Log Cabin Hearts Tutorial


By Judith on January 20, 2021
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February is the month of love, and no better way to celebrate than with a free patchwork heart tutorial!



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


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

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



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



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

Perfect for using even the smallest of prettiest scraps!

But of course, why stick with squares!!



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

The large size would be perfect as a table centre.



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



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



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



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

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


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

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


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

Happy sewing!

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Denim Messenger Bag


By Judith on January 1, 2021
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To enter my 10 year blogiversary giveaway click here.


Happy New Year everyone!!

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

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

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

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



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



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

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



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



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



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


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


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


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



I hope you have a creative start to 2021!

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Vintage Christmas Gift Bags


By Judith on December 24, 2020
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I can’t quite believe it’s Christmas Eve and another Christmas celebration is upon us!

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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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



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

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HST Drawstring Bag


By Judith on December 6, 2020
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I recently made a load of Flying Geese from some Tilda scraps.  These are going to be borders in a quilt I’m currently working on.

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

HSTs Drawstring Bag

 

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

 

HSTs Drawstring Bag

 

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

 

HSTs Drawstring Bag

 

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

 

HSTs Drawstring Bag

HSTs Drawstring Bag

 

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

 

HSTs Drawstring Bag

HSTs Drawstring Bag

 

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

 

HSTs Drawstring Bag

 

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

 

HSTs Drawstring Bag

 

Happy sewing!

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Betty Bag Finishes


By Judith on September 7, 2020
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I love seeing the same pattern being made in a wide range of fabrics and styles!

 

My Betty Bag is growing in popularity and I want to show you some stunning finishes!

 

Betty Bag class finishes

Betty Bag class finishes

 

Aren’t they fabulous!

I just love how stylishly practical they are, ready for some serious use about town!

 

And 3 more to show you.

 

Betty Bag class finishes

 

These are Betty Bags made by my #threadsacrossthesea buddies, Trudi, Sarah and Di.

 

Because we weren’t able to have our annual meet up this year, we had ourselves a secret swap, making Betty, and had an exciting reveal over zoom at the weekend.  I received the first one pictured, which was from the super talented Trudi (@Trudi_wood), made in stunning Art Gallery Fabrics, received together with this package of cuteness!

 

 

This is a free motion sketched picture by Stitched Up by Samantha!  Isn’t it gorgeous!  Totally my kind of art!

 

Thank you everyone for taking part in my Betty Bag class, and to Trudi for my very own Betty!

The Betty Bag pre-recorded YouTube course is available here.

 

Happy sewing!

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New Online Class: The Betty Bag


By Judith on August 2, 2020
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We are delighted to announce our next online class:

 

 

The Betty Bag is a slimline purse designed for holding your essentials without creating a bulky bag!

 

The Betty Bag

 

Whether you are travelling, out for the evening or just want a hands free shopping experience, the Betty Bag will perfectly meet your needs.

 

The Betty Bag

 

The zippered compartments are great for coins and notes (maybe even a second currency!).  In behind those there is space for a passport and phone, and in behind that is a credit card slot.

 

The Betty Bag

 

The strap can be made in 2 lengths, a shoulder strap or a crossbody strap.

 

The Betty Bag

 

And it is removeable too, so you can easily convert your bag into a stylish clutch purse!

 

The Betty Bag

 

The class will take the form of videos via YouTube, so you can stop or pause the steps to suit your pace and replay sections if you need to watch steps again.

 

The Betty Bag

 

Initially the class will be released on Monday 10th August in 3 weekly parts to my existing class ladies before being released for general sale as 1 complete video on Monday 31st August.

 

The Betty Bag

 

In this class you will learn:

  • How to use metal or plastic zippers
  • How to insert zippers 2 ways
  • How to quilt panels using a quilting bar
  • Bag construction using interfacing
  • How to make a removeable strap
  • How to insert a magnetic clasp
  • Single-fold Binding

 

The Betty Bag

 

I hope you will join us for some bag making fun!

 

Happy sewing!

