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.
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!
I also show you how to make and finish off the binding by ‘stitching in the ditch’ from the front side.
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.
I hope you enjoy the tutorial. We are getting better with each one that we make, and we have more planned!
I hope you are all keeping safe and well during these strange days. With much more time available to us, I guess you are all making lots of headway with all your WIPs and UFOs!!!!! (wink, wink!)
With no classes to teach, I thought I’d have a go at teaching online!! With essential tech support from my daughter, we spent 6 days filming, editing, cringing, re-filming and editing some more to finally produce our first video tutorial!
It’s far from perfect and we still have lots to learn (not sure I’ll ever get used to seeing & hearing myself on video!), but we are really pleased overall and the initial feedback is positive.
So if you have lots of scraps you would like to turn into something practical and pretty, then our free tutorial might just be what you’re looking for!
These scrappy pouches can be made to any size, so you can cater for the scraps you have.
The strips are sewn down onto a foundation layer (either sew-in interlining, baking paper or wadding) and no matter the size of the pouch (or textile you use) the technique is the same.
I’ve made a cutesy pencil case size pouch ….
…. as well as medium sized project or toiletry pouches.
And then I went large with my denim scraps, making this extra-large pouch, perfect for a laptop, files or even a knitting project!!
The tutorial takes you step by step through making the strippy panels, creating zipper tabs, inserting the zipper and assembling and finishing the pouch.
And you also get the measurements for all the sizes shown here.
So with all this time on our hands, there’s really no excuse for not diminishing those scraps!
So what have we been up to this week in class? Well, as our class project this term has been the Folded Double Wreath, I thought I would do a quick demo on another type of wreath – the simple plaited wreath!
This wreath uses much less fabric and is quicker to make! Win, win!
To make this wreath you will need:
3 x 3″ strips cut width of fabric
1 x 5″ strip cut width of fabric (bow)
Large Safety Pin
Wooden skewer or knitting needle
Method: Use 1/4″ seam allowance
1 Fold each 3″ strip in half lengthways, right sides together, and sew down the long side. Leave the short ends open.
2 Use a large safety pin to turn the tubes right sides out. Do not press.
3 Stuff the tubes from each open end towards the middle. I used a wooden skewer for this. Make sure the tubes aren’t so well stuffed that they can’t be plaited.
4 At one end of each tube, tuck under the raw edges and pin and sew together across the top (I hand sewed a whip stitch here). Make sure the seams are all facing the back of the tubes.
5 Plait the wreath tightly ensuring no gaps between the tubes.
6 When you get to the end, trim the tubes to the same length, tuck under the raw edges and whip stitch them together as with the other end.
7 Neatly join both ends of the wreath, trying to continue the plaiting order.
8 To make the bow, fold the strip in half lengthways, right sides together, and sew down the long side, leaving a 3″ gap half way down.
9 Angle the ends of the bow by drawing a diagonal line a few inches in from one corner and down to the adjacent corner. Sew along this line. Cut away the excess leaving 1/4″ seam allowance. Make sure the angled ends of the bow are pointing in opposite directions.
10 Turn the bow right sides out, push the points out with the skewer or knitting needle and press, making sure to tuck in the raw edges of the gap.
11 Stitch the gap closed and tie the bow to the wreath, covering the join.
Tip: Tying the perfect bow – after the first tie, turn the wreath upside down and complete the bow. The pointed ends of the bow will hang down towards the bottom of the wreath!
Almost 2 years ago I launched our first appeal for Syringe Driver Bags for Macmillan Cancer Care in Antrim Hospital.
As the name suggests, the bags carry Syringe Drivers, the vehicle for administering pain or sickness medication. The patient receives the meds via a tube, which means they have to carry the Syringe Drivers around with them all the time. Sometimes they have one syringe driver, sometimes 2.
Providing bright and colourful bags instead of the standard issue grey ones is a small way of bringing a little cheeriness to the patient, especially when they get to choose one they like!
For our first appeal we had a brilliant response from generous sewists across Northern Ireland. So much so, we were able to pass on some bags to other palliative care units.
These bags can’t be reused, and the supply of bags from the first appeal has been exhausted.
Macmillan have asked us for more, so we are launching our 2nd Syringe Driver Bag Appeal!
If you have some sewing machine experience and cotton fabric, would you consider making one or two bags for those receiving palliative care or cancer treatment? You can find the tutorial here.
Previously we have only made for adult males and females, but now we also have a request from The Children’s Hospice, N.I., so we can receive bags in child-friendly fabrics too!
I launched the 2nd appeal on Facebook 10 days ago and we’ve already received 25 bags! THANK YOU!
I’ve always known how generous our sewing community is! Please, please help us to make many more bags! The bags can be posted or delivered to me at home. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for my address.
And if you live locally to Belfast, keep your eyes and ears open for an announcement about a free Syringe Driver Bag Workshop at our studio in Conway Mill!
Welcome back to my Log Cabin Blocks series (part 1 available here).
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
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.
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).
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.
By adding squares (cornerstones) to the ends of the ‘steps’ you will add an Irish Chain secondary pattern to your quilt.
