Free Storage Caddy Pattern


By Judith on November 30, 2016
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Hi everyone, I hope your week is going well.  Can you believe it’s December tomorrow?!

 

And you know what that means!!

 

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Giveaway time!  I’ll be announcing the winner of my Tula Pink giveaway tomorrow evening, so if you haven’t already entered, just sign up for my newsletter (right) and/or like my Facebook page here.

And 18 fat quarters aren’t the only free items I’m giving away!

How about a free pattern?

 

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This is my Storage Caddy, as seen in Pretty Patches Magazine.

 

It is 7″ tall with 7″ diameter and can be used to keep lots of bits and bobs in order.  You could use it in the sewing room, the nursery, the bathroom, even on your bedroom dressing table!

 

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This pattern will give you a flavour of how I structure and present all my patterns.

 

So if you fancy having a go at this ‘beginner friendly’ pattern it is available for free download here.

 

(If you have trouble downloading the pattern, please let me know and I will email the pattern to you.  We have been having a few teething problems on the new site, but are working hard to get you a fully functional service!)

 

At the start of my patterns, you get a ‘Good to Know’ section (you can see this section before purchasing). This is where you can get all the essential information e.g. if a zipper foot is required, main techniques, best fabrics to use etc.

 

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The rest of the pattern is then made up of the following headings:

 

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There are step by step colour photos throughout the Make It section, and all templates have been professionally art-worked.

 

I have worked hard to ensure that my patterns are as easy to follow as I can make them.  It is my desire that you can use a pattern confidently at home, without needing a teacher on hand to make sense of it!!

 

 

But I’m always up for constructive feedback!  Let me know what you think of the Storage Caddy pattern, or any others.

 

Happy Sewing!

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Gift Bag Tutorial


By Judith on November 26, 2016
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It’s wonderful to see so many folks entering my Tula Pink giveaway.

 

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If you haven’t already entered, just sign up for my newsletter (right) and/or like my Facebook page here.

 

So Christmas is sneaking up quickly, and I thought you might like a quick and easy Christmas tutorial.

 

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How cute are these gift bags?

They are fully lined and stand at 7″ tall. Perfect for jazzing up those smaller (but no less important) gifts!

 

So let’s get started.  Here’s what you need:

 

Outside: 2 x (7.5″ wide x 10.5″ tall)

Lining: 2 x (7.5″ wide x 10.5″ tall)

Channel: 2 x (2″ wide x 8″ tall) or use 1″ wide ribbon

Drawstring: 2 x 20″ lengths of narrow ribbon

Safety pin

Small square ruler

 

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Method:

Assume 1/4″ seam allowances

 

1  Place both outside pieces right sides together. Sew around the side and bottom edges. Repeat for the 2 lining pieces, but this time leave a 2″ gap in the middle of the bottom edge.

 

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2  Make box corners: Pull the corners apart and place the side seam on top of the bottom seam. Place the ruler on top of the corner and measure and mark 3″ vertically (or 1.5″ from tip horizontally).

 

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3  Sew along the line, starting and finishing with a reverse stitch. Repeat for all 4 corners. (I like to trim off the excess from the lining, but leave the corners on the outers for a ‘stronger bottom’!)

 

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4  Turn the outer bag right side out (leave the lining inside out).

 

5  Place the outer bag inside the lining. Match and pin the side seams and top edges.

 

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6  Sew around the top edge (you will find this easier if you remove the accessory tray). Start and finish with a reverse stitch.

 

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7  Turn the bag right side out through the gap in the lining.  Push the corners out and stitch the gap in the lining closed.

 

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8  Push the lining into the bag and press the top edge to neaten.

 

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9  Make the Channel: Press under the short ends of each piece by 1/4″. Also press under both long sides by 0.5″.

 

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10  Pin the channels to the bag. The top edge of the channel will be 1.5″ down from the top of the bag.  Don’t worry if there is a little gap at the sides.

 

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11  Slide the bag into your machine (without the accessory tray) and sew around the top and bottom edges of the channel, 1/8″ seam away from the edge.  Rather than stopping at the sides, just continue sewing onto the next channel. Start and finish with a reverse stitch.

 

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12  Finishing: Attach the safety pin to one end of a piece of ribbon. Thread the pin into the channel at one side, all the way around and out the same side.  Knot the ends of the ribbon together.

 

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13  Thread the other piece of ribbon in the same way, this time from the opposite side.

 

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14  And you’re done!  Fill with goodies and make lots more!

 

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Happy sewing!

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Tula Pink Giveaway!


By Judith on November 23, 2016
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Welcome everyone to my new website!

Thank you to those of you have already given me great feedback and left comments – your opinions matter to me and I will continue updating and improving the website to make it as user friendly and desirable as I can.

I would love for you to join in the celebrations with me, and so I am launching my first ever Just Jude Designs giveaway!

Tula Pink & Aurifil giveaway

How would you like to win this 18 fat quarter bundle of Tula Pink’s ‘Chipper’ AND 3 spools of co-ordinating Aurifil 50wt?

Tula Pink & Aurifil giveaway

This designer collection has the cutest little foxes and squirrels, in saturated tones of soft green, purples, pinks and oranges.

Tula Pink & Aurifil giveaway

You have 2 chances of winning this lush bundle!

  1. Register your email address for future Just Jude Designs Newsletters (sign up box is on the right hand side).
  2. Like my Just Jude Designs Facebook page (click here) and leave me a comment here saying you’ve done so.

The giveaway will be open until Thursday 1st December, and international entries are welcome.

Best of luck everyone!