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Just Jude & Friends: Japanese Rice Bag


By Judith on July 31, 2020
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It’s our final week of my Instagram Designers Collaboration and we are making Stuart’s Japanese Rice Bag.

 

 

Stuart has a YoutTube channel with lots of well explained and easy to make projects.

 

 

The project he chose for us to make is his sweet Japanese Rice Bag, and is one of his free tutorials.

In his video Stuart uses 7.5″ squares for the bag, but approves of these sizes being varied to suit.

 

Japanese Rice Bag (Charlotte)

 

So I decided to make a smaller bag (using 5″ cut squares) to accompany a birthday gift I’ve been working on for a special little someone (more on that later!).

 

Japanese Rice Bag (Charlotte)

 

I used some Stoff Linen with Tilda to make a child-size bag, with cute applique hearts and mini pom-pom trim!

 

Japanese Rice Bag (Charlotte)

 

This is a super easy and well demonstrated tutorial by Stuart, and I had this wee bag run up in an afternoon!

 

Japanese Rice Bag (Charlotte)

 

I can’t wait to see what the other designers make with this tutorial.  You can check them out on Instagram by searching #justjudecollaborates

 

And who is this little bag for?

 

Charlotte's Bunting

 

A very special 5 year old who can already read and knew exactly whose name was on the birthday bunting I made for her.

 

Charlotte's Birthday bunting

 

The background fabric here is the same Stoff Linen in the rice bag and I used Tilda scraps in raspberry reds and teals to make up the satin stitched letters.

 

Charlotte's Bunting

 

I created the letters in Microsoft Word, enlarged to the right size and traced  from the ‘wrong’ side of the printout onto bondaweb.

 

I was so pleased I had just the right amount of mini pompom trim leftover from the bunting to accessorise the Rice Bag!

 

Charlotte's Bunting

 

I’m so pleased the birthday girl loved her pressies, which made me feel a little better for being late with the gifts in the first place! My bad!

 

Happy sewing!

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Applique Hearts Boxy Bag Online Class


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

 

 

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

 

Applique Hearts Boxy Bag Class

Applique Hearts Boxy Bag Class

 

Aren’t they beautiful!

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

*hand applique (Needleturn)

*machine applique (Satin and blanket stitch)

*suitable materials for the bag

*quilting

*reinforced divider pocket

*snap fasteners for divider pocket & alternatives

*making handles

*handbag construction

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

Happy sewing!

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Giveaway!


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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Good luck!

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New Tutorial: Tilda Drawstring Bag


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

 

 

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

 

 

In the tutorial you will learn:

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

 

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

 

Tilda Drawstring Bag

 

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

 

Tilda Drawstring Bag

 

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

 

Tilda Drawstring Bag

 

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

 

Tilda Drawstring Bag

 

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

 

Tilda Drawstring Bag

 

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

 

Tilda Drawstring Bag

 

The kits are available to purchase here.

 

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

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Plush Velvet Tote


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

 

Plush Velvet Tote

 

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

 

Plush Velvet Tote

 

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

 

Plush Velvet Tote

 

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

 

Plush Velvet Tote

 

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

 

Plush Velvet Tote

 

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

 

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

 

Plush Velvet Tote

Happy sewing!

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Denim Hexie Messenger Bag


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

 

Denim Hexie Messenger Bag

 

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

 

Denim Hexie Messenger bag

 

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

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

 

Denim Hexie Messenger Bag

 

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

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

 

Denim Hexie Messenger Bag

 

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

 

Denim Hexie Messenger Bag

 

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

 

Denim Hexie Messenger Bag

 

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

 

Denim Hexie Messenger Bag

 

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

No funtional bag is complete without a handy slip pocket.

 

Denim Hexie Messenger Bag

 

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

 

Denim Hexie Messenger Bag

 

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

 

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

 

Happy sewing!