You can change the starting shape of a Courthouse Steps Block to any 4 sided shape (like Log Cabin) but not a triangle.
As I mentioned in my last post, there are lots more great Courthouse steps variations available. Like this ‘sliced’ Courthouse Steps:
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!
Now the point of doing this lies in the secondary patterns you can achieve from Sliced Courthouse Steps.
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.
Hi there, the ‘5 minute demo’ in my classes for this month was all about Portholes!
I first learned how to do this nifty technique from Lu Summers at the 2012 Fat Quarterly Retreat.
It was so much fun, and one of those techniques that is deceptively easy!
You can pretty much porthole any shape, and show off some patchwork, feature fabric or pretty vintage embroidery. But my advice is not to get too intricate with the shape otherwise the outline may not keep its definition.
5.5″ diameter bowl or plate to draw around (alternatively use template plastic and compass)
9″ diameter bowl or plate to draw around
13″ diameter bowl or plate to draw around
Calico: Same 3 cuts as Fabrics 2-4 above
Use 1/4″ seam allowance
1 Press the 12.5″ calico square in half both ways to find the centre.
2 Centre the 5.5″ diameter bowl (or template plastic) onto the calico and draw round the circle.
3 Place the calico onto the RIGHT side of Fabric 2, with the circle facing up. Pin the layers together and stitch on the circle.
4 Carefully cut away the fabric in the middle of the circle leaving an 1/8″ seam allowance.
5 Push the calico through the hole and round to the back. Press well so there is no calico showing from the front side.
6 Position and centre Fabric 1 (feature fabric) behind the calico, before pinning and sewing around the hole, 1/8″ from the edge.
7 Peel back the top fabric from the calico and feature fabric laying behind. Carefully trim away all the excess calico and feature fabric leaving 1/8″ seam allowance. Do not cut through Fabric 2! Put to one side.
8 Repeat steps 1-5 for the 16.5″ piece of calico and 9″ diameter bowl/plate.
9 Pin the first porthole (with feature fabric) behind this porthole. Sew around the 2nd porthole 1/8″ from the edge, as before.
10 Peel back the top fabric from the calico and feature fabric laying behind. Carefully trim away all the excess calico and feature fabric leaving 1/8″ seam allowance. Do not cut through Fabric 3! Put to one side.
11 Repeat steps 8-10 for Fabric 4 and 13″ diameter bowl/plate.
Tip: If you want to turn your piece into a cushion, I recommend not trimming away the last layer of calico and excess feature fabric. This will add more stability to the outer edges.
Now you have your triple porthole piece, you can turn it into a pretty cushion!
I spray basted wadding and calico behind the cushion front, hand ‘echo’ quilted the portholes, before adding some mini pompoms and an envelope back!
I hope you enjoyed my tutorial and have lots of fun giving portholes a go!
What an amazing year it has been, both inside the classroom and outside it!
One of my professional highlights in 2018 was attending Patchwork in the Peaks Quilters Retreat, Morzine, France, as guest tutor.
And on a personal level, hosting a memory quilt party for my special friend’s 50th birthday in February was a wonderful day!
Helping 2 charities, Shared Threads and Flourish, launch their new sewing initiatives, both aimed at improving the lives of women, locally and internationally was (and continues to be) a pleasure and a privilege.
Among the many highs and lows that come in a year, I’m reminded of my ‘word for the year’ back in January ’18 – RHYTHM.
I set a word at the start of each year to give me a focus to my professional and life goals.
After a massive year of change in 2017, I feel I definitely achieved some rhythm, allowing life to settle some, and to get into my stride with the new classroom and home.
Of course there were still changes in 2018, some happy, some sad, some expected, some unexecpted; the normalcy of life demands it.
But amidst it all, I have much to be thankful for and am content to leave 2018 with a smile, and embrace the exciting new chapter that is 2019.
Come back soon to find out all about my word for 2019!
It’s all about the festive makes at the moment at Just Jude Designs!
So I thought I’d bring you a fun and easy little Christmas tutorial to get you in the festive spirit!
For 1 Tree You will need:
2 x (5″ wide x 6″ tall) pieces of background fabric
2 x (5″ wide x 6″ tall) pieces of heavy weight sew-in vilene
2 x (4.5″ wide x 5.5″ tall) thin card
Green, red and gold/yellow threads
Thread to match background fabric
1″ x 2″ wide ribbon (trunk)
4″ length of narrow ribbon
Hand sewing needle
Non-permanent fabric marker
1 Cut the card into an isosceles triangle – draw a line from each bottom corner to the middle of the top edge. Cut away the sides.
2 Place the vilene behind the background fabric (I use a little basting spray here). On the vilene, I centred and drew around the card triangle as a guideline for stitching.
3 From the right side, draw 1″ lines across the background fabric using a non-permanent fabric pen.
4 Select a decorative stitch on your machine and sew along one of the lines.
5 Continue sewing decorative stitches along all the lines (for the lines near the top of the tree you only need to sew 0.5″ wider than the triangle marking).
