Applique Robin Cushion Pattern

By Judith on October 19, 2017
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Hi there!  How’s your week going so far?


I hope you are managing to fit in some sewing time.


This week has had a few twists and turns for me.  The Quilting shop where I teach announced they are closing down.  Sad news for staff and customers alike.


In better news, I launched my Applique Robin Cushion pattern this week!



A few weekends a go I taught my first ‘Rockin’ Robin’ workshop at the Northern Ireland Patchwork Guild.



The ladies were a joy to teach and totally embraced the ‘mixed textiles’ vibe.  12 cute Robins adorned the table at the end of the workshop!


I’ll also be teaching this project in my weekly classes, in the run up to Christmas.



I can’t wait to see many more versions of my Robin cushion appearing here, there and everywhere!


I’ve put together some Robin Cushion kits, using my wonderful collection of tweeds, flannel, linen and vintage cotton. The kits include everything you need to make the cushion front, including the pompom berries, pattern and already enlarged template.



Stuck for a gift idea or fancy having a go yourself? You can get your hands on one of my Robin kits here, but be quick – they are flying out the door fast!

Happy sewing!



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Wonky Log Cabin Quilt

By Judith on September 20, 2017
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I’ve been hearing the christmas ‘C’ word a lot round here lately!


It seems the madness of the ‘silly season’ starts earlier and earlier (or am I just getting older and more ‘Scrooge-like’?).


Anyway, when it comes to quilting magazines there’s no such thing as too early for Christmas!


Wonky Log Cabin Quilt (Quilt Now October17)


This is my Wonky Log Cabin Christmas quilt in the October issue of Quilt Now magazine.



These wonky blocks are so much fun to make.  There’s really no accurate measuring, just improv slicing and dicing!  So liberating!


Sometimes inspiration for quilt design comes quick and easy, and sometimes it’s more like the slow, patient percolation of a good coffee!


Wonky Log Cabin Quilt (Quilt Now Magazine Sept17)


Initially I had pulled some Kona greens and scrappy greens, a little sprinkle of Kona Pomegranate (an all time favourite) and a sharp black and white stripe to contrast.


Wonky Log Cabin Quilt (Quilt Now Magazine Sept17)


I liked where this was going, but still nothing came to mind.  A few days later, I grabbed some low volume prints and soft Kona greys and I had the balance I needed.


Log cabin blocks are some of my favourites, so I started to play and thought I’d push the boundaries a little.  I usually reserve my supply of black and white stripe for binding quilts. This time I let the black and white stripe take more of a starring role, connecting the blocks in each quadrant.


Wonky Log Cabin Quilt (Quilt Now Magazine Sept17)


I had so much fun playing, I just kept going, and that’s how this quilt came to be! A very organic design process this time!


I have the best job!


Happy quilting!





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Denim Pouches

By Judith on December 30, 2016
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Some much needed time off in December meant ‘play time’!

And for me, playtime usually involves denim!!



I love the many different tones that exist in this durable form.



I started my ‘playtime’ with a little denim EPP (English Paper Piecing) in front of the open fire on chilly December evenings.


Pretty soon I had 2 EPP panels made, and before I knew it I had 2 sizeable pouches made!  I even employed The Beast for those particularly thicker features!


Denim Zippy Pouch Gift


I was loosely basing these pouches on my denim washbag. I love how Aurifil wool thread holds its own on the thicker textiles.


Denim Zippy Pouch Gift


I had 2 people in mind as the recipients for these pouches.


Brit Bee Secret Santa Denim Pouch


This one went to Katy, who I was making for in our Brit Bee Secret Santa.


Denim Zippy Pouch Gift


And this one went to a good friend on her birthday – can you guess what her name is?


Denim Zippy Pouch Gift


And I might just have a 3rd EPP Denim project on the go!


My name is Judith and I’m addicted to denim!


Happy sewing!


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Giveaway Winner!

By Judith on December 27, 2016
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Well that’s Christmas over for another year! Phew!


I hope you all had fun and didn’t eat too much!



Thank you so much everyone for entering my giveaway and filling out my little questionnaire.  It has been a wonderful 6 year celebration!


