Granny Square Coasters Tutorial


By Judith on September 24, 2020
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This week in The Kindred Spirits QAL we have been making Grandmother’s Cross blocks:

 

 

These are 14″ finished blocks and are a variation on the Granny Square quilt block.  You can read about the lovely meaning behind the Granny Square here.

 

There are many variations of Granny Square quilts (you can see my French General version here) but I was inspired this week to go miniature!

 

Granny Square Coaster Tutorial

 

I’ve had a little stash of 1.5″ Denyse Schmidt squares languishing in a drawer for several years, so I thought I’d see how they made up into a mini Granny Square!

 

Granny Square Coaster Tutorial

 

When I had one done I thought it was the perfect coaster size!  So I made another 3! (And I still have some little squares left!). I do love small scale piecing!

 

Granny Square Coasters Tutorial

 

These cuties finish up at 4.75″ square, the perfect size for your favourite coffee cup!

 

Granny Square Coaster Tutorial

 

And I’ve written up a tutorial on how to make these Granny Square Coasters, which you can download here.

 

This was a great project for using up favourite small scraps and also leftover binding strips and offcuts of wadding!

 

And another little gift idea perhaps!!

 

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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Just Jude & Friends: Japanese Rice Bag


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

 

 

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

 

 

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

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

 

Japanese Rice Bag (Charlotte)

 

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

 

Japanese Rice Bag (Charlotte)

 

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

 

Japanese Rice Bag (Charlotte)

 

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

 

Japanese Rice Bag (Charlotte)

 

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

 

And who is this little bag for?

 

Charlotte's Bunting

 

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

 

Charlotte's Birthday bunting

 

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

 

Charlotte's Bunting

 

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

 

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

 

Charlotte's Bunting

 

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

 

Happy sewing!

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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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Plush Velvet Tote


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

 

Plush Velvet Tote

 

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

 

Plush Velvet Tote

 

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

 

Plush Velvet Tote

 

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

 

Plush Velvet Tote

 

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

 

Plush Velvet Tote

 

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

 

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

 

Plush Velvet Tote

Happy sewing!

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Denim 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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Scrappy Heart Drawstring Bags


By Judith on April 21, 2020
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Hello there!

 

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

 

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

 

Scrappy Heart Drawstring Bags

 

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

 

Scrappy Heart Drawstring Bags

 

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

 

Scrappy Heart Drawstring Bags

 

The bag is fully lined with finished drawstring tabs.

 

Scrappy Heart Drawstring Bags

 

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

 

Scrappy Heart Drawstring Bags

 

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

 

Scrappy Heart Drawstring Bags

 

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

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Graduation Gifts!


By Judith on March 30, 2020
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My daughter has recently been serving with a Missions organisation called YWAM (Youth With A Mission).

 

As a team leader she has had the privilege of nurturing 5 students through a Discipleship Training Programme, 4 months in the UK and 2 in Japan.

 

At the end of the programme the students have a graduation ceremony, and I had the privilege of making little graduation gifts!

 

Sadly because of Corona Virus, the graduation ceremony couldn’t take place, but the gifts were handed out none-the-less and well received (I also made gifts for the other team and programme leaders).

For the Girls:

 

 

Hexie Pouches Graduation gifts

 

My evenings spent basting hexies meant I had a little collection built up! So I put them to good use and turned them into zippy pouches.

 

Hexie Pouches Graduation gifts

 

I had no idea what the girls’ colour preferences were, and even though they were individually wrapped and handed out separately, my daughter said that each person got exactly the right one for their particular style and colour choice! Yay!

 

Hexie Pouches Graduation gifts

 

All the hexie panels are made from scraps, leftovers from other projects.  The bases are either Irish Linen or Essex Yarn Dyed Linen and the exteriors finished off with little leather tabs.

 

Hexie Pouches Graduation gifts

 

I put some scented hand creams inside the pouches! An extra little surprise when they were opened!

