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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Just Jude & Friends: Horseplay Cushion


By Judith on July 24, 2020
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We are in week 4 of my Designers collaboration on Instagram.

 

 

This week is all about Kerry’s Horseplay Cushion pattern, a combination of piecing and applique.

 

 

I decided to pull some fabrics and try a few blocks to see where the creative juices would take me.

 

 

I wasn’t sure if I wanted another cushion, so kept my options open about what I might end up with!

 

Horseplay Mat

 

And I ended up with a cute mat!

 

Horseplay Mat

 

I paired 2 contrasting Tilda prints with Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Denim and interchanged the placement in each little block.

 

I liked where this was going, made another 2 rows and got them all sewed together.

That’s when I knew this 12.5″ block would make a perfect mat or table topper.

 

Horseplay Mat

 

Then the big question – How to quilt it?

 

Horseplay Mat

 

After some deliberation I decided on simple organic matchstick quilting.  This condensed quilting technique made sure all those raw applique edges got well bedded down.

 

I love the texture and ‘solidity’ of the matchstick quilting on this mat.

 

Horseplay Mat

 

Some narrow black and white striped binding and a little leather loop completes the look!

 

Horseplay Mat

 

This is a sweet pattern by Kerry, with lots of creative possibilities!  You can purchase the pattern here.

 

Horseplay Mat

 

And do you like my vintage glass cake stand?  I found it in a skip I was walking past the other day!  Well, I couldn’t just leave it there, could I!!!!!

 

Happy sewing!

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Just Jude & Friends: Dotti Denim Pouches


By Judith on July 21, 2020
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Firstly, apologies for forgetting to announce here the winner of my last giveaway (my bad)!  The lucky winner was Michelle Green @elsie_and_alice and was announced on Instagram & Facebook. Thank you to everyone here who entered.  Fingers crossed you will be luckier with my next giveaway.

 

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

 

Today is the end of week 3 of my Just Jude Designers Collaboration on Instagram.

 

 

This time the designers were making my Dotti Denim Pouch and I’m blown away by their makes.

 

Svetlana:

 

Kerry:

 

Stuart:

 

Lucy:

 

Aren’t they fab!

 

I love how each pouch reflects the creative personalities of the makers!!  You can read/see more about each pouch by searching the hashtag #justjudecollaborates  on Instagram.

 

 

And if you’d like to make your own Dotti Denim Pouch, you can purchase it here.

 

And I’ve already pulled my fabrics for Week 4’s collaborative project, Kerry’s Horseplay Cushion. 

 

Watch this space!

 

Happy sewing!

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Just Jude & Friends: Melody Mini Cushion


By Judith on July 10, 2020
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We are now in week 2 of our Instagram Designers Collaboration with Sotak Handmade, Charm About You, Stuart Hillard Sews, Penny Dog & myself.

 

 

Last week we made Svetlana’s Lola Pouches (you can see mine here).

 

This week we are making Lucy’s Melody Mini Quilt/Cushion.

 

 

This is a foundation paper pieced pattern which makes either a 20″ cushion or wallhanging.  I love foundation paper piecing for the accuracy and pointy points you can achieve!

 

I decided to make another pillow for my sofa and of course, I chose Tilda Fabrics!!

 

Melody Mini (Cushion)

 

I wanted to create a secondary pattern that became the centre feature of the cushion so I vered slightly from Lucy’s original colour placement.

 

Melody Mini (Cushion)

 

The cushion is actually made in 4 quadrants – you could keep the colourway in each quadrant the same colour/fabrics (like Lucy’s original pattern).  Alternatively, by changing the fabric in one point in each quadrant you get a new secondary pattern when each of the those points face towards the centre.

 

Melody Mini (Cushion)

 

When it came to the quilting, I decided to quilt in the ditches first, to bed down a few of those lumpier seams.

 

Melody Mini (Cushion)

 

I knew the Kona Snow would look too stark by itself so a little running stitch brings interest to these plainer sections and a little more quilted texture.

 

Melody Mini (Cushion)

 

My points were pretty well matched in the middle, despite the bulk of the intersecting seam, but it just didn’t feel right not to highlight the centre with a vintage button!

 

Melody Mini (Cushion)

 

The back of the cushion has my ‘go to’ feature zip, and a stripey Tilda binding frames the finished cushion.

 

Melody Mini (Cushion)

 

I’m really pleased with how this cushion has turned out and love how it looks with my other handmade cushions.

 

Melody Mini (Cushion)

 

Fabrics used:

Kona Snow

Tilda Old Rose (Lucy Teal Wisp)*

Tilda Classic Basics (Paint Dot Pink)*

Tilda Bon Voyage (Lilit Red)*

Tilda Tea Towel Basics (Apple Cake Stripe Red)*

*available to purchase here

Melody Mini Quilt/Cushion pattern available here

 

And don’t forget to check out the other Melody Minis on Instagram by searching #melodyminiquilt or #justjudecollaborates

 

Happy sewing!

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Just Jude & Friends: Lola Pouches


By Judith on July 5, 2020
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Our Just Jude designer collaboration is well underway! (You can read all about this new initiative here.)

 

 

For our first week we have been making Svetlana’s Lola Pouch (there are 2 sizes to choose from).

 

Lola Pouches (sml)

 

I had the privilege of pattern testing the Lola Pouch for Svetlana so I’m familiar with this gorgeous pattern and have enjoyed making several more pouches since.

 

Lola Pouches (sml)

 

I decided to make 3 small Lola pouches as gifts for 3 sewing friends.

This time I teamed up some medium grain cork with sumptuous ‘Roads to Flowerhouse’ by Bari J for Art Gallery Fabrics. I just love the rich colours in this print.

 

Lola Pouches (sml)

 

Svetlana is a fellow stripey binding fan, so the Michael Miller narrow black and white stripe was the perfect choice here.

 

Lola Pouches (sml)

 

When I first made the Lola pouch, I feel in love with Svetlana’s cool technique for recessing the zipper underneath the binding, with the option of tucking in or leaving out the zipper tab!  Genuis!