Your feedback and suggestions are enlightening and valuable, and I will use them to shape how and what I blog about to best meet your needs.


And on to the important business of who has won my Joel Dewberry blogiversary giveaway.



I’m delighted to announce that the winner is …………..



Congratulations Leigh!  I have emailed you directly!  Your winnings will be en route to you very soon.


Thank you all for taking part!



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Fussy Cut Coasters

By Judith on December 22, 2016
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(Don’t forget to enter my Joel Dewberry Giveaway here.)



It seems like ages ago when my Fussy Cut Christmas Coasters appeared in the November issue of Quilt Now.

Fussy Cut Christmas Coasters (Quilt Now Nov16)
This ‘Chalkboard Snowman’ fabric by Studio E was perfect for fussy cutting.



And if you make your templates from see-through plastic, then cutting them out is a doddle!



Some simple quilting and a bias trim makes these cute 4.5″ coasters a quick little stocking filler or secret santa gift!



There’s still time!  Only 3 more sleeps!


Fussy Cut Christmas Coasters (Quilt Now Nov16)


Happy Sewing!


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Gingerbread Men Garland

By Judith on December 17, 2016
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My uni daughter loves Gingerbread men biscuits, Gingerbread houses, Gingerbread scented candles – just about everything Gingerbread!!


So I knew the perfect gift to make for her ‘room away from home’.



I sourced some brown felt online and fiddled about with the size of the template until I was happy! I cut out 12 men.


Then I fixed some heavy weight sew-in vilene to the wrong sides of the front men, and sewed on the ric rac trim.


Buttons and embroidered faces finished the fronts.


Gingerbread Men Garland


A long time ago a good friend bought me a spool of Liberty of London twine, and I knew it would be perfect to string up these gingers!


Not wanting to have loops coming out of the tops of the heads, I machine tacked a continuous length of twine onto the wrong sides of the ‘back men’.


Then I sewed the fronts and backs together, at first with a top stitch on the machine, close to the edge, and then I blanket stitched the edges by hand using Aurifil Wool 12wt.




I’m really pleased with how these cute fellas turned out!  And so is Uni daughter! It will be so lovely having her home for a few days at Christmas.



If you’d like to have a go yourself at some gingerbread men ornaments, you can get my free template here.


Gingerbread Men Garland



Along with my Tipsy Santas, this has been one of my favourite Christmas makes this year!

I hope you enjoy making them as much as I did!


Happy sewing!



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6 Christmas Stocking Filler Tutorials

By Judith on December 14, 2016
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Often the smallest and quickest sewing projects can bring the most pleasure.


I’ve curated some of my free tutorials for you, in a ‘Stocking Filler’ collection!



Who wouldn’t love a framed purse in their stocking, or a handy little glasses case?


Framed Purses (2.5″ x 6″)
Flex Frame Pouches


Keyfobs are such a useful accessory, as our my stacking nesting boxes (you can use these on desks for stationery or for keeping those beauty essentials organised on a dressing table!).



My towel backed bibs make sure the youngest members aren’t excluded (yes of course they have their own stocking!). Make them in cute Christmas fabrics for ‘baby’s first Christmas’!


Baby Bibs
Use 2.5″ squares for these festive patchwork bibs


And if you need to create a little more intrigue for a small gift, pop it into one of my gift bags! Isn’t the opening of presents just as much fun as the presents themselves?



Christmas Gift Bags


You can find even more Christmas themed tutorials here on my tutorials page.


And check out my new Christmas tutorials Pinterest board for more ideas from around the web!


Now you’ll never be stuck for super seasonal sewing stocking stuffers! (try saying that after a few Baileys!)


Happy sewing!




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Christmas Baubles Quilt

By Judith on December 11, 2016
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Popular Patchwork very kindly sent me a gorgeous bundle of ‘Wrap it Up’ fabrics by Makower with a ‘festive quilt’ remit for their December issue.



I took inspiration from the baubles shapes in the fabrics and designed this applique baubles Christmas quilt.



These fabrics were lovely to work with, and I teamed them with Makower’s Pindot (white) for the background.


