Kindred Spirits QAL: Final Week


By Judith on January 25, 2021
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It’s the final week of the Kindred Spirits Quilt-Along!



Wow! It seems like only yesterday when we started with our very first Friendship Reel block back in September!

Initial feedback from the group reveals that having the quilt-along to focus on and a new block to tackle each week has definitely helped to distract from the pandemic and kept minds and hands busy in all the right ways!!

Last week we started to see some completed flimsies! What a delight!



And this week is all about the quilting, binding and finishing our quilts!

At last I can show you the 2 finished Kindred Spirits quilts that I made during our quilt-along!


Coastal:

64″ x 76″



This is the Coastal version of the Kindred Spirits Quilt, based on the main quilt-along graphic (above).

The fabrics used are all by Makower (see below) and are available in our online shop.


One of our Kindred Spirits, Trudi Wood, is a professional long-arm quilter (& a very good friend!) and she worked her quilting magic on the quilt, using one of her pretty fan pantographs!



Isn’t it spectacular! I love the wonderful texture and superior effects that are achieved from long-arm quilting!

Thank you Trudi for finishing off this quilt so beautifully!


Scrappy Tilda:

64″ x 76″

I tested all of the quilt-along blocks by making them first with mostly Tilda scraps. I love how different fabrics can completely change the look of a quilt, even when the design is the same!



I quilted this one on my domestic machine, using an organic wavy line across the width of the quilt.


A video tutorial on how to achieve this quilting design and also a demo on Free Motion Quilting is included in this week’s teaching video.



I’m delighted with both versions of my quilt, and I just know the Kindred Spirits are going to produce equally beautiful quilts! I can’t wait to see them!

We are currently working to reformat the Kindred Spirits Quilt-Along into a stand alone class for general sale. We’ll keep you posted!

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Kindred Spirits Quilt-Along: Update


By Judith on January 11, 2021
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I’ve been very neglectful in keeping you up-to-date here on our Kindred Spirits Quilt-Along! Apologies! I think perhaps Christmas put paid to my QAL rhythm and blog routine!!



Since I last updated you on the QAL we have made….

1 Light of Life Lantern (18″ Drunkard’s Path) block:


2 Flying Geese borders:


2 Spools blocks (9″ each):




And this week the ladies are making …

1 Circle of Hearts (9″ Applique) block:



2 Orange Peel (9″ Applique) blocks:



This week marks the end of all our block making! Wow! 17 weeks has gone by in a flash! The photos the ladies put up in the private Facebook Group are wonderful and it’s so exciting seeing the quilts growing week on week.


That just leaves 2 more weeks where we will be covering quilt top assembly and quilting and binding techniques bringing our QAL to an end on 31st January.


I’m very much looking forward to showing you some of the finished quilt tops in a few weeks time!

Stayed tuned!

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Crossed Paths


By Judith on December 3, 2020
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This week in the Kindred Spirits Quilt-Along we are making three 9″ Crossed Paths blocks.

 

 

This block column will add a dramatic geometric contrast to the softer curves and sharp points of its surrounding blocks.

 

The technique focus in making these blocks is how to successfully sew long strips together.

 

For these blocks we are sewing 3 Width of Fabric strips together (42″-44″) and then chopping them into smaller units to create the striped sections.

 

 

If you have ever worked with a Jelly Roll (precut 2.5″ strips) or narrow border strips you may have experienced some curving or bowing when sewing the long strips together.

 

Here are some helpful tips to avoid curving when sewing long strips together:

 

1 Pin/clip the strips right sides together, first at the top and bottom edges, then the middle and the quarter points.  This will prevent the top strip from ‘travelling’ further than the underneath strip.

2 (If sewing more than 2 strips together, place a pin marker at the top of the first 2 strips so you remember which end you started sewing at.)

3 Use a new 80/12 standard needle and attach a walking foot to your machine (or engage IDT). Sew 1/4″ seam down the length of the strips.

4 Remove the pins/clips and set the seams (press the seam as you have sewn it). Now press the seam either open or to the darkest fabric. This is best done on a large ironing board where you can easily keep the length of the strip straight as you press.

5 Pin and attach the next strip in the same way as before, this time sewing from the bottom end (remember your pin marker donotes the top end). Changing direction of the sewing will resist curving.