Let the celebrations begin!

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Houndstooth Quilt


By Judith on November 18, 2016
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The design process can be an interesting one!

 
I remember one time in Bee Blessed we decided to make arrowhead blocks. For some reason, when I looked at that block I saw different patterns, and filed those ideas away!
Earlier this year I made this Starburst quilt, for a summer issue of Popular Patchwork, and realised one of those arrowhead ideas!

 

Popular Patchwork cover.July

 

But I needed to ‘scratch the itch’ a little more, and so my modern Houndstooth Quilt came into being (in fact there were 4 other variations of this one!).

 

Houndstooth Quilt for LPQ (Nov16)

 
Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine fell in love with it and commissioned it for their November issue, which is in the shops now!

 

Houndstooth Quilt for LPQ (Nov16)
Photo courtesy of LPQ

 

They also asked for a matching cushion:

 

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I’ll admit that this quilt is a little more modern than my usual style, but I love the 9 steps of gradation in the Kona solids from Black to Silver.
Kona Pomegranate has been one of my favourite colours since I discovered Kona solids – I love how it completely interrupts all that grey!

 

Houndstooth Quilt for LPQ (Nov16)

 
And just look at that bright canary yellow on the back!

 
It’s a bad habit of mine not to look at blocks at face value! You never know what you might discover!

 
Happy sewing!

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Blocks-a-plenty!


By Judith on
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Hi everyone, I hope you are having a great November so far!

Outside of my normal teaching, sewing and pattern writing hours, I’ve been keeping up with my bee block commitments.

In Siblings Together this month, we have been making ‘boy’ blocks for Doti:

 

STB2 blocks for Dorfymid
Also for Siblings Together, I made 4 more canvas blocks.  It was my month in September, where I set the Canvas block. I was only 4 blcoks short and now that I have 30 blocks, I can get the quilt completed.
Canvas blocks for STB2
For Brit Bee this month, I had to make a block for Jo, which was designed by Angie!  These are the colours Jo has chosen for her quilt – I hope she likes it!
Brit Bee R4 block for Jo
So that’s my block round-up for November.
And I hope to have some really exciting news to announce here soon! Watch this space!
Happy sewing!
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Hexie Stars Quilt


By Judith on November 10, 2016
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I’m one of hundreds of quilters who love hexies!

I’ve even got a Pinterest board dedicated to them!

And machine sewing hexies isn’t as tricky as you might think (and no, I’m not talking about Y seams!).

One way to make machine sewing hexies easier is to use pre-cut fabric like a layer cake, and create star points in the spaces between the hexies.
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The hexies and their star points are then sewn together in rows – Simples!

 

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And there are great templates out there that make cutting the hexies super quick and easy.  I particularly like these ones from Missouri Star Quilt Company.

Here are 2 Hexie Star Quilts I’ve made in the last 2 years ….

 

Autumn Hexie Stars Quilt
Autumn Hexies with Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Flax)

 

Hexie Stars Quilt class sample
Sweetwater’s ‘Noteworthy’ with Navy solid

… and here is the one in the current issue of British Patchwork & Quilting:

 

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I made this one as a ‘man quilt’ with Sweetwater’s ‘Elementary’ and Essex Yard Dyed Linen. And they put it on the front cover!!

 

Hexie Stars Quilt (BPQ Nov16)

 

So if you like hexies as much as me, why not have a go!
And if you are looking for a gift, both my Essex Linen Hexie Stars Quilts will soon be for sale (watch this space!).
Happy Hexing!
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Autumn Garden Quilt


By Judith on November 3, 2016
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I spent the weekend in Derby with my 3 favourite girls!

Derby Oct16
My eldest daughter turned 21 at the end of October and it was so lovely celebrating with her in the most inspiring surroundings!
Derby Oct16
Derby Oct16
Derby Oct16

Derby Oct16

 

Derby Oct16
Derby Oct16

Autumn is such a beautiful season. But it’s time to put on an extra layer, turn the thermostat up another few notches, and bring out the cosy quilts.

The November issue of Popular Patchwork is in the shops, and in it you’ll find my Autumn Garden Quilt.

Autumn Garden Quilt (Popular Patchwork Nov16)

This is a small quilt (53″ square), but I’m a little bit in love with it (I love curvilicious quilts)!!

For a while now I’ve been wanting to make the ‘drunkard’s path’ flower, and I think the saturated tones of Denyse Schmidt’s Chicopee and Shelburne Falls give these flowers a cosy autumnal feel.

Autumn Garden Quilt (Popular Patchwork Nov16)

I’ve used my trusty Essex Yarn Dyed linen (black) for the background and whizzed the fabrics through my Sizzix Drunkard’s Path dies (657168 fan background & 657169 quarter circle).

Autumn Garden Quilt (Popular Patchwork Nov16)

And this quilt could easily translate into another season (think fresh Spring fabrics!).
I hope you are keeping warm and cosy this Autumn!
Happy sewing!
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Hearts & Patches Quilt


By Judith on October 20, 2016
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I have a particular soft spot for Tilda fabrics.  I love the calming colours and the vintagey feel the ditsy florals and spots evoke.
Hearts and Patches Tilda Quilt (Pretty Patches Nov16)
‘Autumn Tree’ is a collection that came out last year, and is still available to purchase.
Hearts and Patches Tilda Quilt (Pretty Patches Nov16)
I went with simple 16 patch ‘on point’ blocks with appliqued hearts for my autumn quilt submission to Pretty Patches magazine.