 

Hexie Pouches Graduation gifts

 

For the Boys:

 

Journal Covers - Graduation gifts

 

These are A5 journal covers, made in Irish linen and cork.

 

Journal Covers - Graduation gifts

 

The exteriors are identical, with little scraps of navy leather riveted onto the cork pockets, which also have a handy pen slot!

 

Journal Covers - Graduation gifts

 

The cover is held closed by wrapping a leather cord around a duffle button.

 

Journal Covers - Graduation gifts

 

The linings are suitably masculine, and I even included a notebook!  So these journals are ready for immediate use!

 

I was so pleased I was able to post these over to the graduates and leaders, before they all quickly dispersed to different countries, before borders and flights were closed to them.

 

My classroom is currently closed because of the pandemic, so during this lockdown I hope to make more gifts, as well as trying my hand at video tutorials and classes.

 

You can check out my first video announcement today on FB and IG, and a mini tour of my little sewing room here!

 

 

Wish me luck!

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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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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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Tilda Juniper Basket


By Judith on December 10, 2019
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A special friend of mine had her birthday at the weekend, and this is what I made her.

 

Tilda Juniper Basket Gift

 

This is my take on the Juniper Basket, by my uber talented quilty friend, Svetlana of SOTAK Handmade.

 

Tilda Juniper Basket Gift

 

Svetlana’s patterns are always so well written, and she includes 2 sizes for this cute basket.  I made the small size.

 

Tilda Juniper Basket Gift

 

I’ve been  doing a little EPP (English Paper Piecing) in the evenings, using up some pretty Tilda scraps.

I know my friend likes Tilda too so it was a no brainer when it came to choosing fabrics!

 

Tilda Juniper Basket Gift

 

I quilted some Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Flax) for the exterior – always a great partner for Tilda!

Tilda Juniper Basket Gift

 

I think this would a perfect basket for a knitting or crochet project, or  even  some  EPP!!

 

Tilda Juniper Basket Gift

 

Svetlana’s Juniper Basket pattern is available here, but be sure to check out the rest of her store!  She has lots of beautiful bag and pouch patterns to choose from!

 

Happy sewing!

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French General Quilt Gift


By Judith on November 13, 2019
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Hi there, if you are looking for details of my giveaway you can find it here.

 

Since the summer I’ve been working on 3 quilts, getting them ready to gift later in the year.

 

Well the first has been completed and gifted and I can show you it here.

 

French General Quilt Gift

 

 

This is a lap quilt made for an elderly couple, using a French General Layer Cake (Rouenneries I think!).

 

I’ve always loved French General fabrics, oh the richness and depth of those reds! Yum!

 

French General Quilt Gift

 

I used this free tutorial to carve up the full Layer Cake without creating waste.

 

French General Quilt Gift

 

Some simple organic vertical wavy quilting adds a little movement and lovely texture through all the squares.  Not to mention it being a quick and easy ‘go to’ quilting method.

 

French General Quilt Gift

 

The obligatory striped binding finished the quilt off.  I got it labelled and handed over last week.

 

My prayer is that this quilt will bring some comfort and joy to the lovely recipients.

 

So that’s one quilt down.  2 more to go!

 

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.

 

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

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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Sock Monkeys


By Judith on October 4, 2019
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This term in class we have been running a soft toys theme.  And in keeping with this theme, this week I have been demo-ing the hugely affectionate Sock Monkey!

 

Sock Monkeys
Large & Medium monkey

 

This pattern is by Craft Passion and includes 3 sizes – Adult, Toddler & Baby!

 

You need one pair of socks to make 1 monkey. The pattern suggests using crew length socks (approx 8″ from heel to cuff) however I adapted knee length socks for my large monkey and used a pair of ladies ankle socks (approx 5″ from heel to cuff) for the medium monkey.

 

Sock Monkeys

 

I found these monkeys surprisingly easy to sew, especially as the pattern directs you to mark and sew the limbs and features on the complete sock first, before cutting out! Genuis!

 

Sock Monkeys

 

And there is a nifty way of getting stuffing into that narrow channel of a tail!! (It’s so clever!)

