Diamond Mats


By Judith on October 16, 2020
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Hi everyone, I can’t believe it’s a week already since my last post!

 

The new week in our Kindred Spirits Quilt-Along has brought a new block and technique focus!

 

 

This week we are making two 9″ Garden Baskets, showcasing the Y Seam as our technique focus!

 

What is a Y Seam?  It’s where 3 seams converge to form a Y shape.

 

 

There are 3 Y seams to navigate in each Garden Basket block.

 

There seems to be an inherent fear of Y seams (a little like zippers!) in the quilting world, but with a few clever little tips they’re not as nearly as tricky as you might think!

 

While our basket block involves mostly piecing, we use a diamond template to cut out the ‘flowers’ in our baskets.

 

I like to get creative with the templates in our QAL, to see what other ways we can use them.  Here are a couple of ideas.

 

Variation 1:

LeMoyne Star Candle Mat

 

 

 

The LeMoyne Star is one of the most well known and historical quilt blocks to use Y seams!

 

 

Historians disagree over the origins of this 8 pointed star – either named after the LeMoyne Brothers who founded New Orleans in 1718 and used this star in their coat of arms or after Jean Louis LeMoyne who included the star into his designs for the tiles at King Louis XVI’s palace at Versailles in the early 1700!

Either way, it’s old!!

 

 

So here’s my more contemporary version, using Makower Scandi fabrics to piece our diamonds into a sweet Christmas candle mat!

 

 

There are a total of 8 Y seams in LeMoyne star! I quilted my little mat in the ditches of the diamonds and finished with pre-made bias binding trim.

 

Variation 2:

EPP Tray Mat

 

 

Using the English Paper Piecing (EPP) technique (wrapping fabric around paper templates) you can create a beautiful star shape which can then be appli-quilted* onto a contrasting background.

 

*Appli-quilting is a two in one step, where the stitching down of the applique shape is done through all the layers of the background quilt sandwich, which means it gets quilted at the same time as being appliqued!

 

 

Our diamond template is used here to create the EPP papers (the finished size of the diamonds), and the fabric is then cut 1/4″ bigger all the way round the shape.

 

 

This means the star in this variation finishes bigger than our LeMoyne Star variation.

 

 

A little rounding of the corners gives a softening contrast to the points of the star.

 

 

So there we have 2 simple ways to use the humble diamond template (and use up some pretty scraps in the process!).

 

I’m looking forward to seeing what the ladies produce this week in the QAL!

 

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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New Drunkard’s Path Patterns


By Judith on October 1, 2020
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This week in our Kindred Spirits Quilt-Along we are making the Sunflower block.

 

 

Our technique focus this time is curved piecing using the humble drunkard’s Path unit (Quarter Circle and Background Fan).

 

 

I love curved piecing and the endless variety this little quilt block offers.

 

With the templates my ladies received this week in the QAL, and the trimming technique they learned in the teaching video, they could not only make the pretty Sunflower Block but they could make all of these 13″ quilt blocks too ……

 

 

…. and all of these 19.5″ Cushion Panels!!

 

 

How cool is that!  There are endless curvy possibilities with a drunkard’s path block!

 

And here are two more!

 

1 Hippy Blush Quilt 

(pattern available here)

 

 

2 Oriental Clams Quilt

(Pattern available here)

 

 

These are two of my patterns which have previously been published in magazines, and are made completely from Drunkard’s Path blocks.

 

I’m pleased to finally be able to reformat them for general sale, including professionally art-worked Drunkard’s Path templates.

 

The patterns are available for immediate download in my Pattern shop, along with several other Drunkard’s Path project patterns!

 

Wishing you lots of curvy fun!!

 

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Easy Baby Quilt Tutorial


By Judith on September 29, 2020
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I’m often asked for quick and easy baby quilt patterns!

 

Once baby has arrived it’s great to have a speedy ‘go to’ pattern to run up in either your favourite boyish fabrics or pretty girly prints for those special and meaningful gifts!

 

My Square in a Square Baby Quilt pattern will cover all bases, and it’s beginner friendly too!

 

 

This cot size quilt finishes at 40.5″ x 54″ and would also make a great play mat!

 

 

I’ve used lots of bright and colourful Amy Butler prints for the main fabric in my girly version, teamed with soft Kona Snow for the background and a fun stripey binding!

 

 

The rounded corners soften the look of the quilt and simple ‘echo’ quilting provides an effective but simple quilting design for starter quilters.

 

 

And even better, this is a charm square friendly quilt, so cutting is kept to a minimum!

You can get the free tutorial here.

Happy sewing!

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Kindred Spirits Quilt-Along


By Judith on September 3, 2020
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I’m super excited to let you know about my latest teaching project:

 

Kindred Spirits Quilt (Coastal) 64″ x 76″

 

This is the Kindred Spirits Sampler Quilt and I will be teaching this as a weekly quilt-along, starting 14th September through to end January ’21.

 

Each week there will be a new block to make and a new technique focus (some blocks have 2 weeks allocated).

 

This was a project I already had in mind for my actual classes at Conway Mill.  But as I’m not back to running my classes yet (thanks to Coronavirus!) I thought I would go ahead and teach it online!  And that means anyone can join in!

 

This quilt-along is all about building skills, building confidence and building community.  Here are a few more thoughts on what this quilt-along represents:

 

 

So what do you get?

 

All the teaching will come in the form of

 

  • pre-recorded videos emailed each week into your inbox. These videos will include accurately cuttin fabric and using templates.  The videos mean you have complete control -press pause, replay and sew at your own pace
  • PDF documents (colouring sheets & cutting instructions)
  • Professionally art-worked templates (as needed)

 

and you will be supported every step of the way through our interactive social media groups where you can ask questions, share tips and ideas, access bonus features, make new friends and create community!

 

And here are a few other colourways you could consider:

 

Kindred Spirits Quilt (Cool Christmas)
Kindred Spirits Quilt (Scrappy)

 

The full list of materials and equipment needed is available here, as well as the schedule of our block making throughout the 4 months.

 

And finally, by taking part in this Quilt-Along, you will also be supporting a charity close to my heart.

£5 from every registration will be donated to Shared Threads, who make reuseable sanitary pads and hygiene packs for women and girls who are struggling with period poverty at home and abroad.

 

Here’s Kirsty to tell you more:

 

 

If you’d like more information about the work of Shared Threads or how you can get involved, check out their website here.

 

And so the countdown begins!

