Dresden Petal Pouch


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

 

Kindred Spirits QAL (Dresden)

 

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

 

Large Dresden Block (Kindred Spirits QAL)

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

 

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

 

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

 

Dresden Petal Pouch (kindred Spirits QAL)
Front
Dresden Petal Pouch (kindred Spirits QAL)
Back

 

 

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

 

Dresden Petal Pouch (kindred Spirits QAL)

 

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

 

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

 

Dresden Petal Pouch (kindred Spirits QAL)

 

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

 

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

 

 

Happy sewing!

 

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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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Resilience


By Judith on September 17, 2020
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During the earlier months of lockdown I was able to get back into running, after a year of not running due to injury.

It feels great to be running again! I run twice a week, 3 laps (5k) each time around the most beautiful park that is right on my doorstep.

 

 

But it’s hard!

It’s hard getting up and out before breakfast, sleep still in my eyes, stretching out muscles that don’t want stretched, getting out that front door to run in the rain, or worse, the wind!

Now of all the laps that I run, which do think is the hardest?  No, not the last lap.

The first lap is the hardest.  Everything in my body is yelling “What are you doing?  Are you crazy?  This hurts! It’s way too hard! There’s no way you’ll make 3 laps! You may as well give up now!”

This is the first of 2 voices that join me in my run – let’s call her Debbie Down-er (apologies to all Debbies out there!).  My Debbie Down-er voice loves to remind me just how hard running is for me, she’s a real whinge, a nay-sayer who doesn’t like being pushed to do anything hard or out of her comfort zone! She’s the voice of my body reminding me that I used to have M.E., that I’ve fractured my back twice, that I’ve busted my ankle 3 times, that I’m nearly 50 (oooh she’s close to the bone on that one!), not to mention how ridiculous I must look running like a deranged tortoise! What on earth do I think I’m doing!

 

 

Cue the 2nd voice in my head – let’s call her Determined Deirdre!

Determined Deirdre is the only reason I make it through that first lap, because she starts chirping “we can make 3 laps because we’ve done it before!”  I can’t tell you the profound impact that statement of truth can have on a body and mind that is screaming the complete opposite!

 

And so ensues the argument of my (unusual) internal dialogue, the voice of my body trying to shout louder than the voice of my mind, each one vying for attention over the other!  Over time I got better at choosing the right voice to listen to, and so long as Determined Deirdre’s voice is louder, I make it round lap 1 into lap 2. Victory no.1.

 

 

Lap 2 is where I settle into a rhythm and focus on my breathing. It’s still hard, and a niggly voice pops up again nearing the end of lap 2 “sure you’ve done 2 laps, that’s enough, quit now, the car’s right there”.

 

But I’ve come to learn about myself that if I even take 1 step over the threshold between laps 2 and 3, I’ve made it! There’s absolutely no way I’m quitting now that I’ve committed to lap 3, even if I have to drag myself across the finish line (glad to say that has only happened once!). Victory no.2.

 

 

And from the start of lap 3 it’s in the bag! I’ve still 1 mile to go, but I may as well be running on air! Why?

Hope!

You see, the finish line is in sight, the hardest work (the mental battle) is done and behind me, and the expectancy of victory no.3 (crossing the finishing line) energises my brain and fuels my tired body.

 

 

I’m also energised by the wildlife as I run round the lake in this beautiful park, imagining that they’ve come out specially to cheer me on!  Running in isolation is a completely different experience to running in a group, it’s much tougher mentally to be your own motivator, coach and cheerleader!

 

 

So as I run past them, I thank the amazingly tame squirrels, the shy little birds that jump back into the hedges, Bob and Bertha, the swans who sit at exactly the same spot at the edge of the path, for cheering me on.

 

I translate Bob’s protective hisses (!!) as ‘you’re doing great, keep going’, the regal stares and nods of the parliamentary island herons as ‘on course for a PB this week’, the many ducks toasting my efforts with their ‘bottoms up’ and the multi-talented seaguls performing their bread catching aerobatics and screaming for delight as I turn the corner into their view!

 

‘Bob’ happily distracted!

 

Well before you get really concerned about me (!!) let me explain why all this imagining is so important to me.

 

You see, in the 4 years I’ve been running I’ve learned something amazing!  The mind is stronger than the body! A strong and determined mind can make a body go much further than it wants to (just watch the triathalete Jonny Brownlee here for an extreme example of what this looks like)!

 

 

Running has given me mental resilience (fitness).

 

“When our minds are strong, we will be able to handle whatever life throws our way; we will go from just surviving to thriving!” Dr. Caroline Leaf

 

 

I believe our thought life & health is as important as our physical health, and yet it’s perhaps not something we choose to put much effort into.  Research shows that 75-98% of mental, physical & behavioural illness comes from one’s thought life (Dr. C Leaf ‘Switch on Your Brain’).

 

“Thoughts are real, physical things that occupy mental real estate. Moment by moment, every day, you are changing the structure of your brain through your thinking. When we hope, it is an activity of the mind that changes the structure of our brain in a positive and normal direction.” Dr. Caroline Leaf “Switch on Your Brain”

 

Toxic thinking and negative stress wears down the brain, but I’m happy to report that the damage caused is reversible! Neuroscientists have proven this and many inspiring testimonies and evidences are recorded in Dr. Caroline Leaf’s book ‘Switch on Your Brain’. We actually can ‘be transformed by the renewing of our minds’ Romans 12:2.

 

So if you would like an active and growing brain, increased intelligence & wisdom, peacefulness, increased immune and cardiovascular health, why not take stock of your thought life. Not everything that is hard is bad for us!

 

 

For you it might not be running, but maybe you could start with meditating, or praying, or practising gratitude, stepping a little out of your comfort zone and trying something new. Start the processes of strengthening your Mind (brain/spirit) over Matter (body)!

You can do way more than you think you can.

 

And if there’s no-one there to cheer you on, be your own cheerleader, set your imagination to work, record the many little victories that happen in a day, and you’ll soon start to grow mental resilience.

 

 

I’ve still got lots of work to do on my thought life, it will be a life-time committment. But I’m not the same person I was 6 years ago when I made a decision to get healthy inside and out. Life is rarely easy, but we have a power-pack of resources available to us every single day to help us through it.  We just need to learn how to use it!

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Betty Bag Goes Live!


By Judith on August 31, 2020
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Happy Bank Holiday Monday to all in the UK!

