this week, brrrrr!) and settled myself down with some hand sewing binding!

Hope you’ve had a fab Friday!

Jude xo

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Go Yellow!


By Judith on September 3, 2015
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Summer may be on its way out, but my Tropical Pineapple Bag has been featured in this month’s issue of Quilt Now!

Pineapple Bag in Quilt Now Sept15

I first designed the foundation pieced pineapple block for Ceri’s Brit Bee ‘foody’ themed quilt back in March 2012!

I must have been in the summer vibe back in June when I thought about making this tropical summer tote!

Pineapple Bag for Quilt Now

It was great fun to make, and Shannon had the perfect fimo zipper pulls to finish it off!

Pineapple Bag for Quilt Now

And speaking of daughter no.1, she is blogging again! Yay!  You can check her out here.

Jude xo

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Essex Linen & Kona Snow


By Judith on September 2, 2015
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I have restocked my Etsy shop with the ever popular Essex Linen and Kona Snow, all at great prices!

Fabric for Sale

I have also listed 2 Kate Spain (12 Days of Christmas) panels and a Stocking panel for sale.

Fabric for Sale
And there are still some discounted designer fabrics & Kona solids listed.  
So hop on over and grab yourself a bargain, while stocks last!
(I’m still waiting on more black and white stripe and a few other bolts.  I’ll keep you posted!)
Jude xo

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End of Summer!


By Judith on September 1, 2015
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“Tis the last rose of summer,
Left blooming alone;
All her lovely companions
Are faded and gone.”
Thomas Moore, 1830

Autumn has officially begun here in the UK!  It is the only season where I feel joy and grief all at the same time!

My hanging baskets are still flowering and beautiful, but there is a definite shift happening in my garden.

Daughters 2 and 3 returned to full-time school today, and some semblance of routine is  creeping in again!

Looking back on August, I am content with what I managed to make.

Aug15 Roundup

As usual, not quite everything is shown here.  There are the obligatory ‘secret’ projects happening behind the scenes too. All in good time!
And before I sign off, I’m delighted to tell you that Bee Blessed will be continuing from this month, and a lovely new blog page has been set up, just for Bee Blessed!  Hop on over to check out this term’s dates and how you can get involved again. 
Jude xo

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Boho Dresden Cushion


By Judith on August 30, 2015
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If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed I’ve been playing around with dresdens lately!

Today I can show you this….

Boho Dresden Cushion

This boho-style pieced dresden cushion is Jo’s pattern, found in issue 10 of Love Patchwork & Quilting (pg77).
It’s a really easy pattern to follow and I loved the addition of the ‘on-trend’ pom-poms!

Boho Dresden Cushion

I teamed some Amy Butler Soul Blossoms with Essex yarn dyed linen (black). The only change I made from the original pattern was to quilt the front and back. 
Boho Dresden Cushion

I didn’t have a round cushion filler, so it is temporarily (& poorly) stuffed with toy stuffing!

I really like how it has turned out, and so does no.1 daughter, who says it matches her other cushions perfectly (hint, hint)!!

Boho Dresden Cushion

Jude xo

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Farm House Lane


By Judith on August 28, 2015
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This summer I’ve been working on a quilt from the Farm Girl Vintage book by Lori Holt.

Farmhouse blocks - Farm Girl Vintage

If you haven’t already got this book, I highly recommend it.  All the blocks, quilts and projects in it are adorable and super easy to follow.

I particularly love ‘house’ quilts and so decided to make ‘Farm House Lane’ (pg128) using mainly Denyse Schmidt fabrics.

Farmhouse Lane Quilt top
Approx. 67″ x 71″

If you are familiar with this pattern, you will notice that I haven’t stuck completely to the brief (not like me at all!!!).

From previous posts you will know that I had started making the 16 x 6″ Welcome blocks which go in between the rows. But they are a little time consuming so I made an executive decision and went for rows of 2.5″ squares instead.

The 4 Welcome blocks became corner stones!

So now to make a back and think about how to quilt this baby!

Jude xo

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Denim Applique Bag


By Judith on August 25, 2015
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Denim applique bag

So this is denim bag no.3!

I took inspiration for this bag from here, and it was actually the first one I made of the set of 3!

Special features include twin needling (on pre-made fusible bias) and satin stitch applique …..

Denim applique bag

…. a zippered pocket in the back …..

Denim applique bag

….. inner pocket and detachable project pouch.

Denim applique bag

Instead of making my handles, I used these gorgeous sew on ‘leather’ handles (available soon from Fabric Yard).  I love how perfectly they finish the bag off.

Denim Applique bag
So that completes my trio of Denim bags!
Denim bags

It was so much fun making these and getting back to my first love of recycling textiles! There may be a couple more still to come, if I get more time to play!
Happy Tuesday!
Jude xo

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In Print!