 

Sock Monkeys

 

The toys we have been making in class require lots and lots of stuffing, really well packed in to achieve the finished shape.  However, that is not the case with these little fellows!

Because socks are made from a stretchy knit fabric, the more you stuff, the more it will stretch! So my advice is not to over stuff, just enough for maximum cuddle factor!

 

Sock Monkeys

 

A little hand sewing brings all the features together. Don’t worry if you’re not that neat a hand sewer like me. The stitches just seem to get absorbed into the knit fabric! Magic!

 

Sock Monkeys

 

Aren’t they cute!  And great gift ideas for little (& big) kids (I recommend using safety eyes instead of buttons if gifting to small children).

 

So no need to discard those old or odd socks!  Get sewing your very own troop of monkeys!

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Sample Swatch Pouch Gift


By Judith on September 10, 2019
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I got to hand over another little handmade gift last week!

 

Sample swatch pouch gift

 

You may remember the Tilda & Cork pouch I made for a friend during the summer?  Well this one is for her mum.

 

Sample swatch pouch gift

 

My friend recently gave me a bag of small fabric samples, the perfect size for pouch making!  And she also guided me on her mum’s favourite colours – sage & olive greens, gold and oatmeal.

 

Sample swatch pouch gift

 

Well I just had to sneak in a rich autumnal red with this classy colour scheme.  And a little vintage trim to boot!

 

Sample swatch pouch gift

 

Quilting the swatches onto Legacy Flex Foam really gives them definition and structure.

I also found an old jewellery pendant which I thought worked well as a zipper pull!

 

Sample swatch pouch gift

 

I’m happy to report the recipient is tickled pink with her new pouch!

And because I love making cute little pouches from repurposed textiles, I’d call that a win, win!

 

Sample swatch pouch gift

 

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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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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Sample Swatch Bag


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Sample Swatch Bag (Teacher present) June19
Front

 

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

 

Sample Swatch Bag (Teacher present)
back

 

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

 

Sample Swatch Bag (Teacher present) June19

 

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

 

Sample Swatch Bag (Teacher present) June19

 

 

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

 

Here are a few things to consider:

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

 

Sample Swatch Bag (Teacher present) June19

 

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

 

Happy sewing!

 

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New Year Table Display: Part1


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

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

 

New Year 19 Display Table

 

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

 

So let’s get started!

 

1  Trivet Mats

 

EPP Trivet Mats

 

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

 

EPP

 

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

 

Trivet Mats

 

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

 

Trivet Mats

 

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

 

Trivet Mats

 

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

 

2  Aprons

 

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

 

Apron workshop

 

The popular Cross Back apron is available here.

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

 

apron in a jar 005

 

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

Cute or what!

 

3  Lunchbags (2 styles)

 

 (Pattern coming soon)

 

Lunchbags

 

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

 

Lunchbags

 

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

 

Lunchbags

 

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

 

Lunchbags

 

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

 

4  Teabag Wallet

 

(free tutorial available here)

 

Teabag wallet

 

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

 

Teabag Wallet Tutorial

 

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

 

Teabag Wallet Tutorial

 

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

 

5  Oven Gloves

(free tutorial available here)

 

Oven Gloves

 

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

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

 

Oven Gloves

 

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

 

Oven Gloves

 

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

 

6  Tea Cosy

(pattern available here)

 

Folksy Tea Cosy Workshop

 

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

 

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

 

Folksy Tea Cosy

 

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

 

Tea cosy class sample

 

7  Bottle Carrier

 

(free tutorial available here)

 

 

Bottle Holder

 

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

 

Bottle Holder

 

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

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

 

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

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

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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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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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Infinity Scarf Tutorial


By Judith on September 28, 2018
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My 5 minute demo in class this month was how to make these super easy infinity scarfs.

 

DSC_0020

 

You can use anything between 1 and 4 pieces of fabric for your scarf.