And they put it on the front cover!  Woohoo!
Hearts & Patches Tilda Quilt (Pretty Patches Nov16)
I definitely think there will be more Tilda quilts in my future!
Hearts and Patches Tilda Quilt (Pretty Patches Nov16)
Happy sewing!

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Bee Block Bonanza!


By Judith on
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I support 2 charity quilting groups – Bee Blessed and Siblings Together.

This means making different blocks for them each month, which is a non-demanding way of supporting these wonderful causes.

Here is a wee round up of my recent bee blocks.

In Bee Blessed, we were making Woven blocks in pastels for September …..

Bee Blessed Blocks (Sept16)

…. and Wonky Cross blocks in ‘male appropriate’ colours for October.

Bee Blessed blocks (Oct16)

In Siblings Together Bee 2 I got to set the block for September, and requested Canvas blocks, in any 2 colour-ways. Here are what I have received from the other ladies in the bee:

Canvas blocks for STB2 Sept16

I only need to make 5 more blocks, and after putting it out for consultation (asking a few sewing friends on FB!) it was decided that I should make the remaining blocks in purple, yellow, pink & green!

Oct16 STB2 blocks for Jenny/Lilac Cat

October’s blocks in STB2 are these fabulously scrappy 16″ blocks. These were so much fun to make, because they were scrappy (my fav) and the irregular improv angles meant they were super quick too!

So that’s me up-to-date with my bee commitments!

And it’s half-way through October already! So I’ll leave you with a few of my recent Autumn pics!

Autumn Oct16
Autumn Oct16
Autumn Oct16
Autumn Oct16

Happy scrunching!

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Folksy Tea Cosy


By Judith on September 23, 2016
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Sewing World asked me to make a Scandi inspired Tea Cosy for their October issue.

After much deliberation I broke with tradition and chose felt to best illustrate my design.

Folksy Tea Cosy

I used my trusty Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Flax) for the background.  I think the rustic linen gives a lovely foundation for the tactile felt.

I bondawebbed the shapes down (took quite a bit of heat to adhere) and then had to decide on how to applique them.

Folksy Tea Cosy

 

I haven’t free motion sketched on felt before so wasn’t sure if my risky decision would pay off.  But I’m really pleased with the added texture it gives to the felt.

Folksy Tea Cosy

I hope you like my cute cosy, and my nod to all things Folksy!

(The October issue of Sewing World is in the shops now.)
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Woodland Friends Quilt


By Judith on September 21, 2016
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Happy Tuesday everyone!

I’m super excited to be able to show you some of my new friends!

Woodland Friends Quilt (Popular Patchwork, Oct issue)

This is my Woodland Friends quilt, made with Aneela Hoey’s ‘Foxgloves’ & ‘Vignette’ collections on an Essex linen background.
It all started with a commission from Popular Patchwork to make an Autumnal/Woodland quilt.

Woodland Friends Quilt (Popular Patchwork Oct16)

I found a picture of a fox and started drawing over it! And so ‘Vi’ Vixen was born!

Woodland Friends Quilt (Popular Patchwork Oct16)

But Vi needed a friend to play with, so ‘Rusty Red’ came out to play!

Woodland Friends Quilt (Popular Patchwork Oct16)

 

Now Rusty is a cheeky chappie, and he and Vi get up to all sorts of mischief. Especially when sleepy ‘Flora’ Fawn is trying to nap ….

Woodland Friends Quilt (Popular Patchwork Oct16)

 

…. and ‘Boris’ is busy sniffing and rustling out tasty treats on the forest floor!

Woodland Friends Quilt (Popular Patchwork Oct16)

 

‘Olive’, the great and wise overseer of the Woodland is tut tutting at Vi and Rusty!

Woodland Friends Quilt (Popular Patchwork Oct16)

 

She sends in ‘Harriet’ Hare, the only sensible fur in the whole forest, to keep harmony between the rascals, the nappers and the rustlers!

Woodland Friends Quilt (Popular Patchwork Oct16)

 

 

Order once again is restored and all the friends can enjoy the treats of the forest!
Woodland Friends Quilt (Popular Patchwork Oct16)
Woodland Friends Quilt (Popular Patchwork Oct16)

 

I so enjoyed designing and making this quilt. The characters evolved organically, and they have become like little characters to me!
I chose satin stitch applique for this quilt, using ‘stitch n tear’ behind the bondawebbed shapes.

Woodland Friends Quilt (Popular Patchwork Oct16)

 

Next came the tricky decision on how to quilt it!  I couldn’t bring myself to sew through my cute new friends (I tried, honestly!).  So in the end I went for ‘interrupted’ vertical lines.
And to top it all off, Popular Patchwork put my Woodland Friends on the front cover of the October issue!  Weehee!

Woodland Friends Quilt (Popular Patchwork, Oct issue)

 

 

I hope you have enjoyed meeting my new pals.
And what would you think to me running this as an applique Quilt-Along next year?
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Autumn Tree Wallhanging


By Judith on September 18, 2016
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Now that I am embracing Autumn, I can show you one of my favourite makes of this year!

 

Autumn Tree Wallhanging (Pretty Patches Oct16 issues)
This is ‘Autumn Tree’, an applique wallhanging measuring 27″ x 30″, which I will definitely be displaying in my home.
Autumn Tree Wallhanging (Pretty Patches Oct16 issues)

 

I adore the warm autumnal purples and pinks in Denyse Schmidt’s Chicopee range, especially on a Kona Bone background.  In fact, the leaf shapes are the by-product of the Sizzix Drunkard’s Path Fan die!!  I always keep these shapely leftovers, and was so pleased to be able to turn some of them into a seasonal project.