 

I do hope you will consider joining us for an Autumn term of fun, learning and connecting!

 

(Booking will be available from 14th September here)

 

Happy sewing!

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Ditsy Daisy Quilt


By Judith on August 4, 2020
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In 2017 my Ditsy Daisy quilt pattern was published in Popular Patchwork Magazine.

 

56.5” x 66” (155cm x 162.5cm) Photo courtesy of Popular Patchwork Magazine

 

My inspiration for this quilt was the bundle of fabrics the editor sent me, from Lewis & Irene, called Flo’s Little Flowers.

 

 

This collection was all about cute ditsy prints with a retro vibe in a contemporary colour palette.  So in keeping with the floral theme, I designed a hydrangea block and a daisy block to capture the soft, summery feel of these fabrics.

 

 

Hydrangeas are fascinating flowers because each ‘head’ is made up of lots of little flowers, each with 4 petals and a tiny centre.

That’s where the design for my Hydrangea block came from.

 

Ditsy Daisy Quilt (Popular Patchwork May17)

 

Just before lockdown we had reformatted and tested the pattern ready for general sale, and I’m delighted to announce that it is now available in digital format in our webshop.

 

Ditsy Daisy Quilt (Popular Patchwork May17)

 

The background fabric is Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Flax) which you can purchase here.

 

This pattern will cover the piecing technique for the hydrangea block and how to machine applique the daisies with lots of photos to support you each step of the way.

 

Ditsy Daisy Quilt

 

You will also learn how to assemble the quilt top with borders, joining the backing & curving the corners of your quilt.  Additional free tutorials on spray basting and making and attaching binding are available here.

 

Ditsy Daisy Quilt

 

This quilt is definitely for all lovers of florals and summer!!  Just like me!

Happy quilting!

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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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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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2019 Online Quilters Meet & Greet


By Judith on September 3, 2019
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Hi there, I’m taking part in Victoriana Quilt Designs 2019 Online Quilters Meet & Greet.  A special welcome to those visiting from Benita’s blog and taking part in her annual Meet & Greet Grand Prize Draw!

 

Just Jude Designs Classes & Workshops

 

By way of introduction, I’m Judith of Just Jude Designs.  I’m a Patchwork & Quilting Designer and Tutor working from my spacious studio in a beautifully converted Victorian linen mill in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

 

Conway Mill

 

I’ve been teaching now for 12 years, not only designing projects to teach but also designing quilting projects for magazines and a UK based fabric distributor.

 

Autumn Boho Quilt
Autumn Boho Quilt (Mama & Baby sizes). Pattern available here.

 

 

I’m particularly fond of sewing with scraps (I generate a lot of them in my line of work!) and this is reflected in many of my designs.

 

Sun, Sea and Sky Quilt (Quilt Now Magazine August17)
Sun, Sea & Sky Quilt for Quilt Now Magazine Aug’17. Pattern available here.
Popular Patchwork cover.July
Summer Starburst Quilt for Popular Patchwork June’16

 

Scrappy Strips Quilt (British P&Q Sept16)
Scrappy Strips Quilt for British P&Q Sept’16. Free tutorial here.
DP Table Runner & Mats (British Patchwork & Quilting, April'16)
Baubles Table Runner & Mats for British Patchwork & Quilting Magazine April’16. Pattern available here.

 

I wouldn’t say I have a particular ‘style’ to my quilts.  Sometimes I take inspiration from the fabrics themselves, or a themed brief from an editor, nostalgia or patterns I see in nature and objects around me.

 

Woodland Friends Quilt (Popular Patchwork, Oct issue)
Woodland Friends Quilt for Popular Patchwork Magazine Oct’16. Pattern available here.

 

 

Some of my best work comes from not having a design brief, and simply grabbing a handful of fabric or scraps and just allowing an organic creative process to develop!

 

Oriental Clamshells Quilt (Popular Patchwork Jan18)

 

I don’t always know what I’m going to end up with, but when I mix a little courage with an open mind, I’m rarely disappointed!

 

Denim Boro Bag
Denim Boro Bag. Pattern available here.

 

I’m also fond of recycling textiles in patchwork and quilting – linen, denim, tweed, wool and vintage sheets are particular favourites!

 

Harriet Hare in Tweed, Wool & Linen
Harriet Hare Cushion in Tweed, Wool & Linen. Pattern available here.
Vintage Sheets Cushions
Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

So that’s a little flavour of my patchwork & quilting life. You can read more about me here, and see more of my patterns here.

 

And if you would like to enter Benita’s Grand Prize Draw (4 pre-cut bundles, 3 Aurifil thread sets, Warm & Natural Batting, 2 Sewline Start sets & lifetime membership to Victoriana Quilt Designs) then just click on the button below to enter your details.  Winners will be announced by Benita on 1st October.

Happy quilting!

 

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‘Quilt Top In A Day’ Workshop Finishes


By Judith on August 14, 2019
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Last Saturday was sultry and wet, the perfect day for sewing!

 

 

We had our ‘Quilt Top In A Day’ Workshop at the studio, with 7 ladies making either my Mama Boho or Baby Boho Quilt pattern (see if you can spot my Mama Boho Quilt in the picture below!).

 

Quilt Top in a Day workshop

 

Mama Boho is a great quilt design for using large and bold prints, and the simple half square triangle construction means blocks are made in double quick time!

 

Look at these dramatic Mama Boho Quilts …..

 

Quilt Top in a Day workshop
70″ x 88″ finished

 

And while there is a little waste generated from the triangle corners that are cut away, even these can be repurposed into a co-ordinating cushion cover!

 

Quilt Top in a Day workshop

 

The Baby Boho quilt is ‘layer cake friendly’ – just look at these cuties!!!

 

Quilt Top in a Day workshop
38″ x 48″ finished

 

Aren’t they adorable!

Well done ladies on a productive day sewing your flimsies!

So if you need a quilt made up quickly why not try Mama or Baby Boho Quilt pattern, available here.

Happy sewing!

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Brit Bee R3 Medallion Finished!


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

 

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

 

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

 

Delamont July19
Delamont Country Park

 

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

 

So, on to more quilty things!

 

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

 

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

 

Brit Bee Medallion R3

 

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

 

Brit Bee Medallion R3

 

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

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

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

 

Brit Bee Medallion R3

 

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

It was love at first sight!

 

Brit Bee Medallion R3

 

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

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

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

 

Brit Bee Medallion R3

 

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

 

Brit Bee Medallion R3

 

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

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

Happy sewing!