 

Infinity Scarfs

 

The sumptuous softness of Art Gallery fabrics  or Liberty Lawns work particularly well, but you can also use quilting cotton, or for a more cosy scarf, try brushed cotton or snuggly fleece.

 

Would you like to know how to make them? My tutorial shows you how to make a scarf from 4 fabrics.

 

Infinity scarf tutorial

 

You will need:

Scarf made from 1 fabric: 1 x (20″ x 60″) or

Scarf made from 2 fabrics: 2 x (10.5″ x 60″) or

Scarf made from 3 fabrics: 2 x (10.5″ x 30″) & 1 x (10.5″ x 60″) or

Scarf made from 4 fabrics: 4 x (10.5″ x 30″)

3 metres mini pom pom trim (optional)

Adjustable zipper foot

 

Use 1/4″ seam allowance

 

1  Sew 2 panels right sides together  along the short edges. Press the seam open.  Repeat for the other 2 panels.

 

 

2 On the right side of one of the pairs, pin and machine tack 2 x 60″ lengths of mini pom pom trim down both long sides. The pom poms should be facing away from the outer edges.  I used my zipper foot for this part so I could sew past the pom poms.

 

 

3 Place both paired panels right sides together and sew down both long sides.  Again, I used my zipper foot here.

 

 

4 Turn the scarf right side out.

 

5  Iron under the raw edges of one short end by 1/4″.

 

 

6  Take the other short end and twist the scarf once before tucking it into the ironed under short end.

 

 

7 Even out the short ends, pin and sew them together, 1/8″ from the folded edge. You are only sewing through the 2 short ends here.

 

 

And there you have it!  A beautifully soft infinity scarf.

 

Infinity Scarfs

 

You can of course lengthen and widen the measurements here to suit your needs or style!

 

Have fun making these versatile and practical scarves. But be warned!

 

EVERYONE will want one!!!

 

Happy sewing!

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Autumn Table Projects Part 2


By Judith on September 12, 2018
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Hello there!

 

As promised, I’m back to tell you about the rest of the projects on my Autumn Table!

 

Autumn18 Table Display

 

(you can read all about projects 1-5 here)

 

6. Denim Washbag:

 

Denim Washbag

 

My love of repurposing denim gets everywhere!

 

Unfortunately I don’t have a pattern written up yet for this project, but I’m currently working on a new Denim Pouch Bag, so stay tuned for new ways to upcycle your denim.

 

7. Stacked Coins Cushion

(pattern available here)

 

Scrappy Stacked Coins Cushion

 

I had so much fun making this cushion for my Scrap Busting Saturday last month.

 

Scrappy Stacked Coins Cushion

 

I have soooooooo many scraps I was able to ‘stack my coins’ into 10 colourways, 5 in the front and 5 in the back!

 

Scrappy Stacked Coins Cushion

 

The pattern includes a nifty step by step guide on how to put a zipper into your cushion.

 

Scrappy Stacked Coins cushion

 

And don’t worry if you don’t have as many ‘organised’ scraps as me, you can go completely random and throw everything (and the kitchen sink!) in!

 

8. Zippy pouches

(Easy Peasy Pouch pattern available here)

 

Easy Peasy Zippered Pouch Workshop

 

(Gracie Pouch pattern available here)

 

The Gracie Pouch Workshop

 

Another successful workshop last month was my Zippy Pouches day!

 

This was all about conquering the ‘fear of the zipper’, and adding more fabulous gift making ideas to the repertoire!

 

Easy Peasy Zippered Pouch Workshop

 

The Easy Peasy Pouch is a great beginner friendly pattern on which to cut your zippy teeth on (2 sizes available)!

 

The Gracie Pouch Workshop

 

And if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, try the roomy Gracie Pouch (also available in 2 sizes).

 

9. Tissue Box Covers

(free tutorial available here)

 

Tissue Box Cover Tutorial

 

Aren’t these much better looking than cardboard tissue boxes!

 

Tissue Box Cover Tutorial

 

And the great thing about this tutorial is you can cover any size box, with my handy ‘made to measure’ table!