Useful tip:  Quilt your background first before appliquing on the shapes.  This means you don’t have those head-scratching moments when trying to decide how to quilt around the shapes.

 

 

Satin stitch is my favourite applique technique, and I think it suits the clean lines of the leaves and trunk.

Autumn Tree Wallhanging (Pretty Patches Oct16 issue)

The pattern for this wallhanging is in the October issue of Pretty Patches Magazine.

And maybe one day I will make Spring, Summer & Winter/Christmas versions to hang up with each changing season!!

Hope you are off to a great Autumn!

Jude xo

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Scrappy Strips Quilt


By Judith on September 15, 2016
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I think it’s time I said farewell to summer!

My first ever harvest of apples!

 

We have enjoyed an Indian summer here, but temperatures are starting to drop and I’m feeling the need for an extra layer!

So just enough time to show you my last ‘summer’ quilt.

Scrappy Strips Quilt (British P&Q Sept16)
Photo: British Patchwork & Quilting Magazine

This is imaginatively called the ‘Scrappy Strips Quilt’ (‘it does exactly what it says on the tin!’). Scrappy quilts are my all time favourite, and I had so much fun one weekend delving into a pile of scrappy strips and sewing them together.

 

Scrappy Strips Quilt (British P&Q Sept16)
Photo: British Patchwork & Quilting Magazine


The coloured strips are of varying widths and very little thought went into what strip got sewed on next.  I don’t even like all of the fabrics in this quilt, but I LOVE the finished look.  That’s the magic which happens when a little bit of courage and random fabrics get mixed together.I love making strip pieced blocks.  I used 2″ white strips through each block, but that’s pretty much where the uniformity ends!
Scrappy Strips Quilt (British Patchwork & Quilting Sept16)


The quilt is currently in the September issue of British Patchwork & Quilting Magazine, and measures a decent 66″ x 77″.  I could easily have gone bigger, I hardly made a dent in my scraps!
Scrappy Strips Quilt (British Patchwork & Quilting Sept16)

So it’s goodbye summer, and hello beautiful Autumn!
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Hexie Notebook Cover


By Judith on
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Today is the 2nd Tuesday of the month!  And that means Scraptastic Tuesday!

It’s a while since I’ve linked up with Nicky and Leanne. But I’ve actually had some time recently to play with hexie scraps!
Hexie Notebook Cover

 

This notebook cover fits an A5 spiral notebook and uses 36 English Paper Pieced 1″ hexies, the perfect size for using up those smaller scraps.
Hexie Notebook cover

 

I also experimented a little with some Aurifil 12wt wool thread.  I like the way these thicker threads sit proud on the Essex Yarn Dyed Linen.
Hexie Notebook Cover
Hexie Notebook Cover
These notebook covers come together really quickly once the hexie panel is made. And they are a ‘go to present’ when one of the kids needs a last minute gift for a friend.
Hexie Notebook Cover
So what are you making with your scraps?
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6 Free Back to School Tutorials


By Judith on September 1, 2016
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School’s back in session! (I can hear all the parents cheering from here!)
When my kids were younger, we all enjoyed the ‘stationery shop’, filling up new pencil cases with brightly coloured pencils, funky shaped sharpeners and rubbers, new files and bendy rulers!
But most of all I enjoyed making them items they could use for school.
 6 Free Back to School Tutorials

Here are 6 of my ‘back to school’ projects to keep your kids equipped (& the envy of their friends!).

And there’s even more temptation inspiration here on my ‘Back to School’ Pinterest board.

Happy sewing!

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Almost Autumn!


By Judith on August 28, 2016
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It would seem that Autumn is just around the corner!

Crawfordsburn Aug16


Lots of evidence of it today on our lovely picnic and walk around Crawfordsburn Country Park.

Crawfordsburn Aug16
Crawfordsburn Aug16
Crawfordsburn Aug16
Crawfordsburn Aug16
Crawfordsburn Aug16
Crawfordsburn Aug16

Of course that means a new term of sewing projects for me.  Can you guess what type of projects I’ve started working on?

I’m not even going to mention the ‘C’ word, but that’s how I’ll be spending my last few days of summer!
Happy sewing!
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‘Back to School’ Pouch


By Judith on August 6, 2016
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Here in N.Ireland we have really loooooooong school summer holidays.  They start off slowly at the end of June, but seem to really speed up in August as we hurtle towards September!

We are already in the throws of school uniform buying in the Hollies’ household!

So my ‘Back to School’ Pencil case in this month’s issue of Quilt Now is quite timely!

Back to School Pouch (Quilt Now)
I love these colours on the Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (denim).
And on the other side ……
Back to School Pouch (Quilt Now)
If you want to banish your fear of zippers, this is a lovely project to get in some practise. The pattern will talk you through how to insert the zipper, and how to make covered zip ends to get a lovely finish to your pouch.
ABC Pouch for Quilt Now (Aug16)

 

This is a really roomy pouch, so no excuses for forgetting school supplies!!
And if you’d like to get some of this quality linen/cotton mix, you can find it here in my shop.
Happy sewing!
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Bobbles Picnic Quilt


By Judith on July 29, 2016
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Happy Friday to you all!

We had gorgeous blue skies today!

Lighthouse, Donaghadee
Donaghadee Lighthouse

 

The perfect day for a picnic perhaps?

