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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EPP Decoration & Label


By Judith on November 26, 2020
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English Paper Piecing (EPP) is our theme in our Kindred Spirits Quilt-Along this week!

As our Unity Tile block making draws to a close at the weekend, we are showcasing other ways the EPP templates can be used in other projects.

Earlier this week we showed you the beautiful Spring Wallhanging made by Di @willowbeckdesigns.

Today I can show you 2 smaller projects that Sarah @sewmesarah has made for us.

 

Christmas Decoration:

 

 

How cute is this double sided Christmas Decoration, using the diamond and square shapes! And beautifully finished with a rustic blanket stitch.

 

 

The centre square really lends itself to a festive fussy cut. But these could also be personalised too, with a photo printed onto fabric sewn into the centre!! Or someone’s name or Merry Christmas message hand stitched onto the shape.

 

Quilt Label:

 

 

The perfect way to finish a quilt, especially when being gifted, is with a quilt label.

Quilt labels are sewn into the back of the quilt and forever record the important details or a sweet message for the recipient.

Sarah has creatively incorporated one of the Unity Tile templates with a 2″ centre square to make this sweet label.

What better label to use for our Quilt-Along quilts!!

 

Thank you Sarah and Di for inspiring us with your creative genius!!

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New Pattern: Robin Hoop Art


By Judith on November 22, 2020
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I’m so excited to finally be releasing my new Robin Hoop Art pattern!

 

 

I originally designed and taught this Free Motion Embroidery hoop last year and had many requests for the pattern!

 

 

And then last Friday night I taught my Robin Hoop as a live Zoom Crafty Monkies workshop to 16 ladies!  What a great time we had (and a very different teaching experience for me)!

 

 

So it was time Mr Robin was made available to the rest of the world in the form of a comprehensive step by step pattern!

 

 

The pattern includes notes on this fun and creative sketching technique including how to set up your machine for Free Motion Sketching.

 

 

This hoop is a little slice of textile art, perfect for using lots of little scraps!  The background is a collage of low volume scraps which gives texture and the perfect backdrop for the brightly bondawebbed Robin scraps on top!

 

 

In true textile art style there are many ways you can embellish the composition, with vintage lace and trim, text (printed on tea stained paper or fabric), buttons, hand embroidery etc.

 

 

There is no end to fun you can have decorating and personalising your Robin hoop!  And what a perfect gift for the many Robin lovers out there!

 

The pattern is available here, and is included in our 20% off Black Weekend Sale using code blackfriday20 (ends tonight).

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Scandi Placemats Panel


By Judith on November 7, 2020
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Hi Folks, it’s getting to that time of year when the only thing on the sewing table is Christmas themed!!

 

We have a lovely selection of Makower festive fabrics in the shop this year, Scandi 2020 and Yuletide Christmas!

 

 

Not to mention Scandi Advent Calendars!

 

 

The easy sewing of pockets on these panels means you still have time to get them made and filled with sweets and treats in time for 1st December!

 

 

And new to our shop this year are these gorgeous Scandi Placemats Panels, great value at only £6.50 each for 8 placemats!

 

Scandi Panel Placemats

 

Simply fussy cut the motifs, add some Heat Resistant Wadding, backing and bias binding and you’ll soon have your table looking suitably festive for the big day!

 

Scandi Panel Placemats

 

The mats finish at 10″ diameter (26cm) including binding, the perfect size for a dinner plate.

The 8 folksy designs of deer, birds and rustic landscapes are typical of the annual Scandi collections in rich reds and soft greys.

 

Scandi Panel Placemats

 

I quilted the mats in concentric circles using my quilting bar positioned 1″ from the needle and using Aurifil 50wt in Dove Grey.

The pretty decorative bias binding adds a folksy finishing touch to the mats.

 

Scandi Panel Placemats

 

I’m really pleased with how they turned out.

 

Scandi Panel Placemats

 

And if you would like to make your own set of Scandi mats or a gift set for a friend, you can find the panels and co-ordinating Scandi backing fabrics in the Fabric section of our online shop, and the Heat Resistant Wadding and Aurifil thread (Dove) in the Haberdashery section of our online shop.

Happy sewing!

 

 

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Friendship Reel Candle Mat


By Judith on September 16, 2020
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Well our Kindred Spirits Quilt-Along got underway this week, and what a great response we’ve had!

 

Thank you to everyone for signing up and so far raising £200 for Shared Threads!

 

The first block in the quilt-along is a 9″ Applique block called Friendship Reel.

 

 

In the accompanying teaching video, you can learn both satin stitch applique (machine) and needleturn applique (hand).

 

We have a private Facebook group for the quilt-along and it’s so lovely seeing people’s fabric choices and prepped and finished Friendship Reel blocks appearing already!