 

Lola Pouches (sml)

 

I couldn’t resist finishing these cuties with a little leather detail.

 

Lola Pouches (sml)

 

So all that’s left to do is fill up these little pouches with sewing treats and get them posted off!

 

(All materials used in these pouches are available in our shop.)

(You can find Svetlana’s Lola Pouch here.)

 

And if you are following along with our collaboration on Instagram, you can check out the other Lola Pouches (& future collaborative projects) by searching #justjudecollaborates

 

Happy sewing!

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IG Designer Collaboration


By Judith on July 1, 2020
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I’m so excited to annouce a new  designer collaboration during the month of July, which will be running on Instagram!

 

 

I’m teaming up with 4 talented quilting designers to make 1 pattern from each designers shop or book.  Each week we will showcase a designers pattern and let you see 4 different takes on it!

 

In addition to myself, the 4 other designers are:

 

Svetlana Sotak:

@Sotakhandmade

 

Svetlana is a contemporary quilter, bag maker & blogger based in The Netherlands.  She has the most beautiful calming style and has an amazing range of pouch and bag patterns available in her shop.

 

Svetlana has recently authored a book entitled That Handmade Touch.

 

We will be kicking off our first week by making Svetlana’s Lola Pouch.

 

Lucy Brennan:

@CharmAboutYou

 

Lucy is a British quilter and blogger who designs & sells her own patterns and regularly teaches quilting classes. Lucy worked for two years as a designer and demonstrator on TV and often has projects featured in magazines.

 

Lucy describes her style as ‘miscellaneous’, enjoying mixing modern and traditional elements in her designs. She also co-hosts #saturdaynightcraftalong on Instagram, a weekly global crafting initiative.

 

In week 2 we will be making Lucy’s Melody Mini Quilt.

 

Kerry Foster:

@Pennydog

 

Kerry is a British blogger, quilter and dressmaker living in Canada.  She designs most of what she makes and is mostly known for making animal portrait quilts with turned edge applique.
Kerry is a regular contributor to British quilting magazines and also teaches quilting classes.  Her pointer ‘Hank’ is as famous as Kerry on Instagram!

 

Kerry sells her patterns online and has published a book entitled Paint by Number Quilts. 

 

In week 4 we will be making Kerry’s Horseplay Cushion.

 

Stuart Hillard:

@StuartHillardSews

 

Stuart first appeared on our screens in the first episode of The Great British Sewing Bee!  He is a self-confessed fabricaholic and designs his own fabrics.

 

In addition to presenting programmes on TV and his YouTube channel, Stuart is a regular contributor to quilting magazines and has authored 3 quilting and sewing books.

 

In the final week of our sew-along we will be making something from Stuart’s latest book Simple Shapes Stunning Quilts.

 

And week 3 will be yours truly!  I can’t wait to see how the others interpret my Dotti Denim Pouch!!

 

 

You can tune into my instagram account @justjudebelfast to follow our sew-along or any of the designers instagram accounts.

 

But don’t worry if you’re not on Instagram, I’ll also be posting my collaborative makes here too!

 

Happy sewing!

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Denim Planter


By Judith on June 21, 2020
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Hi everyone,

I hope you are keeping safe and well and keeping the creativity flowing!

 

Yesterday I hosted my first socially distanced afternoon tea party in my garden, to celebrate my cousin’s birthday!

 

Wendys birthday tea party

 

I’m happy to report that the sun shone all afternoon and a wonderful time was had by all!  It was so lovely socialising again and catching up with sewing friends face to face!

 

Denim Planter

 

My ‘make’ for the birthday girl was this denim planter, a multi-functional basket for her sewing or living room.

 

Denim Planter
Lining – Tilda, Bon Voyage Lilit Blue

 

Working with denim is always ‘play time’ for me and I thought I would make a larger version of the selvedge basket I designed and taught at our quilting retreat last year.

 

Selvedge Basket

 

First I sewed the denim strips onto heavy sew-in vilene using the ‘quilt as you go’ method of piecing.  I quickly realised this wasn’t going to be sturdy enough to allow the basket to retain its shape.

 

So I quilted the panel onto flex foam using orange Aurifil 12wt wool thread. Much better!  And just look at that gorgeous texture!

 

Denim Planter

 

The lining was inserted before adding the binding and pinching in the sides to give the boxy shape to the basket.

 

Denim Planter

 

I definitely needed my heavy jeans needle for that part!!

 

Denim Planter

 

And last but not least, some leather handles secured with bronze rivets, to bring a little rustic colour and texture to the basket.

 

Denim Planter

 

At this juncture I didn’t know what I was going to put in the basket, or how to ‘prop’ it for photographing.  I grabbed a couple of my artificial plants and set them in and immediately fell in love with the contrasting greenery and inventive use of the basket!

 

Denim Planter

 

And so my denim planter was born!  I loved making it and will definitely be making one for my own home!

 

Another lovely way to use up denim scraps!

 

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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Strip Pieced Birthday Quilt


By Judith on December 19, 2019
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A very good friend of mine had a ‘special’ birthday this month, and last night I got to hand over the quilt I had made for her.

 

Ruth's Birthday Quilt

 

This is a strip pieced quilt, made in Amy Butler fabrics (mostly Soul Blossoms).

 

Ruth's Birthday Quilt

 

I love this type of piecing, and it’s a great pattern for using up leftover binding and Jelly Roll strips too! (see the free tutorial for my scrappy version here).

 

Ruth's Birthday Quilt

 

A friend of mine long arm quilted it.  I always think that when a quilt is quilted, that’s when the fabrics just seem to come to life!

 

Ruth's Birthday Quilt

 

The backing is Tilda, and the navy and white stripe binding is from a collection called England Swings (my birthday friend is English!).

 

Ruth's Birthday Quilt

 

I love how bright and cheery this quilt is, and it totally reflects my lovely friend’s bright and cheery personality!