 

I’m happy to report the sun is shining (for a change). Not been the best summer for warm sunny weather here this year, but today I am thankful for (a little) heat and light!

 

And that makes it the perfect day to tell you that our Betty Bag class is now available for general release! Hooray! Click here to access.

 

 

The ladies from my regular classes have been beavering away on their Betty Bags these past 3 weeks, and it was so lovely to see some finished bags yesterday on our zoom call.

 

 

I’m just waiting on a few more photos to come in and then I can show you their amazing results!

 

 

So far I have made 5 Betty Bags, the most recent one as part of a secret swap between me and my ‘Threads Across the Sea’ quilting buddies! (tune in to the hashtag #justjudebettybag over on instagram this week to see the Betty Bags of my swap buddies!).

 

 

This class is made up of 1 pre-recorded YouTube video and a PDF document.

 

In your order confirmation email (& when you complete the order at checkout) you will receive a link to a PDF document.  This document lists the full list of materials needed, the cutting out instructions and the link to the YouTube video. To access the YouTube video, copy and paste this link into your internet browser to access the video.

 

In this class you will learn:

  • How to use metal or plastic zippers
  • How to insert zippers 2 ways
  • How to quilt panels using a quilting bar
  • Bag construction using interfacing
  • How to make a removeable strap
  • How to insert a magnetic clasp
  • Single-fold Binding

 

 

So if you would like a compact and slimline pouch to keep all your travel or night-out essentials safe and sound, then why not make your own!

 

And as my ladies have discovered, they also make for great gifts too!

 

To get a flavour of what my video classes  look like, checkout the free tutorials on my YouTube channel.

 

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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Just Jude & Friends: Dotti Denim Pouches


By Judith on July 21, 2020
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Firstly, apologies for forgetting to announce here the winner of my last giveaway (my bad)!  The lucky winner was Michelle Green @elsie_and_alice and was announced on Instagram & Facebook. Thank you to everyone here who entered.  Fingers crossed you will be luckier with my next giveaway.

 

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

 

Today is the end of week 3 of my Just Jude Designers Collaboration on Instagram.

 

 

This time the designers were making my Dotti Denim Pouch and I’m blown away by their makes.

 

Svetlana:

 

Kerry:

 

Stuart:

 

Lucy:

 

Aren’t they fab!

 

I love how each pouch reflects the creative personalities of the makers!!  You can read/see more about each pouch by searching the hashtag #justjudecollaborates  on Instagram.

 

 

And if you’d like to make your own Dotti Denim Pouch, you can purchase it here.

 

And I’ve already pulled my fabrics for Week 4’s collaborative project, Kerry’s Horseplay Cushion. 

 

Watch this space!

 

Happy sewing!

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Just Jude & Friends: Melody Mini Cushion


By Judith on July 10, 2020
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We are now in week 2 of our Instagram Designers Collaboration with Sotak Handmade, Charm About You, Stuart Hillard Sews, Penny Dog & myself.

 

 

Last week we made Svetlana’s Lola Pouches (you can see mine here).

 

This week we are making Lucy’s Melody Mini Quilt/Cushion.

 

 

This is a foundation paper pieced pattern which makes either a 20″ cushion or wallhanging.  I love foundation paper piecing for the accuracy and pointy points you can achieve!

 

I decided to make another pillow for my sofa and of course, I chose Tilda Fabrics!!

 

Melody Mini (Cushion)

 

I wanted to create a secondary pattern that became the centre feature of the cushion so I vered slightly from Lucy’s original colour placement.

 

Melody Mini (Cushion)

 

The cushion is actually made in 4 quadrants – you could keep the colourway in each quadrant the same colour/fabrics (like Lucy’s original pattern).  Alternatively, by changing the fabric in one point in each quadrant you get a new secondary pattern when each of the those points face towards the centre.

 

Melody Mini (Cushion)

 

When it came to the quilting, I decided to quilt in the ditches first, to bed down a few of those lumpier seams.

 

Melody Mini (Cushion)

 

I knew the Kona Snow would look too stark by itself so a little running stitch brings interest to these plainer sections and a little more quilted texture.

 

Melody Mini (Cushion)

 

My points were pretty well matched in the middle, despite the bulk of the intersecting seam, but it just didn’t feel right not to highlight the centre with a vintage button!

 

Melody Mini (Cushion)

 

The back of the cushion has my ‘go to’ feature zip, and a stripey Tilda binding frames the finished cushion.

 

Melody Mini (Cushion)

 

I’m really pleased with how this cushion has turned out and love how it looks with my other handmade cushions.

 

Melody Mini (Cushion)

 

Fabrics used:

Kona Snow

Tilda Old Rose (Lucy Teal Wisp)*

Tilda Classic Basics (Paint Dot Pink)*

Tilda Bon Voyage (Lilit Red)*

Tilda Tea Towel Basics (Apple Cake Stripe Red)*

*available to purchase here

Melody Mini Quilt/Cushion pattern available here

 

And don’t forget to check out the other Melody Minis on Instagram by searching #melodyminiquilt or #justjudecollaborates

 

Happy sewing!

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Giveaway!


By Judith on July 3, 2020
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To celebrate the release of our Tilda Drawstring Bag tutorial and kits, we are giving one away!

 

 

Not only will you receive everything you need to make our drawstring bag, fully pre-cut, but we are also throwing in a half metre of Retro 30’s Apples & Strawberries (Green) by Lecien and a spool of Aurifil 50wt Quilting Thread.

 

 

The giveaway opens today 3rd July and you have 4 different ways to enter:

 

* subscribe to our YouTube Channel
* follow us on Instagram (@justjudebelfast) & tag someone in our giveaway post
* like our Facebook page and leave a comment on our giveaway FB post
* leave a comment here with your email address

 

The giveaway is open to international entries and we’ll announce the winner on 11th July!

 

Good luck!

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IG Designer Collaboration


By Judith on July 1, 2020
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I’m so excited to annouce a new  designer collaboration during the month of July, which will be running on Instagram!

 

 

I’m teaming up with 4 talented quilting designers to make 1 pattern from each designers shop or book.  Each week we will showcase a designers pattern and let you see 4 different takes on it!

 

In addition to myself, the 4 other designers are:

 

Svetlana Sotak:

@Sotakhandmade

 

Svetlana is a contemporary quilter, bag maker & blogger based in The Netherlands.  She has the most beautiful calming style and has an amazing range of pouch and bag patterns available in her shop.