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Monsoon/Frost Quilt Finishes


By Judith on July 1, 2019
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Each term we have an optional project or technique focus, where ladies can try their hand at something new!

 

 

Monsoon Quilt

 

In our Easter to Summer term some of my ladies decided to try their hand at my recent Monsoon/Frost Quilt Pattern.

 

This project was all about accuracy, both in cutting and piecing lots of triangles (with pesky bias edges).  Everyone found it a little tricky at one stage or another, learning how to create pointy points, correct fabric placement or bringing the blocks in on size.

 

But I’m so proud of my ladies for rising to the challenge and pushing through their comfort zones to accomplish a more advanced pattern.

 

Monsoon/Frost Quilt Class

 

Here are a few finishes and progress shots, but there are quite a few more still in the ‘Work In Progress’ category!

 

I’m hoping with the summer recess I’ll see a few more Monsoon and Frost finishes by September!

 

If you would like to make your own version of Monsoon or Frost, the pattern is available here.

 

Happy sewing!

 

 

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18th Birthday Quilt


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

 

Bethany

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

18th Birthday Quilt

 

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

 

18th Birthday Quilt

 

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

 

18th Birthday Quilt

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

 

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

 

I wonder what the next one will be???

 

Happy sewing!

 

 

 

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Log Cabin Family of Blocks: Part 3


By Judith on May 24, 2019
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Welcome to part 3 of my series on Log Cabin blocks (part 1 available here; part 2 available here).

 

 

So far we’ve looked at the variations within Log Cabin and Courthouse Steps blocks.

 

This post is all about the Pineapple Block.

 

Pineapple Block

 

Like me, you may be surprised that the Pineapple block is included in the Log Cabin family of blocks.

 

But there are definite similarities.  Fabric strips of equal width are added in rounds from the centre square outwards (just like Log Cabin or Courthouse Steps).

 

Pineapple Block construction

 

The main difference this time is each round is trimmed ‘on point’ to create a diamond shape, before the next round is added. By alternating the background and main fabrics each round, pineapple shapes start to emerge.

 

Photo Source: Pinterest

 

There are several ways to create the Pineapple Block:

 

1 Foundation Pieced:

 

For my block (above) I printed and enlarged a paper template and sewed directly onto the paper, only removing the paper on completion of the block.

 

While this is a time consuming method (especially for a full quilt!) it results in precision piecing and accurate points and edges.

 

(Tutorial and template available here)

 

2 No Foundation Papers:

 

Photo source: Crazy Mom Quilts

 

You don’t have to use foundation paper to make a Pineapple Block.  Click here for a great tutorial on the ‘trim as you go’ method by Crazy Mom Quilts.

 

3 Creative Grids Ruler

 

 

The clever peeps at Creative Grids have made the lives of Pineapple Block makers much easier with this fab trimming tool!

 

It looks complicated to use, but Jenny Doan makes light work of it in her video tutorial here.

 

Photo source: Missouri Star Quilt Co.

 

I love how cavalier the piecing can be with this method, and still end up with a beautifully accurate block!

 

This will definitely be my ‘go to’ method when I get around to making a Pineapple Quilt!

 

Photo source: The Work Room

 

I particularly love this pillow example of the Pineapple Block by The Work Room.

 

And you can see lots more wonderful Pineapple blocks and quilts to drool over on my Pinterest board here.

 

Thank you for tuning in!

 

Come back soon for my final (Mystery) part of the Log Cabin Family of Blocks.

 

Happy sewing!

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Log Cabin Family of Blocks: Part 2


By Judith on May 21, 2019
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Welcome back to my Log Cabin Blocks series (part 1 available here).

Log Cabin Family of Blocks

 

In part 1 we looked at a range of Log Cabin blocks, from Traditional to Wonky!

 

In part 2, we are going to look at the 2nd category in this family of blocks.

(All sample blocks are made using fabrics from ‘Handmade’ by Makower)

 

Part 2: Courthouse Steps

 

Courthouse Steps Variations

 

1.  Traditional:

Similar to the traditional Log Cabin Block, ‘steps’ are added in rounds to the centre square, this time attaching to two opposite edges first before adding steps to the remaining 2 edges.  The ‘steps’ are the same width.

 

Courthouse Steps Construction

 

Here is one of my traditional Courthouse Steps Quilts, this time starting with a background square (I’ve marked the block to make it easier for you to identify).

 

 

‘Garden Steps’ featured in British Patchwork & Quilting Magazine

 

I love how the secondary pattern from the Courthouse Steps blocks dominates in this design!

You can find a traditional Courthouse Steps block tutorial here.

 

2. Colour Rounds:

As with the Log Cabin Colour Rounds variation, the same fabric is used in each round, but sticking with the same traditional Courthouse Steps construction.

 

Courthouse Steps Blocks

 

3. Cornerstones:

By adding squares (cornerstones) to the ends of the ‘steps’ you will add an Irish Chain secondary pattern to your quilt.

 

Courthouse Steps Blocks

 

Photo source: http://serial-quilter.blogspot.com

 

4. Rectangle

You can change the starting shape of a Courthouse Steps Block to any 4 sided shape (like Log Cabin) but not a triangle.

 

Courthouse Steps Blocks

 

As I mentioned in my last post, there are lots more great Courthouse steps variations available.  Like this ‘sliced’ Courthouse Steps:

 

Courthouse Steps Blocks

 

In this version, you make two blocks in two fabrics, one positive, one negative.

 

Slice them in half diagonally, switch them over and sew back together!

 

Courthouse Steps Blocks

 

Now the point of doing this lies in the secondary patterns you can achieve from Sliced Courthouse Steps.

 

Photo source https://mypatchwork.wordpress.com

 

Aren’t they cool!

A video tutorial of Sliced Courthouse Steps is available here.

 

You can find more inspiring Courthouse Steps examples on my Pinterest board here.

 

And I’ll leave you with a picture of a Courthouse Steps block I’m currently working on, using vintage sheets.

 

 

I hope you’ll come back soon for part 3 of our Log Cabin Family series.

 

Happy sewing!

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Log Cabin Family of Blocks: Part 1


By Judith on May 20, 2019
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Last week in classes I taught a short lesson on the Log Cabin Family of blocks!

 

Log Cabin Family of Blocks

 

I’m going to take you through the 3 main categories in a series of posts, with a mystery post to finish the series!

