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!
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.
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!
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!!)
In addition to all of this I ran 2 workshops:
Sashiko cushion (Saturday afternoon) ……
….and selvedge projects (Sunday morning).
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.
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!
Once again the studio was filled with generous ladies donating their time, talent and fabric to make syringe driver bags for Macmillan Cancer Care and N.I. Children’s Hospice.
It was lovely meeting old friends and new, and at least one bag was completed by all!
I’d like to thank everyone who has beavered away making bags for our 2nd appeal, the total of which is now over 350 (and they’re still coming!).
For many of the contributors to our Syringe Driver Bags appeal, it is a very personal and heartfelt gesture of giving back. These bags will be winging their way to palliative care units and hopefully bringing a little cheer to an otherwise dark corner.
This is my last week of classes before the summer break. The sun is finally shining and I will have a few more photos to show you from this term’s project focus.
In the meantime, I can show you some stunning bags from our Beach Bag Workshop last Saturday.
It was a warm and clammy day in the studio, perfect weather for thinking about holidays by the beach!
All the ladies beavered away on their bags, and just look at their results!
Such classy and colourful bags! The webbing handles are sewn onto the exterior and base of the bag, making them nice and strong for all your beach or picnic gear.
The bags are lined with Rip Stop Nylon, a water resistant and washable fabric, which is really easy to sew with too!
And you can see a few examples of the additional ‘wet bag’ above, which is included in the pattern. This is also lined with Rip Stop Nyon, the perfect place for wet swimwear or drippy sun lotion bottles!
Well done ladies on your hard work. I hope you get many opportunities to use your bag this summer!
And if you would like to make your own roomy beach bag, you can get the pattern here.
I’m ridiculously excited to tell you all about a new Just Jude Designs venture!
Retreat from the stresses of life for a weekend of relaxation, creativity and great food in the spacious and comfortable Murlough House, surrounded by the beautiful Murlough Bay Nature Reserve!
Let me tell you all about it!
Your weekend retreat experience will include:
Time away to indulge your stitching passion, progress your projects or start something new
Fun meeting and connecting with other like-minded quilting enthusiasts
Support from your friendly, experienced tutor
Two optional project workshops (Sashiko Cushion / Selvedge Projects)
Light-hearted sewing games
Pop-up shop for fabric and haberdashery supplies
Comfortable accommodation in single, twin, shared and en-suite rooms
Ground floor ‘Less Abled’ accommodation available
All meals provided – no cooking means more time to sew! Special dietary requirements catered for.
Beautiful, extensive gardens and grounds within walking distance of stunning golden beach to enjoy some fresh air and stretch your legs
5 large cutting mats, rotary cutters, irons/boards & rulers will be available
Free Tea & Coffee available throughout the day
5pm: Arrive, settle in
7pm – bedtime: Free sewing time / Sewing Games
10am- 1pm: Free Sewing time
1pm – 2pm: Lunch
2pm – 5pm: Free sewing time or Sashiko Cushion Workshop
7pm – bedtime: Free sewing time / Sewing Games
10am – 1pm: Free sewing time or Selvedge Pouch Workshop
1pm – 2pm: Lunch
2pm – 4pm: Free sewing time & pack up
The prices for full board accommodation at our Retreat range from Single En Suite (£160) through to a Shared Room for 5 (£120 pp). (A full list of rooms and prices available on request to email@example.com.)
(only shared rooms remaining at time of writing)
I’ve attended several retreats in the past, and know first hand how relaxing and fun they are! It’s so wonderful getting alongside other sewists, chatting, sharing and getting inspired by the plethora of creative projects being worked on. Not to mention getting away from cooking and other family responsibilities for a few days!
So if you would like to join us for some serious sewing time and lots of craic, or to enquire more about room availability, drop us a line to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is the final item on my table to tell you about and will be a Saturday workshop in June.
These cute and practical zippy pouches are great for summer holidays, or just keeping your bits and bobs organised. The handy see-through vinyl means you know exactly which pouch to reach for, and sewing with vinyl isn’t as tricky as you might think.
At the workshop I will be showing some clever ways to sew with vinyl (vinyl available to purchase in class).
There are a few places still available so why not join us for some vinyl fun!
You may remember seeing my aprons on display last term. I decided to leave my dressed mannequin again this term because we are running our 3rd Apron workshop in August (booking available here). In this workshop you can choose from either a tie back apron (pictured) or the Japanese style cross back apron (see here).
2 Kids Tote Bags:
These simple and fun makes are samples for my upcoming children’s workshop.
I have 4 girls and 2 boys registered to learn how to use a sewing machine and let their textile creativity loose!
Children are a joy to teach because they don’t overthink it and are so creatively uninhibited! We adults could learn alot from them!
This is my big and roomy beach bag (first featured in Pretty Patches magazine). It features water resistant Rip-Stop Nylon lining, mesh or cotton exterior pockets and a detachable ‘wet bag’ for your soggy bikini, or drippy sun lotion bottles!
I’ve made a few of these practical bags over the years, and they’ve even been road tested by my girls on their holiday!
If you’d like to join us at our Beach Bag workshop, you can book in here.