 

Svetlana has recently authored a book entitled That Handmade Touch.

 

We will be kicking off our first week by making Svetlana’s Lola Pouch.

 

Lucy Brennan:

@CharmAboutYou

 

Lucy is a British quilter and blogger who designs & sells her own patterns and regularly teaches quilting classes. Lucy worked for two years as a designer and demonstrator on TV and often has projects featured in magazines.

 

Lucy describes her style as ‘miscellaneous’, enjoying mixing modern and traditional elements in her designs. She also co-hosts #saturdaynightcraftalong on Instagram, a weekly global crafting initiative.

 

In week 2 we will be making Lucy’s Melody Mini Quilt.

 

Kerry Foster:

@Pennydog

 

Kerry is a British blogger, quilter and dressmaker living in Canada.  She designs most of what she makes and is mostly known for making animal portrait quilts with turned edge applique.
Kerry is a regular contributor to British quilting magazines and also teaches quilting classes.  Her pointer ‘Hank’ is as famous as Kerry on Instagram!

 

Kerry sells her patterns online and has published a book entitled Paint by Number Quilts. 

 

In week 4 we will be making Kerry’s Horseplay Cushion.

 

Stuart Hillard:

@StuartHillardSews

 

Stuart first appeared on our screens in the first episode of The Great British Sewing Bee!  He is a self-confessed fabricaholic and designs his own fabrics.

 

In addition to presenting programmes on TV and his YouTube channel, Stuart is a regular contributor to quilting magazines and has authored 3 quilting and sewing books.

 

In the final week of our sew-along we will be making something from Stuart’s latest book Simple Shapes Stunning Quilts.

 

And week 3 will be yours truly!  I can’t wait to see how the others interpret my Dotti Denim Pouch!!

 

 

You can tune into my instagram account @justjudebelfast to follow our sew-along or any of the designers instagram accounts.

 

But don’t worry if you’re not on Instagram, I’ll also be posting my collaborative makes here too!

 

Happy sewing!

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New Online Class


By Judith on May 31, 2020
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We are still very much in lockdown here, so ‘teaching’ has had to look very different for me.

 

Aside from my free video tutorials on YouTube, I trialled an online class last month with my ladies – the Causeway Hexie Cushion.

 

Feedback from the ladies was really positive and I’m looking forward to showing you their results!

 

Spurred on by their brilliant results and encouragement, I’m making another class available – the Applique Hearts Boxy Bag.

 

Applique Hearts Boxy Bag (online class)This class will be available first to my ladies from 8th June, and then to the general public from 6th July.

 

Applique Hearts Boxy Bag (online class)

 

As before, the class will consist of 4 weekly YouTube videos, with an optional zoom session at the end of each session (existing class members only).  This is when we check in with each other, talk about any issues, swoon over our progress and fabric choices etc.  and generally stay connected (as best we can!).

 

Applique Hearts Boxy Bag (online class)

 

This boxy bag design is a variation on my original Boxy Bag class I designed and taught way back in 2011!

 

Applique Hearts Boxy Bag (online class)

 

I often call it my book bag, because the short handles and sturdy body really lend themselves to carrying heavy books and files, to work, college, church or the library!

 

Applique Hearts Boxy Bag (online class)

 

However, I also think it would be a great project bag.  There is a handy divider pocket which could keep a pattern book with lots of room in the main bag for a knitting or crafting project.

 

Applique Hearts Boxy Bag (online class)

 

I chose to needleturn my hearts onto the bag, but as you will see in the ‘what we cover’ section below, I also show you how to machine applique too!

 

Applique Hearts Boxy Bag (online class)

 

So here’s what we will cover in this class:

 

*hand applique (Needleturn)

*machine applique (Satin and blanket stitch)

*suitable materials for the bag

*quilting

*reinforced divider pocket

*snap fasteners for divider pocket

*making handles

*handbag construction

 

Many of the materials I have used in this bag are available in my shop.

 

Applique Hearts Boxy Bag (online class)

 

So if you need another practical and sturdy bag in your life, or can think of someone who would love one, why not join us on either 8th June or 6th July for some step by step handbag making fun!

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Free Tutorial: Hexie Basket


By Judith on May 12, 2020
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As mentioned in my previous post, I have more baskets to show you!  And these are from my latest free YouTube Tutorial!

 

Hexie Basket Tutorial

 

In this tutorial you will learn:

 

~The English Paper Piecing technique

~Quilting the exterior panel

 

Hexie Basket Tutorial

 

~How to make and attaching Piping

 

Hexie Basket Tutorial

 

~Basket construction, including inserting the base and lining

 

 

Hexie Basket Tutorial

 

 

~Bindng the top edge to finish

 

Hexie Basket Tutorial

 

And a bonus feature at the end of the tutorial will show you how to calculate the cutting measurements for any size basket you wish to make!

 

Hexie Basket tutorial

 

So if you fancy making these cute baskets, why not check out my free video tutorial here.

 

Happy sewing!

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Basket Case!


By Judith on May 9, 2020
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I’ve been making a lot of baskets lately!

 

Some were for my next free tutorial (remember my Scrappy Hexie Basket?  Well I’ll be releasing the pattern for this one as a free tutorial very soon).

 

And some were just an excuse to have fun with teeny pieces of fabric!

 

Improv scrap baskets

 

These baskets are only 4.5″ and 6″ tall and are ‘improv. pieced’.  This means your pieces of fabric aren’t pre-cut to a specific size, rather you just keep adding pieces until you have a section that can be joined to another section.

 

Improv scrap baskets

 

Improv. piecing for small projects is the perfect way to use up tiny pieces that are too small for English Paper Piecing or regular piecing patterns.

 

Improv scrap baskets

 

To give you a sense of scale, my smaller basket is holding large spools of 50wt Aurifil thread.

 

Improv scrap baskets

 

I create my baskets with an inset base with piping.  I think the piping gives the basket more definition and shape.

 

Improv scrap baskets

 

And the structure is provided by the heavy sew-in vilene that the exterior is quilted on to.

 

Improv scrap baskets

 

I can think of a tonne of uses for these cute baskets, not least filled with goodies and gifted to loved ones!

 

Tune back soon to hear all about my free Hexie Basket YouTube Tutorial!

(And now there’s a mini tutorial on how to make these improv.pieced versions of my Hexie Baskets here.)

Happy sewing!