 

Part 1: Log Cabin

Part 2: Courthouse Steps

Part 3: Pineapple

Part 4: Watch this space!

 

I demonstrated a few variations within each category, but there are many more than what I can show you here (follow the Pinterest links for lots more inspiration!).

 

(All the sample blocks have been made using Handmade by Makower)

 

Part 1: Log Cabin

 

Log Cabin Variations

 

1 Traditional:

The standard log cabin block starts with a square centre (traditionally this would have been red) adding ‘logs’ around the centre square (either clockwise or anti-clockwise) in rounds.  All the logs are the same width.

Log Cabin Construction

The traditional log cabin block was the first block I learned, and made a little quilt for my young daughter using chopped up clothes and linens!

 

Shannon's Log Cabin Quilt

 

You can find a tutorial on how to make a 12″ traditional block here.

 

2 Colour Rounds:

 

This variation of Log Cabin follows exactly the same construction as the traditional version, but keeping the fabric choice of each round the same.

 

Log Cabin Colour Rounds

 

Just a change of fabric placement dramatically changes the look of this block.  Here’s another similar example, the back of quilt I made several years ago.

 

Brit Bee Log Cabin Quilt (Back)

 

3 Wonky:

 

If you enjoy a little ‘improv’ piecing then how about a Wonky Log Cabin!

 

Wonky Log Cabin

 

Again the logs are added in rounds, but this time, the sides are sliced at irregular angles before adding the next log.

 

 

While strips are useful to start with here, the width of the finished logs will be varied.  No two blocks will be the same!

 

This can be a really fun block to make if you like a little more ‘freedom’ in your piecing.  Just keep adding rounds until your block is a little bigger than you need, then square it off to the required size.

 

 

Here’s an example of a Wonky Log Cabin Quilt I made for Quilt Now Magazine several years ago.

 

Wonky Log Cabin Quilt (Quilt Now October17)

 

4 Curved:

To achieve a curved effect in a Log Cabin block, the background logs must be thinner than the coloured logs.

 

Curved Log Cabin

 

The curved effect becomes more obvious when you put 4 blocks together to create a ‘circle’:

 

Log Cabin Circles 006 (2)

 

The bigger the difference between the widths of the background and coloured logs, the greater the curve!

 

There are lots more variations of Log Cabin, like the Quarter Log Cabin (adding logs to the same two adjacent sides each round, rather than to all four sides) ….

 

Quarter Log Cabin cushion Tutorial

(Quarter Log Cabin Cushion tutorial available here.)

 

….. or how about starting your Log Cabin block with a different shape!!

 

Log Cabin Variations

 

These are definitely on my Quilts Bucket List!

 

And as if that’s not enough, check out my Log Cabin Pinterest board for lots more inspiration from around the Quilty Web!

 

Come back soon for part 2 of The Log Cabin Family of Blocks!

 

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Spring into Summer ’19: Part 4


By Judith on May 13, 2019
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Happy Monday to you all!

 

Welcome to the final part in our Spring into Summer ’19 series, looking at the items on display in our classroom (part 1 available here; part 2 available here; part 3 available here).

 

Spring into Summer 19 Table Display
Spring into Summer 19 Table Display

 

11 Vinyl Pouches:

(pattern available here)

This is the final item on my table to tell you about and will be a Saturday workshop in June.

Vinyl Pouches Workshop

 

These cute and practical zippy pouches are great for summer holidays, or just keeping your bits and bobs organised. The handy see-through vinyl means you know exactly which pouch to reach for, and sewing with vinyl isn’t as tricky as you might think.

 

Vinyl Pouches

 

At the workshop I will be showing some clever ways to sew with vinyl (vinyl available to purchase in class).

 

Vinyl Pouches

 

There are a few places still available so why not join us for some vinyl fun!

 

Autumn Boho Quilt:

(pattern available here)

 

Autumn Boho Quilt
70″ x 88″

 

 

I know it’s not Autumn here, but it almost will be by the time I’m running this workshop!

 

Autumn Boho Quilt

 

With speedy half square triangle construction, this ‘Quilt Top In A Day’ is such a satisfying make. And there are 2 sizes to choose from.

 

There’s mama boho ……

 

Autumn Boho Quilt

 

And baby boho …….

 

Baby Boho Quilt
38″ x 48″

 

This is a great project for using up large scale prints (Mama Boho) or charm squares (Baby Boho).

 

So why not join us for some quick and satisfying piecing (booking available here).

 

Sun, Sea & Sky Quilt:

(pattern available here)

 

Sun, Sea and Sky Quilt (Quilt Now Aug17)
60″ x 72″

 

This quilt originally featured in Quilt Now magazine.  The repeating blocks allow you to mix up the colours and fabrics without losing the overall design.

 

Sun, Sea and Sky Quilt (Quilt Now Magazine August17)

 

I worked from my aqua blue and teal green scraps for this quilt, representing the sea and sky.  The little hits of yellow complete the summer feel of this quilt.

 

The final quilt on display is our current class project.

 

Monsoon/Frost Quilt:

(pattern available here)

Monsoon Quilt
Monsoon: 60″ x 60″
Frost (Quilt Now Jan18)
Frost: 60″ x 72″


While these look like 2 very different quilts, the construction of the blocks in both quilts are exactly the same.

 

Clever fabric placement in Monsoon provides the secondary patterns, while Frost facilitates a more scrappy feel.

 

Monsoon Quilt

 

Both designs are available in the same pattern, and I’m already seeing wonderful results in class (can’t wait to show you at the end of term!).

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Thank you for staying with our Spring into Summer ’19 series.

 

I hope you feel inspired to try something new, summery or even to get some existing projects to the finish line!

 

Happy sewing!

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Spring into Summer ’19: Part 3


By Judith on May 10, 2019
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Hi there,

 

Welcome to part 3 of my Spring into Summer ’19 series, looking at the items on display in our classroom (part 1 available here; part 2 available here).

 

Spring into Summer 19 Table Display
Spring into Summer 19 Table Display

 

Part 3 continues the Lori Holt theme, this time looking at her book ‘Quilty Fun’.

 

7 Lori Holt’s Quilty Fun Book:

 

 

I adore ‘row by row’ quilts and Lori’s quilt design is full of cute and adaptable blocks.  Here is my version of her quilt, hanging up in class.

 

Quilty Fun Quilt

 

I’ve used lots of scraps in this quilt, but for the bigger pieces I used Lori’s Bee Basics range of fabrics, which co-ordinate with all her other fabric collections.