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!
Tweed is a favourite textile among many sewers, and mixed with pretty cottons and satin stitch applique, you have one gorgeous cushion!
(The pattern for Harriet Hare Cushion will be released after the workshop.)
At our Apron workshop in March there will be 2 styles to choose from – the Japanese style ‘Cross-over’ apron and my ‘Apron in Jar’, a practical and stylish apron which folds into a decorated mason jar for gifting.
The pattern for the Apron in a Jar includes a child’s size template and will be released after the workshop.
We wrap up our first term of ‘Sewing Saturdays’ with some folksy tea cosies.
Bring your teapot along to this workshop, and we will have fun appliqueing a ‘made to measure’ cosy for your pot.
I will be posting more information about each workshop nearer the time.
Places are limited, so book early (waiting lists available if fully booked). Just drop me an email at email@example.com
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Exactly 1 year ago today I signed the contract and got the keys to my classroom in this stunning converted Victorian Linen Mill in Belfast!
After teaching in various places for more than 10 years, it was lovely to step into a bright a spacious room, which I knew would meet all our classroom needs.
The room takes 12 students per class, and we also have 5 separate cutting tables and 4 ironing stations.
The ‘Basting Bay’ gives the ladies room to spray baste their quilts, and the design wall facilitates the laying out of blocks and quilt design.
The ‘Tea/coffee’ making station is an essential feature (no mini-bar yet!) and I even have room for a themed display table and a small haberdashery and pattern shop.
I teach 6 weekly classes and monthly Saturday workshops from September to June, with a slightly different programme over the summer months.
Since I started the classes in January ’18, we have had a total of 203 weekly classes, 11 Saturday workshops, 1 50th birthday party and several charity sewing days!
Phew! What a brilliant year!
And to celebrate my first birthday in Conway Mill, we not only have chocolates in class, I’m also discounting all my online patterns by 50%. Just use the coupon code BIRTHDAY1 at the checkout (one use only).
Thank you to everyone for making this new venture an exciting and fulfilling one! I can’t wait to see what 2019 brings!
Yesterday was my Chenille Workshop, and I’ve been beavering away this past week getting samples ready.
My ladies learned how to make a fluffy, tactile texture in their fabrics, and turn it into a snuggly cushion or a soft and useful bathmat.
We learned about how cutting across the bias can create a very different effect from cutting in line with the warp and weft (straight grain).
And how some fabrics will fray better than others, and where some will reveal little surprises after washing and drying (a frayed selvage will give a clue to secondary coloured threads).
The best way to chenille fabric is to cut across the bias, but that in no way limits the different effects you can achieve.
Check out some of these examples:
Applique Bias Strips:
You don’t need any special equipment for this technique. The clever peeps at Olfa have made the Chenille cutter, but you can get the same results from sharp scissors (recommended for smaller projects).
And if you don’t have a Chenille brush to help with the fluffing-up, just use a regular hairbrush (the washing and tumble drying are usually sufficient, but brushing the chenille can help with those fabrics that are a little more fray resistant!).
So huge well done to my ladies for a great day’s work sewing and chenilling (& chatting too!).
And if you haven’t tried chenilling yet, why not give it a whirl! You’ll be pleasantly surprised!
Just checking in to tell you about some exciting new workshops coming up this term.
Saturday 8th September: Rope Bowls II
(fully booked – waiting list available)
My first Rope Bowls workshop booked up in double quick time, so I set a 2nd date! (you can read all about the first workshop here.)
15th September: Free Motion Quilting/Sketching
(fully booked – waiting list available)
Yesterday was the first of 2 FMQ workshops.
My ladies worked hard at 6 different FMQ designs, fillers, small and large samples, and tried their hand at a little sketching too! (I bet they all slept well last night!).
This is my most requested workshop, and as it booked up in 2 days(!!) it was only fair I put on a 2nd date!
Don’t worry if you haven’t managed to get onto one of these workshops. I’ll be running this one again next year.
13th October: Chenille (Bath Mat or Cushion)
In quilting, the term ‘Chenille’ refers to a texture achieved through sewing and cutting through several layers of fabric. When washed and dried, the raw edges of the cuts ‘fluff up’ creating a wonderfully tactile texture. This new ‘fabric’ can then be turned into a wide range of items.
In this workshop you can choose to make a fluffy bath mat, or a snuggly cushion.
17th November: Scandi Christmas Stocking
Getting ready for Christmas and Christmas gift-making is always popular among quilters.
My Scandi Christmas Stocking incorporates a little fun applique and it is fully lined, so it will stand the test of time year after year!
I’m now stocking the latest collection of Makower Red Scandi Christmas prints in my classroom, as well as my usual stocks of Essex Yarn Dyed Linen, and I’m hoping to have kits available for the workshop.
8th December: Gingerbread Men Garland
How cute would these decorated felt Gingerbread Men look adorning your Christmas themed fireplace!
This workshop will combined some relaxing hand sewing and embellishing with a little machine work.
A great gift for gingerbread men lovers everywhere!
So there you have it! A round-up of fun ways to spend a Saturday!
If you see anything here you fancy, just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org