 

Making both satin stitched and needleturned versions for the videos, I now have an orpha block which is surplus to requirements for the final Kindred Spirits Quilt.

 

Friendship Reel Candle Mat

 

So I thought I’d turn it into a little candle mat, to give folks an alternative use for their blocks and how to use up little orphan blocks.

 

Friendship Reel Candle Mat

 

This was my needleturned Friendship Reel, and with some textured matchstick quilting and black & white stripey binding, you’ve instantly got a handy little candle or vase mat or a useful trivet for your kitchen table.

 

Friendship Reel Candle Mat

 

And just imagine this lovely block made in Christmas Fabrics! Wouldn’t that make a sweet Christmas gift!

 

All fabrics available in our fabric shop

 

So no need for purposeless leftover blocks! Liberate them into functional items and gifts!

 

(If you’d like to join our Kindred Spirits Quilt-Along, booking is available here.)

 

Happy sewing!

 

 

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Juniper Baskets 2, 3, 4


By Judith on December 26, 2019
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Happy Boxing Day!

 

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

 

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

 

3 more Juniper baskets in fact!

 

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

 

Juniper Basket no.2:

 

Juniper Baskets

 

Juniper Baskets

Juniper Baskets

 

Juniper Basket no.3:

 

Juniper Baskets

Juniper Baskets

Juniper Baskets

Juniper Baskets

 

Juniper Basket No.4:

 

Juniper Baskets

Juniper Baskets

Juniper Baskets

Juniper Baskets

 

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

 

The Juniper Basket pattern is available here.

 

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

 

Happy gifting!

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Cork Pouches


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

 

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

 

Here’s the first cork pouch:

 

Cork Pouch Gift for Zoe

 

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

 

Cork Pouch Gift for Zoe

 

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

 

Cork Pouch Gift for Zoe

 

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

 

Cork Pouch Gift for Zoe

 

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

 

Cork Pouch gift for Joanne

 

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

 

Cork Pouch gift for Joanne

 

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

 

Cork Pouch gift for Joanne

 

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

 

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

 

Lucy's Map Pouch

 

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

 

Lucy's Map Pouch

 

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

 

Lucy's Map Pouch

 

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

 

Lucy's Map Pouch

 

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

 

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

 

Happy sewing!

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Two Robin Hoops!


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

 

Robin Hoops Xmas Presents

 

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

 

Robin Hoops Xmas Presents

 

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

 

Robin Hoops Xmas Presents

 

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

 

Robin Hoops Xmas Presents
Robin Hoops Xmas Presents

 

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

 

Robin Hoops Xmas Presents

 

I definitely see more of these in my future!

 

Happy sketching!

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Folded Wreath Class Finishes


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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

folded wreath mosaic

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Plaited Wreaths

 

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

 

Well done to all my hard working ladies!

 

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

Happy sewing!

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Secret Santa Gifts


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

 

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

 

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

 

So here are my handmade Secret Santa classes gifts:

 

Tilda EPP Pin Cushions (Secret Santa)

 

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

 

Tilda EPP Pin Cushions (Secret Santa)

 

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

 

Tilda EPP Pincushions (Secret Santa)

 

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

 

Tilda EPP Pin Cushions (Secret Santa)

 

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

 

Tilda EPP Pin Cushions (Secret Santa)

 

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

 

Tilda EPP Pin Cushions (Secret Santa)

 

So my secret Santa pinnies are not so secret anymore!

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

 

Happy gifting!

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Plaited Wreath Tutorial


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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

plaited wreath tutorial

 

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

 

To make this wreath you will need:

3 x 3″ strips cut width of fabric (usually 42″ – 44″)

1 x 5″ strip cut width of fabric (bow) (42″ – 44″)

Toy stuffing

Large Safety Pin

Wooden skewer or knitting needle

Co-ordinating thread

 

Method:  Use 1/4″ seam allowance

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

Magic!

 

 

And you’re done!

 

Plaited Christmas Wreath

 

A pretty wreath ready to hang up or gift!

 

Happy plaiting!

 

 

 

 

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Folded Double Wreath


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

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

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

Folded Double Wreath Class Project

 

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

 

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

 

Folded Double Wreath Class Project

 

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

 

Folded Double Wreath Class Project

 

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

 

Folded Double Wreath Class Project

 

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

 

Folded Double Wreath Class Project

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Happy sewing!

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A Flurry of Finishes!


By Judith on December 16, 2018
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My last class of 2018 finished last Thursday!

 

What a wonderful term (& year!) it was!  And I think, one of our most productive!

 

Here’s a little snapshot of some of the amazing makes my ladies have been beavering away at!

 

Christmas 18

 

There are many more amazing projects and gifts that will be bringing smiles to lots of faces this Christmas.