 

Ruth's Birthday Quilt

 

I’m happy to report that she loved it! Yay!

 

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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Threads Across the Sea 2019


By Judith on November 8, 2019
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For the past few years, an annual tradition has started among 3 of my long time quilty friends and myself.

 

Threads Across the Sea 2019
L-R: Sarah (@sewmesarah), Me (@justjudebelfast); Trudi (@trudi_wood); Di (@willowbeckdesigns)

 

2 of us live in N.Ireland and the other 2 in England.  We try to meet up each year to sew, taking it in turns to meet on either side of the Irish Sea!  And that’s why we call ourselves #Threads Across the Sea!

 

Threads Across the Sea 2019

 

This year, Trudi and Di came to not so sunny Belfast and spent a weekend of chatter, natter, lots of eating (delicious home baked yummies by Trudi and Sarah!) and of course some sewing in my studio!

 

One of our traditions is to gift handmade items to each other!  This is like Christmas come early!!

 

Threads Across the Sea 2019

 

From Sarah we each received these personalised Arm Chair Caddies (pattern from the book ‘Zakka Home’).  Aren’t they cool!  And Sarah got me spot on with my love of denim and all things ditsy!

 

Threads Across the Sea Gifts
Threads Across the Sea Gifts
Threads Across the Sea Gifts

 

I will definitely be using mine when hand stitching in the evenings in front of the telly!

 

Threads Across the Sea 2019

 

From Trudi we each received a beautifully hand embroidered Clearly Carry All Pouch by Sewing Illustration.

 

Threads Across the Sea Gifts

 

Trudi is an amazing hand stitcher and quilter, and being recently laid up with injured ankles facilitated the huge amount of time she invested in these pouches.

 

Threads Across the Sea Gifts
Threads Across the Sea Gifts

 

 

I particularly love the sashiko stitching on Art Gallery Denim! Yum!

 

And from Di we each got a treat bag of goodies!

 

Threads Across the Sea 2019

 

Di lives in the Lake District and the particular area she lives in is known as the Cake District!!!  Fab or what!

 

Included in the bag were thread snips, mobile thread cutter/needle threader and wood turned items made by Di’s uber talented hubby!  Check out the gorgeously tactile needle holder and Christmas Tree decoration!

 

Threads Across the Sea 2019

 

See what I mean by Christmas come early!  I’m so blessed to call these talented women my friends.

 

And if you want to know what I made for my 3 friends, you’ll have to tune in again to find out (and there might be a wee giveaway too! wink wink!).

 

Having a sew-social with like minded creatives and wonderful friends is one of my favourite things!  Already looking forward to TATS20!

 

Happy sewing!

 

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‘Giant’s Causeway’ Pillow Gift


By Judith on August 22, 2019
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The 2nd of my gifts being handed out this week is this English Paper Pieced (EPP) Hexie Pillow.

 

Giants Causeway Hexie Pillow Gift

 

This gift is actually a ‘thank you’ from my daughter to a family who’ve been like a 2nd family to her for many years, and have faithfully supported her missionary training!

 

The family in question love the North Coast of Ireland, and holiday there every year (with my daughter included!).

 

 

They have a particular affection for The Giants Causeway, a geological phenomenon of mostly hexagonal shaped basalt stones, created from volcanic movement 50-60 million years ago.

 

But despite what Wikipedia and National Heritage say, we all know it was in fact built by the Irish Giant, Finn MacCool! Of course!

 

Giants Causeway Hexie Pillow Gift

 

So this coastal coloured pillow with it’s columns of ombre hexies is my textile ode to The Giant’s Causeway and our legendary and affectionate giant, Finn MacCool!

 

Giants Causeway Hexie Pillow Gift

 

This is my first time appliquing EPP hexies in this way.  It’s important to draw your placement grid first onto the background (Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in this instance), before bondawebbing the starched hexies in place.

 

Giants Causeway Hexie Pillow Gift

 

I’m delighted to say the pillow was very well received and the recipients immediately got the inferences to their favourite little corner of the world.

 

Giants Causeway Hexie Pillow Gift

 

I love making cushions (well they’re just mini quilts really aren’t they!) and trying out new things.  I’ll definitely chalk this one up as a success (especially as I would like to have one in my own home!)!

 

Happy sewing!

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Tilda Cork Pouch Gift


By Judith on August 20, 2019
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This week I’ll be delivering 2 more handmade gifts.

 

Today, I handed over a sweet little Tilda and Cork patchwork pouch!

 

Tilda & Cork Pouch Gift

 

My friend is an interior designer and very kindly supplied me with the sample swatches I needed for my daughter’s Teacher’s present.

 

Tilda & Cork Pouch Gift

 

This is another sewing friend, so I though she might like a little pouch to keep some sewing bits and bobs in!  Though when she saw she said she was in need of a new make-up pouch!

 

Tilda & Cork Pouch Gift

 

I love making projects from ‘wee bits’ – I think the cork compliments the Tilda scraps beautifully, as well as giving the pouch a sturdy and robust feel.

 

Tilda & Cork Pouch Gift

 

The exterior quilted beautifully onto Legacy Flex Foam, so while it is soft and squishy, it can stand up proud all by itself!

 

Tilda & Cork Pouch Gift

 

But what do you think of the mini pompom trim?  I’m still not entirely sure if I should have added it or not!

 

Tilda & Cork Pouch Gift

 

Pompom trim or no, my friend was tickled pink with her new pouch!

 

Tilda & Cork Pouch Gift

 

I so love giving handmade gifts to friends, don’t you!

 

Happy gifting!

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Vintage Sheets Cushions Gifted!


By Judith on August 6, 2019
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Today I got to hand over 2 special gifts!

 

Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

Angie, my very good friend and fellow sewist, had been travelling for a year and before she left she gave me her precious and treasured stash of vintage sheets!

 

Vintage sheets

 

I too am a collector of vintage sheets, so I instantly understood the value and meaning of this archival gift.

 

When I protested to Angie that I couldn’t possibly accept her treasures, she jokingly said I could make her a cushion from them for when she returned.