 

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Sashiko Minis


By Judith on April 30, 2020
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Once upon a time, in the days before lockdown, I visited an Irish linen factory and purchased some small offcuts of charcoal blue medium weight linen (among other things, ahem!).

 

Sashiko minis

 

I immediately fell in love with the muted tones of this linen and thought a striking white thread would contrast beautifully with it!

 

And that started my pursuit of a series of small sashiko designs which I could stitch and frame as a set.

 

Sashiko Minis

 

I found a few free designs I liked on Pinterest and played around printing out various sizes.  I settled for 6″ designs and cut out my linens at 7.5″.

 

Then came the problems!!

 

Sashiko Minis

 

Trying to transfer the designs onto this medium weight linen proved tricky!  First I tried my lightbox, but the linen was too dense to allow the design to show through enough to trace!

 

My pattern transfer pen is dark purple and wouldn’t show up on the linen.

 

Sashiko Minis

 

So after watching a few YouTube tutorials I ordered some yellow carbon paper.  I traced the design through the carbon paper onto the right side of the linen. But the yellow pigment barely left a mark!

Aarrgghh!

 

Sashiko Minis

 

So the only option I felt I had left was to trace the design onto baking paper, sew through the paper, and then tear the paper away at the end.  I wasn’t too keen on this idea because hand sewn stitches are much less secure than machine sewn stitches and could get pulled out of shape.

 

Sashiko Minis

 

So I fused some woven interlining onto the back of the linen and tried one design to see if I could get away with it, and bar one or two stitches that needed ‘settled down’ again after removing the paper, it worked relatively well.

 

Sashiko Minis

 

I didn’t have sashiko thread so used an old spool of fine crochet cotton instead!!

 

And the 7.5″ box frames came from Hobbycraft today, so I wasted no time getting them framed and photographed (I took out the glass for the photoshoot!).

 

Sashiko Minis

 

All I need to do now is decide where to hang them!!

 

Happy sewing!

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Scrappy Heart Drawstring Bags


By Judith on April 21, 2020
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Hello there!

 

I’ve had a little extra time on my hands the past 2 days (that’s in between long lie-ins, short walks and afternoon reading in my sunny garden)!

 

I had a few leftover pieces of Tilda strips from my last free video tutorial project and thought I’d put them to good use.

 

Scrappy Heart Drawstring Bags

 

This little drawstring bag stands around 11″ tall (unfilled) and combines mostly Tilda scraps with some Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Flax).

 

Scrappy Heart Drawstring Bags

 

I quilted the front and back in a 1″ diagonal grid before needleturning a heart on each side, and a simple running stitch detail.

 

Scrappy Heart Drawstring Bags

 

The bag is fully lined with finished drawstring tabs.

 

Scrappy Heart Drawstring Bags

 

The bag took no time at all to make, so I made another one!!

 

Scrappy Heart Drawstring Bags

 

I’m not much of a hand stitcher, but I really enjoyed the slow stitching of the hearts and running stitches.

 

Scrappy Heart Drawstring Bags

 

I’m planning on filling these bags with goodies and gifting them to some friends who are fighting on the front line of the Covid19 battle.

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Spring ’20 Quilting Retreat


By Judith on February 24, 2020
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Our 2nd quilting retreat at Murlough House, Co.Down was at the weekend, and just like our first retreat last October, it didn’t disappoint!

 

Spring '20 Quilting Retreat

 

There were 18 of us, sewing, laughing, eating, playing and having some much needed chill out time!

 

And like last time, the sun shone which meant the fitter few got to enjoy some scenic walks down to the beach!

 

Our swap/ice-breaker project was the humble mug-rug. Nothing humble about these beauties!

 

Spring'20 Quilting Retreat

 

The workshops this time around were Foundation Pieced Spools on Saturday (later turned into cute wallhangings) and some relaxing hand sewing on Sunday making brooches.

 

Spring '20 Quilting Retreat
Spring '20 Quilting Retreat
Spring '20 Quilting Retreat

 

Last year our charity quilt block drive involved lots and lots of scrappy 2.5″ squares, all sewn together to make a postage stamp quilt for Siblings Together.  Here is the recently finished quilt, made by 23 people!

 

Spring '20 Quilting Retreat

 

Inspired by our efforts, a small group of ladies from retreat organised themselves to make more postage stamp blocks and brought their finished quilt at the weekend to show us.

 

Spring '20 Quilting Retreat

 

Isn’t it fabulous!  So that’s 2 quilts ready to be posted to Siblings Together.

Our charity quilt block drive this year was all about half square triangles.

The ladies each  brought 5 colourful squares and 5 low volume squares with them to retreat, we mixed them up and then gave them back pairs of squares to sew, chop, press and rejoin into blocks of 9 half square triangles.

And just look what 18 people achieved!

 

Spring '20 Quilting Retreat

 

And when this quilt is pieced, quilted and bound, that will be another one off to Siblings Together!

 

And there were many other quilts in the making too this weekend. Here are just a few!

 

Spring '20 Quilting Retreat
Spring '20 Quilting Retreat
Spring '20 Quilting Retreat
Spring '20 Quilting Retreat
Spring '20 Quilting Retreat
Spring '20 Quilting Retreat
Spring '20 Quilting Retreat

 

Phew! What a wonderfully creative time we had!

 

A huge thank you to the wonderful staff at Murlough House, and of course to this crazy lot for making it a very special quilting retreat!

 

Spring '20 Quilting Retreat

Happy quilting!

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Textile Art – New Class Project


By Judith on February 16, 2020
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At the end of February we will be having a half term break from classes.

Which means, a new block of classes kicks off in March up until Easter.

And a new block of classes means a new (optional) class project.

 

 

We’re going to dip our creative toes into some textile art this term, having unadulterated play-time with mixed textiles and medium.

 

I’ve 2 class samples to showcase several fun techniques.

 

Picture 1:

 

Textile Art Pictures - Class samples

 

This is a 12″ picture in a box frame.

The background can be made with strips of torn linens, cottons, lace, voile, broderie anglaise and anything else light weight which is textured or can fray well.  I even included fine strands of felting wool!

We then use a water-soluble fabric to matchstick quilt the background before adding our composition on top.

 

Textile Art Pictures - Class samples

 

I’ve chosen some flowers and seed heads, but you could quite easily go with a bird, meadow or beach theme.  Let your creativity run wild!

In the making of my picture I used the following techniques:

couching

free motion embroidery

paper aging

embellishing

I also included some cut out some embroidered yellow flowers from an old duvet cover!!