Christmas Baubles quilt (Popular Patchwork Dec16)


The quilt comes in at a roomy 61″ x 64″, perfect for snuggling under and watching all those festive movies!



And if you think this contemporay quilt would look good next to your Christmas decorations, you can purchase it here.



Or for this and lots more Christmas Patchwork patterns, pick up your December copy of Popular Patchwork!


Happy decorating!



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Mixed Textiles Robin Cushion

By Judith on December 7, 2016
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In the December issue of Pretty Patches magazine, you might find this cheeky chappie making a song and dance of things!


Christmas Robin (mixed textiles) for Pretty Patches (Dec16)


Many of you will know that my first love in ‘all things fabric’ are recycled textiles.  I have a particular obsession fondess for tweed, linen, wool and corduroy.


Christmas Robin Cushion for Pretty Patches (Dec16)


The only items officially ‘purchased’ in this cushion are the background (Tilda) and the berries!


Christmas Robin Cushion for Pretty Patches (Dec16)


I love mixing textures and textiles!  Here we have sumptuous tweed, soft red wool, tactile cord, a vintage curtain remnant and a few scraps of good old fashioned quilting cotton. Oh what fun I had playing putting these together.


I also love satin stitch applique, but I knew with these thicker fabrics standard thread would disappear into the nap.



So out come the 12wt Aurifil wool threads! These are thick enough to use for hand embroidery, but not too thick to put through the eye of a size 90 machine needle. Win, win! (You can find a great selection here.)


As the design came together, I knew I wanted ‘berries’ in the corners.  I scratched my head for a few minutes, and then came up with a plan!



I un-threaded some jumbo pompom trim I had leftover from another project.  Then I ‘couched’ or satin stitched 3 thread stems together to create a little cluster of berries.  This made it super easy to sew them into the corners of the cushion.


Christmas Robin Cushion for Pretty Patches (Dec16)


A simple envelope backing and you have the perfect gift for all bird and nature lovers everywhere (not forgetting all the tweed & corduroy lovers too!).


Christmas Robin Cushion for Pretty Patches (Dec16)


My recycled, chirping Robin may be in the Christmas issue, but like the loyal and territorial real birds, I think he’ll stick around all year long!


So what type of fabrics make your heart skip a beat?


Happy bird watching!


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By Judith on December 5, 2016
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I don’t mean to worry you, but Christmas is less than 3 weeks away!




I need to get my ‘Christmas shopping skates’ on!


But if you need a few ideas for what to buy a fellow sewist (or yourself!!) then how about a kit?




This is an exciting new feature of my shop and I currently have 2 types to choose from:


Hexie Framed Purse Kit:




Framed purses are so versatile and make great gifts.  These hexie purses mean you can indulge in a little hand sewing (English Paper Piecing) as well as machine quilting and construction.




You can choose from a ‘Mixed’ Kit in bright rainbow colours, or a ‘Tilda’ Kit (4 ranges to choose from). Everything you need to make the purse is in the kit, including the pattern and templates. You can see a full list of the kit contents here.


Hexie Notebook Cover Kit:



If you know someone who enjoys journalling, keeping recipes, class notes etc. then a removeable A5 notebook cover could be the perfect gift!


Again the techniques combine pre-cut hexies with machine quilting and construction, and you can add in some embroidery details too.




The kits are available as ‘Brights’ (multi coloured hexies with Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Denim) or ‘Tilda’ (with Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Flax).


The kit includes everything you need to make the notebook cover, all pre-cut and ready to sew.  You also get the pattern and an A5 spiral notebook.




So that could be one less pressie to think of, right?


Happy shopping!




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Tipsy Tomte Santas!

By Judith on December 3, 2016
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The December issue of Pretty Patches included a complimentary booklet called ‘Easy Christmas Gifts’.





I fancied having a go at the cute Swedish Santas. However it took me 3 goes to get them right!


Tipsy Santas


A few ‘bottom’ issues meant my Santas weren’t sitting completely upright. And so they were affectionately named ‘Tipsy Santas’!  (I think they got to the sherry a little too early!)


Tipsy Santas


I also had a few ‘glue’ issues first time around, so I exchanged gluing the ribbon on with self-adhesive crochet trim. Oh how I love this stuff!