 

Well she returned last month and I got to hand over the cushions today.  She was delighted!

 

Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

Among this vintage stash were lots of strips and smaller pieces.  So I went with ‘strippy’ friendly designs.

 

Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

I popped in a little table cloth embroidery to kick start this scrappy Log Cabin, one of my favourite quilt blocks.

 

Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

The quilting was sinple ‘echo’ quilting of the Log Cabin rounds and some of the bigger pieces went into the envelope back.

 

As you can see, I was having so much fun that I couldn’t possibly stop at just one cushion!

 

Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

The solid pink fabric in cushion number 2 was also in Angie’s vintage stash because it was edged with a sweet trim (used in the back).

 

Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

Using my ‘strip pieced block’ tutorial, I made 4 x 10″ blocks, joined them together, quilted them and then hand quilted some coordinating running stitches.

 

Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

A little crocheted scallop trim finished the cushions.

 

Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

I had so much fun making these, enjoying the vintage prints and softness, and reminiscing back to my childhood bed linen (oh those 1970’s purples!).

 

Thank you Angie for entrusting me with your vintage treasures and giving me an excuse to ‘play’!  I hope you too get new opportunities to ‘play’!

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Brit Bee R3 Medallion Finished!


By Judith on July 25, 2019
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Hello everyone, I hope you’ve been getting some gorgeous summer weather like we have been here!

 

We’ve enjoyed being day tourists in our homeland, visiting some of our favourite spots!

 

Ballycastle July19
Ballycastle
Ballycastle July19
Watertop Farm, Ballycastle
Dark Hedges July19
Dark Hedges
Mountstewart July19
Mountstewart

 

Delamont July19
Delamont Country Park

 

My middle daughter is only home for a few more days, so it’s been lovely spending quality time with her in our green and pleasant land!

 

So, on to more quilty things!

 

In 2014 our Brit Bee Quilting group designed a medallion quilt as our year long project.  This meant we would all end up with our own quilt, identical in design and made by the same 12 people, but different in choice of fabrics.

 

I’m sheepishly delighted to announce, ahem,  that I have finally finished my R3 Brit Bee Medallion quilt (only 4 years after the round finished!!).

 

Brit Bee Medallion R3

 

I chose a soft ‘ditsy’ type palette, pastel pinks, warm neutrals, clear aquas and raspberry reds and my Brit Bee mates (who had to make each round from their own stash) didn’t disappoint!

 

Brit Bee Medallion R3

 

We started by making our own centre block, I chose a foundation pieced star variation. This was month 1.

Then we posted it to the next person on the list!  We then all made & attached the next set of borders on the centre block we had received (in the owner’s chosen colour palette of course) before posting it to the next person on the list.  This completed month 2.

And so it went on for a whole year, with the final posting being a completed flimsy back to the original maker!

 

Brit Bee Medallion R3

 

It was so exciting opening my medallion! We had somehow managed to keep the progress on the quilts a secret until the final reveal!

It was love at first sight!

 

Brit Bee Medallion R3

 

And then, I’m ashamed to say, I parked it!  I knew I had to add a final border and didn’t know what to put on it, so I stalled ……….. for 4 years!!

A recent flurry of Brit Bee activity on our outstanding projects on Instagram got me motivated again to get this medallion finished.  I owed it to the 11 other contributors of it.

A month ago I added the final border and got my friend to quilt it on her long arm machine (I didn’t want another 4 year hiatus!).

 

Brit Bee Medallion R3

 

And today I finally got around to attaching the binding and getting it photographed!

 

Brit Bee Medallion R3

 

Oh how satisfying to move this long standing UFO (unfinished object) onto the Completed list!!

Now to get Brit Bee R4 quilt finished (it started in 2015!!!! Yikes!).

Happy sewing!

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18th Birthday Quilt


By Judith on June 28, 2019
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My baby girl turned 18 this week!

 

Bethany

 

Wow!  How did that happen! I’m now the proud new owner of 3 adults!

 

 

 

I’ve made all my girls quilts for their 18th birthdays, and I try to reflect something of their personalities in the quilts.

 

18th Birthday Quilt

 

My youngest daughter has a sunny nature, loves colour, texture and random things! So her quilt has lots of colour, random prints and non-geometric design, sunny blues and mustard and the cosiest fleecy backing!

 

18th Birthday Quilt

 

Despite having our warmest days of the year this week, she has very much enjoyed snuggling under her new quilt!

 

18th Birthday Quilt

(A big thank you to my friend Hilary for quilting this quilt on her long arm.)

 

So that’s another family milestone and another milestone quilt!

 

I wonder what the next one will be???

 

Happy sewing!

 

 

 

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Hello May!


By Judith on May 3, 2019
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Happy May to everyone!

 

I hope you all enjoyed your Easter break.

 

As a self-confessed workaholic I have to really focus on ‘not working’ and allowing my mind some down time (not easy for a self-employed sole trader!).

 

 

As part of my ‘word for the year’ – CULTIVATE, I’ve been working on cultivating rest and regeneration, not just physically but creatively and spiritually too.

 

I’m still learning how to do this well, and am very much a work in progress!  One way I’ve been doing this is by reading inspiring authors on personal leadership, like Brene Brown.

 

In her book ‘Daring Greatly’, Brene talks about the importance of being our vulnerable and authentic selves, not bowing to the ‘never (good, thin, happy, wealthy, successful ….) enough’ culture but instead resting in the knowledge that our best effort is always enough; we are enough. The strive for perfectionism and the glorification of busyness erodes the mental health of individuals, families, societies, nations. I know this to be true because I’ve seen it and I’ve felt it.

 

So if, like me, you want to learn how to cultivate authenticity, self-compassion, a resilient spirit, gratitude and joy, intuition and trust, meaningful work, creativity (yes!), and play and rest (yes, yes!) then I highly recommend to you Daring Greatly by Brene Brown.  Her honesty is refreshing and her professional research in vulnerabililty, shame and wholeheartedness eye opening!