 

Textile Art Pictures - Class samples

 

What a lot of fun!  You’ll never look at textured fabrics, bedding and apparel in the same way again!

 

Picture 2:

 

Textile Art Pictures - Class samples

 

I love word art!  There’s nothing quite like the perfectly spoken word at exactly the right time to create profound impact and legacy.

 

If you enjoy poetry and literature you can have so much fun with your composition here.  Or how about the name and meaning of a loved one?  What a special gift.

 

The background is made in the same way as picture 1.  I’ve also included free motion sketching and printed text here.  This time though, I’ve embellished my picture with text printed onto fabric.  You need an inket jet printer and freezer paper do to this.

 

Textile Art Pictures - Class samples

 

I’m so looking forward to seeing what artistic impressions are released when this class starts in March!

 

If you would like to join us for some textile creativity, check out all the classes and vacancies here.

 

Happy sewing!

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Feb’20 Retreat Workshops


By Judith on January 12, 2020
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It’s only 6 weeks until our next Quilting Retreat at the tranquil Murlough House, Co. Down.

 

 

It will be another fun filled weekend, chilling out, sewing, eating, games and lots more!

 

There will also be 2 workshops to choose from:

 

 

Foundation Pieced Spools:

On Saturday afternoon we will be trying our hand at foundation paper piecing, making these cute spool blocks, which can be turned into a sweet wallhanging.

 

Spools Wallhanging

 

Foundation paper piecing is a lovely technique for achieving accuracy  and clean, crisp lines and points!

 

 

I used cork fabric for my spool ends, which I think adds a lovely bit of texture.  And the fun doesn’t stop there – you get to decorate your spools with ribbons, lace, trim or even selvedges!

 

 

This is a great workshop for using up those favourite ‘wee’ bits!

 

 

Brooches:

On Sunday morning we will be using a weaving method to create ‘rosette’ brooches.

 

 

I experimented with different textiles here, tweed, quilting cotton, Liberty Lawn, satin ribbon, hessian, crocheted and antique lace.

 

I even used a fluffy Essex Linen selvedge for one of the centres!

 

 

I love how diverse and vintagey they look, and again, you don’t need big pieces of fabric for this project.   I also love an excuse to use vintage buttons, but equally you could use beads to decorate.

 

 

The brooches are completely hand sewn, a lovely relaxing way to spend a Sunday morning!

 

 

So if you want to learn a new technique or present idea, or get using up some of your scraps, one of our retreat workshops might just hit the spot!

 

There are still a few places available on the retreat.  Just drop us an email at justjudedesigns@hotmail.co.uk to get more info and a booking form.

 

Happy sewing!

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Cork Pouches


By Judith on December 22, 2019
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I’ve recently gifted a selection of ‘cork pouches’.

 

I love working with cork!  It goes with just about everything, comes in lots of different colours (including sparkly!) can be rotary cut, pieced, quilted, ironed (medium-cool heat setting) and is 3d friendly!  Did you know it’s vegan too (though I don’t recommend eating it!).

 

Here’s the first cork pouch:

 

Cork Pouch Gift for Zoe

 

This was made for a friend of my daughter who has been through a tough time lately.

 

Cork Pouch Gift for Zoe

 

I had a very small offcut of this gorgeous animal fabric (Echino, I think!) and managed (just about) to fussy cut the animals.   I particularly like the zebras as my daughter’s friend is a young mum and it reminded me of the lovely bond she has with her son.

 

Cork Pouch Gift for Zoe

 

The pouch was sent off with an inspirational notebook and lots of love!

 

Cork Pouch Gift for Zoe

 

Pouch no. 2 was made as an ‘end of year’ thank you gift.

 

Cork Pouch gift for Joanne

 

As with most of my pouches, I make them up as I go along!  I’d seen some lovely curved pouches on Pinterest and thought I’d have a go!

 

Cork Pouch gift for Joanne

 

The 2nd side of the zipper is a little tricky as you are sewing against the curve, but completely manageable with patience and deft fingers!

 

Cork Pouch gift for Joanne

 

All of the fabrics in this pouch are available to purchase in my studio.

 

And last but not least, a geographical pouch for a special girl!

 

Lucy's Map Pouch

 

My middle daughter has already left for a 3 month missions trip, so I thought a useful but easy to pack pouch would come in handy.

 

Lucy's Map Pouch

 

With another offcut of map fabric I managed to include 2 countries that hold significance for my daughter, Brazil (a country she would love to visit one day) and Japan, where she will be spending the first 2 months of 2020.

 

Lucy's Map Pouch

 

I quilted both sides of the pouch along the longitude and latitude lines that were already printed on this ‘old style’ map!

 

Lucy's Map Pouch

 

So that’s my round up of cork pouches gifted this Christmas.

 

If you’ve never sewn with cork before give it a try! You’ll soon discover how versatile and user friendly it is!

 

Happy sewing!

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New Class Project: Jan’ 2020


By Judith on December 6, 2019
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Well it’s hard to believe that we only have 1 more week of classes left for 2019!  Where on earth did that year go!!

 

I can’t wait to show you the beautiful wreaths folks have been making as part of our (optional) class project this term.  They’re stunning!

 

But before one term is out I always present to my classes what the next term’s (optional) class project will be.

 

Our technique focus next term will be Pleats & Tucks.

 

 

The main difference between pleats and tucks is that pleats are formed by folding the same length of fabric into folds which are only stitched down at the top and bottom ends, whereas tucks are constructed separately and then sewn into the project.

 

You will of course be more familiar with seeing pleats and tucks in clothing and apparel, but I love how different techniques in textiles can cross over into other disciplines, usually with a little creative tweaking!

 

So far I have 2 class samples made (both tucks!), but I hope to have one more pleated sample completed before the start of term!

 

 Cushion with Tucks:

There are many different effects you can achieve by manipulating tucks.

 

Cushion with Tucks (class sample)

 

I really like the ‘spread’ effect you get from this variation of the Wave Tuck.  You can see each of the feature fabrics standing out nicely against the black Essex Yarn Dyed Linen.

 

Cushion with Tucks (class sample)

 

Zippy Pouch with Tucks

 

Pouch with Tucks (class sample)

 

This is an example of Twisted Tucks. Before sewing along the bottom edge of the pouch, the tucks are twisted back, revealing the secondary colour. This effect adds a lovely decorative touch to bags and pouches.