Picnic Bobble Quilt (Popular Patchwork Aug16)

This is my Bobbles Picnic Quilt, currently featured in the August issue of Popular Patchwork.
Picnic Bobble Quilt (Popular Patchwork Aug16)
I love jumbo pompoms (these ones are 20mm, available from Frumble Fabrics).
Picnic Bobble Quilt (Popular Patchwork Aug16)

 

This pattern starts off with 36 x 10″ squares, so you could easily use a layer cake here.
Picnic Bobble Quilt (Popular Patchwork Aug16)

 

I’ve quilted the quilt with a calico backing first, then added the pompom trim and a water resistant back (washable shower curtain) using the ‘bagging out’ method. A few extra stitches in the centre of the blocks keeps all the layers neatly together.
Picnic Bobble Quilt (Popular Patchwork Aug16)

 

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we get lots more ‘blue sky’ days so I can christen my picnic quilt!
Happy picnic-ing!
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Retro Beach Bag


By Judith on July 24, 2016
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I have a confession to make!

I’m a closet hippy!  Born a decade too late, I’ve been repressed ever since!!

So nothing delights me more than sewing with retro, funky fabric!

 

Beach Bag (Pretty Patches Aug16)
Fabric is ‘Linen Cupboard’ by Emma Jean Jansen for Ella Blue

 

This is my Retro Beach Bag in the August issue of Pretty Patches.

Beach Bag (Pretty Patches Aug16)

I love the simplicity of beach bags – roomy, sturdy and with ‘make it easier’ features like webbing for handles and mesh for outside pockets.

 

 

I also love projects that are functional and practical, so I’ve made the lining with wipeable Rip-Stop nylon, and a detachable ‘wet bag’ for your swimming costume and drippy sun lotions.

 

Beach Bag (Pretty Patches Aug16)

 

I know some of you have a ‘zip phobia’, but trust me when I say this is one of the easiest ways to insert a zipper.  The entire bag is made first, and then the zip is top stitched onto the top of the bag.

Simples!

Here’s the same pattern done in Ikea ‘deco’ weight fabrics (unquilted).

 

Bethany's Beach Bag

 

So if you don’t want an over-complicated, summer bag, have a go at this beginner friendly pattern and get in touch with your inner hippy!

Peace man!

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Summer Rail Fence Quilt


By Judith on July 21, 2016
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We’ve been experiencing something of a mini heatwave here in the UK this week!

Almost too hot to get out and enjoy some local delights (well, I did say almost!).

Castle Ward July16
view from Castle Ward
Castle Ward July16
Castle Ward July16

 

Bangor Walled Gardens July16
Bangor Walled Gardens

 

Bangor Walled Gardens July16
Bangor Walled Gardens July16


While my sewing room has been ‘closed’ for 2 weeks, it’s the perfect time of year to show you my Summer Rail Fence quilt!

Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)


This pattern is in the August issue of Pretty Patches (out now) and was the result of a fun weekend earlier in the year playing with scrappy strips!

Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)


I love the summery combo of oranges, soft yellows, pinks and teals, combined with the earthy brown stripe. Just look at the lovely styling it gets on the coordinated orange front cover!

Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)


The rail fence design is a classic, but there are many ways to give it a modern twist! And it is beginner friendly piecing too!

Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)

This would be an easy quilt to make for other seasons (think fresh Spring greens and yellows, warm Autumnal plums and browns) or even a Christmas version!

Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)


And of course, a great scrap buster project too!

Wishing you all some fun in the sun!signature

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Mori Girl Travel Pouch


By Judith on July 11, 2016
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Travel Washbag

If you are lucky enough to be heading off on your travels this summer, you might need a giant pouch to keep all those toiletries and suncreams in!!

Travel Washbag

The lovely peeps at Quilt Now sent me the cutest fabrics by Dashwood Studios called Mori Girl!

Travel Washbag
As you can see, this pouch has stacks of room, with a zipper inserted along the top finished edge.
Additional features are a narrow piping trim on the outside and a detachable ‘wet bag’ for your toothbrush and cloth.
Travel Washbag
The ‘wet bag’ is lined with Rip-stop nylon, a sturdy wipeable and machine washable fabric. You could easily line the travel pouch with Rip-stop too and turn it into a wash bag.
The pattern for this travel pouch is in the July issue of Quilt Now, in the shops now!
Happy travels!
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‘Summer Soft’


By Judith on July 4, 2016
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Happy 4th of July to all my American friends!!

The weather here has been rubbish, so I’m just going to pretend it is summer, that it’s 28 degrees outside, and that I’m still sitting in my garden with a cold pear cider in hand!! (indulge me!)

'Summer Soft' Quilt (British Patchwork & Quilting July16)
Photo by British Patchwork & Quilting

This is ‘Summer Soft’.

She is made from the sumptuously soft ‘feel the difference’ fabrics by Art Gallery (Bazaar Style, Paradise & Dreaming in French collections).

Summer Soft Quilt (British Patchwork & Quilting July16)
Finished size 62″ x 62″

Perfect for long summer evenings in the garden! (still dreaming!)
Summer Soft Quilt (British Patchwork & Quilting July16)

This is a great ‘beginner friendly’ project with simple piecing and repeating blocks, and you can find the pattern in the July issue of British Patchwork and Quilting magazine.

'Summer Soft' Quilt (British Patchwork & Quilting July16)

I hope you are enjoying some sunshine wherever you are!

Happy sunning!

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Not For Wimps!


By Judith on June 29, 2016
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Today saw the end of another year of teaching my Patchwork and Quilting classes!

I teach 4 (sometimes 5) classes a week and the topics of conversation that take place are varied and entertaining!