 

Let’s just say there will some truly blessed recipients out there!  My ladies are some of the most talented and generous people I know, and they have continued to inspire me all year!

 

For me, I plan to continue working on patterns, plans and projects for next year. But I will be taking a break over Christmas, to spend time with 2 of my girls, a little EPP, some reading and much needed rest!

 

 

 

Whatever you are planning over the next few weeks, I pray you will be happy and healthy!

 

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Christmas Baubles Roundup


By Judith on November 20, 2018
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Last week in classes I gave a little run down on all the Christmas ornaments hanging on my decorative tree!

 

Christmas Baubles

 

Most of them are free tutorials I’ve either found on Pinterest or written myself.

 

I thought you might like to take part in our little Christmas Baubles club too!  So here are all the links!

 

Zippy Baubles Pouches

(great for gifting money or vouchers)

Free tutorial available here – simply adapt the ‘egg’ shape into a circle

 

Bauble Zippy pouches

 

Stitchy Trees

Free tutorial available here

 

Stitchy Christmas Trees

 

Christmas Cornets

Free tutorial here – switch the Easter fabrics for Christmas fabrics & add a bell!

 

Christmas Baubles

 

Mini Hoops

No tutorial but lots of free inspiration and ideas on Pinterest (search for Christmas mini hoops)

 

Christmas Baubles

 

‘Oh My Eye’ Birds

(2 sizes)

Pattern available here

 

Christmas Baubles

Christmas Baubles

 

Star Pentagon Decoration

Free pattern available here

 

Christmas Baubles

 

Faux Cathedral Windows Decoration

Free pattern available here

 

Christmas Baubles

 

 

So that’s my Christmas baubles roundup (my  little tree is completely full!).

I hope you enjoy making sweet gifts and decorations this year!

 

Happy sewing!

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Scandi Christmas Stocking Workshop


By Judith on November 17, 2018
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Today we had the most festive fun making Scandi Christmas Stockings.

 

Scandi Stocking Workshop Nov18

 

At one stage the classroom looked like a massacre in a fabric factory, but boy what results!

 

Scandi Stocking Workshop Nov18

(Apologies to one of my ladies whose stocking I forgot to photograph!)

 

Aren’t they fabulous!

And everyone went home with a completely finished stocking! Win, win!

 

Well done everyone!

 

If you fancy making your own Scandi Stocking, you can find the pattern here.  (A dyslexic friendly version of the pattern is available here.)

 

 

I also have a few kits left from today, listed here. Each kit includes everything you need to make the stocking (pattern incl).

 

Happy sewing!

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Stitchy Christmas Tree Tutorial


By Judith on November 14, 2018
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It’s all about the festive makes at the moment at Just Jude Designs!

 

So I thought I’d bring you a fun and easy little Christmas tutorial to get you in the festive spirit!

 

Stitchy Tree Tutorial

 

For 1 Tree You will need:

2 x (5″ wide x 6″ tall) pieces of background fabric

2 x (5″ wide x 6″ tall) pieces of heavy weight sew-in vilene

2 x (4.5″ wide x 5.5″ tall) thin card

Green, red and gold/yellow threads

Thread to match background fabric

1″ x 2″ wide ribbon (trunk)

4″ length of narrow ribbon

Hand sewing needle

Non-permanent fabric marker

 

Method:

1 Cut the card into an isosceles triangle – draw a line from each bottom corner to the middle of the top edge. Cut away the sides.

 

 

2 Place the vilene behind the background fabric (I use a little basting spray here).  On the vilene, I centred and drew around the card triangle as a guideline for stitching.

 

 

3 From the right side, draw 1″ lines across the background fabric using a non-permanent fabric pen.

 

 

4 Select a decorative stitch on your machine and sew along one of the lines.

 

5 Continue sewing decorative stitches along all the lines (for the lines near the top of the tree you only need to sew 0.5″ wider than the triangle marking).

 

 

6 Now sew decorative stitches in lines between the ones already sewn. Repeat steps 2-6 for the other background piece.

 

7 Cut out a generous 1/4″ wider than the triangle.

 

 

8 Pin the triangle card to the wrong side of one of the pieces. Using the English Paper Piecing (EPP) method, wrap the edges around the card and hand tack in place.

 

 

9 From the right side, machine stitch around the edges 1/8″ from the edge. At the bottom edge of the tree, catch the folded ‘trunk’ ribbon as you sew past. Remove the tacking stitches & leave in the card.

 

 

10 Hand tack a ribbon loop to the top of the tree (inside edge).

 

 

11 EPP & top stitch the remaining card triangle to the other stitched piece in the same way as before. Remove the tacking stitches & leave in the card.

 

12 Bring the 2 trees wrong sides together and whip stitch (by hand) the 2 trees together.

 

 

Hang up and admire!

 

 

Happy stitching!