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New Online Class


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Applique Hearts Boxy Bag (online class)

 

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

 

Applique Hearts Boxy Bag (online class)

 

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

 

Applique Hearts Boxy Bag (online class)

 

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

 

Applique Hearts Boxy Bag (online class)

 

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

 

Applique Hearts Boxy Bag (online class)

 

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

 

Applique Hearts Boxy Bag (online class)

 

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

 

*hand applique (Needleturn)

*machine applique (Satin and blanket stitch)

*suitable materials for the bag

*quilting

*reinforced divider pocket

*snap fasteners for divider pocket

*making handles

*handbag construction

 

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

 

Applique Hearts Boxy Bag (online class)

 

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

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Scrappy Heart Drawstring Bags


By Judith on April 21, 2020
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Hello there!

 

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

 

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

 

Scrappy Heart Drawstring Bags

 

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

 

Scrappy Heart Drawstring Bags

 

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

 

Scrappy Heart Drawstring Bags

 

The bag is fully lined with finished drawstring tabs.

 

Scrappy Heart Drawstring Bags

 

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

 

Scrappy Heart Drawstring Bags

 

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

 

Scrappy Heart Drawstring Bags

 

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

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Tucks & Pleats Class Finishes


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

We manipulated fabric a few different ways in 3 projects:

 

A pouch with twisted tucks:

 

 

A cushion with open tucks:

 

 

A pleated bag:

(free pattern by U-Handbag.com)

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Happy sewing!

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Pleated Bag – Class Project


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

 

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

 

And here it is:

 

For Pleats Sake Bag (class sample)

 

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

 

For Pleats Sake Bag (class sample)

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

For Pleats Sake Bag (class sample)

 

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

 

For Pleats Sake Bag (class sample)

 

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

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

 

For Pleats Sake Bag (class sample)

 

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

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

 

Happy pleating!

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Hexie Book Bag


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

 

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

 

So a cover grew into a bag!

 

Hexie Book Bag

 

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

 

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

 

Hexie Book Bag

 

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

 

Hexie Book Bag

 

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

 

Hexie Book Bag

 

I even included some hexies inside.

 

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

 

Hexie Book Bag

 

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

 

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

 

I wonder what they’ll turn into!

 

Happy sewing!

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Kantha on Tweed & Giveaway


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

 

Here’s what I made:

 

Kantha Tweed Drawstring Pouches

 

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

 

Photo source: SewGuide.com

 

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

 

And so 3 Kantha/tweed drawstring bags were formed!

 

Kantha Tweed Drawstring Pouches

 

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

 

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

 

And then the kantha fun began!

 

Kantha Tweed Drawstring Pouches

 

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

 

Kantha Tweed Drawstring Pouches

 

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

 

Kantha Tweed Drawstring Pouches

 

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

 

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And now onto my giveaway!

 

Kantha Bag Giveaway

 

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

 

Giveaway

 

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

 

Giveaway

 

To enter please …..

1  follow me on Instagram @justjudebelfast and tag a friend

2  like my Facebook Page

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

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

Good luck everyone!

 

Happy sewing!

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Denim Boro Bag Finishes


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

 

 

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

 

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

 

Denim Boro Bag Class

 

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

 

Denim Boro Bag class

 

Doesn’t Glenda looked pleased with her finished bag!

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Happy sewing!

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Syringe Driver Bag Workshop (1)


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

 

Syringe Driver Bags Workshop (1)

 

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

 

Syringe Driver Bags Workshop (1)

 

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

 

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

 

Syringe Driver Bags Workshop (1)

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Happy sewing!

 

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New Pattern Release: Denim Boro Bag


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

 

Denim Boro Bag

 

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

 

Denim Boro Bag

 

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

 

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

 

by Jennifer aka Patchwork Mummy


by Wendy aka Bothybird

by Nicola aka Nicola Foreman Quilts

by Mary aka Handmade by Mary Emmens

 

(no picture yet from Di aka Willowbeck Designs)

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

Happy sewing!

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Syringe Driver Bag Appeal 2


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

 

Macmillan staff ‘modelling’ the bags!

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Thank you!

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Beach Bag Workshop Finishes


By Judith on June 26, 2019
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Hello everyone!