 

Pouch with Tucks (class sample)

 

So that’s us (almost) ready for next term.  If you would like to join us for some creative sewing fun, you can see all the available classes here.

 

In the meantime I have a few Christmas presents to make, and the small matter of workshops for February’s Retreat to make too!

 

No rest for the wicked!!

 

Happy sewing!

 

 

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Kantha on Tweed & Giveaway


By Judith on November 9, 2019
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If you read my last post, you will know that I’ve been making gifts for my #Threads Across the Sea quilting friends.

 

Here’s what I made:

 

Kantha Tweed Drawstring Pouches

 

I love the organic nature of kantha stitching, an ancient form of Indian embroidery.  Originally used on saris, kantha now makes appearances on apparel, home furnishings and quilts.

 

Photo source: SewGuide.com

 

Combined with my love of tweed and woollen textiles, I thought wouldn’t it be radical fun to try a little tweed/kantha combo!

 

And so 3 Kantha/tweed drawstring bags were formed!

 

Kantha Tweed Drawstring Pouches

 

Most of the fabrics in the exteriors of these bags are from free sample books (love a bit of recycling).

 

I pieced the exteriors, then bedded down the seams with a little top stitching onto heavy sew-in vilene.

 

And then the kantha fun began!

 

Kantha Tweed Drawstring Pouches

 

Aurifil 12wt wool threads are perfect for this type of naive embroidery.  I choose saturated colours to compliment the soft tones of the tweed and wool.

 

Kantha Tweed Drawstring Pouches

 

Now I sized these bags for a particular purpose.  Inside where funny mugs the girls could take along to their respective Modern Quilt Groups!

 

Kantha Tweed Drawstring Pouches

 

Aren’t they funny! You can find a great selection of craft, sewing and knitting slogan mugs here.

 

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

And now onto my giveaway!

 

Kantha Bag Giveaway

 

How would you like to win one of my Kantha Tweed bags?

 

Giveaway

 

Not only that, you will also get a copy of Hoop Art by Christin Morgan (20 hand embroidery projects) and 4 spools of Aurifil 12wt cotton floss.

 

Giveaway

 

To enter please …..

1  follow me on Instagram @justjudebelfast and tag a friend

2  like my Facebook Page

3  and leave a comment here or on FB or IG telling me what’s your favourite textile to work with.

You have until Monday 18th November to enter, when I will announce the winner (international entries welcome).  (Please ensure you leave your email address with your comment if you are a ‘no reply blogger’.)

Good luck everyone!

 

Happy sewing!

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Threads Across the Sea 2019


By Judith on November 8, 2019
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For the past few years, an annual tradition has started among 3 of my long time quilty friends and myself.

 

Threads Across the Sea 2019
L-R: Sarah (@sewmesarah), Me (@justjudebelfast); Trudi (@trudi_wood); Di (@willowbeckdesigns)

 

2 of us live in N.Ireland and the other 2 in England.  We try to meet up each year to sew, taking it in turns to meet on either side of the Irish Sea!  And that’s why we call ourselves #Threads Across the Sea!

 

Threads Across the Sea 2019

 

This year, Trudi and Di came to not so sunny Belfast and spent a weekend of chatter, natter, lots of eating (delicious home baked yummies by Trudi and Sarah!) and of course some sewing in my studio!

 

One of our traditions is to gift handmade items to each other!  This is like Christmas come early!!

 

Threads Across the Sea 2019

 

From Sarah we each received these personalised Arm Chair Caddies (pattern from the book ‘Zakka Home’).  Aren’t they cool!  And Sarah got me spot on with my love of denim and all things ditsy!

 

Threads Across the Sea Gifts
Threads Across the Sea Gifts
Threads Across the Sea Gifts

 

I will definitely be using mine when hand stitching in the evenings in front of the telly!

 

Threads Across the Sea 2019

 

From Trudi we each received a beautifully hand embroidered Clearly Carry All Pouch by Sewing Illustration.

 

Threads Across the Sea Gifts

 

Trudi is an amazing hand stitcher and quilter, and being recently laid up with injured ankles facilitated the huge amount of time she invested in these pouches.

 

Threads Across the Sea Gifts
Threads Across the Sea Gifts

 

 

I particularly love the sashiko stitching on Art Gallery Denim! Yum!

 

And from Di we each got a treat bag of goodies!

 

Threads Across the Sea 2019

 

Di lives in the Lake District and the particular area she lives in is known as the Cake District!!!  Fab or what!

 

Included in the bag were thread snips, mobile thread cutter/needle threader and wood turned items made by Di’s uber talented hubby!  Check out the gorgeously tactile needle holder and Christmas Tree decoration!

 

Threads Across the Sea 2019

 

See what I mean by Christmas come early!  I’m so blessed to call these talented women my friends.

 

And if you want to know what I made for my 3 friends, you’ll have to tune in again to find out (and there might be a wee giveaway too! wink wink!).

 

Having a sew-social with like minded creatives and wonderful friends is one of my favourite things!  Already looking forward to TATS20!

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Post Retreat Roundup


By Judith on November 3, 2019
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Sorry it has taken me so long to post about our first Quilting Retreat (last weekend).  I’ve had some very special visitors this week (which I’ll tell you all about soon).

 

It’s hard to believe that a week ago today we were heading home after a wonderful weekend of sewing, eating, fun and games!

 

Quilting Retreat Oct19

 

Murlough house is a 150 year old stately house situated only 5 minutes walk from the beach and surrounded by beautiful and calming gardens. The staff that run the house were so accommodating and friendly and the meals ……. oh my! We were spoiled!  Their generous and servant heartedness combined with this beautiful setting established our retreat vibe from the first day.

 

Quilting Retreat Oct19

 

There was of course lots of independent sewing time in the big hall. I have lots of photos of fabulous finished projects, but here are just a few!

 

Quilting Retreat Oct19
Quilting Retreat Oct19
Quilting Retreat Oct19
Quilting Retreat Oct19
Quilting Retreat Oct19
Quilting Retreat Oct19
Quilting Retreat Oct19
Quilting Retreat Oct19

 

After dinner in the evenings, we had a few fun games like a our pincushion swap, sewing bingo and the postage stamp charity block race, before getting down to more serious sewing time.  (The hard core stitchers were still in the Hall to the wee hours of the morning!!)