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Christmas Table Display: Part 2


By Judith on October 31, 2018
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Welcome back to part 2 of my Christmas Table Display! (part 1 available here)

 

Christmas Table Display 18

 

I’ve had great reactions to my Christmas display in my classes this week.

I hope you enjoy reading about them too!

 

6 Festive Stars Table Runner

(pattern available here)

 

Christmas Table Runner Class sample

 

This is one of my newest patterns available for general release!

 

It is a ‘charm pack friendly’ project, but the pattern also includes yardage quantities to make the runner  in 3 feature fabrics.

 

I’ve seen my runner made in non-Christmas fabrics (I love seeing different interpretations of the same pattern!), and I have this variation done in Retro 30’s prints hanging up in class.

 

Economy Stars Table Runner

 

7 Christmas Gift Bags

(free tutorial available here)

 

Christmas gift bags tutorial

 

This is another ‘Eco Friendly’ way to ‘gift wrap’ a smaller present. Waaaaay nicer than paper which gets torn up and thrown away!

 

I’ve made so many of these easy peasy bags, housing sweet jams or chutneys, sumptuous bubble baths and creams or decadent chocolates and liqueurs!

 

Drawstring Gift Bag

 

So if you want to ‘upgrade’ a small gift into a ‘wow’ gift, give my drawstring gift bags a try!

 

8 Zippered Bauble Pouches

(free tutorial available here)

 

Bauble Zippy pouches

 

The link above is to the Easter Egg version of these pouches, but simply draw a circle instead of an egg and follow the same tutorial.

 

If you know someone who prefers money or gift vouchers (or diamonds!) pop them into this compact pouch.  The addition of a key-fob attachment turns it into a useful little coin purse!

 

Christmas Bauble pouch

 

Then hang them on the tree, or stuff into stockings and wait for the smiles!

 

9 Christmas Coasters

(no pattern available)

 

Christmas coasters

 

These 5″ Christmas themed coasters are made using the foundation paper piecing method and are great for using up small Christmas scraps!

 

Christmas coasters

 

I first saw them here, but the link to the maker’s website is no longer available.

 

However, if you are attending my classes, I can easily take you through the making of these!

 

10 Christmas Cracker Tree Skirt

(pattern available here)

 

Christmas Cracker Tree Skirt (class project)

 

This fun tree skirt forms part of our class project this term.

 

The pattern is by my talented quilty friend, Reene, and you can read more about this project here.

 

Well I hope my Christmas table display and projects has fueled your Christmas inspiration and motivation!

 

With less than 8 weeks to go til the big day, I guess we’d better get our sewing machine ‘skates’ on!

 

Happy sewing!

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Christmas Table Display: Part 1


By Judith on October 29, 2018
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My new block of classes started back this week, and I have a few surprises in store for my ladies!

 

The first surprise is the change to my table display.

 

Christmas Table Display 18

 

Not hard to guess what theme I’m going for here!

 

This is the first of 2 posts that will take you through most of the items on display, giving you links to patterns and tutorials along the way!

 

So let’s get started!

 

1 Scandi Stocking

(pattern available here)

(Dyslexic friendly pattern available here)

 

Scandi Stocking Dec Issue Sewing World Magazine

 

My Scandi Stocking pattern was first published in Sewing World magazine several years ago.

 

It combines one of my favourite fabrics, Essex Yarn Dyed Linen, with Makower’s gorgeous Scandi Christmas fabrics.

 

Scandi applique

 

A little fussy cutting and simple applique add manageable and fun stages to this project.

 

Which is why I decided to run it as a Saturday workshop, on 17th November. (Full kits are available for those attending the workshop, but any leftover kits will be offered out!).

 

Only 1 place left on the workshop – get in touch if you would like to join us for some festive fun!

 

2 Mini Christmas Stockings

(free tutorial available here)

 

Christmas Stocking Workshop Dec12

 

If you have a small present to gift why not pop it into a cute mini stocking!

 

Stockings for Fabric Yard

 

These mini projects are great for using up scraps, leftover jellyroll or binding strips. And you can patchwork & quilt them anyway you like!

 

3 Dresden Coasters

(pattern available here)

 

EPP Dresden Christmas Coasters

 

If you fancy a little hand sewing in your Christmas crafting, how about some Dresden coasters.  The blades are English Paper Pieced for accuracy, and the rest is done on the machine.

 

EPP Dresden Christmas Coasters

 

Again, these made their debut in Sewing World  magazine. I used more Essex Linen here, this time Black, with a few leftover Christmas 5″ charm squares.

 

EPP Dresden Christmas Coasters

 

Of course you could make these anytime of the year, making the dresden blades in non-Christmas fabrics.

 

4 Robin Cushion

(Pattern available here)

 

Christmas Robin Cushion pattern

 

This cute fellow first appeared in Pretty Patches magazine, and has been a big hit ever since!