6 Now sew decorative stitches in lines between the ones already sewn. Repeat steps 2-6 for the other background piece.
7 Cut out a generous 1/4″ wider than the triangle.
8 Pin the triangle card to the wrong side of one of the pieces. Using the English Paper Piecing (EPP) method, wrap the edges around the card and hand tack in place.
9 From the right side, machine stitch around the edges 1/8″ from the edge. At the bottom edge of the tree, catch the folded ‘trunk’ ribbon as you sew past. Remove the tacking stitches & leave in the card.
10 Hand tack a ribbon loop to the top of the tree (inside edge).
11 EPP & top stitch the remaining card triangle to the other stitched piece in the same way as before. Remove the tacking stitches & leave in the card.
12 Bring the 2 trees wrong sides together and whip stitch (by hand) the 2 trees together.
My 5 minute demo in class this month was how to make these super easy infinity scarfs.
You can use anything between 1 and 4 pieces of fabric for your scarf.
The sumptuous softness of Art Gallery fabrics or Liberty Lawns work particularly well, but you can also use quilting cotton, or for a more cosy scarf, try brushed cotton or snuggly fleece.
Would you like to know how to make them? My tutorial shows you how to make a scarf from 4 fabrics.
You will need:
Scarf made from 1 fabric: 1 x (20″ x 60″) or
Scarf made from 2 fabrics: 2 x (10.5″ x 60″) or
Scarf made from 3 fabrics: 2 x (10.5″ x 30″) & 1 x (10.5″ x 60″) or
Scarf made from 4 fabrics: 4 x (10.5″ x 30″)
3 metres mini pom pom trim (optional)
Adjustable zipper foot
Use 1/4″ seam allowance
1 Sew 2 panels right sides together along the short edges. Press the seam open. Repeat for the other 2 panels.
2 On the right side of one of the pairs, pin and machine tack 2 x 60″ lengths of mini pom pom trim down both long sides. The pom poms should be facing away from the outer edges. I used my zipper foot for this part so I could sew past the pom poms.
3 Place both paired panels right sides together and sew down both long sides. Again, I used my zipper foot here.
4 Turn the scarf right side out.
5 Iron under the raw edges of one short end by 1/4″.
6 Take the other short end and twist the scarf once before tucking it into the ironed under short end.
7 Even out the short ends, pin and sew them together, 1/8″ from the folded edge. You are only sewing through the 2 short ends here.
And there you have it! A beautifully soft infinity scarf.
You can of course lengthen and widen the measurements here to suit your needs or style!
Have fun making these versatile and practical scarves. But be warned!
It’s about time I posted another tutorial here, don’t you think?
Before all the sniffles and colds get going, how about pretty, quilted tissue box covers. I’d much rather see pretty fabric sitting in my room, than a functional cardboard box!
And this tutorial will explain how to cover a box of any size, so let’s get started!
You Will Need:
Heavy Sew-In Vilene
Non-permanent fabric marker
Cardboard or template plastic
Measure your box:
Take measurements A (short side), B (long side) and C (top). Then add 3/4″ (0.75″) to each measurement (1/2″ for seam allowances, 1/4″ for ease) to get the cutting out sizes.
You can see my measurements in the example below:
So now that you have the cutting out measurements you can either ….
apply all measurements to your exterior fabrics, lining fabric, wadding and heavy sew-in vilene
instead of cutting out the sides, cut and baste an 11″ x 12″ piece of exterior fabric, wadding and sew-in vilene. Once quilted, this is big enough to cut out all 4 sides.
You will also need this template for the openings. I use the larger shape for rectangular boxes and the smaller shape for cube boxes. Cut out the openings and transfer them to card or template plastic.
Use 1/4″ seams
1 If you haven’t already done so, spray baste the exterior fabrics, wadding and vilene together.
2 Quilt as desired (I marked and quilted a 1.5″ diagonal grid, see photo above).
3 Pin an exterior short side (A) right sides together with the exterior top (C). With a pen, mark 1/4″ in from each corner on the short side (wrong side).
4 Sew from marker to marker, starting and finishing with a reverse stitch. Repeat for the other short side.
5 Press the short ends out before attaching the long sides in the same way (remember to mark your 1/4″ points).
6 Repeat steps 3-5 for the lining pieces.
7 Find the middle of the lining top piece (I simply folded it in half lengthways and widthways and finger pressed).
8 Centre your chosen template opening onto the wrong side of the lining top piece and draw around it.
9 Pin the exterior and lining pieces right sides together. Sew along the drawn line, starting and finishing with a reverse stitch.
10 Carefully cut out the opening, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance. Snip at 1cm intervals all the way around the opening, taking care not to cut into the stitches.
11 Push the lining through the opening and all the way round to the back of the exterior. Iron around the opening to neaten.
12 Top stitch around the opening, 1/8″ from the edge.
13 Pin the exterior sides right sides together. Sew adjacent exterior sides together, sewing from the top down to the 1/4″ marker (fold the top piece out of the way so you can get right down to the 1/4″ marker). Start and finish with a reverse stitch.