 

“Dare to be the adults we want our children to be.” Brene Brown

 

 

Another opportunity for me to cultivate rest and regeneration comes with good weather, a beautiful location and a camera!

 

We were blessed over Easter with some cracking weather, which meant I could get out and about a bit with my camera.

 

Swan at Mount Stewart National Trust, Co. Down
Bangor Walled Garden
Bangor Walled Garden
Rowallane Gardens, National Trust, Saintfield
Rowallane Gardens, National Trust, Saintfield
Rowallane Gardens, National Trust, Saintfield

 

Mount Stewart, National Trust, Co. Down

 

Taking pictures enables me to notice details, to stay in the present, to connect my surroundings with those I’m with, to stop and smell the roses (sometimes literally!).

 

 

If you’ve never tried it, next time you go out to a beautiful park, garden, beach, woodland walk, bring a camera.  You don’t have to be skilled at taking the photos. But I guarantee your mental and emotional health will benefit greatly!

 

(All the photos I took are available here in my Facebook Albums)

 

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A new month means a new Quilting Term of classes, workshops and endless creativity at the studio!

 

With each new term I switch out the quilts on display and re-theme the display table.

 

 

Over the next few posts I’ll show you what we have on display, and links to available patterns and tutorials.

 

So come back soon for the start of my Spring into Summer ’19 series!

 

Happy sewing!

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Mother’s Day


By Judith on March 31, 2019
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Today in the UK it is Mother’s Day!

And this week I’ve had the best Mothers Day present ever!

 

Family Time Mar19

 

All my chicks are back home for a few days, yay!

 

It’s been so good to hang out together, laugh, be silly, and have precious family time, including the future sons-in-law!

 

Family Time Mar19

 

The times when we can all be together at the same time in the same place are becoming fewer, so we make sure we make up for it when we can!

 

Family Time Mar19

 

I’m not only blessed with a faithfully loving mum, but I also get the privelege of being a mum, 3 times over!

 

 

I was so excited in my first pregnancy to become a mum, but nothing prepared me for how tough the exhausting role of mother would be!

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

To be honest, I found the earlier years much harder than the teenage ones! I continually lacked confidence, never knew if I was doing the right thing, perpetual exhaustion, extreme loneliness and post natal depression all played their part.

 

 

Despite it being the toughest job I’ve ever had (the wages and pension benefits are rubbish!) it’s also been (& still is) the most rewarding. The thing about having kids is they force you to go beyond yourself, to step outside your comfort zones and defaults and face your weaknesses and selfishness.

 

Family Time Mar19

 

I’m thankful to my girls for stretching me and making me the person I am today.  They inspire me every day and I’m ridiculously proud of the beautiful women they are, inside and out.

 

Family Time Mar19

 

To all you mothers out there, you are amazing, keep going. It will be hard at times, but the rewards are deep and infinite. A great mother isn’t perfect (no such woman exists), she’s the one who gets up each morning and invests, sacrifices, referees, feeds, counsels, advises, all for no thanks, and then gets up again the next morning to do it all again!

 

You are awesome!

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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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Inspiring Women


By Judith on November 23, 2018
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I’m so privileged to be surrounded by inspiring women!  My mum, my Grandmothers, my brilliant besties, not to mention my 3 amazing daughters who I’m ridiculously proud of!

 

My girls

 

And then there are all the lovely ladies who come to my classes.  I’m honoured to know some of their stories, struggles and triumphs!

 

Several weeks ago I had the most wonderful encounter with a lady I have long admired.

 

Rachel McBride Visual Artist

 

This is Rachel McBride, visual artist.  I first met Rachel several years ago at the Kings Hall, and immediately fell in love with her art.

 

Rachel McBride Visual Artist - 'Brush it Off'
‘Brush it Off’

 

 

Fast forward to November 2018, and I’m visiting Rachel’s newest exhibition in Newtownards entitled ‘At a Loss for Words’.

 

Rachel McBride Visual Artist - 'Moments of Clarity'
‘Moments of Clarity’

 

 

Oh my! Once again she took my breath away.  Rachel has an unbridled (and in my opinion unrivaled) talent for expressing depth of emotion through colour and texture.

 

Rachel McBride Visual Artist - 'A Picture says 100 Words'
‘A Picture says 100 Words’

 

5 years ago Rachel lost her speech for a short period of time and wrote these words:

“If someone cannot communicate and interact with others are they just ‘a being’ and at what point do they become invisible or unknown to society? A frightening and disturbing thought which ultimately forced me to consider my world without the ability to speak.”

 

Rachel McBride Visual Artist (Butterfly Kisses)
‘Butterfly Kisses’

 

Rachel was born with Cerebral Palsy and has had to overcome many hurdles in her life.

Every time I speak with her I’m overwhelmed by her positivity, strength and beauty.

 

Rachel McBride Visual Artist - 'Childhood'
‘Childhood’

 

Her pet hate is being seen as an inspiration, but it’s always the first adjective that comes to my mind when I read the extracts about each of her pieces, admiring the incredible vulnerability and vigor within each piece and knowing the limitations of her body which she fights against to live a fulfilling and boundless life.

 

Rachel McBride Visual Artist - 'Absolutely Floored'
‘Absolutely Floored’

 

I can whole-heartedly recommend you to Rachel’s (free) exhibition, which continues at Ards Arts Centre, Newtownards until the end of this month. And you can sometimes bump into her in the gorgeous coffee shop she owns with her husband called Haptik (the food is ‘out of this world’ awesome!).

 

And you can read a great write-up about her in the Irish Times here.

 

What amazingly creative talent we have here on our wee island!

Let’s keep celebrating our local, inspiring women!

 

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50th Birthday Quilt


By Judith on October 6, 2018
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Waaaaaaaay back, in February, I facilitated a very good friend’s special birthday request!

 

50th Birthday Sew-In at the Mill

 

16 friends squished into my classroom, each of them charged with making a patchwork block about their dear friend.