Now you should have straight sewn strips with no ruffles or curving along the seams!!

 

Happy sewing!

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EPP Decoration & Label


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

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

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

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

 

Christmas Decoration:

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

Quilt Label:

 

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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EPP Spring Wallhanging


By Judith on November 23, 2020
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We have reached the half way point in our Kindred Spirits Quilt-Along!!

 

It’s so wonderful seeing the many blocks being made in our private Facebook group, and the many different colourways and fabric choices personalising them all!

 

In fact we are already half-way through our block making!!  This week is the 2nd week of an English Paper Pieced block called Unity Tile!

 

 

English Paper Piecing (EPP) is an ancient hand piecing technique where fabric is hand sewn around paper shapes. The shapes are then sewn together and the papers removed.

 

EPP is a historical quilting technique that traces back to the 1770s. The earliest hexagon template that quilt researchers have found was made in England in 1770. Hexagons and English Paper Piecing became one of the most popular patterns and styles in England by during the early 1800’s.
Godey’s Ladies Book published the first hexagon pattern in 1835.

In the 1800’s paper was a luxury, so women reused what paper that was available, newspaper, old letters, poems, shopping lists, catalogues etc. This has enabled quilt historians to accurately date some of the earliest English Paper Pieced quilts, as the paper was often left in the quilts.  Many EPP quilts maintained their papers, either as a way of providing an additional layer of insulation or because the quilt top remained unfinished and they had yet to be removed.

There were also clues in the fabrics used; often velvets, upholstery fabrics, silks and dress cottons, taken from a fabric stash that may span years or even decades. This suggests that patchwork was a fashionable pursuit for the ladies of the gentry and upper middle classes in the eighteenth century. This is contrary to many beliefs that quilts were made purely for utility and practicality. Although this was often the case, EPP in particular was more of a leisure activity due to the time it took and the complexity of the geometric shapes.
Source: Modern Quilt Guild 

 

Our ladies have been beavering away on their hand sewing and we’re already seeing some finished blocks!

 

In addition to our Unity Tile, I asked a couple of ladies to consider getting creative with the Unity Tile templates and coming up with alternative projects!

 

Here is what Di (@willowbeckdesigns) made for us:

 

 

This is a sweet Spring Wallhanging, using 2 of the 3 EPP shapes in the Unity Tile block.

 

 

I just love how Di saw ‘flowers’ in these shapes and her interpretation reminds me of a fresh Spring Day when the garden is coming back to life and bursting with colour again!

 

 

A ray of sunshine on any dull day!

 

Thank you Di for making this lovely wallhanging to inspire us with ideas on how we can use our templates for other projects.

 

And soon I’ll show you 2 more fab ideas that Sarah (@sewmesarah) came up with!

 

Happy sewing!

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Foundation Paper Piecing


By Judith on November 5, 2020
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Hello folks!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I’ve had a very good reason!

 

 

My eldest daughter was married this week in England.  The current pandemic meant the original guest list was whittled down to 6, the date brought forward a day, no bridal party, no photographer, no reception, a last minute change of vicar and no honeymoon! Poor things!

 

 

That being said, we had a lovely simplified day celebrating together! It has been almost a year since I’ve seen my girl and it was so good spending a few days together.

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

 

So time to update you on our Kindred Spirits Quilt-Along!

 

Solidarity Star (Kindred Spirits QAL)

 

For the past 2 weeks the ladies have been working on a Foundation Paper Pieced 18″ block called Solidarity Star.

Solidarity Star (Kindred Spirits QAL)

In the 18th and 19th Centuries, Foundation Piecing was popular as a way of stabilising fabric by sewing it first onto a foundation of either scrap fabric or muslin or paper (often old letters!). It is a similar technique to English Paper Piecing where fabric is wrapped & secured around paper shapes before being sewn together.

 

 

Paper foundations are torn out after sewing, whereas fabric foundations remain in the finished project.

 

Today, our cheaply produced and widely available paper is the most commonly used foundation, with block design becoming more elaborate achieving complex and precise piecing.