 

Quilting Retreat Oct19
Postage Stamp Blocks for Siblings Together

Quilting Retreat Oct19
Quilting Retreat Oct19
Quilting Retreat Oct19
Quilting Retreat Oct19
Quilting Retreat Oct19

 

In addition to all of this I ran 2 workshops:

Sashiko cushion (Saturday afternoon) ……

 

Quilting Retreat Oct19
Quilting Retreat Oct19

 

….and selvedge projects (Sunday morning).

 

Quilting Retreat Oct19
Quilting Retreat Oct19

 

A few folks also managed to fit in some walks (& runs) around the bay!

 

Phew! What a lot we managed to pack in!

 

From the feedback forms I can safely say that everyone had a fabulously relaxing and productive weekend.

 

Quilting Retreat Oct19

 

A huge thank you to everyone who came and participated in all the activities so eagerly and to all the staff at Murlough House for spoiling us.

 

Thank you too to my 2 lovely friends, Ruth and Barbara, who valiantly helped and supported me from conception to conclusion (they are 2nd and 3rd from the right in the photo above).  I couldn’t have done this without you!

 

I already have Murlough House booked for 2 more retreats in 2020!  So watch this space!

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Autumn Quilting Retreat Workshops


By Judith on September 16, 2019
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It was a milestone weekend in the Hollies’ household!

 

 

I dropped my baby off at University of Liverpool to start her 3 year degree, and came back to an empty nest.

 

 

I’ve had children at home for the past 24 years, so not having ‘on hand’ mummy duties and living alone for the first time (ever) will be quite an adjustment. But I know that once the grieving ends I will learn how to grow a new set of wings and step into new rhythms and adventures.

 

In the meantime I have lots of exciting work ventures to focus on, one being our inaugural Quilting Retreat next month.

 

In addition to oodles of time to sew, chat and relax, there are also 2 optional workshops to choose from.

 

Saturday Afternoon: Sashiko Cushion

 

Sashiko Cushion

 

The Japanese sashiko stitching trend has swept through the quilting world in recent years.

 

Sashiko Cushion

 

This is my simplified take on what can be beautifully intricate hand stitched Japanese designs, often based on themes of nature and geometric patterns.

 

Sashiko Cushion

 

At this workshop you will learn how to trace patterns onto traditional indigo backgrounds and how to make the sashiko stitches and designs.

 

Sashiko Cushion

 

Sunday Morning: Selvedge Projects

Quilters are a frugal lot, and we don’t like throwing away even small pieces of fabric!

 

Selvedges

 

So when it comes to selvedges, the edges of fabric that prevent it from fraying, to me they aren’t the pieces you trim off and throw in the bin, but rather the unsung treasures of your yardage!

 

Selvedge Basket

 

Selvedges not only display the colourful dye shades used in the print, but also the manufacturer and designer’s names and the name of the pattern.

 

Selvedge Basket

 

It can take a while to save up enough selvedges to make something from them, but don’t worry, at this workshop I will have lots of selvedges available.

 

Selvedge Pencil Case

 

At the workshop you will learn how to cut and sew selvedges with finished edges and how to stabilise them into a new piece of fabric for project making.

 

Selvedge Pouch

 

And you can choose to make a small basket, pencil case or project pouch.

 

So start looking at those selvedges differently and hoard them like precious treasure!

 

Those are the workshops taking place at our Quilting Retreat in October.  It’s going to be one fun and creative weekend!

 

Happy quilting!

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Autumn ’19 Workshops


By Judith on September 4, 2019
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This week saw the start of our new Autumn ’19 programme of weekly classes and workshops.

 

Autumn19 Saturday workshops

 

Here is a flavour of what we will be getting up to on Saturdays!

 

Rope Bowls Workshop Sept19

 

Booking available here

 

At this workshop you will find out how much fun you can have with cotton clothesline and a zigzag stitch!!

Previous Rope Bowls workshops have proven to be creative and productive, with everyone going home with several completed items.

You can read more about our Rope Bowls workshops here and here.

 

Dotti Denim Pouch Workshop

 

Booking available here

 

If you have a fear of zips then this is the workshop for you!!  At this workshop you will learn how to make a sizeable pouch and neatly insert a finished zipper.

 

You can upcycle denim for your pouch, or try out some durable cork fabric (available to purchase in class) or perhaps use up some pretty scraps!

 

 

Kids Pencil Case workshop

 

Booking available here

 

Bring along your young protege to learn how to sew their very own pencil cases (great gift ideas for friends too!).

At this workshop your child will learn how to cut and prepare fabric for piecing and pencil case construction, including inserting a zip!

This is a fun day out with your creative young person!

Children must be aged 9+

 

Robin Hoop Art Workshop

 

Booking available here

 

Hoop Art is a popular and satisfying way of creating textile art.

At this workshop you will learn how to layer a background, matchstick quilting, raw edge applique/free motion sketching and how to finish and mount your hoop.

A great little project for using up scraps of cotton, lace, ribbon and tweed.

8″ wooden hoops available to purchase in class.

 

So that’s the roundup of our Patchwork & Quilting Saturday workshops.  I hope you see something you like!

And come back soon for some exciting news on our new Autumn craft workshops!

 

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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Vintage Sheets Cushions Gifted!


By Judith on August 6, 2019
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Today I got to hand over 2 special gifts!

 

Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

Angie, my very good friend and fellow sewist, had been travelling for a year and before she left she gave me her precious and treasured stash of vintage sheets!

 

Vintage sheets

 

I too am a collector of vintage sheets, so I instantly understood the value and meaning of this archival gift.

 

When I protested to Angie that I couldn’t possibly accept her treasures, she jokingly said I could make her a cushion from them for when she returned.

 

Well she returned last month and I got to hand over the cushions today.  She was delighted!

 

Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

Among this vintage stash were lots of strips and smaller pieces.  So I went with ‘strippy’ friendly designs.

 

Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

I popped in a little table cloth embroidery to kick start this scrappy Log Cabin, one of my favourite quilt blocks.

 

Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

The quilting was sinple ‘echo’ quilting of the Log Cabin rounds and some of the bigger pieces went into the envelope back.

 

As you can see, I was having so much fun that I couldn’t possibly stop at just one cushion!

 

Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

The solid pink fabric in cushion number 2 was also in Angie’s vintage stash because it was edged with a sweet trim (used in the back).

 

Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

Using my ‘strip pieced block’ tutorial, I made 4 x 10″ blocks, joined them together, quilted them and then hand quilted some coordinating running stitches.

 

Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

A little crocheted scallop trim finished the cushions.