 

Shirley has been a nurse, midwife, missionary and lecturer. She is one of the most generous, caring and just people I know and I feel truly privileged and blessed to call her ‘friend’ these past 21 years.

 

It took a wee while for a few postal blocks to come in, and then I set to work, finishing up the sketching details and chosen texts, as well as assembling and quilting the quilt.

 

Shirley's Friendship Birthday Quilt

 

And then the final handover happened last week (took a while to get us both in the same country at the same time!).

 

Shirleys Friendship Birthday Quilt

 

 

I’ve made a little mosaic of the individual blocks so you can see more of the details (I promise they aren’t as curvy as they seem here – I took pictures of them while the quilt was on the line! It was windy!)

 

Shirleys Friendship Quilt blocks

 

There is so much thought, love and creativity in all of these blocks, a moving tribute to our funny, coffee loving, brilliant friend!

 

Shirley and me

 

Even though I had already gifted Shirley a quilt for her birthday back in February (read more about this quilt and the sew-in here), I wanted to contribute a block to her Friendship Quilt.

 

And here it is….

 

Shirley's Friendship Birthday quilt

 

That’s Shirley in the middle (portraits were never my strong suit!) between me on the left (I told you portraits weren’t my strong suit!) and Rosie (amazingly this actually looks like Rosie!). We first met 21 years ago at Bible College, and are the self named ‘Breakfast Club’ (we still meet once a month for breakfast, coffee and catch-up!).

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about this very special quilt and its very special recipient!

 

Happy sewing!

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Patchwork in the Peaks 14: Part 1


By Judith on September 24, 2018
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So I’m back from my adventures abroad (eventually!), and what a fabulous few days it was!

 

Patchwork in the Peaks 14

 

Of course the surroundings were completely spectacular, and my photos simply don’t do justice to the beautiful part of the world that is Morzine, France.

 

Patchwork in the Peaks 14
Patchwork in the Peaks 14

 

But despite gloriously warm temperatures and the clear blue Alpine air, nothing would tempt 8 serious sewers from their missional weekend.

 

Patchwork in the Peaks 14

Patchwork in the Peaks 14
Patchwork in the Peaks 14

 

As a guest tutor I was teaching my Denim Applique Bag, and you can see their fabulous results here (don’t get distracted by the awesome backdrop!).

 

Patchwork in the Peaks 14

 

For most of the ladies, this was their first time using a twin needle and fusible bias as a decorative quilting technique.

 

The re-purposing fervour continued throughout the weekend, with more bags, baskets, pouches and cushions being produced.

 

Patchwork in the Peaks 14

Patchwork in the Peaks 14

 

Of course there were many other projects being worked on too (yes we did sleep and eat during the retreat!).  Each finish was collectively celebrated with the special ‘gong’ of a bell!

 

Patchwork in the Peaks 14

 

Elita and Gina work hard at making this bi-annual retreat a fun, productive and inspiring experience for all who attend.

 

Patchwork in the Peaks 14
L-R: Elita, me, Gina

Everyone was so warm, welcoming and sociable (not to mention hilariously funny!).

 

I would highly recommend Patchwork in the Peaks for anyone who enjoys getting away from it all for some dedicated time to quilt, sew, chat, laugh and relax (there’s even a hot tub!).

 

You can read more about Elita’s Alpine Retreats and the other services she provides here.

 

I did manage a few little makes myself – tune in again for a round-up on my Alpine finishes!

 

Happy sewing!

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Octosaurus Rex Quilt


By Judith on May 10, 2018
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Hello there!

 

We have just had a wonderful bank holiday weekend here in UK.  And what made it so wonderful?  The beautiful sunny weather!

 

I spent the bank holiday Monday in Florence Court, Enniskillen, with 2 of my girls, having lots of photo fun, and enjoying this wonderful National Trust house.

 

DSC_0040
DSC_0043
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Florence Court May18

 

It was a beautiful day, learning all about the women (upstairs and downstairs) in Florence Court’s history.

 

Also this week, the current issue of Quilt Now hit the shops, and in it you can find my Octosaurus Rex Quilt, designed for Makower using their Rex Collection of fabrics.

 

Octosaurus Rex (Quilt Now May18)

 

This quilt design is full of secondary patterns, and the larger Placement print is perfect for fussy cutting.

 

Octosaurus Rex (Quilt Now May18)

 

Here’s what I wrote as my source of inspiration:

 

“I live not far from the Giant’s Causeway, a 60 million year old formation of multi-sided volcanic stones. So I thought it would be fun to design Jurassic sized shapes around these cute dinosaur fussy cuts and fabrics. The Octagon blocks slot neatly side by side just like the stones at the Giant’s Causeway!”  

 

Octosaurus Rex (Quilt Now May18)

 

There is a lot of piecing in this quilt, and it is a decent size at 60″ x 72″.  However you could easily reduce the number of blocks and make a smaller quilt for a younger dinosaur lover!

 

Octosaurus Rex (Quilt Now May18)

 

So if you have a little one who is mad about all things Jurassic, then these fabrics are your perfect choice!

 

You can see the full collection here, and my Octosaurus Rex Quilt pattern is also available via the Makower UK website.

 

Happy sewing!

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Goodbye My Friend!


By Judith on March 10, 2018
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Today I lost a very dear friend to cancer!

 

 

As a single mum to 3 gorgeous girls, her strength, courage and love for life has been (& will continue to be) my inspiration.  Over the past 13 years we have laughed and cried together, prayed and worked together, and sewed together (Heather was a very talented quilter).

 

3 weeks ago, she had her last birthday, in hospital sadly.  I had made her a quilt, which she got to see.  It made her smile!

 

Heather's Quilt Feb'18

 

I wanted a bright, colourful and happy quilt for Heather, to reflect her sunny personality.  These fabrics are called Soul Blossoms by Amy Butler, and the symbolic cream motifs are Friendship Stars.

 

Heather's Quilt Feb'18

 

She had a great sense of humour and was selflessly devoted to her girls. I’m blessed to have had many opportunities to spend with Heather these past 18 months during her illness.