By Judith on August 23, 2015
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This weekend has been full of friends, fun and flowers!

Yesterday was a ‘sewing day’ with great friends, great food, and great post too…

My Peg Bag pattern in Popular Patchwork/Sept15

So lovely to be published in Popular Patchwork for the first time, and more projects to come!  The September issue of PP is out now and packed full of wonderful quilty projects!

Today, my girls and I had the most relaxing walk around one of our most favourite places on earth!

Mount Stewart, Co. Down

The restored house and Italian gardens are open again to the public, and it was so lovely seeing new wonders in this familiar haunt!

And we rounded off a perfect day by celebrating daughter no.2’s brilliant GCSE results with the help of huge American burgers!

Hope you had a great weekend too!

Jude xo

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Yesterday was ……


By Judith on August 19, 2015
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… fragrant!

Roses as far as the eye can see!

Still so beautiful, even as they come to the end of their time!

And the names are just as inspiring!
The sun was shining and the surroundings (Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park) were so relaxing!

 A little piece of Eden here on earth!

It was a little budding rose,
Round like a fairy globe,
And shyly did its leaves unclose
Hid in their mossy robe,
But sweet was the slight and spicy smell
It breathed from its heart invisible. 
 A Little Budding Rose by Emily Bronte

Jude xo

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Out on the Line!


By Judith on August 16, 2015
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Today’s good weather was an opportunity to photograph Bee Blessed’s growing pile of baby and children’s quilts!

Bee Blessed children's quilts Aug15

We still have a few left to finish off before donating this batch to our local Mum’s and Babies HIV unit in September.

Bee Blessed children's quilts Aug15

A huge thank you goes to Hilary, a friend of Bee Blessed, who wanted to practise on her new quilting frame – we were more than happy to oblige her our quilts!!  I don’t think we would have been ready for a September handover without her brilliant quilting and binding skills on many of these quilts!

Thank you #hilsbelfast!

Bee Blessed children's quilts Aug15

And a big ‘thank you’ to you too if you contributed in any way to these quilts!  Going by the feedback we received from the last batch we gave to the Mums and Babies unit, these quilts will be gratefully received and provide much comfort and blessing to families in extreme need.

With 2 more quilts in my washing machine, and a few more to gather in from the troops, we will have in the region of 16-18 quilts to handover! More pictures will follow!

Jude xo

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One Inch Wonders!


By Judith on August 11, 2015
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Today is Scraptastic Tuesday – a monthly linky party over at Nicky’s and Leanne’s for all ‘scrap lovers’!

Not a month goes by when I don’t use scraps in some form or other.

This month I’ve already shown you 2 boxy pouches made from scraps:

Boxy Pouches

But I’ve also made this teeny dumpling pouch with 1″ hexies ….

Hexie Dumpling Pouch

… and an Essex Linen hot water bottle cover with 1″ postage stamp squares behind a porthole heart and a 1″ postage stamp inset trim.

Hot water bottle cover

Hmmm, hot water bottle covers in August?  Well it is a British summer after all!

Jude xo

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Box-ing Clever!


By Judith on August 5, 2015
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Boxy Pouches

I’ve been wanting to make a few boxy pouches for a while now!

I followed this tutorial, which is really clear and easy to follow.  Apart from a few tweaks to the odd seam allowance and sizing (to suit different patchwork options), I stuck to the tutorial and am pleased with the results.

Boxy Pouches

In true scrappy style, I made a ‘quilt as you go’ pouch, and some donated shot silk ‘tumbler’ scraps make up this more masculine pouch.

I thought these would make good wash bags, so I lined 2 with Rip-stop wipeable nylon.

Boxy Pouches

This is a versatile pattern, which can easily be adapted to suit your chosen patchwork and function – I’m thinking a wash bag for a guy, a toy caddy for a child, or how about a longer thinner pouch to hold knitting needles!

So get your scraps out and get boxing!

Jude xo

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Goodbye July!


By Judith on August 1, 2015
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Well July is forgettable for lots of reasons. Mainly the weather (would you believe I’ve had my electric blanket on a few nights recently!!).

And having an injured ankle, blocked ears (& no hearing) for 2 weeks, followed by a cold just about finished off any chance of having a fun and productive sewing month!  (Not to mention having to miss my dear friend’s thanksgiving service and Brit Bee meet up!)

July15 Roundup

While my ‘Monthly Mosaic of Makes’ for July looks a bit measly, there are a few other items I can’t show you yet, at least not until they are published.

I’ve been making good progress on my Farm Girl Vintage Farmhouse Lane quilt.  All 9 houses & 6 trees are complete.