He is a mixed textile cushion, making him super tactile and cuddly!

If you like mixing in a little tweed, wool or linen with your cottons, then you will love making this Rockin’ Robin!

 

Christmas Robin Cushion for Pretty Patches (Dec16)

 

I have used satin stitch applique here, but you could easily use raw edge applique or blanket stitch applique (more guidelines on machine applique here).

 

5 Christmas Baubles Cushions

(pattern to come)

 

Christmas Baubles Cushions

 

I first made a Christmas Baubles cushion for a Brit Bee friend as part of a secret santa cushion swap several years ago!

These are great fun to make because there is no end to the ‘style’ of bauble you can have.

And you can let your creative ‘quilting’ juices flow too when it comes to the quilting.

One day I will get around to writing a pattern for these cushions – it’s on the long list!

 

So that’s the end of part 1!

Tune in again for part 2 and my 2nd surprise reveal!

Happy sewing!

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Class Project: Christmas Tree Skirt


By Judith on October 23, 2018
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Next week starts a new block of classes, the last block of 2018!!

In this final term, our attention will turn towards preparations for Christmas!

 

xmas tree skirts (class project)

 

Following several requests for a Christmas Tree Skirt, I’ve curated a selection of patterns which my ladies can choose from.

 

I don’t have time to make all of these wonderful examples, but I did make this one!

 

Christmas Cracker Tree Skirt (class project)

 

This cracker themed tree skirt was originally designed by my lovely quilty friend Reene of Nellies Niceties.

 

I have never used a tree skirt around my Christmas tree before, but as soon as Reene released her free pattern, I pinned it and knew one day I would make it!

 

Christmas Cracker Tree Skirt (class project)

 

While Reene’s instructions are on how to make the top only, they are really clear and the easy piecing means it works up really quickly!

 

This tree skirt is a good size, but if you needed a smaller one, simply omit one or two crackers until you have your desired size.

 

Christmas Cracker Tree Skirt (class project)

 

I had fun quilting this ‘skirt’ using my quilting bar, and decided to finish the opening with buttons and hair bobbles!

 

This was a fun venture into my first Christmas Tree Skirt! And I’m looking forward to seeing many more tree skirts over the next few weeks!

 

And we’ll also have lots more tutorials and inspiration for your Christmas gift and decorating ideas!

 

So if you would like to join in the Christmas fun, spaces are still available across all 6 classes.  Give me a shout if you would like to book a spot!

 

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Lola Pouch Gifts


By Judith on December 27, 2017
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Hello everyone!

 

How did your Christmas go over?  Mine was a peaceful and relaxing time spent with family…. the best kind (though eating my body weight in mince pieces and festive fayre is perhaps overdoing it, a tad!).

 

In all the pre-Christmas madness busyness I past my 7th year blogiversary (20th) and on 10th December I reached 1000 followers on Instagram! Quite the milestone!

 

Now that is call for celebration!  I’m hatching a giveaway plan, so watch this space – details will be coming soon.

 

But for today I’ll show you 2 more gifts I managed to squeeze in before the big day!

 

Small Lola Pouch Gifts Dec17

 

These are Lola pouches, designed by my very talented friend Svetlana.

I had the privilege of testing the Lola Pouch for Svetlana a couple of years ago, when I made the larger size (which I use to store all my EPP papers and templates).

 

Small Lola Pouch Gifts Dec17

 

This time, I needed a small zippy pouch to ‘carry’ some little gifts, and I immediately thought of the small Lola pouch.

 

Small Lola Pouch Gifts Dec17

 

Because of Svetlana’s brilliantly written pattern, I had these two run up in no time at all (it took longer choosing fabrics!).

 

Small Lola Pouch Gifts Dec17

 

I love how Svetlana puts fabrics together.  Going for black and white binding may seem like a brave option given the floral Amy Butler fabrics, but I love how Svetlana has used it in the past and I just knew it would work (any excuse to use stripey binding!).

 

Small Lola Pouch Gifts Dec17

 

I can think of a million uses for these cute little pouches! And so quick and easy to make too!

 

Small Lola Pouch Gift Dec17

 

If you fancy having a go yourself, you can get both sizes in the one pattern here.

 

Small Lola Pouch Gifts Dec17

 

Happy gifting!

 

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Gingerbread Men Garland


By Judith on December 13, 2017
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Hello everyone!  How is your week going?  Brrrrrrrr what an icy week we’ve had here.

 

There’s a definite feel of Christmas in our house now.  The first Christmas in our new home, and I’m pleased to say, the tree fits!!! Phew!

 

And another Christmas addition this year will be my Gingerbread Men Garland, as seen in the December issue of Popular Patchwork.