 

Heather's Quilt Feb'18

 

We loved a good rummage in charity shops (she knew all the best ones), hours and hours in coffee shops (she was the best listener) and nights out at the flicks (even if she did nod off occasionally!).  And of course, we both shared a love of fabric and sewing.  She was even attending my classes until a few weeks ago (I finished the quilt she was working on and it was on her bed when she passed).

 

Heather's Quilt Feb'18

 

I will miss my lovely friend, and my heart is breaking for the 3 beautiful girls she leaves behind, on the eve of Mothers Day.

 

But we share the same faith, and while we said ‘goodbye’ on Monday, through love and tears, we both know that it is only ‘farewell’ until we see each other again in heaven.  And then we will have endless years of fun, frolics and friendship together!

 

Goodbye my friend.  You had courage, grace and dignity right to the very end.  See you on the other side.

 

 

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New Classroom Open Day!


By Judith on December 12, 2017
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Hello everyone!

 

Well despite the snow, I had a wonderful day celebrating the opening of my new classroom on Saturday.

 

 

Thank you to everyone who braved the weather to come and join in the fun!  It was lovely catching up with friends old and new, and getting lots of positive feedback about the new space.

 

 

Of course I couldn’t have pulled any of this off without lots of wonderful support from friends and family!

 

 

Don’t worry if you weren’t able to make it to the Mill on Saturday.  I’ve included a little video here of the ‘quiet before the storm’!

New Classroom Video

I’m so looking forward to getting started with my new classes in January. There aren’t many places left, so if you would like to join us for some creative craic, then please drop me an email to justjudedesigns@hotmail.co.uk.

 

Happy viewing!

 

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‘Thank You’ from Macmillan Cancer Support


By Judith on October 3, 2017
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Hello everyone!

 

Happy October to you all!  The beauty of Autumn has arrived here in N.Ireland.  Aren’t the leaves just gorgeous this time of year!

 

 

Many of you have been beavering away making Syringe Driver Bags for Macmillan Cancer Support.

 

 

I want to say a huge thank you for your contributions so far!  More are needed on an ongoing basis, so if you get a spare 5 minutes to rustle up another one, we’d much appreciate it (you can get the tutorial here).

 

And here’s a thank you from the staff at Macmillan (modelling some of your bags!):

 

 

“Hi Judith, just to say a big thank you for the syringe driver bags we’re getting at the Macmillan unit. This is a few of the staff modelling them!!! They’re amazing! The workmanship is incredible! You have some very talented connections! Please pass on our thanks… so nice to offer something cheery and have a bit of choice when you have an attachment to carry around that you’re not that excited about!! BIG THANK YOU!!!! X”

 

What a great way to make a small difference in someone’s life.

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Syringe Driver Bags Tutorial


By Judith on August 23, 2017
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Hi everyone!  How are you doing this week?

 

Summer seems to have left us here!  But I have some good news!  My sewing room is finished and I’m fully operational once more!

 

And what better project to christen my new creative space than sewing for a good cause.

 

 

These are Syringe Driver Bags, used by patients to keep essential medication on their person as they move around. Earlier this year we received a request from Marie Curie Cancer Care to make Syringe Driver Bags for their unit in Belfast.  The response from the sewing community was incredible, and we donated enough bags for the hospice and a local hospital cancer unit.

 

Well I’m putting out a call to all generous and creative sewers, to make more Syringe Driver Bags, this time for Macmillan Cancer Support unit in Antrim hospital.

 

I have been approached to make these bags, for current and future patients in the unit, and any bags donated over and above what is needed will be shared around the other cancer units too.

 

The bags required this time around are for adult males and females, in bright, cheery fabrics, and come in 2 sizes.  The small bag takes a single syringe driver and the large bag takes 2 drivers.  Both sizes have a velcro flap, and while the dimensions vary, the construction method is the same for each.

 

I do hope I can count on your generous spirit to support brave patients in this small way.

 

Here is the tutorial:

Measurements listed are width x height

Use 1/4″ seam allowance

Use reverse stitch to start and finish each seam

Materials:

1 Fat Quarter of cotton (approx 18″ x 22″) will make the exterior for either the single driver bag OR the double driver bag

1 Fat Quarter of cotton (approx 18″ x 22″) will make the lining for either the single driver bag OR the double driver bag

1 Long Quarter of cotton (approx 9.5″ x 42″-44″) will make the handles

 

** Please do not use stick-on velcro

  1. Make the Handle:  Iron under 1/4″ along each long edge.

 

 

2. Now bring both long (folded) edges together and press. Top stitch 1/8″ from the edge down both long sides, starting with the open side. No need to top stitch the short ends. Put the handle to one side.

 

 

3. Make the Flap: Place the outer and lining flaps right sides together. Sew around 3 sides, leaving one short side open.

 

 

4. Carefully snip the corners at an angle (to reduce bulk) before turning right side out.  Push the corners well out and press.

 

5. Sew the soft side of the velcro to the lining side of the flap, 1/4″ away from the closed end of the flap.  Put to one side.

 

 

6. Make the main bag: Attach the remaining piece of velcro to the front bag piece. The top of the velcro should be 1.5″ down from the top edge (or 2″ for the large bag).

 

 

7. Join the front and back pieces and the sides, right sides together (as shown) stopping 1/4″ short at the bottom of each seam.

 

 

8. Join the remaining edges together to create a box (remember to stop 1/4″ short at the bottom).

 

 

9. Insert the base: Pin the base to the bottom of the outer bag, right sides together.

 

 

10. Sew the base in place, stopping 1/4″ short at each corner to pivot & turn (leave the needle down in the fabric and lift up the presser foot).  As you pivot the corners, flip the underside of the bag away from you (see below).

 

 

Stop 1/4″ short at the corner, leave needle down, lift up presser foot and turn.
While presser foot is raised, flip underside of fabric away from you. Return presser foot and continue sewing next side.