Farmgirl Vintage Farmhouse Lane


There are 16 x 6″ ‘Welcome’ blocks to make, for the rows inbetween.  I’ve one made and all the pieces cut out for the rest.  But oh my, those 1.5″ squares!! There are hundreds of ’em – in the 6″ blocks, the tree blocks and the houses!!!  They’re everywhere!  Oh how I wish I had a 1.5″ Sizzix die!

Farmgirl Vintage Farmhouse Lane

So, I think little and often will be the order of the day for these wee blocks!

Linking up to Lily’s Quilts Fresh Sewing Day!

Jude xo

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Denim Hexie Bag!


By Judith on July 30, 2015
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In my series of denim bags I’ve been making this summer, here is bag no.2!

Repurposed denim (hexie) bag

Back in June, when my daughter was in hospital for a day, I had brought some epp hexies and denim scraps. I had 5 hours of sewing to fill, so needless to say, I got a lot of them basted and sewn together that day.

I unearthed them again recently, during my ‘denim dalliance’, and incorporated them into this patchworked bag!

Repurposed denim (hexie) bag
The back

Special features include a zippered pocket in the (bright) lining, and repurposed tabs and leather from the chopped up jeans used in the bag!

Denim Hexie Bag
I used a leather needle for the ‘organic’ tab


I also inserted some curtain eyelets (super easy) just to try out something different with the handles.

Denim Hexie bag

The bag is simply ditch quilted, and the fold up bottom meant no fiddly box corners or angled sides to contend with! As with all of these denim bags, I have reinforced the bases with handbag mesh plastic.

I love this bag, especially the many different shades of denim used (& I just stuck with blues!). They aren’t as difficult to EPP as you might think, especially as most of the denim has been softened up through lots of wear!  Just use a bigger needle and seam allowance & glossy magazine papers.

Denim projects

So next time you rip or wear out your jeans, think ‘handbags’!

Jude xo

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Denim & Selvedge Bag


By Judith on July 28, 2015
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So you know I was working (aka playing!) with some denim recently!  I’m working on a series of bags which I may teach in the Autumn term.

Well I got 2 bags completed today (you can thank the continuous rain since Sunday for that!).

Today I’ll show you my Denim and Selvedges bag!

Repurposed denim & selvedge bag

Like most trends and fads, I was a latecomer to the selvedge craze, but I’m head over heels about them now! I think it appeals to my love of recycling textiles, especially when some designer selvedges are so adorably cute!

Denim projects

The front and back of this bag have the same design, just different selvedges used. The denim is all from recycled jeans, and the handle was a belt from another pair of jeans!

repurposed denim & selvedge bag

Bag linings are a great excuse to use loud and vibrant fabrics and I didn’t hold back on this one!

Because of the pleat I couldn’t insert my usual array of pockets, so I simply popped in a wee denim pocket (which was once on a child’s dress) and a key fob to keep those keys handy!

The magnetic closure tab has been finished with a felt button given to me a while back by a lovely quilty friend.

Repurposed denim & selvedge bag

I really enjoyed many aspects of making this bag, especially using Coats Creative thread for the feature quilting. I haven’t used this thread before, and just happened to have the right colour of ‘jeans orange’. It’s much thicker than standard thread, and you need a size 100 (jeans) needle, but the sewing was smooth and I will be on the lookout for more of this range (Gutterman Creative & Gutterman Jeans threads are not as thick as Coats Creative & I have still to try Aurifil 12wt).

My playtime continued with a little matching pouch to go with the bag.

Repurposed denim & selvedge bag
Clearly I couldn’t stop sewing down those cute selvedges!
L: Porthole Hexie; R: EPP hexie
I’ve put an eyelet in the pouch too, so that it can be clipped onto the keyfob inside the bag. This will keep a sewing/crochet project handy to throw into the handbag on trips out!
Apologies for the long post for this one! It feels like I’ve been birthing this bag for a while and it’s so satisfying seeing it not only complete, but turning out just how I imagined it!
Stay tuned this week for bag no.2!
Jude xo

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A Little Dabble with Denim!


By Judith on July 25, 2015
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How has your week been?

There’s been the usual flurry of activity here at the Hollies Household, with 2 extra lovely uni guests entertaining us!

I’ve managed to snatch some sewing time here and there, playing mostly with one of my favourite textiles – denim!

Denim projects
Satin stitch applique and twin needling
Denim projects
English Paper Pieced denim hexies

Denim projects
Selvedge strips & denim

These will hopefully become handbags of varying shapes and sizes, all to be revealed in good time!

Denim projects
Porthole selvedge hexie!

I’ve also been doing a little secret Christmas sewing, but I’m afraid you will have to wait until the Merry season to see the rest!

Scandi applique
I hope you are having a sewing summer!  
Apparently we are getting monsoon like conditions tomorrow (!!) Batten down the hatches!
Jude xo

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