 

Gingerbread Men Gardland (Popular Patchwork Dec17)

 

I first made this last year for my ‘Gingerbread loving’ daughter, while she was still at uni.

 

Gingerbread Men Garland

 

So now we each have a set!

 

Felt is great to work with, a really stable textile with secure raw edges. You can read more about the making process here.

 

Gingerbread Men Gardland (Popular Patchwork Dec17)

 

My Gingerbread Men garland was adorning the Christmas display in my new classroom, for the open day last Saturday.

 

Gingerbread Men Gardland (Popular Patchwork Dec17)

 

But they have found their way back home now and are decorating my mantle at home!

 

So are your decorations up yet?

 

At least that’s one tick off my Christmas list.  Just the small matter of some Christmas shopping to do now.

 

Happy decorating!

 

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Tomte Santas!


By Judith on November 22, 2017
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Hi there!

 

How is your week going so far?

 

The refurbishment of my new classroom is going well, though keeping me so busy!  The walls (which were royal blue and purple!!) are now clean and crisp white! It looks even bigger now!

 

For my open day on 9th December I’m hoping to have a Christmas display.  And I knew exactly what to make to help decorate it.

 

Tomte Santas

 

I made so many of these last year, that they became affectionately known as my ‘tipsy tomtes’ because of a few ‘bottom issues’ I had with them.

 

Tomte Santas

 

This time, I bought round curtain weights as per the original pattern, and all bottom issues were resolved!!

 

So despite a slight tilt (and the usual glue fight!), my tomtes are not so tipsy anymore!

 

Tomte Santas

 

The pattern was originally in a Pretty Patches supplement last December, and you can read more about it here.

 

Tomte Santas

 

So this festive trio will be set out this weekend as I start dressing the classroom, and I promise to take some pics this time!

 

Happy sewing!

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Starry Christmas Night Quilt


By Judith on November 16, 2017
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Hello everyone!

 

I’ve been overwhelmed by the wonderful response to my new venture! It’s been so lovely to be ‘cheered on’ from all my friends here, on FB and Instagram.  Thank you, it means a lot!

 

I’ve barely had time to think about other projects lately, but I can show you a Christmas quilt I made back in the summer!

 

The Night Before Christmas Quilt (Popular Patchwork Nov17)
50″ x 60″

 

This is called ‘Starry Christmas Night’ using the evocative ‘Countryside Christmas’ collection from Lewis & Irene.

 

The Night Before Christmas Quilt (Popular Patchwork Nov17)
Perfect ‘fussy cut’ fabrics!

 

When Popular Patchwork sent me the fabrics, I immediately thought of cosy winter evenings snuggled up by the fire!

 

The Night Before Christmas Quilt (Popular Patchwork Nov17)
Applique Stars

The night before Christmas in the Hollies Household involves a carol service at my church, followed by a Baileys on ice, warm mince pies and wrapping presents!

 

I don’t have an open fire yet in my new house (I’m saving up for a rustic cast iron stove!) but I can just visualise me one Christmas eve sitting next to the stove, drinking my Baileys and snuggling under this lap quilt watching a cheesy Christmas movie!

 

The Night Before Christmas Quilt (Popular Patchwork Nov17)
Background: Kona Shadow

The Countryside Christmas fabrics have beautiful motifs of cute robins, night owls, foxes, deer and winter scenes.

 

The Night Before Christmas Quilt (Popular Patchwork Nov17)

 

And of course, when there’s a stripe, there will be stripey binding!

 

The Night Before Christmas Quilt (Popular Patchwork Nov17)

 

The astute among you will notice an imposter in this quilt!  I didn’t quite have enough of Countryside Christmas for the design I was after, so I added some Tilda Candy Bloom (skinny border and backing).  It goes quite well with Lewis and Irene, don’t you think!

 

The Night Before Christmas Quilt (Popular Patchwork Nov17)
Ah, the blue skies of summer!

This quilt came together really quickly.  So if you like a little bit of piecing, and a little bit of applique, then why not pick up the November issue of Popular Patchwork.

 

It’s really easy to spot because I’m cover girl!

 

The Night Before Christmas Quilt (Popular Patchwork Nov17)

 

Happy sewing!

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Applique Robin Cushion Pattern


By Judith on October 19, 2017
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Hi there!  How’s your week going so far?

 

I hope you are managing to fit in some sewing time.

 

This week has had a few twists and turns for me.  The Quilting shop where I teach announced they are closing down.  Sad news for staff and customers alike.

 

In better news, I launched my Applique Robin Cushion pattern this week!

 

 

A few weekends a go I taught my first ‘Rockin’ Robin’ workshop at the Northern Ireland Patchwork Guild.

 

 

The ladies were a joy to teach and totally embraced the ‘mixed textiles’ vibe.  12 cute Robins adorned the table at the end of the workshop!