To give you an idea, here are a few of my favourites:

English football (the less said the better!)
The Great British Sewing Bee (and the ‘unique’ dress code of one of the judges!)
How hot and wrinkled Egyptian cotton sheets can get (don’t ask!)
How to treat achne!
How to get rid of garden snails!
How to disable your hockey opponent!
Birthing calves and lambs (& babies!)
50 ways to deal with an unhelpful doctor (un-printable!)

Of course there are many serious and thought-provoking conversations too!

Today one lady said ‘getting old isn’t for wimps’, which was swiftly followed by murmurs of agreement from around the room.

I’ve just had another birthday, and while ‘half way to 90’ isn’t old, neither am I young.

My daughter and nephew also celebrating birthdays this month!

In truth this statement could apply to life – ‘doing life isn’t for wimps’. Among the 48 ladies I have the privilege of teaching each week, some are battling cancer or illness, divorce and loss, children with special needs, caring for elderly parents, teenagers, anxiety, worry and fear and many more life challenges.

One of our recent chats in class was about how to get through life with a positive attitude, seeing good and bad times as an opportunity to grow and learn, and how to have courage to live life with intention and purpose. How inspiring!

Doing life, and doing it well, isn’t for whimps!  But each week my ladies turn up to class with a smile; they laugh, chatter, encourage, cajole, drink tea, eat biscuits and even sew a little!

They are choosing to do life, and do it well. There are certainly no wimps in my classes!!

Thank you ladies for sharing your thoughts, talents, hearts and authenticity each week.

Wishing you all a creative summer break!

Jude xo

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Travel Sewing Pouch


By Judith on June 26, 2016
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A few years ago I made a travel sewing pouch and ran a class teaching it. It proved really popular because a) it was easy to make and b) people saw a variety of uses for it!

Travel Sewing Pouch (Pretty Patches July16)


Pretty Patches Magazine really liked it too, and have published it in their July issue!

Travel Sewing Pouch (Pretty Patches July16)


This is a great pouch for bringing all your essential sewing equipment away on holiday.

Travel Sewing Pouch (Pretty Patches July16)
The pockets can be customised to suit your equipment, and there’s a handy zippered pocket in the back too!
Of course, you could translate this pouch into a travel art supplies case, beauty supplies, or for keeping electronic devises safe.

Travel Sewing Pouch (Pretty Patches July16)

They also make great presents for sewing buddies!
So where are you heading off to this summer?

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Summer Starburst Quilt


By Judith on June 23, 2016
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Happy Thursday everyone!

Summer seems to have relocated around these parts, so in an attempt to bring you lots of summer colour and happiness, check out my Summer Starburst Quilt!

Summer Starburst Quilt (Popular Patchwork July16)


This started out as a ‘scrap buster’ project, after I got enquiries on how to use larger pieces of scraps (less than a fat quarter metre).

Summer Starburst Quilt (Popular Patchwork July16)


The design is based on the arrow-head block (half square triangles and squares), and you could easily change the colourways to suit whatever you have in your stash.

Summer Starburst Quilt (Popular Patchwork July16)
I really love the ‘colour splat’ effect from the rounds of colour – it makes me smile and think of a warm, hot summer (a girl can dream)!
This pattern is available in the July issue of Popular Patchwork, and it made front cover!! Woohoo!
Popular Patchwork cover.July

 

Isn’t the styling gorgeous!  Loving the cute bike!
So what I want to know is, do you like scrappy projects? How do you use your scraps?  And what’s the smallest size you keep?
Looking forward to hearing from you,

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Denim Sail Boat Cushion


By Judith on June 19, 2016
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Hello everyone!  My that’s another week gone!

How has your week been?

My June is always a little crazy, but exams are over, Uni daughter comes home for a visit on Thursday, so all is right with the world!

Did I ever tell you that I love recycling denim (only once or twice right! Wink! Wink!).

Sometimes an idea just comes on me and I have to run with it.

Denim Sailboat Cushion (Pretty Patches July16)


This started out as a little denim ‘play therapy’!  I had a clutch of Aurifil 12wt wool threads which I knew would marry the denim perfectly!

And so a little fun applique project turned into a cushion commission for Pretty Patches Magazine.

This was my first time using Aurifil 12wt threads in my machine.  I used them for some of the details, but not the main satin stitch applique.

Denim Sailboat Cushion (Pretty Patches July16)

I had used Coats Creative thread before in this way, and really liked the effect. But it’s difficult getting a wide range of shades in Coats Creative thread.  Aurifil however have a lovely range of 12wt colours, and with a size 100 needle, it ran through my machine like a dream (I used normal cotton thread in the bobbin).

My favourite bit is the uniquely worn part of the ‘sea’ – can you guess which part of the jeans this came from!!

You could easily substitute the denim for quilting cotton if you don’t have spare jeans lying around!!

So if you fancy dreaming of sailing away on the summer seas, then pick up a copy of Pretty Patches (July) today!

Happy Sailing!

 

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S.H.O.P. Tote Bag


By Judith on June 11, 2016
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It’s been a crazy busy week here!

But the sun has been shining and my friendly flowers are making an appearance once again.

 

 

 

I haven’t even had time to tell you about the rest of my magazine entries this month!

SHOP tote (Quilt Now June16)


Quilt Now sent me some lush Alison Glass fabrics (Endpaper) for a ‘WORD’ themed bag.

The design for the letters came together surprisingly easily – straightforward piecing (there will definitely be more pieced letters in my design future).

I love how the colours really stand out against the Essex Linen (Flax).

SHOP tote (Quilt Now June16)
Lining by Michael Miller Mini Chic Chevron


There’s also a sneaky little pop of colour behind the straps.