 

10. Hot Water Bottle Cover

(pattern available here)

 

Hot Water Bottle Cover Pattern

 

As temperatures are cooling, how cosy would it be to snuggle up in the evening with a soothing hot water bottle and a great read.

 

Hot Water Bottle Cover Pattern

 

This cover fits a standard size hot water bottle, and if you line it with Insul Bright heat resistant wadding, your bottle stays warmer for longer!

 

And a great gift idea, don’t you think!

 

So there we have it!  My Autumn Table Roundup full of ideas and inspiration this new season.

 

Thank you for tuning in!

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Rope Bowl Workshop 2


By Judith on September 10, 2018
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Last Saturday was my 2nd Rope Bowl Workshop.

 

 

And I’m pleased to say this lot were just as productive as my first group of ladies!!

 

Rope Bowl Workshop2

Rope Bowl Workshop2

 

Once again the feedback from this workshop was a resounding success!

 

It gives me so much pleasure seeing proudly smiling faces going home with beautiful creations tucked under arms and invigorated inspiration for many future gifts!

 

Rope Bowl Workshop2

 

Well done ladies!

 

Interest and enquiries for this workshop continue to grow, so I will be sure to schedule more in next year!

 

Happy sewing!

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Tissue Box Cover Tutorial


By Judith on August 20, 2018
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It’s about time I posted another tutorial here, don’t you think?

 

Tissue Box Cover Tutorial

 

Before all the sniffles and colds get going, how about pretty, quilted tissue box covers.  I’d much rather see pretty fabric sitting in my room, than a functional cardboard box!

 

Tissue Box Cover Tutorial

 

And this tutorial will explain how to cover a box of any size, so let’s get started!

 

You Will Need:

 

Exterior Fabric

Lining Fabric

Wadding

Heavy Sew-In Vilene

Non-permanent fabric marker

Cardboard or template plastic

 

Measure your box:

 

Tissue Box Cover Tutorial

 

Take measurements A (short side), B (long side) and C (top).  Then add 3/4″ (0.75″) to each measurement (1/2″ for seam allowances, 1/4″ for ease) to get the cutting out sizes.

 

You can see my measurements in the example below:

 

Tissue Box Cover Tutorial

 

Cutting Out:

 

So now that you have the cutting out measurements you can either ….

 

apply all measurements to your exterior fabrics, lining fabric, wadding and heavy sew-in vilene

 

Tissue Box Cover Tutorial

 

OR

 

instead of cutting out the sides, cut and baste an 11″ x 12″ piece of exterior fabric, wadding and sew-in vilene.  Once quilted, this is big enough to cut out all 4 sides.

 

 

You will also need this template for the openings.  I use the larger shape for rectangular boxes and the smaller shape for cube boxes.  Cut out the openings and transfer them to card or template plastic.

 

Make It:

 

Use 1/4″ seams

 

1  If you haven’t already done so, spray baste the exterior fabrics, wadding and vilene together.

 

2 Quilt as desired (I marked and quilted a 1.5″ diagonal grid, see photo above).

 

 

3 Pin an exterior short side (A) right sides together with the exterior top (C). With a pen, mark 1/4″ in from each corner on the short side (wrong side).

 

 

4 Sew from marker to marker, starting and finishing with a reverse stitch. Repeat for the other short side.

 

 

5 Press the short ends out before attaching the long sides in the same way (remember to mark your 1/4″ points).

 

 

6 Repeat steps 3-5 for the lining pieces.

 

 

7 Find the middle of the lining top piece (I simply folded it in half lengthways and widthways and finger pressed).

 

 

8 Centre your chosen template opening onto the wrong side of the lining top piece and draw around it.

 

 

9 Pin the exterior and lining pieces right sides together. Sew along the drawn line, starting and finishing with a reverse stitch.

 

 

10 Carefully cut out the opening, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance. Snip at 1cm intervals all the way around the opening, taking care not to cut into the stitches.