 

I’ll also be teaching this project in my weekly classes, in the run up to Christmas.

 

 

I can’t wait to see many more versions of my Robin cushion appearing here, there and everywhere!

 

I’ve put together some Robin Cushion kits, using my wonderful collection of tweeds, flannel, linen and vintage cotton. The kits include everything you need to make the cushion front, including the pompom berries, pattern and already enlarged template.

 

 

Stuck for a gift idea or fancy having a go yourself? You can get your hands on one of my Robin kits here, but be quick – they are flying out the door fast!

Happy sewing!

 

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Wonky Log Cabin Quilt


By Judith on September 20, 2017
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I’ve been hearing the christmas ‘C’ word a lot round here lately!

 

It seems the madness of the ‘silly season’ starts earlier and earlier (or am I just getting older and more ‘Scrooge-like’?).

 

Anyway, when it comes to quilting magazines there’s no such thing as too early for Christmas!

 

Wonky Log Cabin Quilt (Quilt Now October17)

 

This is my Wonky Log Cabin Christmas quilt in the October issue of Quilt Now magazine.

 

 

These wonky blocks are so much fun to make.  There’s really no accurate measuring, just improv slicing and dicing!  So liberating!

 

Sometimes inspiration for quilt design comes quick and easy, and sometimes it’s more like the slow, patient percolation of a good coffee!

 

Wonky Log Cabin Quilt (Quilt Now Magazine Sept17)

 

Initially I had pulled some Kona greens and scrappy greens, a little sprinkle of Kona Pomegranate (an all time favourite) and a sharp black and white stripe to contrast.

 

Wonky Log Cabin Quilt (Quilt Now Magazine Sept17)

 

I liked where this was going, but still nothing came to mind.  A few days later, I grabbed some low volume prints and soft Kona greys and I had the balance I needed.

 

Log cabin blocks are some of my favourites, so I started to play and thought I’d push the boundaries a little.  I usually reserve my supply of black and white stripe for binding quilts. This time I let the black and white stripe take more of a starring role, connecting the blocks in each quadrant.

 

Wonky Log Cabin Quilt (Quilt Now Magazine Sept17)

 

I had so much fun playing, I just kept going, and that’s how this quilt came to be! A very organic design process this time!

 

I have the best job!

 

Happy quilting!

 

 

 

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Denim Pouches


By Judith on December 30, 2016
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Some much needed time off in December meant ‘play time’!

And for me, playtime usually involves denim!!

 

 

I love the many different tones that exist in this durable form.

 

 

I started my ‘playtime’ with a little denim EPP (English Paper Piecing) in front of the open fire on chilly December evenings.

 

Pretty soon I had 2 EPP panels made, and before I knew it I had 2 sizeable pouches made!  I even employed The Beast for those particularly thicker features!

 

Denim Zippy Pouch Gift

 

I was loosely basing these pouches on my denim washbag. I love how Aurifil wool thread holds its own on the thicker textiles.

 

Denim Zippy Pouch Gift

 

I had 2 people in mind as the recipients for these pouches.

 

Brit Bee Secret Santa Denim Pouch

 

This one went to Katy, who I was making for in our Brit Bee Secret Santa.

 

Denim Zippy Pouch Gift

 

And this one went to a good friend on her birthday – can you guess what her name is?

 

Denim Zippy Pouch Gift

 

And I might just have a 3rd EPP Denim project on the go!

 

My name is Judith and I’m addicted to denim!

 

Happy sewing!

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Giveaway Winner!


By Judith on December 27, 2016
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Well that’s Christmas over for another year! Phew!

 

I hope you all had fun and didn’t eat too much!

 

 

Thank you so much everyone for entering my giveaway and filling out my little questionnaire.  It has been a wonderful 6 year celebration!

 

Your feedback and suggestions are enlightening and valuable, and I will use them to shape how and what I blog about to best meet your needs.

 

And on to the important business of who has won my Joel Dewberry blogiversary giveaway.

 

 

I’m delighted to announce that the winner is …………..

LEIGH MORGAN

 

Congratulations Leigh!  I have emailed you directly!  Your winnings will be en route to you very soon.

 

Thank you all for taking part!

 

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Fussy Cut Coasters


By Judith on December 22, 2016
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(Don’t forget to enter my Joel Dewberry Giveaway here.)

 

 

It seems like ages ago when my Fussy Cut Christmas Coasters appeared in the November issue of Quilt Now.

 
Fussy Cut Christmas Coasters (Quilt Now Nov16)
This ‘Chalkboard Snowman’ fabric by Studio E was perfect for fussy cutting.

 

 

And if you make your templates from see-through plastic, then cutting them out is a doddle!

 

 

Some simple quilting and a bias trim makes these cute 4.5″ coasters a quick little stocking filler or secret santa gift!