 

There’s so much to look at in this quilt, and as always the book includes many more ideas on how to use the motifs in different ways for a whole range of projects.

 

 

All bar 1 of the books have now sold in class, which I’ll be listing soon in my shop (watch this space!).

 

8 Quilty Fun Mugs (Tea Cups) Cushion

 

Mugs Cushion

 

One of the additional projects in the book is a Mugs (Tea Cups) Cushion (I omitted the border included in the pattern).  Isn’t this fun! The piecing is really easy and I had a ball picking the colours I wanted all my mugs to be!

 

Mugs Cushion

 

I went for my favourite zippered cushion back to finish off this 20″ cushion.

 

9 Quilty Fun Leaf Mat:

 

Quilty Fun Leaf Mat

 

This is a smaller version of a table topper project in Quilty Fun.  The leaves are the same size as those in the original quilt, and I thought this would make a pretty addition to my kitchen table.

 

Quilty Fun Leaf Mat

 

And finally, a Lori Holt inspired cushion, which is on our display shelf:

 

Crossroads Cushion:

 

Crossroads Cushion

 

I made this cushion from Lori’s free ‘Scrappy Cross Roads Block’ tutorial, available here.

 

Crossroads Cushion

 

Using a small pack of ‘Something Blue’ by Makower, I followed Lori’s tutorial to make the block, and then brought it up to a 20″ cushion size with borders.

 

I had a lot of fun quilting this one!

 

Crossroads Cushion

 

The back was pieced with leftovers and my trademark ‘feature zipper’ closure.

 

Crossroads Cushion

 

And that brings part 3 of my Spring into Summer ’19 series to a close.

 

Just 3 more quilts and some holiday style pouches to show you in our final post.

 

Happy sewing!

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Introducing ‘Monsoon’


By Judith on March 8, 2019
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Hi there!

Well Spring seems to have snuck back into hibernation here, as Winter throws us its last hoorah!

Definitely sewing weather! And there has been lots of that happening at Just Jude Designs.

At the moment I’m making our post Easter class samples and Summer Workshop samples.  Plenty to keep me out of trouble!

But I wanted to show you my latest quilt – introducing Monsoon!

 

Monsoon Quilt

 

‘Monsoon’ is named after the collection of Makower fabrics it is made from (not the current weather conditions).  I fell in love with these tropical prints as soon as they were released – just look at those adorable cockatoos!

 

Monsoon Quilt

 

Now technically Monsoon isn’t a new pattern.  A couple of years ago I designed ‘Frost’ for a winter edition of Quilt Now magazine.  Can you see the resemblance?

 

Frost (Quilt Now Jan18)

 

Apart from the fabrics (& one less row in Monsoon) these quilts are made from identical blocks.  Don’t you just love how a complete change of fabrics can totally change the look of the same design!

 

Monsoon Quilt

 

 

Monsoon/Frost is my first quilt pattern to be made available for both retail and wholesale.  Both designs are included in the same pattern.  It is also a Sizzix friendly pattern, using die 657622.

 

Monsoon Quilt

 

So if you own a fabric shop and are stocking Makower’s Monsoon fabrics, get in touch for more details about my wholesale digital pattern agreement.

 

Or grab a copy of your own pattern here (hard copies available to purchase in class).

 

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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Scrappy Rail Fence Block Tutorial


By Judith on July 5, 2018
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Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)

 

This is my Autumn Rail Fence Quilt (as featured in August ’17 issue of Pretty Patches magazine).

 

If, like me, you have a healthy supply of scraps, then this is a great scrap buster project for you!

 

 

In August I am hosting a Scrap Buster Saturday, and this is one of the many quick and easy ideas folks can use to dig in to those overflowing scrap boxes!

 

 

Here’s how to make the Scrappy Rail Fence Block (12.5″ unfinished):

 

1 You will need a variety of scrappy strips, at least 13″ long and of varying widths (don’t go wider than 3″). Press them and make sure they have straight parallel sides.  Don’t worry about trimming the lengths, you get a more accurate block if you leave the trimming to the end.

 

  • Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)

 

2 I went for a ‘late summer’ colour theme of teals, oranges, pinks and golds. But you could easily use whatever colours you have for a more ‘random’ rail fence.

Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)

 

3 You will notice I have included a brown striped fabric at the edge of each block.  These strips are cut 2″ wide and give a little uniformity to the scrappiness of the blocks.  If you are going for random and bright colours, try a narrow black and white stripe here.

 

 

4 If you are working to a colour theme, try to get an even number of colours per block. The order doesn’t matter, just sew enough together using a 1/4″ seam, not forgetting the stripey fabric on the end, until you can get at least 12.5″ wide.  Set the seams (pressing the seam as you have sewn it) before pressing the seams to the darkest fabric.

 

 

5 Trim the block to 12.5″ square.  If there is excess on the width make sure you don’t take any off the stripey/end fabric.  You want these end strips to be of uniform width.  I used my 12.5″ square ruler for easy trimming, but you can trim these blocks to any size, just make sure they are square!

 

 

6 Make lots more blocks until you have enough for your quilt (or until you have used up all your scraps!).  I laid out my blocks in a 5 x 6 formation (5 blocks across by 6 rows down) alternating the direction of every other block to achieve the rail fence design.  Join the blocks right sides together in rows and press the seams of each row in alternate directions. Join the rows together making sure to butt/nest the intersecting seams.

 

Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)

 

7 Spray baste your quilt top, wadding and backing (Spray basting tutorial available here) before quilting as desired (I quilted in a free motion meander all over).  Trim off the excess wadding and backing and attach the quilt binding (tutorial available here).

 

Now you’ll always be warm and toasty on chilly Autumn evenings!

 

Happy scrapping!

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Real Women Have Curves Part 2


By Judith on June 30, 2018
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It’s the end of June and classes are now finished for the summer recess.  What a wonderful first 6 months in my new classroom!

 

Our ongoing heatwave here meant the classroom was quite warm on occasion, but the ladies were smokin’ their creativity even more so!

 

You may remember Part 1 of our ‘Real Women Have Curves’ roundup, where I showed you the fabulous drunkard’s path cushions my ladies had made.

 

Well just take a look at these!

 

Butterfly Garden Class June18
Butterfly Garden Class June18

 

These beautiful ‘Butterfly Garden’ quilts are stunning on every level (my poor photos not doing them justice at all!).