SHOP tote (Quilt Now June16)
So for all you shopaholics out there, this one is for you!
SHOP tote (Quilt Now June16)

 

The June issue of Quilt Now is Out Now!
Happy Shopping!

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Sketchbook Mini!


By Judith on May 31, 2016
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Popular Patchwork are currently running a mini quilt competition.

You design and make a 10.5″ x 15″ mini quilt based around your favourite colour, send it to PP and they will display the entries at their Festival of Quilts stand in August.

Liz (editor) has asked some of the magazine’s regular contributors to make a Sketchbook Mini to inspire others to enter.

So here is mine:

Popular Patchwork Sketchbook Mini (Log Cabin Love)

This mini quilt tells the story of 3 of my favourites in quilting:

Purple! My favourite colour, perhaps something to do with growing up in a 1970’s purple bedroom!!

Scraps! I love working with scraps, and yes I keep even 1.5″ wide pieces!

Log Cabins! The first patchwork block I ever made and I fell in love. This is a log cabin heart, but there are so many wonderful variations to the humble log cabin block (see my pinterest board here).

Log Cabin Love (Popular Patchwork June16)


There are some amazing prizes to be won (check them out here) and the closing date is 11th July.

So, what’s your favourite colour?

Jude xo

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Bee-utiful!


By Judith on May 29, 2016
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I knew summer was just around the corner!

Rowallane National Trust House & Gardens May16


The particular corner today was Rowallane House and Gardens, owned by National Trust.

Rowallane National Trust May16
Rowallane National Trust May16
Rowallane National Trust May16

A truly inspiring place with the ‘all time’ best climbing tree ever!

Not too many bees around yet, but here are some ‘bee’ blocks I’ve been making.

Quarter Log Cabin blocks for STB2


First up, Corner Log Cabin blocks for Siblings Together Bee 2. The special request from Charlo on these blocks were reds, blues and greys. Another boy quilt perhaps?

June blocks for Bee Blessed


And the Bee Blessed Blocks for May are Sarah’s Frame Box Blocks (try saying all of that after a glass of wine!).

Sarah has written a brill tutorial for these super quick and scrappy friendly blocks here.  And to see more about the wonderful ladies behind Bee Blessed, see some rare footage here.  They are doing an amazing job, and blessing so many people and families.  If you can support this great work by making a block or two I know they would love to hear from you.

Happy sewing!

Jude xo

 

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Beach Ball Bag


By Judith on May 27, 2016
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Ok, so I’m pretty sure summer is just around the corner (or maybe the next corner!).

Can you believe that May is nearly through?  But then comes one of my all time favourite months!

And no better time to start prepping for all this amazing weather we will be having this year (wink!).

When I think of warm sunshiney days, I think of fun at the beach, picnics and long, lazy, unhurried days out.

Beach Ball Bag (Sewing World June16)
Photo courtesy of Sewing World


I designed this roomy bag to suit any kind of summery day out.

As you can see, I had me some more porthole fun, making a simple half square triangle block to slip in behind the porthole.

I love how useful curtain eyelets can be for adding features to a bag. Super easy to put in (though still not a great range of colours in them yet).

The bag also features a spacious back pocket so no excuses for losing keys, sunnies, or any other essential sunny day out equipment (umbrella?).

So if you’re as deluded hopeful as me that summer will make an appearance this year, grab your copy of Sewing World now, for lots of great summer makes.

Happy sewing!

Jude xo

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Attic Crosses Quilt


By Judith on May 25, 2016
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Hello everyone!

How are you all doing? Every now and then we get a glimpse of summer here, and my garden is loving it (that of course means my grass is growing faster than the weeds!!).

My garden May16


I’ve been beavering away on some secret squirrel stuff, can’t wait to tell you all about it soon!

In the meantime, I’m so excited to share with you my modern Attic Crosses Quilt, commissioned by Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine (my first with LPQ).

Attic Crosses Quilt (LPQ June16)
Photo courtesy of LPQ

This is also my first quilt made entirely of Kona Solids. 

 

The talented peeps at LPQ had a hand in choosing the solids.  They are Iron, Dusty Blue, Wasabi, Silver, White and Dusty Peach on the back.
I forgot to take my own pics of the quilt before sending it off, so that’s another photo-shoot I need to do when I get the quilt back!
The June issue of Love Patchwork and Quilting is jammed packed with trendy designs, including a stunning hexie quilt by my super-talented friend, Svetlana.
Grab your copy in the shops now (but pay for it first!).
Happy reading!

 

P.s. thank you to everyone for joining the discussion about pattern gradings in my last post. I have enjoyed all your comments and am taking your feedback on board. If you didn’t get a reply from me, it means you are a ‘no reply comment blogger’ and your email address doesn’t register with your comment.

Jude xo

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Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced?


By Judith on May 15, 2016
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As a pattern writer, I’m always interested in how other designers and companies rate their patterns according to ability levels.

Until now, I have been reserved about ‘grading’ my patterns.

You see, unless I know your background and attitude to sewing, it would be hard to recommend to you a ‘beginner’, ‘intermediate’ or ‘advanced’ quilting pattern.

I’ve been teaching people to sew and quilt for nearly 8 years.  I’ve seen complete beginners take on technical patterns with a ‘bring it on’ attitude and totally nail it.  I’ve seen seasoned sewists attempt beginner level techniques for the first time and have near nervous break-downs!  And I’ve seen everything in between.

One thing I’ve learned is that your APPROACH and ATTITUDE to your learning is key!