 

 

11 Push the lining through the opening and all the way round to the back of the exterior. Iron around the opening to neaten.

 

 

12 Top stitch around the opening, 1/8″ from the edge.

 

 

13 Pin the exterior sides right sides together. Sew adjacent exterior sides together, sewing from the top down to the 1/4″ marker (fold the top piece out of the way so you can get right down to the 1/4″ marker). Start and finish with a reverse stitch.

 

Tissue Box Cover Tutorial

 

14 Repeat step 13 for the lining pieces.

 

 

15 Turn the exterior right side out, by folding it out over the lining. On the inside you should be able to see the right side of the lining.

 

16 Push the lining well into the corners of the exterior cover.  Pop in the tissue box and trim off any excess cover and lining level with the edge of the box.

 

 

17 Machine tack (large stitch) around the raw edges 1/8″ from the edge.

 

 

18 Make enough double fold quilt binding to get around the bottom edges with a couple of inches overlap.  Attach, join and finish the binding as you would for a quilt.

 

Pop in the tissue box and adorn your bedside table!

 

Tissue Box Cover Tutorial

 

Or how about a scrappy tissue box cover ….

 

QAYG Tissue box cover

 

…. or have some free motion sketching fun!

 

Tissue Box Cover Tutorial

 

Whatever shape or design you choose for your cover, have lots of fun!

 

Happy sewing!

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‘Wee Coloured Houses’ Birthday Pouch


By Judith on August 14, 2018
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A good friend of mine recently celebrated a milestone birthday.

 

Now this friend is uber creative and talented, especially when it comes to ceramics.

 

Rachel has a workshop in Conway Mill, just 2 floors above me, and makes the most stunning ceramic house pictures and brooches #weecolouredhouses

 

I’m lucky to be the proud owner of 2 such creations!

 

'Wee Coloured Houses' by Rachel Julca

'Wee Coloured Houses' by Rachel Julca

 

So from one maker to another, I knew my gift had to be handmade!

 

Wee Coloured Houses Pouch (birthday gift)
approx 12″ x 8″

 

My ‘Wee Coloured Houses’ pouch is inspired by Rachel’s adorable little houses. They have been free motion sketched onto Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Flax).  Those tiny windows were a challenge!!

 

Wee Coloured Houses Pouch (birthday gift)

 

I know Rachel loves colour, so I went with a patchworked back and a bright, funky lining.

 

Wee Coloured Houses Pouch (birthday gift)

Wee Coloured Houses Pouch (birthday gift)

 

So here’s to many more creative years Rachel!

 

 

And if you would like to purchase one of Rachel’s pictures or commission her for a custom order, you can contact her here.

 

Also, keep an eye out for her at Frock Around the Clock Fares and the Fine & Dandy Markets, as well as seeing her stock in The Designerie (Bushmills), Belfast City Airport, The Crafty Barn (Carlingford) and Klover (Hillsborough) to name a few!

 

Happy sewing!

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Easter Table (part 2)!


By Judith on March 16, 2018
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So, I’m going to completely ignore the impending snow forecast and pretend it is spring and enjoy my narcissus and daffs and the blissfulness of denial!

 

 

With just over 2 weeks to Easter, let’s crack on with part 2 of my classroom Easter table.

 

Garden Shed Tidy (Pretty Patches May16)

 

At the top right hand side of the picture, you will see my Garden Shed Tidy.

 

 

Sewing with clear vinyl isn’t as tricky as you might think!

 

 

This was made for the May ’16 issue of Pretty Patches magazine.  As the garden starts to come to life again, I get sporadic urges to amble down the ‘garden’ isles of my local homeware shop,  buying packets of seeds with renewed vigor that this year I will plant them (!!)

 

And if (like me) you aren’t much of a gardener, you could easily use this cute tidy in your bathroom, the teenagers room, or in the study keeping stamps, envelopes and stationery organised (people do still write letters, right?).

 

 

Hanging on my diy Easter tree are my Easter Egg Zippy Pouches, made with older children in mind who might prefer money or vouchers for Easter!  You can get the free tutorial here.