 

Popper Penguin Cushion pattern available here

Freezer paper can also be used in Foundation Piecing. In this instance the finished size of each shape is made from freezer paper with the fabrics being cut 1/4″ wider. Unlike Foundation Paper Piecing, you don’t stitch through the freezer paper, it is simply peeled off after the fabrics are pieced together.

 

Schoolhouse Cushion Pattern available here

As part of our Quilt-Along, we will be learning the non-freezer paper method and sewing directly onto our paper templates.

 

Because of the complexity of our Solidarity Star we are taking 2 weeks of the QAL to make our block.  And I’m seeing fabulous results in our private Facebook Group!!

 

Foundation Paper Piecing is one of my favourite patchwork techniques!  I just love all the crisp lines and points you can achieve!

 

 

If you’ve never tried Foundation Paper Piecing why not have a go with some simple tutorials and shapes to get a hold of the technique.  There are some great tips for Beginner Foundation Paper Piecers here. Then a whole world of beautiful stars, pictures and complex shapes will open up to you!

 

Happy sewing!

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Dresden Petal Pouch


By Judith on October 22, 2020
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This week in The Kindred Spirits Quilt-Along we are making Dresdens!

 

Kindred Spirits QAL (Dresden)

 

During the 1920’s and 30’s, Dresden, Germany produced porcelain plates decorated with elaborate designs using flowers, fruits and foliage. These plates became the inspiration for the Dresden Plate quilt block throughout Europe and beyond.  While some Dresden blades can have smooth ends, often the blades are finished with a point or curve.

 

Large Dresden Block (Kindred Spirits QAL)

Typically dresden blocks have even numbered blades. We are making a large 12 bladed dresden for our sampler quilt, but you can make them any size and get creative with how they are pieced and finished.

 

Just take a look at some awesome dresdens from around the world in my Pinterest Dresden Board.

 

I’ve been showing the ladies in the Quilt-Along how to use their dresden template different ways, and also how to draw their own dresden templates.

 

Dresden Petal Pouch (kindred Spirits QAL)
Front

Dresden Petal Pouch (kindred Spirits QAL)
Back

 

 

I made my own dresden template to make this cute dresden embellished wristlet pouch!

 

Dresden Petal Pouch (kindred Spirits QAL)

 

I  paired some Essex Yard Dyed Linen (Denim) with Makower’s Sashiko fabrics to make a clutch size pouch (5″ x 9.5″).

 

The metal zipper and faux leather tab add a little sophistication but I just love the cuteness petal blades bring to mini dresdens!!

 

Dresden Petal Pouch (kindred Spirits QAL)

 

The simplicity of the dresden applique and hand stitching is all this little pouch needed.

 

So if you’d like to find out how to make your own dresden templates, and how to finish the raw edges of a curved petal blade check out my little video below!

 

 

Happy sewing!

 

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HSTs, QSTs and HRTs


By Judith on October 9, 2020
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Hi everyone, I hope you’ve had a good week. It’s been a busy week of filming here at Just Jude Designs, as well as keeping tabs on the participants of our Kindred Spirits QAL!

 

This week’s block in the QAL is the Friendship Star block.

 

 

We are making two 9″ Friendship Star blocks with sweet pinwheels in the centre. Traditionally though there would be a square in the middle and as the name suggests, this little block had profund meaning to the early pioneer women making for friends who were often on the move.

 

 

“The quilts the homesteaders brought with them were a comfort to these women who traded their home, family and friends in the East, for the uncertainty of traveling through vast prairies in the West. A quilt that held special value to the pioneer women was the Friendship Quilt.

 

Often it was done in secret, and then given to the woman as a going away gift. It usually was a group effort, with each block being sewn by a friend or relative with their name embroidered in the center.

 

Putting a Friendship quilt on the bed, gave a woman a sense of connection with her former way of life. It kept alive the memory of family and friends, providing comfort and company during the difficult days of homesteading.”


Source: National Park Service Quilt Discovery Experience

 

Our main technique focus this week is the Half Square Triangle (HST), a fun little element which can behold a multitude of designs.

 

Here are just a few of our HST designs down through the years!

 

 

 

Patterns for many HST projects (including several of the quilts shown above) are available in our pattern shop.

 

But do you know the difference between HSTs, QSTs and HRTs (no, not that one!)?

 

 

Check out our free tutorial here to find out!!!!

 

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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