Yes of course we have different learning styles; yes of course we have our preferred techniques and comfort zones. Sometimes additional support or explanation is needed from others, and of course experience can count for something. But never underestimate the power of a mind that is open and teachable to new things. (I also find a healthy dose of patience and determination go a long way too!)

Old Spools clothed in Liberty scraps


No matter how long I’ve been sewing for, I still have much to learn.  When I try out a new technique for the first time, I become a beginner all over again!

We all have different perspectives of what these terms mean. I get ‘beginners’ in my classes who have never used a rotary cutter before, and some who have; some already know how to use a sewing machine and some don’t! Some know what quarter inch seams and fat quarters are, and others look at me like I’ve got 2 heads!  The term ‘beginner’ can be quite a broad umbrella!

Trying to define such subjective terms as ‘beginner’, ‘intermediate’ or ‘advanced’ within nebulus parameters isn’t always helpful.  For instance, a pattern marketed as ‘intermediate’ or ‘advanced’ may put off someone who has been sewing for only a short time (and yet would be more than able to complete it), or someone who has been sewing for years but hasn’t tried much variety in their sewing. Equally, a ‘beginner’ graded pattern may rob a veteran sewer of the joy of a satisfyingly quick and uncomplicated make (my favourite kind!).

I appreciate that guidelines are sometimes needed, even if they are out in the ball park somewhere! I’m not against patterns being graded (though perhaps a more informative explanation should be given about the techniques involved, rather than just the typical 2 out of 5 stars/spools/scissors rating for example.)

What I’m not keen on is someone else, like me, or any other pattern writer, telling YOU what you are capable of achieving or not achieving. YOU are in charge of your learning.

So my questions to you are these?

How helpful are pattern gradings to you?
Do you pay much attention to them?
Would you like to see more of them?
Do you find a disparity between the levels across different pattern producers?
Do you define your sewing ability by one of these categories?

I’m keen to hear your thoughts on this.  At the moment I”m reviewing some of my existing patterns and writing new ones! Your comments will help me enormously.

Thank you,


Jude xo 

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Pinwheels for Siblings Together


By Judith on May 8, 2016
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Happy weekend everyone!

I hope you got to enjoy some lush sunshine today!

Pinwheels & Prairies for Siblings Together '16
66″ x 77″

This quilt is called Pinwheels and Prairies!

A couple of years ago, my daughter was pattern testing for me and made this quilt top.

Pinwheels & Prairies for Siblings Together '16


During a recent re-structuring clear out of my quilt cupboard I re-discovered this flimsy.  A good friend quilted it up in the cutest hearts, and I bound and labelled it!

Pinwheels & Prairies for Siblings Together '16

So that’s another quilt off to Siblings Together.  We are just over the half way mark, with lots more quilts being worked on!  You can see them all here.

Pinwheels & Prairies for Siblings Together '16


Happy sewing!

Jude xo

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Bags & Crutches!


By Judith on May 5, 2016
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Apologies for the radio silence!
It’s been over a week since I last blogged and in that time, we have entered into a new month (and hopefully a new season!).
Also since I last blogged, I’ve had car trouble, teeth trouble, and now ankle trouble!
Crutches ..... again!

My 2nd bad sprain in 10 months! Boo!
But I’m getting better at hobbling faster, and can even manage the foot pedal on my sewing machine!
Win, win!
So onto to much more fun stuff like sewing!
Popular Patchwork release 13 issues per year.  Their extra issue is a bag special, which comes out today!
Guess who made the front cover?

 

Lunchbags (Popular Patchwork Bag Special May16)


My fun appliqued lunchbags are insulated with heat resistant wadding (Insul Bright) and have wipeable and washable linings (rip-stop).

Lunch Bag Class samples


There’s also a handy elastic bottle holder to stop your drink from squishing your sarnies!

Lunch bag

And another of my bags features in this issue!

Summer Flowers Bag (Popular Patchwork Bag special May16)
This is my Summer Flowers Handbag, using pretty fabrics from the aptly named Pretty Fabrics and Trims, made into Economy squares, with Essex linen and faux leather handles from Fabric Yard.
 
Summer Flowers Handbag (Popular Patchwork Bag Special May16)
 
Features include an zippered pocket at the back and a magnetic closure.  You can also learn how to mitre a striped border.
 
This is a roomy bag, which could easily take a towel for fun days at the beach!
 
So that’s me up to date!
I will try to stay out of trouble, for a few days anyway!
Happy sewing!
Jude xo

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Beauty and The Beast!


By Judith on April 27, 2016
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A few weeks back I was offered an industrial Singer Sewing machine!

The Beast

 


She was originally a factory girl, retired long ago!

I call her ‘The Beast’!

She weighs an absolute tonne (it took 3 men to carry her upstairs!) and sounds like a jumbo jet taking off (I hope the neighbours don’t mind)!

The Beast

But boy can she sew, through super thick layers like denim!  And she’s fast too, so I’d better keep my fingers well out of the way!

And the latest Brit Bee block I’ve been working on, was a complete Beast to make (!) but turns out is a Beauty for who I was making it for.

Brit Bee R4 Block for Fiona
30″ x 15″

 


This block was designed by our Brit Bee Mama Laura Jane (who has just recently become a mama herself!!) and took a lot of patience, unpicking and even more patience! It is by far the most involved block we have made in Brit Bee so far and my attempt is perfectly imperfect!

Brit Bee R4 Block for Fiona
Love these wee doggies!

I was making for Fiona, in her choice of colours, and I’ve had the thumbs up from Fi (phew!).

So it looks like my ‘beasts’ have inner beauty after all!!

Jude xo

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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


By Judith on
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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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