 

DIY Easter tree

 

Also hanging on my Easter tree are some crochet bunnies.  I followed this tutorial, however mine seem to resemble some kind of dysmorphic bat!

 

Harriet Hare Cushion

 

Now one of the cushions on my table is an old friend.  You may recognise her from this quilt!

 

Harriet Hare Cushion

 

My trusty Woodland Hare, Harriet, has been enlarged and appliqued onto a bespoke cushion cover.  She’s been stuffed and in the absence of piping cord, I top-stitched the side seams.

 

Seeing Harriet’s endearing smile always brings me joy!

 

Picnic Bobble Quilt (Popular Patchwork Aug16)

 

 

Finally, for part 2, all of these items are sitting on my Picnic Bobble Blanket.

 

This was another magazine commission, this time the August ’16 issue of Popular Patchwork.

 

It’s a great pattern for showing off a larger scale print.

 

Picnic Bobble Quilt (Popular Patchwork Aug16)

 

It is double backed, the outer layer being a machine washable shower curtain (we don’t want any soggy bottoms!).

 

Picnic Bobble Quilt (Popular Patchwork Aug16)

 

This is another pattern I will commit to re-write for general sale!

There is a lot of work involved in converting a pattern from a magazine template to one of my own formatted patterns.  I have a long ‘to do’ list and will be announcing some new releases soon!  Thank you for your patience.

 

There are still 2 projects left on the table to tell you about.  But I will give them a post all of their own!

 

In the meantime …..

 

Keeeeeeeeep sewing!

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Easter Table (part 1)!


By Judith on March 14, 2018
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When I was at Primary School we had a ‘Nature Table’, decorated according to the seasons, with items mucky hands would triumphantly find and trophy into class the next day!

 

The Autumn Table was my favourite.  I can still see the bright orangey-red ovals of rosehips, shining like jewels among the tattered leaves and empty conker casings.

 

Well I may be all grown up now (sort of!), but in the childhood-spirit of celebrating the season, I thought it would be nice to have an ‘Easter Table’ in class!

 

 

Not all of these items are strictly ‘Easter’ related – I’m using a little Spring inspiration (& a lot of creative license!) too.

 

So over the next 2 posts, let me talk you through my table and I’ll give you the links to the free tutorials too!

 

We’ll start with the left hand side of the table.  The items are sitting on my blue chenille mat.  If you’ve never tried chenilling before, I highly recommend it.  Great fun and super easy too!

 

Chenille

 

Chenille involves lots of layers of fabric, sewn together on the bias in half inch channels.  The fabric between the channels is then cut, through all layers except the bottom one.  Give it a rigorous wash and tumble dry, and hey presto, you have the fluffiest fabric which you can then turn into anything you like!

 

So far, I’ve chenilled a baby play mat,  a bath mat (below) and a heart cushion!

 

 

In my trug we have my Carrot Cornets ….

 

Easter Carrot Cornets tutorial
filled up with mini eggs!

 

 

……and my Bunny Bags ……..

 

Easter Bunny Bags tutorial

 

The large and small baskets are based on this tutorial by Pink Penguin.  These are so versatile, with a multitude of applications!

 

Easter Basket

 

Above the trug we have my easy cutesy baby bibs ….

 

 

… and my large and small Bunny Tote Bags.

 

 

These were made for Pretty Patches magazine last year.  One day I will get around to re-formatting the pattern for general sale!

 

And above these Bunny Tote Bags are my hanging Scented Houses.  I ran this as a workshop a few years ago, but I need to update the pattern. So it’s not available just at the moment, soz!

 

Scented Fabric Houses Feb13hang them in your wardrobe to keep clothes smelling fresh!

 

I think that’s enough to be getting on with!

 

Tune in later in the week for Easter Table Part 2!

 

I’ll leave you with my crocheted spring garland (another invention of mine for which I haven’t yet written the pattern! Soz again!).

 

 

Happy sewing!

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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.