 

 

There’s still time!  Only 3 more sleeps!

 

Fussy Cut Christmas Coasters (Quilt Now Nov16)

 

Happy Sewing!

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Gingerbread Men Garland


By Judith on December 17, 2016
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My uni daughter loves Gingerbread men biscuits, Gingerbread houses, Gingerbread scented candles – just about everything Gingerbread!!

 

So I knew the perfect gift to make for her ‘room away from home’.

 

 

I sourced some brown felt online and fiddled about with the size of the template until I was happy! I cut out 12 men.

 

Then I fixed some heavy weight sew-in vilene to the wrong sides of the front men, and sewed on the ric rac trim.

 

Buttons and embroidered faces finished the fronts.

 

Gingerbread Men Garland

 

A long time ago a good friend bought me a spool of Liberty of London twine, and I knew it would be perfect to string up these gingers!

 

Not wanting to have loops coming out of the tops of the heads, I machine tacked a continuous length of twine onto the wrong sides of the ‘back men’.

 


Then I sewed the fronts and backs together, at first with a top stitch on the machine, close to the edge, and then I blanket stitched the edges by hand using Aurifil Wool 12wt.

 

 

 

I’m really pleased with how these cute fellas turned out!  And so is Uni daughter! It will be so lovely having her home for a few days at Christmas.

 

 

If you’d like to have a go yourself at some gingerbread men ornaments, you can get my free template here.

 

Gingerbread Men Garland

 

 

Along with my Tipsy Santas, this has been one of my favourite Christmas makes this year!

I hope you enjoy making them as much as I did!

 

Happy sewing!

 

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6 Christmas Stocking Filler Tutorials


By Judith on December 14, 2016
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Often the smallest and quickest sewing projects can bring the most pleasure.

 

I’ve curated some of my free tutorials for you, in a ‘Stocking Filler’ collection!

 

 

Who wouldn’t love a framed purse in their stocking, or a handy little glasses case?

 

Framed Purses (2.5″ x 6″)

Flex Frame Pouches

 

Keyfobs are such a useful accessory, as our my stacking nesting boxes (you can use these on desks for stationery or for keeping those beauty essentials organised on a dressing table!).

 

 

My towel backed bibs make sure the youngest members aren’t excluded (yes of course they have their own stocking!). Make them in cute Christmas fabrics for ‘baby’s first Christmas’!

 

Baby Bibs

Use 2.5″ squares for these festive patchwork bibs

 

And if you need to create a little more intrigue for a small gift, pop it into one of my gift bags! Isn’t the opening of presents just as much fun as the presents themselves?

 

 

Christmas Gift Bags

 

You can find even more Christmas themed tutorials here on my tutorials page.

 

And check out my new Christmas tutorials Pinterest board for more ideas from around the web!

 

Now you’ll never be stuck for super seasonal sewing stocking stuffers! (try saying that after a few Baileys!)

 

Happy sewing!

 

 

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Christmas Baubles Quilt


By Judith on December 11, 2016
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Popular Patchwork very kindly sent me a gorgeous bundle of ‘Wrap it Up’ fabrics by Makower with a ‘festive quilt’ remit for their December issue.

 

 

I took inspiration from the baubles shapes in the fabrics and designed this applique baubles Christmas quilt.

 

 

These fabrics were lovely to work with, and I teamed them with Makower’s Pindot (white) for the background.

 

Christmas Baubles quilt (Popular Patchwork Dec16)

 

The quilt comes in at a roomy 61″ x 64″, perfect for snuggling under and watching all those festive movies!

 

 

And if you think this contemporay quilt would look good next to your Christmas decorations, you can purchase it here.

 

 

Or for this and lots more Christmas Patchwork patterns, pick up your December copy of Popular Patchwork!

 

Happy decorating!

 

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Mixed Textiles Robin Cushion


By Judith on December 7, 2016
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In the December issue of Pretty Patches magazine, you might find this cheeky chappie making a song and dance of things!

 

Christmas Robin (mixed textiles) for Pretty Patches (Dec16)

 

Many of you will know that my first love in ‘all things fabric’ are recycled textiles.  I have a particular obsession fondess for tweed, linen, wool and corduroy.

 

Christmas Robin Cushion for Pretty Patches (Dec16)

 

The only items officially ‘purchased’ in this cushion are the background (Tilda) and the berries!

 

Christmas Robin Cushion for Pretty Patches (Dec16)

 

I love mixing textures and textiles!  Here we have sumptuous tweed, soft red wool, tactile cord, a vintage curtain remnant and a few scraps of good old fashioned quilting cotton. Oh what fun I had playing putting these together.

 

I also love satin stitch applique, but I knew with these thicker fabrics standard thread would disappear into the nap.