 

Vintage Sheets Cushions

 

I had so much fun making these, enjoying the vintage prints and softness, and reminiscing back to my childhood bed linen (oh those 1970’s purples!).

 

Thank you Angie for entrusting me with your vintage treasures and giving me an excuse to ‘play’!  I hope you too get new opportunities to ‘play’!

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Autumn Class Project: Soft Toys


By Judith on August 4, 2019
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It’s only 4 weeks until my Autumn term of classes starts back!

 

Autumn19 classes

 

Our classes are ‘open’, which means they are mixed ability and you can work on any Patchwork and Quilting project you like, getting all the help and support you need.

 

But I also provide an optional class project each term. These might focus on a new technique, one of my new patterns or a new challenge to keep growing those brain cells!

 

 

soft toys class project

 

In our new term we will be tackling soft toys!

I know these will be a hit with Grannies, Mummies and big kids alike!

 

I’ve curated 3 toy patterns from around the creative web to tempt my lovely ladies to try these cute 3d shapes!

 

Francie Fox:

Pattern available here (by Angela Lea Designs)

 

Francie Fox Class Project

 

This cute girl was a dream to make, following Angela Lea Designs’ fab pattern.

She finishes at 11.5″ tall and has moveable ‘arms’ and tail.

 

Francie Fox Class Project

 

I went a little less scrappy than the original pattern, but still had fun choosing from my Art Gallery scraps! Yum!

 

Ric Rac Trunk Show

Pattern available here (by Jodie Carleton)

 

Elephant Class Project

 

This little darling stands proud at 10″ and the pattern includes 3 trunk variations.

 

Elephant Class Project

 

It also includes an adorable ‘Elmer-esk’ patchwork version!

 

The Purl Bee Penguin

Free pattern available here (by Purl Soho)

 

Penguin Class Project

 

This cute little fella (I’m calling him Percy!) is the smallest of our curated toys, at only 9″ tall.

 

The free pattern and templates are really clear, and could be easily enlarged if you’re after a bigger penguin.

 

Penguin Class Project

 

So there you have it!

3 gorgeous soft toys to make, and 8 weeks in which to make them!

 

If you would like to enrol for a class, to make these soft toys or to work on your own project, you can get registered here (places are limited).

 

Happy sewing!

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Syringe Driver Bag Appeal 2


By Judith on July 11, 2019
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Almost 2 years ago I launched our first appeal for Syringe Driver Bags for Macmillan Cancer Care in Antrim Hospital.

 

Macmillan staff ‘modelling’ the bags!

 

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 justjudedesigns@hotmail.co.uk 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!

 

Thank you!

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New Class: Denim Boro Bag


By Judith on June 9, 2019
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Following the immense fun I had making the patchwork denim pouch for my daughter’s friend, I just had to make a bag in the same boro style!

 

Denim Boro Bag

 

Oh I had a ball mixing one of my favourite textiles (denim) with one of my favourite pastimes (patchwork & quilting) while fulfilling one of my favourite values (recyling!).

 

Denim Boro Bag

 

This is a great project for using up all those torn and unwanted jeans, denim scraps and interesting bits!

 

Denim Boro Bag

 

If, like me, you love recycling and not adding to landfill, why not join us for some repurposing and patchwork fun at our Studio at Conway Mill, Belfast.

 

 

Over 5 Wednesday evenings I’ll show you how to reuse your old jeans to make a patchwork and quilted cross-body denim bag, with feature ‘boro’ stitching.

 

Denim Boro Bag

 

There’ll be lots of advice on the best threads and needles to use, how to quilt the denim, putting a zippered pocket into the lining, and how to make an adjustable shoulder strap.

 

Denim Boro Bag

 

If you too would like to have a ridiculous grin like mine (!!) come and join the repurposing fun!  Booking available here.

 

Happy recycling!

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Log Cabin Family of Blocks: Part 4


By Judith on May 27, 2019
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Welcome to the final part of my Log Cabin Family of Blocks series.

Part 1 (Log Cabin) available here

Part 2 (Courthouse Steps) available here

Part 3 (Pineapple) available here

(All sample blocks were made using Handmade fabrics by Makower)

 

Now in my introduction to this series, I described this part as the Mystery section!

That’s because this post is all about Partial Seams!

 

Partial Seams Variations

 

Just like the other Log Cabin Family members, in these examples fabric is pieced around a central shape.

 

1 Log Cabin

 

You may have noticed that the ‘logs’ in the Log Cabin block above are equal length in each round, unlike the Log Cabin Block from Part 1.

 

Partial Seams
Log Cabin Block: Part 4

Log Cabin Construction
Log Cabin Block: Part 1

 

This is made possible by starting each round with a partial seam (denoted here with the number 0.5 instead of 1!).

 

Partial Seams Construction

 

The first ‘log’ being attached is stitched only half way along the seam.  It is then pressed out allowing the 2nd ‘log’ to be fully attached.  This one is then pressed out before attaching log 3 and the same for log 4.  Now you can bring the unsewn section of log 1 right sides together to log 4 and finish sewing the starting (partial) seam.

 

Photo source: Pieced By Number

 

I love how clever this technique is.  Without prior knowledge of partial seams, it would be difficult to work out how to construct this block.  Therein lies the mystery!!

 

2. Rail Fence

In this example, the ‘rail fence’ sections are pieced separately, before being attached to the centre square.

 

Partial Seams

 

As before, the first seam will be a partial seam.

 

Partial Seams

 

(Tutorial for a similar block available here)

 

3. Hope of Hartford

 

As for the Rail Fence block above, the corner sections of this block are made separately, before being pieced around the centre square.

 

Partial Seams

 

(Tutorial available here)

 

4 Octagon

 

And just like a traditional Log Cabin block, you don’t have to start with a square!

The ‘logs’ in each round of this Octagon block start with a partial seam, just like the partial seams version of the Log Cabin block .

 

Partial Seams

 

Here is an example of a quilt I made using partial seams in the blocks:

 

Crossed Paths Quilt (Quilt Now Jan18)
Crossed Paths for Quilt Now Magazine

 

And to make the partial seams blocks a little easier to spot, here is a deconstructed block from the quilt:

 

 

Now that you know how easy partial seams are, I hope you won’t be put off trying a whole other range of blocks to enhance your quilts.

 

And check out my Pinterest Board for lots more fabulous examples of Partial Seams!

 

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

 

Thank you for tuning in to my Log Cabin Family of Blocks series.

 

I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have!

 

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!