 

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

 

 

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

 

Beach Bag Workshop

 

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

 

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

 

Beach Bag Workshop

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Happy sewing!

 

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New Class: Denim Boro Bag


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

 

Denim Boro Bag

 

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

 

Denim Boro Bag

 

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

 

Denim Boro Bag

 

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

 

 

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

 

Denim Boro Bag

 

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

 

Denim Boro Bag

 

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

 

Happy recycling!

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Sample Swatch Bag


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Sample Swatch Bag (Teacher present) June19
Front

 

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

 

Sample Swatch Bag (Teacher present)
back

 

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

 

Sample Swatch Bag (Teacher present) June19

 

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

 

Sample Swatch Bag (Teacher present) June19

 

 

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

 

Here are a few things to consider:

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

 

Sample Swatch Bag (Teacher present) June19

 

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

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Kids Tote Bag Workshop Finishes


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

 

Kids Tote Bag Workshop

 

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

 

Kids Tote Bag Workshop

 

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

 

Kids Tote Bag Workshop

 

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

 

Kids Tote Bag Workshop

 

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

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

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

Keeeeeeeeep sewing!

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Spring into Summer ’19: Part 1


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

 

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

 

Spring into Summer 19 Table Display

 

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

 

Spring into Summer '19

 

1 Aprons:

(Tie Back Apron pattern available here)

 

Apron Workshop Aug19

 

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

 

2 Kids Tote Bags:

 

Kids Workshop May19

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

10 Beach Bag:

 (pattern available here)

Beach Bag Workshop

 

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

 

Beach Bag (Pretty Patches Aug16)

 

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

 

Bethany's Beach Bag

 

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

 

12 Flex Frame Glasses Case:

(free tutorial available here)

 

Flex Frame Sunnies Pouch

 

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

 

Sunglasses flex frame pouch

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Happy sewing!

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Weaving Class Finishes


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

 

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

 

Wefty Weaving info

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Happy sewing!

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Necessary Clutch Class Finishes


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

 

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

 

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

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

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

(you can purchase the Necessary Clutch Wallet here)

 

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

 

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

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New Year Table Display: Part1


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

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

 

New Year 19 Display Table

 

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

 

So let’s get started!

 

1  Trivet Mats

 

EPP Trivet Mats

 

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

 

EPP

 

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

 

Trivet Mats

 

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

 

Trivet Mats

 

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

 

Trivet Mats

 

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

 

2  Aprons

 

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

 

Apron workshop

 

The popular Cross Back apron is available here.

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

 

apron in a jar 005

 

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

Cute or what!

 

3  Lunchbags (2 styles)

 

 (Pattern coming soon)

 

Lunchbags

 

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

 

Lunchbags

 

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

 

Lunchbags

 

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

 

Lunchbags

 

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

 

4  Teabag Wallet

 

(free tutorial available here)

 

Teabag wallet

 

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

 

Teabag Wallet Tutorial

 

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

 

Teabag Wallet Tutorial

 

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

 

5  Oven Gloves

(free tutorial available here)

 

Oven Gloves

 

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

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

 

Oven Gloves

 

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

 

Oven Gloves

 

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

 

6  Tea Cosy

(pattern available here)

 

Folksy Tea Cosy Workshop

 

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

 

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

 

Folksy Tea Cosy

 

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

 

Tea cosy class sample

 

7  Bottle Carrier

 

(free tutorial available here)

 

 

Bottle Holder

 

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

 

Bottle Holder

 

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

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

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

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Teabag Wallet Tutorial


By Judith on January 7, 2019
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Teabag Wallet Tutorial

 

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

 

Teabag Wallet Tutorial

 

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

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

 

You will need:

Exterior: 1 x (5″ x 7″)

Lining: 1 x (5″ x 7″)

Pockets: 2 x (5″ x 7″)

Heavy Sew-in Vilene: 1 x (5″ x 7″)

505 Basting Spray

chalk pen or non-permanent fabric marker

elastic hair bobble

button

 

Method:

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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