 

I love how different fabrics or placement of colour value can completely change the look of the same quilt.  In this pattern, drunkard’s path units are combined with squares to make up these curvy blocks.

 

Aren’t they wonderful!  A huge well done to my ladies for ‘going large’ with their curvy project (especially as temperatures soared inside and out!).

 

If you like what you see here and want to have a go at your own ‘layer cake friendly’ Butterfly Garden quilt, you can get the pattern here.

 

Butterfly Garden DP Quilt (class project)

 

I won’t have any classes in July, but you can find out all about my summer programme of classes and workshops here.

 

Happy quilting!

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Scrap Busting Saturday Workshop!


By Judith on May 29, 2018
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Hello there!

 

How is your week going?  We are (still) basking in the most gorgeous sunny weather here, leaving us with stunning, glorious sunsets!

 

Sunset (Seapark) May18
Sunset (Seapark) May18

 

This week in my classes I am presenting my summer Saturday Workshops.  The 4 Saturdays in August will all be workshops, and I will be posting about them here, starting with ……

 

Sat 4th August10am-4pm2nd Flr, Conway Mill, Belfast

 

If you’ve been sewing for any length of time, you may have a huge healthy stock of scraps, leftovers from previous quilting projects. These pieces might just be too sizeable, pretty or meaningful to throw away, leftover binding or jelly roll strips, or perhaps frugality gets the better of you!

 

Organising Scraps (Workshop)

 

Either way, there are many, many ways to put those ever growing scraps to good use!

 

Here are just a few examples of what you can make on Scrap Buster Saturday.

 

Stacked Coins Cushion: (pattern available here)

 

Scrappy Stacked Coins Cushion

 

If you have a plentiful supply of scraps, you may be able to group them into colourways like I’ve done here.

 

Scrappy Stacked Coins Cushion

 

Let your scraps dictate how wide your stacks can be!  The only preparation here is some pressing and making sure the sides are straight.

 

Scrappy Stacked Coins Cushion

 

Equally you can go completely random, and sew a variety of scraps together in the same ‘stacked coins’ way!

 

Scrappy Stacked Coins cushion

 

French Braid Handbag: (pattern available here)

 

Scrappy French Braid Bag (workshop)

 

This is another example of grouping scraps into colourways.  The French Braid piecing technique is super easy, and you don’t even need the pieces to be of equal width.

 

Scrappy French Braid Bag (workshop)

 

I’ve quilted the bag exterior onto bosal (flex foam) which gives it lovely texture and structure without losing softness.

 

(Hinged Faux Leather Handles available at the workshop)

 

Strip Pieced Quilt: (free block tutorial here)

 

Scrappy Strips Quilt (British P&Q Sept16)

 

My technique for making strip pieced blocks doesn’t involve a foundation layer.

 

Scrappy Strips Quilt (British Patchwork & Quilting Sept16)

 

I added a little ‘organisation’ to lots of random strips by making the central strip in each block white. The white strips are of uniform width, but that’s were the uniformity ends!  All other strips are random widths and lengths. I even used ‘ugly’ fabrics I still had, but I totally love the finished quilt! That’s the magic of using scraps.

 

Autumn Rail Fence Quilt (block tutorial available here)

 

Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)

 

The simple sewing together of strips means you can easily make up this quilt top in a day.

 

Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)

 

Once again, I dove into my scrap drawers for specific colours – golds, oranges, pinks and teals, all of different widths and lengths.  Some donated yardage of a brown stripe gives flow and order to the scraps.

 

But equally, this quilt would look fabulous made in random coloured scraps with a uniform ‘fence’ fabric.

 

‘Quilt As You Go’ Handbag: (pattern available here)

 

QAYG Shopping Bag class sample

 

Here’s another roomy handbag idea for all those colourful scraps!

 

This ‘quilt as you go’ method involves the quilting of each individual piece of fabric onto a larger piece of wadding.  There are no raw edges, and the condense quilting gives the bag lots of structure.

 

The pattern also includes this secure recessed zipper closure.

 

QAYG Handbag class sample 056

 

‘Birch’ Quilt (in progress):

 

Birch Quilt in progress

 

I took inspiration from this quilt and decided to make a grey and low volume version (given that I have an overflowing drawer of LV scraps!).

 

I plan on using up my stash of Kona Greys to make this into a bigger ‘man’ quilt.  Somehow, I think it will take me a lot longer to use up my LV scraps!

 

Birch Quilt in progress

 

So there you have it!  A little inspiration on how to use your scraps, and a date for your diary on how to have a day of fun turning them into something wonderful!

 

And if you need even more inspiration, check out my Scrap Busting Pinterest Board!

 

All Saturday workshops are £30, including a non-refundable deposit of £15 to register.  Just drop me an email to justjudedesigns@hotmail.co.uk to book a place.

 

Happy scrapping!

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Octosaurus Rex Quilt


By Judith on May 10, 2018
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Hello there!

 

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

 

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

 

DSC_0040
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Florence Court May18

 

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

 

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

 

Octosaurus Rex (Quilt Now May18)

 

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

 

Octosaurus Rex (Quilt Now May18)

 

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

 

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

 

Octosaurus Rex (Quilt Now May18)

 

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

 

Octosaurus Rex (Quilt Now May18)

 

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

 

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

 

Happy sewing!

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New Class Project: Drunkard’s Path


By Judith on April 2, 2018
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Happy April to you all!

 

Well despite it being ‘Spring’ with sweet crocuses in full bloom in my garden, today I drove through snow showers with 2 degrees registered on my dashboard! Brrrrrrr!

 

So let’s leave the present for now, and think ahead 1 week instead, when hopefully the weather will be much better as my new term of classes start up again after the Easter break!

 

For a while now I’ve been threatening exhorting my ladies to confront their fears and give curved piecing a try!

 

So we’ve decided to get our ‘big girl’ pants on and jump in to this exciting new technique!

 

 

I will be teaching the ‘no pin’ method of curved piecing, as well as how to trim a drunkard’s path unit to achieve different effects.

 

Small Projects:

 

For those who want to make a smaller project, I have designed and written several patterns.

 

‘Ripples’ Cushion:

 

Ripples DP Cushion (class project)
19.5″ x 19.5″

 

 

In this cushion you can use up lots of your colourful scraps, alternate with just a few colours, or use a different fabric in each ‘ripple’ as I have done here.