Tipsy Santas


But despite the issues, I’m pleased with how they turned out, and have gifted 2 of them.


Tipsy Santas



So if you would like to have a go at making some Swedish ‘Tipsy Santas’ my advice is to cut out the circle base a few inches smaller, go carefully with the glue and stay well away from the Sherry!


Tipsy Santas


Happy sewing!



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Gift Bag Tutorial

By Judith on November 26, 2016
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It’s wonderful to see so many folks entering my Tula Pink giveaway.




If you haven’t already entered, just sign up for my newsletter (right) and/or like my Facebook page here.


So Christmas is sneaking up quickly, and I thought you might like a quick and easy Christmas tutorial.





How cute are these gift bags?

They are fully lined and stand at 7″ tall. Perfect for jazzing up those smaller (but no less important) gifts!


So let’s get started.  Here’s what you need:


Outside: 2 x (7.5″ wide x 10.5″ tall)

Lining: 2 x (7.5″ wide x 10.5″ tall)

Channel: 2 x (2″ wide x 8″ tall) or use 1″ wide ribbon

Drawstring: 2 x 20″ lengths of narrow ribbon

Safety pin

Small square ruler





Assume 1/4″ seam allowances


1  Place both outside pieces right sides together. Sew around the side and bottom edges. Repeat for the 2 lining pieces, but this time leave a 2″ gap in the middle of the bottom edge.




2  Make box corners: Pull the corners apart and place the side seam on top of the bottom seam. Place the ruler on top of the corner and measure and mark 3″ vertically (or 1.5″ from tip horizontally).




3  Sew along the line, starting and finishing with a reverse stitch. Repeat for all 4 corners. (I like to trim off the excess from the lining, but leave the corners on the outers for a ‘stronger bottom’!)




4  Turn the outer bag right side out (leave the lining inside out).


5  Place the outer bag inside the lining. Match and pin the side seams and top edges.




6  Sew around the top edge (you will find this easier if you remove the accessory tray). Start and finish with a reverse stitch.




7  Turn the bag right side out through the gap in the lining.  Push the corners out and stitch the gap in the lining closed.




8  Push the lining into the bag and press the top edge to neaten.




9  Make the Channel: Press under the short ends of each piece by 1/4″. Also press under both long sides by 0.5″.




10  Pin the channels to the bag. The top edge of the channel will be 1.5″ down from the top of the bag.  Don’t worry if there is a little gap at the sides.






11  Slide the bag into your machine (without the accessory tray) and sew around the top and bottom edges of the channel, 1/8″ seam away from the edge.  Rather than stopping at the sides, just continue sewing onto the next channel. Start and finish with a reverse stitch.




12  Finishing: Attach the safety pin to one end of a piece of ribbon. Thread the pin into the channel at one side, all the way around and out the same side.  Knot the ends of the ribbon together.






13  Thread the other piece of ribbon in the same way, this time from the opposite side.




14  And you’re done!  Fill with goodies and make lots more!





Happy sewing!



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Almost Autumn!

By Judith on August 28, 2016
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It would seem that Autumn is just around the corner!

Crawfordsburn Aug16

Lots of evidence of it today on our lovely picnic and walk around Crawfordsburn Country Park.

Crawfordsburn Aug16
Crawfordsburn Aug16
Crawfordsburn Aug16
Crawfordsburn Aug16
Crawfordsburn Aug16
Crawfordsburn Aug16

Of course that means a new term of sewing projects for me.  Can you guess what type of projects I’ve started working on?

I’m not even going to mention the ‘C’ word, but that’s how I’ll be spending my last few days of summer!
Happy sewing!


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Christmas Stocking Tutorial

By Judith on December 19, 2014
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Today you will find me over on the Fabric Yard blog, turning some of Alice’s gorgeous Christmas fabrics into stockings.

Stockings for Fabric Yard

Check out the free tutorial for the large stocking with cuff!

Stockings for Fabric Yard

And while you’re there, have a browse through the lovely new fabrics in stock!

Stockings for Fabric Yard

(and remember, tomorrow is giveaway day!)

Jude xo


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