11. Turn the bag right side out. Push the corners out and press the seams into a nice box shape.

 

 

12. Machine tack the flap onto the back of the bag, right sides together.

 

 

13. Machine tack the handle onto the sides of the bag (take care not to get a twist in your handle). Put to one side.

 

 

14. Make the lining: Repeat steps 7-10 for the lining, leaving a 2″ gap in a long side seam. Do not turn right side out.

 

 

15. Insert the outer bag into the lining, tucking the flap and handle inside between the layers. Align & pin the side seams and top edge.

 

 

16. Sew around the top edge (you may find it easier to remove the accessories tray on your machine here).

 

 

17. Pull the outer bag through the gap in the lining, and hand or machine stitch the gap closed.

 

 

18. Press the bag before pushing the lining into the outer bag. Sew around the top edge again, making sure to keep the flap and handle well out of the way.

 

 

And you’re done!

 

 

It would be wonderful if you could help me with this small measure of kindness.  The 2  bags I’ve made have already brought smiles to the faces of the 2 recipients!

 

I will be the collection point for any donated bags, so please get in touch with me directly and I’ll give you my address (justjudedesigns@hotmail.co.uk)

 

Thanking you all in advance of your support and generosity.

 

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‘Around the World’ Birthday Quilt


By Judith on August 10, 2017
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Happy Thursday everyone!

 

It’s a happy day here at the Hollies Household because not only is the sun shining, we have just had gas installed in our new home! This means we now have long awaited hot water, cooking facilities and a little heat on chilly evenings!  #livinglikekings

 

The quilt I’d like to show you today is long overdue its reveal!

 

Around the World Quilt (Pretty Patches Magazine Aug17)

 

My middle daughter turned 18 last February, and I got her birthday quilt started at Brit Bee Retreat.

 

My daughter loves travel/world themes as well as old style items, images and graphics.  Also, she isn’t into pink or girly colours so much, so I knew I had to get the fabrics and colours just right.

 

Purchased from Lovely Jubbly Fabrics

 

I was browsing travel themed fabrics online and came across this Makower fabric called ‘Airmail Travel Stamp, Special Delivery!’  It was my perfect starting point and this became my ‘headline’ print.  I used the colours in this print to guide me through the rest of my stash and scrap boxes.

 

 

I didn’t want to chop the Airmail print up too small, so designed an ‘on point’ block where large sections of the headline print would appear in the secondary pattern, with scrappy pieced dividers.  A little white on white to separate the busyness and it all came together beautifully.

 

Around the World Quilt (Pretty Patches Magazine Aug17)

 

Keeping the scrappy prints to softer tones and small scale prints helped create an overall calm feel to the quilt.  My daughter’s bedroom is mostly neutral creams and greys so I didn’t want the overall look of the quilt to be too bright.

 

Around the World Quilt (Pretty Patches Magazine Aug17)

 

I managed to get the quilt almost completed by the end of February, just a few weeks late of the birth date.  And then a request came in from a magazine editor requesting a quilt for a summer edition!

 

Around the World Quilt (Pretty Patches Magazine Aug17)

 

This was the only quilt I had available in the tight timescale, so off it went to England, with an apology to my daughter for yet another delay on her quilt (she was most forgiving)!

 

The quilt was published in the August issue of Pretty Patches (still in the shops now) and it was returned to me yesterday!

 

Lucy's 18th Birthday Quilt (Around the World, Pretty Patches Aug17)

 

I could finally present it to my girl, who I’m pleased to say, loves it!

 

She travels to Norway in September for 6 months and only wishes she had room in her luggage to take it with her (she might well be needing it over there!).

 

So that is the story behind ‘Around the World’ Birthday Quilt.  Always a special make when it’s for a loved one, and only 6 months late!!

 

Happy travels!

 

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Meet the Maker: A Canadian Abroad


By Judith on June 1, 2017
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Welcome June! My favourite month of the year!

 

It’s going to be a very significant month for me, the start of a new chapter.  But more on that when the time comes!

 

My ‘Meet the Maker’ interview this month is a lady who is special to me from when we both joined Brit Bee in 2011.

 

Susan is not only an incredibly talented quilter and designer (you will see her amazing work in leading quilting magazines such as Love Patchwork and Quilting and Quilt Now), she also has a wicked sense of humour and is an incredible cook and baker!  I’ll let her do the talking!

 

 

1. Introduction: 

 
I’m Susan Standen, a Canadian living in the middle of England. I used to blog at candianabroad-susan.blogspot.com but as I haven’t posted in a year it is uncertain whether I will resurrect the blog or not. Time constraints and demands of life meant something had to give and my blog was that something. But I am very active on IG as canadianabroad. I can also be found on Pinterest as Susan Standen – though you are as likely to find recipes pinned there as quilting inspiration!

 

 

2. What is your craft/s? When did you start? Who/what inspired you to get started?


 
I am a quilter. I have two teenage daughters and I was a stay at home mum. When they were younger I searched for a hobby that would be something just for me. I tried beading – seriously no patience for that, card making – bored me (sorry to all those card makers out there, no offence meant) and then I bought a cheap sewing machine. I made a Halloween costume, and then a friend fell pregnant with her second child and I decided I would make a quilt. I had no family history of sewing, let alone quilting. I had never made a quilt. I did not know anyone who quilted. But I made a quilt. I was hooked!

 

 

3. What do you most enjoy about your craft? Where do you find your inspiration? Who inspires you?

 

I love coming up with a new idea. Even when I started quilting I never used patterns. I would look for inspiration on the internet and when I found something I liked I would work out the quilt maths for myself, changing up the design to suit my needs. Now I sketch all the time on my tablet, twisting ideas around until they suddenly take a form that makes my heart sing. I don’t get pattern inspiration so much as colour combinations that inspire me from the amazing and prolific quilters that are online. Just a few people that I follow who have an amazing eye for colour are (these are all ig names) fionapoppymakes, sewgoclimbing, littleislandquilting, fabricmutt, slostudio, lizfromshush