 

Ripples DP Cushion (class project)

 

The cute ditsy fabrics I’ve used here are ‘Katie Jane’ by Makower, which were leftovers from this quilt project.

 

Pattern available here.

 

‘Baubles’ Table Runner & Mats:

 

DP Table Runner & Mats (British Patchwork & Quilting, April'16)
Photo courtesy of British Patchwork & Quilting

 

 

There are 5 ‘bauble’ shapes in this runner, but you could easily add more or less to suit your table.  Wouldn’t this be lovely in Christmas fabrics for a festive table dressing!

 

The pattern includes instructions on how to make & attach bias binding, and 4 complimentary mats.

 

Pattern available here.

 

‘In The Round’ Heart Cushion:

 

In The Round Heart DP Cushion (Class project)

 

I love the versatility of the drunkard’s path block, and the heart shape in this pom pom trimmed cushion is a great example.

 

For the background I have used Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Flax) (available to purchase here).

 

Pattern available here.

 

Quilt Projects:

 

And for those ladies who want to ‘go large’ here are my quilt designs:

 

Butterfly Garden Quilt:

 

Butterfly Garden DP Quilt (class project)
48″ x 64″

 

 

The drunkard’s path block here creates pretty wing/petal shapes, a lovely way to showcase your floral fabrics and some echo quilting.

 

Butterfly Garden DP Quilt (class project)

 

Pattern available here.

 

Autumn Garden Quilt:

 

Autumn Garden Quilt (Popular Patchwork Nov16)
56″ x 56″

 

 

By not trimming the drunkard’s path units, you can get a different effect, as shown in this lap quilt.

 

Autumn Garden Quilt (Popular Patchwork Nov16)

 

I’ve used Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Denim) as the background in this quilt (available to purchase here).

 

Pattern available here.

 

Drunken Hearts Quilt:

 

Drunken Hearts Quilt - Sewing World Feb16
79″ x 76″ Photo courtesy of British Patchwork & Quilting

 

 

Just like the ‘In The Round’ Heart Cushion, this quilt is made from drunkard’s path heart blocks.

 

For the background of this quilt I have used Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Black) available to purchase here.

 

Pattern avaialable here.

 

I have two more quilt examples of drunkard’s path variations, the patterns for which I hope to be able to make available soon.

 

Hippy Blush Quilt (Popular Patchwork March18)
Hippy Blush Quilt – read more here.

 

 

Oriental Clamshells Quilt (Popular Patchwork Jan18)
Oriental Clams Quilt – read more here.

 

Wow! That was a long post!  Thank you for sticking with all my ‘curves’!

 

If you would like to learn how to make drunkard’s path units (& all of these projects) & have a lot of fun along the way, then why not join in with our other crazy creatives and register for our class starting w/c 9th April. More details on classes available here.

 

Happy curving!

 

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Goodbye My Friend!


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

 

 

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

 

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

 

Heather's Quilt Feb'18

 

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

 

Heather's Quilt Feb'18

 

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

 

Heather's Quilt Feb'18

 

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

 

Heather's Quilt Feb'18

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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Katie Jane Quilt


By Judith on March 6, 2018
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Hello everyone!

 

Well I’m so glad the snow has gone from Belfast! I had to cancel 2 classes last week because of it!  It’s s(n)oooooooo(w) disrupting!

 

Classes were back to normal yesterday, and I’ve been enjoying showing my ladies a little ‘magic trick’ in this month’s 5 Minute Demo (more on that at the end of the week!).

 

What I can show you, is one of my quilts which is currently featured in the March issue of Pretty Patches magazine.

 

Katie Jane Quilt (Pretty Patches March18)
64″ x 64″

This is Kate Jane, named after the Makower fabric collection of the same name!

 

Katie Jane Quilt (Pretty Patches March18)

 

I love any ditsy, flowery prints, so I was in heaven working with these lovelies!  Wouldn’t some of these prints make the prettiest summer dresses!

 

Katie Jane Quilt (Pretty Patches March18)

 

You could loosely describe this quilt as a medallion quilt, or a giant one block quilt (with a border!).

 

Easy piecing and large scale half square triangles mean this quilt can be assembled quickly and without too much fuss.

 

Katie Jane Quilt (Pretty Patches March18)

 

And I’m happy to report the leftovers are being worked into my next class project (all in good time!).

 

Katie Jane Quilt (Pretty Patches March18)

 

So if you’re looking for a girly, slightly vintagey themed quilt, you should definitely consider Katie Jane!

 

Katie Jane Quilt (Pretty Patches March18)

 

 

Happy sewing!

 

 

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Hippy Blush Quilt


By Judith on February 28, 2018
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Hello there, well most of the nation is in white-out this week, with our worst snow fall in many years.

 

My little green patch of home however, is still ………. green, but it might not stay that way for long, with more snow in the forecast!

 

Definitely the weather for snuggling under cosy quilts!

 

Hippy Blush Quilt (Popular Patchwork March18)
72″ x 72″

 

 

This is Hippy Blush!

 

I had a lot of fun designing this one!  The editor of Popular Patchwork wanted me to work with one of Art Gallery’s recent collections, Blush by Dana Willard.

 

Hippy Blush Quilt (Popular Patchwork March18)

 

These bold, retro prints needed an equally bold, retro design.  So I got in touch with my inner hippy (she’s still waiting to ‘come out’!) and went with big statement circles and curves.

 

Hippy Blush Quilt (Popular Patchwork March18)

 

By now you will know I love ‘curvy’ quilts, and especially the versatility of the humble drunkard’s path!

 

And of course, the larger the curves, the easier they are to piece!

 

Hippy Blush Quilt (Popular Patchwork March18)

 

I will be teaching curved piecing after Easter in my classes, so stayed tuned for a project update on that.

 

Hippy Blush Quilt (Popular Patchwork March18)

 

In the meantime, you can check out the full Hippy Blush pattern in the March issue of Popular Patchwork, out now!

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Kitty Cat Quilt


By Judith on February 13, 2018
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Hello there!

 

How is your week going so far?  I hope you are getting time to fit in a little sewing therapy!

 

My eldest daughter has recently started to work for me on a part-time basis, which frees me up to attend to pressing deadlines!  Oh how I love having a creatively talented assistant!!

 

 

Last summer I was asked by the fabric distributor Makower UK if I would consider coming on board as one of their designers!

 

I said yes straight away, and my first design for them is not only available for free on their website, but is also featured in the current issue of Quilt Now magazine.

