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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Scrappy Table Topper Video Tutorial

By Judith on April 12, 2020
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As lockdown continues here, I’ve had lots more time to play with my favourite scraps!


I’ve been needing a little mat to place under the tray that sits on my oak table.  I also love the process of making ‘stacked coins’ from scrappy strips.


So put the two together and what do you get? My free Scrappy Table Topper Tutorial!


Scrappy Table Topper Vidoe Tutorial


The tutorial will take you through how to make the stacked coin columns – they can be any size you wish, maximising the size of scraps you have.


Scrappy Table Topper Vidoe Tutorial


You will also see how to quilt the topper using a quilting bar – that weird looking ‘allen key’ type bar that languishes in your accessories tray!  It’s a really handy little gadget, and will save you lots of marking out time!


Scrappy Table Topper Vidoe Tutorial


I also show you how to make and finish off the binding by ‘stitching in the ditch’ from the front side.


Scrappy Table Topper Vidoe Tutorial


This is a really quick little project, and you can make these pretty and functional mats any size you like!  I now have several of them dotted around my house, bringing me joy each time my eye catches some of my favourite fabrics.


Scrappy Table Topper Vidoe Tutorial


I hope you enjoy the tutorial.  We are getting better with each one that we make, and we have more planned!


Happy sewing!


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Christmas Table Display: Part 2

By Judith on October 31, 2018
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Welcome back to part 2 of my Christmas Table Display! (part 1 available here)


Christmas Table Display 18


I’ve had great reactions to my Christmas display in my classes this week.

I hope you enjoy reading about them too!


6 Festive Stars Table Runner

(pattern available here)


Christmas Table Runner Class sample


This is one of my newest patterns available for general release!


It is a ‘charm pack friendly’ project, but the pattern also includes yardage quantities to make the runner  in 3 feature fabrics.


I’ve seen my runner made in non-Christmas fabrics (I love seeing different interpretations of the same pattern!), and I have this variation done in Retro 30’s prints hanging up in class.


Economy Stars Table Runner


7 Christmas Gift Bags

(free tutorial available here)


Christmas gift bags tutorial


This is another ‘Eco Friendly’ way to ‘gift wrap’ a smaller present. Waaaaay nicer than paper which gets torn up and thrown away!


I’ve made so many of these easy peasy bags, housing sweet jams or chutneys, sumptuous bubble baths and creams or decadent chocolates and liqueurs!


Drawstring Gift Bag


So if you want to ‘upgrade’ a small gift into a ‘wow’ gift, give my drawstring gift bags a try!


8 Zippered Bauble Pouches

(free tutorial available here)


Bauble Zippy pouches


The link above is to the Easter Egg version of these pouches, but simply draw a circle instead of an egg and follow the same tutorial.


If you know someone who prefers money or gift vouchers (or diamonds!) pop them into this compact pouch.  The addition of a key-fob attachment turns it into a useful little coin purse!


Christmas Bauble pouch


Then hang them on the tree, or stuff into stockings and wait for the smiles!


9 Christmas Coasters

(no pattern available)


Christmas coasters


These 5″ Christmas themed coasters are made using the foundation paper piecing method and are great for using up small Christmas scraps!


Christmas coasters


I first saw them here, but the link to the maker’s website is no longer available.


However, if you are attending my classes, I can easily take you through the making of these!


10 Christmas Cracker Tree Skirt

(pattern available here)


Christmas Cracker Tree Skirt (class project)


This fun tree skirt forms part of our class project this term.


The pattern is by my talented quilty friend, Reene, and you can read more about this project here.


Well I hope my Christmas table display and projects has fueled your Christmas inspiration and motivation!


With less than 8 weeks to go til the big day, I guess we’d better get our sewing machine ‘skates’ on!


Happy sewing!


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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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Tilda Circus Table Topper

By Judith on April 14, 2017
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Hello to everyone tuning in for the final stop on the Tilda Circus blog hop.



