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.
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.
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.
And just imagine this lovely block made in Christmas Fabrics! Wouldn’t that make a sweet Christmas gift!
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.)
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:
This was made for a friend of my daughter who has been through a tough time lately.
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.
The pouch was sent off with an inspirational notebook and lots of love!
Pouch no. 2 was made as an ‘end of year’ thank you gift.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
I quilted both sides of the pouch along the longitude and latitude lines that were already printed on this ‘old style’ map!
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!
Today I handed over 2 more pressies to my monthly breakfast buddies!
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.
While the theme is the same, each hoop has subtle differences. The background fabrics are different and the character of each robin is different.
Also, for the first time I’ve introduced (tea stained) paper to my textile pictures. The quote for each friend is different and personal.
These 8″ hoops are the perfect size for gifting, and are such fun to make, especially if you love free motion sketching!
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!
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
1 x 5″ strip cut width of fabric (bow)
Large Safety Pin
Wooden skewer or knitting needle
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!
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!).
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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
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.
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!
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).
This time, I needed a small zippy pouch to ‘carry’ some little gifts, and I immediately thought of the small Lola pouch.
Because of Svetlana’s brilliantly written pattern, I had these two run up in no time at all (it took longer choosing fabrics!).
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!).
I can think of a million uses for these cute little pouches! And so quick and easy to make too!
If you fancy having a go yourself, you can get both sizes in the one pattern here.
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!
This is called ‘Starry Christmas Night’ using the evocative ‘Countryside Christmas’ collection from Lewis & Irene.
When Popular Patchwork sent me the fabrics, I immediately thought of cosy winter evenings snuggled up by the fire!
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 Countryside Christmas fabrics have beautiful motifs of cute robins, night owls, foxes, deer and winter scenes.
And of course, when there’s a stripe, there will be stripey binding!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
In the December issue of Pretty Patches magazine, you might find this cheeky chappie making a song and dance of things!
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.
The only items officially ‘purchased’ in this cushion are the background (Tilda) and the berries!
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.
So out come the 12wt Aurifil wool threads! These are thick enough to use for hand embroidery, but not too thick to put through the eye of a size 90 machine needle. Win, win! (You can find a great selection here.)
As the design came together, I knew I wanted ‘berries’ in the corners. I scratched my head for a few minutes, and then came up with a plan!
I un-threaded some jumbo pompom trim I had leftover from another project. Then I ‘couched’ or satin stitched 3 thread stems together to create a little cluster of berries. This made it super easy to sew them into the corners of the cushion.
A simple envelope backing and you have the perfect gift for all bird and nature lovers everywhere (not forgetting all the tweed & corduroy lovers too!).
My recycled, chirping Robin may be in the Christmas issue, but like the loyal and territorial real birds, I think he’ll stick around all year long!
So what type of fabrics make your heart skip a beat?
It’s wonderful to see so many folks entering my Tula Pink giveaway.
If you haven’t already entered, just sign up for my newsletter (right) and/or like my Facebook page here.
So Christmas is sneaking up quickly, and I thought you might like a quick and easy Christmas tutorial.
How cute are these gift bags?
They are fully lined and stand at 7″ tall. Perfect for jazzing up those smaller (but no less important) gifts!
So let’s get started. Here’s what you need:
Outside: 2 x (7.5″ wide x 10.5″ tall)
Lining: 2 x (7.5″ wide x 10.5″ tall)
Channel: 2 x (2″ wide x 8″ tall) or use 1″ wide ribbon
Drawstring: 2 x 20″ lengths of narrow ribbon
Small square ruler
Assume 1/4″ seam allowances
1 Place both outside pieces right sides together. Sew around the side and bottom edges. Repeat for the 2 lining pieces, but this time leave a 2″ gap in the middle of the bottom edge.
2 Make box corners: Pull the corners apart and place the side seam on top of the bottom seam. Place the ruler on top of the corner and measure and mark 3″ vertically (or 1.5″ from tip horizontally).
3 Sew along the line, starting and finishing with a reverse stitch. Repeat for all 4 corners. (I like to trim off the excess from the lining, but leave the corners on the outers for a ‘stronger bottom’!)
4 Turn the outer bag right side out (leave the lining inside out).
5 Place the outer bag inside the lining. Match and pin the side seams and top edges.
6 Sew around the top edge (you will find this easier if you remove the accessory tray). Start and finish with a reverse stitch.
7 Turn the bag right side out through the gap in the lining. Push the corners out and stitch the gap in the lining closed.
8 Push the lining into the bag and press the top edge to neaten.
9 Make the Channel: Press under the short ends of each piece by 1/4″. Also press under both long sides by 0.5″.
10 Pin the channels to the bag. The top edge of the channel will be 1.5″ down from the top of the bag. Don’t worry if there is a little gap at the sides.
11 Slide the bag into your machine (without the accessory tray) and sew around the top and bottom edges of the channel, 1/8″ seam away from the edge. Rather than stopping at the sides, just continue sewing onto the next channel. Start and finish with a reverse stitch.
12 Finishing: Attach the safety pin to one end of a piece of ribbon. Thread the pin into the channel at one side, all the way around and out the same side. Knot the ends of the ribbon together.
13 Thread the other piece of ribbon in the same way, this time from the opposite side.
14 And you’re done! Fill with goodies and make lots more!