 

Kitty Cat Quilt (for Makower)
66″ x 66″

 

Not only that, if you are a regular watcher of Sewing Quarter (Freeview channel 78) you may have seen Kitty featured!  It gets a mention in the programme introduction, and then has a much lengthier feature with sections of the quilt demonstrated here.

 

This medallion quilt is based around a panel, which I chopped up and spaced out with sashing.

 

Kitty Cat Quilt (for Makower)

 

Simple checkboards and drunkard’s path scallops create the feature borders.

 

Kitty Cat Quilt (for Makower)

 

So if you love your feline friends, I know you’ll fall in love with this fabric collection.

 

Kitty Cat Quilt (for Makower)

 

And if you didn’t want to make a big quilt, why not make the central panelled section as a cute baby quilt instead!  Purrrrrrfect!

 

Happy sewing!

 

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‘Hearts Full of Roses’ Quilt


By Judith on February 11, 2018
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Every now and then I get to make quilts as gifts.

 

Hearts Full of Roses Quilt (for Rose!)

 

Last November I became a Great Auntie for the first time! Can you believe it!

 

Sweet baby Rose was born and of course I wanted to make her a quilt!

 

Hearts Full of Roses Quilt (for Rose!)

 

Now it took me until the Christmas holidays (and then some!) to get going on this quilt.

 

Firstly I was stuck for inspiration, and then my quilty friend Geraldine of SophieBelleDesigns over on IG gave me the perfect idea!  Hearts! (Thank you G!).

 

Hearts Full of Roses Quilt (for Rose!)

 

I had already picked up a girly bundle of floral fabrics from the quilting shop where I used to work, some ‘Fleurs Petite Bouquet’ (Brenda Riddle Acorn Quilts) and with the odd Tilda print thrown in I now knew what to do with them!

 

Hearts Full of Roses Quilt (for Rose!)

 

Using the fabulous ‘Heart Blocks in Multiple Sizes’ tutorial by Cluck Cluck Sew, I made 9″ blocks with 1″ sashing between them.

 

Hearts Full of Roses Quilt (for Rose!)

 

It wasn’t until after I finished quilting it that I realised all the fabrics have Roses in them!  How cool is that!

The quilt finishes at 42″ square, which made a cute little bundle when wrapped up, ready to post to another cute little bundle.

 

Hearts Full of Roses Quilt (for Rose!)

 

And I’m pleased to say that both Rose and mummy love her new quilt!

 

 

Now the observant among you will know I usually photograph my quilts outside in natural light!

 

Well here’s why all of these photos were taken indoors!

 

Hearts Full of Roses Quilt (for Rose!)

 

Happy blowing sewing!

 

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Crossed Paths Quilt


By Judith on February 6, 2018
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Hi there,

 

These weeks are rolling past so quickly I’m struggling to keep up with blog posts about my magazine commissions!

 

The February issue of Quilt Now is out this week, but I haven’t gotten around to telling you about my quilt in the January issue yet!

 

Crossed Paths Quilt (Quilt Now Jan18)
60″ x 60″

 

This is Crossed Paths, made completely from Spectrum Solids by Makower.

 

In quilt design, the terms ‘advanced’ or ‘technical’ can be quite subjective, depending on which part of the quilt the term refers to.

 

For example, a quilt can look ‘uncomplicated’ due to the fabrics used, but the piecing technique may require complete accuracy or many instructions.

 

Crossed Paths Quilt (Quilt Now Jan18)

 

At the other end of the spectrum, a quilt can look cleverly complicated with really straightforward piecing.

 

Crossed Paths falls somewhere in between!  The repeating 15″ blocks are based around 2 elements:  (1) Foundation pieced quadrants are made separately, papers removed then pieced around the central square using (2) a partial seam (tutorial on partial seams coming soon!).

 

 

 

However, close attention must be paid to the cutting instructions and fabric placement, to achieve the gradation of background from dark to light and the reverse gradation of the ‘crossed paths’.

 

This is a quilt where lots of labels and plastic bags are recommended to keep yourself organised!

 

Crossed Paths Quilt (Quilt Now Jan18)

 

So if you like making quilts with a little more ‘bite’ then this one’s for you!

 

Crossed Paths Quilt (Quilt Now Jan18)

 

Crossed Paths Quilt (Quilt Now Jan18)

Happy sewing!

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HSTs, QSTs and HRTs


By Judith on February 2, 2018
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Hi everyone!

In class this week, our ‘5 minute lesson’ was all about HSTs (Half Square Triangles), QSTs (Quarter Square Triangles) and HRTs (no not that type of HRT! Half Rectangle Triangles!).

 

 

These versatile and clever units form the many building blocks of quilt and quilt block design!

 

They are component parts that follow the same construction principles but with their many design possibilities, they just keep on giving!

 

Sewing with triangles can be tricky, especially as those naughty bias edges can flex and stretch!  But despite the word ‘triangle’ being mentioned in the names of all of these techniques, at no point are individual triangles sewn together! How cool is that!

 

Let’s start with the humble Half Square Triangle.

 

Half Square Triangles (HSTs):

 

Method 1 (yields 2 identical hsts):

 

Start off by putting 2 squares right sides together.

 

 

Draw a pencil line corner to corner on the wrong side of one of the squares and sew 1/4″ either side of the line.

 

 

Cut along the line to create 2 identical half square triangle units.  Press the seams open (always press bias seams open where possible).

 

 

How easy was that!

Method 2 (yields 4 identical hsts):

Place 2 squares right sides together and sew 1/4″ around all four sides.

 

 

Cut in half from corner to corner, and then into quarters through the opposite corners.

 

 

As before, press the seams open.

 

 

And now that you have cracked hsts, the design possibilities are endless!  Here are a couple of my own HST quilts, but for lots more variations, including sizing charts, check out my HST Pinterest Board!

 

Autumn Boho Quilt (British Patchwork & Quilting Sept17)
Autumn Boho Quilt made with giant hsts!

Chevron Heaven Quilt (April17 Popular Patchwork Magazine)
Chevron Heaven!

 

Houndstooth Quilt for LPQ (Nov16)
Modern Houndstooth – hsts and squares
Rainbow Geese (photo courtesy of Sewing World magazine)

 

 

Quarter Square Triangles (QSTs):

This time you need 2 lots of half square triangles.  You can work with 2 fabrics, or like I’m doing here, 4 different fabrics.

 

 

Now take 1 hst from each pair and place them right sides together so that their seams are lying on top of each other.