To say I love Tilda fabrics is a huge understatement!  The vintagey feel I get from their collections and the cute and ditsy prints just make my heart flutter!  And as for their colours – simply delicious!

They have a beautiful way of styling their collections too!



I received 5 gorgeous fat quarters from Sew and So from the new Circus collection.  How did they know elephants are my favourite animal (and if you read through to the end of this post, you’ll see proof of that!).


So what did I decide to make with this lovely fabric?




I teamed the Tilda fabrics with Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Flax) to make this quilted table topper.   I quilted the background first before appliqueing on the petals and flowers.


But I had a little help!


Tilda Circus Table Topper


My trusty Sizzix Big Shot helped me cut out all the petals and flowers.  It even cut out the bondaweb too!


Tilda Circus Table Topper


I satin stitched the petals and flowers into place (one of my favourite applique techniques!).


Tilda Circus Table Topper


And with all the leftovers and a little other Tilda stripe thrown in, I had enough to make the backing and binding.


Tilda Circus Table Topper


The finished topper measures 21.5″ x 44.5″ and I love how it looks on my table.


Tilda Circus Table Topper


Thank you for tuning into the Tilda Circus Blog Hop!


Oh and just to prove that I am a bona fide elephant lover, check out my awesome mother’s day present from my amazing girls.



Cool or what!  My very own sweet Flora!


Happy sewing!


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Another Runner!

By Judith on April 4, 2016
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In Sewing World this month, I submitted my Half Hexie Table Runner!

Half Hexie Table Runner - Sewing World (April16)
Photo courtesy of Sewing World Magazine
If you have a cute charm pack and 2 long quarter metres you can have this runner top made in no time!

Don’t worry, there are no tricky ‘Y’ seams in this pattern. I used the 5″ half hexie ruler to chop up my charm squares (Marmalade, by Bonnie and Camille). (Sizzix also sell a 5″ half hexie cutting die).

I love this runner and it sits proudly on my dining room table now!

Half Hexie Table runner / Sewing World April16

And if you like your hexies a little bigger, try the 10″ half hexie ruler and you can make a quilt using the same construction method.
Rosie's 50th Quilt: Scrumptuous Half Hexie
April issue of Sewing World is in the shops now!
Happy ‘running’!
Jude xo


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Table Runner & Mats!

By Judith on March 28, 2016
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Seapark, Holywood

It was a typical spring day here today!  Sunshine and showers!


Seapark, Holywood


Our walk along the beach was what you would call ‘bracing’! But no matter the season, there is always beauty to be found.


Seapark, Holywood


Back in the warmth of the indoors, let’s talk table runners!


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


This is my Drunkard’s Path Table Runner and Mats set, as featured in the April issue of British Patchwork & Quilting.


DP Table Runner & Placemats - British Patchwork & Quilting (April16)

The inspiration for this design came from the lovely Aylin, who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in person (love our blogging community!).  Aylin very kindly gave me permission to develop this design further, following the beautiful cushion she made.


DP Table Runner & Placemats - British Patchwork & Quilting (April16)
The curves are achieved by using an age old patchwork technique called ‘drunkard’s path’.  This is a modern twist, and I love the many variations the Drunkard’s Path units can create.
It is important to cut out the templates accurately when tackling curved piecing, but if you have a Sizzix cutting machine, you are guaranteed speed and accuracy! The Drunkard’s Patch Sizzix dies don’t come cheap, (you need 2 dies to make up the DP unit) but in my opinion they are well worth the money.
DP Table Runner & Placemats - British Patchwork & Quilting (April16)

There are several ways to sew curves, and as with any technique you haven’t tried before, I recommend practicing on some fabric scraps first. This pattern explains the ‘no pin’ method of sewing curves, which may seem daunting at first, but it is much quicker than traditional methods and you quickly get into a rhythm with it.


So if you love sewing curves as much as me, pick up a copy of BPQ today!

Edited: This pattern is now available to purchase from here.


Keep warm!


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