Log Cabin Hearts Tutorial


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



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


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

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



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



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

Perfect for using even the smallest of prettiest scraps!

But of course, why stick with squares!!



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

The large size would be perfect as a table centre.



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



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



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



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

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


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

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


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

Happy sewing!

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Vintage Christmas Gift Bags


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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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



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

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Table Topper Secret Swap!


By Judith on December 18, 2020
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Myself and 3 other quilty friends (Sarah, Trudi & Di) call ourselves ‘Threads Across the Sea’ because 2 of us live in N.Ireland and the other 2 in England. We meet up in person at least once a year (Corona virus put paid to our 2020 gathering!!) and organise ourselves into themed secret swaps and handmade gift exchanges!

October 2019


We decided to set ourselves a secret swap for Christmas, but not Christmas themed. We are unified in our love of mats and table toppers. And so the challenge was set!

Now that we have all exchanged and opened our swap parcels I can tell you that I was making for Trudi and based on her mood board, this is what I made her:


Trudi has a long table in her kitchen, so I went for more of a runner than a topper.

Her mood board was strong on geometric and symmetrical shapes and lines, so I copied a flying geese design which I found on Pinterest (originally designed by my fellow Brit bee mate Laura Jane!).


Trudi is a fellow lover of Art Gallery Fabrics. I’ve had a mixed AGF FQ bundle knocking around for a while (Pat Bravo and Maureen Cracknell), waiting for that perfect project!


I carefully picked out some of the colours from Trudi’s mood board and teamed them with Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Oyster). I love how the richness of Essex Yarn Dyed Linen compliments the sumptuous softness of Art Gallery Fabrics.


With the waste corner cuts from the main flying geese, I made a trivet, bolstered by an extra layer of heat resistant wadding. A complimentary kitchen accessory to the runner!


Isn’t it cute! The extra wadding certainly adds more definition to the quilting!


And who was making for me?



This is what I received from Di! Isn’t it lovely! Made mostly from Tilda fabrics (swoon!).


These fabrics are so pretty and blend perfectly with the accents in my home.



And, the extra goodies included were yummy fabrics and a pretty folded star ornament! Win, win!



Thank you Di for my perfect topper! I have a selection of surfaces where it will look right at home!!


All 4 of the runners and toppers revealed in our swap are stunning! You can check them out by searching #threadsacrossthesea on Instagram.

Let’s hope our next gift swap will be in person (on the English side) in 2021!

Happy swapping!

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Mixed Textile Clutch


By Judith on December 13, 2020
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My daughter needed a secret Santa gift for a female work colleague so I offered to make her a pouch!

With no information about the likes or dislikes of the recipient, I had free reign to come up with whatever I wanted! Yay! Let the playtime commence!

I had recently been pinning some mixed textile pouches on Pinterest with sashiko and boro stitching, and loved how cohesive they looked, despite the variety of patches and textures!

So I thought I’d have a go and see where this organic process would take me!


You already know I love recycling textiles and I also love mixing my textiles. Here I have used repurposed jeans with lush Italian wool, Irish linen & jersy suiting, ditsy and vintage cottons with sample book tweed.


I didn’t want a particularly ‘quilted’ look to this pouch but knew I needed to stabilise all the different fabrics. So I quilted in the ditches onto wadding and heavy sew-in vilene.


I then boro quilted over 2 bondawebbed patches, giving the pouch a relaxed Japanese feel.


The addition of fusible lightweight stabiliser to the lining enhances the structure and body of the clutch. It feels substantial and very tactile!


I had a lot of fun re-imagining the textiles for this clutch! Even the duffle coat button and leather tab & label are recycled!!



I will definitely make another!

In the meantime, I’ve got everything crossed that the recipient loves her foldover clutch as much as I do!!


Happy sewing!

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New Pattern: Robin Hoop Art


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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Repurposed Textile Gifts


By Judith on November 11, 2020
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A good friend of mine recently moved into a long awaited new home.

This friend is my equal with regards to her love of repurosing textiles, especially vintage sheets and denim!

So I slipped into my happy place and made her a few items for her new home!

 

Denim Coasters:

 

Denim Coasters

 

These are ‘Quilt As You Go’ coasters, quilting each little piece of denim on to wadding before the next is added.

 

Denim Coasters

 

Approximately 5.5″ in diameter (including binding) they are a substantial and durable coaster, plenty of room for any size mug!

 

Denim Coasters

 

I love how robust denim is, for both using and washing, and I wanted to get a patterned bias binding to add a decorative touch!

I deliberated over various coloured and floral bindings in my stash, feeling that none of them were quite right (too floral, too bright, too girly, too light etc.!!!).

 

Denim Coasters

 

So I went to my local haberdashers with navy in mind and was delighted to find a stretch knit bias, subtely patterned and a dream to attach.

 

Denim Coasters

 

Now that the coasters have been received my friend told me they perfectly co-ordinate with the blues in their kitchen! Yay!

 

Vintage Sheets Basket:

My friend entrusted me to ‘look after’ her vintage sheets collection while she was travelling for a year!

 

Vintage Sheets Basket

 

So I felt it was time to return some of her collection to her in the form of a cute storage basket for her craft room.

 

Vintage Sheets Basket

 

I used my Selvedge Basket design and again used a ‘Quilt As You Go’ technique to sew strips onto heavy sew-in interfacing, incorporating some of my own vintage sheets with my friend’s.

 

Vintage Sheets Basket

 

These gifts were delivered by post, so I only included some of my friend’s vintage sheets collection.  But one day I will reunite her with the rest, and I hope they will inspire her to return to sewing when she is settled in!

 

Vintage Sheets Basket

 

There are a few more denim projects on the sewing table at the moment too (shhhh, it’s a secret!)  which I hope I’ll be able to show you soon!

 

Happy sewing!

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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